Dr. Yehudah Paz (of blessed memory): 1930-2013


Throughout his life, Dr. Yehudah Paz worked for peace, political justice, and the cause of international co-operation. The founder and Chair of AJEEC-NISPED, he was born in New York in 1930 and immigrated to Israel in 1950 where he helped found Kibbutz Kissufim in the Negev.
A renowned teacher and academic in the fields of sociology and philosophy, Yehudah received numerous citations and awards, including the Rochdale Award from the International Cooperative Alliance and the Golden Dove of Peace Prize from the President of Italy.
He studied at Columbia University, the University of London and the Jewish Teachers Institute, earning a B.Sc. in Economics, a M.Sc. in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Social Philosophy. He served in many leadership, managerial and educational positions in the kibbutz and the kibbutz movement. Among his many positions, Yehudah was head master of several secondary schools, director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Director and Principal of the International Institute for Development, Labor and Co-operative Studies. He was a member of the Central Committee of the United Kibbutz Movement, and the Israel Labor Party. The author of numerous studies, monographs and articles, Yehudah has been a guest lecturer in countries around the world.
Convinced that linking people-to-people collaboration with economic development was the key to achieving peace he founded NISPED in 1998. His agenda for the organization was to provide hope, guidance, and initiative for development, by using personal collaboration as its main tool.
Throughout his career Yehudah focused on civil society as the vehicle for successful social transformation and economic development. Through fostering collaborative Arab-Israeli grassroots enterprises with an emphasis on sustainable growth, he provided developmental opportunities for conflicted communities, so that peace could be sustained through clear prospects of improvement in living standards and hope for the future.
Yehudah touched each and everyone of us in the AJEEC-NISPED family, pushing us to ever and ever higher levels in our vision and hopes for the world as a whole. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Amos, Avigail, Taliya and Michael (Mikey), Yehudah and Ruth of blessed memory’s children and to their beloved grandchildren.