One of the founders of Israel’s navy and its first commander, American-born Shaul Ben-Zvi, is to be promoted posthumously to the rank of rear admiral.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin authorized the promotion for Ben-Zvi, who died last year at the age of 72.
Rabin is to award the rank to Ben-Zvi’s widow, Rose Shulman, at a ceremony scheduled to take place in the coming days.
Ben-Zvi was born Paul Shulman in Connecticut in 1922.
He attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis during World War II, where he met David Ben-Gurion.
In 1946 he retired from the U.S. Navy and joined the New York operations of the “Mossad for Aliya Bet” a network smuggling arms and immigrants to Israel.
He came to Israel in May 1946 and was appointed the fledgling navy’s chief of staff and later its first commander.