Aaron Dovrat : A Life of Business and Accomplishments

Aaron Dovrat was an Israeli businessman and CEO who left an indelible mark on the business landscape of Israel. As a young boy, he found himself in a unique situation. At the behest of Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, he was entrusted with a substantial loan by the company "Klal Leasing," which he managed.

This loan, an enormous sum at the time, was extended to him for the purchase of a computer when he didn't even have a bank account, and Baroness Rothschild did not require repayment. Remarkably, he repaid the loan within just fifteen years. Dovrat remained deeply grateful to the individuals who had the audacity to cosign this loan: David Margalit, Yoram Halevi, and Yossi Gerber.


Aaron Dovrat was born in Argentina in 1931. He pursued a degree in law at the University of Buenos Aires and immigrated to Israel in 1958.

He began his career as a clerk in the Ministry of Industry and Trade and quickly rose through the ranks to head the Industrial Division in the early 1960s. In 1961, he joined the founders of the "Klal" conglomerate, along with the Riknati family and with the support of then-Minister of Industry and Trade, Pinchas Sapir. The conglomerate aimed to attract investments from South American Jewish communities to Israel.

From 1965 to 1991, Dovrat served as the CEO of the Klal conglomerate, transforming it into Israel's largest conglomerate. He grew its equity from $20 million to approximately $400 million. In 1973, he led Klal's acquisition of the "Central Company." He also found himself embroiled in a fierce battle with journalist Yoav Yitzhak, who published a critical series of articles about Klal in the "Ma'ariv" newspaper starting January 15, 1989.

This dispute led to a boycott of Ma'ariv advertisements. During this period, several investigations were conducted against Dovrat, all of which ultimately concluded without any charges filed. In 1990, Dovrat received the Industry Award in the general category.

Following his retirement from the Klal conglomerate in April 1991, Dovrat, along with his deputy at Klal, Yitzhak Sharim, established the investment companies "Dovrat, Sharim & Co. Ltd" and "Leader." Together with business magnate Avi Tiomkin, Dovrat and Sharim also founded the daily newspaper "Telegraf" in 1991, which attempted to compete with "Globes" but ceased publication after three years due to financial difficulties.

Dovrat and Sharim led the acquisition of "Ordan Industries" in 1995, a manufacturer of metal products for the defense market. In 1996, they gained control of Bank Hapoalim's investment company, renaming it "Polar Investments."

In 1998, Dovrat parted ways with Sharim after a bitter personal conflict and shifted his focus to "Yashal," a company under his control. In 2005, he sold his stake in the company. In 1999, together with his son Shlomo Dovrat, Avi Zvi, and Harel Beit-On, he founded "Voylla Group," specializing in venture capital management.

In an interview with "Calcalist" newspaper, Dovrat once said, "My life is full of a series of failures. Life is like that; it's not black and white. There are successes and failures, and fortunately, in my case, there have been more successes than failures."

He considered his most significant achievements to be the Encyclopaedia Judaica and the weekly publication "Koteret Rashit," both published under the Keter Publishing House, which was under Klal ownership during his tenure.

Dovrat also held positions in various public bodies, including chairman of the board of trustees of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and a member of the Israeli Institute for Democracy.

Personal Life

Aaron Dovrat resided in the Azrieli Towers in Tel Aviv and owned an apartment in New York. He was married to Dalia Tzur (daughter of Yaakov Tzur), with whom he had a son, businessman Shlomo Dovrat, and a daughter, poet Anat Dovrat Ben Ezra. After divorcing his first wife, he remarried and lived with Miri Dovrat (formerly Segal) until the end of his life. Aaron Dovrat passed away on December 11, 2008, after battling cancer.

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