Dov Lautman: A Legacy of Business and Philanthropy

Dov Lautman (February 29, 1936 - November 23, 2013) was an Israeli industrialist and entrepreneur known for his contributions to business and society. He was the founder, owner, and CEO of "Delta Galil Industries," served as the President of the Manufacturers' Association of Israel from 1986 to 1993, and received the Israel Prize in 2007 for his exceptional contribution to the field of industry and his philanthropic endeavors.


Lautman, a graduate of the agricultural high school in Pardes Hanna, held a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. At the age of 27, he became the CEO of the textile company "Sabrina." In 1975, he established the first Delta factory in Carmiel. Today, the company employs nearly 14,000 people worldwide and has an annual turnover of approximately $700 million. Delta Galil is considered one of the top five global companies in the production of underwear.

In 1979, Lautman was one of the founders of the holding company "Danut," which collapsed in 1985.

In 1982, Lautman was awarded the Industry Prize by the Manufacturers' Association of Israel in the textile category.

During the 1990s, half of Delta's factories were relocated to Jordan, resulting in extensive layoffs of production workers in Israel as part of the textile crisis of the 1990s. In 2007, another factory was moved from Carmiel to Egypt. Lautman believed that relocating textile factories, a consequence of globalization, to Jordan and Egypt would contribute to the peace process. He maintained that Carmiel would always remain the global center for Delta.

In the 1990s, Lautman made substantial financial contributions to the Israeli Labor Party. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, he co-founded the "Generation of Peace" movement. Until his passing, Lautman was known for his involvement and determination to influence the future of the country through educational initiatives that earned him the President's Volunteer Service Award years before his death.

Lautman was a member of the board of the "After Me! Youth Leading Change" association, which operates unique projects empowering youth in socially and geographically peripheral areas through community service and responsibility-taking. Lautman also donated indirectly to Ehud Barak's election campaign through the Generation of Peace organization, which became entangled in the Barak Affair.

Lautman was a prominent advocate of educational reforms in the Israeli education system and a member of the Public Relations Committee. He was also a member of the committee of the Israeli Education Movement Association, which works to deepen the values of formal education in Israel.

Additionally, he promoted various non-profit organizations and public bodies such as the Peres Center for Peace, the "After Me! Youth Leading Change" association, which runs a project preparing youth from development towns for military service, and served as the chairman of the board of directors of Tel Aviv University.

In 2006, Lautman was appointed President of the Israel ALS Association, a role he took on despite suffering from the disease himself. During his years of volunteer work, he contributed millions of dollars to ALS research and raising awareness of the disease. He also helped raise additional millions for the association.

In July 2007, Lautman announced that he had sold over half of his holdings in Delta Galil to businessman Isaac Dabah, who had joined the company's management two years earlier. After completing the deal, Lautman announced his retirement from the company's board of directors and management due to his health condition. In September 2008, Lautman declared that he would not seek another term as chairman of the Tel Aviv University board of directors.

In 2007, Lautman founded the "Ko Mashuach" association to encourage the employment of Arab-Israeli academics. Since then, he served as its chairman.

In early 2008, efforts began to establish the Lautman Family Fund, intended to continue Lautman's work in the field of education. In that year, Lautman also founded the "Kol Chinuch" movement.

Lautman was married to Rachel for many years until her passing in July 2008. They had two children, Na'ama, who is an entrepreneur, and their second son, Adi, who tragically took his own life in 1994. The "Adi Lautman Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students" at Tel Aviv University is named in his memory.

On November 23, 2013, Dov Lautman passed away, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of business success, educational reform, and philanthropy.

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