Benjamin Akzin was born in Riga, Latvia in 1904. In 1922, while at university in Vienna, he was among the founders of Hechaver, the Zionist student movement in Eastern Europe. In 1925 he joined the Revisionist Zionist Alliance and served as a member of its executive committee in Austria, as a member of the presidential committee of the New Zionist Association, and as head of its political department. Between 1926 and 1928, Akin prepared his thesis for a doctorate in law from the University of Paris. In 1949 he immigrated to Israel in order to teach at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a professor of political science and constitutional law. He was awarded the chair in political science, named after Lord Herbert Samuel, the first Jewish high commissioner in Palestine. In 1950-1954 Akzin served as chairman of the Israel Political Science Association, and he also served twice as dean of the Faculty of Law of the Hebrew University (1951-1954 and 1961-1963). Akzin’s publications examined aspects of public administration, the regime and statehood, and relations with Diaspora Jewry. In 1967 Akzin was awarded the Israel Prize for the Legal Sciences in recognition of his academic work. He was among the founders of Haifa University and served as its first rector. Professor Akzin passed away in 1985.
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