Ariel University Director, former MK Yigal Cohen-Orgad dies aged 82

"Yigal Cohen Orgad was a friend, a great Zionist, and the living spirit behind Ariel University," former Education Minister Naftali Bennett eulogized.

Yigal Cohen-Orgad (photo credit: ARIEL UNIVERSITY)
Yigal Cohen-Orgad
(photo credit: ARIEL UNIVERSITY)
Former finance minister and director of the Ariel University, Yigal Cohen-Orgad, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 82.
Cohen-Orgad participated in the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem during the Six Day War, and following the Yom Kippur War, looked to join Israeli politics.
Cohen-Orgad served as an Israeli MK as part of the Likud Party between the years 1977-1988, and served as finance minister between 1983-1984 under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. He added Orgad to his last name, which is comprised of his four children’s initials, to differentiate himself from another Yigal Cohen who was also in the same party.
He served as chairman of the executive committee of the Judea and Samaria Academic College, which turned into the Ariel University in 2012 and secured for the university the ability to receive state research funds and the right to confer a PhD.
The University of Ariel in Samaria is deeply saddened to announce the death of Yigal Cohen-Orgad – director of the University of Ariel, a man of Israel and one of the university’s fathers,” the university said in a statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also eulogized Cohen-Orgad: “My wife, Sara, and I are mourning the passing of our late friend, Yigal Cohen-Orgad. Finance Minister Yigal advocated for the free market economy. As a man of Israel, I saw in Yigal a partner in the process of establishing Ariel University, the first university in Samaria.”
“Yigal Cohen-Orgad was a friend, a great Zionist, and the living spirit behind Ariel University,” former education minister Naftali Bennett eulogized. “Yigal embodies the perfect Israeli entrepreneur: a huge vision alongside a care for details and a good sense of humor. By virtue of his personality and determination, he produced miracles, most notably the Ariel University in Samaria. May his memory live on.”