On day <i>Ma'ariv</i> building in Tel Aviv closed, beloved watchman takes his own life

Paper's journalists lament Russian historian who languished in his guard station due to insufficient Hebrew.

Sergei Halyufin 370 (photo credit: Ma'ariv workers Facebook)
Sergei Halyufin 370
(photo credit: Ma'ariv workers Facebook)
Nearly two decades after he began working at the Ma’ariv offices in Tel Aviv, night watchman Sergei Halyufin committed suicide, on the same day the office closed its doors for the last time.
The Ma’ariv workers union reported Halyufin’s death Thursday night in a Facebook post over the weekend as a tragic chapter in the history of the newspaper.
In the post, journalist Chen Kontas describes Halyufin as a historian with three academic degrees who made aliya from Russia and because of his problems with Hebrew, languished in his guard station, his intellect and knowledge underused “Those who stopped to speak to him received full lectures in history. Empires sank and statesmen fell inside Sergei’s little guard booth,” Kontas wrote.
She said that Halyufin “was my most loyal reader, but not only mine, all of ours. He remembered every article and every detail. It sounds like something out of a movie – a historian sitting at his guard post. The man who in his death, became himself a part of the sad history of Ma’ariv.”
Publisher Shlomo Ben-Tsvi bought the financially troubled newspaper last year. He subsequently fired a large number of workers and kept those who remained for a partial merger with the paper Makor Rishon, which he also owns. The paper’s offices are now located in the Malha Technology Park in southern Jerusalem.