Haim Hefer, who wrote over 1,000 songs and poems and was awarded the Israel Prize, passed away over the Rosh Hashannah holiday. He was 86.
Hefer was born in Poland in 1925, and immigrated to Israel when he was 11 years of age. Hefer served in the Palmach and was one of the original members of the famed Israeli entertainment group the Chizbatron, where he began writing songs. After his service, he established the Hamam nightclub with Dan Ben-Amotz. The club, in Jaffa, became the centerpiece of Israeli popular culture.
Hefer wrote some of Israel's most popular songs, including the scores for seminal Israeli movies like Kazablan and I Like Mike. In 1983, he was given the Israel Prize for Israeli prose and poetry. Hefer also wrote a weekly column in the Hebrew newpaper Yediot Achronot.
Labor Party chairperson Shelly Yechimovich expressed regret at Hefer's passing, saying that “his work made a deep impression on Israel's language, culture and humor that will last forever.”
Hefer passed away on Tuesday. An announcement on funeral plans will be made later Tuesday night.