Dr.Israel Irving HaCohen Ziderman
Scientific Director, Tekhelet Foundation
Chairman, Union of Civilian Research Scientists in Israel
Scientific Editor, Yalkut Journal of the Israel Textile & Fashion Association
Born 1936 in London, England. In his youth, studied there Jewish subjects at Jews’ College, and Talmud with Rabbi Benzion Lopian. Served as General Secretary, Bnei Akivah Movement in Great Britain and Ireland during 1956-1959. Settled in Israel as halutz at Kibbutz Shluchot in 1959. Since 1961, resident in Jerusalem.
Received B.Sc. degree in Animal Physiology from London University; and M.Sc. (cum laude) and Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry from The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
1966-1991 Senior Scientist, Israel Fibre Institute, Jerusalem; appointed to Associate Professor Grade. Conducted researches on the industrial chemistry of cellulose, starches, cotton and sugars. Specialised especially in studies of alkaline decomposition of carbohydrates, and the chemical reaction of proteins with carbohydrates that forms carcinogenic foods. Lectured on Dye Chemistry in the Hebrew University.
In 1970, he founded the Union of Civliian Research Scientists, the professional body of senior staff employed at Israel's research institutions in the civilian sector. Since then, he has served as National Chairman of the Union.
Served in IDF as machine-gunner, with rank of sergeant. Decorated with campaign ribbons of the Six Day War,, Attrition War (1967-70), Yom Kippur War, Shlom HaGalil War and the Operational Service medal . Awarded the National Esteem medal of the Home Guard, Israel Police Force.
Since 1989, he officiates as Scientific Editor of Yalkut Journal of the Israel Textile & Fashion Association .
For the Talmudic Encyclopedia (entry Hilazon), Dr. Ziderman wrote a Hebrew summary of the doctorate on tekhelet, that Chief Rabbi Herzog had composed in English. Subsequently he commenced his studies of tekhelet in the footsteps of the Rabbi’s findings. He authored the scientific proofs for identifying the Murex trunculus shellfish as the authentic hilazon of antiquity; also, he researched the Talmudic sources on tekhelet for substantiating his scientific findings. Publication of his researches and his public activity led to the establishment of Petil Tekhelet and to renewal of the observance of tekhelet threads on tzitzit. Recently he has been studying the chemistry of the ingredients of tekhelet dye that determine its colour, on cooperation with scientists in research laboratories in Israel and abroad.
Since 1984, Dr. Ziderman heads the Keren HaTekhelet (Tekhelet Foundation), which he founded in order to advance implementation of Rabbi Herzog’s doctorate. The Foundation’s programme has these four objectives:
(1) Use of the hilazon shellfish that grows in Israel to produce the tekhelet dye, without importing – so as to renew the original ancient product;
(2) Reproduction of the shellfish and raising them in ponds – so as to preserve the species for future generations from extinction due to marine pollution, and also to ensure a continuous supply of dye;
(3) Dyeing the tekhelet by an authentic process, without chemicals – according to the new scientific research of Dr. Ziderman;
(4) Supplying every synagogue-goer in the world with a tekhelet-tallit – so as to fulfill our mutual responsibility to all Jews.