04 February 2023
Weiss was born on 5 July 1935 in Borysław, Poland (now Boryslav, Ukraine) to Gienia and Meir Wolf. During the Shoah, he and his family were given refuge by Ukrainians and Poles, from which he secretly watched the carnage inflicted upon the Jewish population. After the war his family wandered from place to place until they immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1947, where he served in the army and found work as a quiz-master, among other places at Voice of Israel Radio. After receiving his bachelor's degree in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Weiss went on to obtain a masters and then a doctorate in Political Science and Contemporary Jewish Studies. He taught at the University of Haifa, and researched the system of power in Israel on both the local and national levels. Prof. Weiss wrote dozens of books in his field of study, as well as about the Holocaust.
Prof. Weiss served on the Haifa municipality from 1969-1981. He was elected to the Knesset in 1981; from 1988 to 1992, he served as a Deputy Speaker of the Knesset; and from 1992-1996 as the 13th Speaker of the House.
In 2000, Szewach Weiss became Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, a position he held for seven years. On retiring from this position, Yad Vashem Directorate Chairman Avner Shalev thanked Prof. Weiss for "having devoted his efforts and energy over the years to commemorating the Holocaust."
Between 2000 and 2004, Prof. Weiss served as Israeli Ambassador to Poland. On 4 January 2004, President Aleksander Kwaśniewski awarded him with the Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his contribution to the cooperation between Poland and Israel. That same year, he was awarded the "Yakir Haifa" award for his years of devotion to the city of Haifa and the State of Israel, as well as to Holocaust remembrance and to representing Israel in Poland.
Yad Vashem sends its deepest condolences to his children and grandchildren. May his memory be blessed.