The Knesset has named the visitors` gallery in the plenum after Kadish Luz, who served as Speaker of the Knesset during the dedication of the parliament building in Jerusalem in 1966.

Tuesday`s ceremony was held in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein (Likud), MKs, former MKs and members of the Luz family.

”We are continuing the important tradition we have adopted with greater vigor over the past few years, to commemorate former Knesset speakers who have passed away,” Edelstein said. ”Each and every one of them made a contribution and left a mark, according to their individual personalities and styles. For a decade Kadish Luz was one of the figures who was identified most with the institution of the Knesset, and later with this building here in Givat Ram, which is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its establishment.”

”I am certain that [Kadish Luz] would have been pleased to witness the realization of the hope he expressed upon his election as the Speaker of the Fourth Knesset, when he said: `Let us wish Knesset Yisrael that during the term of the Fourth Knesset we will see the continuation of the country`s fortification, the strengthening of its international standing, its security and economy, and the advancement of the mission to gather the scattered people of Israel in the State of Israel,`” Edelstein said.

Visitors` gallery in the plenum named after late Knesset Speaker Kadish Luz

(Photo: Itzik Harari)

MK Benny Begin (Likud) said he remembers Luz ”as one of the most moral politicians” and as one of the Knesset Members responsible for ”that revolution which allows us to raise our children in the State of Israel.”

”He was a member of the generation which immigrated to Israel, established the country and influenced its laws. Within that group of Knesset Members, Kadish Luz always stood out,” Begin recalled.

Visitors` gallery in the plenum named after late Knesset Speaker Kadish Luz

(Photo: Itzik Harari)

Kadish Luz (1885-1972) was one of the founders of the Hebrew Soldier Association in Russia and the Halutz association of Jewish youth whose aim was to train its members to settle in the Land of Israel. He made Aliyah in 1920, and worked as a cottager in Kiryat Anavim and Be`er Tuvia. The following year he joined kibbutz Degania Bet, and eventually became a member of the kibbutz union`s secretariat between 1949 and 1951. He was also amongst the leaders of the Histadrut labor federation, serving on its comptroller committee between 1935 and 1940. Between 1941 and 1942 he was on the secretariat of Tel Aviv`s workers` council.

Luz was elected to the Knesset in 1951 on Mapai`s list, and was appointed Minister of Agriculture by David Ben-Gurion in 1955. After leaving the cabinet in 1959, he became Speaker of the Knesset, serving for 10 years, the second longest term after Joseph Shprinzak.

By naming the visitors` gallery after Luz, the Knesset has completed the project of commemorating all the deceased Knesset speakers in different parts of the parliament building.