Yakov Dori

Yakov Dori

Israeli military leader, first Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
Country: Israel

Biography of Yaakov Dori

Yaakov Dori (Yaakov Dostrovsky) was an Israeli military figure and the first Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. He was born in Odessa, Russian Empire and immigrated to Palestine with his family after the pogroms of 1905, when Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. After completing school in Haifa during World War I, Yaakov joined the Jewish Legion of the British Army. He later joined Haganah, the underground defense organization, and adopted the codename "Dan".

In 1939, Dori was appointed as the Chief of Staff of Haganah and held that position until 1946. From 1946 to 1947, Dori led a delegation to the United States for arms procurement. After the establishment of the Israel Defense Forces, Dori became its first Chief of the General Staff. However, he faced serious health issues during this time, which hindered his ability to lead military operations during the 1948 War of Independence. As a result, the responsibility fell on his deputy, Yigal Allon.

Dori's tenure as Chief of the General Staff ended on November 9, 1949. Following his retirement from the military, he served as the Chairman of the Scientific Council at the Prime Minister's Office and as the President of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He held the latter position until 1965.

Yaakov Dori's son, Erachmiel, went on to become the Commander of the Engineering Corps of the Israel Defense Forces.