Hayim Baltsan (1910–2002)

Author of Webster's New World Hebrew Dictionary

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In 1935 he immigrated to Israel and began working as a correspondent in Jerusalem for "Ha-Boker"; later, he was appointed the newspaper's political writer and head of its branch in Jerusalem. In 1941 he moved to Tel Aviv; in the same year he became a member of the Association of Lawyers. In 1942 he volunteered for the British Army and was sent to Turkey. During his time there he was a correspondent of the newspaper Haaretz and published a series of articles and reports entitled "Behind the curtain of occupied countries," which revealed in detail the extent of the Holocaust in Europe. He assisted Jewish immigration from Europe, and was a director of HIAS (a Jewish American aid to immigrants). Upon his return to Israel in 1948 he was inducted into the army and was appointed secretary of the Department of Public Relations in the Ministry of Defense.

In 1949 he married Ruth Balzan (Rosalia) Grti (1925-1999), a medical student who was born in Bulgaria, who later became a pediatrician and as of 1983 director of public health service in the Tel Aviv Municipality. In 1950 he founded the news agency Itim ("Israeli press Federated") and was its director and editor in chief for about 26 years.

In 1976 he retired and devoted his time and energy to the reform of Hebrew spelling and to lexicography. From 1990 to 2000, he published dictionaries in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Russian.
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