Stef Wertheimer is an Israeli industrialist, founder of the “Iscar” Factory and “Lehavim Technologies”, winner of the Israel Prize, a Member of the 9th Knesset for the Israeli (Dash party)also a vocational education activist for many years.
In the 1960s Stef founded the Zur vocational school in Nahariya and tens of its students joined “Iscar” and the Israeli industry, at all levels, up to top management positions.
Stef initiated industrial education workshops for thousands of soldiers prior to their discharge and founded an entrepreneurship college which the knowledge developed in it summed up years of programs supporting entrepreneurship.
In the “Generals Program” he initiated ,combat officers were trained for management positions in the industry and in the 1990s he founded an academic college for practical engineers, trained for immediate integration into the industrial world.
In the years after 2000, the Zur professional education network was established, including schools in Lavon, Haifa, near Kiryat Malachi, as well as support and involvement in additional schools throughout the country.
In the field of adult training, the Zur Lavon training center operates in collaboration with the Tzurim Association in many of its programs. This center in Zur Lavon is the most professional training center in Israel in the field of metal. At the center, innovative programs are developed to train masters of instruction in the fields of CNC and molding, programs in collaboration with the government of Baden Wurttemberg, in an attempt to overcome the severe shortage in professional teachers.
Another important issue is coexistence with Israeli Arabs. Stef promotes employment and social-financial equality for Israeli Arabs as a basis for stability in the region and as a basis for eventually obtaining peace. For many years he conducted joint entrepreneurship courses for Arabs and Jews. In the factories he established there are Arabs, Druze and Jewish workers working together. The educational systems train and promote workers from all sectors, stressing this variance.
Stef Wertheimer established seven industrial parks that are full of vibrant industrial activity and many of the educational activities conducted took place in these parks.
The Tzurim Association formalizes and integrates these long term activities into an organized structure, advancing and developing the field of technological education and vocational training.