Ido Dissentshik has combined a successful career in journalism and business with a lifetime of public service and commitment to Israeli society. For nine years, he served as Chair of the Weizmann Institute’s Executive Board, injecting into this role his reporter’s inquisitiveness, business acumen, and deep dedication to advancing Israeli science.
Born in Tel Aviv in 1940, Mr. Dissentshik received a BA in economics and statistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1964) and an MSc degree in journalism cum laude from Columbia University (1966). In 1965, he joined the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv, launching a prolific journalistic career that spanned 26 years—as a reporter, foreign correspondent, editor, and editor-in-chief (1985-1991), and in various management positions. He led an entire generation of journalists, some of who are among today’s leading contributors to the print and electronic media.
In 1986, Mr. Dissentshik was invited to join the International Press Institute, an international organization of editors-in-chief, publishers, and executives representing every type of media from 121 countries, and he also served as a member of the organization’s Board of Directors. He was, and remains, the only Israeli member of this organization, which is affiliated with UNESCO.
Mr. Dissentshik left Ma'ariv in 1991, completed MBA studies at Tel Aviv University (1993), and went into business. He founded the private investment company Dison and partnered with Efi Arazi – one of the pioneers of the Israeli hi-tech industry – to found Immedia and Mercado. He also co-founded Analyst Online, the first business and economics portal in Israel (today, a segment of the business newspaper The Marker), and was its first content editor. He served on the boards of major Israeli corporations, including Bank Hapoalim, and was particularly involved in the field of telecommunications and media. He led the largest company in Israel, Bezeq, from 2000 until 2002, was one of the founders of Yes Satellite Television, and served on the board of Pelephone, Israel’s first mobile network operator. He also served as a special advisor to the Director General of the Israel Airports Authority on the Ben Gurion Airport 2000 project and to the CEO of Israel Railways in outlining the company’s new vision.
Mr. Dissentshik’s extensive public service roles include membership in both the directorate of the Edmond de Rothschild Caesarea Foundation and the Jabotinsky Institute and the Board of Trustees of Tel Hai Academic College. He was also a founding member of the Israel Forum, a voluntary association aimed at strengthening the ties between Israel and the Diaspora and encouraging immigrant integration. He served in the IDF reserves until the age of 69, both as an infantry officer and in the IDF’s Spokespersons Unit, and was discharged at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
In the early 1980s, Ido was invited to join the Weizmann Institute’s International Board, where his father, Arye Dissentshik, was a leading member until his death in 1978. Since 1986, Ido has served on the Institute’s Executive Board and, from 2008-2017, as its Chair. He was one of the founders of the Davidson Institute of Science Education, and continues to serve both on its Board and on the Weizmann Institute’s International Board and Executive Board.
He and his wife Batia (Barbara) have two adult sons—Itai and Alon—and two granddaughters.