Fraenkel was one of the senior scientists and pioneers of nuclear physics in Israel. He was born on June 25, 1925 in Munich. At the age of 12 he immigrated with his family to Palestine to escape the Nazi regime. A few years later, Zeev volunteered to, and served on, the Jewish Brigade of the British Army from 1944-1946. At the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Zeev served on the Israel Defense Forces from 1948 -1951.

Zeev obtained a B.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering from the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in 1948. He then moved to Columbia University at New York where he earned a M.Sc. in 1951 and a D.Sc. in microwave physics in 1956. After his graduation, Zeev joined the Weizmann Institute where he started a long and rich career in nuclear physics. He was initially in the Isotope Department and years later, in 1967, he moved to the then Nuclear Physics Department that became in 1993 the Department of Particle Physics and in the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

served on many committees of the Weizmann Institute and contributed significantly to its scientific life. He was head of the Department of Nuclear Physics from 1976 to 1981 and dean of the Physics Faculty from 1984 to 1990. In this last function Zeev initiated an expansion of the faculty activities and enlarged considerably the scope of research by developing solid state physics and creating a submicron center.

Zeev was well known for his many contributions to the experimental study of nuclear reactions, in particular of nuclear fission, and for his intranuclear cascade code that he developed for the understanding of high energy nuclear reactions. Zeev worked at many major laboratories including ANL, BNL, GSI, IPN-Orsay, LANL, LBL, MPI-Heidelberg and TRIUMF. In the late eighties he joined Itzhak Tserruya in the study of relativistic heavy-ion collisions, first at CERN using the CERES experiment at the SPS and later at BNL in the PHENIX experiment at RHIC.

Zeev formally retired at the age of 65 but this only meant that he was dispensed from administrative responsibilities or committee duties. Zeev continued working as usual, coming to his office every day, six days a week, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Zeev was a true scholar with particular interest in history and archeology. He was appreciated not only for his many scientific contributions but also for his scrupulous work ethic, his integrity, modesty, objectivity and his acute sense of criticism. Zeev was a mentor, friend and inspiration to many of his young collaborators.

Zeev died suddenly of pneumonia on February 17, 2008 in Rehovot, four days after returning from India where he attended the 20th Quark Matter conference. He was survived by his wife Sara and his children Michal, Tamar and Rami.