Jim Bennett, the father of Education Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, passed away Thursday at the age of 73 after a long battle with a serious illness.
Bennett had been hospitalized for a long period at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, and his children were at his bedside when he died.
He was born in the United States in 1941, where he married Myrna. Together, they came to the Jewish State to volunteer on Kibbutz Dafna in northern Israel a month after the Six-Day War in 1967.
The Bennetts fell in love with the country and decided to permanently immigrate to Israel and settle in Haifa. Naftali, the Bennett's third son, was born there in 1972.
Bennett fought in the artillery unit during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 as well as the Lebanon War in 1982. He worked at the Technion and as an aliyah emissary at the Jewish Agency, before establishing his own business.
Jim Bennett was a Zionist with every fiber of his soul, who loved the Jewish people and his family.
He is survived by his wife, his three sons and ten grandchildren. Jim Bennett's funeral will be held Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Sde Yehoshua cemetery in Haifa.
Arutz Sheva spoke to Jim Bennett in 2012 when Naftali Bennett was elected chairman of the Jewish Home party.
"Great feelings, wonderful feelings, Baruch Hashem. We are very proud and we're honored and we expect a wonderful future for Naftali in public life," Jim said. "Naftali planned and worked hard, and sees the big picture. He'll go far."