About Abba Khoushy

Abba Khoushy (Schneller) was born in 1898 in the town of Turka in Galicia, a region in Eastern Europe with a mixed population of Ukrainians, Jews and Poles. The Schneller family lived on a farm, and the father, who was Liba's (the mother) second husband, was a farmer. Abba was an outstanding student and athlete and was admired by his teachers. In 1920, Abba Hushi immigrated to Israel and worked in the first kibbutz of Hashomer Hatzair, paving the Haifa-Jeddah road, draining swamps in Nahalal and in agriculture at Beit Alpha. 

During 1927, he worked for some time in Jerusalem in a public service office. Abba Hushi then moved to Haifa and devoted himself to the port carriers' organization. On his own initiative, 500 Jewish workers of the port of Salonika, Greece were brought to Israel in 1933, and he arranged their employment. He was briefly the director of a labor office in Haifa. From 1931 to 1951, he was secretary of the Haifa Workers' Party (Mapach), and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Haifa Workers' Council, as member of the Executive Committee of the General Federation of Workers (Arab and Druze workers - Hushi was always in close relations with them). He served as a delegate on the Histadrut's Zionist congresses in the years 1935 and 1937. In 1941 Abba Hushi appeared on the list of "very important people". In 1947 he left for the United States at the head of the Histadrut labor federation delegation, and between 1949-1951 he was a member of the first Knesset on behalf of Mapai.

In 1951, Abba Khoushy received the position of mayor of Haifa and thus replaced his predecessor, Shabtai Levi. Upon his election, Abba Hushi resigned from the Knesset in order to be entirely free to run the city. Abba Hushi was the driving force behind the establishment of Haifa University, which opened in 1967 as "The University Institute of Haifa". After his death, the university became an independent university. Abba Hushi transferred the water projects to municipal ownership, initiated the development of the chemical and petrochemical industries, initiated the construction of the municipal theatre, the Carmelit subway station, the symphony orchestra and museums, youth clubs and community centers. He initiated educational and cultural projects such as the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Haifa, Kfar Galim, brought writers and poets to Haifa and more. He also initiated a series of various activities to raise the quality of life for Haifa residents, the creation playgrounds, "Gan Ha'Em" on Mount Carmel and the establishment of Mother's Day on Hanukkah - on the birthday of Liba Schneller, Abba Hushi's mother.

Abba Khoushy passed away in March 1969 at the Rothschild Hospital in Haifa, as a result of a heart attack. David Ben-Gurion's eulogy included the following: "He was one of the few people who understood an important truth: that in order for a person to succeed in his work, he should concentrate on matters that were imposed on him. He was not interested only in Haifa. He was proficient in all aspects of the labor party as well as in national and international affairs, and relations with our neighbor Arabs, Druze, and Christians. The entire city affairs were on his mind as mind as mayor. There has not been another mayor who identified so much with this city. "

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