A tribute by Raanan Gal (Past member and Acting Chairman of “Ahava” Executive Board and close friend of Micha).
Micha’s contribution to the executive board of “Ahava” was tremendous.
From the moment Micha took over as Head of the building committee, he brought a comprehensive and professional view of the entire subject of new construction at “Ahava”, corresponding well with the period of enhanced construction and investments in the village at the time.
Large projects, such as the “Tehran Children” Building for the 18+ Project, construction of the Therapeutic Center and especially the initiation and construction of the Logistics Center using an innovative construction method, bore Micha’s fingerprints at all stages.
Micha worked closely with the “Ahava” in-house architect and with the various contractors: he thoroughly examined the technical plans, including prices, queried where unclear, articulated doubts, and demanded technical changes he believed necessary. Micha was very involved in issuing technical specifications and RFQ’s. Micha would delve into the smallest technical details if he thought that they would improve the result, or save unnecessary expense!
After the planning stage, Micha also made sure to accompany the execution at all stages, to ensure compliance with the safety requirements and to insist on proper performance wherever he saw fit.
All of these were a refreshing innovation, since it was no longer just relying solely on the opinion of external consultants, but receiving a highly professional opinion from someone who sees, first and foremost, the best interests of “Ahava” and the children living and growing up here.
As one of the first children of Kiryat Bialik himself, “Ahava” Children and Youth Village was always close to his heart.
Micha leaves behind big shoes, and we hope that someone will step up and fill them properly.
May his memory be blessed.
Micha Loewenstein (About Micha, by the family):
Micha was born on 28.06.1936 in the “Shaare Zedek” hospital, Jerusalem.
Yes indeed! An Israeli “Sabra”, an officer and a gentleman, and not a German-born “Yekke”, as most of you thought.
At the age of 6 months, his parents relocated to Alexandria, after his father, Engineer Alfred Loewenstein, got a job in a company that produced copper roofs.
Micha the youngster studied at “Victoria College”, where another youngster by the name of Hussein ben Talal, later King of Jordan, studied.
In 1946, upon Rommel’s invasion of Africa, the family returned to Kiryat Bialik.
Micha did his military service in the Israel Air Force and naturally he later served as a member of the reserve forces and participated in all of Israel’s wars. His rank at the time of demobilization – Major.
In 1964, Micha completed his engineering studies at the academic institution “The Institute of Production Engineers”, in Birmingham, England.
The young graduate Micha joined his father’s engineering planning office as a qualified engineer.
The firm was engaged in system planning, mainly in the field of industrial heating systems, and products such as heating plants and industrial gas burners.
In 1969, Alfred, Micha’s father, died, and in 1973 the planning office became a manufacturing plant, residing in the industrial zone of Kiryat Bialik. At its peak, the factory employed about 200 workers.
The factory was closed down in 2000, having been purchased by the “Taavura” company, and moved to the Karmiel industrial zone. For travelers on the Akko-Haifa road heading north – if you look to the right, just before turning left to Raphael, you can still see the sign hanging on the main building of the factory.
Micha is endowed with an extraordinary engineering vision, as well as a sense of humor, sometimes reserved only for him.
In every project he carried out, he always asked to see the complete set of plans for the project. He would place them side by side, but with his gaze he already visualized them one on top of the other. “Why did you decide to place the automatic fire extinguisher inside the ventilation duct in vector A8 ?” he asks the surprised draftsman.
“Why would I install it inside the ventilation duct?” asks the draftsman.
“Put the plans of the fire hose and the ventilation ducts on top of each other and you will see why” Micha answers him.
Micha was a gifted engineer, very knowledgeable in the fields of ventilation, heating and air conditioning, and very thorough. One who shared, dispensed and taught from his deep and vast knowledge and experience to anyone who wanted to hear, listen and learn.
Young engineers at the beginning of their journey testify that he is the one who supported them at the beginning of their journey or gave them the “drive” and “push” to continue their journey in the field.
Here are some quotes from those whose paths crossed his path (and there are many more…):
“I knew Micha throughout my years of work in the profession. I learned from him and enjoyed seeing how thorough and professional he was. He brought pride to the family and the profession.”
(Engineer Avi Menashe – CEO and owner, A.M. International)
“Micha was a pillar in my learning the profession at the beginning of my journey. I will never forget him as a person and as a professional.”
(Engineer Eyal Shadmi – CEO of Electra Greentech today, then a young engineer/project manager at Electra)
“Micha – an engineer and a gentleman of the first order. I had the great privilege of working under Micha nearly 40 years ago, I learned a lot from Micha. A scion of the founders of the industry in our country has passed away.
May his memory be blessed.”
(Engineer Jonny Malachi – CEO of Mashav Ardan Projects today, then a young engineer at A. Loewenstein Ventilation and Heating Engineering Ltd.)
“A dear and special man, he left behind an amazing and influential body of work in the industry of the Land of Israel and many memories in my heart.”
(Engineer Yuval Degani – CEO, Y. Degani Engineering and Project Management)
The year 2021 opens. The 85-year-old Micha still works two to three days a week, sometimes outside the home. A project at a secret base of the IDF. A young engineer from the Ministry of Defense does not agree with Micha’s planning and asks to bring an arbiter, an engineer on his behalf. He calls the engineer in order to make an appointment with him. The engineer asks him: “Who am I coming to review?” And when he hears who, he tells the young man: “Let’s save the state some money and you do exactly what he tells you to do.”
The month is December, the year is 2021, and Micha is crawling through technical spaces and climbing on roofs like an 18-year-old in another project, this time at “Ziv” hospital in Safed. At the end of this month he solemnly announced his retirement.
Micha was a very loving and attentive son, father and grandfather. He knew how to listen and give full attention to the person in front of him, give advice, offer help and lend a listening ear as well as a supporting hand when needed. Always, and regularly daily, weekly or on any other frequency, he would call to inquire about your well-being and to hear what was going on with you…
Micha had many hobbies, the most prominent being collecting stamps, listening to music (mainly classical, but not only) and traveling in Israel and around the world. His interests were varied, the most prominent being history, geography and good food.
On a trip to Rome, Micha would linger near every statue, inscription and every ancient relic that came across on his way, and in general – he really liked to travel.
At the beginning of the year 2022, the disease is diagnosed, the one that everyone is afraid of. The cancer nestles in his body.
Micha sits in front of the attending physician.
The doctor asks him: “Relative to your age, I see you don’t often visit doctors?” And again, despite the bitter news, Micha replies with his special sense of humor: “Now I have time to be ill!!!”
For a number of months, Micha fought the disease in complete clarity and under the devoted care of his loving family in the comfort of his home, without being hospitalized almost at all.
On 06.10.2022, in the evening, and after saying goodbye in his own way to each and every one of us, he closed his eyes and left a huge, huge hole in our hearts.
We will remember him forever – the family.