Israel Prize laureate badly injured in hit-and-run

Doctors battle to save life of mathematician David Kazhdan, knocked off his bike in Jerusalem

David Kazhdan (photo credit: David Kazhdan/Wikipedia Commons)
David Kazhdan (photo credit: David Kazhdan/Wikipedia Commons)

Israel Prize winner David Kazhdan, 67, was severely injured Sunday when he was hit by a truck while riding his bike in Jerusalem.

He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, where doctors were trying to stabilize his condition Sunday night.

“He is in very serious condition and the medical team is continuing its efforts to save his life,” hospital spokeswoman Rachel Goldblatt said.

The driver who struck Kazhdan didn’t stop and was not immediately located. Police set up checkpoints in the area near the accident and at the exits to Jerusalem in an attempt to catch the driver.

Kazhdan’s son, Eli, was riding ahead of him when the incident happened. The two were on their way back from a trip to Beit Shemesh.

“I was riding in front of him, so I didn’t see the accident itself,” Eli said. “I heard the crash, and when I looked back, I saw my father lying on the ground. I didn’t manage to see the truck, because my focus was on my dad. This work I leave to the police.”

Kazhdan was born in Moscow and moved to the US in 1975. He immigrated to Israel in 2002 and won the Israel Prize for mathematics and computer science in 2012. He is currently a professor of mathematics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, professor emeritus at Harvard and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

He lives with his wife in Jerusalem and has three children.

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