Davidson, Prof. Shamai


Davidson, Prof. Shamai

Born in Dublin Irland 1926
Immigrated to Israel 1955
Died In Tel aviv 1986


Married to Jenny, father of four children: David, Jonathan, Michal and Ehud

Grew up in Glasgow, where he completed his medical studies. Later on he did his residency  in psychiatry  at Oxford-London

In 1955 he immigrated to Israel at the age of 29, deep Zionism sentiments brought him to take this step.

In Israel he first worked at Talbieh hospital in Jerusalem, he also began his psychoanalytic training, which he finished in 1969. 

In 1961 he moved to Haifa and founded an ambulatory psychiatric clinic. For 12 years he was the director of the mental health clinic of Kupat Holim in Haifa. He took great interest in working with adolescents and with Holocaust survivors and their families. 

In 1969-1973 he worked as a senior lecturer in social psychology at the School of Social Work at the University of Haifa.

In 1973 he was appointed as director of the psychiatric hospital “Shallvata”, since then and until his sudden death he devoted himself  to the development of the hospital. He believed in the expansion and in the deepening of the psychiatric consultation services into general hospitals and emphasized the interplay of mind and body.

In addition to the development of the “community psychiatry” Prof. Davidson spent much of his time to the study of the treatment of Holocaust survivors and their children. He worked to remove the “conspiracy of silence”, while he explored not only the trauma, but also the way of survival. He studied the mutual assistance in the concentration camps, and showed that even in the most extreme situations human image was cherished by some of the inmates.

In 1979 he was appointed professor at the School of Social Work at Bar- Ilan University, and later

was appointed Chair Holocaust Studies and psychosocial trauma, where he was able to

further study  the impact of the Holocaust, of massive trauma and the  psychosocial impact on the survivors and their children.

In 1983 he was appointed professor in the School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.