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Felix Gad Sulman (Conductor, Guitar)

Born: March 30, 1907 - Berlin, Germany
Died: September 20, 1986 - Jerusalem, Israel

The German-born Israeli Professor of Applied Pharmacology, Emeritus, Felix Gad Sulman, was awarded the degrees of D.V.M. in 1930, and M.D. in 1933, from the University of Berlin. He also studied piano and guitar at the Berlin Conservatory. He passed the examinations for choir directing, and even conducted in Berlin on a choir, which sang in the synagogue during Jewish holidays.

In 1925 Felix Sulman visited Israel (then Palestine) for the first time, and in 1933 he immigrated to Israel. He began his career at the Hebrew University as an assistant and instructor at the Hormone Research Laboratory in 1934. In 1944 he was appointed Lecturer, and in 1954 was promoted to Senior Lecturer. Prof. Sulman, who served as head of the Department of Applied Pharmacology, was appointed Associate Professor in 1959 and rose to rank of Professor in 1969. He retired in 1976.

A pioneer in bioclimatology and biometeorology, Prof. Sulman engaged in research on curing heat stress and investigated new ways to alleviate suffering, such as headache and tension due to "sharav" (hot dry desert winds). He also discovered that hard-to-treat multiple allergies can be relieved by proxibarbal, a drug commonly used to treat migraine headaches.

In the late 1930’s Felix Sulman organised a ‘Classical’ choir in Jerusalem. He prepared oratorios and other church music from the 16th century onwards with his amateur choir that gave yearly performances in Talpioth, Hayozem, Kiryat-Anavim. In 1949 he discovered the Abu-Gosh Church. He used to take his choir and friends on May Day to sing for their own enjoyment music “off the beaten track” originally written for church use. The yearly concerts involved also excursion and picnic in the marvelous landscape of the church. Those private concerts laid the cornerstones for what was to become the Original Abu-Gosh Music Festival. The rumours about the concerts had started to spread and many people from all over the country wanted to attend. Felix Sulman realised that the festival needed full attention, which he was not able to give due to his obligations to his work at the Hebrew University. Besides, pressures from the University and the religious community forced him to stop his activity in the festival. In 1956-1957 he transferred the management of the festival to Sigi Stadermann.

Prof. Sulman, a former editor of the quarterly Refuah Vetrinarit and a member of two pharmacology and Toxicology committees, of the World Health Organization, engaged in research that took him to all parts of the world, including India, Cambodia, Iran, and Japan. He authored a number of books, including, Short and Long-Term Changes in Climate and The Effect of Air Ionization, Electric Fields, Atmospherics and Other Electric Phenomena on Man and Animal.

Prof. Sulman left a wife and two children.

Source: Obituary in News from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1986) and other sources
Contributed by
Irit Sulman-Stevenson & Aryeh Oron (April 2004)

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