Friday, March 13, 2009

Dr. David Medved, 83 - Man of Family & Science, a Zionist, a Jew

To our dear friends Jonathan, Michael and their brothers and families we send wishes of condolence on the loss of your father, Dr. David Medved of blessed memory.

Your father was a great man who contributed in countless ways to science and society - his family is testimony to his greatness.

We had the honor and privilege of meeting Dr. David zt"l more than once. His words of wisdom, sincerity of purpose and honest care for the advancement and prosperity of others is impossible to quantify. His steadfast belief in Israel and the Jewish people was inspiring.

His influence on our lives and the lives of our children will be with us forever...

May you be comforted from Heaven with all those who mourn Zion and Jerusalem...

David Medved, scientist and entrepreneur, dies at 83

Mar. 12, 2009


Dr. David Medved, a physicist and scientist-astronaut who celebrated his second bar mitzva a week before his death on Wednesday at 83, was buried on Thursday at the Har Menuchot cemetery in Jerusalem.

In the 1950s, decades before US president Ronald Reagan announced the "Star Wars" missile defense program, Medved took his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania to General Dynamics, where he developed systems to destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles in mid-flight.

His work on the NASA Gemini space program was noticed by astronaut Neil Armstrong, who persuaded him to try out for a planned two-year mission to Mars, as a scientist-astronaut. Though he went through the rigorous training for the mission, minor health problems and the project's cancelation meant that he never made it into space.

In 1990 at age 64, after teaching physics at UCLA and a successful entrepreneurial career in the United States - where he built and sold two start-up companies in electro-optics - Medved moved to Israel, where he founded JOLT, Jerusalem Optical Link Technologies. The optical data transfer company was sold to MRV Communications in 2000 and still operates in Jerusalem. Medved served as MRV's chief scientist until just a few months before his death.

Last year, Toby Press published a book by Medved titled Hidden Light: Science Secrets of the Bible. He is survived by four sons: Jerusalem-based venture capitalist Jonathan Medved, and in the US, by author and talk-radio host Michael Medved (, media critic Harry Medved, and psychologist Benjamin Medved.