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Reuven Chaikin

Reuven Chaikin was born in Tel Aviv in 1918. A fourth-generation Israeli on his mother's side, Reuven was a descendant of the Slonim family of Hebron. His father's family originated from the Kyiv region of Ukraine. His parents belonged to the lineage of Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of the Chabad Hasidic movement. The rabbi encouraged his followers to immigrate to Israel, and in 1845, many of them arrived, including Reuven's great-grandmother. 
His parents wandered from Hebron to Zichron Yaakov and Tel Aviv. Reuven had seven siblings, but since he was the second youngest and born after three daughters, he was pampered by his mother and the rest of the family. He completed his high school education at the Tachkemoni School in Tel Aviv, and his 1935 matriculation certificate shows an apparent inclination towards mathematics, humanities, and history, while he excelled less in sports and Italian. He would later improve his sports score as an outstanding and loyal golf player.
After finishing high school in 1935, he traveled to London to study law and accounting at the London School of Economics. The heavy German bombings of  World War II led him to transfer to Cambridge, which was less affected. The war prevented Reuven from attending his commencement ceremony. Eventually, Reuven received his diploma in a special ceremony precisely fifty years later. 
Upon his return to Israel, Reuven began working as an accountant at the British accounting firm Russel and Comp. When the company decided to cease operations in Israel, Reuven took over the leadership and ownership of the Haifa branch. After it was merged with the Tel Aviv branch, the company rebranded itself as Somekh-Chaikin Accountants. It became one of the largest accounting firms in Israel.
In 1995, at 76, Reuven retired from the company. Still, as an energetic and young-spirited retiree, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of the University of Haifa and was active in its finance committee. He held a similar position for 35 years in Rotary Israel. He also became a student at the Department of Geography and took every class on geopolitics that he could find. He was an active class participant and was admired by the younger generation for his vast knowledge and youthful spirit. At the end of each calendar year, he would contribute to the department's journal, Ofakim BeGeographia. He was upset when we learned that the editorial board thanked him for his donation in the opening pages of each new issue.
Reuven was a generous donor. He donated to the student dormitories on the Haifa campus and many other bodies. Still, he demanded that these donations be given anonymously.
In his will, he asked to assist the Chair of Geostrategy, which had been operating at the university for about five years prior. He agreed that it would be named after him only after his death.
On January 27, 2004, Reuven Haikin passed away at 86. He was a man with a young soul, curios and active, a man of books and music, a sportsman, and a loyal Zionist—and despite a formidable appearance, he was sensitive and generous.

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