Gedaliahu (Gadi) Harel was born on January 21, 1940, in Romania. He immigrated to Israel in 1951 with his parents and sister Aviva, and lived in Be'er Sheva. At the age of 13 he left home to study in the Mosinson Agricultural School for Youth Aliyah. He subsequently completed his high school education in Be'er Sheva.
After serving as a medic in the Israel Defense Forces and working for two years to earn his tuition, Gadi enrolled in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and graduated with a B.A. in Social Sciences in 1968. During that year he met his wife Cecilia, and together they traveled to the United States to continue and complete their studies at SUNY at Buffalo and Michigan State University. They have two sons, Ari and Noam, and a daughter, Liav.
Gadi joined the Faculty of Industrial Eng. & Management in 1974, and strengthened the area of Human Resource Management and Industrial and Labor Relations at the Faculty. Gadi held many administrative posts at the Faculty including: Head of the Behavioral Sciences area, Head of Undergraduate Studies, Head of Graduate Studies and Assistant Dean for Academic Programs. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1999.
Gadi applied his expertise as a consultant to various companies, among them Soltam and Zim. From 1999–2002, he was Chairperson of the Israeli Industrial Relations Research Association, and in 2000, he was appointed as a judge on the National Labor Court of Israel.
Gadi was instrumental in developing programs of study in business and management at other institutions, such as the Yezre'el Valley College, Galilee College and the University of Haifa. He conducted management seminars and lectured extensively in many countries. He participated actively in numerous conferences, notably the American Academy of Management. Over the years, he also held visiting positions at: Michigan State University (1980), UCLA (1981), Canisius College (1985) and the University of Calgary (1990–1992).
Gadi collaborated with colleagues in the Faculty and around the world. He published in the most prestigious journals of his discipline on a diverse range of Human Resource topics, such as unions, compensation, HRM practices, gender issues and conflict resolution. He also published six chapters in books, as well as numerous scientific reports. He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Management Systems.
Gadi was a devoted and excellent teacher, and trained over 30 graduate students. He was well known for his open door and listening ear to students and found special satisfaction in helping them to pursue their studies and careers. His sensitivity to others and understanding of human relations enabled him to communicate with and mediate effectively between colleagues in the faculty.
Gadi died unexpectedly of a stroke on January 13, 2003, at the peak of his career. His family and friends dearly miss him.
The Faculty misses his many academic and organizational contributions, and his smiling face!