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Birthday of Zalman Aran, 1899

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

On This Day in Jewish History: March 1, 1899


On this day, 1899, Israeli Knesset representative Zalman Aran was born. Zalman Aran was born in Yuzovka, Ukraine. He received a religious education as a child. During the time of the 1st World War, Aran gave Jewish refugees assistance. When Zalman was older, he studied Agriculture at Kharkov University. Aran made Aliyah to British-occupied Palestine in 1926 where he became involved with the Ahdut HaAvoda party (which became the Labor Party). He worked on improving the Infrastructure of British-occupied Palestine by constructing roads. Zalman began his political career in 1930 with an appointment to Mapai’s General Secretary Position. Then from 1936 until 1947, Aran was part of the Histadrut trade union as their Treasurer and Director of Information Department. During this time he founded the School for Histadrut Activists. In 1946, he became a member of the Zionist Executive Committee. After the foundation of Israel, Aran was elected to the Knesset in 1949, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1961 and 1965. During his time in the Knesset, Aran held many different positions including Chair of the Foreign Affair and Defense Committee, House Committee member, Minister without Portfolio, Minister of Transportation, and Minister of Education and Culture. During his time as Minister of Education and Culture, Aran incorporated the idea of Jewish identity and tradition into the school curriculum. He was also a strong advocate for technical education in Israel. He pushed for school reform including reducing socio-economic gaps of students and compulsory education for all. In addition to education reform, Aran was a proponent of diplomacy to solve Israel’s conflicts. In particular, he opposed the Israeli presence in East Jerusalem and also opposed a pre-emptive strike on Egyptian forces when the Straits of Tiran were closed. Due to his major work in constructing the Israeli education system, many schools are named after him. In addition to schools, the main library of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev is named in his honor.


 

Sources:

https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/zalman-aran/m03qcm4_?hl=en https://knesset.gov.il/mk/eng/mk_print_eng.asp?mk_individual_id_t=277 http://community.worldheritage.org/articles/eng/Zalman_Aran https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/aran-aharonowitz-zalman

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