Arthur Biram

Arthur Biram, 1928
Arthur Biram

Arthur Yitzhak Biram (Hebrew: ארתור בירם) (13; August 1878 5 June 1967) was an Israeli philosopher, philologist, and educator.


Biram was born in Bischofswerda in Saxony in 1878, the son of a modest, but successful businessman. Biram attended school in Hirschberg, Silesia. His sister Else Bodenheimer-Biram became a well known art sociologist.

He studied languages, including Arabic, at University of Berlin and at University of Leipzig and earned a doctorate (Dr. phil.) at the University of Leipzig in 1902, discussing the philosophy of Abu-Rasid al-Nisaburi.[1] In 1904 he concluded the rabbi seminar at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums. Afterwards he taught languages and literature at the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster.

Biram was one of the founders of the Bar-Kochba club, and a member of the German liberal religious stream 'Ezra', which recognized the importance of high school education. In 1913, he emigrated to Ottoman Palestine.

Biram founded the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa in 1913 and was appointed its first principal,[2] but a few months later, World War I broke out, and Biram was drafted by the German army and stationed in Afula. In 1919, he returned to school.

He married Hannah Tomeshevsky, and they had two sons. Both sons were killed: Aharon died in an accident while on reserve duty, and Binyamin, an engineer at the Dead Sea Works, was killed by a mine.

As part of Biram's philosophy of education, in 1937 he implemented compulsory Hagam[3] training for girls in the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, laying the foundation for recruitment of women in the Haganah, and later the Israel Defense Forces.

In 1948, he resigned his post as principal, and on his 75th birthday, he authored a collection of essays on the Bible. Altogether, he wrote about 50 publications in Hebrew, German, English, and Arabic. Biram died in Haifa in 1967.


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