10 Things You Need to Know About… Chaim Bograshov

1. He was born in the Crimea in 1876.

2. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Bern in Switzerland, then returned to Russia, where he taught in Hebrew schools.

3. An early Zionist, he was a delegate to the Sixth Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1903, where he opposed the British plan for using Uganda as a Jewish homeland.

920_mb_file_2723d4. Not long afterward, he made aliyah to Palestine, where he helped establish Gymnasia Herzliya, the first Hebrew high school in Eretz Yisrael. He was one of its first teachers, even before the establishment of Tel Aviv; later, he was its principal, and he continued to teach  geology and geography there until 1951.

5. At the school, boys and girls attended classes together. Classes were conducted in Hebrew, and the bible was taught as a literary text, bareheaded. School trips were a part of the curriculum. As Tel Aviv developed around it, the school became a cultural and intellectual center.

6. In 1921, under the new British mandate that was established after the First World War, Bograshov was elected to serve as a representative to the Tel Aviv City Council and the Assembly of Representatives, the parliamentary body of the Jewish community. He served in these capacities until 1930.

7. Following the Arab riots of 1921, he established the Nordia district in Tel Aviv for Jews who had been left homeless. Bograshov Street, the main thoroughfare crossing the Nordia district, was named for him while he was still alive. His response? He changed his name to Haim Boger!

8. One of the leaders of the Union of General Zionists, he was elected to the Knesset in 1951. Originally centrist, the General Zionists moved toward the right in opposition to the labor movement. Though the party did well that year, winning 20 seats, the success did not last. He lost his seat in 1955.

9. He died in 1963.

80px-Chaim_Boger_Bugrashov10. Here’s the kind of teacher he was: A young man named Alexander Eig was an incorrigible student who wouldn’t go to school, preferring to be outdoors. Eventually, he became a gardener and worked for Chaim Bograshov, among others. It was Bograshov who persuaded him to enroll in the gymnasium. Eig later became Director of Botany at Hebrew University and the man who initiated its botanical gardens. If you’d like to see a lesson plan written in Bograshov’s hand, go to http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/2582666.

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One thought on “10 Things You Need to Know About… Chaim Bograshov

  1. Pingback: Tel Aviv walks #5 - Tel Aviv City Center

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