Aran (Aharonowitz), Zalman

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ARAN (Aharonowitz), ZALMAN

ARAN (Aharonowitz ), ZALMAN (1899–1970), Israeli politician and labor leader, member of the First to Sixth Knessets. Aran, who was born in Yuzovka, Ukraine, received a religious education and studied agriculture at Kharkov University. As a young man he was active in *Ẓe'irei Zion and when the party split in 1920 joined the Zionist Socialist Party (*Z.S.) and served on its clandestine Central Committee in the years 1924–25. In 1926 he immigrated to Palestine, where he joined the *Aḥdut ha-Avodah party. When *Mapai was founded in 1930 he became its first secretary. From 1931 to 1934 Aran was secretary of the Tel Aviv Labor Council and from 1948 to 1951 secretary-general of Mapai. He was elected to the First Knesset on the Mapai list, and remained a member of the Knesset for 20 years. He served as minister without portfolio in 1953–55 and minister of education and culture from 1955 to 1960 and again from 1963 to 1969. In the latter period he introduced a course in "Jewish Consciousness" into the school curriculum, and was responsible for the expansion of technical education. In 1968 the Knesset endorsed his plan to reform the Israeli school system, establishing junior high schools to bridge primary and high schools.