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BEHAR, NISSIM:

Palestinian educator; born at Jerusalem, 1848. His father, Rabbi Eliezer Behar, having migrated from Rumania to Palestine, instructed Nissim, when but five years old, in the Talmud. Distress forced the family to leave Jerusalem in 1863 for Constantinople, where Behar was admitted to the Ecole Camondo. Adolf Crémieux, visiting that school, took an interest in the young man, and sent him in 1867 to Paris, where he entered the Ecole Orientale and was prepared for a pedagogical career. Having finished his studies, he returned to the East, and with the financial aid of the Alliance Israélite Universelle organized elementary schools at Aleppo in 1869, in Samacoff (Bulgaria) in 1874, at Galata (a suburb of Constantinople) in 1875, and finally in 1882 at the Technical School of Jerusalem, the opening of which brought upon Behar severe persecution from ignorant Jews of that city. After twenty-eight years of educational work, fifteen of which were passed as head-master of the Technical School, Behar was pensioned in 1897.

A whole generation of young men owe their mental development and success in life to the devotion of their master, Behar. In 1899 he commenced the propaganda in favor of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, traveling in Western Europe and in the United States of America. He is now (1902) a resident of the city of New York, furthering the interests of the Alliance Israélite.

Behar is the author of a small biography, in Judæo-Spanish, of Adolf Crémieux (Constantinople, 1879).

S. F. T. H.
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