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Israelis You Should Know: Zvi Nishri

Zvi Nishri, the pioneer of Israeli physical education, on top row, fifth from left...photo of Maccabi team from 1913 (Photo: wikicommons)

Name: Zvi Nishri

Life: January 4, 1878 - July 22, 1973

Known for: Zvi Nishri was a pioneer of physical education in the Holy Land.

About him: Born to a Jewish family in Russia, Zvi was the older brother of last week's Israeli You Should Know, sculptress Chana Orloff. Zvi made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) two years before his sister, moving to then Ottoman-ruled Palestine in 1903, where he worked as a manual laborer.

Soon, though, Zvi - a particularly healthy young man, he can be seen fifth from the left in the top row of the above photo - began teaching physical education to the children of the Holy Land. After much success, he also taught teachers how to best instruct their students.

Zvi taught at Herzliya High School for 40 years. He also wrote the first Hebrew physical education publications, and came up with the Hebrew physical terminology. On top of his teaching and writing, Zvi also founded the Maccabi sports movement in Israel - in which he coached the gymnasts - as well as the Hebrew Scout Movement.

For his great service to the Holy Land, Zvi Nishri was inducted into the International Jewish Hall of Fame, and has a Wingate Institute prize given out in his honor.

Tags: Life in Israel

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