Avraham Biran

Sturman and the Sheiks: Chaim Sturman (far right), the leader of the Jewish settlements in British Mandate-era Palestine, accompanied the Birans (center) on a visit to the sheikhs of the Zenati tribe. Biran had been recently appointed by the British administration as district officer for the Beth-Shean Valley. Sturman had been born in the Ukraine in 1891 and was active in the Haganah (the military force that evolved into the Israeli army after the Jewish state declared its independence in 1948). In 1938, shortly after this photo was taken, Sturman was killed when the car he was riding in, driven by Biran, hit a land mine. He is commemorated today by Beth Sturman (Sturman House), a cultural center and museum at Kibbutz Ein Harod, which he helped found. As fate would have it, Sturman’s son, Moshe, fell in Israel’s War of Independence, and his grandson, also named Chaim, died in a commando action near the Suez Canal in 1969.