Bentzi Tiram

Dances of Bentzi Tiram
Song words to dances of Bentzi Tiram
  About Bentzi Tiram
1928-2012 z"l

Benzi Tiram was born in Jerusalem in 1930, the third child of five siblings, and the only boy. Benzi’s parents, fervent Zionists, migrated from Yemen in 1922. They left their home in the city of Ta'izz on donkeys and camels across deserts, making their way via Ismailia in Egypt on their way to Jerusalem, where they settled.
When Benzi was six years old the family relocated to Tel Aviv where he completed his primary school studies and then on to the Montefiore Technical High School where he studied the electrical trades. At age 15 he moved to Kibbutz Sde Nachum in the Beit She’an Valley and on the threshold of coming of age, at 18, he returned to Tel Aviv joining the ranks of the Hagana, completing a squad commander’s course. His duty was to escort convoys transporting Czech weapons to a Tel Aviv warehouse.
In 1948 Benzi, with his unit, joined the newly established Israel Defence Force where he completed an infantry officer’s course. Two years later he was assigned to the Wingate Institute as a fitness instructor with the rank of Captain. Aged 26 he relocated to the port city of Haifa where he worked as Physical Education teacher.
Upon retiring from teaching, aged 49, he continued his love affair with Israeli folk dancing which began in his army days, becoming an avid player in the Israeli folk dancing scene, as an instructor and creator of new dances. Benzi’s initial exposure to folk dancing was in the Nachal basic training camp “Camp 80” with the visit of Rivka Sturman, Gurit Kedman and Tamar Eligur. They selected a number of male and female soldiers and for eight straight days taught them all about Israeli folk dancing. The first dances he learnt were “Machol Hashnaim”,”Hora Sarid’ and ‘Iti Melvanon”. The very next day he began teaching what he had learnt to the other soldiers in the camp. Benzi furthered his dance repertoire and knowledge while dancing with the ensemble of the late Shalom Hermon at the Oranim seminary. The musical accompaniment was by accordion.
Benzi has dedicated his life to Israeli folk dancing, from the moment he was introduced to the folk dancing scene it has dominated his life. He began teaching children in the “Hapoel” Hall on Mount Carmel and in the old Technion building in Rothschild house with an accordion, flute and drum (the latest role filled by Benzi himself) forming the musical accompaniment.
Over the years contacts were established with dance camps outside of Israel leading to Benzi instructing in the Ramah camp in Canada and in other events with the circle of dancers fast expanding.
Benzi creative phase started at age 35 with “Debka Oud” and ‘leyerushalayim irech” created after the 1967 Six Day War being his first fruit, at a time when the entire Jewish people was moved by the special link to the unified Jerusalem.
His contribution as instructor and creator are evident in all dance circles. Dancers the world over are dancing to his creations which will continue to form part of the Israeli folklore.
Benzi belongs to the next generation of dance creators, for whom dancing was their life, they created and promoted folk dance from a deep sense of duty to the folk dancing movement and to ensure the preservation of its ideals.
Dances of Bentzi Tiram Hebrew Version
Thanks to Rokdim for the original text in Hebrew
Thanks to Israel Yakovee for his assistance

© This page is copyright to Israeli

Links to the Dance and Song databases are the intellectual copyright of Jack Steel and Aura Levin Lipski.

Attribution must be given to

Write to the publisher for permission to reprint or use this material in any form.