TARAGAN, BEN-ZION (1870–1953), writer, teacher, and journalist in Ereẓ Israel and *Egypt. Born in Jerusalem, he received a traditional education at the Bet-Midrash Doresh Zion and yeshivot, learned printing, and began to work in the printing press of E. *Ben-Yehuda. When the latter was imprisoned, Taragan became manager of the press, and, after Ben-Yehuda was freed, helped him in preparing his dictionary. Taragan also contributed to Ben-Yehuda's periodical Hashkafah. In 1906 he left for *Alexandria, where he worked as secretary of the rabbinate and as a teacher of Hebrew in the first school to use the teaching method of Ivrit be-Ivrit (Hebrew in Hebrew) in Egypt. Taragan took an active part in Jewish communal life, especially among the youth of Alexandria. He also served as a reporter-correspondent for Hebrew periodicals in the Diaspora. Taragan published textbooks on teaching Hebrew. However, more important are his histories of the Alexandria community – Les communautés israélites d'Alexandrie; aperçu historique depuis les temps des Ptolémées jusqu'à nos jours (1932) and Korot ha-Kehillah ha-Yehudit be-Alexandria, 1906 – 1946 (1947) – as an eyewitness record of contemporary trends and developments there.
J.M. Landau, Jews in Nineteenth-Century Egypt (1969), 14–15.
[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.