Obituary: Arthur Bar-Joseph

LAUSANNE, Switz., March 6, 2024 – The FIE is very saddened to learn of the passing on March 2 of Arthur Bar-Joseph (ISR), an FIE Member of Honour and of the Hall of Fame, FIE Olympic and world championships referee and Refereeing Commission member.

Born on June 15, 1936 in Romania, he emigrated to Israel in the 1960s, where he became involved with fencing at the Maccabi Ramat-Gan Fencing Club.

He went on to work in international fencing, and as an FIE referee from 1972 with an A rating in foil and epee and a B in sabre. He was appointed, as a referee or a refereeing delegate, to five consecutive Olympic Games: Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. He was the organiser of multiple international competitions and worked as an observer in numerous FIE Fencing World Championships.

Bar-Joseph was a member of the FIE Refereeing Commission from 1986 until 2004.

He was appointed Member of Honour at the 2013 Congress in Paris for spending his life promoting fencing and refereeing in Israel.

Bar-Joseph was the President of Honour of the Israeli Fencing Association, and also served as chairperson of the Referee Committee and promoted Fair Play.

Considered by many to be the founding father of epee in Israel, Bar-Joseph established the first epee club in the country, in the town of Ashkelon, where it grew to be the largest in the country. He was a fencing coach and one of the first Israeli epee coaches. In addition, he was renowned for promoting refereeing and initiating refereeing examinations for coaches and athletes in the country.

Bar-Joseph’s two sons, Haim and Shay, who are former fencers and the latter an FIE referee with an A in epee and B in foil since 1993, said they “were and forever [will be] proud of him, his achievements, and his commitment to the sport he loved so much. Fencing was his whole life.”

The FIE extends its sincere condolences for their loss to Arthur Bar-Joseph’s family and friends, the Israel Fencing Federation and the European Fencing Confederation, and expresses its deepest sympathy during this difficult time.

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