HEBREW EDUCATION SYSTEM IN THE KRAKOW VOIVODESHIP, 1918-1939
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The first part of the article discusses the Hebrew general secondary schools. There were only few of them in the Cracow Voivodeship. The oldest and the biggest one was the so-called Hebrew Gymnasium (Gimnazjum Hebrajskie) in Cracow. The next schools were established in Tarnow and Nowy Sacz (Safa Berura). Besides, two Hebrew schools maintained by the Jewish communities in Biala and Zywiec deserve attention. Next, the Hebrew religious schools conducted by the Mizrachi party were discussed. The most important one was the Cracow gimnasium Tachkemoni and the schools of lower level called Cheder Iwri in Cracow, Jaworzno, Tarnów, Trzebinia, Nowy Sacz and Wadowice.The activity of Tarbut, a Hebrew educational organisation that retained its specificity in 'Malopolska Zachodnia' (West Little Poland), different from the other areas of Poland is also presented. In Silesia where the assimilation processes were so advanced that it became the norm among Jews to send children to Polish schools, some children completed their Hebrew or religious education in the afternoons. As a result of such a situation the Zionists efforts focused on the youth-oriented extra-school education as well as on organising kindergartens for the youngest children. That kindergarten system was supposed to prepare children for education in the Hebrew schools. In fact the education in Hebrew schools in that area was provided in Polish. It should not come as a surprise, however, because the Zionists press was also published in Polish for the knowledge of Hebrew was so limited that it would not have found a greater number of readers. The article tries to reproduce the network of Hebrew schools in Western Little Poland (former Western Galicia). There were comparatively few such schools in this region. As a rule young people learned at Polish state schools. Those who were eager to learn Hebrew attended afternoon or Sunday classes. This state distinguished the former Galicia territories from the ones in the Russian sector of partitioned Poland. The text describes the difficult creation of Hebrew school system, schools and kindergartens of Tarbut and the network of Jabne. It also characterises briefly extra-school Hebrew education and the role which youth organisations played in it.
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