The Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy




НазваниеThe Second World War and Jewish Education in America: The Fall and Rise of Orthodoxy
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It has become a universally accepted notion, recurrently expressed in refrain-like fashion by writers of the history of education, to note with pride the fact that in the time of Yehoshua ben Gamala there already existed amongst Jews zwang-schule, a law of compulsory education or compulsory schooling. We should like to state clearly and openly that this entire notion is false and misleading. 25


What then transpired in the times of Yehoshua ben Gamala (c.60 C.E.)? Approximately nineteen hundred years ago, the "spiritual structure" of the Jewish home suffered deterioration. "The father's house somehow lost its fundamental power of effective vitality in bringing up Jewish children." It was then that Yehoshua ben Gamala instituted the system of child-schooling. "That is, he transformed the pattern of Jewish upbringing from tinokos shel beis-avhan to tinokos shel beis-rabban--from that of the father's home-house to the Rebbi's school-house." 26 It is stressed that for Jews, it remained no more than a necessary adjustment to adverse circumstances.


The upshot for the Jewish melamed (teacher), is that he should "never fall prey to the self-imposed predisposition of considering himself a 'professional', because deep within his soul he feels that he is no more than a 'stand-in' for the child's father; rabban--the child's Rebbi--in place of avhan--his 'daddy'. And one cannot be a father by profession! " 27 There is a "specifically unique excellence" that can be attributed to the Jewish teachers (melamdim) of our day, greater than in past history. "For, that which was at all other times a special case amongst melamdim has become today the usual day-to-day occurrence. The melamdim of today must be prepared to bridge the gaps of many 'missing links'." 28


This small sample of thought reflects the deep commitment to Jewish education by those who stood at the head of the traditional Jewish schools. We see that in spite of the catastrophes brought about by the war, there was a redoubling of effort to regain that which was lost. The overriding conclusion must be that at the center of the rise of Orthodoxy in America there stood a nucleus of outstanding educators. They came to America as Europe sank into the darkness of war and genocide. Some saw the darkness descend and realized that since America was a refuge, Orthodoxy would find its niche there too, and, find room to grow. Others were forcibly thrust across the oceans onto the American scene as they fled Europe at the height of the war.


These extraordinary personalities lived with a dual vision of what had once been, and what should ideally be. Their actions on behalf of Jewish education in the present grew out of this dual vision, based on the teachings of the Jewish sages, chazal. They sought to re-establish and secure the link between the generations of the past and of the future.


The rise of Orthodoxy in America after the Second World War attests to the efficacy and viability of unspoiled and undiluted tradition in the most modern, and perhaps, darkest of times. In spite of obstacles and barriers, the pattern of growth continues. Those who helped this growth, lived with the knowledge that the Torah is compared to light, and that "a little light dispels much darkness". It remains to be seen to what extent that "light" will shine in America.


FOOTNOTES


1 Lucy S. Davidowicz, On Equal Terms: Jews in America 1881-1981 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982), pp159-160.

2 Ibid., pp. 3; 110; 145; 132.

3 Ibid., pp. 158-159.

4 Ibid., p. 160.

5 Jacob Neusner, Stranger at Home: "The Holocaust", Zionism, and American Judaism (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981), pp. 80-81.

6 Ibid., p. 62.

7 Ibid., p. 171.

8 Ibid., pp. 190-191.

9 Ibid., p 196.

10 Davidowicz, On Equal Terms, p. 161.

11 Yaakov Weinberg, "Experiencing Golus in a Free Society--Can it be Achieved?: The Awareness Imperative", The Jewish Observer, December 1978, p. 4.

12 Helmreich, World of the Yeshiva, p. 34.

13 Hutner, " 'Holocaust'--A Study of the Term, and the Epoch it is Meant to Describe", p. 3.

14 Ibid., p. 4.

15 Ibid., p. 5.

16 Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews, p. 671.

17 Hutner, " 'Holocaust'--A Study of the Term, and the Epoch it is Meant to Describe", p. 5.

18 Ibid., p. 6.

19 Davidowicz, On Equal Terms, p. 160.

20 Hutner, " 'Holocaust'--A Study of the Term, and the Epoch it is Meant to Describe", p. 6.

21 Ibid., p. 7.

22 Ibid., p. 8.

23Ibid., p. 9.

24 Wasserman, "An Analysis of the Jewish Tragedy--Its Causes and Solution", pp. 46-47.

25 Yitzchok Hutner, "A Shiur in Hilchos Chinuch-", in Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview, ed. Joseph Kaminetsky, p. 5.

26 Ibid., p. 6.

27 Ibid., p. 7.

28 Ibid., p. 10.


BIBLIOGRAPHY


Topics of Interest

Books and dissertations

Articles


Books and dissertations:


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Butts, Freeman, R., and Cremin, Lawrence A. A History of Education in American Culture. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1953.


Cremin, Lawrence A. American Education: The National Experience 1783-1876. New York: Harper and Row, 1980

.

_____. Public Education. New York: Basic Books, 1976.


_____. Traditions of American Education. Basic Books, 1977.


David, Bruria Hutner. "The Dual Role of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chajes: Traditionalist and Maskil". Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1971.


Davidowicz, Lucy S. On Equal Terms: Jews in America 1881-1981. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982.


_____. The War Against the Jews 1933-1945. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.


Dicker, Herman. Piety and Perseverance: Jews from the Carpathian Mountains. New York: Sepher-Herman Press, 1981.


Dimont, Max I. The Jews in America: The Roots, History, and Destiny of American Jews. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978.


Druks, Herbert. The Failure to Rescue. New York: Robert Speller and Sons, 1977.


Friedlander, M., trans. Moses Maimonides: The Guide for the Perplexed. New York: Dover Publications, 1956.


Gartner, Lloyd, P., ed. Jewish Education in the United States: A Documentary History. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University, 1969.


Goren, Arthur A. New York Jews and the Quest for Community: The Kehillah Experiment, 1908-1922. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.


Grayzel, Solomon. A History of the Jews: From the Babylonian Exile to the Present. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1968.


Grosser, Paul E., and Halperin, Edwin G. Anti-Semitism: The Causes and Effects of a Prejudice. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1976.


Hecht, Ben. Perfidy. New York: Julian Messner., 1961.


Helmreich, William B. The World of the Yeshiva: An Intimate Portrait of Orthodox Jewry. New York: The Free Press, 1982.


Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. New York: New Viewpoints, 1973.


Howe, Irving. World of Our Fathers. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.


Kaminetsky, Joseph, ed. Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1970.


_____. , and Friedman, Murray I., eds. Building Jewish Ethical Character. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1975.


Kranzler, David. Japanese, Nazis and Jews: The Jewish Refugee Community of Shanghai, 1938-1945. New York: Yeshiva University Press, 1976.


Kranzler, George. Williamsburg: A Jewish Community in Transition. New York: Philip Feldheim, 1961.


Laqueur, Walter. The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler's "Final Solution". New York: Penguin Books, 1980.


Lee, Gordon C., ed. Crusade Against Ignorance: Thomas Jefferson on Education. New York: Teachers College Press, 1961.


Levin, Nora. The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry 1933-1945. New York: Schocken Books, 1973.


Lewin, Isaac, ed. "These Will I Remember!" Biographies of Leaders of Religious Jewry in Europe who Perished During the Years 1939-1945. Yiddish original: Eilah Azkerah. New York: Research Institute of Religious Jewry, 1956.


Lubavitch Foundation of Great Britain. Challenge: An Encounter with Lubavitch--Chabad. London: Lubavitch Foundation of Great Britain, 1970.


Martin, Bernard. A History of Judaism: Volume II: Europe and the New World. New York: Basic Books, 1974.


Mayer, Egon. From Suburb to Shtetl: The Jews of Boro Park. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1979.


Morse, Arthur D. While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy. New York: Ace Publishing Corporation, 1968.


Neusner, Jacob. Stranger at Home: "The Holocaust", Zionism, and American Judaism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.


Pilch, Judah, ed. A History of Jewish Education in America. New York: American Association for Jewish Education, 1969.


Podhoretz, Norman. Making It. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1967.


Poll, Solomon. The Hasidic Community of Williamsburg: A Study in the Sociology of Religion. New York: Schocken Books, 1969.


Rakefett-Rothkoff, Aaron. Bernard Revel: Builder of American Jewish Orthodoxy. Jerusalem: Phillip Feldheim, 1981


______. The Silver Era in American Jewish Orthodoxy: Rabbi Eliezer Silver and His Generation. Jerusalem: Phillip Feldheim, 1981.


Rivkin, Mayer S., and Goldberg, Daniel, eds. The Rebbe: Changing the Tide of Education. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Lubavitch Youth Organization, 1982.


Rosenbaum, Irving J. The Holocaust and Halakhah. New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1976.


Scherman, Nosson and Zlotowitz, Meir, eds. Reb Elchonon: The Life and Ideals of Rabbi Elchonon Bunim Wasserman of Baranovich. New York: Mesorah Publications, 1982.


Schiff, Alvin Irwin. The Jewish Day School in America. New York: Jewish Education Committee Press, 1966.


Shonfeld, Moshe. The Holocaust Victims Accuse: Documents and Testimony on Jewish War Criminals: Part I. New York: Bnei Yeshivos, 1977.


Sklare, Marshall. America's Jews. New York: Random House, 1971.


_______, and Greenblum, Joseph. Jewish Identity on the Suburban Frontier: A Study of Group Survival in the Open Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.


Sloan, Douglas, ed. Education and Values. New York: Teachers College Press, 1980.


Surasky, Aharon. Giants of Jewry: Volume One. Lakewood, N.J.: Chinuch Publications, 1982.

_______. Marbitzei Torah Umusar. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Yisroel Yehudah Rubin, 1977.


Teachers College, Columbia University. Teachers College: Columbia University: 1980/1981. (Catalog). Teachers College Bulletin. Series 71. Teachers College, New York, May 1980.


Ulich, Robert,ed. Three Thousand Years of Educational Wisdom: Selections from Great Documents. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954. Thirteenth printing, 1979.


Wasserman, Elchonon B. Epoch of the Messiah. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Ohr Elchonon Publications. First Printed as Ikvese Dimeshicha. New York, 1938.


Weissmandl, Michael Ber. Min HaMeitzar. n.p., n.d.


Wolpin, Nisson, ed. The Torah Personality: A Treasury of Biographical Sketches. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1980.


______. The Torah World: A Treasury of Biographical Sketches. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982.


Zuker, Simon, compiler, and Hirschler, Gertrude, ed. The Unconquerable Spirit: Vignettes of the Jewish Religious Spirit the Nazis Could Not Destroy. New York: Zachor Institute, 1980.


Articles:


Arden, Harvey. "The Pious Ones: Brooklyn's Hasidic Jews". National Geographic, August 1975, pp. 276-298.


Belsky, Meir. "The Day Schools in the U.S.: Another View". The Jewish Observer, January 1977, pp. 5-7.


Bodenheimer, Ernst J., and Scherman, Nosson. "The Rav of Frankfurt, U.S.A." The Torah World, Wolpin, N., ed. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982, pp. 223-238.


Davidowicz, Lucy S. "American Jews and the Holocaust". The New York Times Magazine, April 18, 1982, pp. 46-114.


Elias, Joseph. "Dealing With 'Churban Europa' ". The Jewish Observer, October 1977, pp. 10-18.


Ernberg, Naftoli. "Horav R. Ben Tzion Halberstam: Admor M'Bobov". Eilah Azkerah ("These Will I Remember!") V. 1., Lewin, I., ed. New York: Research Institute of Religious Jewry, 1956, pp. 135-141.


Feuerstein, Samuel C. "Torah Umesorah 1944-1969: A Quarter of a Century". Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview, Kaminetsky, J., ed. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1970, pp. 71-77.


Forst, Siegmund. "Rabbi Michael Ber Weissmandl". The Torah Personality, Wolpin, N., ed. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1980, pp. 161-168.


Fox, Marvin. "Character Training in the Face of Environmental Pressures". Building Jewish Ethical Character, Kaminetsky, Joseph, and Friedman, Murray I., eds. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1975, pp. 92-98.


_____. "Day Schools and the American Education Pattern". Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview, Kaminetsky, Joseph, ed. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1970, pp. 78-85.


Friedlander, Henry. "Toward a Methodology of Teaching about the Holocaust". Education and Values, Sloan, Douglas, ed. New York: Teachers College Press, 1980, pp. 123-146.


Gifter, Mordecai. "The Function of Torah Chinuch in Our Generation." Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview, Kaminetsky, Joseph, ed. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1970, pp. 18-24.


Goldberg, Daniel. "The Late Lubavitcher Rebbe". The Torah World, Wolpin, N., ed. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982, pp. 81-94.


______. "The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Shlita: 30 Years of Leadership". The Uforatzto Journal, Spring 1980, pp. 34-65.


Himmelfarb, Milton. "Reflection on the Jewish Day School". Jewish Education in the United States, Gartner,Lloyd P., ed., New York: Teachers College Press, 1969.


Hutner, Yitzchok. " 'Holocaust'--A Study of the Term and the Epoch it is Meant to Describe."The Jewish Observer, October 1977, pp. 3-9.


______. "A Shiur in Hilchos Chinuch". Hebrew Day School Education: An Overview, Kaminetsky, Joseph, ed. New York: Torah Umesorah, 1970, pp. 3-12.


Kagan, Shaul. "From Kletzk to Lakewood". The Torah World, Wolpin, N., ed. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982, pp. 184-205.


Kaminetsky, Joseph, and Gross, Alexander, S. "Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz". Men of the Spirit, Jung, Leo, ed. New York: Kymson Publishing Company, 1964, pp. 553-572.


Keller, Chaim Dov. "He Brought Telshe to Cleveland". The Torah World, Wolpin, N.. ed. Brooklyn,.N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982, pp. 262-276.


Kirk, Russell. "The Necessity of Dogmas in Schooling". Modern Age: A Quarterly Review, Winter, 1978, pp. 2-7.


Kirzner, Yisroel Mayer. "By the Writing Desk of the Master: Reflections on Pachad Yitzchok: Igaros Ukesavim". The Jewish Observer, December 1981, pp. 8-15.


Oberstein, Elchonon. "A Postscript: Community Controlled Day Schools: The Way Things Are". The Jewish Observer, January 1977, pp. 7-8.


Oser, Alan S. "Housing Surge Alters Borough Park". The New York Times, Metropolitan Report, May 21, 1982, pp. Bl-B6.


Reinman, Yaakov Yosef. "Remembering Reb Shneur Kotler". The Jewish observer, October 1982, pp. 4-12.


Rodan, Yaakov. "The Rabbis and the President: History is Made at the White House". The World Jewish Tribune, Friday, December 28, 1979, p. 13


Shapiro, Chaim. "The Last of His Kind". The Torah World, Wolpin, N., ed. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1982, pp. 239-244.


Sherer, Moshe. "25 Yor: A Neie Idishe Velt" ("25 Years: A New Jewish World"). Dos Yiddishe Vort, June 1979, pp. 3-5.


Stolper, Pinchas. "HaGaon Rav Yitzchok Hutner". Jewish Life, Winter 1980/81, pp. 2-5.


Time Magazine. "Help! Teacher Can't Teach!: The Multifaceted Crisis of America's Public Schools". Time, June 16, 1980, pp. 54-63.


Weinberg, Yaakov. "Experiencing Golus in a Free Society--Can it be Achieved?: The Awareness Imperative". The Jewish Observer, December 1978, pp. 4-5.


Wolpin, Nisson. "The Community Kollel: Reaching Out With Torah!. The Jewish Observer, October 1979, pp. 19-26.


_______ , ed. "My Neighbor, My Father, The Rebbe". The Torah Personality. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mesorah Publications, 1980, pp. 198-210.


Dedicated to my father "Reb" Dovid A"H

whose love of traditional Vilna helped him survive.
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