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[p. 156]

Unfortunately a huge inflation raged in Poland in those days and despite the devotion of the teachers and the goodwill of the parents of the pupils, we could not maintain the high school for more than two years.”

kry156a.jpg - A class in the Hebrew elementary school
A class in the Hebrew elementary school

The elementary school, however, continued to develop. A canteen was set up for the pupils and as well as a Hebrew children's library, named after Mendele Moykher Sforim. Already in 1926 it possessed 500 volumes. There was a drama circle, which regularly organized successful performances. By the 10th jubilee of the first graduating class in 1931, already 300 pupils had finished the school and the number of graduates continued to grow.

kry156b.jpg - Historical studies circle in the Hebrew elementary school
Historical studies circle in the Hebrew elementary school

For the post-WWI generation of Jews in Krinki, the Hebrew elementary school was a primary source of educational and ideological inspiration in the spirit of the pioneers. It was like a stock farm that turned out Zionist-socialist youth. The history of the Hekhalutz in Krinki was closely linked with Hebrew education, thinks Zeev Tsur (Velvel Shteyn), a former graduate of the school, who was a leading figure in the Israeli Labor Party, member of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), and deputy minister in one of the former Israeli governments. “The whole atmosphere in and around the school in the various social events and 'circles,'” adds Z. Tsur, “aimed at ingraining in the pupils the love of manual work, agriculture, simplicity, in short, pioneerism, aliya to Eretz Israel and self-realization.”

Libraries

The above-mentioned rivalry of the two educational institutions in Krinki came to light in the field of culture, namely in the libraries, as well. The Bundists had their so-called “big library”, and the Tsaire Tsion also established a library in 1920 named after Heshl Sapirshteyn, one of the pioneers of the Hebrew school. By the end of the decade it had 2,000 books in Hebrew, Yiddish and Polish, 200 subscribers, and it was the largest library of the town.

The “big library”, directed by “Eternal Light” collected primarily Yiddish books and the most recent Yiddish newspapers. The collection included mostly literature, poetry, social sciences, political economy and socialism. It was supported by party members who were originally from Krinki but were by then living in America. The library had two main supporters: Leybke Sheyn (Noskes), who often sent newspapers and journals, and Khatskl Miller.

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