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The Hebrew School

As we have already described, the Hebrew co-educational elementary school was founded during the German occupation at the end of the First World War with the assets of the Tsairei Tsion without almost any outside help.

[p. 155]

“A few 'evenings' were organized for the benefit of the planned school. Comrades contributed their last penny to the cause and all this was used to repair an abandoned apartment where the school could be set up”, relates Ephraim Ben Ephraim (Efrimzon). “This is how we acquired desks and tools. We had no teaching experience but we were determined to carry out the work. The shtetl was impoverished because of the war but our young teachers approached this task as divine service and spared no efforts to perfect themselves.”

kry155a.jpg - 'Liliput' dance at a children's performance in the Yiddish elementary school
“Liliput” dance at a children's performance
in the Yiddish elementary school

“Orthodox circles incited against us saying that we 'heretics' led the children off the Jewish way and that parents should not send their children to our school. But many cheders were closed so the children transferred to our school and we soon had 300 pupils. The Yiddishist circles also plotted against us. But we were not scared and we soon introduced a tuition fee to ensure at least the survival of the institution, and to avoid begging. Thus already in the first one and a half years, we had an income amounting to 30 to 40 percent of our budget.”

kry155b.jpg - The drama circle, 1930
The drama circle, 1930

“We lived through a horrible time when the town was occupied by the Red Army in the summer of 1920 and the Bolsheviks started to uproot the national Hebrew education completely. But we resisted by all means at our disposal. When the Poles returned to the town, they set upon our school and tried to discover some shortcomings, which would allow them to get rid of it and have the Jewish children transfer into the Polish state school. We had to start fighting again but in the end we won and managed to legalize our school as well.”

“The senior class graduated in 1922 and we also opened a Hebrew high school. Our enthusiastic supporter and Hebrew educational activist, Avrom Yehuda Eynshteyn, harnessed himself and tracked down and brought us graduate teachers all the way from Galicia.

kry155c.jpg - The administration and pedagogical council of the Hebrew elementary school, 1928
The administration and pedagogical council
of the Hebrew elementary school, 1928

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