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[Page 229]

The co-ed high school, gymnasium and elementary school
belonging to the Sosnowiec Jewish school organization {Cont.}

The high school never compromised its scholastic standard in order to obtain a license from the school authorities. It preferred to obtain the license certificate at its own pace. Of course, many parents insisted that the school obtain this license so that their children could have a certificate with the proper educational stamp rather that a mere Jewish certificate. The high school leadership insisted that only academic excellence would grant it the necessary accreditation. Indeed, the ministry of education soon recognized the scholastic standards of the school and granted it in 1929/1930-school accreditation.

Sos229a.jpg [27 KB]

Hallway of the high school in Sosnowiec" The official recognition of the school, despite its limited physical facilities, gave the school a great deal of prestige and helped it expand as an educational institution. In addition to the previous listed shortcomings of the school, we must also state the fact that the school was limited to girls as boys were not admitted. This was a serious factor since the nearby Bedzin Jewish high school was coeducational. Thus, the Sosnowiec high school couldn't expect many pupils from Bedzin would enroll in Sosnowiec. The Sosnowiec board of directors tried to negotiate with the Bedzin Jewish school that the Sosnowiec high school would be for girls and the of Bedzin high school for boys. The discussions failed and the Sosnowiec Jewish high school began to plan the conversion of the school to a coeducational facility. The city authorities encouraged the plan and the Sosnowiec Jewish coeducational high school opened for the school year of 1933/1934.

[Page 230]

The school still lacked a proper school building. The present facilities were conducted from a third-floor residential building. This changed in 1933 when the school management rented a building in the center of town. This imposing building gave impetus to the development of the Jewish school in Sosnowiec.

Having a coeducational school led to increased enrollment. The Jewish community in Sosnowiec, which was influential in the high school, helped improve the reputation of the school. Thus, the school population soon doubled and then tripled over the 1932 enrollment.

We have to admit that an important part of the Jewish population in town tried to avoid any contact with the school prior to this date. Some objected to the stress on Jewish subjects while others objected to the national Jewish content. Still, the school management slowly evolved a fine traditional Jewish educational institution that attracted the attention of Jewish parents. The school became the showcase for Jewish education. The administration ignored all opportunistic and commercial appeals and led the institution to an ever-higher plateau of excellence.

The Sosnowiec Jewish high school soon gained a reputation as a solid educational institution. As such it was recognized throughout Poland. Its general academic standard, especially its Judaic content, was of a high caliber as proven by the final school examinations in 1937/1938 to enter university.

Sos230a.jpg [34 KB] - Nature laboratory at the high school

Presently, the educational complex of the Jewish school system for the school year of 1938/1939 consists of a public school, a coeducational high school and a lyceum where 400 students are registered. The figure would be much higher, but there is no room for more students in spite of two additions. Many students had to be sent home for lack of space.

[Page 231]

A few individuals were responsible for the fine development of the Jewish school system in Sosnowiec. The future of this school system will depend greatly on the Jewish population of Sosnowiec. The school itself cannot be expanded, yet there is a demand for more places. The community can only achieve this by building new buildings that would meet the demand of the Jewish school population where it will obtain a fine national Jewish education.

Since 1923 Dr. Tuvia Melodista has been the head of the high school board, and. Dr. Fejwel Widerman is the head of the high school. He was previously the head of the Yavne High School in Bedzin for five years.

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