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[Page 136]

Dr. Joseph Schuster-Shilo
(1896 – 1958)

by Dr. Nathan Kudish

Translated by Susan Rosin




Dr. Shilo was born in a village in the Skole area in eastern Galicia. His parents, Abraham and Frimcie were affluent land leasers. Their sons received both traditional and secular education by private tutors. Until he was 15 years old, Joseph took his exams as a private student in the high-school in Sambor (Sambir). He attended grades 10 – 12 as a regular student and graduated high-school with distinction in 1914.

During the First World War, the estate was ransacked and destroyed and the family moved to Stryj. He continued his studies in Vienna attending two higher education institutions simultaneously: The University where he studied the Humanities and received his Ph.D. in 1919 and the rabbinical school where his graduated with distinction in 1918. His instructors at the rabbinical school were the Rector Schwartz, dr. Shmuel Krauss and dr. Apftobitzer.

After he completed his studies he started teaching. In 1919 – 1923 he was a teacher in the Hebrew high-school “Safa Brura” in Bolechów (Bolekhov), in the Hebrew high schools in £ódŸ and Bia³ystok and the principal at the “Tarbut” school in Lida. From 1923 until 1935 he was the principal of the Hebrew high-school in Wilno (Vilnius).

Of note are the years that dr. Shilo spent working as a teacher, principal and supervisor in Poland as this was a period of growth and success for the Hebrew and National education. His contributions to the education of the young generation during those years were immense. He was respected by the Polish authorities that commended him on his many contributions to the network of Jewish schools in Poland.

He spent his vacations in Stryj with his family. As an intellectual, his friends were among the Hebrew speakers in town. He was one of the pillars of the “Ivriya Society” and contributed greatly to the spread of Hebrew among the younger generation at Stryj.

In 1935 he immigrated to Eretz Israel. He worked as a teacher in the youth village Ben-Shemen, was a principal at the “Nordia” and “Shalva” high-schools in Tel-Aviv and “Beit Hinuh” in Kfar Sabba. From 1944 until 1958 he was a teacher at the Municipal School in Tel-Aviv. He was considered one of the most outstanding educators. He was a pleasant person and always created an enjoyable atmosphere around him – with his friends, coworkers and students.

Dr. Shilo was also devoted to public affairs and was active in the teachers union specifically in matters concerning secondary school teachers.

Lastly, he was also very dedicated to the Stryj organization in Israel. For years he spent time to collect material for the Stryj “Yizkor” book which laid the foundation for the publication. It was his and others initiative to erect a monument for Stryj community, but unfortunately he passed away before it was completed.


Students of the Ziditchev Kloiz in Stryj


The amateur theatre club in memory of S. Ash


The Jewish civil casino in Stryj


The “Dror” sports society in Stryj 1930


The Jewish cooperative bank in Stryj

Standing from right to left: A. Arnfeld, J. Friedler, Zwilling, R. Reish, A. Friedlander
Seated from right to left: E. Hauptmann, Dr. J. Mishel, A. Edelstein, Dr. M. Kaufman, Dr. Z. Presser, J. Shefler, H. Handel


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