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Hebrew learning ideologies and the reconceptualization of American Judaism: Language debates in American Jewish schooling in the early 20th century

Sharon Avni

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which Hebrew education was construed in the United States by tracing the Hebrew ideology debate of the early and mid-1900s, when dramatic changes were made to modernize Jewish schooling and its place within American society. Focusing on the Hebrew learning ideologies and educational philosophies of Samson Benderly and his followers, it examines how the Ivrit b’Ivrit movement – teaching Jewish content in Modern Hebrew – re-conceptualized Hebrew education not only as a form of language acquisition, but as a means of defining and giving shape to American Judaism for the Jewish immigrant community at that time.

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Published Online: 2015-12-16
Published in Print: 2016-1-1

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