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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 30, 2018

Before the “War of Languages”: Locals, Immigrants and Philanthropists at the Hilfsverein’s Teachers’ Seminar in Jerusalem 1907–1910

Miriam Szamet
From the journal Naharaim


Established in Jerusalem by the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, the first Teacher Training Seminar is a fascinating case study of the rapid change within the Jewish communities in late Ottoman Palestine. This essay focuses on the 1907 conflict between the Seminar’s management and its Eastern-European students concerning training and teaching in the modern Hebrew, a development which would later nourish the so-called “War of Languages” in 1913. These conflicts reflected the gap between immigrants who had fled anti-Semitic riots in Eastern Europe and witnessed Socialist revolutions, and the experiences of Jerusalem-born students familiar with the activity of philanthropic Jewish organizations within the local children’s education system. The chasm between the nationalist educational goals of the Hebrew yishuv and the Hilfsverein’s aims of modernization and professionalization led to mutual radicalization and the establishment of a separate Zionist education system by Zionist Organisations. The staunch position in favor of teaching in Hebrew expressed the Hebrew and secular national consciousness of the immigrant student, and was evidence of their professional pedagogical goals.

Published Online: 2018-11-30
Published in Print: 2018-12-19

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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