Educational Institutions

  • Issue: August 2004
  • Designer: Hayyimi Kivkovich
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 577 (2 phosphor bars)
  • Sheet of 10 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

During the second half of the 19th century, members of the Jewish Enlightenment Movement (Maskilim) and philanthropists from the Diaspora initiated the establishment of modern schools for the Jews living in Eretz Israel. Before then, schools were run by traditional religious Haredim (strictly religious Jews). Initially there was fierce opposition to the modern schools which deterred the founders who suspended their plans.

In 1854 Dr. Albert Cohen, Baron de Rothschild's secretary, came to Jerusalem from Paris and founded a hospital and a school for girls. A year later, Moses Montefiore set up another girls' school. The first schools opened and closed in turn due to lack of resources and teachers and antagonistic relations with the Haredim.

The "Lemel" School for Boys was opened in 1856, followed by a number of schools established by organizations such as the Alliance Israelite Universelle, the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden and others. In these schools, secular studies were added to the curriculum and some of them taught in Hebrew.

Towards the end of the 19th century another educational reform took place in Eretz Israel: the national Zionist revolution. In 1889 "The Hebrew School" was founded in Jaffa which became a model for Hebrew education.

In the agricultural villages ("moshavot") three different types of schools developed: the traditional religious school, modern schools, influenced by the Baron de Rothschild's administration, and national schools initiated by the Hebrew teachers who created the national symbols and culture, thus shaping the New Hebrew generation.

The first attempt in 1892 by the Hebrew teachers to create a unified education policy failed. However, in 1903, "The Hebrew Teachers Organization" was founded in Zikhron Yaagov and a curriculum for Hebrew education was developed by 1907.

Following the "language war" that broke out in 1913, disputing the use of German instead of Hebrew as the language of instruction, the Zionist Organization took over the Hebrew education system in Eretz Israel and a central Zionist education authority was established.

"Herzliya" Hebrew High School

The founding of a Hebrew high school in Eretz Israel was recommended by a delegation from the Diaspora in order to provide a solution for Jewish students in light of the restrictions on Jews who wanted to be accepted at high schools in Europe. Yehuda Matman-Cohen, principal of the Rishon Lelion Elementary School, tried to put the idea into practice but was opposed by the village farmers. He therefore decided in 1905 to set up a private Hebrew school in Jaffa, beginning with elementary age students gradually extending into a high school.

The foundations for the Herzilya High School building were laid in 1909 in Herzl Street in Tel-Aviv. More than half of the students were sent from abroad to study in Eretz Israel. In order to enable the graduates to be accepted at universities, the school obtained a license from the Turkish authorities and became an Ottoman institution. In 1913 the first graduates finished their studies, many of them becoming the future leaders of the Jewish society, such as Eliyau Golomb, Moshe Shertok (Sharet), Dov Hoz and many others.

Professor Rachel Elboim-Dror

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Educational Institutions in Eretz Israel