Martin Buber on Jewish Education


The concept of "Jewish adult education" might have been understood even a short time ago to mean "elements of education" or "cultural values" that were to be passed on to those growing up and to the grown-up – for instance, giving an idea of "higher education" to those who were not privileged to obtain it, or to initiate those not familiar with Jewish subjects into some general knowledge of this community. When we gave this name to our newly founded experiment we obviously meant something else. The issue is no longer equipment with knowledge, but mobilization for existence. Persons, Jewish persons, are to be formed, persons who will not only "hold out" but will uphold some substance in life; who will have not only morale, but moral strength, and so will be able to pass on moral strength to others; persons who live in such a way that the spark will not die. Because our concern is for the spark, we work for "education." What we seek to do through the educating of individuals is the building of a community that will stand firm, that will prevail, that will preserve the spark....

Source: 1. Rundbrief der Mittelstelle fuer juedische Erwachsenenbildung ("First Circular Letter of the Center for Jewish Adult Education"), May 1934.

* Mittelstelle fuer juedische Erwachsenenbildung.


Source: Yad Vashem