Instructions for Jewish Public Elementary Schools

(January 1934)


1. The Jewish school develops a special character as a result of the two-fold experience of life of every Jewish child living in Germany: Jewish and German. These two basic experiences are to be equally developed and made conscious; they are to be made fruitful and developed, both in parallel lines and in the tension between them.

2. The school is to be penetrated by a Jewish spirit that understands itself. The growing child is to have a secure and healthy awareness of himself as a Jew; he is to learn to take pleasure in the name, with all the pride and all the deprivation which it involves. In order to achieve this aim what is essentially Jewish is to be made the center of all subjects where this can be done. To enable the child to carry out his tasks at home and in the synagogue, in the community and among the Jews in general, a vital understanding of the eternal values of the Jewish religion and of Jewish life at the present time, and particularly for the creative effort in Palestine, must be aroused and developed....

3. To supplement the official guide-lines for instruction in German language there should be emphasis on the mutual influence of everything that Jewish being and thinking has derived from the German spirit, and, on the other hand, everything that the Jewish spirit and Jewish work have contributed to the growth of German culture.

4. Despite the development of all intellectual abilities it is always to be taken into special consideration that the entire education must be directed towards the creation of determined and secure Jewish personalities. Apart from all other considerations this is made necessary by the urgent demands of the present: the Jewish child must be enabled to take up and master the exceptionally difficult struggle for survival which awaits him.

5. As a result, well-planned physical training and, in particular, the practice of gymnastics and sports are among the most important tasks of the school. The necessary change to different occupations can be prepared by means of manual training (drawing, needlework, technical crafts). In order to allow for the special situation of the German Jews, pupils at elementary schools should also be given the possibility of learning at least one modern Western European language, and also, in particular, modern Hebrew.

Source: Arbeitsbericht des Zentralausschusses der deutschen Juden fuer Hilfe und Aufbau 1. Januar – 30. Juni 1934, Anlage (Report of the Central Committee of German Jews for Relief and Reconstruction, January 1 – June 30, 1934, Enclosure), 1934.


Source: Yad Vashem