September 8, 2020 Sisters of the Revolution Part II: To Teach or not to Teach?
Facing the various challenges presented by modern times, education for girls loomed as a viable solution. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch promulgated traditional education for Jewish women early on in his career, and later implemented it in his Realschule in Frankfurt in 1853. Formal Torah education for girls was thus a reality and could be copied by other communities facing similar challenges.
The Chafetz Chaim decried the state of traditional Jewish life in many of his writings, and declared that Torah education for girls is imperative at this juncture of history in light of the challenges of modernity.
The context of the time saw much reformation of the Jewish educational system in general and in regards to girls in particular. With the rise of the Cheder Metukan in the Russian Empire, many of these new schools opened their doors to girls as well. This was followed a generation later by the Zionist Tarbut schools and the Yiddishist Tzisha schools, both of which included girls within their educational system. In addition to public schools, by this time girls education was happening everywhere. It was only a matter of time that it would spread further.
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