Page 176 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

Basic HTML Version

e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
cised at times upon ideals and practices of Christian and Islamic
education as well. In presenting observations and comments on
a number o f books, there is no intention to minimize the impor-
tance of other writings in the field in the period under considera-
tion, since the selection has been made primarily on the basis
of the writer’s interest in certain aspects of Jewish education
as reflected in the follow ing publications:
T o ld o t ha -H inu kh
Sh e l Am Y israel
(The History of the Education of the Jewish
People) by Nathan Morris (T e l Aviv, 1960);
T o ld o t ha -H inu kh
be-Y israel b i-D o ro t ha -A h ron im
(The History of Jewish Educa-
tion in Modern Times) by Zvi Scharfstein (Tel Aviv, 1964);
Jew ish E du ca t ion in D em o c ra tic So c ie ty ,
by Jack J. Cohen (New
York, 1964);
Juda ism an d th e Jew ish Schoo l,
edited by Judah
Pilch and Meir Ben-Horin (New York, 1966);
E n ts ik lo p e d ia
H in u k h i t
(An Education Encyclopedia, Jerusalem, 1964).
As already indicated, the books under consideration are pri-
marily in the field of history of Jewish education, thereby filling
a void on the subject in histories of general education. In recent
years historians of education like John S. Burbacher, F. Ebby,
P. Arrowood and E. B. Castle, have focused attention on the
role of Jewry and Judaism in the history of educational thought
and practice, but this has come about as a result of important
Jewish studies w ithin the last twenty-five years. In the past, books
on history of education concentrated on Greek and Roman con-
tributions, to the exclusion of Jewish ideals and experience
in education. Most writers on history of education, when they
did refer to Biblical injunctions about studying and teaching,
alluded to them as background for the development of Christian
education. The disregard of the role of Jewry and Judaism in
education was, in a sense, a distortion of historic truth which
Jewish scholars felt needed to be rectified, and they have, there-
fore, given the subject their special attention. There may be
still another reason for the treatment accorded to history of
Jewish education, namely, the availability of important ancient,
medieval and modern sources on the subject.
On the History of Jewish Education
The two most comprehensive volumes on the history of Jewish
education (the first one having been published originally in Eng-
lish), are
T o ld o t ha -H inukh Shel Am Y israe l
by Nathan
Morris. The author has been adequately equipped for this task
by virtue of his rootedness in Rabbinic and medieval Jewish lit-
erature, his knowledge of general education, and his rich experi-
ence as a veteran practicing Jewish educator. In a schematic