Education


Religious education in Novogrudek was rich and varied. The Beit Yosef Yeshiva, founded in 1906, was famous throughout the Jewish world. With independence from Russia, Jews in Novogrudek founded independent Jewish schools where the teaching language was Hebrew or Yiddish. The Hebrew school in Novogrudek was established in 1919.

At the beginning, the education in the schools was politically neutral but it became hard to maintain the peace in an ideologically stormy era around the globe. One Hebrew school was called ‘Tarbut’ after the Hebrew poet C.N. Bialik. It was a day school with seven grades. Pupils were taught in Hebrew except for the history and geography of Poland which was taught in Polish. Yiddish was also introduced from grade 5. Subjects included History and Geography, Hebrew language and literature, Mishna and legends, nature studies, geography, arithmetic and geometry, Yiddish, Polish, French, Music, Drawing, Agriculture and Craft.
Source: Hebrew Education in Novogrudok by Moshe Steinberg-Sarig

As the 1930s progressed, the economic and political situation for Jews in Poland worsened and Jews became once more reliant on aid from overseas. Because of mass unemployment, ORT trade schools were set up. Boys became apprenticed for three years to learn to become cabinet makers. Girls studied to become seamstresses for dresses, coats and corset making. For poor Jews evening classes were organized in Yiddish, Polish, and mathematics by teachers who volunteered their time.