The Oasis of Dreams
Chapter 2. Children of Schwabe's Mind
A. Life of Labor in the Village
In the eight months from June, 1944 until February, 1945, the WIZO World Center in England undertook preparations for the village that would absorb the children of the Holocaust. After Poland was liberated, WIZO delegates went there to report on the conditions of Jewish orphans, many of whom had been shielded from the Nazis in convents. Some worried about the possible effect the orphans’ stay with the nuns had yielded on their Jewish mindsets.
, and ads for prospective directors promptly went out in newspapers all over the country. The destiny of Hadassim was now in her hands.Myzel (WIZO fundraising director) that would find and elect a married couple to head their new school in Israel. The task of choosing the right couple would rest with Hanna Porat (WIZO treasurer and Israel’s first female attorney) and Miriam Ben Ginosar), Rosa Nahalal (director of the WIZO School of Agriculture in Myzel Israel), Dr. Hanna Eretz (chairwoman of WIZO KaganThe Normandy Effect paved the way for the Holocaust-Children Effect. In February of 1945, the chairwoman of World WIZO, Hadassah Samuel, led a founding committee consisting of Rachel
Zion (Lovers of Zion) at the age of eighteen, owing to her indefatigable dedication to the Jewish nation.Chovevei was born in 1883 in Grodno, in Russian Lithuania. She was enthralled with the Zionist idea as early as high school, where she was elected head of MyzelHanna
, in France (where she graduated cum laude). Her hierarchy of values consequently reflected the subservience of theory to practice: she believed strongly that one had to master the hoe and the pruning-hook before using a microscope.Besançon, in Switzerland, were intensely practice-oriented, as was her tenure at the faculty of natural sciences at the University of Niederlenz Israel. Her studies in a boarding school in Eretz e believed women were equally capable of confronting harsh conditions, if only they had the right preparation. She was thus at the early vanguard of what later became a central pioneering tenet, characterized by intense commitment to agricultural science as a precondition for the successful settlement of ShWhen she began university she chose Agriculture, a field not especially brimming with women in those days, especially not Jewish women. Her steadfast nature bristled at the notion that women weren’t built for the difficult tests confronting Palestinian settlers.
(The Sea of Galilee).Kinneret. She had already been acquainted, years earlier, with the poet Rachel, my aunt; their early encounter would ultimately have a formative influence on both of them, each a central figure of Zionism in its pioneering stage. Now Rachel became Hanna’s first pupil. She joined the farm, abandoning her philosophical and esthetic studies in Italy. She would later memorialize this period of her life in her poem, “Our Garden,” which she dedicated to Hanna. Both of them also helped found another farm, this one for young girls in the Blumenfeld farm, the first Jewish settlement in the lower Galilee, where she proved her farming skills. In 1910, she planted olive and almond trees on Mount Carmel with fellow agronomist Sejera after her graduation, in 1909, and joined the rtly shoHanna immigrated to Israel
during their interview for the Hadassim post.Shapirah success had been their insistence on grounding every student in a daily ritual of labor. This last was a point she remembers discussing with Rachel and Jeremiah Hadassim’sNear the end of the sixties, when I interviewed Hanna for my biography of Rachel, she told me that the root of
” Hanna continued.Zionism ,“The ethos of labor embodied in the pioneers of the second and third emigration secured the viability of
I disagreed. “This ethos diluted the intellectual strain in the Son’s Generation.”
School in 1924, and Hanna was thus a natural candidate to get the ball rolling with the second of WIZO’s educational institutions in Israel.Nahalal. Eventually, with some help from the WIZO and the Zionist directorate, she was able to do it; World WIZO, along with WIZO Canada, agreed to fund the Nahalal“That strain only made it harder for the Jewish nation to survive,” she insisted. After the war, Hanna continued to work tirelessly toward her dream, her life-project: a girls’ agricultural school in
received Rachel and Jeremiah’s joint curriculum vitae; the following are excerpts, beginning with Jeremiah’s personal statement:MyzelOn April 16, 1945, Dr. Hanna
We are honored to include details pertaining to our preparation and pedagogical experience, per your request in our conversation of March, 18th, when Rachel and I initially came to interview for the head positions in the forthcoming WIZO school.
; none of us was particularly satisfied with what passed for education in our town, so we aimed to establish a new learning institution, with new pedagogical foundations, that would also prepare students for working life in the country.Katabursky legacy included both me and Rachel Schwabe’s), a great movement dedicated to steering youth towards pioneering and self -actualization. The nucleus of teachers that breathed the edifying air of Haolim Machanot “Scout Legion” (later known as the Schwabe’s neighborhood, near Jerusalem. Throughout that period, I also took an active role in Professor TalpiotI received my education and training at the Teacher’s Seminary in Jerusalem, during the years 1922-1927, and spent the following year, 1928-1929, teaching for a school in the
to our hearts. Both of us were accepted there as teachers for the elementary school; I was twenty -six at the time, and she, twenty-four.ose Youth Village, then only two years old. It remains cl ShemenIn order to fully prepare for that future venture, we left our teaching jobs in Jerusalem to join a community that was more in line with our educational vision. That community was the Ben
our home. Three of our colleagues have since left, but we have stayed.Shemen – all of these positive factors inclined us to make Ben Schwabe (the elementary school and village coordinator), who we considered to represent the ideals we had absorbed from Polani still radiated with all the energy of the pioneering project. Its fresh educational atmosphere, the personalities of its leaders, Dr. Lehmann (the director) and especially comrade ShemenIn those days, Ben
took the school director position. Today, the youth village equals the largest institutions in the country (for ages 15-16) in terms of its population and scope of interests. I have also been a member of the school’s general committee since 1933. I’ll mention only some of the activities that have come under my care in that time: (A) supervising the worker’s group – including all instructors and caretakers – on both pedagogical and practical levels; (B) chairing pedagogical councils; (C) helping the children form their social activities, frames of reference and self-direction; (D) tending to the everyday habits of the children in all aspects of their lives; (E) directing cultural activities (holidays, shows, musical activity, Saturday programs, et cetera); (F) Counseling other teachers regarding problematic children; (G) basic administrative work, like hiring and managing personnel; communicating with parents; dealing with housing questions, and the like; (H) Organizing student work schedules and facilities, and managing the farm.Katabursky left, comrade PolaniIn 1933, the youth village directorship passed into my hands, and in 1936, after comrade
As I said before, these were only a part of my overall duties.
, one dedicated to the upbringing of new immigrants and troubled youth, needed someone with a medical background that incorporated the new psychology. Thus, I eventually enrolled in psychology study – on a part-time basis for two years and then full time during a one- year sabbatical -- with the psychoanalyst Dr. Hirsh in Jerusalem, and at the psychoanalytical institute founded by the late Dr. Eitingon57. I also grounded myself in the relevant scholarship during this three year period.ShemenI also came to believe that an institution like Ben
, twelve of them in leadership positions (nine for Rachel). Our energies and creative passions have been bound up with this community; indeed, we were active partners in it from the beginning, spiritually and physically. And what we have given, we have received in equal measure.ShemenAll told, we’ve spent sixteen years in Ben
hands. Now, with the desperate demand of rising institutions for experienced, pedagogically grounded educators, a demand that can only accelerate with the growing population of émigrés, we believe our talents are more needed than ever.wnNow we begin to feel the need for a new project, to fashion something anew with our o
For all the above reasons, we offer ourselves for the directorship of the new institute. Once our candidacy is accepted in principle, however, there will surely be other issues requiring further clarification.
Rachel added a note of her own to Jeremiah’s letter:
Youth Village.Shemen has already described the shared road we have treaded. It remains for me to add my own educational credentials, to elaborate on the method of action and experience I have accumulated over the last sixteen years at the Ben ShapirahComrade
.Polani. Starting in 1930, I worked at the youth village together with a core group of instructors who viewed themselves as pioneers in the realm of education. As the youth village was then a small institution in its initial gestation, our group was involved in every sphere of the children’s commune, under the leadership of comrade ShapirahAfter finishing my studies at the teacher’s seminary in 1925, I dedicated one year’s work to the youth movement already mentioned by comrade J.
departure from the village, I was promoted to director of the school, which under my watch grew to encompass eight grades (certified by the department of education [part of the national board]) and two advanced years, the ninth and tenth grades, in addition to a special preparatory class for new immigrants.Polani’sUp until 1936 I had worked purely as an instructor. In 1937, following comrade
In total, the school now has 330 children and twenty teachers working full and part time.
In 1934, I took a year’s sabbatical for advanced study in England, where I studied psychology and also had the special privilege to attend the new high institute for education in London. In the course of that year I also surveyed many of the most recent educational institutions.
With the exception of that research sabbatical, I only took two short vacations during the last decade, one in 1939 and the other in 1942, both of them also geared toward further preparation and advancement in my field. Thus I have a deep appreciation both for the techniques of pedagogy and the science of psychology.
I see my main role of school director as comprising the establishment and maintenance of a standard methodology, on firm pedagogical and psychological foundations. I attend to the other teachers according to the newest methods; I look after their instructional tendencies, with the goal of creating the proper educational atmosphere for the children.
School is one of the few in the country cited as a model for the new mode of teaching.ShemenRather than taking this opportunity to lecture on method, I will only mention that the Ben
My current focus is on the integration of a curriculum encompassing ten grades, using the teaching method I have aimed at. At the end of my tenure, I intend to present my record for evaluation before this country’s leading educational institutions.
I have done my best to relate the scope and essence of my role in the project I have dedicated myself to, one which I consider to have been my greatest blessing58.
B. The Endeavor to Shape a Chosen People
(“Pioneer”) movement.Hechalutz, after the two had escaped there from a POW camp in Siberia at the end of WWI. They had begun a school for war orphans there, in addition to starting a local branch of the Vetka in Russia, in Dinur and Schwabe had already met Kagan Seminary’s principal, who taught Jewish History and was also close to Ben -Gurion.59 Rachel Hakerem Beit, Dinur, the head of the Classical Studies department at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and with Professor Ben-Zion Schwabe. But there were other, seemingly more qualified candidates. In order to come to a final decision, they met with Professor Moshe Shapirah) liked Rachel and Jeremiah MyzelThe foundation board members (under Hanna
– but also reverberate across the whole generation that will ultimately build the Jewish state, something we can expect to happen quickly, within our lifetimes. A Jewish state will only endure with the right character, if its citizens are a people of virtue. Despite the many disputes I have with Ben-Gurion – especially on role of Israeli Arabs in a future state – both of us agree on this one overriding issue: the State of Israel ought to be the modern Athens. If you appoint Rachel and Jeremiah to head your village, they will have the power to achieve that vision, an enterprise of unique importance today.”its elf will be able to direct the youth village towards that ideal. It will not only benefit the particular students under their wing – a worthy result in Shapirah, Hanna and her board, means the full stimulation of those inner abilities. The educator must peer into the child’s soul and discover its contents rather than merely project into it his schematic models of study. Youth ought to be nourished against the shifting sensibilities and trends of any given era. “I believe that it is possible to grow ideas in Man’s heart. The youth must be brought to a state of chaos before ascending to creation. In youth lies humanity’s opportunity to build a new world, during that period when the young first begin to enter that immense social apparatus. Jeremiah and Rachel Kagan would now remind Schwabe and others in Siberia, premised on one essential: the cultivation of the unseen and inherent talents of youth. Education, Dinur to the principles of education that he had crystallized along with Kagan had introduced Rachel Schwabe, VetkaIn
.Shapirahs, and they chose in favor of the Schwabe – were captivated by Moshe KaganAll the board members – especially Rachel
arrived from Germany later, in 1925, to join the Hebrew University, which would first open its doors that very year. Rachel saw a true mentor in him and the two had since enjoyed a close relationship.Schwabe” that inaugurated the third Russian wave of émigrés, subsequent to the war. Ruslan had come to Israel in 1919, on the ship “KaganRachel
mind.Schwabe’s became the primary spiritual guide for the village of Hadassim when the village first opened its doors. Its educational character was indeed subject to him, until his death in 1956. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that Rachel and Jeremiah were his spiritual children – the children of Schwabe among them. Katabursky and his future wife Rachel Shapirah, of course; his ideas spread far and wide, influencing a whole generation of idealistic youth in the Jerusalem of the twenties and thirties, Jeremiah Kagan impact wasn’t limited to Rachel Schwabe’sMoshe
C. The Spiritual Leader
n Der Saale, in the German province of Saxony. His father was an assimilated Jew, an animal trader who gave his four children the highest general education that could be mustered in their little town. At the age of ten, in elementary school, he was already displaying his prodigious memory, reading extended pieces by heart. By the age of twelve, during his first year of study in his classical gymnasium, he was already correcting his teacher’s Greek. It was an experience that later converted him to Plato’s theory of knowledge by reminiscence, and suggested to him that he had been an Athenian philosopher in a former incarnation -- perhaps even Plato.A was born in 1889, in Halle SchwabeHans Max
was that the educational process is significantly enriched when integrated with man’s everyday survival activity – an insight that would later redound to our benefit at Hadassim, combining our study with ritual labor, two hours daily in elementary school and three in high school.SchwabeHe also specialized in Graphology, attaining high levels in the art; he was purported to have once proven, to his friends, that he could deduce the sexual habits of the owner of any given handwriting sample. His father died while he was still at the gymnasium, and as the eldest son he was obliged to support the family as a tutor. Amazingly, he quickly became famous around town for his teaching acumen, and his services were more and more in demand as time wore on. The lesson in all this for
Free Youth credo lived in his bones as spiritual godfather to Hadassim, just as it had already penetrated deeply into the Jeremiahs’ mindsets in the twenties.Schwabe’s (a Hadassim founder and assistant director), Aharoni Drora would carry these values with him to Israel. According to Schwabe grew to be part of the German Free Youth movement, which wore the banner of freeing the youth from the bonds of traditional family and rigid academic discipline. It preached an organic, nature-loving creed, leaning on an outdoor education of music and dance. Schwabe Halle ,In
and believed with her in the direct participation of workers versus the supremacy of the party vanguard. He would later update that same critique to Israel’s educational system and the subordination of students to teachers – maintaining that students should reach their own decisions on matters of curriculum and academic life. As far as Rachel Jeremiah was concerned, it was an idea whose time had come.Bolshevism , He was twenty years old. Meanwhile, Berlin’s intellectual life had drawn him toward various radical socialist circles, wherein his world view really began to crystallize. His ideological flame was especially lit by Rosa Luxemburg, the Jewish matron of the radical wing of the German Social Democratic Party. He adopted her critique of his doctorate in Philosophy, in the year 1910.eived rec SchwabeAfter his marriage to Judith, a wealthy older woman (a welcome change to his financial state), . Malendorf Wilmovitch family moved to Berlin so that he could study at the finest high school there, under the greatest classical philologist of the age, Ulrich Von SchwabeWhen he was old enough, the
would use the cover of a teaching position as an alibi; the Russian government was treating German radicals with ever growing hostility, much of it anti-Semitic -- it was clear that many had come to join the resistance -- and Russian intelligence even suspected that the German state had been subsidizing these provocateurs.Schwabe, an erstwhile pupil of Luxembourg at the University of Zurich during the 1880s. Loncharesky Vassilievitch Anatol to spread revolutionary propaganda in then Czarist Russia. His contact man there was the Russian linguist SchwabeIn 1914, Rosa Luxembourg sent
eventually tapped his resources in Germany to have him transferred to a POW camp, and even helped him get his hands on a German-Russian study book, which he evidently swallowed up in no time.60Loncharesky, reveal that his teacher was initially arrested in the round-up of alien revolutionaries and sent as a “civil prisoner” for compulsory work in the earth-swallowing Siberian marshes. Hantka students, Jonathan Schwabe’s. Biographical notes left by one of War reat and others, with their German connections, were better off than their Russian comrades at the break of the G SchwabeNevertheless,
of the historical justice of Zionism, and teach him Hebrew.Schwabe who would convince Dinur, the Russian-Jewish historian61. He had been sent to the camp on suspicion of revolutionary activity, along with the renowned Jewish conductor Hermann Scherchen62 (who had just finished a concert series with the Petersburg Orchestra at the onset of the war), a suspected German spy. It was Dinur together with Ben-Zion Schwabe, his daughter, tells us that his stay at the camp brought SpiraMira
would hold to the values of the German Free Youth, which originated in the breakup of German social institutions following the industrial revolution. Its rebellious attitude fit them well – a rebellion of youth against arbitrary family discipline and inauthentic social and cultural values, on behalf of truth, simplicity and nature. To this mix of sensibilities they added the principle of personal actualization, which they thought was indispensable to the task of restoring human values.They Goldstein (husband to the poet Rachel’s sister, and father of the pianist Ella Goldstein), saw it with his own eyes, and by his account the level of discourse at this “school” was such that some of the prisoners blessed their own captivity. The triad of professors also took to brainstorming on the proper education for the new generation, the intellectual mechanism they would help forge to prevent future outbreaks of world-consuming wars. In the end, they believed the rigid discipline of their day had severely purged their contemporaries of their critical habits, preparing them instead for unwavering obedience in battle. They agreed that academics should be stressed less heavily than freedom, creativity and reflection; that it was well not to underscore military history and martial virtues, to stray quite deliberately from the tradition that venerated generals.63 Uriel triad, undertook to exploit their internment in a rather unlikely fashion: educating their fellow prisoners -- lecturing them daily on history, philosophy and music. My uncle, the violinist SchwabeThe three of them, the
Schwabe was a Jewish anarchist with a rare charm. It was an experience of a singular kind to hear him talk. He had the rare cultural depth to be able to spot connections between seemingly unrelated subjects. But more fundamentally, everything was part of one whole system to him, and therefore everything intertwined and interacted – despite appearances to the contrary. The intellectual’s role, according to him, was to trace those connections in order to recognize the whole – and then act on it. He was forever beset with worshippers who drank his words in like they were water.
“The true heroes,” he used to say, “are the intellectuals -- not the swordsmen and politicians; the prophet Samuel -- not King Saul; the Greek poet Homer -- not the Greek knight Achilles; the Athenian philosopher, Plato -- not Leonidas, king of Sparta; the German poet Johan Wolfgang Goethe -- and not Otto von Bismarck!”
personality contained inner tensions, as with every revolutionary; a new establishment would need to replace the old when revolution had come and gone, and someone would have to be there to enact it.Schwabe’s utterly worshipped Napoleon, because he saw him as one of the few in history who understood the true nature of war. SchwabeOn the other hand,
was a utopian through and through, and as with any utopian he was capable of stirring processes but not building systems.SchwabeOn the question of such establishment,
Dinur (“The Pioneer”) movement. Word of their activities soon spread far and wide, from one end of Russian Jewry to the other and stirred much excitement.Hechalutz, six hundred kilometers northeast of Moscow, where they founded a Hebrew school on the bedrock of their new principles. They re-opened the offices of the Zionist Organization (they had closed down during the war), and installed a new branch of the Vetka notes tell us that, after a year or so, the three of them escaped to Spira’s seemed to turn every Jew he met in Siberia into a Zionist. He believed it possible, with the right education, to establish a brave new communist world in Israel. Miriam
triad. As it turned out, she ended up befriending them, and in later years they would figure heavily in her deliberations on the issues that would confront WIZO.Schwabe to witness for herself the goings -on of the Vetka had been a central figure of Zionist activism in Odessa, especially in the realms of education and social welfare, and she would now travel to KaganRachel
library in Jerusalem, now preserved in the National Library.) But before he left, he agreed to serve as a conduit between the revolution in Russia and the new revolution soon to be launched in Germany.Schwabe’s copy of Sophocles, his parting gift, in his pocket. (The very same book now sits in Locharesky’s declined the offer and headed west, with Schwabe, and his immediate ambition was to organize large -scale immigration to Israel from Germany. The lure of Germany, the lure of his wife who he now hadn’t seen for three years, was too great. Dinur had embraced the full sweep of Zionism during his three years with Schwabe to head the adult-education division at the ministry. Though somewhat tempted by this, Schwabe. The minister was particularly impressed by the Siberian prisoners’ revolutionary enthusiasm, and he offered Vetka educational successes in the prison camp and in Schwabe’s, now the first communist minister of education, who by now had heard all about Loncharesky, now properly liberated, found his way to Moscow and met with the revolutionary victors: the same cause he had originally been sent to support now held the reins of government. There he reunited with SchwabeWith the Communist revolution at the twilight of 1917, and the Bolshevik colossus looming large, the old Siberian prisoners found themselves free again and fugitives no longer feared capture.
, in Bavaria. There, he found himself joining ranks with Jewish journalist Kurt Eisner, and embraced his revolution as minister of education in his new “Socialist Republic”. Yehuda Levy, one of his future disciples in the “Scout Legion” in Jerusalem, would later write about this tumultuous episode:München League 65 of Karl Liebknecht and his old mentor, Rosa Luxemburg, accompanying her to Spartacists never went there in person; he had already thrown himself into the mix of movements clamoring for an end to war. Running head on into that whirlpool, he entered the Schwabe, then the capital of newly independent Lithuania64, but Kovno had returned to Berlin, where according to his daughter he now turned his focus to Jewish emigration. That process would soon pulsate strongly from SchwabeBy 1918,
became the minister of education. He once showed me a copy of the official government newspaper where his educational dictates were once displayed for all and sundry. Still, he was a pacifist to the bone; his heart was as far as can be imagined from violence and bloodshed. He was an unswerving idealist who believed education had the power to give rise to a new world.”Schwabe,” and when the young separatist group attained power at the end of WWI Spartacists on us, you need to know more about him. His was among the core of the revolutionary “affect“In order to truly grasp the secret of his
and communist government isn’t clear to me, but apparently he was important to them, since his role was central. Still, he wasn’t connected with their propaganda organs, he wasn’t a spokesman – he had no part in demagoguery or “connections”. He was raised to the revolutionary limelight by his moral and intellectual character alone.”Spartacists the wit h“How all of that had anything to do
, made him his deputy.”66Rozenboum, and two children. There the education minister, Yehudit with his wife, Kovno escaped back to Russia, only to be horror - struck by how badly the revolution had gone there. “You can’t build a new world on human corpses.” Sensing he no longer belonged, he grew a beard and snuck back far into Siberia where no one would trouble him, somehow finding his way to Schwabe once told me that he began keeping a revolver curled up on the corner of his desktop -- a revealingly blasé manner of dealing with the prospect of an attack. When the government fell in due course, Schwabe“Soon there were stirrings of a counterrevolution.
was quickly recognized as the philosopher and educational man of action that he was. He laid the foundation stones for democratic education. “He explained to us again and again that true democracy can’t exist without democratic education.”Schwabe. Moshe told me that Shiponi. One of the teachers under him at the Gymnasium was my uncle, Moshe Hechalutz founded and directed the Hebrew Gymnasium, for which he was both a director and language instructor – he taught Russian, English, Lithuanian, French, Greek and Latin – in addition to leading the Lithuanian branch of the SchwabeIn his new role,
is so distant already. But I don’t know him at all, I’m utterly indifferent towards him…everything is so empty. My mood has changed so much. Everything is so different, now.”67Schwabe had left. It seems she had something of a crush on him. On October 31, she wrote “I’ve felt something strange in the last few days. There’s nothing now that he’s gone – a few days ago, I was lying in bed when suddenly it occurred to me that he seems alien, far from me now, because I no longer love him. And I was right – nothing remains of my love for him. But I don’t regret that, I couldn’t hope for it to be otherwise: I loved him so strongly and yet so hopelessly for three years. That couldn’t endure forever. ‘No,’ I would always tell myself, ‘I don’t love him…or maybe I do…’ until there seemed to be no one else. And everything feels so empty; when I think that I might never find someone else I could love like that, anyone. (I’m not talking about someone like mother or Dinah.) Mr. Schwabe, is the best one at our school.” In October of the same year she noted that Schwabe Gymnasium. Her journal, published in 2005, shows that he was there at least beginning in 1921. In an entry from January 1st, 1924, she writes, “All of the teachers and children in our department are excellent. I love history above all, and our teacher, Schwabe’sThe poet Lea Goldberg was a student in
Ram Campus was always full, the aisles on either side lined with auditors and students, taking their place on the floor, under the windows…Givat building on the MyzerIn 1963, I took a comparative literature course with Lea Goldberg at the Hebrew University. Her lecture hall in the
, was widely acknowledged to be a genius in our university; but he was actually the material epitome of his grandfather’s ideal – and it appears you are, too, my dear…”Spira Micha where he began to implement it. I was there in his gymnasium. But it was the first decade of Hadassim that really saw the fruit of his work. His four grandchildren all studied there. One of them, Kovno who developed the theory of creative- dialogic education, and it was in my Schwabe Neighborhood in Jerusalem, and we spoke at length about Rachel and the character of her poetry. She asked me where I’d studied, and her expression turned reflective when I mentioned Hadassim. “Hadassim was the life’s fulfillment of the wisest man I ever knew,” She said. “It was Moshe RehaviaShe used a microphone to lecture, her voice soft and subtle. When she heard that the poet Rachel was my grandmother’s sister, and that my mother had tended to her during her sickness, she asked me over to her home in the
, their minds bred with Hebrew and mathematics, and agriculture, too.Afula brought together 140 Ukrainian children orphaned in the pogroms, while the South African Zionist Federation began pitching for money and recruits for the rehabilitation of other such orphans.69 These children would be brought up together in Belkind, in 1923.68 Belkind, founded by a BILU member, Israel Afula in Hamore Givat, rose high in reputation in their day -- especially in the Jewish world, where it took flight in similar projects. One salient and immediate outcome was the youth village near Kovno and Lehmann in Schwabe, and developed by Vetka in Dinur and SchwabeThe democratic principles of education begun with
, a man who disdained strict methods in favor of a radical autonomy combined with a stress on labor and traditional Jewish values.70 He wanted toPugatchov Zalman ShneurIn 1924, the youth village saw the arrival of the educator
68BILU - a group of Jewish idealists who aspired to settle in the land of Israel, with the eventual aim of establishing a national Jewish homeland. More than 2 million Jews fled Russia between 1880 and 1920. The vast majority of them immigrated to the United States, but some decided to immigrate to Israel.Empire . The pogroms of 1881-1884, along with the anti -Semitic "May Laws" issued by Tsar Alexander III in 1882, prompted a mass emigration of Jews from the Russian
(the founder) and the rest of the workers which led him to retire from the village.BelkindXXX “educate a new man, who will subordinate his private needs to the collective, whose heart will awaken to everything good,” but what he perceived at the village was orthodox discipline – and an even more orthodox distrust of wild, uproarious children. His educational plan wasn’t uniformly accepted, as there were teachers who clearly departed from his ideas. Ultimately, their hostility sabotaged his programs, and that set the stage for a heated clash between Israel
watch.Schwabe’s, directors bred under Moshe Shapirah packed his bags and the youth village closed its doors, partly on account of built-up acrimony over various disputes, partly for lack of money. 71 That failure teaches us that one idealist isn’t enough, that an educational community of this kind requires an idealistic directorship, one fully prepared to tread an idealistic path. It took twenty years, but the right leaders were eventually found: Rachel and Jeremiah PugatchovAt the dawn of the thirties, then,
took part in the university’s opening ceremonies on Mt. Scopus and soon begun his teaching there, simultaneously founding his Scout Legion, where he would preside over the trajectories of Rachel and Jeremiah.Schwabe sailed with his whole family to Egypt, and from there traveled to Israel through the Sinai, in Moses’ footsteps. He had accepted the invitation to teach Greek and Latin at the Hebrew University, which was set to open within a year. SchwabeIn 1924,
made some initial remarks about the opening of the new village, and proceeded to inform everyone that the first order of business was finding an especially capable person to direct the village. Never before had there been anything like this educational project, she reminded them, just as there had never been Holocaust survivors to heal and bring up anew: merely “good” people would not do, though there was room for doubt whether anyone they could find would measure up to the task at hand. Nevertheless, it was a national priority that the Hadassim project should succeed in the end.Kagan and Dr. Lehmann. 72 Rachel Dinur in his office at the university, along with Schwabe founding board members would meet with Hadassim’sYears later,
had brought them over one day to meet her and her roommate, the poet Rachel.Schwabe St. in Jerusalem. Hanevi’im remembered them back from when she lived on Kagan. Jeremiah has been no less successful directing the youth commune there.” Rachel Shemen in mind for the mission. “I know them two well. Their presence was a salient one in the Teacher - Scout group, which was active within my Scout Legion in Jerusalem. Rachel is a first rate educator, and has done wonders with the school at Ben Shapirahs who suggested appointing a married couple, both of them educational experts, and he had clearly had the SchwabeThey agreed that one director would never suffice for the community; it was simply impossible to really excel in one field without losing ground in others, and the requirements of the present project demanded talent of unique breadth as well as depth. It was Professor
teacher seminary) opined that a show of hands was required for the selection, to honor the absent voices of Holocaust survivors, who would have no say in this one way or the other.Hakerem Beit (now at the Dinur in the event they were appointed to Hadassim. At that point, Professor Shapirahs assessment, and added that he would regret losing the Schwabe’sDr. Lehmann concurred with
were finally awarded their posts.Shapirah several months of vacillation by the board, Rachel and Jeremiah After newspaper. Thus, Rachel and Jeremiah applied for the post without ever knowing their names had already been mentioned in the first place.73 HaaretzThe Board members agreed in principle to hire joint directors, a married couple, for Hadassim, and after some additional consultation it was decided to advertise for “experienced educators” in the
D. Jeremiah Shapirah
Shavuot74-- spheres in which Rachel was less involved.Leil Tikun Israel in the eighteenth century. The connection of Jeremiah to Hassidism’s renovators and leaders partly explains the attention he gave to the artistic aspect of life, expressed in dancing and singing and in the celebration of Israel’s holidays at Hadassim – like Eretz, his only sister, was born seven years later. His grandfather had arrived with the wave of Hassidic immigration to Malka. Shapirah in 1904, the elderly son of Rabbi Moses and Judith SafedJeremiah was born in
Israel and its culture remain enveloped in a way that could only have been Jeremiah’s bequest.Eretz–Israel explains his root-firm attitude towards its people, land, and culture; a rootedness he transmitted to all of us. Even for those of us now living abroad, the sense of Eretz of Jeremiah’s lineage in seatednessEven his mother, Judith, was a fifth generation Israeli, a daughter of a family that long emigrated from Austria but kept their Austrian passport s to ensure the protection of the Austrian consulate in Israel. The deep-
grew up practically fatherless most of the time. Jeremiah began study at Heder75 at the age of three, and from an early age had to help support the family: cash flow was light during his father’s travels abroad, and he would provide enough only for basic needs upon his return visits. Jeremiah learned from early childhood the meaning of the phrase, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat bread”76 -- without work there is no life. He applied this lesson at Hadassim, structuring daily work -duties for students.Malka Hassidic community for gathering contributions from Diaspora Jewish communities. Jeremiah and Safed’s was the delegate in ShapirahRabbi
, as there was no other way for her and the children to survive the hunger and pestilence -- he would surly die, but she must save his seed. Judith begged that he should go with them. He denied her wish, insisting that he would stay with his community for better or worse.Safed to stay with distant relatives in Austria. Judith had urged strongly against her husband’s decision, that he was leading her to her grave, but he refused to have any of it and nearly tossed her from Malka Israel. But in 1917 a typhus plague hit the city, and Rabbi Moses, against his wife’s protests, sent her and the twelve year old Jeremiah and five year old EretzDuring the First World War the family suffered hunger, as did the majority of the Jewish settlement in
sat unmoved at his bedside night and day.Malka hospital, HashomerJudith and her two children wandered on the roads, from Israel to Syria then Turkey, and from there on a train to Vienna through the Balkans. Austria had taken fantastic tolls in the war, so their relatives weren’t happy to attend to uninvited guests from Israel. It soon transpired that Judith herself had contracted typhus; she was hospitalized in a convent, refused to eat un-kosher food and died because of it. Then Jeremiah got the disease, consigned to the same convent. During his long weeks of sickness, as he hung between life and death, his six year old sister sat on the convent stairs, praying for his recovery, as he was now to her as a father and mother. Forty years later, when Jeremiah lay dying from cancer in the Tel
spent several days on the jail’s stairs, nourished by the small trails of leftover food given to her by the guards, until her brother’s release.MalkaJeremiah recovered in the convent, and with his sister in hand wandered through an Austrian winter among snowy villages – until they reached an orphan kids’ camp. The boy Jeremiah showed leadership, organizing in work teams his young fellows, disparate subjects of a starved Hapsburg empire, searching and stealing food from sundry villages. Once, digging the earth for potatoes, they were caught by the police. Jeremiah, only thirteen and the leader, went to prison. Again,
.Safed from the Fein family. The two agreed that she would give her daughter from her first marriage for adoption, and that should his children successfully return from Europe they would be raised by his sisters in Hamaala Yesud widowed cowgirl from a, married Golda, Safed dream in Hadassim with her help. Moses returned to Vetka in Vetka.77 They couldn’t know then that his son, Jeremiah, would go on to realize the Dinnur and Schwabe about the educational project of Shapirah” – as it happens, the very ship that took Rachel Cogan, one of the women who would later help found Hadassim, to Israel. They met on board, and she told Rabbi Ruslan h for them in Austria. Unable to locate them, he heard a rumor that they’d reached Russia, followed them eastward and got stuck in the revolution. He continued to search after them in Russia to no avail, then, in 1919, returned to Israel by the ship “searcThe war was over in November of 1918. Learning of his wife’s death and his children’s wandering trials; he crossed the ocean to
.Dinnur Seminar. The history teacher there was Ben Zion erem Hak Beit disappointment from his father’s ill-treatment was so immense that Jeremiah became an atheist, and moved to study in the t he e next two years the children shared the family’s labor in the fields; by the end, agricultural work was burnt into their personalities. At sixteen, Jeremiah decided to return with his sister to Israel. He hired himself out for day-labor to other farmers, saved money, and bought two ship tickets. In 1920, when he was sixteen and his sister nine, they returned to Israel. To their disappointment they discovered that their father had remarried and wouldn’t take them in. Jeremiah studied for a short while in a Yeshiva, then moved to Jerusalem and studied in a Mizrachi78 Seminary for religious teachers. But thIn reality, Jeremiah and his sister had actually arrived in Holland, not Russia. A family of Dutch farmers adopted them, and during
, my uncle. The two became very good friends, and Jeremiah told him the story of his wanderings in Europe. When it was decided to send me to Hadassim, my uncle shared them with me, telling me, “Europe toughened Jeremiah. Don’t start anything with him!”ShiponiOne of the students at the seminar was Moshe
“The tougher someone is, the more he interests me,” I answered. “I feel that Jeremiah and I will become friends.”
My Uncle looked at me with smiling eyes, not saying a word.
and alone - all over the country. Rachel was angry because of the risk involved. Jeremiah calmed her down: “Traveling from Austria to Holland is much more risky.”Lavi” myth as the theme of an educational project I wanted to initiate at Hadassim. For the sake of this project I proposed to travel – with Gideon HeiYears later, when I was fifteen, I raised with Jeremiah the issue of the “Lamed
E. Rachel Katabursky Shapirah
, were dedicated Zionists. The town was situated on an island in the river that historically divided Germany, Poland and Russia -- a tenuous fault line that had once again changed hands.Katabursky. Her parents, Ben-Zion and Esther BrestovRachel was born in 1906, in the Ukrainian town of
his temporary headquarters in 1812, when he first pierced through the borders of Russia. Half of the town’s population was Jewish, the other half Ukrainian. The Jews mostly stuck to the area surrounding the Polish estate which had long ago owned the municipality. By the 20th century, however, the only thing left of it was its past -- its legends, its ancient gardens and trails which had long impregnated youthful fancies. Rachel would remember those gardens when it came time to build Hadassim, endeavoring to reconstruct a similar atmosphere for the children.BrestovNapoleon had made
Tzadikim.79 Yet it was this very idealism, rare though it was – the idealism of Rachel’s faculty team -- that lay behind the success of the Hadassim experiment.Vav did the same for us in the forties and fifties. The subordination of private to public is rare, rare enough that Judaism insists on ascribing it to the worthy few, the Lamed ptly owned a local grocery store, but it barely even subsisted alongside her father’s Zionist enterprise, which mostly consisted of treating their profits as fodder for charity. Without a doubt, Ben-Zion was an idealist: common good would always trump private interest. It was a trait he handed down well to Rachel, who in turn demanded it of her teachers at Hadassim, who of course prom KataburskysThe
and Kibbutzim. Such encounters were inevitably going to shape Rachel’s character. Indeed, the idea of participating in the Zionist apogee in Israel would occupy her from a very young age.Moshavim occasionally played host to visitors from Israel, who would tell of the settlements and new Katabursky’s Ha’am81 and Bialik82. The Ahad plans for immigration brewed, and idealism at its most innocent was the essence of every waking hour. They discussed the ideas of Herzl80 and read from held, household, a place that served as the hub of Zionist activity. Meetings were KataburskyHebrew was the primary language in the
(“Culture”) School, where, again, Hebrew was primary. She was active from the get-go in the town’s Zionist youth movement, taking to the streets with her friends and posting signs that read “Speak Hebrew” around the Jewish neighborhoods. She wrote a play about the land of Israel which was performed in town, with profits going to help holy land emigrants. When she was done with elementary school, her father sent her to learn English in Rovno – it was a common assumption then that English would be the formal language of Israel – where she also joined a pioneer training group.TarbutIt was natural then, that Rachel study at the
, followed her to Israel shortly thereafter.Bluma seminaries. She was seventeen. Her mother and sister, Hakerem BeitBen-Zion died in 1920, but not before stipulating in his will that his family immigrate to Israel. And it wasn’t long afterwards, in 1923, that Rachel fulfilled her end of the contract, leaving with the rest of her Rovno pioneer group. She eventually settled in with her aunts in Jerusalem and began study at the Mizrachi83 and
and other seminary colleagues.Meyuchas for the first time. Influenced by his ideas and persona, the three of them founded the Scouts Legion and Teacher-Scout group with Joseph Schwabe met Shiponi that she met Jeremiah. In 1925, Rachel, Jeremiah and Moshe Hakerem BeitIt was in
School .” Shemen himself. The dialogue on the fundamentals of human behavior and education took primarily place between them, and she would later apply the concepts she’d mastered to her oversight of the Ben Schwabe intuition or analysis that appealed to her. Rationalism idealism put her far above the others in the Scout Legion, second only to Schwabe’s recounts: “Unlike Jeremiah, Rachel was a rationalist. It wasn’t ShiponiMoshe
Drora she didn’t behave like a “schoolmaster” – toward the students or the other teachers. If she stepped into a messy classroom she wouldn’t start preaching about cleanliness – she would take hold of a broom and sweep. Her comportment with respect to her faculty team was respectful brand of stewardship: she taught, influenced, conversed -- and they would go her way. Rachel was a rational-dialogic type.”consciousness,, her assistant in Hadassim, remembers her: “Rachel was very wise and caring woman, and she was extremely devoted to what she felt was her mission in life. I learned a great deal from her, including the elements of what I now see as my professional attitude. She showed me what not to do, and how to change direction when things went awry. She had no trace of a class Aharoni
F. The Scout Legion
In 1925, Rachel and Jeremiah entered the seminary for teachers in Jerusalem, subsidizing their study by enlisting as coordinators for the original Boy Scout movement 84, an institution drawn on British lines at the beginning of the Mandate. The scouts were mainly focused on football, uniforms and ties, drills and exercises, ropes, nature excursions and campfire songs. It was more or less the same with all the branches across the country. The purpose of the institution was to keep the kids busy after school to allow the parents some leisure.
woods.85 Yehuda Halevy, one of the students, remembers that first encounter.Shneller, so one day he approached him. ‘How, indeed, does a man like you, who came here straight from the university – how is it even possible for an intellectual like you to be standing on the sidelines?’ Moshe suggested to him that he might want to look into the local scout units and convinced him to meet with us. He came out with us one evening in the Kovno educational work in Schwabe’s, who was in our circle at the time, had already known all about Shiponi: “Moshe Schwabe about ed learn, later a legion deputy-head, remembers how he first Meyuchas had landed in Jerusalem and stirred up something of a revolution, to boot. Joseph SchwabeBy the end of 1925,
woods, our smoke hurling up the sky as we yelled and yawped in youthful glory, a peculiar man snuck into our circle. He began introducing himself and asking questions –SchnelerOne evening, after we’d already stolen and gathered up all the barrels in the neighborhood and started a bonfire in the
comments and sharp-edged questions of our own back at him. But he played along, treating our responses as if they hadn’t really been directed at him personally. You would say something that clearly sounded like it meant ‘alright – you can go away now…’ and he would just play off it and continue the conversation. ‘Okay,’ he would say, ‘you think so, eh? Let’s see where that thought takes us.’ It made you careful to keep your comments deliberate, not arbitrary. It seemed more and more like there was something special in his attitude.aleky‘What are you doing here’ et cetera – and at first we thought he was just another teacher, so we sort of shrugged him off dismissively and yelled smart-
Woods.Shneller en we planned on another outing, and when no one answered very specifically he made sure to fix the precise time we would get together again in the whThen he started telling us about the youth groups in Germany, the massive movement that centered on singing, on ritual nature trips, on vigorous freedom and liberty. ‘Indeed,’ he told us, ‘the entire host of youthful discoveries, a whole world of self-expression opens up to everyone in their adolescence, and so you, too – all of you – are also beginning to really identify your natures, your true selves, sitting here with each other, enjoying your stolen barrels and campfire.” He kept stressing the word, ‘stolen’, repeating it several times -- but never in an accusatory way, never scolding. He seemed to treat it like it was just ‘self-expression,’ a normal part of being young. At some point he asked us
It was on his second meeting with us that he really started teaching.
He spoke of a power hidden in each of us. We all stood there speechless, as if struck blind by an unbidden yet inexorable truth -- as if ‘America’ had suddenly presented itself to us. We, who were so used to being flip and contemptuous with each other, were suddenly being told that there was something solemn, something untouchable in each of us. He not only lectured, but also bade us speak our minds, fleshing out and developing whatever ideas came out that he found interesting. Many of us began to feel pulled to him; the group that gathered around him that day felt a new content taking shape. It all got started there. Not everyone stuck around; as time wore on, and things began to feel ever less familiar, a few probably didn’t like what they saw and decided it was time for them to move on.
, and it only happened because he wasn’t really part of the scouting consensus at the time. He was an outsider. Soon his influence spread like wildfire, the flames catching on and moving from one lock of youthful hair to the next. Boy of all sorts and places, from all over Jerusalem’s neighborhoods, began swarming to the scouts in unprecedented numbers.86SchwabeWe were only used to the practical kind of scouting at the time, something akin to physical education classes in school. That was the way scouting was done at the time. So our unique departure from this regiment began with
one framework, which he called the ‘Legion’. It was a real thorn in the sides of his contemporary schoolmasters and scout leaders. They went after him with everything they could muster, accusing him of being an anti-Zionist and a youth-corrupting communist.under began reorganizing all the scout units – until then completely separate from the school system – SchwabeWith help from Jeremiah, Rachel and other youth-guides,
analyzed the character of the new youth movement he had consolidated from the old. The Legion was gathered to discuss the campaign of defamation against him in addition to the specific demand that he be expelled from the movement:SchwabeSpeaking before the Legion council in February, 1926,
Israel. ”87Eretz but a way of life based on mutual criticism and understanding; it is also a kind of society, whose ideal is a viable game ,“What we do in our groups is not a
; it really began to crystallize, however, in the Jerusalemite Legion and in his Teacher -Scout group.Kovno and Vetka developed in ShwabeThe principle of ‘education through labor’ was something
The principle would come to full fruition in Hadassim.
part time. And here comes someone who had come all the way from Germany to accept a professorial chair at the university; he descends from Mt. Olympus yet he walks and talks freely amongst us, taking us seriously, raising us up to lofty heights. His earnestness made a deep impression on us Jerusalemite boys. It was inspirational.”orking” in America, all w Hatzair was all but wrapped in a halo in those days; no one had really led the scouts before him – who were those erstwhile leaders, anyway? Graduate students, teachers, government functionaries, all with ties to the “Yehuda Schwabe remembers: “MeyuchasJoseph
What was the secret of his power?
It was conversation. And even in this he differed significantly from others. He had an extraordinary knack for getting young people to talk. He would get 300-400 of them to talk, in huge conferences with the whole assembled legion – he would just line them up around him in a circle, though it felt like he was talking to everyone. He put more emphasis on dialogue within smaller groups, as it would give each person an opportunity, by sheer conversation, to solve his individual and social problems and learn to respect others.
they would all but live on the treasures of those conversations for weeks afterward.andIt was in personal interviews, above all, that he really touched people. Kids would brag about it --‘I have a meeting with Moshe soon!’ --
that would include both collectives and educational settlements. He was certain that only a self- contained, village-oriented educational institution would succeed in building a full, vital knowledge up from the foundation. It was only in such a place that the right teachers could begin to implement his ideals, but, even more, he really hoped to see a whole chain of such institutions. He wanted his educational dream writ large -- a whole society built on the fundament of his educational ideals. Still, it wasn’t something he believed dogmatically; the main thing for him was to see individuals become creators, pushing for their own ideas with fearless devotion…ework fram wanted to promote was self-actualization through pioneer settlement. But his vision involved a larger SchwabeThe central value
ideas to life for us… 88Schwabe’s and bring Shemen first, and the director there was eager to receive them – “We’d love to have you!” he said – but eventually Dr. Lehmann was consulted, and he urged them to aim for something more. It was this group that would pitch their tent in Ben Shfeya Valley). They nurtured the tendency to inaugurate youth villages as new settlements. The group went to Izreel in the Kibbitzim” who would eventually construct uards Legion graduates (in parallel with the “G Schwabe’sThe Teacher-Scout group was founded by
is the individual…Our leadership doesn’t take the form of hierarchical military structures, but originates from self -leadership, though I doubt if a large community can really function without command. Every scout has the right to object to a command – not in the same moment, but the next day. We will hold to what we’ve said, that we want everyone to express themselves as they see fit but still give society its due consideration…we need only observe other societies to see plenty of [undesirable] habits; and we rebelled against those outside values that we could no longer identify with, filling our lives with our own content instead. But some people have concluded that our rejection of those outside values mean we shouldn’t trouble with morals and habits at all, which simply isn’t true. It is imperative that we build things anew – a positive code of conduct. Children always find symbols to express themselves by, so if we want our children to identify with our kind of existence we need our own symbols to help them.89”ation, who eventually married in 1927. During a Legion conference dedicated to educational issues, Rachel was heard to say that “we are something different and apart from the traditional scouts. Uniforms betoken militarism, they say…but our found ShapirahThe main activists in the group were Rachel and Jeremiah
introduced her. “She’s one of the students at the seminary, and she has some startling ideas. But I’ll let her tell you about them herself.” No one had ever seen her before, but they were all looking at her now. “Our times are witnessing a technological revolution that will soon change everything,” she began, “the revolution of record-players and the cinema. It will soon make it possible to introduce our children to the greatest scientists and artists of the age, to their thoughts, their greatest plays and performances, their innermost experiences. Our education will have to adjust accordingly, unless we prefer staying behind our own students. If we can’t be trained to use these new instruments of communication, our values will die with us, since we will then be unable to transmit them to future generations.”Schwabe Goldberg,” Tova home in Jerusalem to discuss future plans. No one had expected to see the beautiful young girl with piercing eyes who greeted them there. “This is Schwabe’sIn 1930, Teacher-Scout leaders met in
My uncle was present at this meeting, and he tells me that everyone was floored by her presentation; these were dedicated educators, yet they were suddenly forced to see themselves as having partaken of the same educational stream our ancestors had used thousands of years ago. “Combining teaching with new technology was an astonishing and revolutionary idea,” he explained to me. “This astonishing seminary student would later turn out to be your friend’s mother – Gideon’s mother. But today she’s made to stay within her hospital bedchambers in Haifa. It’s a sad story.”
“What do you think of her son?” He asked. “He’s obsessed with sports,” I replied.
“That’s a pity. What a waste.” I wasn’t sure if he meant the mother or the son.
between technology and general culture (including educational culture) is one of the factors behind our society’s dangerous instability. The last chapter of this book will try to address this question in depth, and perhaps offer solutions by suggesting how the Hadassim model can be combined with the Gideon Ariel’s bio-mechanical model.This disconnect, “[Hadassim] still doesn’t make use of the relevant educational tools: film, photography, slide projector” Teaching methods all over the world have seemingly lagged behind in the same respect; teachers simply haven’t been able to adjust -- technologies have utterly outpaced the abilities of teachers to adapt and integrate them into the curriculum. Spira Micha was still critical of the lack of technological integration at Hadassim. As he told his grandson, SchwabeMore than twenty years later, Professor
G. “To Restore to Them What They Lost…”
enthusiasm for the project, predictably enough, was a plague on the architect and engineer, who began work immediately,Shapirah’s. Jeremiah wanted the village to be “on the lies of a Swiss village, so that children coming to us on the heels of the Holocaust will find a world as beautiful as the one they remember before the war.” The Hanuns Baron and agreed on construction plans for the youth village, to be built on the Jewish National Fund’s lands between the citrus plantations of Even Yehuda and those of an Arab family, the Zeev and the engineer Averbuch Jenyah as co-directors of Hadassim. The two got in touch with the architect ShapirahAt the end of 1945, the foundation-board appointed Rachel and Jeremiah
had won, of course, as he almost always would: there has never been a greater Jewish politician in the modern era.Gurion was among those who voted against him on this issue. In his maneuvers she saw the writing on the wall for the quality of political discourse in the prospective state. Ben -Kagan Weizmann, president of the Zionist movement, from every single one of his prior posts, and Chaim, at the time head of the Jewish Agency’s social department, was among those dual -attendees. Delegates at the congress were mired in matters of party intrigue; Ben-Gurion, chairman of the Jewish Agency, had successfully carried through the impeachment of KaganIn December of 1946, World WIZO held its eleventh conference in Basel. Scores of Jewish women leaders were gathered for the first time since after WWII. Some of them were also delegates at the 39th Zionist Congress, which was being held simultaneously in Basel.
said, among other things: “Jewish children have survived underground these last few years; they lived like moles, and many of them remained illiterate, their childhood lost, their personalities collapsed. Most of them lost their joy for life and their trust in their fellow man; and yet without such trust, life loses its value! Without such trust, we will never build a state! Not one that won’t succumb to corruption, in any case. It is therefore our national, historical and human trust to compensate them, to restore to them what was lost. Never has there been a national project of such magnitude, never in all of history! If we even partially succeed, that will have been a miracle.Kagan of thousands of Jewish children, survivors of the Holocaust – the future of the Jewish nation. Meanwhile, the unseemly goings-on at the Zionist congress represented the future calamity of the Jewish nation. The two conferences, side by side, embodied in conspicuous fashion the two faces of Zionism: dogmatic factionalism versus earnest volunteerism and self-sacrifice. But spirited giving won out over factionalism -- in time for the State of Israel to come into being – just in time for Hadassim to open its doors. In her lengthy speech, Rachel hundredThe WIZO conference, on the other hand, had very little by way of the personal. The delegates were volunteers, and as such they worked tirelessly for nothing beyond the success of their endeavors. The atmosphere there was sacral, and that sense of solemn mission would adhere to the platform on which Hadassim was founded. The preeminent agenda at this point was still the recruitment of efforts from various branches of the organization for the settlement and care of
, for their nation and for their state, as if they’d never known the Holocaust at all.familes would go on to lead flourishing lives, guided by humanistic values. They would give– for their Avigdor, Alex and Metuka, ShevachThe miracle happened in Hadassim.
No effort can be spared for this project. We will give you every sum – any sum,” the president of WIZO Canada stressed. Israel!Eretz“Comrades from , president of Hadassah- WIZO in Canada, handed Hadassah Samuel a check for ten thousand Canadian dollars – the second installment for the construction and maintenance of Hadassim – and committed to transfer an additional sum in six months’ time. It is well to remember that ten thousand dollars in 1946 were equivalent to ten million today. RaginskyAt the closing conference session, Anna
at a difference this will make…what a difference!” Hadassah erupted in tears, and Anna embraced her and started crying too.whHadassah Samuel was overwhelmed by this monumental gesture: “I am so deeply committed to this venture. This will be the most important mission in my life, more important than the caretaking work I did with child refugees after the First World War. But
used in the medical and cosmetic industries. More than this, a branch of the myrtle bush is one of the four species which we are commanded to bless during the Sukkot holiday. It is a blessing that will now accompany the children of our institution. There has never been a more important cause -- nothing could be more important than resurrecting the innocence of the children whose parents were murdered right in front of their eyes. It’s not something we’ve been taught to do in school, and it isn’t something our schools of education have covered. But with God’s help we will do our part, and it will succeed. We simply have no other choice!an oil” in Hebrew] is a flowing bush with shining leaves and yellow-white flowers. The leaves, flowers and fruit yield Hadass be underway in the coming year and a half, revealing in full the nature of the project. “A myrtle [“ld wou (then president of World WIZO) mentioned that construction and organization of Hadassim SeifAt the closing speech, Rebecca
H. “An Unearthly Real”
in attendance. A central issue was the opening of the Hadassim school year in September. The first idea was to design Hadassim exclusively for Holocaust survivors, but the council decided against this after some consultation with various education professionals. It became clear that isolating those children from the rest would be disastrous, and ultimately the idea of a Hadassim melting pot gained ground – a joint body of Holocaust survivors and otherwise troubled kids, intermixed with children of privilege – as a mechanism to supply Israel with a new man, sane and powerful in spirit, faithful to his people and country.Dinur and SchwabeWhen the Basel conference was over, WIZO’s general council convened in Jerusalem in January, 1947, with Professors Buber,
spoke at length about the new model teachers, the concept of the pioneer educator that had taken root in his Teacher -Scout group. Rachel handed out copies of her credo:SchwabeMartin Buber explicated his views on dialogic education, while Moshe
A life in the country, in nature, far from the urban morass, develops a healthier, more open and more innocent personality. It develops a kind of religious devotion to life, a subconscious and benevolent fusion with the universe. It conduces to a life within a social framework, which demands consideration for others and nurtures a sense of responsibility for others. A relationship between teachers and students, one that is less rigid and formal than what prevails in urban schools today, engenders a democratic rhythm of life for our youth, a democratic attitude that will inevitably manifest in better decision making and social contribution in adulthood. A regiment of daily work will greatly influence not only the child’s attitude to labor but a respect for the laborer as well as productivity in general. It is our belief, then, that an overly intellectual program is insufficient to build a harmonious personality. We must leave room for self-expression and self-discovery in the arts, in physical education and social activity. A person’s merit will then be judged not only in terms of his intellectual skill but also according to his talents in the above categories. That way, even a student who doesn’t excel in his studies will still be appreciated for his dancing or social dedication. It is important for us as a small nation to cultivate superiority in all the different cultural and scientific fields: the absolute number, not only the relative number of our superbly educated men must be high.
recounts the meeting:KaganRachel
made a huge impression on the comrades. Later, as they dined at the King David Hotel, they were heard to say that if these were indeed the new intellectuals and educators of the Jewish settlement, then a strong Jewish state would indeed arise and persevere.Shapirah and Rachel Schwabe“Buber,
“We visited Hadassim the next day. Once we’d passed the settlement at Even Yehuda, we stepped off the bus and walked down the rough, sandy road down another 800 meters. We came upon a mammoth palm tree; there the road curved sharply leftward, and we continued until we saw an old house where the plantation guard lived. The foliage was somewhat characteristic of the desert, the slow, monotonous pace of tickle-grass cradling the dunes all the way up toward the palm tree. On the left: a citrus plantation and an old concrete, high-arched fence stretching beyond it, interlaced with rusty iron bars. On the right, at the foot of the palm tree, a Bedouin tent woven of black goat -hair and stretched out on wooden poles, two Canaanite canines dozing beside it, uttering perfunctory, meager protest-barks at the passersby…
some slight protests about building it closer to civilization.”e werThere Baron, explained what the village would eventually look like. It sounded like something out of this world – an unearthly real. Zeev, and the engineer, Averbuch Jenya -- surrounded by a rusty, ruptured fence. Maps and sketches in hand, Rachel, along with the architect, Neter Kfar Yaakov, the closest neighboring settlement to Hadassim – a haphazard string of houses, really, more like a staggered extension of Ein limits. Further south stood the first houses in the Yemenite neighborhood of outhern A – the first in the line of houses belonging to a rich Arab family. At the time of our visit there were tenants occupying the house who toiled on the family fields, which stretched to Netanya’s s Hanun Beit“Sixty meters east, a small well in the shadow of an apple tree, with a half- built water tower nearby. Downhill we passed two finished buildings and then two more building skeletons, finally reaching a slithery, curved riverbed, about one meter deep. The surface at the foot of the hill was red, fertile ground, no doubt accumulating for centuries as the water settled down the gulf. You could see holes in the walls of the riverbed, the little nesting grounds of bee-eaters and green songbirds. Just beyond, about one hundred and fifty meters uphill, was
I. In the Eyes of the Founders’ Child
to their death in Hadassim, in the sixties.Shemen was born in 1938. He would accompany his parents from the days of the Scout Legion through Ben ShapirahAmir
, Neill’s spirit: the psychic bond of teacher to student, the student viewed as part of a whole. The student would be led to evolve according to his potential; the distance between teacher and student would be undermined, and replaced with intimate ties.”Summerhill, Lehmann. They were young and he was an accomplished man. Mother tried to transmit to Hadassim the same spiritual current she found in DrMy parents learned a great deal from
“In mother’s eyes, education was a holistic process. She stood for a ‘themes’ method in teaching: rather than learning geography and history separately, she would approach one theme from different sides, in all its various aspects. That way of teaching, she thought, would actually mirror the world as it was, without artificial distinctions between modes and disciplines.
“She believed that grades promote injustice: every student would advance at his own pace. Grades brought an element of unhealthy competition; they created unnecessary psychological distress for those who weren’t yet strong, causing tension between students and diminishing from the atmosphere of brotherhood she had worked to instill. She used short comments, like “advancing nicely,” instead of grades, maintaining that students would be more likely to feel they weren’t in competition with others, but in cooperation.”
I don’t remember any real family or personal disputes, but mother and father would usually argue about educational issues, reserving Friday and Saturday nights for such discussions. Father was the one who pushed for more discipline. There was an undefined and unwritten division of labor: mom took the pedagogical side and father stuck to the administrative side, having studied psychoanalysis with Dr. Hirsh – a rare pursuit among teachers. He had gone through analysis himself, so his level of self-awareness was unusually high. Consequently he was able to avoid any serious quarrels with mother. The psychological and methodological aspects of education were left in her hands while he focused on running the village.
ritual. The tie for him wasn’t with religion, as such, but with values and heritage. The ritual aspect didn’t interest him, but justice, honesty, charity and faith in one’s fellow man, did.Shavuout Leil Tikun, and held strictly to the traditional ShavuoutFather maintained two explicit educational goals: shaping the student’s personality, and enriching him with values that he considered important on a personal level, namely, Jewish values (and an affinity with Jewish tradition). These goals were most clearly embodied in the holidays: every holiday was treated methodically, which also meant that no student was allowed to leave while a holiday was observed. We read from the Book of Ruth in
The value of labor: he was especially concerned with imparting to students the importance of labor, not as a burden but as a birthright.
Esthetics: it might be that on this issue he was influenced directly by Dr. Lehmann. Father stressed the value of art, music and theatre. Lehmann had a pedantic streak, as did father – but neither of them felt above the “small things”. Big things consisted of small things: father was extremely methodical.
right, for which incidents and for which individuals. Once, for instance, when a pack of students snuck out to go the movies in Netanya (which was against the rules), mom wouldn’t abide any talk of punishing them. It was out of bounds for her.this lead to clashes over what punishments wereFather stressed order. He was intent on observing the law, which for him was one expression of order. Mother, on the other hand, emphasized the value of the child’s soul, his psychic wholeness; she was concerned with providing him with the right vehicles for his development, and that development in itself wouldn’t be a burdensome process. She was willing to fight for that cause, for the individual student, against the rest of the faculty team if necessary – or if she felt that an injustice had been done to a student, that his feelings weren’t being respected, that he wasn’t being treated as a whole. Given father’s stress on order,
J. Normal Life
under Rachel, who subsequently assigned her as her personal assistant and then deputy.Shemen Seminary in Jerusalem. She had also gone through her preparations at Ben Hakerem Beit, who had just graduated with honors from Aharoni Drora and moved in, temporarily, in what was then the only complete building (in unit four). More people followed, taking up residence in the other rooms, including Shemen made their last trip back from Ben Shapirahas agricultural coordinators and administrators. In July, 1947, the instructors ,Toward the end of 1946 and through the first half of 1947, Rachel and Jeremiah tended to the construction of Hadassim and recruitment of
used to light a campfire every night, which only exacerbated the unease.Hanun Beit B, and the ‘toot -toot’ rumbling of the water pump engine. The Arab tenants over at Hanun Beit had been utterly atrocious. Amir remembers how nighttime seemed to belong to the pack of jackals that couldn’t wait to leap into the few buildings that now intruded on their space. He remembers the clamoring choir of marsh frogs one kilometer westward, in Shemen the village’s first students. As far as they were concerned, the transition from Ben were, OfraThe nine year old Amir together with his seven year old sister,
ill ongoing; dry sand interlaced with narrow ditches that needed to be hopped over constantly.st to this barren ditch of sand, with these acrid new white houses and all that. Construction was ShemenWe arrived from the tender shades of Ben
war had destroyed their homes and families, but they had nevertheless survived, miraculously. They had been collected, one by one, from their caverns and hiding places, to be brought here to their new home. Our job was to be their new family, to restore the joy that was taken from them.Europe, thatAnd while we were trying to adjust, the adults were busy with preparations for the first group of children. Mother and Father explained to me that these children had wandered over all the way from
The night before the big day I could hardly keep my eyes closed. A huge weight had been placed on my tiny shoulders: to take in these new kids and help them as much as I could.
and shortly thereafter boarded the train to Hadassim.Shapirah on Mt. Carmel, they were met by Rachel Yeladim Achuzat Schwartz-Weizmann. They had traveled to Paris and from there to Marseille, and from there they sailed to Haifa on the ship “Providence”. After a short stay in WIZO- Reuma, near Hamburg, a transitional camp for war-orphans led by Belkanza. Their previous trip had been from the Warburg Estate in ZarivetchIn August 1947, the first of these children of the Holocaust arrived with their instructor, Masha
I remember the train arriving bearing heavy dust clouds. The kids descended, one by one, all of them wearing uniforms – khaki shorts and scout’s blue ties. The boys wore khaki pants and the girls wore blue folded skirts. They were very organized, the older kids helping the younger, and it was clear they were comfortable with responsibility and self-discipline. The image I’d had of frightened, powerless children disappeared quickly. They were my age, maybe a little older, but despite this I felt extremely small beside them. Who was I, anyway, that they would ever need my help?
sat next to me, waved hello and opened her bible. We felt like equals again…”Ofra taught us, a charming, beautiful woman with wonderfully flowing hair. The very first lesson, Kashtan Malka. We were finally able to set everything down, to settle into a normal existence. The endless trails had come to an end. It was time for studies to resume, and we didn’t know Hebrew. Ofra-Bar, a slight, extremely thin orphan girl. “Each of us stepped off the train with a small bag carrying all our possessions. We were greeted by Jeremiah, Rachel and their daughter, Swartzwald AlizaOne of the eight kids was
“Hadassim was the best thing that could have happened to us.”
was one of Sigmund Freud's most devoted and valued colleagues.Eitingon57 Dr. Max
.Spira Micha58 These documents were given to me by our mutual friend,
59 He later became the first minister of education for the State of Israel.
Midnight’s Caravan.Smilansky’s Yizhar published his notes in a reprint of the first volume of the concordance of Hantka60 Jonathan
memoirs.Dinur’s61 Nothing is mentioned of his affair in
in Israel, using the opportunity to conduct the Israeli Philharmonic. The pianist Ella Goldstein, a relative of mine, was the soloist in those concerts.Dinur and Schwabe was a student of the great composer, Arnold Schonberg. He was principal conductor of the Konigsberg symphony orchestra until the advent of Hitler’s regime, after which he left Germany. Near the end of WWII, he came to visit Scherchen62 Hermann
63 This is the current Israeli attitude.
. It served as the capital in the years 1920-1939. Twenty-five thousand Jews, a quarter of the population, lived there at the start of the twenties.Neris and Nemunas64 The city’s Lithuanian name is Kaunas. The country’s second largest city, it resides between the rivers
65 A Marxist faction named after the man who led the largest slave revolt against the Roman Republic.
publishing house, 1975, pages 146-147.Hameuchad Hakibbutz Years, Haolim’s Hamachanot66 Yehuda Halevy quoted in The
2005).Hapoalim Sifriat, (Aharoni Arie67 Lea Goldberg’s Journals, edited by Rachel and and Lea Goldberg, our guess is that they were cousins. It is possible, therefore, that the great poet Lea Goldberg is a distant cousin of Gideon Ariel.Tova. According to what we know about Kovno Goldberg, and the family originally immigrated to Israel from Tova Gideon Ariel’s mother’s name was
. 189-191,pg: 1972Nahalal69 Aaron Ben Barak, In The Roads of Motherland,
, April 1st , 2005.,ynetAgo Mann, We Were Children and That Was Long Time Nadav70
Generation to Generation, Anthologies for the research and documentation of Jewish educational history in Israel and the Diaspora, No 17, 2000. Children’s Societies and Their Origins. ucational, the First Israeli Ed Adan Shevach71
72 Rachel and Jeremiah weren’t aware of such a meeting. Before they were accepted as co -directors, they had been concerned that Dr. Lehmann would be angry to learn of their candidacy, so they initially applied without his knowledge.
testified that Yael and Ludwig Posner (later the math and physics professors) were among the candidates.Aharoni Drora73
) of Shavuot studying with the community in order to re -experience standing on Sinai.leil Shavuot is the custom of staying up the entire night (Leil Tikkun74 Shavuot is considered the anniversary of the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
75 Religious elementary school
76 Man’s curse for eating from the fruit of knowledge, Genesis 3:19
, Russia, where they’d fled from a Siberian prisoners of war camp. There they introduced to her their philosophy of education conceived in Siberia, according to which the most important educational principle is the discovery and development of the child’s inner faculties, without the forcing of schematic models of study.Vetka in the school for war orphans they founded in Dinnur and Ben Zion Schwabe77 Rachel Cogan met The Hebrew University Professors Max
78 A religious Zionist movement
is a notion rooted in the more mystical dimensions of Judaism.Tzadikim Vav79 The “Hidden Righteous” or Lamed
80 Theodor Herzl (May 2, 1860 – July 3, 1904) was a Jewish-Austrian journalist who became the founder of modern political Zionism.
81 Asher Ginsberg (1856-1927), one of the great pre-state Zionist thinkers.
, one of the greatest Hebrew poets of all time.Bialik Nahman Hayyim82 is considered Israel's national poet, though he didn’t live to witness the birth of the state.Bialik
Movement - the religious Zionist organization that encompasses the educational, social welfare and settlement activity of Israeli society.Mizrachi83 World
84 The Hebrew Scouts Movement was founded immediately after World War One as a combination of the British scouting model and certain other educational principles, mostly deriving from central European youth movements.
201.pg Years, Haolim Hamachanot, The Kafkafi85
143-146.pg Years, Haolim Hamachanot, The Kafkafi86
165pg Years, Haolim Machanot, The Kafkafi87
201-205,pgYears Haolim Hamachanot, The Kafkafi88
201-205,pgYears Haolim Machanot The Kafkafi89