Education: An Attempt to Reform and Acculturate the Jewish Poor

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series (STANTS)


One of the most concerted efforts at instigating the regeneration and acculturation of the Dutch-Jewish poor during the first half of the nineteenth century was the transformation of their religious institutions of learning into secular schools where Dutch was the main language of instruction. Jewish reformers and government officials were convinced that as long as the Jewish community retained its own separate religious institutions, emancipation would remain ineffectual. They believed that an improvement of the Jewish educational system would abate the Jews’ predicament and put an end to their inferior position within Dutch society. Secular education was seen as the key to Dutch Jewry’s emancipation, as it promoted conformity in manners and morals and prepared Jews for their entry into cultured Dutch society.


Jewish Community Religious Education Dutch Language Dutch Society City School 
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© Karina Sonnenberg-Stern 2000

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