Childhood and Education

Robert Liberles

in Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171648
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199871346 | DOI:
Childhood and Education

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This chapter shows how knowledge of the German language among Jews increased during the course of the 18th century. By the latter part of the century, governments increasingly mandated rudimentary education in the German language and basic math skills, but the greater focus on commerce had already paved the way for more attention to these subjects among Jews even prior to government intervention. Wealthier Jews could hire private instructors for themselves or for their children. Some Jews who could not afford a tutor taught themselves basic German skills. Dissatisfaction with Jewish education in Germany did not originate with the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment. Across the spectrum of Jewish life, by the late 18th century a strong sense had developed that an extensive reform of Jewish education was badly needed.

Keywords: German Jews; childhood; Jewish education; schools; teachers; German language; Haskalah

Chapter.  6201 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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