History of the Rabbinical School of Warsaw from its establishment in 1826 to its closure in 1863

Finkelstein, Ludwik (2006). History of the Rabbinical School of Warsaw from its establishment in 1826 to its closure in 1863. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fe1d


The thesis is an account of the history of the Rabbinical School, which functioned in Warsaw from 1826 to 1863. The School was founded to educate rabbis and teachers, who, in addition to a Jewish schooling, also acquired a good knowledge of Polish and of secular subjects, and would thus lead the acculturation of Polish Jewry. Tbe thesis gives a more complete and detailed picture than previous histories, examines aspects not hitherto treated and uses new sources and literature. The School never became an effective rabbinical seminary but developed into an important institution of secondary education. The School was closed in 1863, as part of general reforms of Polish education. The thesis reviews and analyses the curricula of the School and compares them with Polish and traditional Jewish education of the time, as well as with the contemporary rabbinical training institutions in Breslau in Prussia, and in Vilna and Zhitomir in the Tsarist Empire. The thesis examines the teachers of the School and their scholarly activity. It reviews the work of alumni of the School and their impact on Jewish and Polish culture. The thesis reviews the attitudes of Polish Jewry to the School, analysing the religious bases of traditionalist objections to it, and the connection of the institution to Jewish religious reform. The thesis examines the involvement of the staff, students and alumni of the School in Polish national and revolutionary movements, a significant aspect of its life. Finally, events leading to the closure of the School and their context are investigated and the aftermath of its abolition discussed. It is concludes that the School was an important institution and a major agent of Jewish enlightenment and emancipation in Poland.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 65053
  • Item Type
  • PhD Thesis
  • Extra Information
  • page 156 is faulty in the original copy
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2005 Ludwik Finkelstein
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