Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Albert G. Thompson

Second Advisor

Edward DeRoche


The establishment of Hebrew Religious Day Schools in the United States was not simply a matter of choosing a community, organizing its resources, and proceeding to create a school structure. Twenty-five years ago the founding of a school where Jewish children would spend a full day devoted to religious and secular studies was largely an alien idea . So closely had the public schools become interwoven with the fabric of society that the thought of setting up a rival system was condemned in some Jewish quarters as segregationist and even unamerican.

Thus it came about that the Jewish Religious Day School movement was faced not only with a task at construction but also, perhaps more importantly, of rapprochment . Communities had to be brought back into the fold of traditional Judaism, and inversely, the Religious Jewish Day School needed to be made compatible with the beliefs of American democracy. To a significant extent, the rapid advances made by the infant movement were due to the skill which was exercised in clothing a timeless Jewish institution with the raiment of modern social theory. In addition, educational policies from the halls of the university and management techniques from the world of commerce were freely adopted and modified to serve the purpose of Torah (Bible) learning. How successful these labors were may be judged from the tens of thousands of Jewish families that were retrieved from spiritual oblivion as well as by hundreds of Religious Day Schools erected within the borders of the United States and Canada.