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The Benderly Boys and American Jewish Education
Jonathan B. Krasner

Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture, and Life

2011 • 512 pp. 48 illus. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Jewish Studies / Education History

$40.00 Paperback, 978-1-58465-983-9
$7.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-293-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

The first full-scale history of the creation, growth, and ultimate decline of the dominant twentieth-century model for American Jewish education

Samson Benderly inaugurated the first Bureau of Jewish Education in 1910 amid a hodgepodge of congregational schools, khayders, community Talmud Torahs, and private tutors. Drawing on the theories of Johann Pestalozzi, Herbert Spencer, and John Dewey, and deriving inspiration from cultural Zionism, Benderly sought to modernize Jewish education by professionalizing the field, creating an immigrant-based, progressive supplementary school model, and spreading the mantra of community responsibility for Jewish education. With philanthropist Jacob Schiff and influential laymen financing his plans, Benderly realized that his best hope for transforming the educational landscape nationwide was to train a younger generation of teachers, principals, and bureau leaders. These young men became known collectively as the “Benderly Boys,” who, from the 1920s to the 1970s, were the dominant force in Jewish education—both formal and informal—in the United States.

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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies (2011)
Finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

JONATHAN B. KRASNER is Assistant Professor of the American Jewish Experience at Hebrew Union College, New York.

Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:03:46 -0500