The Bais Yaakov Journal
The Bais Yaakov Journal was a publication of Bais Yaakov and the Agudah. It was edited by Eliezer Gershon Friedenson, from his office in Łódź, and it appeared monthly (or sometimes more often) from 1923 to 1939. A Polish supplement accompanied the Yiddish journal beginning in 1924. The Polish supplement was discontinued in 1929, when Bais Yaakov embraced Orthodox Yiddishism (see bio of Solomon Shlyome Birnbaum). Below are links to selected issues, digitized and presented here with generous permission from YIVO. (Some issues are missing from the YIVO archives.)
We have provided summaries of the highlights of each issue, but along with these were regular features, including:
- reflections by Sarah Schenirer on the parsha, Jewish holidays, and Bais Yaakov topics in nearly every issue
- letters to the editor
- a column by ELiezer Gershon Friedensohn called “From Month to Month”
- an advice column called “Sister to Sister”
- book reviews
- announcements about Bais Yaakov events
- reports from local Bais Yaakovs and Bnos chapters
- announcements of births, engagements, marriages, and deaths
Some of the regular journal topics came and went. For instance, in the late 1920s, Bais Yaakov published Yiddish translations of poetry by Rabindranath Tagore in nearly every issue, participating in the general European passion for his poetry.
As part of the ongoing nature of the Bais Yaakov Project, we will finish uploading the print runs of the Bais Yaakov Journal though 1939, and add the print runs of the Bais Yaakov Ruf (Lithuania), Bet Yaakov (Israel), and Beth Jacob (United States).
We also plan to translate the Yiddish, Polish, and Hebrew journals. If you would like to contribute your time and expertise, please contact us.
- A play for Lag Ba’omer
- A report on the construction of the Teachers Seminary in Kraków
- An article on the natural sciences in the light of Judaism by Professor Dr. Funkä
- A poem by Shmuel Nadler
- A photo of the administrative committee for the Teachers’ Seminary Building:
- Figures are identified as Dr. Leo (Shmuel) Deutschländer , Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, former Senator M. Deutscher, former Senator Y. Bauminger, H. Freilich, Rabbi Dr. Jung of New York, Rabbi Tuvia Horowitz, Rabbi Asher Spira (President of the Building Committee), Editor D. Rosenfeld, M.S. Frankel, and Meir Heitner
- "Forbidden Fruit," ...
- An essay by Sarah Schenirer (who contributed to nearly every issue) on Tu be’Av, a festival being revived in Bais Yaakov and Bnos circles
- Inserts from elsewhere
- An Article on the Sabbath by Nathan Birnbaum
- A short story by Elimelekh Shteyer
- High Holy Days issue
- Celebrates and reviews the five years of the journal
- Personal letter to Friedenson from Yehudah Leib Orlean on the Bais Yaakov Journal
- Essay on life in Palestine
- Article on women and Sabbath observance
- Announcement of the compilation of a 160-page illustrated Bais Yaakov Almanac
- Request for readers’ help in establishing precise statistical data on Bais Yaakov and Bnos (which was a far-flung and not always coordinated network)
- Article on Orthodox children’s literature
- Article on Tolstoy’s attitudes toward Jews
- Story about a Countess who returned to Judaism
- Article about the Tsenerene
- Article about women and family in the ...
- Hanukkah issue. Almost all the articles are dedicated to Hanukkah.
- E.G. Friedenson describes the forthcoming Bais Yaakov Almanac
- Last page includes a list of the “Friends of the Bais Yaakov Journal” around the world, who have purchased at least a three-year subscription
- A celebratuon of the 500 new subscribers who will ensure the continued existence of the journal
- A commemoration by Rabbi Tuvia Gutentag of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch on his fortieth Yahrzeit
- Novella by Elimelekh Shteyer, a well-known Orthodox writer of the period
- Purim double-issue
- Articles dedicated to the holiday
- Appeal to Agudah activists in Łódź to contribute toward the building of the Seminary (in preparation for a delegation visiting that city)
- Detailed description of the planned amenities in the building
- Curriculum planned for teacher training
- A teaching by Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav
- Excerpts from Sarah Schenirer’s diary detailing how she was inspired by a sermon delivered ...
- Passover issue
- Articles dedicated to the holiday
- Answers to a survey about the aims and goals of Bnos
- Article about Anna Halperin, a successful ceramic artist in Amsterdam who was also strictly observant
- Conference issue, providing details about tickets, directions and rules to delegates planning to attend, and otherwise describing the plans for the national conference of Bnos, to be held in Łódź from May 19-21, 1929
- Article describing the interesting career of Dr. Leo Deutschländer
- A warm greeting to the conference attendees from Dr. Nathan Birnbaum in Berlin
- Analysis of the lack of Bais Yaakov activity ...