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.
- Report on the successes and resolutions of the Second Bnos conference
- Partial list of the delegates and where they came from
- Official greetings from distinguished Agudah leaders
- Photos of the event
- Records of the major speeches
- Minutes of the discussions and resolutions
- Aside from resolutions involving the organization of Bnos, the conference also resolved to encourage the use solely of Yiddish in Bnos, and to adopt a Jewish style of dress.
- An article comparing the three Jewish women’s conference that had taken place that summer, one (of the Frauenbund) in Hamburg, one (of the Zionist women’s organization WIZO) in ...
- Focus on the “Jewish girls’ holiday” of Tu Be’av
- Article on teaching by the Seminary teacher Chava Landsberg
- List of the 100 Bnos representatives elected at the conference
- Text of the speech on style Sarah Schenirer delivered at the conference
- Text of a speech on Bnos’s socioeconomic goals delivered by Rayzel Roze at the conference
- A brief notice outlines requirements for applicants to the Kraków Teachers’ Seminary, including proof of being at least 16 and ability to translate the book of Genesis
- The front page announces that, due to the lack of good Orthodox literature, a contest for the best original work will be held, with a first prize (donated by the Vienna Bais Yaakov office), of 1000 zlotes.
- Among the categories sought are a retelling of the fight against the Haskalah, stories and poems for children, plays suitable for Bais Yaakov performance and a Bais Yaakov anthem.
- This issue also looks forward to the Second World Congress of the Agudath Israel, where a women’s movement will be founded.
- “Bais Yaakov at the Second World Congress of Agudath Israel!”
- The issue describes the participation of both male and female Bais Yaakov activists at the Congress, the excitement at the founding of Neshei Agudath Israel, and a visit to the Bais Yaakov of Vienna (where the Congress was held).
- What may be the text of Sarah Schenirer’s speech at the Women’s Congress (although it is not defined as such)
- Bnos hymn by Shmuel Nadler (perhaps submitted to the contest announced in the previous issue)
- E.G. Friedenson also contributed a particularly descriptive article, with photos, on the Summer Teachers Seminary ...
- Continuation of the coverage of the World Congress
- Photos and reports from both the main event and the women’s conference
- See the photo of the dais at the women conference, with the figures identified, here.
- Literature contest is announced again
- Three plays, suitable for Bais Yaakov performance, are advertised at the back of the issue