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.
- Special double-issue celebrating ten years of the Bais Yaakov Journal. A. M. Rogovy writes an essay complimenting the movement, the editor of the journal (Eliezer Gershon Friedensohn), and Sarah Schenirer.
- Essays on pedagogy, Jewish education, and girls’ education, by Dr. Nathan Birnbaum, R. Shmuel David Laski, R. Tuvye Yehuda Guttentag, Yehuda Leib Orlean, Mordechai Knobelevitch, Shmuel Nadler, Sarah Schenirer, Alexander Zusha Fridman, A. B ...
- Article by A. Sh. celebrating 20 years of Dr. Shlomo Birnbaum's work in Yiddish language and culture
- A short play for the upcoming holiday by Sarah Schenirer titled "A Gift for Hanukkah" (in two parts, the second published in issue 97)
- Benjamin Mintz dedicates an article to the memory of Rabbi Israel Friedman, the Rizhiner Rebbe, recalling an anecdote that occurred two months before ...
- Articles that address the holiday Hanukkah: In "Hanukkah", which describes the last will and testament of the High Priest Matityahu, Benjamin Zusman uses the metaphor of the Hanukkah lights to describe the teachers from the Bais Yaakov seminary who spread their light throughout the Jewish world; and an essay by R. N. H. Herman titled "For the Miracles" that discusses the Hanukkah liturgy
- Article ...
- Editorial piece titled "On the Doorstep of a New Period" looking forward toward the hundredth issue of the Journal
- Sarah Schenirer on the special Bnos Month. Also in this issue are letters from different Bnos members on the celebratory "Bnos Month", and from the members of of the central Bnos committee: Bat-Ami, Sarah Passe Gutmorgen, and Miriam Toybe
- Poems by Israel Emiat, A. I ...
- A special triple Issue, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Agudas Israel and the 15th anniversary of Bais Yaakov
- Diary entries by Sarah Schenirer on the 15th anniversary of Bais Yaakov
- Essays by the Gerer Rebbe, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, Rabbi Meir Shapira, Haim Israel Eiss, and Rabbi Dr. Pinchas Cohen on the anniversaries, celebrating the movement and the school
- Photographs of Rabbis and other ...
- A special extended issue celebrating the journal’s 100th issue, with a survey of the journal’s accomplishments by the editor, Eliezer Gershon Friedensohn. Includes a photograph of the editorial board.
- Sarah Schenirer’s essay "Closer to the Goal" celebrates the journal's success, describing the Bais Yaakov Journal as an important source of Yiddish reading materials for girls
- Congratulations by Agudath Israel leaders to the journal and ...
- Eliezer Gershon Friedensohn describes the rise of Hitler to power in Germany, and the pain he feels about the treatment of German Jews, even if they are secular or assimilated; changing their clothing and feeling part of German culture cannot help the German Jews now
- Sarah Schenirer also addresses the situation in Germany and argues for repentance; she concludes with the sentence "No one ...
- An opinion article by Yehuda Leib Orlean discussing the proper way to teach children about the land of Israel, explaining complicated issues without confusing them
- An essay by Benjamin Mintz discusses the potentially confusing attitude of the Agudath Israel towards Zionism, reminds readers that the Land of Israel is a holy place that the Jews must treasure, and describes his own immigration there
- Rabbi ...
- An announcement about "The Yishuv Foundation", a fund established by Agudath Israel to support Orthodox immigration to the Land of Israel
- Sarah Schenirer’s essay on "The Three Weeks" of mourning
- A poem by Eliezer Schindler, "Silent and Holy", dedicated to Bnos Agudath Israel, and a poem by Israel Emiat, "In a Destroyed Shtetl"; stories by A. I. Lipmanowitz, and "In Jericho in the Heavy ...
- Eliezer Gershon Friedensohn's report on the Bais Yaakov Conference, a major event, in which school management and pedagogy were discussed
- An article by Sarah Schenirer introducing the new section of the journal "Bnos Pages" (which was launched in issue 109), to provide an outlet for Bnos members; Schenirer describes her pride in the student leaders and teachers
- Poems by Eliezer Schindler, Elimelekh Shteyer, and ...