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Families, Rabbis and EducationEssays on Traditional Jewish Society in Eastern Europe$
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Shaul Stampfer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774853

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774853.001.0001

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Dormitory and Yeshiva in Eastern Europe

Dormitory and Yeshiva in Eastern Europe

(p.211) Ten Dormitory and Yeshiva in Eastern Europe
Families, Rabbis and Education

Shaul Stampfer

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the establishment of dormitories in many Jewish educational institutions, especially in yeshivas, which is a new phenomenon — created to answer new needs in Jewish education. Dormitories became common in yeshivas for a number of reasons. Although in theory students could have continued to sleep in synagogues, this was no longer regarded as respectable. The only acceptable solutions were to support student rentals of private rooms or to open a dormitory. The growing concern about what was seen as the pernicious influences of the surrounding society added a degree of urgency to the adoption of means to isolate yeshiva students from potential contact with problematic individuals and groups. At the same time, the growing use of dormitories fitted in with a general trend for what appeared to be ‘modern’ or ‘systematic’ approaches for dealing with social needs and especially for institutionalization. Dormitories did not usually merit a great deal of attention in pre-Holocaust eastern Europe. However, they reflected some very basic developments in Jewish society; they illustrate the great sensitivity and responsiveness of traditionalist circles to the major changes Jewish society was undergoing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   dormitories, Jewish educational institutions, yeshivas, Jewish education, yeshiva students, social needs, institutionalization, eastern Europe, Jewish society

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