The Rightful Heirs of Sarah Schenirer

Spring, 2008

Source: Jewish Educational Leadership. Spring 2008 (6:3) pages 58-63


This article recounts the contribution of Sarah Schenirer, a modest Krakow seamstress, to a revolution in Jewish women's education in the period between the two World Wars. Her brave efforts in the founding of the Beis Yaakov schools and Teachers' Seminary provided a framework for Jewish women to attain Jewish learning. The author asks who today are the true heirs of Sarah Schenirer, continuing the legacy of her educational leadership.


Today thousands of girls are enrolled in Bais Yaakov schools in Israel and in the Diaspora. Do these institutions continue the bold spirit of Sarah Schenirer, bridging the gap between hallowed traditional modes and changing modern realities? 


Perhaps Sarah Schenirer's spiritual descendants are far more radical, those who continue to transform and broaden the scope of advanced women's Torah education in all disciplines while retaining fidelity to tradition?

Updated: Oct. 06, 2008


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