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.
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 1 (1923)
- An essay on Sukkoth by Samson Raphael Hirsch
- A statement about Bais Yaakov by Sarah Schenirer
- Friedenson’s manifesto about the goals of the paper
- An article about women in Judaism by Yehudah Leib Orlean
- Two poems
- A report from the First World Congress of the Agudath Israel that had recently taken place in Vienna
- Reports on Bais Yaakov activities throughout Poland
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 3 (1924)
- First Polish supplement, Wschód
- Lead story in Wschód is about Nathan Birnbaum, a major influence in Bais Yaakov
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 4 (1924)
- Articles devoted to the Passover holiday
- A photograph (for the first time in the Bais Yaakov Journal) of Rabbi Meir (Marcus) Lehmann, a German neo-Orthodox author popular in the movement
Bais Yaakov Journal Issues 5 & 6 (1924)
- Double issue 5-6 (pages missing, including the article about matchmaking “then and now”)
- Polish translation of an excerpt from Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Nineteen Letters
- An obituary of a Bais Yaakov activist, Fayge Bialer of Łódź
- Reports on the cornerstone-laying ceremony for Yeshivas Chochmei Lublin
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 8 (1924)
- Report of an upcoming visit of Nathan Birnbaum to Poland (with his photo)
- Photo of an embroidered Matzoh covering acquired in Palestine by the Warsaw Rav
- Brief obituary (with a photograph) of Jacob de Haan (1881-1924), the Dutch writer, journalist, and haredi anti-Zionist activist who was assassinated on June 30.
Bais Yaakov Journal Issues 10 & 11 (1924)
- Reflection on the first year of publication
- Introduction of a children’s supplement called Kinder Gortn
- Many photographs (including photos of the “Old” Bais Yaakov in Jerusalem, the Bais Yaakov of Kraków, Rabbi Solomon Breuer, and others)
- Articles on the "Woman Question"
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 12 (1924)
- Many articles about Chanukah
- Drawings or photos of a number of important rabbis, including the Chofetz Chayim, the Baal Shem Tov, Isaac Aboab (author of the Menoras haMa’or), the Kraków Talmudist Shmuel Eidels (the Maharsha) and others
Bais Yaakov Journal Issue 15 (1925)
- “The Bais Yaakov Problem” (front page) details the problems that beset a movement that had grown as rapidly as Bais Yaakov
- article by Dr. Pinchas Cohen on women and the Agudah
- Sarah Schenirer’s report on a visit to Frankfurt am Main: she admires the Orthodoxy and pays her respects to the descendants of Samson Raphael Hirsch
- Minutes of the Bais Yaakov Conference held in ...
Bais Yaakov Journal Issues 17 & 18 (1925)
- Articles on the festival of Shavues and the Torah
- An article about Orthodox life in Palestine
- An article about an “Old Bais Yaakov” school in Tiberias, with a photo.
- In the Kinder Gorten, a historical play about Miriam and Yocheved, based on midrashim.
Bais Yaakov Journal Issues 19, 20, 21 (1925)
- Triple summer issue
- Front page announces that in the new Jewish year, the journal will begin to appear biweekly, every other Thursday (we are missing the issues that follow, but the next extant issue is titled a monthly journal).
- A call to found a youth movement for Agudah young women under the name Ezra.
- Description of the first Summer Teacher Training Program, held that ...