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Gallery 6: On The Jewish Street, 1918–1939

“A woman named Sara Schenirer came to Grójec … I had heard amazing stories about an extraordinary woman,” recalled a girl eager to attend a Schenirer school. It offered religious girls a modern education. Raised in a HasidicHasidisma movement of spiritual renewal that began in the 18th century in Podolia. Israel ben Eliezer, known as Ba’al Shem Tov (Besht), is considered the founder. The movement is organized around charismatic leaders tsadikim and is based on a religious ethos rooted in mystical experience, with an emphasis on ecstatic worship, song, and dance. family, Schenirer had completed Polish public school and, with her father’s help, studied religious texts in YiddishYiddishthe historic Jewish vernacular of Ashkenazi Jews, a fusion of German dialects, Hebrew and Aramaic, and Judeo-Romance and Slavic languages. The beginnings of Yiddish are in the Rhineland in the Middle Ages. About 13 million people spoke Yiddish before the Second World War. translation. A seamstress by trade, she set up her first school in her apartment in 1917 and called it Beys Yankev. Two years later, the Agudas Yisroel, the religious party, endorsed the Beys Yankev schools, and by 1938, about 40,000 girls were attending as many as 250 branches. In this way, Schenirer revolutionized the place of Jewish women within Orthodox Judaism.