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Esthonia State University Establishes Chair for Jewish Learning

The University of Dorpat has decided to establish a Chair for Jewish learning as part of the tercentenary celebration of the University.

The Society of Hebraists for the Promotion of Jewish Learning at the University has been invited to co-operate in the establishment of the chair.

Messages of congratulation have been received by the University from M. Eisenstadt, head of the Jewish Cultural Committee in Esthonia, in behalf of Esthonian Jewry; Dr. J. Sahl, a Jewish member of the Board of Professors; and the Hebrew University.

The University of Dorpat has been noted for its liberal traditions. At the time of the persecutions of the Jews under the Czarist regime, it served as a refuge for the young Jews of Russia who were unable to study at other Universities in Russia because of the numerus clausus obtaining there.

This liberal tradition has been continued at the University since the collapse of the Russian Empire which brought independence to Esthonia. The Jews there enjoy complete national cultural autonomy and the University of Dorpat has become the Esthonian State University.

Dorpat University was founded in 1632 by King Gustave Adolph of Sweden. In 1802, the Russian Czar Alexander ordered the University of Dorpat to admit Jewish students. The first Jewish students to be admitted were named Meyrowitz and Zeiler, both of whom came from Vilna.

There are a large number of Jewish students now at Dorpat University, organized in their own Jewish student bodies.

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