The Jewish mother has always played a most important part in the emotional and intellectual life of our race. No more touching figure in the Bible than Rachel sorrowing for her children; no more lovely picture than Hannah bringing her son to the Sanctuary to dedicate him to the service of the Lord. And the spirit of those Biblical mothers has been preserved throughout the ages. Now, as then, the Jewish mother is the guardian spirit of the home, the gentle teacher of her children, giving the house a special atmosphere of intimate happiness, an atmosphere that is more precious than all creature comforts.
It is to this Jewish mother that Ivriah addresses itself. As the women’s division of the Jewish Education Society. Ivriah has done in the nine years of its existence remarkable work in helping the Jewish mother to educate herself for the task of educating her children; of educating them to a true spirit of Judaism, a spirit that is greater than all class divisions, all divergences of background, all differences of ceremonial observance.
ORGANIZED IN SECTIONS
Ivriah is organized in sections throughout the city and the various groups have members who are well-to-do and members who live very moderately on a small budget: members who are by conviction and tradition strictly Orthodox and members who feel that the modern spirit of our time demands a reform of the old ceremonial to be acceptable to our standards: members who had the advantage of college training and members who are self-taught and depend on the opportunities offered by Ivriah for a continued self-education and self-culture.
But all those differences and divergences are forgotten in the common conception of the necessity to preserve for the Jewish child the spirit of the Jewish home, a spirit that can only be created, fostered and transmitted to the growing generation by the Jewish mother.
That is the reason for the universal appeal of Ivriah and the spontaneous response of the Jewish mothers to the call of this particular organization. Democratic in the truest sense of the word, Ivriah works for the moral and spiritual welfare of our children.
The main interest of the organization centers at present in the kindergarten fund of Ivriah and the scholarship fund of the Jewish Education Association. Through the kindergarten fund a network of Hebrew kindergartens will be established in talmud torahs, where religious teaching will be offered to children at their most impressionable age, while the scholarship fund provides free tuition in Hebrew schools for destitute children who otherwise would be deprived of religious instruction.
In order to further both those purposes Ivriah plans a Springtime breakfast, to take place in May at the Waldorf Astoria, when more than 1,500 women are expected to assemble, each contributing eighteen dollars as price of admission and contribution toward the Ivriah program.
For many of the Ivriah members this sum represents a personal sacrifice: But all the members of this organization are filled with so fine a spirit, they are so convinced of the vital importance of the work which Ivriah performs, are so eager to further its program that they will not hesitate to make every effort and every sacrifice for this great cause. They know that in working for Ivriah they work for their own children, for all the children in Israel. They work for the spiritual conservation of the true Jewish spirit.
Leading officers of the organization are Mrs. William Jasie, honorary president; Mrs. Gabriel Hamburger, president; Mrs. Max Lazare and Mrs. L. J. Margulies, co-chairmen; and Mrs. David M. Mosessohn, treasurer.
Julius Eichberg served as conductor of the orchestra of the Boston Museum in the 1860’s and later founded the Boston Conservatory of Music.