Hightstown Seminary Students Live Like Pioneers in Camp
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Hightstown Seminary Students Live Like Pioneers in Camp

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Conducted in the spirit of the Palestinian collective colonies (Kutzvoth), the second annual Seminary on Palestine and Jewish problems, sponsored by the Hechalutz Organization of America, is under way today, concerning itself with an intensive study of the Zionist and Jewish labor movements, as well as with the Hebrew language and Hebrew and Yiddish literature. The seventeen-day sessions will last until the end of this month.

The whole Seminary is arranged on a cooperative basis, the students sharing in all the menial work,

The Seminar numbers eighty-five students, twenty-seven of them, members of the Hachshare (pioneer training) farm proper, come to evening lectures after a hard day’s toil in the fields. Many of the Seminar students assist in the field work, thus tasting some of the travail of pioneering, while at the same time they study the philosophy and history of the pioneer movement in Palestine. At lectures there are a number of visitors, Jewish farmers of the neighborhood and members of the Mizrachi training farm situated four miles from the Hachalutz farm.

The seminar is open to all those interested in the courses being offered. It is modeled after the Palestinian seminars that are conducted in the various labor colonies under the supervision of the cultural commission of the Histadruth, the General Federation of Jewish Labor. Similar undertakings are common in European countries, where thousands of students partake in the courses.

This year marks the first attempt to encompass so many subjects. The Hechalutz has gathered a volunteer staff of instructors, each of whom is a recognized authority in his field.


One of the inspirers of the Seminary is Zalman Rubashov, veteran Palestinian labor leader and editor the the Hebrew labor daily, Davar. He is a writer and translator, and has published a critique of the Bible. Rubashov is delivering a series of lectures on the history of the Zionist labor movement.

Among the volunteer faculty is Raphael Margolin, who for a long time was a resident of Palestine and a member of the Histadruth cultural commission. He is a fellow of the Royal Economic Society of England. Mr. Margolin is giving a comprehensive course in Palestinography, including the physical, historical and social geography of the Jewish national home in the process of rebuilding.

The history of the old Jewish settlement in Palestine prior to the coming of the pioneers of the modern Zionist movement is being reviewed by Dr. J. Rifkind, librarian of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

A sociological analysis of modern Palestine will be presented by Abraham Revusky, journalist and author of “Jews in Palestine,” the most recent handbook on Zionist achievements in Palestine. Revusky has just returned from a visit to the Homeland and has brought back an account of the latest developments in the country.

Isaac Zaar, former editor of the “Vanguard,” will trace the evolution of socialist Zionist theory. Marie Syrkin, associate editor of the “Jewish Frontier,” will deliver a series of lectures on the life and works of her father, the late Dr. Nachman Syrkin, who was one of the founders and leading spirits of the socialist Zionist movement.


Dr. Herman Frank, journalist and economist, will start a cycle on the problems of world Jewry, beginning with the economic conditions of the Jewish people.

Dr. I. Shapiro, of Philadelphia, will lead a historical review of the Jewish labor movement in all countries, while Professor Hayim Fineman, of Temple University, will concentrate on the American Jewish scene. Dr. U. Z. Engelman will complete the series with a discussion on the growth of the Jewish population since the industrial revolution.

In connection with a study of the cultural development of modern Jewry, the Seminary will offer a series of lectures on modern Yiddish and Hebrew literature. J. J. Schwartz, wellknown poet and translator of the works of Bialik and Halevi, will lead the discussions on modern Jewish literature. The legacy of Joseph Hayim Brenner, an early Hebrew writer who greatly influenced the trend of Palestinian literature, will be evaluated by Shlomo Grodzensky, writer and student of Hebrew literature.

Other sessions of the Seminary will be devoted to a discussion of contemporary Jewish and labor problems.


One of the features of the Seminary is the daily classes in Hebrew. S. Solaveichik and Miss Enya Harris are teaching both beginners and advanced students. Another important factor is the select library which includes many English, Yiddish and Hebrew books and pamphlets related to the courses offered. These enable the participants to supplement the lectures by reading the classics and current material on the subjects studied.

Next Sunday evening, July 21, the Seminary will gather around a camp-fire for the purpose of honoring the late Hebrew poet laureate, Chaim Nachman Bialik.

The Seminary, arranged by the Hechalutz organization, is open to the public. The majority of the students are members of various Zionist organizations, including Hadassah, Avukah, Young Poale Zion Alliance, League for Labor Palestine, Zionist Pioneer Youth Habonim, Masada, Poale Zion-Zeire-Zion, Pioneer Women Organization, Jewish National Workers’ Alliance, Hapoel and Gordonia.

Registrations for the remainder of the sessions may still be made through the office of Hechalutz, 1225 Broadway, New York City.

Special rates for week-ends have been arranged.

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