Guide to the Records of the Yidisher Lerer Fareyn (Yiddish Teachers Union), Vilna 1910-1940

RG 50

Processed by Fruma Mohrer

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 246-6080

Fax: (212) 292-1892

Email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

URL: http://www.yivoinstitute.org

© 2006 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was converted to EAD version 2002 by Yakov Sklyar in September 2006. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Yidisher lerer fareyn (Yiddish Teachers Union)
Title: Records of the Yidisher lerer fareyn (Yiddish Teachers Union), Vilna
Dates:1910-1940
Abstract: The Yidisher lerer fareyn (Yiddish Teachers Union) in Vilna was a professional association of secular Yiddish teachers, which supported the ideology of the TSYSHO school system. The union engaged in a wide range of activities in order to promote the interests of its member teachers. Its membership, although composed primarily of Yiddish teachers expanded gradually to include teachers from religious and Hebrew schools. Founded in 1915 the union lasted until c. 1940. The records of the Yiddish Teachers’ Union reflect its activities from 1910-1940.
Languages: Yiddish and Polish with some Lithuanian and Russian.
Quantity: 2.2 linear feet (58 folders).
Record Group Number: RG 50
Repository: YIVO Archives
Return to the Top of Page

Historical Note

The Yidisher lerer farayn (Yiddish Teachers’ Union) was a professional organization active in Vilna from 1915 to c. 1940. It worked for the interests of teachers of Yiddish secular schools and was closely affiliated with the TSYSHO and the TSBK in Vilna. At some point in its history, teachers of other types of schools also became members. For example, by 1925 the YTU represented the interests of the Tarbut Hebrew Teachers’ Seminary. There are visible signs of cooperation between the Yiddish and Hebrew Teachers’ Union in the form of joint meetings. In addition, religious schools, such as Toras Emes or Ezra, are among those contributing membership dues.

Founded in September 1915 after the Russians’ departure from Vilna, the YTU’s original purpose was both political and practical. Its early by-laws recognize the socialist principle of class struggle and uphold the secular Yiddish school system and the policy of Yiddish as the language of instruction. In practical terms the YTU was a union of teachers, which met regularly to protect and improve the working conditions of teachers as well as upgrade the general welfare of students and teachers in the schools. It established uniform salary scales throughout the Vilna region and lobbied actively for higher salaries, both at the Vilna Kehilla Education Department and at the TSBK central office. It led several teachers’ strike against the Vilna Kehilla in the late ‘20’s and in the ‘30’s, forming a special strike committee, which supervised daily strike activities.

The YTU ran a placement service for teachers seeking positions in Yiddish schools. It maintained special funds, such as a sick fund and distributed clothes and money regularly to needy teachers. It adjudicated in teacher administration conflicts. In the educational field, the YTU had some control of curriculum in the Vilna region and published a program of geography and science. In 1916-1917 the YTU gave courses in which 50 teachers participated. Committees were appointed to work out Yiddish terminologies of arithmetic, geometry and geography. A YTU library was set up and the budget provided for library upkeep and improvement.

On the community level the YTU assumed an interest in cultural, educational activities as well as in relief work. For example, when a YTU investigation of living conditions in a Vilna children’s home revealed that the home was in a deplorable state, the OSE was requested to step in and provide relief. The YTU participated in cultural events such as the city-wide commemoration of Y.L. Peretz, and sent representatives to these events.

YTU income was based on subsidies, from the Vilna Kehilla, TSBK, donations from abroad, and most importantly, on membership dues sent in regularly by schools. Expenses were to pay for general maintenance costs, publicity, aid activities such as the sick fund, loans to needy teachers, cultural activities, publications and the library.

Members of the executive board included G. Pludermacher, B. Silberbein, Sh. Bostomski, Halpern, Reines, Shur, Gurwicz, Lubocki. Members of the Hebrew Teachers’ Union, which may have merged with the YTU at a later date included Senitsky, Yeveliovitch, Tsemel, Olnitsky.

Return to the Top of Page

Scope and Content Note

Series I includes a comprehensive file on individual Yiddish teachers in Vilna. It provides a view of the type of problems encountered on a daily basis by the union offices. These problems include job placement, salary certificates and other personal documents. The file is arranged in Yiddish alphabetical order by name of teacher.

Series II includes correspondence with organizations such as the Tsentraler Bildungs Komitet, ISHO, TSYSHO, Vilna Kehilla; a correspondence file with various organizations arranged in Yiddish-alphabetical order by name of school, organization or place-name; a correspondence file arranged chronologically only, because of the absence of organization name, place-name or name of school; and finally, a file on the teachers’ strike of 1929.All the correspondence files are fragmentary but provide a fairly clear representation of the range of contacts and activities exercised by the Union.

Series III includes various types of records.

a)Teachers’ applications arranged in alphabetical order by teachers’ name. The applications include statistical information on the teachers’ background, Education, family status.

b) Contribution lists from individual schools in alphabetical order, including lists of membership dues paid by each school periodically. Some religious schools in Vilna are among the contributors.

c) Minutes of YTU executive board, 1921-1933, as well as resolutions and reports relating to general issues. These minutes are rich in information and reflect all of the YTU’s range of activities.

d) Financial records which include bookkeeping records, 1923-1934.

e) Miscellaneous administrative records: YTU library records; printed materials;clippings, mainly relating to the teacher’s strike; miscellaneous materials on the Hebrew Teacher’s Union.

All of these are very fragmentary.

Return to the Top of Page

Arrangement

The collection is divided into the following 3 series:

Return to the Top of Page

Access and Use

Open to researchers.

For more information, contact:
Chief Archivist
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

Return to the Top of Page

Custodial History

Originally in the Pedagogical Museum of the YIVO Archives in Vilna. During the Nazi occupation of Vilna, in 1942, the records were looted by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and sent to the NSDAP Institute Zur Erforschung der Judenfrage in Frankfurt-am-Main. In 1945 they were recovered by the U.S. army and returned to the YIVO in New York, via the U.S. army archival depot in Offenbach. The records arrived in New York in 1947.

Return to the Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Published citations should read as follows:

Identification of item, date (if known); YIVO Archives; Yiddish Teacher's Union; RG 50; folder number.

Return to the Top of Page

Container List

 

Series I: Correspondence with Teachers, 1910-1940

9 folders
Arrangement:

For arrangement see Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content:

This series includes a comprehensive file on individual Yiddish teachers in Vilna. It provides a view of the type of problems encountered on a daily basis by the union offices, such as job placement and other. Also included here are salary certificates and other personal documents. The file is arranged in Yiddish alphabetical order by name of teacher.

Folder TitleDate
1א1923-1929
Folder TitleDate
2ב1916, 1922-1927
Folder TitleDate
3ג1925-1931, 1939-1940
Folder TitleDate
4ד-כ1910, 1922-1937
Folder TitleDate
5ל-ס1917-1920, 1924-1934
Folder TitleDate
6פ-ע 1924-1934
Folder TitleDate
7ק-צ1924-1934
Folder TitleDate
8ר-ש1924-1932
Folder TitleDate
9Unidentified teacher’s correspondence1928
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series II: Correspondence with Organizations, 1916-1938

13 folders
Arrangement:

For arrangement see Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content:

This series includes correspondence with organizations such as the Tsentraler Bildungs Komitet, ISHO, TSYSHO, Vilna Kehilla; a correspondence file with various organizations arranged in Yiddish-alphabetical order by name of school, organization or place-name; a correspondence file arranged chronologically only. Because of the absence of organization name, place-name or name of school; and finally, a file on the teachers’ strike of 1929.All the correspondence files are fragmentary but provide a fairly clear representation of the range of contacts and activities exercised by the Union.

Folder TitleDate
10TSBK1923-1933
Folder TitleDate
11ISHOundated, 1922-1928
Folder TitleDate
12TSYSHO1923-1932
Folder TitleDate
13Vilna Kehillaundated, 1921-1932
Folder TitleDate
14Various, א-ב1924-1929
Folder TitleDate
15Various, ג-ה1923-1929
Folder TitleDate
16Various, י-מ1923-1930
Folder TitleDate
17Various, נ-ת1923-1931
Folder TitleDate
18Correspondence, general. Chronological. Correspondence in Latin characters placed at end1925-1931
Folder TitleDate
19Strike Committeeundated, 1921-1932
Folder TitleDate
20Correspondence, outgoing 1917-1938
Folder TitleDate
21Correspondence, unidentified 1924-1927
Folder TitleDate
22Correspondence logs1916, 1920-1923
Return to the Top of Page
 

Series III: General Administrative Records, 1917-1939

36 folders
Arrangement:

For arrangement see Scope and Content Note

Scope and Content:

The series includes various types of records.

a)Teachers’ applications arranged in alphabetical order by teachers’ name. The applications include statistical information on the teachers’ background, Education, family status.

b) Contribution lists from individual schools in alphabetical order, including lists of membership dues paid by each school periodically. Some religious schools in Vilna are among the contributors.

c) Minutes of YTU executive board, 1921-1933, as well as resolutions and reports relating to general issues. These minutes are rich in information and reflect all of the YTU’s range of activities.

d) Financial records which include bookkeeping records, 1923-1934.

e) Miscellaneous administrative records: YTU library records; printed materials;clippings, mainly relating to the teacher’s strike; miscellaneous materials on the Hebrew Teacher’s Union.

All of these are very fragmentary.

Folder TitleDate
23Minutes of executive board1918-1925
Folder TitleDate
24Minutes of executive board1928-1931
Folder TitleDate
25Minutes of executive board1921-1933
Folder TitleDate
26Minutes of executive boardundated
Folder TitleDate
27Resolutions, appeals, reports, etc.undated
Folder TitleDate
28Strike Committee. Reports, minutes, circulars, printed materialsundated, 1928-1931
Folder TitleDate
29Minutes of meetings: other organizations or unidentifiedundated, 1924-1929
Folder TitleDate
30 Contribution lists from individual schools. S. Anski Orphanageundated
Folder TitleDate
31 Contribution lists from individual schools. Arbeter Kinderheymundated, 1923-1923
Folder TitleDate
32 Contribution lists from individual schools.Borokhov Kindergarten undated
Folder TitleDate
33 Contribution lists from individual schools. Beis Yehudaundated, 1921-1923
Folder TitleDate
34 Contribution lists from individual schools. L. Gurevitch1933-1934
Folder TitleDate
35 Contribution lists from individual schools. Grininke Beimelekh1922-1923
Folder TitleDate
36 Contribution lists from individual schools. I . Dinesohnundated, 1923
Folder TitleDate
37 Contribution lists from individual schools. Humanistic Gymnasiumundated, 1927
Folder TitleDate
38 Contribution lists from individual schools. Hilf Durkh Arbetundated, 1938
Folder TitleDate
39 Contribution lists from individual schools. Winchevski Evening Schoolundated, 1921
Folder TitleDate
40 Contribution lists from individual schools. Yiddish Teachers Seminary, Orphanageundated
Folder TitleDate
41 Contribution lists from individual schools. Mefitse Haskoloundated, 1921, 1939
Folder TitleDate
42 Contribution lists from individual schools. S. Frug, Frug-Kuperstein1927-1934
Folder TitleDate
43 Contribution lists from individual schools. D. Kupersteinundated, 1927-1934
Folder TitleDate
44 Contribution lists from individual schools. Ratner Evening School1922-1923
Folder TitleDate
45 Contribution lists from individual schools. Sholem Aleikhemundated, 1929, 1931, 1937
Folder TitleDate
46 Contribution lists from individual schools. Torat Emesundated, 1921, 1927-1933
Folder TitleDate
47 Contribution lists from individual schools. Torah Temimaundated, 1921, 1931
Folder TitleDate
48Lists of teachers and schoolsundated, 1921-1922, 1931-1932
Folder TitleDate
49Various listsundated, 1922-1923, 1926
Folder TitleDate
50Applications from teachers. In alphabetical orderundated, 1918-1929
Folder TitleDate
51Bookkeeping records1924
Folder TitleDate
52Budgets and Invoicesundated, 1923-1934
Folder TitleDate
53Strike Committee: financial materialsundated
Folder TitleDate
54Printed materials: invitations, formsundated, 1917-1919
Folder TitleDate
55Clippings1928-1929
Folder TitleDate
56Library materials: invoices, card, minutes, etc.undated, 1926
Folder TitleDate
57Hebrew Teachers’ Union: printed materials and correspondenceundated
Folder TitleDate
58Unidentified fragmentsundated
Return to the Top of Page