Women of Valor

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Family Religious School

Rebecca Gratz, 1781 - 1869

Gratz became increasingly concerned about religious issues after her sister Sarah's death in 1817. In response to the burgeoning Christian Sunday School movement and increased religious fervor, Gratz began to perceive a need for Jewish education among women and children. In 1818, she began a small religious school for her siblings and their children. Although this early experiment did not expand beyond her family members, it convinced Gratz that this kind of training was essential for Jews living as minorities in a Christian world. Bar Mitzvah preparation and private tutorials were the only avenues of formal Jewish education available for boys, and there were none at all for girls. The family school became the prototype for the Hebrew Sunday School that Gratz would establish twenty years later.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Rebecca Gratz - Family Religious School." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/gratz/family-religious-school>.