The Best School in Jerusalem: Annie Landau’s School for Girls, 1900-1960

Brandeis University Press  2014


The modern city that we know as Jerusalem today was a very different place one hundred years ago. It was poor, full of beggars, and overrun with disease. The Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities were rigidly divided. The one thing they had in common was the status of women: girls received no education and were married at the age of twelve or thirteen. Annie Landau, a British Orthodox Jew who immigrated to Palestine, changed all of that. She began teaching English at the Evalina de Rothschild School and became principal in 1899. She held this post until her death in 1945. She changed the lives of many girls by creating a school open to all social classes, religions, and backgrounds. She gave them both a Jewish and a secular education and instilled in them a sense of self-confidence that enabled them to participate in the devel­opment of modern Israeli society. This book by a professor at Hunter College gives readers both a portrait of a remarkable woman and a picture of the early days of the Zionist move­ment, World War I, and the economy of the yishuv. They will gain an understanding of the relations between the different social classes, the religious and secular communities, and between Arabs and Jews. This is an excellent choice for those interested in Jewish studies, women’s studies, and education.

Related content:

Have You Read...