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Ukase Respecting the Education of Jews in Russia.

[NOTE: for another point of view regarding this Ukase, see Chapter 6 of "The Tzemach Tzedek and the Haskalah Movement".]

A remarkable Ukase has been lately issued by the Emperor of Russia, respecting the establishment of schools for the education of Jews in his dominions, which may be expected to prove very beneficial to the Israelites who reside in the Russian Empire.

The “Orient” of December 17, gives the Ukase at full length; the following are the principal regulations which it decrees:—

  1. Independent of the permission which the Jews have enjoyed hitherto, of attending the general educational institutions of the country, separate schools are to be established for the education of the Jewish youth:
  2. Elementary schools, or schools of the first class, the instruction given in which is to correspond with that given in Christian elementary schools; and higher schools, or schools of the second class, to correspond with the district schools, being, peculiarly Polytechnic schools.
  3. Schools for the education of Rabbies, in which the secular instruction imparted is to correspond with that given in Gymnasia.
  4. That in their arrangement, respect is to be had to Jewish customs and religion. 
  5. That religious instruction is to be given by Jewish teachers; but as regards the other branches of instruction, any properly qualified teachers, whether Jews or Christians, may be appointed.
  6. That Christian teachers, employed in these Jewish schools, shall enjoy the same rights and privileges, as teachers in the corresponding German schools.

  7. That teachers and superintendents of these schools shall be exempted from military service.

  8. That the privileges granted by the laws to other schools, shall also be enjoyed by these Jewish Government schools.

  9. Those who attend these schools shall have the same privileges as are now guaranteed by the laws to such Jews as attend Christian schools.  

  10. Should any of those Jews who shall attend the schools be taken for soldiers, their time of military service is shortened, according to the class to which the school they attended belonged. And those who have completed a whole course of study with credit to themselves, and distinguished themselves in the study of the Russian language and literature, are wholly exempted from military service.

The provisions of this Ukase do not appear to extend at present to the Kingdom of Poland, but it is to be hoped that the great number of Jews in that country may not long remain without the benefits of some organized system of education.

The Jewish population of that part of the Russian dominions comprised in the Kingdom of Poland, (exclusive of the vast provinces which formerly belonged to Poland, and contain a much greater number of Jews,) has increased 143,349 since 1829, and amounts to 524,491.—Jewish Intelligencer.