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Yad Vashem Monastir. The Story of a Sephardic Community in Macedonia

History of the Monastir Community

Educational Institutions

1910 – Students at the Catholic school in Monastir, among them Jewish students. The school was run by the French Lazarite Order1910 – Students at the Catholic school in Monastir, among them Jewish students. The school was run by the French Lazarite Order
Class of children, MonastirClass of children, Monastir
Class of girls at the Jewish school in Monastir, prewar. The girls are holding their school certificatesClass of girls at the Jewish school in Monastir, prewar. The girls are holding their school certificates
Fourth grade students at a school in Monastir, 1937Fourth grade students at a school in Monastir, 1937

Until 1863, Monastir had one Talmud Torah that taught traditional Jewish studies, including the Hebrew alphabet and the translation of the Torah word by word to Ladino. The city also had a kindergarten for children aged three to six, with their teachers involved mainly in looking after them but also engaging them in songs and stories.

In 1868, a school was established in Monastir by the Lazarite Order, in which six Jewish students studied. In 1869, the Lazarites set up a school for Jewish children, in which Torah studies, Turkish and Greek was taught by Jewish, Turkish and Greek teachers.

In addition to the Talmud Torah, in 1893 the community established a modern school of its own supported by the Alliance, headed by a teacher from Saloniki. The school offered courses in carpentry, blacksmithery, wagon-driving and more. Some two years later, an elementary school opened. Many of the Jewish students already enrolled in the Greek, Turkish and French schools opted to move to the new Jewish school, which was mixed. In 1903, the Alliance opened a school for girls in Monastir.

In 1902, 158 students were learning in the schools, of which 70 were exempted from paying fees due to their parents’ dire financial situation. In 1904, there were 357 students, over half of them girls.

In addition to these studies, some parents chose to continue sending their children to the Talmud Torah.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.