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service. These restrictions exist even for private high schools, which are subject to governmental supervision in the same degree as governmental institutions.

To provide for the education of the Jewish children, who are thus almost debarred from the general schools, a few special Government schools are established, but these schools depend upon a limited fund and the number is very insufficient. The number of such schools at the end of the last century was determined to be 183, with an average of 113 pupils for each school. Two teachers' institutes for the preparation of Jewish teachers were established, but one of them was subsequently discontinued.

Without the benefits of a system of free education the Jews are forced to depend upon their own resources. Private schools and communal schools established and supported by charitable or other organizations have been opened in many places, the number of such schools with systematic courses being 637, so that the total number of schools in Russia for the Jews is 820.

But the number of schools in itself does not give a proper conception of the lack of educational facilities; much depends upon the size of the schools. The total number of pupils in these schools was determined to be about 50,000, and if the inevitable omissions are considered the number may be as great as 60,000; but if the number of children of school age be estimated at one-seventh of the total population (which is a very small proportion), it follows that out of more than 700,000 children less than 10 per cent enjoy the privilege of schooling in more or less organized schools, which, on the whole, have a course of studies lower in grade than that of a grammar school in the United States.

The Russian Jews owe their comparatively low degree of illiteracy to the peculiar Jewish institution called the “kheder," a denominational school the primary object of which is instruction in the Bible and in Jewish religion and learning. In practice this takes the form of instruction in the Hebrew language and in reading the Scriptures and the many commentaries. If the specific name of these schools has come to be used in the Russian language, it is because of the many peculiarities of their organization, which peculiarities have been preserved from time immemorial. The “kheder" is a private school. The State interests itself little

. in the organization of these "kheders" beyond requiring that no person shall teach in them without a permit, and that he shall not teach anything but Jewish subjects. Practically no requirements of an educational nature are enforced. The profession of a “melamed,” as a teacher in one of these “kheders” is called, has therefore become the refuge of men who have failed in other occupations. A “melamed"

organizes the school, and upon his energy and facilities depends the number of scholars that can be gathered into it.

An investigation conducted by the well-known Imperial Russian Free Economic Society in 1894 determined the number of “kheders” at 14,740, with 202,000 pupils, or an average of 13.7 pupils per “kheder.” This gives an idea of the nature of the school. The Jewish Colonization Society collated data from 507 localities, with a Jewish population of 1,420,000, and found 7,145 “kheders," from which data it estimates the total number of existing "kheders" to be 24,000. Taking the average number of pupils to each “kheder” to be 13.7, these 24,000 “kheders" evidently contained about 329,000 pupils.

The investigation of the Russian Free Economic Society showed that in 1894, out of a total of 201,964 pupils registered in the 14,740 “kheders" reported, there were only 10,459 girls, or 5.2 per cent. It seems, then, that almost all the boys of school age attend a “kheder,'' while only a few girls do so. It is true that the religious element plays some part in this unequal distribution of the educational advantages, the church duties of the Jewish men being more important than those of the women. For the same reason the old-fashioned Jew of the Pale is readier to send his daughter than his son to a secular, Christian school. As has been shown above, the facilities for giving the Jewish child an education in the governmental schools are extremely limited, and while the percentage of illiteracy among the Jewish women is much higher than among the men, still the data in regard to the number of girls attending schools do not show where the 45 per cent of young Jewish women acquired an elementary education, and, what is still more surprising, where 35 to 40 per cent of them acquired a knowledge of Russian in addition to Yiddish.

The explanation lies probably in the peculiar zeal of the Jewish people for some education, for there is scarcely another race or social group which has succeeded in attaining such a high percentage of literacy without a public school system. The women and girls use every available means to learn to read and write. Private tutoring is very popular in Russia, and because of the general low standard of prosperity such tutoring has been made so inexpensive as to be within the means of even poor families, the average Jewish family being willing to sacrifice a great deal to obtain some education. Then, again, the male members of the family will share their education the best way they know how with their sisters. The very widespread tendency of the educated minority to organize secret classes for the instruction of adult working men and women in combination with secret socialist and other propaganda must not be disregarded, although no statistical accounting of the dimensions of this movement is possible. Yet there is evidence in the tables of the existence of this belated

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education. It will be noticed that for the total population of Russia the age period of from 10 to 19 is the one that shows the highest percentage of people able to read, while among the Jews it is, on the contrary, the age period of from 20 to 29, and the difference between this age period and the one immediately preceding is 2 per cent among the females and as much as 11 per cent among the males. If the natural progress of educational facilities be taken into additional consideration, it follows that the percentage of persons acquiring the ability to read and write many years after the passing of the school period is even greater than the percentages given above indicate. The same tendency is noticed in the overcrowded night schools of New York City.

Still the “kheder" remains the most important educational institution of the Jewish Pale. In the absence of other and better facilities the “kheder" has an important function to fulfill. It does not follow that it does it in a satisfactory manner, the “melamed” having in the majority of cases neither the fitness nor the facilities for successful teaching. The methods are antiquated and the environments indescribably bad. The facilities of the schoolroom may be imagined, or at least guessed at, if one remembers that the tuition fees from 15 to 20 pupils are the only source of income of the "melamed;" and in view of the poverty of his clients these tuition fees can not amount to much. Yet, while the income of the "melamed" is small, the expense of education is a heavy burden to a poor family with several children of school age. For a half-year term the average tuition fees vary from 10 to 15 rubles ($5.15 to $7.73) for the younger pupils, and from 12 to 25 rubles ($6.18 to $12.88) for the older and more advanced pupils. The fees are usually higher in the large cities and lower in the small settlements, the average being about 25 rubles ($12.88) a year in the former and 18 rubles ($9.27) a year in the latter. Such fees scarcely provide the "melamed" with an income of 200 to 300 rubles ($103 to $154.50) a year, therefore the hiring of special premises for school purposes is out of the question, and the dwelling of the "melamed” is at the same time the school. Only in about 20 per cent of the schools investigated was a separate room specially provided in the house of the teacher. In the remaining 80 per cent the schoolroom was the living room of the teacher's family, which was at the same time the sleeping room, the kitchen, etc. The furnishings of a typical “kheder” are limited to a long table provided on both sides with plain wooden benches, so high that the children's feet hang down without touching the floor, because the teacher can not afford to provide the children of different

ages benches of different heights. Usually there is not even a back to lean on, and the children are forced to bend over the table through the long school day. The air in this improvised schoolroom has often been described as killing. During the winter months the

with

dearth of fuel necessitates keeping the windows closed, and the air is vitiated not only by the overcrowding of the room with pupils but also by the cooking of food.

All these objectionable features of the typical “kheder” are accentuated by the excessively long hours, almost as excessive as were the hours in the factory before the struggle of the Bund for a shorter workday began. The antiquated methods of instruction, together with the zeal of the parents that their son understand the intricacies of Bible exegetics at the time when the American boy has scarcely advanced beyond the second reader, encourage these long hours. The school day begins at 9 a. m. and ends at 5, sometimes at 6 or even at 8 p. m., so that the school day lasts anywhere from eight to eleven hours. Only in the larger cities, especially of the South,

. where the Jewish traditions are weakened and Jewish learning not held in such esteem, does the school day sometimes fall to seven hours. When the Jewish boy spends the entire day for many years, and practically without any vacation, in this atmosphere in the strenuous mental effort of disentangling the medieval intricacies of the commentators of the Bible, there is little wonder that he leaves the “kheder” an anæmic, emaciated youth, with physical powers much impaired.

The "talmud-thora” is a communal school, supported by the Jewish community, in which an effort is made to do away with the hygienic and educational imperfections of the "kheder" system. The Hebrew branches are given sufficient prominence to make the school satisfactory to the orthodox, while at the same time are introduced the Russian language and some general educational subjects. The "talmud-thora” is gradually growing into a national school for the Jews; but the number of these institutions is limited, because of their general expensiveness.

An improvement of the school facilities for the Jews in Russia will come only after the many restrictions are abolished and with substantial assistance from the Government funds.

The facts detailed in the foregoing pages indicate how deeply the lives of the Russian Jews have been influenced by the legal conditions under which they live. A study of these conditions and their economic results seems to be doubly important for a clear understanding of Russian Jewish immigration to this country; not only because these conditions shape the physical, psychological, and economic status of the immigrant, but also because they are of decisive influence in determining the very dimensions of the current of immigration from Western Russia to the United States.

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education. It will be noticed that for the total population of Russia the age period of from 10 to 19 is the one that shows the highest percentage of people able to read, while among the Jews it is, on the contrary, the age period of from 20 to 29, and the difference between this age period and the one immediately preceding is 2 per cent among the females and as much as 11 per cent among the males. If the natural progress of educational facilities be taken into additional consideration, it follows that the percentage of persons acquiring the ability to read and write many years after the passing of the school period is even greater than the percentages given above indicate. The same tendency is noticed in the overcrowded night schools of New York City.

Still the “kheder” remains the most important educational institution of the Jewish Pale. In the absence of other and better facilities the “kheder" has an important function to fulfill. It does not follow that it does it in a satisfactory manner, the "melamed” having in the majority of cases neither the fitness nor the facilities for successful teaching. The methods are antiquated and the environments indescribably bad. The facilities of the schoolroom may be imagined, or at least guessed at, if one remembers that the tuition fees from 15 to 20 pupils are the only source of income of the “melamed;" and in view of the poverty of his clients these tuition fees can not amount to much. Yet, while the income of the “melamed” is small, the expense of education is a heavy burden to a poor family with several children of school age. For a half-year term the average tuition fees vary from 10 to 15 rubles ($5.15 to $7.73) for the younger pupils, and from 12 to 25 rubles ($6.18 to $12.88) for the older and more advanced pupils. The fees are usually higher in the large cities and lower in the small settlements, the average being about 25 rubles ($12.88) a year in the former and 18 rubles ($9.27) a year in the latter. Such fees scarcely provide the "melamed" with an income of 200 to 300 rubles ($103 to $154.50) a year, therefore the hiring of special premises for school purposes is out of the question, and the dwelling of the “melamed” is at the same time the school. Only in about 20 per cent of the schools investigated was a separate room specially provided in the house of the teacher. In the remaining 80 per cent the schoolroom was the living room of the teacher's family, which was at the same time the sleeping room, the kitchen, etc. The furnishings of a typical “kheder” are limited to a long table provided on both sides with plain wooden benches, so high that the children's feet hang down without touching the floor, because the teacher can not afford to provide the children of different ages with benches of different heights. Usually there is not even a back to lean on, and the children are forced to bend over the table through the long school day. The air in this improvised schoolroom has often been described as killing. During the winter months the

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