Berman, Jacob

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BERMAN, JACOB (1878–1974), rabbi, educator, and communal worker. Berman was born in Salant, Lithuania. He studied rabbinics at Telz Yeshivah and law at St. Petersburg University. While in St. Petersburg he played a part in the founding of the Baron Guenzburg Jewish Academy. In 1902 he was a delegate to the Zionist Conference in Minsk and the first Mizrachi Conference in Lida, where he lectured on the need for modernizing the yeshivot and initiated the founding of the Lida yeshivah of Isaac *Reines. He was principal of the yeshivah of Odessa, and rabbi in Berdichev, where he was active in saving and aiding refugees. In 1921 he immigrated to Ereẓ Israel, and from 1924 to 1944 he was head of Mizrachi religious education, served as deputy director of the Keneset Yisrael education department, and was chief inspector of religious schools. He was active in enlarging and developing the state religious education network and founded and directed the Religious Pedagogical Institute for yeshivah graduates. He wrote Torat ha-Medinah be-Yisrael, Pirkei Shulḥan Arukh le-Talmidim, and Halakhah le-Am. He was awarded the Israel Prize for Education in 1968.