Lehmann, Siegfried

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LEHMANN, SIEGFRIED (1892–1958), Israel educator. Born in Berlin, Lehmann became a physician and as a student was influenced by Martin *Buber to take an interest in Judaism. He founded the Volksheim in Berlin for the children of immigrants from Eastern Europe (1916) and after World War i was responsible for the rehabilitation of Jewish youth in Lithuania (1920) and was the founder and principal of the Yidishe Kinderhoyz in Kovno. In 1926 Lehmann settled in Palestine, bringing many war orphans with him, and founded the *Ben Shemen Youth Village (1927). The village became a model of modern rural education under his leadership and from 1933 one of the main centers of *Youth Aliyah. Lehmann's four principal ideals were work on the soil and rural living, including inter alia, promoting folk music, folk dance, and folk art; community life and student self-government as a preparation for the kibbutz; education for peace, tolerance, and international understanding, especially with the Arabs; and education toward a traditional but non-Orthodox and non-dogmatic outlook on life. In 1940 he was arrested after the British police made a search in Ben Shemen (which was an isolated settlement surrounded by Arabs) and found arms; he was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Lehmann was released three weeks later through the intervention of Albert Einstein and other leading figures.

Lehmann received an award from the United Nations Children's Fund (unicef; 1952) and the 1957 Israel Prize for education. His ideas served as an example to the Youth Aliyah movement. Among his several published works is one on Arab-Israel problems.


Tidhar, 10 (1959), 3499–501; A. Simon, in: S. Lehmann, Ra'yon ve-Hagshamah (1962), 9–31.

[Aryeh Simon]

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Lehmann, Siegfried

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