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Perlberg, Abraham Nathan


PERLBERG, ABRAHAM NATHAN (1889–1934), Hebrew author and educator. Born in Kolno, Poland, Perlberg studied at the Lomzhe yeshivah. After moving to Warsaw, he gave private lessons to the children of wealthy maskilim, including Aaron *Zeitlin. After immigrating to the United States in 1913, Perlberg taught at the Bet Hasefer Haleumi (National Hebrew School for Girls) in Brooklyn and Manhattan, becoming principal of the Manhattan branch of that school in 1920. Those schools taught Ivrit be-Ivrit (Hebrew in Hebrew), with an emphasis on Modern Hebrew literature and conversation. They were aimed at girls because the nationalist movement made the education of Jewish women an essential part of its program.

Perlberg taught at the Mizrachi Bet Hamidrash L'morim (Hebrew Teachers' Seminary), which later became part of Yeshivat Isaac Elhanan and Yeshivah University, from 1917 until his death. Many of his students went on to become leadingrabbis and scholars, including Solomon Feffer, Morris Goodblatt, Robert *Gordis, Hyman Grinstein, Isaac *Klein, Hayim Leaf, and Frank Zimmerman.

The town of Ra'ananah was founded in Palestine by a group of American Jews in 1922. According to an oral tradition, Perlberg suggested the name for the town.

Perlberg published widely in Hebrew journals for adults and children, including Hadoar, Haaretz, Ha-Toren, Nir, Aviv,and Ha-Do'ar La-Noar, and was the assistant editor of Ha-Toren and one of the editors of Aviv. He wrote poems, songs, and plays for children as well as articles about education and pedagogy. Many of his writings were collected posthumously in Kitvei A.N. Perlberg (1939).

[David Golinkin (2nd ed.)]

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