From it's very beginning the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium ,was an important event in the education and Jewish culture.
In 1906-1905,Parents from among the new immigrants, who wished to give their children a secondary education in Hebrew, seeked an appropriate institution to meet their demands.
The idea of founding the Hebrew Gymnasium was thought of by the Zionist leader Menachem Ussishkin, and the educators: Dr. Chaim Bograshov and Dr. Ben - Zion Mossinsohn.This complemented the development of the basic Jewish education, and became another link on achieving higher education in Hebrew.
Dr. Yehuda Leib Metman - Cohen and his wife Fania.
The idea wouldn't had taken form , were it not for the daring
attempt of the couple Metman - Cohen to set
up the first Hebrew Gymnasium in Jaffa.
Dr. Yehuda Leib Metman - Cohen dreamed of the Hebrew Gymnasium since his membership in the Association of "Revival Army" in Odessa. He immigrated to Israel with his wife Fania.The
couple moved to Jaffa and decided to fulfill their dream
Yehuda Leib taped an ad written
in his handwriting. The ad announced the opening of "school for boys and
girls, in Jaffa, where students will study for nine years, as "every high
school in Europe and America,Bible and Talmud; past language and its
literature; languages: French, German, English and Latin; geometry and algebra,…Physics and chemistry, zoology
and botany, Main Geologyand mineralogy; history , drawing, etc. ".
The Metman couple dared to open gymnasium in two rooms, at their small apartment,
on "a narrow and muddy alley" near the Jaffa Clock Square.
Only 17 students were enrolled on first year.Dr. Metman
insisted on teaching all the classes in Hebrew.
Parents were afraid to send their children to learn in these
conditions. The Chertok couple preferred to enroll their son to a
girls school "rather than risk a vague education ... ." Their son, Moshe Sharett,
who later joined the Gymnasium, and graduated the first class, became the
second Prime Minister of Israel.
The first ad written by Dr. Metman
The school, soon proved promising as an educational institution, the
number of students grew steadily, and it required moving to larger building in
Jaffa.Under the pressure of the new teacher, Dr. Bograshov, who joined
the team of teachers, the school became a public institution, supervised by a board,
a year after its establishment.
Among teachers in the early years were Dr. Bograshov the Geography
teacher, M. Aldema the Art teacher, Zvi Nishri the Gym teacher, Dr. B
Mossinsohn the Bible teacher, Dr. Y. Lurie the History teacher, Dr. A.
Rosenstein:Mathematics and Physics, and Hanina Kratzovsky the Singing teacher.
The Gymnasium's reputation spread throughout the Jewish world.It became
a magnet for youth from Israel and abroad. Rumors of the gymnasium had also reached
Jacob Moser, a Jewish judge in Bradford, England (later its mayor), an ardent
Zionist and an admirer of Theodore Herzl. He created a commotion at the Eighth
Zionist Congress, when he proposed in 1907 to contribute 80 000 francs for the
establishment of a permanent building for the gymnasium. He had only one
condition - that the institution will be called "the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium".
The Gymnasium on Herzl Street
In those days the
Jews of Jaffa formed another bold initiative: to establish a Hebrew suburb near
the city of jaffa.The Suburb was founded in 1909 and was the first Hebrew
city of Tel - Aviv.Akiva Arieh Weiss and Menachem Sheinkin convinced
Moser to build the new Gymnasium there as they were confident that would
increase the demand for lots in the neighborhood.
for the school's new building on Herzl Street in the"Ahuzat Bait"
.neighborhood of Tel Aviv took place on July 28, 1909
The Gymnasium building was the first public building in Tel - Aviv,
and the first building constructed entirely by Jews.The building became
the center of the neighborhood, guests were brought to see it, rallies were
gathered there and Friday prayers were
held there.The building was
designed by Joseph Barskey, inspired by descriptions of Solomons temple.
The building on Herzl Street
was a major Tel Aviv landmark until 1962, when the site was razed for the
construction of the Shalom Meir tower. The destruction of the building sparked
widespread recognition of the importance of conserving historical landmarks.
The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites was founded in the 1980s
partly in response to the fate of Herzliya Hebrew High School.
The Gymnasium had a decisive
contribution in the struggle, of turning the spoken language to Hebrew in the
public sphere.It often provoked
public storms in educational matters which are at the base of the educational values
accepted today .Boys and girls studied together, side by side,The Bible
was taught as a Literary Text and bareheaded, school trips and long journeys, were
incorporated in the curriculum.
Located today on Jabotinsky Street,
it serves as a six-year secondary school. The modern campus is entered through
a gate that is a replica of the facade of the 1909 building.