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Motza, Israel

Coordinates:  31° 47' 38.11" N  35° 10' 6.45" E
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Dr. David Yellin
Dr. David Yellin, 1864 - 1941
1864 - 1941

David Yellin was the scion of the prominent Sassoon family. He was born in Jerusalem on 19 March 1864 to Joshua Yellin and Sarah née Yehuda. David became a teacher in 1882 at the age of eighteen. Several years after his teaching career began, he joined the staff of the Laemel School in Jerusalem where he remained until his resignation in 1913; Dr. Yellin had risen to the position of director by the time he resigned.

The Laemel School was the first Jewish school in Jerusalem to combine religious and secular subjects. Ashkenazi rabbis placed a ban against the school because it was teaching secular subjects. Dr. Yellin's resignation was due to the controversy, which began in 1889, over whether Hebrew or German was to take precedence in the education of the students.

The Laemel School was supported by the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Aid Association of German Jews), which favored German; Dr. Yellin favored Hebrew. After his resignation, Dr. Yellin founded a training college at Beth Hakerem where he was the director until his death in 1941.


Dr. Yellin was active in other fields. He was one of the founders and the president of the Jerusalem B'nai B'rith Lodge. He was involved in the establishment of the Jewish National Library, currently housed at Hebrew University.

Beginning in 1903, and lasting for nearly a decade, Yellin served in the Jerusalem Municipal Council. Dr. Yellin also served as Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor from 1905 to 1920. The First World War saw Jews, including Dr. Yellin, exiled to Damascus by Turkish authorities who believed that Jews favored the Allies. While in Damascus, Yellin worked with the American Palestine Relief Committee. After the war, he was a member of the Jewish Committee at the Paris Peace Conference.

In 1925, Dr. Yellin traveled to America as a guest professor at New York City's Stephen S. Wise Theological Seminary; he also lectured on Hebrew and Arabic Literature at Columbia University.

A more detailed biography can be found in the Jewish Telegraph Agency's 1941 article on Dr. David Yellin.

For additional information read Hebrew Institute for Teachers .

David Tabai Yellin

David Tabai Yellin, paternal grandfather of Dr. David Yellin, arrived in Palestine in 1834, age thirty-one. Traveling with him from Lomza, Poland were his wife Luba and his daughter Chava. They initially settled in Tzfat; following an earthquake, the family moved on to Jerusalem. In 1860, David


and Luba's son, Yehoshua (who became Dr. David Yellin's father), together with Yehoshua's father-in-law Yehezkel Yehuda, purchased land from the Arab village of Qalunya (Colonia) that would become Motza.

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Created: 25 Feb 2018

Last Modified: 03-02-2018

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