HANDICRAFTS IN THE JEWISH ORPHAN ASYLUM.
(TO TER EDITOR Or TEl " SPECTATOR.")
SIit,—My attention has been drawn to the note in your issue of November 20th, referring to the workshop which has been attached to the Jewish Orphan Asylum at West Norwood. It is not accurate, as would appear from your note, that this charity, which has existed for many years, has been founded and endowed by myself. All I have done is to erect, with the sanction and approval of my colleagues on the Board of Manage- ment, a workshop in the grounds of the institution, which I have furnished with benches and tools, and in which it is intended to impart to our boys some knowledge of the use of tools, and such other technical instruction as the time at our command may enable us to devote to it.
I am not sure that I am sanguine enough to cherish the belief you attribute to me, that the new experiment will be so successful as to lead to the introduction of technical in- struction very widely into our elementary schools. I shall heartily rejoice if such proves to be the case, as I do firmly believe that technical instruction would be very usefully intro- duced into the curriculum of all such schools ; and in no insti- tutions is it more necessary or likely to be of greater value than in orphan asylums.
I hope, if we are successful at Norwood, to see a workshop attached to the London Orphan Asylum at Watford, with the management of which it has been my privilege to be associated for many years, and it will be a great satisfaction to me if the step I have been instrumental in causing to be adopted at the orphan asylum of my own community at Norwood leads to workshops being attached to every orphan asylum in the country.
No doubt there are, as you say, "dunces with their hands as well as dunces with their heads," but precisely for this very reason,—as almost all orphan boys are dependent, on leaving their asylum, for their livelihood nearly as much on their hands as on their heads, it is wrong that all their education and training should be directed to their heads, and none to their [We took the words we used from the Times' report, and are sorry that they were in any degree incorrect.—En. Spectator.]