FRIEDLAND, ABRAHAM HAYYIM (1891-3 Aug. 1939), educator, author, and first director of the BUREAU OF JEWISH EDUCATION, was born in Gorodok, Lithuania to Leah Friedland. He received a traditional yeshiva education. His family came to New York when he was 14, and he studied at the Isaac Elchanan Yeshiva in addition to public high school. Following graduation from Columbia University, Friedland helped establish the Natl. Hebrew School for Girls in New York in 1911, remaining there until 1920, when he became superintendent of the CLEVELAND HEBREW SCHOOLS. In 1924, when the Bureau of Jewish Education was established to coordinate institutions offering Jewish education, Friedland became its first director, establishing teacher-training, youth clubs, children's theater, advanced Hebrew studies, and the Institute for Jewish Studies---building a network of 8 Hebrew and 5 religious schools, and an adult institute. An ardent Zionist, Friedland was criticized by those who believed he taught secular Jewish nationalism. In 1926, he declined an invitation to become director of the Jewish educational system in Palestine.
Friedland was president of Cleveland Zionist District, Ohio Region of the Zionist Organization of America, Histadrut Ivrith, and Natl. Council of Jewish Education. Interested in aids to teach Hebrew to children, he wrote Torah-Li, Shiron, Sippurim Yofim, and coauthored Gilenu. He also wrote Sonettot; poetry, published as Shirim; and coauthored Hashvil with Rabbi SOLOMON GOLDMAN. He translated Hebrew literature into English and English poets into Hebrew. He married, Yonina, a native of Palestine, in 1916. They had 1 daughter, Aviva.
Bureau of Jewish Education Records, WRHS.
Abraham H. Friedland Papers, American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.