In 1917 in Radom a private Jewish lower secondary school for boys opened at 13, Kiliński Street, and a year later a School for girls at 4 Mariacka Street. Both schools were founded by the social activist Józef Temerson and Icchak Tynowicki, who ran the school office. The schools were to be supervised by "Friends of Knowledge" Society, created specifically for this purpose, with assimilated richer Jews of Radom as its members.
The licence issued by the District School Board of Warsaw on 6 September 1927, allowed an 8-grade coeducational lower secondary school to be established; it was owned by the Society of Jewish High Schools "Friends of Knowledge" in Radom and headed by Enoch Hurwicz. At the end of the 1920s, lessons for the first classes of lower secondary school and the so-called ‘little kindergarden’(ran by Alicja Hurwicz, Henoch’s wife) were held in a building in Mariacka Street. It was not until the fourth grade that pupils attended the school in Kilińskiego Street. In the building in Mariacka Street, apart from classrooms, there were also private apartments of the headmaster and janitors.
Many of the graduates later become active political, social and cultural activists. One of them was Samuel Benet (1903-1934), the author of a series of articles on the history of Jews in Poland and in Radom, published in the Jewish and Polish press. Unfortunately most of the graduates perished during the war. One of the few survivors was Jakub Zyskind, who visited Radom in 2007, and said: "The headmaster of our School was Henryk Hurwicz, an intellectual, educator, music lover and architect; he was gentle, calm and friendly towards his pupils. He was adored by us – no doubt about that. Zuzanna Gliksman was our Polish teacher – we were all scared of her, but thanks to her I admired and understood all Polish poets: Mickiewicz, Slowacki, Krasinski and even Norwid."
”We understood, discussed and criticized the works of Prus, Sienkiewicz, Reymont and Żeromski. Thanks to her we became familiar with contemporary poets such as Tuwim, Hemar, Leśmian and others. Mrs Gliksman was the only one of my teachers who survived the war (...). Our Latin teacher was Izaak Schützer, a legionnaire of the Polish Army, an extremely intelligent man who spoke eight languages. He was one of the first killed in 1940 together with a group of Polish intellectuals. I also remember Mr Morawski and professor Małuja, the Poles working in our school. I remember everyone - Mrs Rozen, the German teacher, Mrs Samtgarten who taught biology, Mrs Haber, our history teacher, Ms Goldberg , mathematician and Mr Frydman who taught Latin. I remember the teachers who prepared us for the so-called Hebrew school leaving exam in Hebrew, the Bible and Jewish history - Mr Worcman, Mr Schützer and Mr Korman. I remember my secondary school class, military training, parades on May 3, in uniforms and in full gear (...).”
”I was born in Radom and I lived in Radom until 1943, surviving all the selections and persecutions. In 1943 I fled to Warsaw and with the help of many Poles I saved my life. Every single year, I pay tribute to those people who helped me so selflessly. They are indeed the "righteous among the nations." Personally I still feel Polish, even though I live in my other - my first Homeland. I lived in Poland until 1958, I have both Polish and Israeli citizenship."
The Book of Radom; The Story of a Jewish Community in Poland Destroyed by the Nazis (Radom, 2017) says: "The only Jewish secondary school in Radom was a source of great pride for the Jewish community. (...).The newly established school joined the national network of Zionist schools, supervised by the Central Association of Jewish Schools with headquarters in Lodz. The bi-lingual Hebrew-Polish schools were known throughout the country for their excellent organization and high scholastic standards. The program was the same as in the government schools except for 12 additional hours weekly for Hebraic subjects. Both the general and the Hebraic curriculum were on a high level. The peak enrollment in the high school was six hundred students. (…) The school had an outstanding faculty of well-trained teachers, many of whom were authorities in their field of instruction. Among them were: engineers Borenstein and Eisenberg (physics), Mrs Bala Speisman-Goldberg and Rafael Holckener (mathematics), Messrs Friedman and Schuetzer (Latin), Mrs Pola Stieler (natural science), Miss Haber (history), Mlles Rosen and Frenkel (German), Miss Gliksman (Polish) Miss Samgarten (social studies). Hebrew subjects (grammar, literature, Bible, Jewish history) were taught by Pelta Muskatblit, Elchanan Schuetzer, Leib Milman, Dr. Grayewer, Isaac Wortsman and Joseph Korman. The school principals were, in succession, Messrs Einhorn, Zielinski, Russak and Hurwitz. Most of the teachers were killed by the Nazis. The Graduates of the school entered adulthood rich in high ideals and a great understanding human values. Many made outstanding careers in the world of science, politics and liberal professions. Unfortunately, only a few survived the Holocaust."
Jan Kochanowski Secondary School no.6 has been located in Kiliński Street for several dozen years. In 2005, the students of the school situated just a few hundred meters from the old Jewish school decided to bring back the memory of the place. They celebrated, among others, the 90th anniversary of the School of the "Friends of Knowledge" Society, they tried to contact its students and collected souvenirs and testimonials. They also created a special website: http://www.gimnazjum.website.pl/"http://www.gimnazjum.website.pl/
At present, Jan Kochanowski Secondary School together with Resursa Obywatelska organise an event called "Trace" - Encounters with Jewish Culture. A happening at the site of the former synagogue has become a tradition; students read out the names of the Jewish inhabitants of pre-war Radom and each year is devoted to one letter of the alphabet.
The Book of Radom; The Story of a Jewish Community in Poland Destroyed by the Nazis, USA 1963; Społeczność żydowska Radomia w I połowie XX wieku. Kultura- Zagłada – Rozproszenie, red. Zbigniew Wieczorek, Radom 2008;
1. School announcement, State Archives, Radom
2 - 4. School graduates, The Book of Radom; The Story…