Poster of Women’s Clothing, 1913
This poster presents the Hebrew names of various women’s clothes with numbered illustrations. Underneath the illustrations, there is a list of the numbers with the Hebrew word for the corresponding item.
The poster was published in Israel in 1913 during the so-called “war of the languages,” a stormy public debate regarding the use of Hebrew in the education system of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in pre-state Israel). The poster formed part of the campaign to encourage the use of Hebrew rather than foreign words in everyday life. Some of the words on the poster are still used today in modern Hebrew; many others are no longer used, either because the Hebrew never quite caught on or because the item of clothing is outdated.
This poster can be used in Sociology lessons to explore the significance of a national language and the twentieth-century renewal of the Hebrew language. It can be an interesting resource for examining societal changes via fashion and clothing.
Hebrew teachers can use the poster to teach the words for various clothing items, some of which may have changed in more recent years with the ongoing evolution of Hebrew.
Jewish History classes can use the poster to discuss the creation of the cultural infrastructure of pre-state Israel and to discover local fashions at the beginning of the twentieth century.
What was the purpose of this poster?
When was the poster created?
Who created this poster and why?
What items are featured on the poster?
What can you learn from this poster about women’s clothing at the time?
Are there any words that you recognise?
Reading Between the Lines
What was the importance of such a poster at the beginning of the twentieth century?
Why do you think was it important to Ben-Yehuda and his friends to revive Hebrew for use in everyday life?
Why did some people object to this?
How do you think a poster such as this helped Ben-Yehuda’s Hebrew language campaign?
If a similar poster were to be made today, which items of clothing would not be included and which items would be added?
Try to summarize the changes in women’s clothing since 1913. How can you explain these changes?
Create a modern version of this poster or create a version for men’s clothing.
Find out the Hebrew words for the clothes that people wear today.