Belarus SIG #Belarus Schools in Belarus, more general question #belarus

Martha Forsyth

OK, Walter Rosen's recent post gave me an idea.

My grandfather (Abraham Schecter, spelled however you like), born as far
as we know in/near Gomel, was said to have been "studying to be a Rabbi"
- this would have been probably about 1895 and later. The 1940 Census
record (in the US, where he arrived in 1905 and I'm sure he did no more
studying after that, being busy supporting a family) says his "highest
grade of school completed" was C1 - i.e., 1 year of college? (The
informant was his wife.)

First of all, I'm not sure what "studying to be a Rabbi" might have
meant - whether it was specific (and would have him at a specific
school), or might have been much more general, "studying Torah". So my
question is dual:

a) What do you think that might have implied?
b) If a specific institution, do we know what the possibilities were, at
that time?

(The rest of the family legend is that he "gave up religion for
Revolution": i.e., in the words of my cousin,"when the pogroms got bad,
and the labor movement got strong, he left the books and got involved,
and gave water to Lenin >from a bucket...and later [sometime early in
1905] had to flee." I have wondered if he might have been part of the
"self-defense group" that I've read about, that formed in Gomel in
1903? Again, I don't know how to find out more about that group.)

Any suggestions welcome....
Martha Schecter Forsyth
Newton, MA

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