them all in Lithuanian, but, he observed, “they write poorly”. He remarked that good command of Lithuanian was not essential for the course. Taking into account the number of lessons allotted to Lithuanian in the curriculum, and the fact that all students were adults (some were elderly) and had never studied Lithuanian before, he suggested that the course leader should pay attention to this weak point. The subjects for the Lithuanian history examination were as follows: “Grand Duke Gediminas”, “the Battle of Grunwald”, “King Mindaugas”, “the Teutonic Knights”, “the Christianization of Lithuania”, ”Jogaila (Grand Duke of Lithuania and later King of Poland)”, “Kęstutis (monarch of medieval Lithuania)”, “The Lithuanian Independence Act”, “the division of Lithuania”, and “The Union of Lublin”.
Teachers of the dressmaking course, Šiauliai, 1930s. World ORT Archive
The dressmaking course at ORT Šiauliai [Shavli], 1930s. World ORT Archive
Gajane Leonenko’s property
Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum Spread of ORT ORT Vilkaviskis ORT Panevezys Housekeeping Courses Jewish Village Trade Courses ORT Siauliai ORT Marijampole ORT Marijampole
Final examinations at the women’s-clothing cutting course in Marijampolė in 1933 The first group of students at the ORT Marijampolė women’s- clothing pattern cutting course (under Mauša Chvasas) began their studies in February 1933. The course lasted longer than the three months specified in the programme as it was interrupted by the Jewish Pesach (Passover) festivities that year. The final examinations – taken by eleven students – took place on 19 and 20 June 1933. According to the programmes approved by the Ministry of Education, there were written and oral examinations in Lithuanian and an oral exam in Lithuanian history; the garment-cutting exam had both oral and written components. The women’s-clothing examination was held in the following way: the subject teacher, Taicaitė, selected and cut out drawings of various garments from fashion magazines for each entrant. This could be an evening gown, an English-style jacket, a cocktail dress, an English-style overcoat etc. Watched by a panel of teachers, each examinee would then take measurements from a fellow student, draw a pattern according to these, and cut the garment out of material. This had to be fastened with pins and sewn, made suitable for the model to put on, and presented before the teachers. Besides Taicaitė, the head of the course, and a representative from the Ministry of Education, two other experts – “better local tailors” – were present: Rainas and Markusas, both of whom were Jewish. The experts assessed the students’ abilities to take measurements, cut out patterns, and make them fit a live model. The results were good: “They fitted the models well”. All the examiners, teachers and guest experts decided that the clothes were suitable to wear. However, the results of the Lithuanian language examination were not so good. The representative of the Ministry of Education noted in his report that all students could read fairly well, they understood an easy text and could retell it, it was possible to communicate with
The beauty of the garment does not lie in the fabric nor in its high price, but in the [dressmaker’s] ability to choose the appropriate style
Artefacts from VGSJM collection, photograph by P. Račiūnas