In the fall of 1913, the Language War broke out in the Yishuv (Jewish Community in pre-state Israel) over the decision of the Board of Governors from the German Aid Society Ezra to conduct classes at the Technion in German only, set to open in Haifa the following year.
Members of the Yishuv refused to accept this decision, which they saw as lowering the prestige of the Hebrew language. Joining the opposition to champion the use of modern Hebrew, members of the burgeoning Israeli academic community – Hebrew school students and graduates, teachers, writers and other intellectuals all took up the cause. They were joined by farmers, laborers and local community organizations. Hebrew writers and journalists from Eastern Europe also supported the campaign. Alternative "Hebrew only" schools were established. The Hebrew press in Israel supported the struggle by reporting on the activities against the Technion decision and harnessing public support.
The German Aid Society Ezra tried to explain its position in the European media by characterizing the community's objections to German as frivolous and without merit. It was their opinion that the Technion, the first school of its kind in the entire region, along with its associated high school, would require German-language instruction in order to be considered scholarly institutions.
Bowing to immense pressure, the Technion Board of Governors reversed their decision and agreed that Hebrew would be the official language of instruction.
The Language War marked the first organized activity of the Yishuv and a significant one in forging the society that was emerging. The fundamental decision that formal education would take place in Hebrew also provided a critical boost to cement the revival of the Modern Hebrew language.