Time For Action – How Can We Ignore The Cries? [Speaking Out For The HUNDREDS Of Children Not Accepted Into Yeshivos]

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sThe following article is by Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, and appears in this weeks Yated:

As I was searching for pictures for this week’s edition, I came across several news photographs of workers cleaning out kvitlach from the Kosel. Apparently, this is an annual activity.

Prior to Rosh Hashanah, workers armed with hoses, sticks, brooms and shovels remove the thousands of notes that people place throughout the year in the crevices of the Kosel. They fall to the floor, where they are swept up, gathered together, placed into garbage bags, and transported to Har Hazeisim.

I was very troubled by the image. I don’t know the origin of the custom to write requests on small scraps of paper and place them in the wall. I don’t know if it has any validity. I don’t know if it is even proper for people to think they are writing notes to Hashem. I don’t know what it says on those scraps of paper.

But I do know that the notes are filled with tears and heartfelt tefillos. With emunah temimah, people travel to the Kosel and commit their most heartfelt needs and requests to paper. They beg Hashem to help them with whatever problem they are experiencing. They ask for good health. For a shidduch. For a job. For shalom bayis. For a place to live. For children. For anything that a person can need or desire. Then they open a siddur or a Tehillim and pour their hearts out in prayer.

You’ve been there. You’ve seen it. Maybe you have even done the same.

It’s almost sacrilegious to send workers armed with sticks to dig into the wall’s holy cracks and take out the scraps of paper.

What is the solution? I don’t know.

How many pieces of paper can the Kosel hold? I don’t know the answer to that either.

But the picture and thought bother me.

“What’s he driving at?” you wonder. “What’s his point?”

Now, as the school year gets underway, there are hundreds of children who are being treated like those pieces of paper. Their parents invested years of toil and effort to raise them and prepare them as best as they can to live productive Torah lives. Their energy, money and tefillos are invested in their children.

Yet for too many parents, their child will not be in school on the first day. They were refused. Rejected. Treated like unneeded scraps of paper.

Imagine the scene: A father and a mother stand around a glowing child who picks up his shiny new briefcase filled with all the school supplies he lovingly picked out himself as he perused the aisles of the local store. The young boy literally bounces out the door and down the steps, stopping at the sidewalk to wait for the bus on that first day of school. The young boy is upbeat, excited, animated and energized as a new school year begins.

As the yellow bus pulls up to the curb, it represents the arrival of new opportunities for growth and accomplishment.

The proud parents wave goodbye, as their son does the same, his joy almost palpable through the glass window of the bus.

Watching this scene right next door is a girl about the same age. A tear trickles down her cheek as she ponders her predicament. She has no school to go to. Why? She has no idea. What did she do wrong? Nothing at all. Standing behind her silently are her own parents, a father and a mother who have done their best to raise a good, wholesome Torah family. They did all they can to instill Torah-true values in their progeny. What they never expected was to experience this proverbial knife to the heart, being told by one school after another that there is no room for their young, charming, innocent daughter.

They are simple, hardworking, ehrliche people. Some aren’t wealthy, some are. Some have yichus, others don’t. Why should that even make a difference? They are our siblings, children of our greater family.

They stare out of their windows. They look up at a sky that appears to be dark and foreboding even though the sun shines brightly. Their tears flow as they wonder what to tell their children.

Their thoughts wander. “Where is everyone? Where are the people who say they are there for us? How can everyone pay lip service to the cause of children’s chinuch and then turn a blind eye to a neshomah that is breaking apart in front of our eyes?”

How can we tolerate what is going on? How can we sleep at night when we know that there are parents and children crying a whole day, unable to sleep, feeling unwanted, abandoned and forsaken?

Fine, honest, upstanding people cast away for no good reason.

As a community, we have to put a stop to this annual torture. We have to rise up together, whether we have children of school age or not, and whether we are affected by this problem or not.

We must declare that we will not tolerate this anymore. We must declare that the Torah is a Toras Chessed. The Torah commands us to treat other people as we want to be treated. Every Jew is precious. Every child is a treasure. We may not stand by and make believe we don’t know this is going on. Each one of us has an obligation to say, “Yodeinu lo shofchu es hadam hazeh.”

The Ponovezher Rov, whose yahrtzeit was this week, once asked Rav Yehoshua Zelig Diskin, the rov of Pardes Chana, to arrange a loan for him. He explained to Rav Diskin that he desperately needs the money by the next day in order to keep the Ponovezher Yeshiva going, but he has to travel to an important meeting of Torah leaders the next day in Yerushalayim. The Rov said he couldn’t miss the meeting and needed Rav Diskin to arrange a loan for him.

Sensing the urgency of the matter, Rav Diskin obtained a loan to keep the yeshiva afloat and brought the money to the yeshiva office in Bnei Brak. While there, he learned that the Rov was home and had not gone to the meeting in Yerushalayim he had said he could not miss. Worried, he rushed to the Rov’s home to make sure that everything was okay. He walked into the house and saw the Rov with a young boy. They were both crying.

Rav Diskin asked the Rov what was going on and why he hadn’t gone to the meeting. The Rov responded that he had left his house and, as was his practice before traveling to Yerushalayim, he stopped at the Batei Avosorphanage he had established for children who had lost their parents in the Holocaust to part from his beloved yesomimlach.

There, the Rov noticed a child crying. He learned that the boy had just been informed that his beloved brother was killed by the Nazis.

“The child was inconsolable,” the Rov said, “and he kept on crying. In an attempt to calm him down, I brought him to my house, but he keeps on crying, and I am crying with him and trying to comfort him.

“How can I travel to that meeting when I see a Jewish child crying?” said the Rov to Rav Diskin.

The Rov’s question is an alarm. It is a question that should be ringing loud and clear in our minds and hearts. How can we go about our daily rituals while, all around us, children are crying? How can we sit calmly when the cries of children can be heard far and wide?

How can we sit calmly during the Yomim Noraim knowing that children and adults are crying?

How can we feel comfortable with the approach of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when we know that children and their parents have been rejected and we have allowed this problem to fester?

How can we face the Ribono Shel Olam on the Yom Hadin without doing everything in our power to ensure that His precious children have been given the opportunities they deserve?

Do I have a solution to this problem and the others that plague our community and cause children to cry? No, I don’t, and maybe you don’t either. I am not blaming or faulting anyone. But if we would band together as a community and treat the problem as if it were our own, we would collectively find solutions.

Good people have to join together to analyze what is at the root of the problem in communities plagued by having children out of school. We have to examine the issues and determine what can be done so that every child is guaranteed a spot in a school where they can grow. Personally, I think a fund should be established to help fund the opening of new schools in growing communities. Merely squeezing more children into already over-crowded classrooms may solve the immediate problem but will lead to new ones. Perhaps the fund could be devolved into something large enough to assist in the expansion of existing facilities as well. There are those who have taken the initiative to open new schools, despite the challenges and difficulties involved in doing so. They should be commended and others should be encouraged to follow their example.

But the situation as it is now cannot be allowed to continue. It may be that there is an explanation for each individual case but taken as a whole there are too many children who are left out. There is something wrong and we have to resolve to correct it.

The purpose of this article, which my rebbi Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky asked me to write, is not to impugn or malign anyone, but to rally people to work towards a solution. Please join me.

We are, boruch Hashem, blessed with enough talented people, with enough money and with the wherewithal, to put an end to this annual sadistic ritual.

With achdus and brotherhood we can overcome all that confronts us and all our communal challenges.

Let us come together to help these fine people.

We are a community of Torah and chessed.

Let us all resolve once and for all to remove this stain.

May our efforts bear fruit, and may they be a source of merit for us on the approaching Yom Hadin.

(Article is in this weeks Yated)


29 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately the problem with the children not being in schools is here in N.Y.C. as well. When doors open to Public Schools there will be frum children on line too.
    In Eretz Yisroel, children with minor physical disabilities are not being accepted in regular schools either. What is this world coming to?

  2. Rabbi P. Lipschutz finally realizes he needs to write something regarding the Hundreds of students all over the Tri-Boroughs especially in Borough Park Brooklyn, not being allowed in to school. He obviously finds it personally difficult to cover the main reason so many are not allowed to class. – They are missing the Diarea or Chicken pox shot or some other drugs.
    The principles are all ganging up and rejecting any student that’s not 100% up to date on their vaccination.
    Where is the respect for a parent who has valid reason for not wanting to immunise for religious reasons. Every NYC Public School accepts “Religious Exemption Forms”, obviously the NYC Health Dept. doesn’t consider it dandrious for vaccinated children to sit next to students that aren’t, & if the kids are immunized what’s the issue if 1 or 2 kids aren’t. Why are these Principles playing so tough? Why are they discriminating against parents who don’t want to immunise for Religious reasons? Who will be responsible for the next dose of Kids-At-Risk next week? There are so many good kids that are not registered to school because of this issue.
    People are starting to realize that they are being fooled out there & that there’s another major side to this issue.
    Start researching & ask questions to your doctor before they drug up your loved ones. The doctors make a fortune from the Pharmaceutical Companies. Please help your neighbor, family, and whoever you know by supporting them in any way possible.

  3. All that he writes is true and right on target. I don’t however see anyone stepping up to the plate and finally puting the Yehsivos in place. They are just toooooo big and powerfully influential.

    If communities as a whole will not organize and stand up to the yeshivos practices of “you to the right and you to the left”, this letter and so many more like them will be re-drafted year after year – and the end result: deserving children will STILL NOT be in yeshiva.

    How sad.

  4. Lately you read these articles about children cannot get into schools or parents cannot pay tuition or even both. It’s all unfortunately very true. A SMALL part to this problem is we need more community based schools. These schools are supported by the community.

    If someone opens a school as a business (for profit) they can still get supported by the community (like we currently have setup) but there also has to be community schools which are open to everyone. Everyone should be able to be accepted into a school. I understand each case can be different but as a whole we have issues (like the article above says).

    I know of a community based school in the Catskills which is a Torah Umseroah affiliated Day school which has plenty of spots available and has affordable tuition. Now it’s not for everyone. You do need to be the kind that thinks outside the box. But it’s an absolute terrific school with a well rounded Jewish education. You can live in Woodridge or other year round communities up in the Catskills. There are even commuter buses (not frum) that go express to Port Authority to the city. Housing is also a lot less expensive then the usual Monsey, Lakewood and Brooklyn communities. There are pros and cons to live upstate. One positive is you are not too far by car if you have family in the North East (Monsey, Lakewood and Brooklyn etc…).

  5. Kavod Habriot—Isn’t it a lack of kavod habriyos to send your un-immunized kid into a building with hundreds of other kids and Putting them at risk?

  6. #2 figures you would think it has to do with vaccinations because it falls in line with your conspiracys about them. If it was about vaccinations I’d totally support the schools not taking such children as they endanger the health of all the other children. Now onto the real matter there are two problems here one is overcrowding and one is even if there was space the school do no except children based on their perceived frumkeit of the family. The latter is the biggest problem. They fail to realize that in out of town schools were everyone is excepted the frum stay frum and the not so frum get frummer it’s not the school that influences the child it’s the home. But it will never change because even if the hannahalh agrees to change and except everyone people with their small minds will hold it against them and stop sending their kids to that school because “look who they accepted” it’s a major cancer which one editors view won’t cure but I guess it maybe start

  7. It is about time that the governments & our communities wised up to the fact the unvaccinated children are the most protected children on the planet and that it is the vaccinated that are most at risk of disease and disability. They need to read the work of Dr. Scheibner and the many other researchers who have spent years studying the subject of vaccination and allow children to develop their own natural immunity.

  8. As a parent of a child who is not accepted to any school (we recently relocated) this article brought tears to my eyes. Unfortunately this situation goes on all over the world. Israel, ny, europe… Our communities are b”h growing and we need more schools. Something HAS to be done about it.
    Think for a minute about the feeling of a mother every morning when she hears all the happy children going to school and her child has to reason to get out of pijama’s. Think about the child sitting at the window and wondering why he can’t be part of all this. Anxiously waiting for the clock to move faster so he can play with neighborhood children when they come home. The pain we’re going through is unbearable. We cry, we daven and then we get another letter in the mail from yet another mosdos we tried stating they can’t accept our child.

  9. Rabbi,
    Please be specific as to reasons why children aren’t accepted in yeshivos. There’s nothing in your article that informs the reader what exactly is going on, it reads like a riddle that we have to figure out. Overcrowding, lack of ability, low scholarship, What is it?
    Apparently you’re not a kvitel person and took a swipe at it which frankly offended me, being that it’s a 10-mile stretch to tie this to your main point. A kvitel is a written prayer just like a siddur is a written book of prayers. One has formalized prayer, the other a much more personal one.Surely you understand that.

    Your rhetorical question : IS IT APPROPRIATE ?
    Can you give a good reason why not?

    In the Wall?… Again, why not?
    Finally , you write…
    …”I don’t know what it says on those scraps of paper…”
    With all due respect Rabbi, they’re not meant for you.

  10. We read the same stories each year of a shortage of seats in yeshivot linked to a combination of facility constraints and discriminatory admisssio policies. What isn’t clear is why the problem seems to be focused on the girls’ schools. Also, it is important that the parents know they are entitled to send their daughters to local public schools so these girls don’t fall behind in their studies while every effort is made to find an appropriate beis yaahkov or yeshvia where they will also get the essential limudei kodesh.

  11. If rabbi Lipshitz would put in his paper a section with the names of the schools that DON’T accept and a picture of the menahel or principal this would end in one week !

    By the way my children are in schools bh , just got thru getting someone else child into school after 2 weeks of begging , crying , pleading, they finally took the child after making him feel worthless , then they expect this same child to give it his best after being humiliated , ashamed , stripped of confidence , to give it all they got !!!

  12. Oh WOW how do I begin? Do you really want to discuss what is truly going on?

    I will first just say that when you move to a new location it is very difficult to enroll in an already over-crowded school. That is something you certainly have to consider BEFORE you make the decision to relocate to that area. The welfare of the children has to be a top priority and enrolling them in the Yeshiva has to be at the TOP of the list when making these plans. You might lose your registration fee if you back out, but that is worth the risk and much better than the other way around. Yeshivas do not feel obligated to accommodate out-of-area students.

    When we speak about “community Yeshivas” we don’t really mean that they are “there” for the community. We mean that they are “in” the community. They only consider themselves “community based” when they come around collecting money. Otherwise they don’t feel that they “owe” the community anything or are obligated to the community in any way. They are their own entity and do NOT need the advice or guidance of the community in any way, shape or form. The only advice or guidance they care about are from the askanim and parent body that hold the key to the big bucks or the influence. For them all doors and avenues are open and all forms of kavod and courtesies are shown. For everyone else, you are expected to show the YESHIVA all forms of kovod and courtesies.

    Once upon a time, you “chose” the yeshiva that you thought suited your child and family best. YOU were the parents and YOU made the decision. Today, the Yeshivas choose you. And if YOU are not the wealthiest, best connected, frummest and your child is not the brightest bulb in the pack, you are at the mercy of the Yeshiva administration. Of course if you registered a year before nursery and laid low all through the years you might have just gotten your kids through school without much of a glitch. But if for some reason your child was noticed, but not in a good way ie. she wore the wrong sweatshirt to school, she might be sitting out senior year.

    They don’t need much of a reason to throw a child out. Their ears perk up to loshon horah given to them by any source. When it comes to reasoning they will tell you they have no choice because “other parents” complained and they have to uphold the “values” of the school. What about the values of Yiddishkeit and the Torah. Why is it that everyone forgets about that?

    Today’s schools are all about “EGO” and “Business”. They have nothing to do with the success of children and everything to do with their own success. They have a selection process and I don’t care if people call me horrible for comparing it to the Nazis because I will do it anyway. They were looking for perfection by their terms, and today OUR Yeshivas are looking for perfection according to their terms and if our kids don’t fit the bill, they don’t want them.

    A very famous mechanech in my own neighborhood wrote an article in a Jewish publication claiming he had the secret to the perfect balance in any yeshiva. 75% metzuyanim to 25% regular students. I almost threw up when I read that! Really? Well where are the other 75% of the normal students supposed to go? If everyone only wants the metzuyanim, and if every new school that opens only wants the cream of the crop, what happens to Hashem’s other children? After all aren’t they also Hashem’s children?

    Aren’t schools supposed to “help” kids? Isn’t their purpose to “teach” and be mechanech children? It is NOT supposed to be a competition and a race to the finish line on who can out-frum, out smart, out-build the next yeshiva. Why do these yeshivas need to compete with one and other instead of working together to help the community and the kids? Why does one yeshiva have to have 600 kids and 6 parallel classes while the other only 100 and if you go to the other they will never accept you back?

    Why should one school even be allowed to grow to 6 parallel classes? Open a second school and call it Yeshiva 2. Huge schools are just too confusing for kids, they are too cold and robotic. They lack the varemkeit and ruach that a Yeshiva atmosphere should possess.

    The fact that there are kids who are left at home or forced to go to public school is a huge busha. It throws us back to the 1950’s and 1960’s when yeshivas were begging parents to take their kids out of public schools and bring them in. Our own frummies are making more work for our Kiruv Organizations. Again a Busha and a Chilul Hashem.

    I hate to say this but it is NOT a matter of over crowding. If that child had a desk last year, then there is a desk for that child this year as well. And it is NOT a matter of no room for an extra child because if you wave the green flag in front of their faces they will find the room. So it all boils down to the selection process all over again.

    I will share with you MY philosophy about our yeshiva system. I don’t judge a yeshiva by their successes because they are supposed to succeed. That is their job. I judge them on their failures, because that is the true measurement on whether or not they are doing their job appropriately. When there are kids at home, willing to go to school, and no school will take them, THEY HAVE FAILED the community big time!

  13. #12—– Good idea, except that if it’s a girls’ school the rabbi wouldn’t permit a photo of a female principal in his paper. No photos of women allowed.

    #9—– I’m also a bit puzzled, does he mean tuition $$$, child being different, not being good enough? Or, all of the above? Reading between the lines,it seems to me he deliberately left out the reasons…. for a reason.

  14. Unfortunatley Rabbi Lipshutz fails to indentify the reason (or reasons) that children are not accepted into schools.

    One of the main reasons is the exclusitivity that schools try to create. They like to have a student body that is only one type. All parents must meet the standards of whatever the head of school thinks is “frumkeit”. Unfortunatley, much of this is just plain “gaivah’. Each school wants to say it has the “best” families in its school body. Many schools have stopped molding and being mechnech chilren, instead they just want to accept those that are already their type. They also fail to see the many “maylos” of those that are not their type.

    Unfortunatley until Rabbi Lipshutz and others are bold enough to attack the societal norms that create these pressures the sad situation will not change.

  15. I agree with aries2756..The schools are to blame b/c they’re refusing to restructure themselves to become charter schools which is funded by the board of ed, not by the parents. There is no reason why the school can’t have Hebrew studies in the afternoon in accordance to the board of ed rules or regulations for charter schools.

  16. ARIES—- GREAT POST..!! I’d only add that there are small groups of parents ( to whom you alluded) that greatly influence the yeshiva administration whether with $$$$ or who knows what else for ulterior motives.

    And this has also resulted in a shidduch and identity crisis for our children as well.

    With emphasis on churning out kollel-to-be learners only, and preaching to the girls” schools that they, the girls, should only look for said kollel learners, they ( cliquey parents and yeshiva admins) are affecting the shidduch scene adversely.
    Most boys are not eternal learners and most girls don’t want such boys as mates, but a propaganda campaign to push this agenda in schools has destroyed the morale of young adults, made them feel inferior and are living and going through motions that are false… primarily false to themselves and to their mates.
    “Machshiv Torah’ is the latest gizmo and catchword.
    Going to trade school or college is considered , believe it or not…. abnormal.
    A prominent yeshiva in New Jersey will no longer offer secular schooling passed a certain elementary grade. This will continue until parents rise up as one and scream… ENOUGH….Start sending the children in droves to public schools as they do in a certain town in L.I.There are things we can do, and don’t worry about shidduchim. 40 days before the child is born , a bat-kol calls out the mate already. Believe it. Rebel against the pompous parents and savage administrators…NOW

  17. Like some here, I noticed that the rabbi is addressing the symptoms and not the causes. Seemingly, he’s afraid to go there.Basically, a hit and run job, leaving it to us to decipher and to discuss, maybe even argue the real issues behind it all. Like a politician who hollers that things need fixing but doesn’t tell us what exactly..

  18. The huge difference between eretz yisroel and NY is very simple. In yerushalayim alone there isn’t a bais yaakov that doesn’t have a class with less than 40 girls. In some cases there are 48 girls in a 2nd 3rd or 4th grade classroom. Even these classes learn in caravans. The daati leumi society has the most beautiful building and schools and the chareidi schools have no room. There are some but not as often as in ny that a child wouldn’t be accepted cus of her parents, family or something else. But in general the classrooms are full beyond anything. This is a crisis in every school and gan.

  19. What is the common denominator responsible for this problem?

    MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

    As someone who is now involved in a new start-up school, I challenge all of you regarding your comments. It is easy to darshen about children being turned away, but the amount of money needed to build or expand a school/yeshiva is enormous.

    This applies to the cost of the actual construction, salaries, insurances, food, etc. etc. The tuition paid by parents is just a drop in the bucket of a school’s overhead. The overcrowding in most classes is already now detrimental to the teachers’ ability to focus on the individual student.

    When one takes into consideration the natural growth of a school (by enrollment of siblings, i.e.) there is no way that these schools can logistically accept more children without sacrificing the quality of education that the existing pupils are getting.

    In the chasidishe schools it is automatic that they have to accept their own. They usually charge the lowest tuition, but they count on the GENEROSITY of private donors to pay for the rest. It is absolutely impossible to exist without this help!!!

    It is not a matter of discrimination, it is the reality of the situation. Boruch Hashem our population is exploding, but we just don’t have the means to keep up with the demand.

    For the last two decades I have been preaching (to any available ear) that the best way we could get government assistance is to have EVERY frum child enroll in public school at the beginning of the school year. The state would go into panic mode since there is no way they could accommodate us. Perhaps that would get us the money needed to address this desperate situation.

    In the interim, we have to make schools and yeshivas our primary focus when it comes to fundraising. Somehow, without knocking the needs of other worthy causes, education is on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to Zedakah.

  20. Rabbi Lipschutz makes a very good point in this article. He also is in a clear position to fix it.

    As a member of the board of directors of torah umesorah, the one organization claiming to be the umbrella for hundreds of schools across this great nation, they have the perfect match of strong willed leaders, financial giants, and a vaad roshei yeshiva, that together if all of these great leaders would sit in a room and lead, this problem will be solved. So can the tuition crisis be solved as well.

    Accountability from the schools, responsibility to follow orders from our leaders, implementing rules that everyone is accountable for and full transparency is all we need to change the attitude and environment that has degenerated our chinuch system to the lowest level between schools and community members.

    If a school has the right to paint and upgrade then the parents do as well.

    If a school can arbitrarily decide on how much money to demand from parents then the parents can decide arbitrarily how much they want to pay.

    If a school can decide which children to take the parents can decide the system stinks and can hold the schools responsible for the failures in our chinuch system.

    Sadly, this article, and all the others that get published on this and other websites and papers will do nothing for a solution other then give people a place to vent.

    When leaders lead followers will follow. When leaders hide followers think they can control and that results in chaos.

    HKB”H has allowed for an attack on our Chinuch system in eretz yisroel but there at least there is an effort to fight it. Here in America we are orphans with nobody to blame but ourselves that we sit back and accept the abuse from this chinuch system.

    Rabbi – you have full access to the leaders. You can make a difference. You can be the hero. It is in your hands.

  21. I’m talking to you Aries
    Mods, I don’t understand why that post was allowed – it is blatant and deliberate slander of the worst kind!
    First of all, as someone who was raised in a “Community School,” and who now has the zchus of giving back to “The Community,” I resent your portrayal of my Rebbeim, Menahel, colleagues and myself. The overwhelming majority of schools are devoted to the communities they serve beyond absurdity.
    To be sure, there are schools that, in the interest of exclusivity, specifically do not style themselves as “Community Schools.” These schools do engage in some of the behavior you describe; “Community Schools,” however, consider it their sacred duty to do more than what is possible to ensure the education of all Jewish children. This includes accepting children whose recalcitrant parents refuse to pay tuition, even as they splurge on houses, cars, vacations and more. This includes children whose behavioral and learning challenges are beyond what the school is actually equipped to accommodate. This includes children whose parents insist on enrolling their children in these schools when, in fact, the student would be better served elsewhere.
    The administrators, Rebbeim and teachers force themselves to become experts in as many disciplines as necessary to do what they can for their students. It is typical for a Rebbe to get an average of four hours of sleep for the duration of the school year!
    All this, on low wage that is not paid on time.
    So much for BUSINESS; If today’s mechanchim were about EGO, they would not be teaching – the maltreatment of them by students, parents and ignorant observers is more than enough to curb even Rush Limbaugh’s ego.
    Today’s mechanchim are better trained and more professional (on the whole) than ever before. We care about our students as much as we do about our own children.
    Whatever it is you do, Aries, I am sure that I could sit here and blithely tell you how foolish and evil you are for doing it the way that you do.
    Without getting actively involved in a school, without knowing what really happens behind the scenes, without an awareness of the terrible stress on schools in general and the school in particular, it is sheer idiocy to talk the way you do.
    As to your “philosophy” (really, the word is “sophistry,” or maybe just “nonsense”), I’m glad you’re not a mechanech; it is my students’ job to succeed; that is exactly why I judge them by their successes – because I see this as who they are; the failures are just a misfire in an otherwise perfect system.
    Don’t allow the few rotten apples to spoil your view of the entire barrel!
    Additionally, I wonder if the “famous mechanech” phrased his “perfect formula” quite that way…Perhaps, talking about children with serious challenges (ADHD and worse), he said that they can be no more than one fourth of the school (which, in most cases, would anyway be a disproportionate value), because at that point their needs would overwhelm the ability of the school to serve them or the children who do not suffer from such challenges? I have heard this very formula from one of the foremost mechanchim of our time, whose yeshiva, although very large, has a wonderful warmth, and is successful at helping all children reach their potential.
    There are problems in the system; that is true. However you should know that the only mechanchim who have a chance to fix it are those who had to fight back the tears while reading this article along with all the parents. The few bad apples will continue on their merry way; Only we are here to help you! If you will malign us, you will be all alone.

  22. #20 and to all of you who think sending our children to public school is an answer – you need to stop saying it.

    Rabbi Moshe Sherer ZT”L said it many times that it will not work. The city of NY would love nothing more then to infuse their school system with another 250,000 children (do the math – the orthodox schools combined do not even equal that number of children but I will go with that # to make you happy).

    Do you realize how many new jobs it would create? new bus drivers, teachers, janitors, food service, monitors, administrative etc. thousands of new jobs and the state is providing more then $25,000 per child, the federal government will kick in their share and the city will LOVE AND GAIN SO MUCH if we put our kids into public school. It is a home run financially for the city. It is a silly suggestion and something that will NEVER happen so it is not a solution to offer.

    Will there be a bottleneck and a bit of chaos if we enroll our kids en-mass? Yes, but the board of ed will have temporary solutions then quickly have permanent solutions and then what? Then all we will have is frum kids going to co-ed public schools. You will accomplish nothing.

    Don’t you think that if this idea would work our local politicians and leaders would say to do it? Of course it cannot work and people need to just stop suggesting it already.

    Focus on a real solution!

  23. #23
    I did not c”v suggest that children should ATTEND public schools!! I suggested that we ENROLL our children at the start of the year. The state schools do not want or need our children, as seen in upstate Monroe, NY. They would, in the name of non-discrimination, have to deal with so many issues with our children, second-language teachers as an example…that it would overwhelm their system.

    Nor did I offer this as the solution now… It is wistful and wishful thinking on my part.

    If we would ALL vote as a bloc we wouldn’t even have to resort to doing this. Our school issue should be a deal-breaker in order to have a candidate get our votes. Of course, the day that all the moisdos would be on the same page about anything is the day for Moshiach to come.

    As I wrote above, the solution at this time is to make chinuch the primary concern for Klal Yisroel – addressing all the challenges entailed, and most of all, to raise the funds needed to offer a place for every single child.

  24. To No. 23

    Public schools are clearly NOT a long-term option for frum families wanting to send their children to a yeshiva but do you think its better for young children to sit at home and fall behind their classmates while waiting for a place to open for them. Wouldn’t they be better off in the short-term enrolling in a neighborhood public or charter school to keep up with their peer-group and have their parents or some local rebbe tutor them at home in limudei torah?

  25. Rabbi P. Lipshuts was was asked be a RebbI of his to write a article right away regarding the serious issue of vaccinations. Numerous children are being rejected because they may not be immunized or up to date 100%.
    The problem is Rabbi P. Lipshuts has a personal issue with the anti-vaccination point of view. He therefore wrote a article without pin-pointing to the real issue he needed to write about. Inside info!

  26. #22 catch yourself, I am talking to you and all those like you who have blinders on and live in Lala land.

    I am a Life Coach, mentor, student advocate and advocate for victims of abuse. I have worked with At-Risk kids in my neighborhood before people even wanted to acknowledge such a thing existed. I advocated for my own children when they were growing up and navigated them through our yeshiva system. Now they are doing the same for their own children while I help other kids and their parents do their best to make it through.

    I joined the PTA and was President in my son’s Yeshiva. I made myself “the PTA” in one that was non existent. I can tell you something that you don’t want to hear. Many mechanichim take that job not because it is what they love to do but it is because they are not qualified or capable of doing anything else and it fits into their daily schedule.

    YOU might be very devoted, and there may be many more like you. But there are way more parents and students out here than there are mechanichim and WE have seen both sides of the coin and we have a totally different view than you do. WE have seen the dark and ugly side. We have seen kids stuck because they didn’t get their diplomas from the wonderful schools who taught them even though tuition wasn’t paid. Do you know. Hat happens to those kids who can’t go on to college or get a job? I don’t think you care to know. There is no success in their stories.

    Furthermore, are you not aware of the custom if children NOT getting their admission cards if the tuition hasn’t been paid??? If not where have you been and in what world do you live?

    Parents that pay full tuition are covering costs for those who can’t pay tuition and everyone who doesn’t know this should. Yeshivas should have the decency to be upfront about it and give them a donation receipt for the difference. Honesty is the key to cooperation.

    It is Chodesh Elul. What I wrote about is the truth. If you have a problem with it you should get angry but not at me. You should get angry at the fact that there a re so many children who are sitting at home cut off at the knees wondering what’s wrong. Ith them. If you are a true mechanech eps and truly care about your students you should be crying along with them. No child should be thrown out of yeshiva into the streets for any reason. Every punishment must be geared to fit the crime. Mechanichim need to learn how to deal with issues and catch them early on.

    The success of each child rests squarely on the partnership of the yeshiva and the home.

  27. We must all stick up for each other & make sure every child is in school on time. There shouldnt be even “ONE” child sitting home for ANY reason at all. The economy is rough & people all around are under too much stress. The income doesnt match expenses for most of us. The religious private & community schools are demanding all sorts of up-front fees including Registration, Building funds, Security & much more before tuition. These fees that have nothing to do with tuition are being forced on parents the first day of school. We hall have to be senitive & work with each other.

  28. There is just so much to say on this subject and this column should not be allowed to be buried at the bottom of the pile. Please keep discussing this issue until there is some sort of resolution.