Author presents a skewed picture on both sides of the ocean - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • HB
    • 18.12.12 | 15:40 (IST)

    With all due respect to the author, I'm not sure it's fair or accurate to use one exceptional example of American Jewish Orthodox education and than apply it to the whole. First, SAR truly is an exception. It's a wonderful place. However, there are many - too many - American day schools one could point to as an example of what's wrong with Jewish education in America. It's great that the author touts Ramaz' co-ed choir. But other than allowing boys and girls to sing solos, is Ramaz creating life-long Jewish learners? The author may want to look into the off-the-derech rate at Ramaz. It's not a pretty picture. Or more tellingly - the author may want to take a look at articles from the past few years about the Manhattan Day School (the feeder to Ramaz) and how they refused to even consider a special needs child who had the capacity to be there and came with her own extra services (i.e. the school wouldn't have had to spend a dime on supplemental services for the student). The way the school treated the family, in public and in private, was beyond reprehensible (in fairness, SAR has a very different approach to special needs). This would not happen in Israel, where special education is simply a given. Sorry - but if I have to choose between not liking the choice of R. Tvi Yehuda Kook and being in a school that does not live it's Jewish values, that's a very easy choice for me. My child is in 8th grade in Israel. I am marveling at the incredible range of choices in schools he has that he wouldn't have in the U.S. if he were looking at day schools - both the choice in approaches to Jewish study and opportunities for secular study. That would also be true if it were my daughter looking at high schools instead of my son. Do you really think that the rigorous inquiry, questioning and openness you enjoy at SAR (and then mistakenly attribute to American Modern Orthodoxy in toto) doesn't exist in Israel? Pelech is just one example among many. And yes - there is that $22K price tag. It's not a small thing. It means that many - maybe the majority - of Jewish families in the U.S. are shut out from a serious Jewish education, even with whatever scholarship may be available. That's simply not the case in Israel. It's great that the wealthy can afford a wonderful Jewish education in the U.S. Is that really our goal as a Jewish community?

    from the article: As modern Orthodoxy dies in Israel, it thrives in New York
    First published 11:38 18.12.12 | Last updated 11:38 18.12.12
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