Apart from economic realities that, as noted, have curtailed in a limited way the appetite for feeding the alternate day school world, there is scant prospect that the tendencies discussed here will be reversed. Organizations are not noted for fessing up to their shortcomings and they certainly do not have a track record for proclaiming that they are not needed. I do not know of any post-mortems on educational conferences that describe the event as a mistake. To the contrary, participants generally proclaim the experience has been exciting and transformative. School principals are too often co-opted into this dynamic, which isn’t surprising because, after all, why turn your back on a free lunch?
If there is to be reform, meaning that the feeding of this alternate world is limited if not reversed, the initiative needs to come from those who do the feeding – Federations, philanthropies and individual donors. They need to recognize that much of their largesse has been for naught. This isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Dr. Marvin Schick is in his fortieth year as president of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, a voluntary responsibility. He has been actively engaged in Jewish communal life for more than sixty years.