web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Disposable Student

Front-Page-122713

We Jews wandered the four corners of the earth for so many centuries, never having a home where we could feel completely safe. Our experience from Egypt to the galut taught us to respect the dignity of the stranger and to reach out to the needy.

When we were vulnerable, the voices of our sages cried for the downtrodden and the lonely. When “not fitting in” was intrinsic to our experience, our teachers taught us to care about others who felt the same way.

But now? Now, when Jerusalem is ours? Now, when Orthodox Judaism has never been in a stronger position? Now, when in America there are communities where observant Jews can choose between three or four full-sized kosher supermarkets with thousands of kosher products; communities dotted with shtiebels and shuls and beautiful synagogues; communities with tens of day schools and yeshivas to educate our youngsters, where public school districts provide buses to take students to the day school and yeshiva of their parents’ choosing?

We are blessed to be living at such a time, a time when politicians are genuinely concerned with “Jewish issues.” At the local and national levels, policy makers are truly supportive of the needs of the Jewish community and of Israel.

Yes, we are indeed blessed.

And yet… and yet with all these blessings, so many of the leaders of our schools and our communities seemingly act cold and hard rather than with openness and understanding.

The irony is damning. No place has this been more apparent than in the way yeshivot treat and “manage” their so-called difficult students, those students whose needs and behaviors often cry out for attention.

The “riches” of having more students than they can fit in their classrooms has made educators and administrators greedy and more than willing to simply weed out any student who does not hew perfectly to strict and rigid rules.

After all, what could be easier than to simply remove a student who, for whatever reason, needs or demands more time or attention, and replace him or her with some other student who will be more compliant, better behaved?

Easier? Perhaps. But right?

* * * * *

Rav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, leader of Sephardic Jewry, asked, “Whom are you throwing out? A rock? Some accumulated trash?” He was not blind to the challenge of teaching “difficult” students. But when he confronted a rowdy, disruptive, or uncooperative student in a class, he did not view the student as the enemy but rather as the unique being God intended him to be and embraced him as such. What an upside-down world we have created when Rav Ovadia’s approach strikes us as refreshing and encouraging instead of the norm.

In making this point, I do not mean to minimize the importance of rules and decorum. I do not mean to downplay the challenge of the “difficult” student nor do I mean to suggest it is never appropriate to remove a student from a particular learning situation.

There are always extenuating circumstances when an individual student cannot remain in a school, for his sake and the sake of his classmates. However, even when it is determined that a young person must be removed from a school, that decision should never be made lightly or judgmentally. It should be made in consultation with experts including gedolim, school psychologists, social workers and certainly the parents.

And then, if the consensus is that it would be best for the student not to remain in a particular school, only half the job is done. The other half is the crucial matter of where the student goes next. What is the alternative?

About the Author: Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Safran is an educator, author and lecturer. He can be reached at e1948s@aol.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Disposable Student”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
05_04_51---Candle_web
5 IDF Dead in Infiltration, Hamas Tries to Steal Dead Bodies
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

What defines kana’ut these days? Throwing rocks at passing cars on Shabbos? Burning an Israeli flag on Yom Ha’Atzmaut?

One who may leave his wife an agunah is not included in the general rule that we may not imprison on Shabbos.

“Fulfill my requests for good, grant my request, be mindful of us for deliverance and compassion…remember us for a good, long life…give us bread to eat, clothes to wear…”

Too often, as parents and teachers, we think it means talking at our children, delivering to them good and worthy content that they should simply hear and assimilate into their minds and hearts.

I was singing, dancing, jumping and, sweating. Just joy and happiness. One child on my shoulders after another. What happiness! And then, the little boy on my shoulders – he could not have been older than six – began to cry.

The only way for children to find a way back to the path is through parental love and understanding.

Nothing defines a community so much as its recognition of common leadership and willingness to respect its authority.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/the-disposable-student/2013/12/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: