web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Disposable Student

Front-Page-122713

Still others, rejected by yeshivas with minimal general studies programs, are ill equipped to even find their way to public education. They are particularly vulnerable to the ills of the secular world and they too often end up in the streets, aligning with the most undesirable elements of society. Whatever family contact they have continues to fray until it disintegrates as their parents and other relatives shun the “outcast” in their midst.

In this way, families and generations are lost. Why? Because a menahel determined that a child “doesn’t fit in.”

Who will answer for these lost souls? Who will be big enough to reply to the Ribbono shel Olam who will surely want to know, “Why did you allow My beloved children to forsake Me?”

Who will respond to the mother who asks, “Why did my daughter fit in through eight years of elementary school, and then one month before school opened for ninth grade she suddenly didn’t? What changed? Won’t anybody tell me?”

* * * * *

It wasn’t all that long ago that rabbanim and others concerned with the Jewish future in this country looked “with candles” for students to register in what were then fledgling institutions. Yeshivas were starved for talmidim. Bais Yaakovs for girls were barely a dream.

During that time, everyone was welcome. Everyone fit in. Many community day schools came into being because local Orthodox rabbis – overwhelmingly members of the Rabbinical Council of America – went door to door to any and all Jewish families soliciting not money but any Jewish children whose parents would enroll them in this new phenomenon.

In Lakewood, New Jersey, the late Rabbi Pesach Z. Levovitz dared to dream that a day school could be a reality. He literally begged for Jewish kids in and around Lakewood, Howell, Freehold, Farmingdale and Toms River where Jewish immigrants, mostly Holocaust survivors, initiated successful egg farms and businesses.

“Just come!” he enthusiastically told one and all. “Give me a chance.” His persistence laid the groundwork for a community that would ultimately become the “Lakewood” we know today when Rabbi Levovitz welcomed, embraced and assisted Rav Aharon Kotler, zt”l. The rest is history.

In the Bronx, the revered Rav Yeruchem Gorelick, zt”l rosh yeshiva and dreamer and my unforgettable rebbi – established Yeshiva Zichron Moshe and Bais Yaakov decades ago and expressed great satisfaction and enthusiasm when the city allowed for students to be bused to the schools of their choosing. He felt busing was introduced min hashamayim – that it was divinely ordained in order for everyone to come and fit in.

So it was across the country. In Pittsburgh, the late Rabbi Joseph Shapiro knocked on doors in the evenings when both parents were home, asking for the opportunity to explain why a day school education made sense for all Jewish parents, even the “greeners” who wanted to rid themselves of any real Jewish observance and identity. That was the beginning of Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh and many other Hillel academies throughout the country.

All were welcome. All fit in. They only needed to come.

And now?

* * * * *

The issue is not whether every yeshiva and school needs to accept every student. Rather, it is whether there is a seat for every child who wants to attend a yeshiva, a Bais Yaakov, a day school. There must always be a seat at the table – and an acknowledgement that the table is large enough for everyone.

The great imperative of Judaism is to learn and teach Torah. Veshinantam levanecha. Who are we to determine who is worthy to learn? Who are we to suggest that someone is not worthy?

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
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Indepth Stories
Map of Syria-Turkish border area, pinpointing Kurdish border town of Kobani, just taken by ISIS terror forces Oct 7, 2014.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

The Rosenstrasse area of Berlin, where Jewish husbands of non-Jewish German wives were held.

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

NY rally against Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' opera. Sept. 22, 2014.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Guess who's behind the door?

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

Israel offered Syria the entire Golan Heights, only to find that the Syrians were demanding MORE!

Israeli hasbara too can be described at best as pathetic, at worst non existent.

A ‘good news’ story from the Nepal avalanche disaster to warm your heart. Take out your Kleenex.

Journalists see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as morality play: Israel=evil; Palestine=innocent

Warsaw Ghetto: At its height, the Nazis walled in some 500,000 Jews within the1.3 square mile area.

While police officers face dangers every day on the job, Jews also face danger in their daily lives.

Carter developed a fondness for Arafat believing “they were both ordained to be peacemakers by God”

If Hamas is ISIS, the world asks, why didn’t Israel destroy it given justification and opportunity?

That key is the disarming of Hamas and the demilitarization of Gaza – as the U.S., EU, and others agreed to in principle at the end of Operation Protective Edge.

We have no doubt there are those who deeply desire to present themselves as being of a gender that is not consistent with their anatomy, and we take no joy in the pain and embarrassment they suffer.

More Articles from Rabbi Eliyahu Safran
Jonah and the Whale (2012) 23 x 23, bronze relief by Lynda Caspe.

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Eisenstock-082914

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

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.

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: