web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Day Schools Must Get Adults Involved


I have always been disturbed by the fact that while millions upon millions of dollars are poured into the construction and programs of synagogues, the support received by our yeshivas and day schools is so meager in comparison.

One would expect that a place of learning would take precedence over a place of worship – after all, it’s in our schools that the future of our people is being nurtured and cultivated. Why, is it, then, that vast amounts of money are raised for synagogue edifices and services, yet yeshivas and day schools receive so little?

The same question could be posed regarding Jewish Community Centers throughout the United States. Federations traditionally have earmarked millions of dollars to maintain them, providing opportunities for all types of sports and recreation. Many Jews apparently consider the maintenance of these institutions to be a primary goal of the Jewish community and give accordingly – again, at the expense of the educational institutions that truly represent the hope of our people.

It seems to me this phenomenon exists primarily because those who use synagogues and community centers are adults, and adults, of course, have the means to donate the money necessary to keep them afloat. While many of these same people may also send their children to day schools and yeshivas, they themselves generally are not involved with, and gain no direct benefit from, these schools.

Adults pray in synagogues. They are called to the Torah for an aliyah, daven before the amud and give a Kiddush in synagogues. And adults enjoy the programs and facilities provided by community centers, working out, playing squash and socializing with other members.

Children, on the other hand, are the ones who make use of yeshivas and day schools. All too often, parents are only passively involved in the education of their children, dropping them off at the door of the school in the morning but otherwise maintaining little if any communication with teachers or administrators. Except for periodic conferences or progress reports, the only connection they have with the school is through newsletters or if a child gets into some kind of trouble and a crisis ensues.

To counter this state of affairs, all day schools and yeshivas should make a serious attempt at providing parents and lay leaders with opportunities for a more direct involvement in the educational process.

It irks me, for example, when first graders receive their first siddurim – usually in an elaborate ceremony that took the children weeks to prepare – and the school schedules the program on a regular school day, creating hardships for parents who work. These programs should be scheduled on a Sunday, when parents and grandparents can easily attend.

Should not all programs in which a school’s students shine and take center stage be scheduled when the school can receive the most positive exposure – and when parents, the financial mainstays of the school, can experience firsthand the enthusiasm and excitement the school instills in its students?

Involvement is the key word for generating additional support for yeshivas and day schools. While there are philanthropists who understand the importance of Jewish education, most do not because they are not there to see what is going on in the schools.

The formula is simple: Engage more adults in the activities of our day schools and more financial support will be forthcoming. And more support means more successful schools and a brighter future for our children.

About the Author: Rabbi Mordechai Weiss has been involved in Jewish education for the past forty-six years, serving as principal of various Hebrew day schools. He has received awards for his innovative programs and was chosen to receive the coveted Outstanding Principal award from the National Association of Private Schools. He now resides in Israel and is available for speaking engagements. Contact him at ravmordechai@aol.com or 914-368-5149.


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 “Day Schools Must Get Adults Involved”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories
The Marianne boat, carrying humanitarian aid such, as a single and useless solar panel.

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Rabbi Mordechai Weiss

We tend to justify and idealize this division with pride attributing these tendencies as demonstrating a higher level of kedushah.

How is it possible that some of our people cannot see what I see, the miracle of the existence of the state of Israel?

A leader that has lost faith in his people cannot lead his people and conquer the land of Israel.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

He always impressed me with his brilliance and erudition. But it was his warm remarks and his sincere concern that made me want to please him.

In the midst of all this name calling by these so called leaders stands a man who is steadfast in his beliefs and is prepared to deal with any outside pressure to get his point across.

“Well, you are also part of this class! If someone drills a hole in the boat, the boat will ultimately sink, and even the innocent ones will perish as well. The whole class must be punished!”

Teachers, as well as administrators, must be actively involved in the daily prayers that transpire at a school and must set the bar as dugmaot ishiot, role models, on how one must daven.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/day-schools-must-get-adults-involved/2007/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: