web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » News & Views » US » NY »

Save Your Frustration For Your Legislator


Share Button

One thing that I consistently encounter when discussing affordable Jewish education is frustration and blame. The frustration comes from parents and others intimately involved in Jewish education. They feel that tuition is too high and that it is causing innumerable problems in our community. The blame is placed squarely on the doorsteps of our Jewish day schools, perceived to be the source of all the escalating cost issues.

While Jewish day schools are part of the puzzle of how to reduce tuition, the disproportionate blame this group receives is unfair. Most schools will have some element, lay or professional, that recognizes that tuition is too high. Continuing to cast blame on and airing frustration at this group doesn’t fix the problem. Obviously there are some exceptions but, by and large, this group isn’t surprised to learn that there is a tuition crisis – and nearly all are doing something to attempt to tackle the problem. They receive tuition assistance requests, they do the fund-raising, they make the hard decisions to fire staff or cut programs they can’t afford, and they understand that there is a crisis.

But there is another group that doesn’t get it.

Your political legislators don’t understand that there is a tuition crisis. This is because you or your community hasn’t bothered to express this with the same level of frustration or blame that your child’s principal receives daily. Principals perk up when I tell them about some innovative funding source or something new that we are doing. They want to help, and the potential for tuition reduction interests them. Politicians don’t perk up when my colleagues or I talk to them about the problem.

When a politician hears about the high costs of Jewish day school education, they often remark about the high cost in general of private school education. They think that we are choosing Jewish day school for the same reason that many parents choose preparatory school, namely because it is a superior education to one received through the public school system. They don’t understand that this isn’t the reason. They don’t understand the higher costs of a dual curriculum. They also don’t understand that public school isn’t a viable option for our community.

If they don’t understand these basics, they certainly don’t understand that tuition is breaking the financial backs of so many members of our community. The only way they would comprehend that is if the tuition reduction passion reserved for our Jewish day schools was directed at legislators who don’t grasp the problem. This group is gigantic, beginning with your local and state officials. But it should also be a conversation with your congressman or senator vying for reelection.

Schools play a part in the goal of tuition reduction, and constantly assaulting a group cognizant of the problem isn’t productive. It would be far more productive to direct this passion toward elected officials who hold the potential to fix the problem – if they only knew there was a problem.

If you want to engage in these important conversations with elected officials, you must work with fellow community members by setting up introductory meetings with them built on this issue. Principals and other school officials who share your concern on this issue should also be in attendance. The Orthodox Union is dedicated to making these conversations happen and turning this passion into productive results.

For more information about beginning these types of conversations and sharing your passion, please visit www.ou.org/tuition.

Share Button

About the Author: Maury Litwack is the director of political affairs for the Orthodox Union. Prior to his work with the OU, he served on the government advocacy team of Miami-Dade County, one of the largest counties in the country.


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.

No Responses to “Save Your Frustration For Your Legislator”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers closed off the area near where a terror attack occurred  near Hevron on Passover eve, in search of the terrorists.
Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack
Latest News Stories

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

Israeli soldiers closed off the area near where a terror attack occurred  near Hevron on Passover eve, in search of the terrorists.

PM Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist murder of a police officer on Passover eve.

Magav Truck Run off Road

The officers had signaled to the Arab driver to pull over. He then rammed into them.

The Palestinian terrorist stood by the side of the road at shot at passing cars with an AK-47.

We would like to wish all our readers a wonderful and kosher Pesach holiday.

Kerry reportedly admitted that he had “made a mistake.”

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

No, it’s not another Haredi protest against the draft, it’s burning the Chametz.

Even the Egyptians didn’t dare do this!

Once again Israel Police closed the Temple Mount to Jews and Christians on the eve of a Jewish holiday, for ‘safety’s sake.’

Israeli and Palestinian Authority negotiators are warning each other over what will happen if each walks away from the negotiating table.

Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy sell the Chametz (food containing leavening) of the State of Israel to an Israeli-Arab Israeli, Mr. Jaber, before the upcoming Passover holiday.  

The attacker apparently targeted various Jewish centers.

(JTA) — The parents of a Jewish student at an exclusive girls’ school in London called on the head of school to make a public statement about an incident in which a teacher told their daughter that she would be sent “to one of your gas chambers.” The incident at North London Collegiate School occurred […]

The prophecy in Joel, like most prophecies, is surreal, beautiful, and open to many interpretations.

More Articles from Maury Litwak

One thing that I consistently encounter when discussing affordable Jewish education is frustration and blame. The frustration comes from parents and others intimately involved in Jewish education.

There are two types of politicians we encounter when advocating to relieve our community’s tuition burden through the use of government funding: those who claim to be 100 percent behind us, and those who claim to be 100 percent against us. What’s interesting is that politicians in both categories do not seem to understand what “100 percent” means.

It can’t be emphasized enough how important grassroots involvement is to political action. Serious unified support can impact the tuition crisis by making our community and its school choice allies an impenetrable voting bloc that must be listened to and that demands consistent results. How we get to “unified” is a challenge.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/save-your-frustration-for-your-legislator/2012/02/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: