web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Home » News & Views » US » NY »

Save Your Frustration For Your Legislator


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.

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.

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 “Save Your Frustration For Your Legislator”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest News Stories
Chabad of Dead Sea brings friends from Arad to create a last-minute celebration sheva brochot with the seven wedding blessings with a new married couple.

At the ninth hour, Chabad of Dead Sea whipped together sheva brochot in 2 hours for a newly wedded tourist couple — out of nowhere.

Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.

Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”

Cairo Jews shove and curse a journalist dressed up as a Jew.

An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.

Volunteers with Shomer Hachadash.

Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]

Scotland Yard said it cannot prevent the upcoming neo-Nazi march that is planned for July 4th.

A store in Rafah, Gaza displays women’s Islamic head coverings for sale.

A State Dept. official is in Israel to talk about making the region nuclear-free.

The highway at the property is a favorite spot for PA Arabs to try to throw

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annual medical report  as written by his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovitz, states, “Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication.” The reports notes that “Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at a […]

The President will speak Friday night at Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue, probably to continue to express his opinion that Israel is racist & Israel should embody “Judeo-Christian”/universal values (as opposed to Jewish values). They’re going to lap it up .

This week ISIS captured two major cities, one in Iraq, one in Syria. Assad’s escape plan revealed.

Israeli Pres. Rivlin expresses deep concern after vandals torch a Bnei Akiva building and synagogue in northern Israel.

More than 70 percent of Muslims in Netherlands reportedly view their brethren fighting the “jihad” in Syria as “heroes.”

Israel rejects a Swiss court decision granting $1.1 billion to Iran after an oil deal went sour after the Islamic Revolution.

Liberman apologizes for describing Netanyahu’s decision to meet with head of Arab Joint Party List as “autistic.”

Former FM Avigdor Liberman slams PM Netanyahu for scheduling talks with the head of the united Arab parties.

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.

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: