web analytics
August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



The Modern Orthodox Educational Experience

Respler-070414

Dear Dr. Yael:

I am writing both in response to the letter from An Avid Reader (For Torah U’madda, June 6) and regarding an unfortunate trend that I have noticed.

When I read Avid Reader’s words, “They simply told me to try a modern yeshiva and, suffice to say, I wasn’t very happy,” it reminded me of a past letter that appeared in The Jewish Press. That letter was also written by a frustrated mother whose son had been rejected from a few yeshivot for various reasons, including cell phone usage and being seen speaking with female relatives. Her son ultimately switched to a yeshiva she described as “quite modern.” However, she said that her son was uncomfortable there. I found this confusing, as it sounded like the yeshiva was a perfect fit. I wondered whether, perhaps, it was the mother who was uncomfortable, afraid of being labeled as “modern.”

Avid Reader’s letter seems even stranger to me than the one I just described. It most certainly does not suffice for this mother to say that she was unhappy with the suggestion of a modern yeshiva.

I attended a self-described Modern Orthodox yeshiva high school, and have friends who attended other Modern Orthodox schools. My school addressed nearly all of the letter writer’s concerns, and other modern schools operate similarly. Let’s start with a parent’s first step through the front door.

When a school’s student body is not limited those who dress in black and white, you need not be as concerned with whether you look like you’ll fit in. In my experience, modern schools tend to be more open-minded toward other flavors of Judaism than the other way around, virtually eliminating the pressure to tell them what they want to hear. For example, my school employs rebbeim from varied backgrounds, offers a class in chassidus, and generally encourages students to explore their unique relationship with Hashem. Similarly, they are very accepting of ba’alei teshuvah and might even arrange special help for their children. I am always shocked to hear about ba’alei teshuvah being given a hard time by their fellow Jews, as in my community I am used to seeing them treated with the respect they deserve.

Additionally, my school already implements many of the mother’s ideas:

A) The school day begins and ends with Judaic studies, including Tanach and extra time for Gemara. Rebbeim and Hebrew teachers are often available throughout the day to provide added assistance. All can be contacted via e-mail.

B) It is recognized by an accreditation agency accepted by the United States Department of Education. Teachers are qualified; some even have doctorates. The school successfully manages the difficult balancing act between Judaic studies and general studies.

C) Physical education class takes place at least once a week, and students have use of the gym during their free time. Students are required to take classes in art and music appreciation as well.

D) The school day runs from about 7:40 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with an optional night seder program. While this is somewhat longer than the letter writer’s ideal 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. schedule, one must understand that a quality dual curriculum requires commitment.

E) The administration is open to hearing students’ thoughts, though I acknowledge that this is something that all schools must work on.

My overall message: Schools that define themselves as “modern” must not be dismissed a priori.

I look forward to the day when parents do not deny their children a quality education that matches the student’s needs solely due to social pressure.

Sincerely,

Modern Orthodox and Proud
 

Dear Modern Orthodox and Proud:

With the knowledge that problems exist with every school situation, I spoke with teachers at high-caliber, excellent Modern Orthodox schools. As in all types of schools, I found positives and negatives. Here are some thoughts expressed by the teachers with whom I spoke:

About the Author:


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 Modern Orthodox Educational Experience”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas Execution of 11
Hamas Executes 11 Arabs in Gaza, Warning – Graphic [photo]
Latest Sections Stories
(L-R) Rabbis Tzvi Mandel, Akiva Stolper, Meir Borovetz, Yochanan Ivri and Shlomo Rizel. (Not shown: Rabbi Shmaya Modes.)

A CPE class at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn was tailor made for Orthodox participants.

Lewis-081514-Anna-Ticho

“I didn’t choose the landscape; it chose me.”

Astaire-081514

Woe to us that we have to be put to death like common heathen and murderers!

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

It’s ironic that the reality of death is often the greatest force steering the affirmation of life.

The theme of the event was “Together Let us Rebuild our Holy Beis HaMikdash on Tisha B’Av.”

Chaya Aydel Seminary has already established a close connection with France’s Jewish community.

All attendees left with fervent wishes for a swift and lasting peace in Israel.

How can awareness evolve from exploding stars?

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-081514

There could be no Jewish-themed books and, as such, the lack of knowledge these boys displayed in regards to many of the topics we read about was clear.

Respler-080814

Upon hearing that he did, the owner sent him the atarah – all shiny and new – to be returned to me. I was reunited with my father’s precious gift.

A prominent shadchan recently articulated a dilemma she’s facing.

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

My teachers like me and they tell my parents that I am a great girl with good middos.

Some yeshivish couples do not believe in going out with other couples, but that does not mean that the women cannot have social lives.

In my experience, modern schools tend to be more open-minded toward other flavors of Judaism.

I was called to the principal’s office and shown a picture my daughter had drawn.

    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/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-modern-orthodox-educational-experience/2014/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: