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C) Programs don’t include physical education. But they should – at least twice a week; that, plus music, computer training and breaks between class periods. I also support after-school programs.

D) School-days are too long. They should run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. for both boys and girls. I’m strongly against boys being in yeshiva until 7 or 8 p.m.


E) Teachers and school administrators aren’t willing to deal with student complaints and personal issues. Those in charge must be there to help in every way possible. And they must continually oppose bullying of any kind.

My overall message: Students who become knowledgeable are more likely to make smarter decisions later in life.

An Avid Reader  

Dear Avid Reader:

Thank you for your thought-provoking letter. You raise many good points regarding the yeshiva system, but there is no simple solution to this complicated issue.

Some yeshivas do a better job than others at instilling well roundedness in our children. And yeshivas in certain communities provide a better education than others. Teaching children is a very difficult task, especially for a young, inexperienced teacher. And even some experienced teachers may not have the necessary training to reach all of their students effectively.

We are discovering, through continued educational research, that all children learn differently. Some children are visual learners, others are auditory learners, and yet others are tactile learners. Additionally, some children need information to be presented via multiple modalities in order to be able to understand and retain what they are being taught. Some yeshivas offer more support than others and are training their teachers to reach students who learn differently from the norm. But the frum community has improvements to make in this area.

Thank you for your constructive criticisms and ideas. I welcome responses from Jewish Press readers. Hatzlachah!


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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to [email protected]. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at