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Students, Secular Kibbutzniks and a Chief Rabbi
Ask the Rabbi: Do norms of modest attire change?
Tzohar chair running for chief rabbi
Dr. Pelcovitz Responds to Feedback on His Article The Impact of Working Mothers on Child Development
R Adlerstein’s Response to Dr. Finkelman
New Ancient Hebrew Manuscripts Could Have Major Impact on Taliban
Orthodox Jewish parents of Fla. teen file motion to keep her on life support
Will It Be A Missionary Center Or A Kiruv Center?
SALT Friday

R Lichtenstein on the Afterlife
‘Virtual’ Public Schools Draw Interest Of Religious Families
Amid Persecution, Yemenite Jews Face Extinction
A New Crowd-Sourced Jewish English Lexicon Believes in Google
Buczacz by Way of Newark: On Literary Lives at the End
Tebah Intersession Reader
SALT Thursday

A Burial for Books
Gun Control and the Limits of Halakhah
G Rosenblatt: What I’ve Learned Since Lanner
$5 million budget hole is latest woe for Conservative synagogue group
Jan Fischer, Czech ‘Joe Lieberman,’ could be Europe’s first Jewish president
Customs Inspectors at Ben-Gurion Nab Chareidi Man with 30 iPhones
War on Western Wall reaches court
Boys Versus Girls – Which Are More Economical in Orthodox Jewish Society?
Civil Court May Enforce Pre-Nup Penalizing Husband For Failing To Grant Wife A Jewish Divorce
The First “Rabbah”
SALT Wednesday

Trembling Before G-d: Turning A Movie Into A Movement
Bar-Ilan’s ’21st Century Zionism’ Curriculum
Films of faith
A Torah in space: Ten years without Ilan Ramon
Can Natan Sharansky fix the Western Wall?
Jewish groups split on FEMA funding for Sandy-damaged synagogues
In likely shuttering of Dutch Jewish broadcaster, fears of a cultural loss
Catholic Education, in Need of Salvation
SALT Tuesday

For 2013, A Marriage Agenda
Manhattan synagogue faces eviction
The Fight Over Women of the Wall Is a Battle With Ancient Roots
Young, Orthodox and Ambitious
The Impact of Working Mothers on Child Development
Challenge to All Anonymous Voices
No Religious Exemption When It Comes to Abuse
In likely shuttering of Dutch Jewish broadcaster, fears of a cultural loss
Jewish weddings seen as tourism booster in Spain
A Lifetime of Learning
SALT Monday

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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

193 Responses

  1. joel rich says:

    Where’s your gown to march in the parade, Dr. Einstein?’ Einstein said, ‘I don’t need a gown. I see the world the way it is. I don’t need a mask.’ It was a very quick answer.
    =====================================
    LOL as I know a guy who comes from time to time into a world of black and white and as a person of color is immediately asked, do you have yahrtzeit?
    KT

  2. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Dr. Pelcovitz’s piece — gevaldik. How many women actually have the choice to work part-time or take longer maternity leave? (And at what cost to personal fulfilment in a serious career?) The one solid piece of Orthodox public policy I’ve heard on this — both from the rabbonim of Baltimore and RH”S shlita — is that if dad is fully employed; mom wants to stay home (or work part-time); and they’re living within their means, then it’s fair for them to ask for financial aid in dayschool tuition — no need for her to take a full-time job to pay full tuition. We fund all sorts of causes; “sane families” can be one of them too.

    As for the kollel world — well, RAL shlit’a spoke of an utter failure of leadership. Not much else to say.
    ______________________________________

    Tourism in Spain — there was a rumor circulating in yeshiva that the cherem on returning to Spain (if it existed) was only on the government of Ferdinand & Isabella and their successors; once Franco interrupted the monarchy this was lifted. Anyone else hear this?

    I recall Rabbi Frand saying that the cherem (if it exists) should be no worse than the Biblical prohibition on returning to Egypt, which Rambam says is only with intent to permanently relocate — hence tourism would be fine.

    Hashkafic wisdom of how to (permissibly) spend your money and leisure time: not my department…

    Looks like Spain learned that throwing out the Jews hurt their economy, now it’s time to bring them back in …

  3. emma says:

    “Full-time maternal employment begun before the child was three months old was associated with significantly more behavior problems reported by caregivers at age 4½ years and by teachers at first grade;”

    I have never heard of a Jewish institution (esp orthodox dayschool) that gives 3 months of leave, even unpaid. I’m sure some does somewhere but it is uncommon. FMLA notwithstanding, there are many schools where max leave is 6 weeks, usually unpaid.

    Also, I would be curious how much, if any, of the negative effects of returning to full-time work early stem from increased risk of early weaning or not breastfeeding.

    That said I think we’ve been through this before on this blog when the predecessor article was published in klal perspectives…

  4. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Gil: The Manhattan Synagogue Eviction story you liked to is seriously out of date. The courts have granted a temporary stay of the eviction order. The best article for the background of the whole very sad story can be found in “Real Deal.” Meanwhile Gary Rosenblatt will be the scholar in residence at the shul this coming Shabbat.

  5. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Emma,

    Thanks. I must have missed it back then. Nu, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

  6. aiwac says:

    “For 2013, A Marriage Agenda”

    Good luck with that, after all the years it was barely on the radar…

  7. emma says:

    repetition does not always seem to be a vice in this comments section, so soapbox away as far as i am concerned :)

  8. “you would think that the most serious problem facing the American Jewish community is the waning attachment to Israel among young adults. But that’s not what keeps me up at night. What haunts me and the many parents I know who have children in their twenties and thirties is whether they will marry and, if so, whether they will marry Jews.”

    perhaps there is a correlation between the 2 that reflects an underlying commitment to the jewish people?

    in any case, if the ultimate concern and goal relates to fostering endogamy, then the battle is already lost.

  9. emma says:

    Let me rephrase my point on breastfeeding. (I believe i made this point here before as well.) There is lots of documentation that exclusive breastfeeding in the early months, and continued breastfeeding after that, is beneficial. (Or, rather, that formula feeding has negative effects.) The benefits are small (see hanna rosin’s “the case against breastfeeding”) but real, much like the apparent benefits of having a mother not work full time early on.

    Anecdotal experience suggests that there is a wide range of attitudes towards breastfeeding from rabbis in the context of shailas. The expectation of rapid-fire childbearing in certain communities, however, directly incentivizes formula-feeding, as does overemphasis on “tznius” within one’s own home.

    If the discussion of whether and how mothers of infants should work is really abotu evidence-based, outcomes-oriented thinking, it _must_ include a discussion about whether our communities are breastfeeding-friendly or not. Otherwise it sounds a lot more like the culture wars than like a “what is best for children” analysis…

  10. IH says:

    For the record, the firt footnote to Dr. Pelcovitz’s article is a study that (actually) concludes:

    “Study finds first-year maternal employment has no ill effects on child cognitive and social development outcomes”

    http://socialwork.columbia.edu/news-events/new-evidence-first-year-maternal-employment-and-child-outcomes

  11. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    “The expectation of rapid-fire childbearing in certain communities, however, directly incentivizes formula-feeding, as does overemphasis on “tznius” within one’s own home. ”

    Uch. Really? Oh dear. If that’s true, then shame on us.

    Brachos 31b: “Said Chana to the Almighty — you didn’t create the human female body with useless parts. Eyes for seeing, ears for hearing, a nose for smelling, a mouth for speaking, hands for working, feet for walking, and breasts for nursing. What are mine good for?”

    Rabbi Y.H. Henkin shlit’a (the posek training the yoatzot) is well aware of women’s issues medical and otherwise; he has written to encourage breastfeeding.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a story of a Satmar woman (as I heard it from Rabbi Broyde) whose husband left her because she couldn’t lactate — chalav yisrael formula (the only option, of course) is prohibitively expensive, mutliplied by the dozen kids he wants to have — she can’t make her own milk? Forget it.

    Hashem yerachem.

  12. SHALOM ROSENFELD:

    the cherem on spain was instituted not as a punitive measure directed against a particular monarch or the country in general, but as a practical measure to prevent backsliding by former conversos who had resettled in amsterdam but would occasionally visit the iberian peninsula (where judaism was still an illicit religion and these visitors would have to live as catholics during their visits)

  13. J says:

    I’ll agree with Emma here on negative attitudes towards breastfeeding. I have experienced personally that there are men (and women) who feel uncomfortable if a woman is breasfeeding in their presence even if she is completely covered with a blanket or nursing cover. It is very difficult to take care of multiple young children (i.e a typical frum family) when out in public if the mom always has to go to a seperate room when her infant needs to breastfeed.

  14. Hirhurim says:

    Yes, I get uncomfortable in such a situation. Some women cover themselves and some women don’t. So I either have to subtly glance at the nursing baby (to see if I need to look away) or just always look away.

  15. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    I’d seen a La Leche spokesperson argue that for general society today, the obsession with breasts as a sex object means we can’t see that they’re there to feed babies.

    I sadly suspect that the whole overboard-tznius thing is just the opposite side of the coin. (“Chana said to Hashem — why did you give me breasts?” “And Hashem said, so you can cover them well so you can fulfill your greatest calling, tznius, of course!”)

    “There is the danger … of being so obsessed with not thinking about women that we can’t think about anything else.” — Rabbi YH Henkin.

  16. SHALOM:

    “if dad is fully employed; mom wants to stay home (or work part-time); and they’re living within their means, then it’s fair for them to ask for financial aid in dayschool tuition”

    why is this “fair”? (and one could argue that by definition they aren’t living within their means)

    EMMA:

    “I have never heard of a Jewish institution (esp orthodox dayschool) that gives 3 months of leave, even unpaid. I’m sure some does somewhere but it is uncommon. FMLA notwithstanding, there are many schools where max leave is 6 weeks, usually unpaid.”

    for comparison, the nyc dept of ed (which dwarfs the dayschool network) does not offer any paid maternity leave!

    it would be nice if jewish schools offered paid maternity (paternity?) leave, but at what cost? le-maase, i’ll bet that most frum moms would sympathize, but then tell them that tuition will go up x% in order to make it happen and see what happens to that sympathy.

  17. emma says:

    R. Gil,
    If a woman puts on a nursing cover/apron, no subtle glancing is necessary to know that you won’t see anything unexpected. It would be reasonable to have a communal standard requiring such a cover. (such as the “bebe au lait” brand – my experience is that regular blankets usually don’t work, at least not with a non-newborn who likes to kick things around… And this is an area where I admit I could be more careful). I think it’s fair for those who are uncomfortable to be uncomfotrable, but they should try to keep it as private as possible, and certainly not talk disparagingly about nursing (which you did not). If the worst that happens is that you have to look away, well, ok.

    Shalom R,
    “Uch. Really? Oh dear. If that’s true, then shame on us.”

    Not sure which of the possibilities i mentioned you are referring to, but the annals of internet women’s fora suggest that some women feel real pressure to wean in order to conceive quickly – say, within a year. For others, they may be able to conceive quickly, but then to actually continue nursing during pregnancy can be a big challenge. Of course there are others for whom extended nursing is a no-shaila-necessary method of (quasi-reliable) contraception.

  18. Hirhurim says:

    I’ve never seen a real cover, just clothing and/or diapers trying to cover as best as a harried mother of young children can. I don’t expect to be at the top of the list of her concerns.

    I’m pro-nursing. I just appreciate when the mother goes to another room, which even my non-frum relatives do.

  19. emma says:

    abba,
    “for comparison, the nyc dept of ed (which dwarfs the dayschool network) does not offer any paid maternity leave!”

    (1) I imagine those teachers are covered by, and know they are covered by, the FMLA, no? Have you ever heard of a dayschool teacher invoking the FMLA to take “extra” time off? Further, DOe teacehrs often have the ability to bank large numbers of paid vacation days that they can use for leave. Which helps if you are not having a kid every year or two. Still, I agree that’s not awesome.

    “it would be nice if jewish schools offered paid maternity (paternity?) leave, but at what cost? le-maase, i’ll bet that most frum moms would sympathize, but then tell them that tuition will go up x% in order to make it happen and see what happens to that sympathy.”

    Completely agree that there would be a significant cost. As there would be to society as a whole, in the short term in terms of worker productivity, if the US had better leave policies. No simple solution here, but any discussion of what mothrs should do in the abstract must account for the pressures our own communal institutions put on their female employees… At the very least. though, there could be cultural change that makes taking longer unpaid leave socially acceptable. (Not that most teachers could afford to do so).

  20. Nachum says:

    “but would occasionally visit the iberian peninsula”

    It was apparently a lot more common than that, and people switched between “Jewish” and “Christian” (not even underground Jewish) often and without thinking. So your point is pretty valid.

  21. ruvie says:

    On more than one occasion at my shabbat table- in the past – a woman will breast feed at the table (of course well covered up). Many men seem to be uncomfortable – no matter how tzinusdik it was done. it seems the act itself is bothersome in public (like going to the bathroom in front of you) for some. most women excuse themselves and go into the next room. I assume it will depend on how you were raise among other things of its perceived appropriateness in public even among friends. does it depend on the where on the religious spectrum you sit?

  22. EMMA:

    i think FMLA only mandates unpaid leave (?), and i was referring to paid leave. (DOE does permit unpaid leave, although i don’t think they hold your spot and upon return may not get placed in the school of choice.) also, i would imagine that most day school teachers don’t work enough hours to reach the threshhold that would make FMLA apply to them.

    “DOe teacehrs often have the ability to bank large numbers of paid vacation days that they can use for leave”

    my wife and her friends generally don’t have too many days in the bank (last time it was 2 weeks, which i guess is better than nothing). you get 1 day a month, but this can get eaten up quickly by personal needs, sick kids and holidays (in the latter case, day school teachers have an immeasurable benefit and i do think this can be a situation of the grass is always greener . . .)

  23. ” to actually continue nursing during pregnancy can be a big challenge”

    i know this isn’t relevant, but it reminds of a very, very moving teshuva published in slovakia in 1949 if a mother can abort her baby because it impeded her lactation and thus the life of her child

    emma, just a footnote on how the non-jewish world isn’t always much better in accomadating new mothers, when my wife returned to work her school gave her problems with pumping.

  24. IH says:

    B. B’rachot 10a teaches:
    ינק משדי אמו ונסתכל בדדיה ואמר שירה שנאמר (תהלים קג, ב) ברכי נפשי את ה’ ואל תשכחי כל גמוליו מאי כל גמוליו אמר ר’ אבהו שעשה לה דדים במקום בינה טעמא מאי אמר (רבי) יהודה כדי שלא יסתכל במקום ערוה רב מתנא אמר כדי שלא יינק ממקום הטנופת

    Perhaps there will be less bad in the world, if we saw more infants being breastfed.

  25. IH says:

    And speaking of doing good:
    http://www.mako.co.il/news-israel/health/Article-084150812e41c31004.htm

    ליאל נעמי לובין הלכה לעולמה ביום שני במרכז הרפואי נהריה, לאחר שסבלה מבצקת מוחית והגיעה למקום עם התקף אפילפטי קשה. “כאשר ישבנו ובכינו ידענו שיש 4 משפחות שמחות שקיבלו חיים”, סיפר אביה שהחליט לתרום את איבריה. במותה היא הצילה גם ילדה בת שש וחצי שתרמה לה כליה

  26. aiwac says:

    IH,

    For that you need children – and far too few non-O Jews are having them :(

  27. emma says:

    R Gil, off topic but that’s funny, nearly everyone i know who nurses owns the cover i mentioned. It may be because I hang out more with yuppies who like to buy baby-related consumer products than you?

    abba, FMLA is unpaid, yes, but 12 weeks unpaid is better than 4-6 unpaid. In any case I agree that US society is not exactly a paradigm of awesomeness for working new mothers, nor is it awesome in terms of acceptance of/support for breastfeeding either socially or by many medical professionals… Sigh.

  28. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    emma — NYC teachers are afraid their “preffered” school (to teach in) will not take them back after 6 – 12 – ?? of absence. even though FMLA law requires the position (?location?) be kept available. (prefered here, means they will not be sent to bedford stuyvesant or similar location.)

    regarding breast feeding in america in the 60s, when my brother was born and my mother (just in from israel) breast fed him in the hospital, the doctor called in all the residents (it was a major teaching hospital) to show them what breast feeding lokks like (since breast feeding was unheard of then, in america.)

  29. “Jewish groups split on FEMA funding for Sandy-damaged synagogues”

    what’s the controversy? e.g., don’t active shuls get govt money for landmark preservation projects

    “A Torah in space: Ten years without Ilan Ramon”

    i always thought of him as in inspiration, in part because he viewed himself as a representative jew rather than a reprentative isralei

    “Catholic Education, in Need of Salvation”

    i was very confused as i read this, until i realized it is an op-ed and not a NYT editorial.

  30. jlan says:

    First time that I know of where a Get prenup has gone to court. A Connecticut trial court upheld it:

    http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2013/01/civil-court-may-enforce-pre-nup.html

  31. Shalom Rosenfeld says:

    Jlan, thanks for sharing. Someone send Rabbi Willig another big bunch of flowers. Three cheers for quality rabbinic leadership!

    As the years go by it’s likely that crafty people may try more sophisticated legal challenges to the prenup, but B’H so far so good. (This one sounded really weak.)

    Until recently the statistic I’d heard was “1 instance where they started moving to enforce the prenup at which point he relented.”

  32. IH says:

    Someone send Rabbi Willig another big bunch of flowers

    Indeed. It’s only a shame it took so long as R. J. Yuter wrote about last year: http://joshyuter.com/2012/03/30/judaism/blame-rabbis-for-agunot-but-for-the-right-reasons/

  33. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    rabbi willig, in http://www.bethdin.org/docs/JBDA_Vol1.pdf discuses a case where a maryland court enforced an anomaly in the RCA pre nup, where the wife tried to get an improper advantage in the case, till r willig was gotten to (perhaps questionably) intervene. though i notice this particular anomaly is accounted for in the curent pre nup version. did the RCA as a whole approve the change (the BDA dayanim opposed his strategy, per the article)?

    also, this conn case only applies to the $150 version of the pre nup, which is the version that is most halachically questionable, vs the version most halachically acceptable (the straight arbitration clause) would be prob unenforceable in conn. (or wait for enforcement of a BDA decision the CT court doesnt like.)

    2. sandy synagogue money — if the govt will pay for quasi-public buildings reconstruction, why not synagogues? as long as no cricifixes, etc are involved, no real objection (mosques are deliberatly excessively plain — nothing but four walls and prayer mats.)

    3. natan scharansky — if he makes a decision unacceptable to some, he will lose (some) universal approval he now has. its a lose – lose for him. he’ll try to get out, with a non universally acceptable decision. properly.

  34. Tal Benschar says:

    the version most halachically acceptable (the straight arbitration clause) would be prob unenforceable in conn.

    Why would it be unenforceable?

  35. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that the attitude towards breast feeding has changed radically since the 1950s and 1960s. Yet, one can also find evidence of attempts to instill a sense of inferiority on those women, who for whatever reason, use formula, and whose kids show no sense of having been deprived of their mother’s TLC. I share R Gil’s observations on the issue of Tznius re breast feeding in a public arena or in front of others in one’s home or as guests at someone’s home.

    IH-why don’t you ask Dr Pelcovitz what he thought of the Columbia study? Obviously, the other data cited by Dr Pelcovitz raised questions with the conclusion in the Columbia study.

  36. Hirhurim says:

    You gotta love this:

    http://5tjt.com/?p=19650

    Accordingly, perhaps the equation we should use is the following:

    Shidduch crisis + divorce crisis + infertility crisis + children-and-teens-at-risk crisis + mental-health crisis + young Orthodox Jewish cancer crisis + Sandy crisis = a “Hashem is not happy with the current Orthodox status quo” crisis.

  37. IH says:

    Steve — it’s his citation (in both versions of the article). I think it’s rather strange to cite a study while omitting the relevant strapline its authors wrote. Caveat emptor.

  38. emma says:

    Steve, it’s not about TLC, but about health-related outcomes. And that individual children turn out just fine (or appear to now – some consequences may be defered until middle age or later) is no proof that, on a population level, routine formula feeding does not have negative public health consequences. Kind of like “my kid was never in a car seat and turned out ok” does not mean that car seats have no benefits.
    The whole “breast is best but don’t make people feel bad for not nursing” is a ridiculously well-trodden path in the mommy wars to which you have added very little… Overall best to move from speaking morally about this (either judging those who formula feed or those who promote breastfeeding) to speaking in terms of what policies would make for happier and healthier mommies and babies.

  39. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Ask Dr Pelcovitz if you have any questions. I think that an author who cites a study or article is entitled to draw a reasonable conclusion-namely as to the % of women working full time, while reserving the right to his own conclusions on the subject based on his own analysis.

    Emma-There is an awful lot of guilt disguised as advice by the breast feeding only advocates. I would suggest that mothers be given the advice to do what is best for them and their children, without engaging in a judgment call as to what is supposedly “better”.

  40. Hirhurim says:

    I agree with Steve. IH is accusing Dr. Pelcovitz of academic malpractice by insinuating that he quoted a study that proves the exact opposite of what he claims. A pull quote is insufficient for such an accusation. Either read the study and tell us whether Dr. Pelcovitz quotes it accurately or, better, ask him directly.

    There can be real life consequences to such accusations. Please do not toss them around carelessly.

  41. IH says:

    Gil — Sorry, but I strongly disagree. I’m not accusing him of anything, just observing the discrepency.

  42. Hirhurim says:

    I strongly disagree. The discrepancy is irrelevant if he quotes the study accurately. It is only relevant if he is misrepresenting the study.

  43. IH says:

    That’s a different point than stating I am making unfair accusations. I have no problem if you think the discrepancy I observed is irrelevant.

  44. Hirhurim says:

    I am saying that you are making unfair accusations by implication. Without any qualification, your repeated statement implies academic malpractice.

    If you believe it is irrelevant then please say so clearly.

  45. emma says:

    “I would suggest that mothers be given the advice to do what is best for them and their children, without engaging in a judgment call as to what is supposedly “better”.”

    “Do what’s best without judging what is better.” that makes sense.

  46. IH says:

    I do not believe the discrepancy is irrelevant, nor do I think it is academic malpractice. Readers can decide for themselves.

  47. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Dr. Pelcovitz cites the study IH referred to in support the following statement in his article: “Recent statistics indicate that 75% of mothers work full time in the first year of their child’s life.” I feel certain, without checking, that the study does support that statement. But IH’s point is that a conclusion of that study differs with Dr. Pelcovitz’s conclusion. In no way is that an accusation of academic malpractice. But to me, as a layman, it does seem to be an important data point that it is quite relevant to the issues Dr. Pelocovitz discusses in his article. Rather than throw barbs at IH, he should be thanked for adding actual information and substance to the discussion

  48. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan-see my 4:44 PM post. FWIW, the excerpted conclusion of the study linked to by IH is far more ambiguous than the pull quote, and cannot be viewed as a wholehearted endorsement of women working full time in the first year of their children unless one assumes that an entire set of predicates, which may or not be present in the real world beyond the upper class Caucasian subjects of the study, including but not limited to, high quality child care is present.

  49. Steve Brizel says:

    It should be noted that radical feminist theory and ideologists viewed the nuclear family and the role of the wife/mother as R”L akin to that of a concentration camp inmate, and look to academia for validation of their thesis that anyone other than a mother with TLC can raise a child in a family and especially in the crucial infant and toddler years . The lack of respect for full time mothers for not having a so called “full time job” was quite apparent in the most recent presidential campaign.

  50. Hirhurim says:

    IH wrote: For the record, the firt footnote to Dr. Pelcovitz’s article is a study that (actually) concludes:

    “Study finds first-year maternal employment has no ill effects on child cognitive and social development outcomes”

    I took this to imply that Dr. Pelcovitz misquoted the study. I’m not sure how else to understand the word “actually”.

  51. IH says:

    Gil — In contrast to Dr. Pelkovitz’s article, the study he cites in footnotes 1 & 2 (actually) has a clear conclusion:

    New research provides good news to parents on a question that has drawn a lot of attention from researchers and the media – do children fare worse if their moms work in the first year of life? The answer, according to a landmark study using a unique national dataset and cutting edge analytic methods, is a resounding no.

  52. Facts says:

    “Trembling Before G-d: Turning A Movie Into A Movement”

    The article is good in that it shows what Sandi DuBowski was up to all along. Promoting an extreme left wing agenda (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandi_Simcha_DuBowski for more examples and his twitter feed).

    He was/is not Orthodox, neither are some of those in his film. But that didn’t stop him.

    Whoever was duped by him should wake up now, better late than never.

  53. mycroft says:

    I wish discussions could take place on issue and facts presented-leaving out credibility issues one way or the other of the writers.
    That certain bloggers have different ideologies/hashkafas is obvious to all-but that should be irrelevant to the arguments raised.

  54. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “I took this to imply that Dr. Pelcovitz misquoted the study. I’m not sure how else to understand the word “actually”.”

    The way I understood it; that a study he cites for a different fact actually disagrees with the main point of his article. You simply read it wrong, Gil, and unfairly attacked IH as a result of your error.

  55. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan-see my post of 4:44 PM, and R Gil’s comments. I stand by my response and agree with all of R Gil’s comments on this issue.

  56. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Steve: Do you still agree with Gil that IH’s use of the word “actually” implied that Dr. Pelcovitz misquoted and misrepresented the study and was consequently guilty of academic malpractice. My brother, in my view, clearly showed that Gil’s inference was unwarranted. My own sense is tha there was an implicit criticism on the part of IH of Dr. Pelcovitz, namely, that since he quoted some data from the study he ought to have noted that the study’s main conclusion actually differs from his conclusion. If that was IH’s implicit criticism, I disagree with him, and in that respect, but that respect alone, I would be closer to your position. But such a criticism is a far cry from implying that Dr. Pelcovitz misrepresented or misquoted the article, much less that he was consequently guilty of academic malpractice, and, for the life of me, I do not see how IH’s statement can be read as implying such. I think, Steve, that if, every now and then, instead of always dogmatically and rigidly “standing by your [original] positions,” you would modify or rephrase them in light of the subsequent discussion, you might receive a more welcome hearing for your contentions.

    Gil: You were really over the top here. And I do know a bit about what constitutes “academic malpractice.”

  57. Hirhurim says:

    Dr. Kaplan: I suspect you have a technical definition of academic malpractice in mind. I have no idea how it is defined and used the term loosely to refer here to quoting a source to prove a point when it actually proves the exact opposite. That is, in my mind and I believe in that of most others, dishonest and unrespectable. I further believe that to accuse someone who earns his living based on his knowledge of intentionally falsifying information to be a serious charge. Maybe you disagree.

    My reading of IH’s comment is that he believes Dr. Pelcovitz misrepresented the data.

    Joseph Kaplan: What different fact? Dr. Pelcovitz cites this study to show the negative repercussions of mothers working. IH repeatedly pointed out that the study says that mothers working is a benefit to children, implying that Dr. Pelcovitz misrepresented the study. At least to me, this raises serious questions to which I do not have ready answers. The responsible thing to do is to look closely and see whether the study actually says what Dr. Pelcovitz claims it does, rather than just slyly pointing to a summary paragraph.

  58. emma says:

    “Dr. Pelcovitz cites this study to show the negative repercussions of mothers working.”

    no, he doesn’t, and IH never said he did.

  59. Hirhurim says:

    Emma: Yes, Dr. Pelcovitz does. And if IH doesn’t claim he does then what is he pointing out?

  60. HAGTBG says:

    Gil: Emma: Yes, Dr. Pelcovitz does. And if IH doesn’t claim he does then what is he pointing out?

    Gil, I agree with you. Dr. Pelcovitz cites to the study to provide data that indicates a mother of an infant going to work full time creates issues for the child (footnote 2). In fact, its the basis of his article. (I note IH first cites to footnote 1, where the study was cited for a separate point.)

    However, the summary of the study provided by Columbia, cited by IH, indicates that the study concludes children do not fare worse if their moms work in the first year of life.

    IH should be thanked for bringing the point out. Not attacked because you think IH accused Dr. Pelcovitz of something.

    Though partially contradictory, they are not completely so. Dr. Pelcovitz notes his “intention in this article was to emphasize, through a review of psychological literature, the vital importance of quality substitute childcare in a situation where a mother does work outside the home.” Similarly, the authors he cite conclude ““Parents in the U.S. are struggling hard to meet their children’s needs in spite of having only very minimal access to public policies that other nations take for granted – policies [... including] subsidized high-quality child care. The evidence is strong that children would be better off if their parents had more of such supports in the U.S.”

  61. Hirhurim says:

    It’s not what he said but how he said it.

  62. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Again, at MOST IH implicitly critcized Dr. Pelcovitz for citing the article for statistical purposes but omitting the fact that its conclusion contradicts his. How such an omission would constitute “intentionally falsifying information,” indeed a serious charge, escapes me.

    On another note, you shoud link to the New YorK Obsever’s article of yesterday regarding the denial of the stay of evicition for the Sixteenth Street Synagogue.

  63. IH says:

    For info and context:

    abba’s rantings on February 2, 2012 at 9:18 am
    GIL:

    please delete the link to the klal journal so no one else wastes their time reading through it.
    even dr. pelcovitz’s article was disappointing. not one word of data. everything in relative terms. x more likely than y. y less likely than z. this information is completely useless.

    —–

    Hirhurim on February 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    Dr. Pelcovitz’s article was great! Who cares that he didn’t include hard data? He gave sources and made excellent and important points.

    —–

    IH on February 2, 2012 at 7:31 pm
    He gave sources and made excellent and important points.

    I’m a little puzzled. I scanned Dr. Pelcovitz’s article and then looked up the Press Release for the paper cited in his first 2 footnotes: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ssw/news/jul10/maternity.html

    “Study finds first-year maternal employment has no ill effects on child cognitive and social development outcomes”

    As with any text, those interested should look up the mareh mekomot.

  64. emma says:

    my mistake, dr pelcovitz cites the study for a point unrelated to his central thesis in note 1, but seems to cite it for his central point in note 2. Actually, in note 2 it seems to me he is citing the article for what the authors say about their main conclusions in the previous study, rather than what the authors say in that study.

    The article in notes 1-2 seems equivocal:
    “These results confirm that maternal employment in the 1st year of life may confer both advantages and disadvantages and that for the average non-Hispanic White child those effects balance each other.”
    http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-144433932X.html

    Basically, as dr pelcovitz himself lets on later, the “consistent story” seems less consistent, in terms of generating a “which is better” answer, than he initially suggests. But since his article does recognize that complexity I don’t think it’s right to accuse him of falsification, nor do i think IH did so.

  65. IH says:

    nor do i think IH did so.

    Correct.

  66. emma says:

    another article from the same authors, for example, states “Many studies have examined the associations between first-year maternal employment and children’s later cognitive and behavioral outcomes (see reviews in Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Smolensky & Gootman, 2003). Such studies have typically found that children score more poorly on cognitive tests and/or measures of behavior problems if their mothers worked in the first year of their life”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2844643/

    although i have not found the full text of the study in notes 1-2 i imagine it says something similar, and that is the proposition for which Dr. Pelcovitz was citing it, which is fair.

  67. IH says:

    Anyone want to take a stab at a two sentence summary of Dr. Pelcovitz’s current article in the style of the Columbia summary in the first comment on this page?

  68. emma says:

    I hope that boys vs. girls article was tongue-in cheek. any actuaries care to weigh in? :)

  69. emma says:

    also, who has 200 people at a bris? or is your point in posting to highlight the absurdity of some of the assumed costs?

  70. ruvie says:

    emma – notice no bat mitzvah for the girls. i thought only hasidim don’t recognize it. is there a movement on the right to not celebrate a girl being m’chuyav b’mitzvot?

  71. RUVIE:

    i don’t know about such a trend, but my “yeshivish” neighbors celebrate on a much smaller (i.e., cheaper) scale than they do for a bar mitzva, or my MO friends do for their girls.

  72. emma says:

    they celebrate with the equivalent of a birthday party.

  73. emma says:

    (equivalent in terms of fanciness, number of ppl, etc – it may mark the religious significance of the event but it is still, from a cost perspective, just 40-50 people in a living room eating cookies…)

  74. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal b — certain issues are not arbitrable (esp in the family law area) besides a juducial reluctance to overlook non judicial proceedings (subject to an appreciation of having a case already decided. question — will the BDA even get involved in such cases?

    yesivish charedim downplay all parties, let alone bar / bat mitzvah. the simple girls-only (kiddush type) bat party is a tremendous innovation to them. also, note RMF tolerating, but allowing very reluctantly, a bar mitzvah party for boys.

  75. emma says:

    “yesivish charedim downplay all parties.” Right, like the upsherin, vort, lechayim, etc. I speak as someone who actually downplays parties when I have a choice. What the yeshivish do, which includes fancy clothes and fancy food, is not downplaying… (FTR I had one engagement shindig which consisted of pizza and beer. We probably splurged and got nice beer, though.)

  76. jo says:

    I had a rebbe who purposely didn’t finish any masechtas with the class in order to avoid having siyums.

  77. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    emma — you’re prob right, but those parties are strictly yeshivish, non-MO type parties (in origin), as oppposed to bat mitzvah (origin: r mordechai kaplan’s daughter). you’ll never see 200 ppl at those bat mitzvah “kiddushes”, but 400 ppl is minimum for a yeshivish weddding.

    (for non jews, and non observant, by implication, 75 ppl is a big wedding. though many non jews make a bar mitzvah for their children, since their jewish classmates / friends have one.)

    chassidim are different. tbey throw a kiddush at a yartzeit, while yeshivish (supposedly) fast. and they were the (moderrn day)origin for upsherins.

    jo — ppl might say the yeshiva budget did not provide for a siyum. the rebbe wont take it out of his chodesh le’shana budget.

  78. Tal Benschar says:

    tal b — certain issues are not arbitrable (esp in the family law area) besides a juducial reluctance to overlook non judicial proceedings (subject to an appreciation of having a case already decided.

    That is true on issues of custody and the like, but my (limited) understanding is that on monetary support, at least for the spouse, the issues are arbitrable. (That is what I thought the agreement you referenced deals with — going to a BD to determine a level of spousal support.)

    BTW, there are both federal and state laws mandating recognition of arbitration agreements, and my general impression is that most courts favor them. Although perhaps family law is a noted exception.

  79. The struggle goes on says:

    Re Trembling Before G-d

    Joint program tonight by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Lincoln Square Synagogue is continuing Dubowski’s work.

    http://www.yctorah.org/content/view/807/17/

    Over ten years later, the non Orthodox filmmaker tail is still wagging the LWMO dog. The power of a movie can indeed be great.

    I don’t understand what a Chasidic Rabbi is doing in such company, in such a program. I guess the LW thinks it gives them cover to have a Lubavitcher on board.

  80. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    tal b — the FAA (fed arb act) has exceptions for “public policy” and court rules, aming others. one public policy recently knocked out “chodesh le’shana” (though appeals court reinstated it, due to non public policy issues.) spousal support is a public policy issue.

    also, note property distribution and spousal (and child) support are interwtwined in halacha, but not in civil court. (i.e., halacha prefers child support in the form a piece of real estate to tide over the 18 or so years, to minimize interactions of the ex spouses; also to encourage remarriage.) civil courts will cinsider the property distribution as separate from child support, and will require an actual weekly distribution).

  81. Hoffa Araujo says:

    “emma – notice no bat mitzvah for the girls. i thought only hasidim don’t recognize it. is there a movement on the right to not celebrate a girl being m’chuyav b’mitzvot?”

    The movement in doing something to recognize a bas mitzvoh is a relevatively new innovation that did not really exist 100 hundred years ago. Your comment, to me at least, implies is is the norm. That’s not a given, even today.

    As for Chassidim, they do something small as do those in the yeshivishe velt.

  82. Steve Brizel says:

    Larry Kaplan-R Gil has expressed my POV on the issue raised by IH.

  83. ruvie says:

    Hoffa Araujo – it may be new (50 plus years) but it has been accepted and held through most of orthodoxy including hareidim( i was under the impression that only many hasidim don’t do anything). If the person making that list includes $200 for a bar mitzvah suit but 0 money or any mention about a bat mitzvah party (even a small one is more than a suit) then its assume the person doesn’t celebrate (in whatever limited form) it. My comment does imply that it is the norm among the orthodox – am i wrong? are there any statistics? has it been discourage in the last 10 years? Are there any teshuvot of late – post rav ovadia yosef (last major teshuva that i am aware- which called it a great seudat mitzvah) that prohibits it?

  84. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote :

    “I’m a little puzzled. I scanned Dr. Pelcovitz’s article and then looked up the Press Release for the paper cited in his first 2 footnotes”

    That’s because the Press Release contains none of the ambiguous assumptions and conclusions of the paragraphs immediately beneath the Press Release. That’s similar to reading a blurb on a book or a factually flawed review as opposed to the book itself.

  85. Hoffa Araujo says:

    He learned in YU. He also is a mechaber seforim. I love to use and refer to his sefer of the Vilna Gaon’s peirush on Megillas Esther.

  86. IH says:

    Since Steve has come back to Dr. Pelcovitz’s article, I accessed the journal with the published study (accessible online for NYPL patrons). The opening paragraph of the conclusion section (p. 110) reads:

    CONCLUSION
    So what is the take-home message of our results and what are their implications for policy? It is certainly reassuring that our most complete models Fusing SEM analysisF find no overall effects of FT or PT 1st-year maternal employment, as compared with the mother not working in the 1st year, on later child cognitive, social, or emotional outcomes. Although there may be some downsides of parental employment in terms of child development, employment also confers some clear benefits. Indeed, our results suggest that when we take factors such as maternal earnings, the home environment, and child care into account, the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral. This is particularly likely to be the case when that employment is PT, rather than FT.

  87. IH says:

    “Fusing SEM analysisF” should be “– using SEM analysis –”

  88. emma says:

    IH, that sounds remarkably like dr. pelcovitz’s conclusion to me…

  89. Steve Brizel says:

    IH quoted part of a conclusion of which the following is the highly relevant part:

    “Although there may be some downsides of parental employment in terms of child development, employment also confers some clear benefits. Indeed, our results suggest that when we take factors such as maternal earnings, the home environment, and child care into account, the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral. This is particularly likely to be the case when that employment is PT, rather than FT.”

    IOW, assuming a completely favorable child care setting and many other variables, none of which are a given, the above is a highly nuanced and cautious conclusion-as opposed to a ringing statement that there is no emotional or pyschological concern for either the mother or the child.

  90. IH says:

    emma — can you point me to the sentences in Dr. Pelcovitz’s article with that conclusion? Thx.

  91. IH says:

    e.g. I’m looking for “find no overall effects of FT or PT 1st-year maternal employment, as compared with the mother not working in the 1st year, on later child cognitive, social, or emotional outcomes” or “the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral”?

  92. Joseph Kaplan says:

    This is Dr. Pelcovitz’s conclusion with respect to middle class parents:

    “In the case of middle class or wealthy families when the mother is working full-time, particularly in the early months of a child’s life, there appears to be a mildly increased risk for later behavioral problems and subtle cognitive impact relative to mothers who aren’t working or are working part-time.”

    This is the conclusion of the study cited by him:

    “Indeed, our results suggest that when we take factors such as maternal earnings, the home environment, and child care into account, the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral.”

    While I’m a simple layman in this area, ISTM that while both have lots of nuances and caveats, the tone of DDP’s conclusion is “be careful, good chance there will be minor problems” while the tone of the study’s conclusion is “don’t worry, the effect of working is likely to be neutral.”

    Again, I think IH should be thanked for bringing the details of the study’s conclusion to our attention which, when the unnecessary and erroneous personal attacks are ignored, has helped give more substance to our discussion of this important issue.

  93. IH says:

    Thank you, Joseph.

  94. emma says:

    Agree that the tone is different. And there is a difference between “the net effect is neutral” vs. “it has positive effects in some subpopulations and negative in others.” (in the former, the “neutral” effect is ambiguous, at least in the summary paragraph, as to whether it is neutral across the population but definitively bad/good for some types of people, or whether it is “neutral” for individuals too.)

    Further, the statement “the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral. This is particularly likely to be the case when that employment is PT, rather than FT” suggests to me that the authors do _not_ think it is “particularly likely” that the net effect is neutral when you isolate FT vs. PT work. In other words, it sounds like they might agree that FT work is slightly negative, which is what Dr. P wrote.

    Further, he cited this study for its review of past literature rather than for its won conclusion. IH, since you have access to the study, does it in fact include a sentence along the lines of what i quoted above from another article by some of the same authors? (““Many studies have examined the associations between first-year maternal employment and children’s later cognitive and behavioral outcomes (see reviews in Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Smolensky & Gootman, 2003). Such studies have typically found that children score more poorly on cognitive tests and/or measures of behavior problems if their mothers worked in the first year of their life””)

    Would also be interested if this 2010 study was included in the 2010 meta-analysis that Dr. P cites. (likely not given the timing?)

    Dr. P never claims unanimity so there is no technical stirah. It is useful to know that the “consistent” findings of literature on the topic includes a recent inconsistent study. I don’t see what was wrong with IH pointint that out, but I also don’t see it as such a big deal in light of Dr. P’s article as a whole…

  95. joel rich says:

    I hope that boys vs. girls article was tongue-in cheek. any actuaries care to weigh in? :)
    =======================================
    Probably not, they don’t have a sense of humor!

    seriously though, with the article a bit back on halachically approved prenatal sex selection, it’a actually a scary thought.

    not seriously (or maybe seriously) was the cost of supporting the chatan in kollel for x years after marriage factored in?
    KT

  96. emma says:

    the cost of boys paying for dates was also not factored in. (and it’s probably not that they pay for them themselves, since the parents are paying for the ring, etc…) it was actually amusing when he stopped to discuss the time value of money (at only one of many possible points), as if the whole hand-waving exercise had enough precision that the time value of money would be relevant…

    ps – i think the omission of dates and bat mitzvah are of a piece. it’s not that they don’t happen, but the author is focussed on conspicuously consumed ritual goods, and neither dates nor bat mitzvah fits that bill…

  97. emma says:

    (and people rent halls for a pidyon haben now?)

  98. Hirhurim says:

    I think the very idea of calculating the cost of a child, much less the comparative cost, is terrible bordering on dehumanizing.

  99. Former yu says:

    Joel
    The cost of supporting is equal for both sexes in the USA. In Israel the cost of an apartment would have to be added to the girls side.

  100. Former yu says:

    Meant to say supporting in kollel

  101. joel rich says:

    R’ Former YU,
    I guess I’m out of the loop for a change :-)
    In any event, as many halacha shiurim say, it all depends on local custom. (As Avi mori vrabi zll”hh said to me – find the oars, start rowing)
    KT

  102. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “I think the very idea of calculating the cost of a child, much less the comparative cost, is terrible bordering on dehumanizing.”

    I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who thought this. Creepy also.

  103. IH says:

    “In ‘Little Poland,’ gentrification and an inclusive Orthodox rabbi with a garden are reviving Jewish life.”

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new-york-news/community-emerging-unlikely-greenpoint

  104. joel rich says:

    r’ gil and r’jk,
    on the cost (not comparative), doesn’t r’hs say this should be a consideration in the number of children to have (ie can you support them)
    KT

  105. mycroft says:

    “Joseph Kaplan on January 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    “I think the very idea of calculating the cost of a child, much less the comparative cost, is terrible bordering on dehumanizing.””

    The amount of children is very much dependent on the cost to raise them-thus the number of children that people will have will be influenced by the ability to pay. Similarly, religion is a discretionary good being part of it depends on ability to pay for entrance to the club-yeshiva tuition, schul dues etc etc.

  106. HAGTBG says:

    “I think the very idea of calculating the cost of a child, much less the comparative cost, is terrible bordering on dehumanizing.”

    I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who thought this. Creepy also.

    Creepy? Dehumanizing? Normative.

    Is it much better to do what the MO generally do which is just have less children due to high tuitions and not talk about it publicly (beyond complaining to friends)? Isn’t the line that yeshiva tuition is the best birth control?

  107. ruvie says:

    HAGTBG- do you believe mo will have 10 children like chareidim if not for the tuition costs?

  108. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Of course financial considerations are, and should be, factors in determining the number of children a couple has. What I found creepy and dehumanizing was the petty detail involved: 200 people to a brit, but you save on baby clothes because of presents etc. etc.

  109. emma says:

    That’s why I was hoping it was an attempt at humor…
    I have often observed that yeshivish childcare/childrearing has an industrial flavor, but this article takes commodification to a new level, and apparently without self-awareness that children are not a standardized product with only two variants (M or F) on how to raise them…

  110. IH says:

    And they at least need an OTD fork (and perhaps a Gay fork) in their analysis.

  111. Hoffa Araujo says:

    “That’s why I was hoping it was an attempt at humor…
    I have often observed that yeshivish childcare/childrearing has an industrial flavor,”

    As opposed to MO childrearing, where there are no limits placed on children in terms of things like gender, almost unisex, so that you later get grown women wanting to be men and push or break through the halachic envelope?

  112. emma says:

    “As opposed to MO childrearing, where there are no limits placed on children in terms of things like gender, almost unisex, so that you later get grown women wanting to be men and push or break through the halachic envelope?”

    First, what MO settings are you hanging out in? I have never seen and “almost unisex” MO environment.
    Second, my point re: industrial had nothing to do with gender, but rather with the way that children of either gender are treated and their behavior managed (eg, large class sizes are more common and management therefore takes precedence over engagement, passivity is encouraged).
    There are real arguments to be made both for and against a more individualized alternative. (eg, chanoch lanaar al pi darko, but not everyone is a special snowflake…) But disparaging the love-to-hate target of “women who want to be men” is irrelevant.

  113. IH says:

    grown women wanting to be men and push or break through the halachic envelope

    Examples please.

  114. HAGTBG says:

    HAGTBG- do you believe mo will have 10 children like chareidim if not for the tuition costs?

    I can’t answer theoretical questions as to what lies in the hearts of others were reality to be different. But if you want my guess it would be 9.82 children and mansions for all. Or just more then now and I don’t agree the benchmark is chareidim.

    The article was tongue-in-cheek anyway.

    Of course financial considerations are, and should be, factors in determining the number of children a couple has. What I found creepy and dehumanizing was the petty detail involved: 200 people to a brit, but you save on baby clothes because of presents etc. etc.

    So $200 is dehumanizing but $200,000 is not. I suppose its true; if there were a total of $200,000 difference between raising girls and boys we can be rest assured that gender selection would be considered far more appropriate in this country and among Orthodox Jews (as it is elsewhere).

  115. joel rich says:

    comment to the R’ AL article and its reference to UMAN:
    Sometimes I think emunah pshutaists and emunah chakiraists are 2 tribes that need to be subject to R’YBS’s famous dictum in “Confrontation” concerning interfaith dialog.
    KT

  116. IH says:

    On prenatal gender selection, I am reminded of an old joke that the reason why Catholics were less successful in intellectual activities than Jews in the middle ages was because they sent their best and brightest to become celibate priests and monks. This, too, is tongue in cheek for the avoidance of doubt.

    —–

    R’ Joel – love it. On a more serious note though, is this really an MO vs. Charedi divide – or more a rationalist/mystic divide?

  117. AM Zuck says:

    Did R’ AL add anything to understanding the question of how a MO person should conceive of the afterlife, other than saying not simply?

  118. IH says:

    On a broader scope, from Putnam’s American Grace 2nd ed. p. 8:

    The vast majority of Americans also believe in God, but Americans are less sure about life beyond the grave. Ever an optimistic people, Americans are more likely to believe in heaven than hell. In fact, more Americans are certain about heaven than are certain about life after death. When we probe further, we find that Americans believe in a God who is loving and not very judgmental. Sixty-two percent say they “very often” feel God’s love in their life, while only 39 percent say that they feel God’s judgement this frequently. Americans’ God is more avuncular than angry, and it turns out (as we shall see in Chapter 13) that this sort of everyday theology has real implications for the ways in which Americans get along with one another.

  119. ruvie says:

    AM Zuck – just don’t be a kofer in techiyat hamatim and believe whatever you want because chazal didn’t really spell it out too clearly. afterall as RAL states-” the afterlife, as Hamlet described it, is that land from which no traveler returns.”
    btw, the actual quote is: “That undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.” (hamlet act 3).

    It begs the question of why didn’t chazal have a better picture of it?

  120. Hoffa Araujo says:

    “First, what MO settings are you hanging out in? I have never seen and “almost unisex” MO environment.”

    I was being facetious. You know about chareidi childrearing as I know if MO child rearing. You comment, besides being insulting, is based on lack of knowledge or poor observation. If you claim that raising 10 children is different than raising 3, I would agree with you. However, that would apply as much to the Flanagans as much as is does to the Finkels.

  121. emma says:

    “I was being facetious.”
    OK. You still misunderstood my point as being about gender, which it was not.

    “You know about chareidi childrearing as I know if MO child rearing.”
    Well, I don’t know what you know. But I have both attended and sent children to yeshivish (though not the hardest-core yeshivish) settings. And I have yeshivish relatives, some of whom are teachers/administrators in relatively extreme schools. So I know a little bit, though of course I could know more…

    “…If you claim that raising 10 children is different than raising 3, I would agree with you. However, that would apply as much to the Flanagans as much as is does to the Finkels.”

    I agree. So what? I intended to make a claim more about institutional than familial chinuch, though. (I guess I was not clear.) Schooling for children from families of 10 is probably also necessarily different than schooling for children from families of 3, but I think some of the differences I observe are non-necessary as well.

  122. joel rich says:

    R’ Ruvie- I also wondered how many people know that quote was also the source of the name for th Star Trek VI movie!

    R’IH- I think it cuts across party lines but there may be some correlation. I also wondered about that part of the study and whether there were secular trends that “Rupture and Reconstruction” was part of.
    KT

  123. IH says:

    Since everyone likes to claim Rambam for their own, I think Prof. Kellner has the best line: “Maimonides did not expect to meet many of his rabbinic contemporaries in the world to come.” (Must a Jew Believe Anything? 1st ed. p. 77)

  124. aiwac says:

    IH,

    I believe the Raavad made a similar point regarding corporeality in the other direction.

  125. Scott says:

    “However, that would apply as much to the Flanagans as much as is does to the Finkels.”

    That’s a new one. Used to be the Cohens and the Kellys.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Poster_of_the_movie_The_Cohens_and_Kellys.jpg

  126. AM Zuck says:

    Ruvie,

    What does it mean to not be a kofer, but to believe whatever I want? That is illogical. To not be a kofer I need to believe something. What is that something? R’ AL did not answer.

  127. Tal Benschar says:

    “What does it mean to not be a kofer, but to believe whatever I want? That is illogical”

    Not really. There are certainly things you must believe — those are ikkarei emunah, which if you deny you are a kofer. Beyond that, you are not. If you think 2+2=5, you are a fool, but not a kofer.

  128. ruvie says:

    AM Zuck – RAL refers you to the well known mishnah in sanhedrin 10:1. a kofer in techiyat hamatim is simply believing that you don’t believe in resurrection. otherwise, there is no consensus for what and when in: olam haba, yom hadin or even techiyat hamatim (some believe in 2 resurrections actually see yad ramah…). from halachik point of view many different beliefs are possible with no definitive answers. the mishnah does not tell you what to believe in just that all of israel except a few (6 listed in this mishnah – see avot 3:15 for others)have a potion in the world to come – including rashaim of arba mitot bet din.

  129. ruvie says:

    Tal – i believe he was referring to afterlife. otherwise, yes you are rightl: this mishnah is the basis for the 13 ikarim of the rambam or the 3 of the tashbatz and albo.

  130. Nachum says:

    Except it doesn’t mention the first of the three, God, unless you read that into “Apikores,” which the Gemara does not.

    Marc Shapiro’s comment on Techiyat HaMeitim is worth pondering.

  131. AM Zuck says:

    Ruvie,

    What is resurrection? Please define what I am required to believe to not be a kofer. The fact that you must belive in something by definition puts a constraint on one’s belief.
    I would have found the response to that question much more interesting than the response as given.

  132. joel rich says:

    r’nachum R’MS comment where?
    KT

  133. ruvie says:

    AM Zuck – resurrection? you need to believe that there is this concept called techiyat hamatim – where some people – usually righteous ones – bodies will come back to life after they have died. the timing of this is usually associated with the coming of the mashiach. how long does tichiyat hametim last ? that depends who you ask. see:
    http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/techiyat.htm

  134. IH says:

    “It has come to my attention that many working women have been understandably upset by the implication in my article which was posted in the OU newsletter on January 3, 2013, that it is damaging for mothers to work in the first year of a baby’s life. It was certainly not my intention, nor my belief, that this is the case if the substitute child care is of high quality.”

    I see. And who among the intended audience would not be arranging for “suitable” “high quality” child care?

    Leaving aside the (to my ears) tone-deafness to his OU audience, I truly don’t understand why in the OU version of this article, Dr. Pelcovitz couldn’t simply come out and say what the study he referenced did: “Indeed, our results suggest that when we take factors such as maternal earnings, the home environment, and child care into account, the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutral.”

  135. joel rich says:

    R’IH,
    Perhaps because in a society where motherhood(not just physical but spiritual) is/was viewed as the highest priority, there is still at least a subliminal feeling that a mother’s place should be in the home even if the economic or host culture reality is that for many this can’t be?
    KT

  136. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “I see. And who among the intended audience would not be arranging for “suitable” “high quality” child care”

    That is based on the assumptioon that all mothers live in a world where the “suitable” and “high quality” child care is available for all who seek the same-a factually unproven assumption.

  137. RUVIE:

    “usually righteous ones”

    this is contra rambam

  138. IH says:

    R’ Joel — That is a plausible explanation for Dr. Pelcovitz’s (presumably subconscious) dilemma. The end result of which is to highlight the absurdity of the nisht ahin, nisht aherr position he has twice published. Did he really not see the backlash from the young working mothers coming when he addressed the OU readership?

  139. emma says:

    “I see. And who among the intended audience would not be arranging for “suitable” “high quality” child care?”

    I take it you have never hung out with frum women one-upping each other on how little they pay their babysitters. Smart money says that the lady who is willing to watch your kid for $5 per hour, or watch 3 kids for $10, is not being chosen for her awesome qualifications…

    in fact dr P goes through various qualities of childcare (mostly in institutional settings it seems), which are obviously not all present all the time or there wouldn’t be anything to write about.

  140. IH says:

    I don’t, Emma, but I bet none of them would admit to low quality or unsuitable child care either to others, or themselves. In any case, there was clearly sufficient backlash for “Dr. P” to pen a clarification.

  141. emma says:

    most people are probably going on some sort of intuition. he gives concrete things to look for that might help people choose more wisely and/or justify exra expense to skeptical selves/spouses.

  142. IH says:

    The whole dance was just unncessary. Here’s the outline for the article that could have been written. 1. The research shows that when we take factors such as maternal earnings, the home environment, and child care into account, the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutra. 2. Given this the challenge is to meet the criteria needed for the home environment and child care. 3. Home environment recommendations. 4. Child care recommendations. 5. Don’t worry, be happy.

  143. emma says:

    i am still not convinced that “the research” shows neutrality as you claim. one study finds neutrality “particularly for PT” and other find negative effects of FT work.
    Personally, for me the most interesting thing was that it’s the first year that seems to matter most. many parents i think have the intuition that esp infants really just need a warm body, and (breastfeeding aside) that’s one of the better times to leave them with someone else… also that the difference i feel between PT and FT is likely real not imagined.

  144. IH says:

    Emma — with respect, you should then read the study “Dr. P” cites first hand: http://nypl.bibliocommons.com/item/show/19507951052_monographs_of_the_society_for_research_in_child_development

    It’s Vol. 75 Issue 2 – 2010

  145. mycroft says:

    “Perhaps because in a society where motherhood(not just physical but spiritual) is/was viewed as the highest priority, there is still at least a subliminal feeling that a mother’s place should be in the home”
    Agreed.

  146. Nachum says:

    See the differences between Prof. Shapiro’s original treatment of the 13th Ikkar in his original Torah UMadda Journal article and the subsequent book.

  147. joel rich says:

    the net effect of 1st-year employment on outcomes is neutra.
    =============================================
    to my original point, i’m guessing they were not measuring outcomes based on “a torah hashkafa”(aka the gut tradition)
    KT

  148. ruvie says:

    Abba’s rantings: RUVIE:“usually righteous ones” this is contra rambam

    abba – all jews are righteous per the opening statement of the misnah and the quote from isiaah- “ועמך כולם צדיקים… even rasheim

    Nachum – can you explain.

  149. IH says:

    i’m guessing they were not measuring outcomes based on “a torah hashkafa”(aka the gut tradition)

    Then presenting it as a resume of current research was a pretense. And it backfired given that sufficient complaints were received from mothers in the audience.

    I think there is a deeper issue here, which is why I bothered to comment on it. But, since no one seems interested/willing to discuss it, I’ll stop here.

    FWIW I am not an advocate one way or the other. I think families should choose what is right for them, but they should not be tormented by some vestigal “gut feeling” that doesn’t add any light.

  150. IH says:

    Ruvie — I think what Abba is getting at is that Rambam changed the criteria from the Mishna. Sorry, make that clarified the criteria :-) This is why Prof. Kellner’s quip cuts to the heart:

    “Maimonides did not expect to meet many of his rabbinic contemporaries in the world to come.”

    It’s not because they weren’t צדיקים, but because they weren’t philosophers who accepted the “whole system of logic and metaphysics which undergirds Maimonides’ articles of faith” (p. 76).

  151. IH says:

    Regarding vestigial “gut feelings”…

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4331311,00.html

    “‘It is no accident that so many women are in field intelligence – with all due respect to the men, women bring a special capability,’ said Major Oshrat Bachar, the chief of operations for Sayarim.”

  152. emma says:

    i lost my library card a while ago and have not replaced it, sigh. am i wrong, though, that that paper is its own study and that he also cites a meta-analysis fro the same year (2010) that reaches a different conclusion? How can one study create a “consensus”? Or is your claim also that the other studies _don’t_ say what he says they do…

  153. IH says:

    Emma — I don’t claim anything. Because I did not understand his article in Klal Perspectives, despite Gil’s rave review, I simply checked his mareh makom and noticed the discrepancy and this got me thinking about the broader issue.

    That was the end of it, until I saw it re-published (in a simpler form) by the OU. At the end of the day, the need for Dr. Pelcovitz to clarify what he wrote as a result of complaints from mothers in the OU club speaks more loudly than my mutterings. I wonder if his clarification mollified them, or infuriated them further but it is unlikely we will find out.

  154. IH says:

    To be very clear about why this attracted my attention, it illustrates the confusion and tension in Modern Orthodoxy regarding the role of women. Deep under a seemingly empirical practical issue is what R’ Joel nicely captures as “subliminal feeling” “based on ‘a torah hashkafa’(aka the gut tradition)”. That this intrudes in the manner it does in Dr. Pelkovitz’s two versions of this article, is the issue from my perspective.

  155. joel rich says:

    R’IH,
    Just to be clear, I’m not sure the “vestigal” feelings are not accurate based on a “Toradik” set of measurements to be defined (I’m scaring myself by the way I sound, but imho intellectually the case has not really been tested)
    KT

  156. “New Ancient Hebrew Manuscripts Could Have Major Impact on Taliban”

    i thought this was a silly article

  157. Hoffa Araujo says:

    I would hope that for MO/Chareidi parents, that while everyone can get their back up over Dr. Pelcovitz’s column, that everyone agrees that children with mother home ia a better situation than mother working – child in daycare is second. Obviously there are exceptions due to personal circumstances, such as the mother of the child(ren) may not be able to handle being at home, or may not be a very good mother (due to factors like mental illness, stress, etc. I just hope at least that the paradigm of having a mother home is still considered A+ situation. If we have bought in the notion that daycare = mother at home then…Ribbono Shel Olam!

  158. emma says:

    “I just hope at least that the paradigm of having a mother home is still considered A+ situation.”

    So I think about this a lot. Historically, women of means have _always_ outsourced at least some childcare, often most/much of it in the early years, and in the later yaers kids basically watched themselves. Such mothers were also often still “home” in the technical sense and presumably something of a presence in their children’s lives. But we don’t seem to see classical sources decrying the phenomenon of wealthy Jewish women hiring nannies (formerly known as servants or slaves, frankly) to care for their kids…

  159. IH says:

    Hoffa (aka Rafael, I assume) — that is the issue: the study referenced by Dr. Pelcovitz disproves that “gut feeling”. I have no issue with families that act on that traditional belief, but then why raise the research that disagrees to construct a half-way house that suits neither side?

    By the way, did others notice this front-page piece in the NYT Real Estate section a few weeks ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/realestate/the-ultimate-amenity-grandparents.html?pagewanted=all

  160. emma says:

    And in terms of the critical first year, what do you think a wet nurse is, exactly? Who do you think slept with the baby, soothed it, etc, when the family hired a wet nurse (at least for a one-one wet nurse)? Probably not the mom. But where is the judgment from classical sources? Is this an area where we would now claim to know more than our ancestors?

  161. Hoffa Araujo says:

    Wet nurses were affored by the more well to do. If you were poor – not possible. You are right that the raising of a child wasn’t solely done by a mother, as extended family, including grandparents, would live in the home. I don’t think that this kind of arrangement = daycare is great. Sorry. Daycare is much different, as is having a nanny. Today this is either done out of necessity (need two incomes) or by choice (doesn’t want to be with the children all day). Anyway you slice, the concept of daycare and its main applicable is to solve a dilemma (what do parents do with children if both work( versus daycare as an ideal. You can raise historical ways of childrearing. That doesn’t mean that daycare flows from such arrangements. Its a completely and relevtively new idea implemented for utility.

  162. Hoffa Araujo says:

    Yes, Hoffa = Rafael. The problem is that people believe this is my real name. Its in fact the name of a former NBA basketball player whose first name, while spelled Rafael, is prounounced “Hafael”, since in Portuguese the R is silent. Hence is given nickname “Hoffa” as in Jimmy “who killed him” Hoffa.

  163. joel rich says:

    R’emma,
    agreed-the question (surprise) is one of proper balance, and how to make best use of the Mom’s time with the kids and the caregivers (learning a foreign language may be a plus, learning yuletide songs, not so much). If you thinnk about this a lot imho you are on the right track.

    R’IH,
    As a grandparent(s) who does his(their) share of babysitting, imho parents need to be aware that there’s a reason why you have children when you are young before buying their own parents a place nearby. LOL when you have the “smuchin” in the article of the GM who broke her hip with the ““I call it the ‘in with granny, out with nanny’ syndrome,” :-)
    KT

  164. IH says:

    R’ Joel — Perhaps the OU would have been better off with you writing the article :-)

  165. emma says:

    “Wet nurses were affored by the more well to do. If you were poor – not possible. ”

    Of course. Hence my initial reference to “women of means.” But the point stands: women of means outsourced lots of childcare, in ways that we might consider shocking. Poor women had to do it themselves, or in groups of extended families, but don’t think that means they were sitting on the floor w the kids doing puzzles – they were too busy doing the hard labor of pre-industrial housework plus often trying to do marketable labor (eg, weaving) on the side, and their kids were playing int he dirt with chicken heads…

    The ideal of “mom is home primarily tending to kids” existed, if at all, only for a short period of history, after housework became easy but before society caught on that therefore women could be in the wage labor market instead…

    I don’t know what you mean by daycare to “solve a dilema” vs. “ideal.” No one thinks “I really want to be home w my kids, i can afford it easily, and i would be good at it, but i have to send my infant to daycare anyway or they won’t turn out well.” Actually, in Israel there is something of a culture of “sending out” for part of the day at a relatively young age, which is thought to improve socialization. But it’s not all-day day care and it’s not idealized for infants.

    I agree that daycare and other substitute childcare (babysitters) are there for utility. My question is, so what? Where is the proof from classical sources that substitute childcare is per se bad? If anything that utility is recognized as a luxury to which many might aspire…

    If your beef is with a particular form of substitute childcare, specifically not-at-home day care, you have set up a false dichotomy between that one form and “mother at home.” Really, nanny at home seems to me _a lot_ like previous arrangements where servants looked after children. It has obvious downsides as well as obvious upsides.

    Also, I am not sure what the point of engaging in value judgments here is. If economic conditions are such that most women will be working out of the home, what is the point of constantly crying that “don’t thin daycare is a good substitute for mom”?

    BTW, I expect that the original article hit a raw nerve in part b/c two-earner families harbor some resentment against one-earner, not-fabulously-wealthy families whom the two-earners perceive themselves to be subsidizing via tuition…

  166. Scott says:

    The Mishnah (Ketubot 5:4) says that a woman of means can farm out the duty of nursing her child to a maidservant.

  167. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “To be very clear about why this attracted my attention, it illustrates the confusion and tension in Modern Orthodoxy regarding the role of women. Deep under a seemingly empirical practical issue is what R’ Joel nicely captures as “subliminal feeling” “based on ‘a torah hashkafa’(aka the gut tradition)”. That this intrudes in the manner it does in Dr. Pelkovitz’s two versions of this article, is the issue from my perspective”

    Actually, the feminist choir and their apologists assume that they live in a world where women can do with their minds, souls, and bodies as they do fit, and even raise children, providing that they live in a perfecyt world that provides high quality child care on demand, and views any realistic view to the contrary as sexist.

  168. Anonymous says:

    But we don’t seem to see classical sources decrying the phenomenon of wealthy Jewish women hiring nannies (formerly known as servants or slaves, frankly) to care for their kids…

    I suspect there is little overlap between what we and our classical sources say about parenting. Of course, that is neither surprising nor problematic since society has changed so much in the meantime. It doesn’t mean the classical sources on this subject are wrong, but neither should we now be bound by them.

  169. Nachum says:

    Ruvie: As you may know, he goes through the ikkarim one by one, showing where people differed. In the original article, at thirteen, he basically said there wasn’t any disagreement- kind of hard to argue with an explicit Gemara. But in the book, he actually found a few, and then pointed to the uncomfortable fact that when cornered, a lot of Orthodox Jews will admit that they don’t really believe in it, at least not in the usual understanding.

  170. Nachum says:

    That’s kind of a weird article on the OU for at least two reasons:

    1. If he’s as “autocratic” as they claim, why couldn’t he prevent the letter from being withdrawn?

    2. They make vague accusations about financial abuses by lay leaders without specifying whether or not the subject of the article is one of them, which is just negligent if not libelous.

  171. mycroft says:

    ” Nachum on January 13, 2013 at 12:38 am

    That’s kind of a weird article on the OU for at least two reasons:

    1. If he’s as “autocratic” as they claim, why couldn’t he prevent the letter from being withdrawn?

    2. They make vague accusations about financial abuses by lay leaders without specifying whether or not the subject of the article is one of them, which is just negligent if not libelous”

    I found the article informative-my takeaway is that that an election is underway at the OU which is very rare-clearly to have a contested election there must be reasons. I still know very little about the reasons- assuming Rosenblatts sources told him the info-he is reporting charges made within the OU. The question is he accurate in his info? I have no idea.
    Since the OU refuses to disclose their finances via a 990 etc they are open to charges where the money goes. That does not mean that they are wasting money but lack of transparency leads to suspicions.

  172. Hirhurim says:

    Please don’t gossip. The article addresses the management of a community organization, which is of legitimate interest to the community. But this isn’t the place for unconfirmed rumors or speculation. In my opinion, these are all good people with slightly different views of how to handle the current situation, which is more complex than the article implied.

    Of course, since I not only used to work at the OU but am still very involved, I have a more inside view than most and am more informed but am also biased. Either way, discussion is closed on this subject. Please allow me this courtesy.

  173. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    Gil: I understand and respect you view that the finacial side of the current OU controversy should not be discussed. (Leave it to mycroft to focus on that!) But surely the withdrawal of the letter, which is a matter of reoord and raises the question of ideological direction of the OU, should be a legitimate topic fo discussion.

  174. IH says:

    For those not aware: http://yiwh.shulcloud.com/shema-bkola.html

    “An Online Learning Project for a Refuah Sheleima for Sara Lamm Dratch (Sara Rivka bat Mindel)”

  175. Hirhurim says:

    Dr. Kaplan: I agree that that issue is worthy of discussion but right now we have very little to go on. The Jewish Week’s portrayal of events does not seem plausible to me in the least. I certainly have thoughts on whether the OU should have signed onto the press release and whether, after the fact, should have removed its name and who should make those decisions, but the Jewish Week’s issue is that of who is calling the shots. We don’t really have enough information to discuss that intelligently.

  176. IH says:

    Just on the meta-issue… We all draw conclusions based on the reality of imperfect information; we then adjust as new information comes to light.

    Like so much other bad news we hear within the Orthodox Jewish world, the worst comes out when people try to obfuscate. Mycroft is correct that lack of transparency rears its ugly head again, especially in a not-for-profit organization which has a significant commercial business as a subsidiary.

  177. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “Mycroft is correct that lack of transparency rears its ugly head again, especially in a not-for-profit organization which has a significant commercial business as a subsidiary.”

    As in the case of both Mycroft and IH, a little knowledge is dangerous. OU Kashrus is a “subsidiary” of the OU, which is run by R M Genack, but any money made by OU Kashrus is plowed right back into NCSY.

  178. mycroft says:

    “Of course, since I not only used to work at the OU but am still very involved, I have a more inside view than most and am more informed but am also biased. Either way, discussion is closed on this subject. Please allow me this courtesy.”

    It is Gils blog and I certainly respect his decision-I have written it would be better if personalities and institutions were left out of discussions-the ideas are what should matter. I believe that should be both ways not only critical comments of people but even positive comments -because often the positive comment implies a criticism of someone else. To the extent possible evaluative comments even positive of people should be avoided. Ideas and policies are fair discussion issues-people per se should not be.

    “Lawrence Kaplan on January 13, 2013 at 9:40 am

    “Gil: I understand and respect you view that the finacial side of the current OU controversy should not be discussed. (Leave it to mycroft to focus on that!)”

    Professor Kaplan I am not a distinguished professor whose expertise is Jewish thought. Ideas represent the way people believe others ought to act-I maintain that often what is is not necessarily what ought to be. Having had the pleasure of reading some of Prof Kaplans works I have found no evidence in his multiple talents that he is a cliometrician. I believe that there is strong evidence that over the millenia financial ability to pass the admission tests to what Traditional Judaism requires has caused much loss of numbers. I am not passing a value judgement of whether or not each policy that raises the bar to belonging to Klall Israel is worth it but a fair analysis must be made.

  179. mycroft says:

    “Steve Brizel on January 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    IH wrote in part:

    “Mycroft is correct that lack of transparency rears its ugly head again, especially in a not-for-profit organization which has a significant commercial business as a subsidiary.””

    I did not anything about the OU per se other than that they refuse to disclose their finances. If I am wrong show me where they do. I made no comments about commercial businesses as a subsidiary.

    “As in the case of both Mycroft and IH, a little knowledge is dangerous.”
    I don’t know IH but Gil requests that discussion remain closed on the subject so I certainly will not post info that may or not be indicative of a little knowledge. It is unfair to state a subject is closed and let stand personal attacks on posts written before the request by Gil.

    “OU Kashrus is a “subsidiary” of the OU, which is run by R M Genack, but any money made by OU Kashrus is plowed right back into NCSY”
    Thus all the profits of OU Kashrus go to NCSY? None to other worthwhile activities of the OU? BTW there are many such activities-but wo transparency on what basis does anyone accept that.

    BTW wo disclosure one has no idea even what profits represent- BTW determining profits is not a simple task in any organization which has related party transactions even if everyone involved is a Zaddik.

  180. Steve Brizel says:

    Those who think that Dr Pelcovitz caved in on his premise should be aware of the following portion of his response to criticism:

    “My intention in this article was to emphasize, through a review of psychological literature, the vital importance of quality substitute childcare in a situation where a mother does work outside the home.”

  181. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Thus all the profits of OU Kashrus go to NCSY? None to other worthwhile activities of the OU? BTW there are many such activities-but wo transparency on what basis does anyone accept that”

    Have you ever donated any $ to the OU, NCSY or attended a fundraiser sponsored by the OU or NCSY? If you did, you just might find out where the money raised by OU Kashrus goes.

  182. mycroft says:

    ” Steve Brizel on January 13, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    IH wrote:

    “Thus all the profits of OU Kashrus go to NCSY? None to other worthwhile activities of the OU? BTW there are many such activities-but wo transparency on what basis does anyone accept that”

    Have you ever donated any $ to the OU, NCSY or attended a fundraiser sponsored by the OU or NCSY? If you did, you just might find out where the money raised by OU Kashrus goes.”

    I have been a member of the OU many different years-certainly most of the past decade-I have never attended an NCSY fundraiser-but have attended an OU dinner. I read Jewish Action regularly-it is mailed to my house. I am not active in the OU so I do not claim to have read everything they print. Please cite where the OU publicly in writing states what they do with “profits” To the best of my knowledge they do not disclose even in gross terms an income statement, flow of funds, balance sheet-certainly I am unaware of their disclosing information similar to what YU, RIETS, or YUHS do in their 990s. If I am wrong please show the appropriate cite.

  183. STEVE:

    what don’t you understand? no one questions where the OU’s money goes. the question is how much it takes in and how much actually goes to those causes, and how the money is spent on thos

    like mycroft, i too have given money to the OU, for a short while as a member but more long term contributing to its subsidiaries. (and btw, technically anyone who keeps kosher is donating to the OU on a regular basis.) yet contrary to your assertion, i have zero idea exactly what was done with that money.

    and lest you think that we are being unreasonable in wishing for even basic transparecny on the OU’s part, please note that the OU’s refusal do this is in direct contravention of the RCA’s policy recommendation.
    and lest you think

  184. “anyone who keeps kosher is donating to the OU on a regular basis”

    does this count for maaser? or can i ask my accountant to list as a tax deduction? :)

  185. Anonymous says:

    “Have you ever donated any $ to the OU, NCSY or attended a fundraiser sponsored by the OU or NCSY? If you did, you just might find out where the money raised by OU Kashrus goes.”

    Really? can you give us some numbers?
    How do you know how the money that is put in theNCSY account is spent? I am not accusing anyone of finaicial impropriety, but your confidence in the OU’s use of its funds is based on your own belief that NCSY is beyond criticism and represents the highest good, not on any empirical information.

    The bottom line is that large amounts of money create the potential for large scale waste and corruption. I think that the OU has ah alakhic requirement to be finaicaly transparent under the law of “veheyitem nekiyyim” which the gemara applies specificly to public officials use of communal funds in ways that create a possibility of corruption.

  186. Lawrence Kaplan says:

    I take back my jibe at mycroft. While, as he correctly states, I am not a cliometrician, it seems to me that his concern, and that of others, with the need for the OU’s maintaining financial transparency is warranted.

  187. Steve Brizel says:

    Dr. Heilman wrote in relevant part:

    “For the modern Orthodox, the outside world has much to offer – though never at the expense of their Jewish observance and beliefs. This leads to many of their children feeling pressured from early on to carry a dual curriculum, becoming literate in both Jewish and secular subjects, standing with a foot in two worlds and finding a way to creatively harmonize them even when they seem to be at odds. For such children, the double burdens to succeed and to navigate between various worlds can lead to a childhood and education that is very stressful as well as a feeling that only those who are like you can truly appreciate the life you lead and how you feel. While this fosters a high sense of solidarity with other modern Orthodox Jews, it also promotes separateness and ethnocentrism.

    For the Haredi Orthodox, insularity is a desideratum. Secular knowledge is played down, and only what is Jewish is viewed as genuinely valuable. To keep people inside this cultural and voluntary ghetto, a high degree of conformity and a conservative worldview are encouraged, coupled with the outcasting or demonization of outsiders … or even those who dare to be different. It’s as if one wants the child to think, “We are lucky to be the kind of Jews we are, and we’d never want to be like the others around us.” This leads to an even higher degree of solidarity and ethnocentrism, but also to powerful pressures to hide even a minor deviance from the norm. This can result in a Manichaeistic world for children, who could very well be getting the following message: “Those who are not with or like us are against us.”

    The above IMO is indicative of at least no small sense of discomfort with the fact that being a Torahobservant Jew, regardless of hashkafic level,requires both the inculcating of a sense of particularistic and universalistic values. Of course, anyone familiar with Dr Heilman’s works could have reached the same conclusion.

 
 

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