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Sifting the Cairo Genizah
Israeli Yated Condemnation of “Chareidi” Media
Jewish students flock to Lutheran college
Kosher for Passover? There’s an app for that
Tiny church finds original King James Bible
Urine (not) in the Siddur
Get protest
SALT Friday
Uri L’Tzedek Food and Justice Haggadah Supplement
The (Modern) Orthodox Forum Discusses Art and Culture
CJF Parent Guide: Children in a Digital Age (PDF)
The Kosher Bookworm: Making seder out of the seder
Reform opposes, O.U. backs voucher bill
Sexual abuse case sheds light on Emmanuel’s ethnic tensions
Spirituality Lite: An Exchange
The Brain Death Debate: A Methodological Analysis – Part 2
Some Rabbinical Students To Get New York Tuition Aid
Religious Zionist Outreach Takes Israel By Storm
What Happened To Faith?
Dressed to Thrill
About Face, About Facebook
SALT Thursday
Back Off On The Bacchanalia
The Unlikely Origin Of Beit HaRav Kook
Jewish group to Holland: Don’t ban shechita
The USCJ Vision Might be Shortsighted
Lord Byron and His Forgotten Hebrew Melodies
Cold Case – The Rosenbergs
SALT Wednesday
Speaking Lashon Ha-Ra about Secular Jews
Facebook Shuts Down Third Intifada Group
Seeking Solomon
First Observant Jew to be Chosen as Shin Bet Chief
Famous Israeli Singer Teaches Music to Religious Students
Kosher Ethical Code for Interior Ministry Workers
Tech Rav: A Passionate, Personal Plea Concerning the Tuition Crisis
Rabbi pleads guilty in US corruption case
SALT Tuesday
Jewish Studies in Decline?
As Rabbis In NY Prepare New Protests, Israel Insists Graves Found At Jaffa Excavation Site Are From Pagan Worshipers
Rabbinate freezes interfaith dialogue
Thinking About Chinuch: Why Does the Jewish Week not Support Day Schools?
SALT Monday
Last week’s news & links
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About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student has served two terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and currently serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

184 comments

  1. Re Thinking about Chinuch
    “and I truly believe that most of them, in a perfect world, do want their children to be in Yeshivot but simply find the finances impossible.”
    Or are brave enough to withstand pressure from people who are defending day school hegemony and realize that at least for their child day schools are not preferable and have the fortitude to stand up and do whats best for their child.

    “mentions groups such as the OU, YU, and JEFG that are all working on solving this very problem, and in fact are saying “this is not sustainable”, the article only mentions what they have done and are working on towards the end, and follows the initial mention by saying that many parents see their efforts as “too little, too late.” I ask – would it be better if they did nothing at all? As this is an article, and not an opinion piece, shouldn’t Julie Weiner (the writer) have done her homework into the work of these organizations in this regard”
    Addedd-tell ignorant me what concrete work has YU or OU done to help anyone stay in day schools-I do not include leadership conferences in Orlando etc, or writing Pr statements helping to improve the situation.

  2. “There have been actual studies done about the effectiveness of Talmud Torah programs, and they are not pretty. Ask the Conservative and Reform movements how successful Hebrew school has been for them! Granted, we are now dealing with a more observant and perhaps committed parent body, but there are nevertheless many issues with Talmud Torah programs that will still exist.”

    Precisely-one can’t compare the results of Talmud Torahs dealing in general with kids who come from less committed backgrounds with those who come from committed backgrounds of day school students. I have yet to see any rigorous study truly analyzingthe impact of day schools-not ones taht start off what great zaddikkimj founders of torah umesorah were etc-or this person brought day school to a place taht was a midbar-usually falseamnyway but honesty is not the point of the arguments.

  3. “Day schools and community organizations need everyone’s help if they are going to figure out solutions to this problem”

    Assuming arguendo that day schools because of the income required to enroll and the academic ability required to attend have been beneficial on net to the American Jewish community-given the side effects of exclusionary day school behavior on Jews being accepted to the Orthodox community. If not accepted they will leave. Is that what we are proud about.

  4. I’m interested to see the response to this:

    http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4048259,00.html

  5. Richard,

    I think that it sounds like halachic innovation as it should be done – careful, reasoned and done in careful consultation. But then, I’ll have to see the articles in question to really say anything meaningful…

  6. Kaplan brothers: Yes, I realize that you and your brother are NOT fungable (from last week). It must be difficult being confused with your less talented and not-near-as-good-looking brother. 🙂 My apologies.

  7. fungible
    KT

  8. Re Jewish Studies In decline-essentially agree with Alex Joffee-perhaps the more interesting work has been done already-thus half a century ago one could earn a doctorate writing a biography about the Ravaad-now thats been done already-so one would have to do work on less important issues.

  9. I was not impressed by any of the 3 articles on whether Jewish Studies are in decline. Scholarship is not a question of quantity, but of quality; and this is just as true for yeshiva scholarship as for academic scholarship.

    As a more general observation the 20th century is a hard act to follow — both for traditional gedolai Torah and for academic Jewish studies. That said, the Internet makes it easier for iconoclasts to be heard even without institutional support: e.g. R. Slifkin’s impact.

    Perhaps we are just in another period of institutional change and the measurements are being taken in the wrong place?

  10. Also, it used to be for a college aged kid, who was curious, the only place one could find out about “jews” on campus was the few classes given by the Jewish Studies faculty. Now with the internet, there is so much more information (and even full length classes) accessible to anyone; moreover with the proliferation of campus hillel’s, chabad, and other organizations, jewish studies on campus can be done outside the college setting.

  11. “As a more general observation the 20th century is a hard act to follow — both for traditional gedolai Torah ”
    Why should it be a tough act to follow-it followed the 19th which followed the 18th etc.
    Of course, we have some many people learning now in our golden age-doesn’t BMG have 5000 or so sitting and learning.

  12. Mycroft, as one example, just look at the knots people tie themselves into to claim RYBS as the justification for their claims.

  13. Aiwac – here is an earlier version of article.
    http://www.etzion.org.il/dk/5770/1228maamar2.html
    Unfortunately I haven’t see the rabbinic comments…

  14. Re Interfaith dialogue-Metzger is demanding a quid pro quo for engaging in dialogue-Islamic leaders opposing Islamic terror. Dialogue is not dependent on people agreeing with oneself.

  15. “IH on March 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm
    Mycroft, as one example, just look at the knots people tie themselves into to claim RYBS as the justification for their claims”

    WO the Rav most have no legitimacy as mainstream Orthodoxy but the Rav is there.

  16. joel rich on March 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    fungible
    KT

    Money is fungible-people are not-adam nivra yechidi baolam.

  17. From the Tech Rav posting:

    “At the risk of spending others money, I would say instead of donating a million dollars to have your name put on a shul, donate that money to a yeshiva for scholarship money. I know shuls need money too, but if our children fall off the path, we won’t need shuls any more.”
    ———————-
    I couldn’t agree more. In my community, a new shul building is being built with ground to be broken in the next 60 days (about two years after they planned because of the economy). There are a half dozen other Orthodox shuls in the neighborhood and one dying “traditional” congregation that actually has the largest building. Why spend millions of dollars on building a fancy new shul building when the day schools and yeshivot are in crumbling buildings, when tuition increases unbelievably each year and when teachers are paid next to nothing. It makes no sense to me. Despite repeated asks, I have refused to donate one cent to this new building. I truly believe it is a mistake. I think it makes no sense to build a new shul building when there is an almost gone shul in another building. The “new” shul should buy out the dying shul, and the millions to be spent on a new building should be donated to the local yeshivot and day schools on a prorata basis. The problem: Everyone wants their name on the ark, on the bais midrash, on anything that people see each day/week. One doesn’t see one’s name on tuition assistance, teacher salaries or a new roof for the school. Education has been our priority since our creation as a people. Have we lost sight of that?

  18. R’Aryeh,
    While I might agree with your priorities, this is an area which chazal seemingly gave tovat hanaah to the giver.
    KT

  19. I would find it hard to say that Shlomo “usher[ed] in an era of peace and prosperity.” That would be David. At least as regards the “peace” part, it was already on its way out before Shlomo died and certainly didn’t survive him.

    I read a very troubling piece a year or two back pointing out that Shlomo’s policies were not exactly open to the masses- the example I remember was that you had to go through his palace to get to the Mikdash. It’s not hard to argue that a number of his policies brought bad results in the generations that followed him.

    Was he as wise as we’re told? I’m sure he was. But he (like most people in Tanach) was a good deal more complex than that. (L’havdil, some of the most brilliant US presidents have been disasters. The only president with a PhD, the only “academic,” was a fascist. The current president is [probably] a very smart incompetent.]

  20. As one who has taken people to task for their sometimes vulgar words regarding non-Orthodox Jews, I am hopeful all will apply R. Aviner’s guidance to fingertips regarding “speaking Lashon Ha-Ra about Secular Jews”.

  21. BTW,

    If we’re already on the subject of halachic change, I’d be curious to hear the opinions of the Rt. Honorable Gentleman of R. Haim Navon’s proposal to “equalize” the “shelo asani isha” beracha:

    http://www.kipa.co.il/family/show.asp?id=44168

    Coming hard on the heels of the recent proposal to allow for mixed zimun under certain circumstances, should be interesting.

    [Personally, the arguments seem pretty solid to me, especially for the zimun. But I’m curious to hear what other think]

  22. ARYEH:

    i agree that we sometimes invest too much in shul infrastructure and i think chinuch should be a higher priority. however, throwing money at a problem (especially in one shot) isn’t always the best solution either. sometimes it makes things worse.

    also, while i think there are certainly more lucrative careers than teaching and it’s a not get rich path, it is silly to state that “teachers are paid next to nothing,” even as a matter of hyperbole.

  23. “As one who has taken people to task for their sometimes vulgar words regarding non-Orthodox Jews, I am hopeful all will apply R. Aviner’s guidance to fingertips regarding “speaking Lashon Ha-Ra about Secular Jews”.”

    While I second the motion, what does this have to do with fingertips?

  24. fingertips on keyboards

  25. In partial response to mycroft:

    1) The OU started trying to get involved in schools when in brought in Rabbi Saul Zucker a few years ago. While I did not agree with his public statements, and nothing seemed to happen, they at least tried. YU has done more, mainly through its Institutue for University-School Partnership. Harry Bloom has been leading the way in working with schools in terms of affordability issues, including cost sharing and other streamlining. JEFG, the local Bergen County organization, has been running a community fund for about a year and a half and has already made several payouts to schools. They are also in the middle of preparing other initiatives – I am not privy to the details but I know that they are on the way. That is off the top of my head – certainly a journalist could have done at least as well.

    1a) The article dismisses any such action as being “too little too late” – even if it is late, should nothing be done at all?

    2) I agree with your sentiment that there have not been studies yet on Talmud Torah programs made up of kids from observant homes. I suppose it is now possible that we will have the numbers necessary to do such studies.

    2a) In terms of the lack of non-hagiographic studies on day schools, I am not sure which ones begin by praising those who created Torah UMesorah, but this would seem to be a good start: http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/WillYourGrandchildrenBeJews/

    3) Can we dispense with terms like “day school hegemony”? It makes it sound like day schools are some evil empire run by a secret cabal of shady individuals who are conspiring to force all Jewish kids to attend them, no matter the course. What there really is is positive social pressure to attend day schools, given the generally positive results that they have produced. Are we not allowed to take communal positions on such things? We can be sensitive to the needs of individuals while still publically advocating day schools as the best solution.

  26. MiMedinat HaYam

    while rav aviner says that one may speak lashon harah about an apikores (however defined; few are today; most are tinokot she’nisbe’u), he does not say if that is regarding their apikorsut, or regarding their life in general, etc.

    and as a corollary, may one speak such about non bnei brit, or are the rules the same?

    note too, that while the chofetz chaim is probably the foremost expert on l”h, there are others that disagree with various concepts he wrote about. details, but …

    2. shulchan aruch is pretty clear that the gabbai tzedakah has the right to allocate funds as he (she?) seems fit, though it must be in accordance with the donor’s (perceived) wish. even the “shiv’a tu’vei ha’ir” ( = board of directors, in america) do not enter this discussion.

    3. any activity the o-u has done regsrding synagogue finances, etc, was only in response to R and C (and “star”, if you know what that is) doing similar things. and if your synagogue, school, other program does not fit into their cookie cutter approach (or you get a donor to customize an approach for you) your org is out of luck.

    4. regarding interfaith dialogue — its pretty hard to have meaningful discussion with a group who claims their purpose is to destroy you (advocate terrorism, pigs and monkeys, throw you in to the sea, etc). its not meaningful at all, unless you are negotiating terms of surrender.

    why, even rabbi (marc) schneier (jr) tried it, and had to give up.

  27. People who are truly committed to a yeshiva education but can’t afford it should consider homeschooling their kids – with private tutors if they can’t do it themselves – before they consider public school. I don’t understand why this option is not being mentioned in any of the blogs or articles on the subject.

  28. Aaron Ross-I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. I maintain that the JW article re Bergen County focused on three subgroups-the financially stresed, the financially able but viewing Mesiras Nefesh as what they bought into and a third group convinced that they can home school their kids re Yiddishkeit while exposing them to the cultural sewer of American public schools. I do think that any discussion of the tution crisis must entail discussions with those who have gone through job switches, downsizing, and how they maintain their public composure while their financial situation presents no small amount of stress on the home front. This issue is far too important to be discussed solely by those members of our communities who have never sweated over a bill in their lives.

  29. One of the Orthodox Forum’s books discussed the positives and limitations of academic Jewish studies. One of the articles eschewed any responsibility for Torah observant Jewish studies professors to serve as the “campus representative” for Orthodoxy. That is all fine and well from the perspective of the supremacy of academic freedom.

    Yet, I suspect that we will always have some MO entering academic Jewish studies simply because for people who look Orthodox, but whose views on Mesorah and many other Ikarei Emunah places them beyond the accepted views within Orthodoxy, academia where their views would be viewed as normal, regardless of their personal committment, is a far safer atmosphere than enduring examination as to the legitimacy of such views within the context of the Mesorah. Given these facts, I think that it can be stated fairly that academic Jewish study will continue to attract those who Rashi in the context of Noach, described as the Ketanei Emunah.

    Perhaps, we should expect an article as to why traditional ahistorical Talmud study is far more popular than academic Jewish study.

  30. mor: Because Jews are too spooked by anything seemingly “right-wing.” Alas.

  31. LongTimeReader

    My one question on the OU work on tuition is why they brought in two top-flight educators and have them working on issues that are not educational in nature. It seems like a waste of their talents and an inefficient way to address the problem. They’re rebbeim, not economists.

  32. lawrence kaplan

    Nachum and mor: Home schooling requires a great deal of time and effort.

    Nachum: Do you mean “right wing” religously or politically? I think the latter.

  33. Nachum and Mor-Re Home schooling, what kind of sociological and ed school evidence is there re the relationship between home schooling and socialization of children who would otherwise be in school?

  34. > Given these facts, I think that it can be stated fairly that academic Jewish study will continue to attract those who Rashi in the context of Noach, described as the Ketanei Emunah.

    Considering that Noach was the last man worth saving, that’s pretty good company to be in.

  35. Anonymous wrote:

    “Considering that Noach was the last man worth saving, that’s pretty good company to be in”

    Not if you see the context of how Rashi evaluates Noach’s behavior and emunah, especially when contrasted to Avraham Avinu.

  36. “According to Judaism, which teaches the existence of life after death, digging graves is a serious sin.”
    An olam haemet does not equal life. Clearly rachmana lizlan someone whose body does not exist after 120 eg kedoshim of shoah, many WTC victims still goes to olam haemet.

  37. ” Education has been our priority since our creation as a people. Have we lost sight of that?”
    In Europe before WW11 there were approximately 11 million Jews-and never were there more than 4000 Yeshiva students.
    You have more Yeshiva students in BMG today than there ever were in all of Europe!

  38. “It’s not hard to argue that a number of his policies brought bad results in the generations that followed him.

    Agree with Nachum-it is clear that Shlomos oppressive taxation even though used to build the Beis Mikdash was a major cause of the split of the kingdom into two. We never recovered from that.

  39. “also, while i think there are certainly more lucrative careers than teaching and it’s a not get rich path, it is silly to state that “teachers are paid next to nothing,” even as a matter of hyperbole”

    Agreed
    Perhaps the teachers feel sorry for themselves because they compare themselves to the machers-the machers in general earn more than the teachers-but the many Jews would be thrilled to earn in 2000 hours what a teacher earns in much less than 1000 hours.

  40. “What there really is is positive social pressure to attend day schools, given the generally positive results that they have produced.”

    Even assuming arguendo the above is generally true there should not be the social pressure which causes the 20%-40% who would be better off if day schools were never invented to attend day schools in order to be accepted in the Jewish community.

    ” Are we not allowed to take communal positions on such things? We can be sensitive to the needs of individuals while still publically advocating day schools as the best solution.”

    Such positions just send michutz lemachene the substantial porportion that don’t fit in.

    “This issue is far too important to be discussed solely by those members of our communities who have never sweated over a bill in their lives.”
    Agreed-often the discussants are people whose vacation budgets are larger than the other families total budgets.

    “lawrence kaplan on March 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    Nachum and mor: Home schooling requires a great deal of time and effort”

    Agreed-plus a non social misfit will miss what most normal teens go to school for social contacts.

  41. >Not if you see the context of how Rashi evaluates Noach’s behavior and emunah, especially when contrasted to Avraham Avinu.

    Last man standing. I’d take it.

  42. “plus a non social misfit will miss what most normal teens go to school for social contacts.”

    home schoolers generally swear that they compensate for this by making sure their kids are involved in gazillions of group extracurricular activities

  43. “what a teacher earns in much less than 1000 hours”

    Have you ever spoken to a good teacher about how many hours a year he/she actually spends on doing his/her job (and not just classroom hours)? I have personal knowledge of a couple, and the number far far far exceeds 1000 hours. And i wonder how many people actually work 2000. I know that when I was young and with a large law firm, it was a stretch to bill 2000 hours a year (and that was with lots of late night and weekend work). (I know, things have changed and young lawyers bill many more hours than I did, but I wonder how many people actually work 2000 hours a year.) In any event, Mycroft’s typical unfair dig at teachers is, typically, unfair.

  44. re: day schools – while one may believe that education is a cause of remaining in the fold, rather than family level of observence, this article shows only a correlation. It is possible that if observent families sent their kids to public school, the kids would not intermarry. to my knowledge, properly designed studies have shown that summer camp is a better indicator of Jewish ‘retention’ than day school.

  45. Prof. Kaplan: I meant politically.

    Steve: I’d trust the education schools about as far as I could throw them, especially in this question. But there’s lots of evidence that homeschooled kids are very well socially adjusted. I know a whole bunch of them both in the US and in Israel and they all seem to have turned out OK.

    But then, I mostly got beaten up in school, so I’m biased.

  46. “did, but I wonder how many people actually work 2000 hours a year.)”

    Very few-but more than teachers who work a 1000 hours a year.

  47. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “Have you ever spoken to a good teacher about how many hours a year he/she actually spends on doing his/her job (and not just classroom hours)? I have personal knowledge of a couple, and the number far far far exceeds 1000 hours.”

    limiting the discussion to elementary schools, in most of the schools i am familar with teachers work half the day (yes, there are exceptions), for about 170 days (being generous here, as my son’s old school had 161). 170 days x 4 hours = 680, adjusted to about 560 to comensate for approximately 35 early dissmisal days for fridays, fasts, etcs.). so are you arguing that the average experienced teacher spends almost 450 hours/year working outside the classroom, i.e., 2.6 hours/day incuding erev shabbos?

    and why do people assume that teachers are the only people who have to perform “uncompensated” after hours work?

    and how do you factor in those schools that offer tuition reduction for staff (i know this isn’t uniform and is being whittled down, but for the present it is still widespread)

    and while traditional benefits generally stink, it’s hard to put a pricetag on a work schedule that revolves around the jewish calendar and moreover makes it unnecessary to worry about childcare on yeshivah vacation days. (and while i wouldn’t care, some consider it a benefit not to have to work in a non-jewish environment)

    all this isn’t to say that teachers don’t work hard under stressful conditions. i know i personally couldn’t do it. but it still doesn’t mean that they are grossly undercompensated as aryeh implied.

  48. The biggest revelation of Radosh’s article about the Rosenbergs is that Staughton Lynd is still around. What a name from the past! He was very active back in the Vietnam era.

  49. “but it still doesn’t mean that they are grossly undercompensated as aryeh implied.”

    I didn’t say anything about compensation. I wrote only about the hours worked. And I never called the non-classroom work “uncompensated.” That’s part of the job and that’s what part of their salaries and benefits go for. I was responding simply to the unfair jab at teachers allegedly working only 1,000 hours a year. Good teachers work a lot more, so if others want to discuss teachers’ compensation, it should be based on what the facts are. (Abba, I don’t think you were bashing teachers; I do think others were and have been doing so for some time. Apparently, it’s quite popular to do that nowadays.)

  50. Back Off On The Bacchanalia is an interestingcompanion piece to the is it OK to lie for kiruv debate. Does the ends justify the means ?
    KT

  51. Shalom Rosenfeld

    R’ Joel,

    To paraphrase what I heard from Elie Wiesel shlit’a:

    Irrespective of whether the ends justify the means; when certain means are employed, the ends are irreparably altered.

    (And dangerous question of the day: do the l’chaims make Lubavitch more popular with just the college crowd, or people in general?)

  52. R’SR,
    For sure imho that’s true in the role model department (R’YBS told NCSY if the only way they could hire someone to do kiruv was to pay him “off the books”, better not to do kiruv.
    KT

  53. Scott wrote:

    “The biggest revelation of Radosh’s article about the Rosenbergs is that Staughton Lynd is still around. What a name from the past! He was very active back in the Vietnam era.”

    You would be surprised how many radicals from the Vietnam era, having failed in their would be attempts to persuade the American public of the righteousness of their cause, now occupy prominent posts in American univerities,etc, as well as Hollywood. Even YU has a tenured historian who views the actions of the Rosenbergs, etc as patriotism for a higher goal.

  54. MiMedinat HaYam

    beit harav kook:

    the author (though an agudist) is open minded.

    but — the british wanted the jewish homeland, but as a british crown colony — who is the author fooling? (at least he attributes it’s failure to menachem begin, who didnt arrive in israel / palestine till much later.)

    moorish design — sounds like another institution on 185th street.

    british tropps kept order during the “chanukat habayit”? another foolish idea. we all know whom the british troops were protecting against.

    though the bio of harry fischel should be good reading — he was an important personality in american (and world) jewish history in the early 20th century.

  55. Re the discussion re the tuition criis, this article may be worth a look.
    http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/47787

  56. “But then, I mostly got beaten up in school, so I’m biased.”
    The abuse that is tolerated in schools both by students against each other and even worse teachers and administrators against students is scandalous.

  57. “I’d trust the education schools about as far as I could throw them”

    I tend to agree with Nachum

  58. Steve B.,

    If you’d like to know what Staughton Lynd is doing now, just google his name. I remember him as a Yale professor, but he has since done many other things, including becoming a lawyer(!).

    I disagreed with him then and disagree with him now, but I admire that he has stayed true to his ideals.

  59. Even if those ideals were, well, evil? (What do *you* call 100 million dead?)

    Moorish architecture was common among Jews in the 19th Century. It was part of this idealized view of Golden Age Spain as opposed to Medieval Europe promoted (granted, not without some foundation) by German Jewish historians. Hence lots and lots of synagogues and temples (Orthodox, Reform, and others) in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the US, YU’s main building, etc. It’s also why streets in Rechavia are named for medieval Spanish greats.

  60. AARON ROSS:

    “the local Bergen County organization, has been running a community fund for about a year and a half and has already made several payouts to schools.”

    so far this fund has ammounted to pennies. yes, every penny counts and perhaps it will grow in the future. but as long as NNJKIDS doesn’t demand transparency, accountability, independent auditing, etc., then what’s the point? how do we know that all of the money wasn’t used to expand the budget in a different direction?

    and how much are the savings from the other initiative you mentioned?

    LongTimeReader:

    “My one question on the OU work on tuition is why they brought in two top-flight educators and have them working on issues that are not educational in nature. It seems like a waste of their talents and an inefficient way to address the problem. They’re rebbeim, not economists.”

    great point
    but it’s indicative of an attitude that the only solution is to throw more money at the problem.

  61. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “I was responding simply to the unfair jab at teachers allegedly working only 1,000 hours a year.”

    how do you get to 1,000 hours? do you disagree with my presentation of the numbers?

  62. r’sb,
    a shidduch crisis article? i guess it does relate to tuition in a way
    KT

  63. “They note that Chabad campus rabbis and their wives tend to be warm, caring and nonjudgmental”
    Too bad many Rabbis believe their jobs is to become a talmid chacham-rather than being like Chabad rabbis. I remeber a YU RY who was bright but had trouble remembering names of s shiur of 25-30 people. Rather than apologizing he stated whats the difference if I know your names-names have no cognitive meaning!

  64. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    ““I was responding simply to the unfair jab at teachers allegedly working only 1,000 hours a year.”

    how do you get to 1,000 hours? do you disagree with my presentation of the numbers?”
    Probably less than a 1000 hours a year
    Public schoool year 180 days *5 hours a day more than most teachers teach=900 hours a year. Yeshiva day schools -those of 5 day a week variety tend to have about 162 days a year count them. Rebbes average less than 5 hours a day yeaching. Use MTA as an example someone tell me what time does MTA Rebbe finish shiur-my impression averages way before 100 PM-much less than 1000 hours a year. Look at 990 that one can find at guidestar see some Rebbes salaries do the math-ane that is for an institution which is not a family business.

  65. “but it’s indicative of an attitude that the only solution is to throw more money at the problem.”

    To be fair, that’s pretty much the state and federal idea when it comes to education as well.

  66. NACHUM:

    agreed, but presumably it should be easier to get around the red tape in a small-scale, local, parochial institution than what has to first run through a state capitol or washington.

    MYCROFT:

    i counted above less than 600 hours annually for avergage elementary school teacher

  67. NACHUM:

    and btw, it’s interesting what’s playing out now in nyc dept of ed, where $ is certainly being eliminated from the education budgets. millions have been cut from special services (with more cuts on the way), benefits have been whittled down and bloomberg is pushing for massive teacher layoffs (and along the way trying to break the union’s disasterous seniority policies)

  68. from the TAP article:

    “Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat whose Brooklyn district includes a large Orthodox population, called the additional financing “a matter of equity, to rectify the fact that New York State has denied rabbinical college students tuition assistance for all these years.””

    someone please explain to me where exactly is the inequity in denying rabbinical college students state aid

  69. R’ Abba
    As a born New Yorker I can tell you I was taought that the City’s unofficial motto is “where’s mine?”
    KT

  70. Even if those ideals were, well, evil? (What do *you* call 100 million dead?)

    Staughton Lynd is a Quaker and a pacifist. He was never a communist. He tried to bring an end to the Vietnam War, which was causing massive death and destruction, to no good end, as it turned out. Ask the veterans who fought there what they think.

  71. Nachum,
    Where do you come up with the number 100 Million from?

  72. MDJ:

    100 million is the nice round number people use when talking about the victims of communism in general.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

  73. “the Vietnam War, which was causing massive death and destruction, to no good end, as it turned out.”

    I think two million dead Cambodians would argue with that.

    “Ask the veterans who fought there what they think.”

    Plenty of them think they were doing the right thing.

    MDJ, the number is well-known. Personally, I count fascism in all its forms as a species of socialism and would add the dead of World War II to the list, but 100 million is for the communists alone.

    By the way, capitalism is responsible for pretty much zero deaths.

  74. Nachum:

    i’m no lover of communism and i’m not convinced the vietnam war was wrong, but you really don’t think the capitalist powers killed anyone? what about during colonial power struggles or campaigns for manifest destinty?

  75. Someone recently asked about R’HS and Israel-

    “We have to connect to Israel in any way we can,” said Rabbi Herschel Schachter, rosh yeshiva at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), after the event, which also drew students from Rutgers University, Columbia University, New York University and Queens College. “We have to have more of an awareness that we are one nation.”

    KT

  76. When I was in rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College, I received a guaranteed student loan through the New York State Dept. of Education. I was actually a student at the Cincinnati branch but I was a resident of New York State.

    HUC is of course an accredited college and gives recognized graduate degrees. I have taught at two secular universities as an adjunct on the basis of my HUC Master’s degree. But the state of New York certainly in some way subsidized my rabbinic studies. By guaranteeing the loan I was able to get it at an affordable rate.

  77. Knowing YU and its timidity to address real issues as opposed to PR puff I should not be surprised, but it is a little strange that YU published a handbook for parents about kids and the internet, which focuses on cyber-bullying and has no reference to pornography. This was published by the CJF, which should be worried about all aspects that affect the neshoma and not just the psychological well being of teens.

  78. Scott wrote:

    “I disagreed with him then and disagree with him now, but I admire that he has stayed true to his ideals”

    Why? Being true to ideals that include the justification of treasonous conduct and apologizing for Communism is exactly why one should not admire such “ideals.”

  79. Scott B wrote:

    “Staughton Lynd is a Quaker and a pacifist. He was never a communist. He tried to bring an end to the Vietnam War, which was causing massive death and destruction, to no good end, as it turned out. Ask the veterans who fought there what they think”

    The Vietnam War was one battle that the US lost in its war of containment, in succeeded in bringing down the evil empire of Communism. How about asking the Quakers about their views on Israel’s wars of self defense?

  80. Abba wrote:

    “i’m no lover of communism and i’m not convinced the vietnam war was wrong, but you really don’t think the capitalist powers killed anyone? what about during colonial power struggles or campaigns for manifest destinty”

    I think that one can agree that the truth about the Indian Wars in the American West lies somewhere between the views depicted in The Searchers and Dancing With Wolves and that the tendency to depict Native Americans as noble savages who were the victims of American manifest destiny is hardly as simple as that which is depicted in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I would suggest that any interested reader take a look at a great biography of Quannah Parker, a great war chief of the Commanches, for a great intro to the subject. In any event, viewing the same or viewing contemporary ethnic and/or tribal wars in Africa or Asia as akin to the Holocaust simply universalizes and diminishes the unique nature of the Nazi campaign to render Europe Judenrein even at the expense of losing WW2.

  81. MiMedinat HaYam

    dont know specifically about nys, but in nj, protestant theological college (or similar name) located in princeton / n brunswick gets “student aid” (as does bmg-lakewood, and now, only one other yeshiva / kollel in nj.)

    2. mta rabbonim have second or more jobs. and those listed on the 990 are administrators, meaning they (might) be involved in fundraising (if they really are fundraisers, they are entitled to an additional commission on how much they raise. similar to the esteemed president of the affililiate’s affilliate, who while offerring buyouts to employees, is keeping his million dollar pay. no comment here.)

  82. I think that Aaron Ross’s analysis of the JW’s article on the tuition crisis and related issues IMO was 100% correct. Like it or not, the author is intermarried, is not apologetic or wallowing in guilt in any of her columns about being intermarried, which are a frequent part of the JW.IMO, her columns on the subject have an “in your face” attitude which IMO are present in the article at issue.

    The one critically important fact that I derived from the article was that there are three groups that were portrayed-the financially strapped, the financially able but not willing to sacrifice, and another group who believe IMO mistakenly that they can provide their children with a truncated version of a Jewish education, send them to public schools, and pray and hope that their kids will survive the toxic environment therein .

    That factor, among others, cannot be divorced from her negative take on day schools as one of the keys in providing the basics and building blocks in providing a chance at emerging as a strongly committed and observant Jewish adult. The article simply ignored the fact day school education, while one of the keys, also requires a positive view of the same by parents and recognition of the fact that “Jewish education” is a 24/7 committment that entails sacrifices, as opposed to a welfare state like entitlement, that also necessitates informal reinforcements such as camp as well as one year of just learning with no distractions in Israel to have a fighting chance to emerge and remain committed and observant, whether in the US or Israel.

  83. “It is possible that if observent families sent their kids to public school, the kids would not intermarry”
    It is possible that if observent families sent their kids to day schools, the kids would also intermarry.

  84. “mta rabbonim have second or more jobs.”
    means the job is a very parttime job

    and those listed on the 990 are administrators, meaning they (might) be involved in fundraising ”
    I haven’t looked at Guidestar in half a year-but when I did 2 out of the 5 were not listed as adminitators they’ve been Rabbeim for over 40 years-one is close to 50 years and is certainly not an administrator.

    “(if they really are fundraisers, they are entitled to an additional commission on how much they raise. similar to the esteemed president of the affililiate’s affilliate, who while offerring buyouts to employees, is keeping his million dollar pay. no comment here.)”

  85. MiMedinat HaYam

    “protestant theological college (or similar name) located in princeton / n brunswick gets “student aid” (as does bmg-lakewood, and now, only one other yeshiva / kollel in nj.)”

    protestant seminaries are generally run like colleges (as are HUC/JTS, as per the HUC alumnus who commented above that he got state backed loans). yeshivos/kollelim aren’t (at least the ones i’m familiar with, admittedly i am unfamiliar with BMG)

  86. STEVE BRIZEL

    when did i depict the indians as noble savages or in any sort of positive light? i’ve never done so and please don’t imply that i did.

    whatever one thinks of the indians, whether positively or negatively, has nothing to do with how they’ve were treated. do you really expect them to have voluntarily moved westward until they finally reached the pacific and then jump into the ocean? what did the indians do to deserve the way they were treated?

    and what does your mission to demolish the notion of noble savagry have to do with america’s land grabs against foreign nations that unecessarily cost lives (american and “enemy”)?

    and do we need to talk about the atlantic slave trade?

    or the cruelties inflicted in the name of european colonialism? one could even argue (although i wouldn’t) that some of the cruelties later inflicted by third world communists (and non-communists, for that matter) was resultant of many years of european colonial rule itself.

  87. Well, to be nitpicky, those things aren’t really “capitalism,” outside of the Marxist definition of “imperialism” as stripped of its actual meaning.

  88. I am really shocked by the sneering in this section about the easy working days of teachers. If you want to be even a moderately good teacher you need to spend multiple hours preparing for every hour you teach. Additionally, you have to prepare and grade papers and tests. Maybe the commenters who are in other professions forget that not everybody bills by the hour.

  89. ” i’m familiar with, admittedly i am unfamiliar with BMG”

    BMG has been known to all of a sudden give Masters of Jurisprudence years after the student left Lakewood. I am not ware of a curriculum, exams etc-I am aware of chaburah system-I am not sayingthat students don’t learn there I am saying that it is not run like a typical college and the degrees don’t reflect what was learned there.

  90. “If you want to be even a moderately good teacher you need to spend multiple hours preparing for every hour you teach. ”

    Of course, many have time to take second and third jobs which makes the above statement ludicrous in the non University context. Sadly even many University/RY teachers don’t update their courses see eg the various “mesorahs”

    Additionally, you have to prepare and grade papers and tests. Maybe the commenters who are in other professions forget that not everybody bills by the hour.

  91. MOR:

    “I am really shocked by the sneering in this section about the easy working days of teachers.”

    i haven’t sneered nor i have claimed that teachers have an easy job (to the contrary, i’ve admitted that their job isn’t easy and i couldn’t do it).

    “If you want to be even a moderately good teacher you need to spend multiple hours preparing for every hour you teach.”

    the typical yeshivah teacher (there are some exception on the high school level) generally teaches the same exact material every single year (there may be some tweaking every few years for subjects that have standarized testing). yes, there is a lot of preparation time during the first few years, but not after that.

    “Additionally, you have to prepare and grade papers and tests.”

    every day? even in second grade?
    even in july and august?

    “Maybe the commenters who are in other professions forget that not everybody bills by the hour.”

    correct, not everybody. but teachers are not alone i this regard.

  92. of course to a certain extent this whole discussion over teachers’ compensation is silly. we don’t even know what yeshivah teachers make in any single school thanks to a lack of accountability, transparency and independent auditing. tell me mor, aryeh, etc., what is the compensation range for a fifth grade math teacher with an MA and 10 years of experience make in yeshivah? clueless? why?

    which brings us full a circle to my earlier comment on this thread. you don’t solve a problem by simply throwing money at it without any quid pro quo in terms of fiscal responsibility. but alas that is the best response that our leaders can come up with. let’s solve the tuition crisis simply by throwing more money at it.

  93. At a bar mitzvah kiddush a few weeks ago, I sat next to an elementary school rebbe I know who was shmoozing with a childhood friend he hadn’t seen in years. I couldn’t help eavesdropping. In the course of discussing “how he does it”, he mentioned that he gets no medical benefits, no retirement plan and has no savings whatsoever. A friend of mine whose wife teaches in a Beis Yaakov told me that the school still owes her wages from two years ago. This is in the yeshivish world. I have no idea what it is like in the MO world, presumably better.

  94. “Well, to be nitpicky, those things aren’t really “capitalism,” outside of the Marxist definition of “imperialism” as stripped of its actual meaning.”

    A very plausible argument can be made that slavery was in fact “capitalism”. See, for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/abolition/building_britain_gallery_02.shtml

    If visiting Liverpool, I would encourage readers to see the extant buildings which continue to bear witness to the sad history of capitalism without morality. E.g.
    http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2011/02/martins-bank-and-its-slave-trade.html

  95. “At a bar mitzvah kiddush a few weeks ago, I sat next to an elementary school rebbe I know who was shmoozing with a childhood friend he hadn’t seen in years. I couldn’t help eavesdropping. In the course of discussing “how he does it”, he mentioned that he gets no medical benefits, no retirement plan and has no savings whatsoever. A friend of mine whose wife teaches in a Beis Yaakov told me that the school still owes her wages from two years ago. This is in the yeshivish world. I have no idea what it is like in the MO world, presumably better.”

    Yeah, in the yeshivishe velt, being a Rebbi/Morah is not easy financially, especially with, as you note, a complete lack of benefits being provided (luckily, in Canada, we have a socialized medical system, which takes some pressure off financially). I don’t know if anybody remembers, but there was a push a few years ago by Jeff Kirsh to get schools, and I believe it was targeting yeshivishe schools, to provide life insurance for the teaching staff.

  96. I guess the Yated means media like Mishpacha Magazine. I gave up on Deah v’Dibur a long time. Its way too doctrine and conformist for my tastes.

    BTW, there is a wonderful interview with Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb shlit”a in this week’s Mishpacha Magazine, Engilsh language version. I recommend it highly, especially since it is written by one of my new favourite writers/interviewers, Yisroel Besser.

  97. Bible article link seems broken
    KT

  98. “. but alas that is the best response that our leaders can come up with. let’s solve the tuition crisis simply by throwing more money at it.”
    The day scchool problem is one of closing doors to Yahadus-one manifestation is the economic barrier which has for decades closed Yahadus except for the above average-the so called tuition crisis is simply an exacerbation of this problem due to changing economic timesto more Jews-including those who used to believe they could pay the financial admission price. The second amnifestation of the clsong the doors to Yahadus is the verbal skills required to attend a day school-once that became a community requirement to be accepted in orthodoxy we have a new group of rejects those who verbal IQ is roughly lower than 110.

  99. deiah v’dibbur- but once they become leaders, without having been exposed to the outside world or modes of thought, they can make decisions for the klal that is imppacted by that outside world and how it views them. and for those who don’t become leaders, they don’t need this information since leaders will tell them …how to vote? how to interact on a daily basis?…. OK-if you buy daas torah/sod hashem lyireav and shomer psaim in their strong form.
    KT

  100. The Genizah article tells half the story of the significance of the Ben Sira find. Here is the story as told by Geza Vermes in his 2010 “The Story of the Scrolls”:

    “In regard to the Apocrypha, transmitted in the codices of the Greek Bible, a major breakthrough occurred in 1896 when two marvellously brave and enterprising Scottish lady travellers, the sisters Margaret Dunlop Gibson and Agnes Smith Lewis, discovered and acquired a gigantic collection of medieval Jewish texts in a genizah or manuscript depository attached to the Ben Ezra Synagogue of Fustat in Old Cairo. Among them figured remains of five copies, dating to the eleventh and twelfth century CE, of the Hebrew Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sira, previously known from the Greek Bible as the Book of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus. Altogether the fragments represented two thirds of the original document translated into Greek by the author’s grandson for the use of Hellenized Jews at the end of the second century BCE. They were published in 1899 by Solomon Shechter and Charles Taylor under the title, The Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira: Portions of the Book of Ecclesiasticus from the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Cairo Genizah Collection. On the eve of the Qumran discovery, two schools of thought were competing regarding the Ecclesiasticus from the Cairo Genizah. Important authorities held it to be the slightly distorted version of ben Sira’s Hebrew original, whereas other scholars of repute believed that it was a medieval retranslation into Hebrew of the Greek Ecclesiasticus. New evidence was needed to settle the debate.” (p. 14)

    “This [Qumran] manuscript, dated to the first half of the first century CE, and the incomplete scroll found at Masada, necessarily in existence before the fall of the fortress in 73/74 CE, both substantially identical with the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus of the Cairo Genizah, prove that the Genizah text is definitely not a medieval retranslation into Hebrew of the Greek Jesus Sirach.” (p. 110)

  101. GIL:

    “he mentioned that he gets no medical benefits, no retirement plan and has no savings whatsoever.”

    a) unfotunately this sounds typical of anyone who lacks real credentials, works part time, and is in a saturated field with an endless labor supply. (this is not a dig a teachers, who can be dedicated and talented, but merely an observation of the labor market)
    b) even for full-time (and credentialed) employees, in 2011 traditional benefits are no longer a given for many people.
    c) what about his non-traditional benefits: tuition waived/reduced, jewish calendar, summers off, no day-care worries when kids are off, jewish environment, etc.? (should i ask about parsonage and holiday-time cash bonuses?)

    “A friend of mine whose wife teaches in a Beis Yaakov told me that the school still owes her wages from two years ago.”

    this is terrible. i don’t understand how in good conscience any parent can patronize a school that would do this. and are the administrators also not getting paid? in any case gil, perhaps this is part of the answer to your question last week as to why tuition is much cheaper in brooklyn than teaneck. it’s easy to charge less tuition when you know your teachers can’t/won’t leave to go work elsewhere even if you don’t pay them.

    “This is in the yeshivish world. I have no idea what it is like in the MO world, presumably better.”

    again, i’ve never heard of a teaneck-type school owing teachers months (or years) of backpay. (although i do know of MO/pseudo-MO schools in brooklyn that owe backpay.)

    as far as benefits, traditional benefits often stink (or are non-existent) in the MO school world as well. worse yet, some MO schools are eliminating the tuition benefits.

  102. c) what about his non-traditional benefits: tuition waived/reduced, jewish calendar, summers off, no day-care worries when kids are off, jewish environment, etc.? (should i ask about parsonage and holiday-time cash bonuses?)

    no day-care worries when kids are off – This one doesn’t apply

    But in the end, none of those help him get by because they might make him more comfortable at his job but don’t pay the mortgage. Whatever he earns during the summer isn’t enough to pay for health insurance.

  103. GIL:

    first of all, not knowing his actual salary makes the rest of our conversation irrelevent. not getting paid enough “to get by” is very subjective. but in any case . . .

    “they might make him more comfortable at his job”

    no. they make him more comfortable in life. tuition benefit alone can be worth tens of thousands of (untaxed) dollars. and yes, that in turn helps him pay the mortgage.

    again gil, what is the solution? that a part-time employee should be paid a full-time wage? does this make sense? one idea that has been floated is for some classes to learn limude kodesh in the afternoon and limude chol in the morning, making the teachers full timers. this gives the teachers more parnasah and saves on payroll and benefit (when they exist) expenses. i think there are a few MO schools elementary schools that do this (more common in some high schools), but overall it’s rejected for the obvious reason.

  104. i’m curious regarding the commenters who feel parents need to exhibit more mesiras nefesh instead of switching their kids to what steve brizel likes to refer to as a cultural sewer (or something like that). i do understand that sentiment.

    i’m just curious how the same commenters can feel this way knowing full well that in many cases parents who ostensibly exhibit mesiras nefesh are in fact abbeting a system that abuses its employees. i.e., it’s very easy to exhibit mesiras nefesh on someone else’s dime.

  105. Mycroft: You make an excellent point – that modern orthodoxy is basically reserved for the upper middle class. In other words, modern orthodoxy has not only cut itself off from secular or non-orthodox Jews, it has cut itself off from Jews from lower socio-economic levels. How can formal Jewish education be made more accessible and affordable, not only to children born into religious Jewish families, but for children born into non-observant families?

  106. MiMedinat HaYam

    regarding gil’s overheard kiddush conversation — thats what the nmarket will bear. i.e., they find plenty of ppl to teach with no health ins, etc waiting for pay over two years, etc. so why should they pay more / decent / timely. the uncredentialized will tolerate such terms of employtment. oops! i’m treading on nachum’s discussion of slavery and capitalism.

    and they wouldnt dare teach torah in the afternoon. that would fly in the face of their suppossed slabodka history. let alone be one of the perks of the job. and i wouldnt be so sure they’ll pay double. why should they? they have enough suckers to work for less.

    and very few science teachers rely on their yeshiva pay for their salary. its a secind job. regular public school pays their basic needs plus.

  107. IH: Your point that “slavery is capitalism”, is a non sequitur and an appeal to emotion. Slavery died out mainly because slaves are not as productive as wage earners. Interestingly, in the antebellum South, slaves with special skills received wages. So, capitalism essentially made slavery obsolete. If you have the time and interest, check out the book: The Road to Serfdom – by F.A. Hayek.

  108. and now that i’m questioning the mesiras nefesh of parents who abet a system that abuses its employees, what about the fact that some schools in this system also continue to exist only because they stiff their landlords. some readers may recall the recent high profile case in brooklyn. it wasn’t atypical. speak to the boards members of any brooklyn shul that rents out its unused classrooms of its defunt talmud torah to a bais yaakov or yeshivah. ask them their experiences in collecting rent.

  109. (GIL: that’s another reason tuition can be cheaper. if you don’t pay the rent bill)

  110. MiMedinat HaYam

    abba’s — you should be ashamed of yourself — insinuating that the adnministrator of the yeshiva owns no real estate? what kind of charedi do you think you’re dealing with? one that has no personal assets? let alone his high falutin salary!

    above (true) satire. though of course, the specific case you refer to didnt own the real estate.

  111. Canuck, really? That the history of banking credit and insurance in England (and the US, by extension) is tied to slavery is “a non sequitur and an appeal to emotion” seems an odd accusation to me. But, whatever.

    I read Hayek back in my college days in the early ’80s, via Milton Friedman and National Review; but, thanks for the reference.

  112. Incidentally, you may be interested in this little article in The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/16438630 (I’ve been a continuous subscriber to it since my college days as well, but I gave up on National Review before Reagan was out of office).

  113. IH: You wrote: ‘a very plausible argument can be made that slavery was in fact “capitalism”‘. —> Slavery was once a feature of capitalist societies, but it does not follow that slavery was a necessary or preferable feature; therefore that comment is a non sequitur. It’s also an appeal to emotion, because it tarnishes any defender of capitalism as a defender of slavery.

  114. IH, thanks for the link to the article about F.A. Hayek. Hayek apatly disliked the use of deceptive political labels. Socialists and statists became “liberals” and “progressives.” So-called liberals labelled Nazism a party of the Right, whereas Nazis were really a party of the Left (i.e. National Socialist German Workers Party) – who were in direct competition with Communists. Let’s all strive to use clear and honest language. Have a great Shabbos.

  115. Joseph Kaplan

    “one manifestation is the economic barrier which has for decades closed Yahadus except for the above average”

    You keep on saying this, Mycroft, but I don’t believe it’s true. I know plenty of average and below average (I assume you mean financially) people whose children have received yeshiva/day school educations thanks to the scholarship policies of the schools and the egnerosity of many supporters of those schools. Are there exceptions? Well, you told us recently whe I challen]ged you that you know of 2 or 3 in some non-MO schools who couldn’t afford and couldn’t get scholarships. Are there more? Probably. But that’s certainly a slim basis for you to constantly malign the MO community. I don’t know why you have such an animus against a community that, ostensibly (since I don’t know who you are) you are part of (based on your comments on Hirhurim), but your comments are unfair, unjustified and unsupported except with vague, anonymous and minimal “evidence” (I use the term very loosely). It’s about time you stopped the slander.

  116. Joseph Kaplan: You are overly harsh with Mycroft. He was just pointing out that Modern Orthodoxy is out of reach financially for most wage earners. I believe the examples you provide are exceptions that prove the rule. It may be a sad fact that Modern Orthodoxy in America and Canada are upper middle class movements. Being in denial won’t solve the problem. We need to do more to make Judaism more accessible to every Jew.

  117. Joseph Kaplan

    “You are overly harsh with Mycroft.”

    I don’t agree.

    “We need to do more to make Judaism more accessible to every Jew.”

    I do agree, But it’s a difficult and complex problem and accusing MO, essentially and in my view unfairly and without proper and valid support, of financial (and intellectual) elitism, doesn’t “do more to make Judaism…”

  118. Canuck on April 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    Mycroft: You make an excellent point – that modern orthodoxy is basically reserved for the upper middle class. In other words,
    “modern orthodoxy has not only cut itself off from secular or non-orthodox Jews, it has cut itself off from Jews from lower socio-economic levels. How can formal Jewish education be made more accessible and affordable, not only to children born into religious Jewish families, but for children born into non-observant families?”
    Agreed

    “How can formal Jewish education be made more accessible and affordable, not only to children born into religious Jewish families” and also to children born into religious families who were middle upper middle class and they themselves realize that they won’t be able to afford the lifestyle that MO requires and thus leave.

  119. Joseph Kaplan on April 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm
    “You are overly harsh with Mycroft.”

    I don’t agree.

    ““We need to do more to make Judaism more accessible to every Jew.”

    I do agree, But it’s a difficult and complex problem and accusing MO, essentially and in my view unfairly and without proper and valid support, of financial (and intellectual) elitism, doesn’t “do more to make Judaism…””
    Joeseph:
    What is the median income of peope in the US? What income level do you believe is required to live a basic MO life with 1 or 2 children?
    Do you believe that the vast majority of people who complain about the tuition crisis earn more than the median income? I do-those at or below median income can’t play the game.

  120. “Canuck on April 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    Joseph Kaplan: You are overly harsh with Mycroft. He was just pointing out that Modern Orthodoxy is out of reach financially for most wage earners. I believe the examples you provide are exceptions that prove the rule. It may be a sad fact that Modern Orthodoxy in America and Canada are upper middle class movements. Being in denial won’t solve the problem. We need to do more to make Judaism more accessible to every Jew.”
    Canuck you express my basic viewpoint better than I have-thanks.

  121. “We need to do more to make Judaism more accessible to every Jew.”

    Which IMHO is a religious imperative.

  122. Rafael Araujo wrote:

    ” guess the Yated means media like Mishpacha Magazine. I gave up on Deah v’Dibur a long time. Its way too doctrine and conformist for my tastes.

    BTW, there is a wonderful interview with Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb shlit”a in this week’s Mishpacha Magazine, Engilsh language version. I recommend it highly, especially since it is written by one of my new favourite writers/interviewers, Yisroel Besser”

    I also enjoyed the interview with R TH Weinreb. Mishpacha, compared with the American edition of the Yated, is less dogmatic. Then again, based on some of the posts here in other threads, the American edition of the Yated is far less doctrinaire than the Israeli edition.

  123. i think that the following letter bears consideration in the constellation of factors, of which the tuittion crisis, is only one manifestation, namely the sense of entitlement, as opposed to any sense of Mesiras Nefesh.
    http://www.thejewishweek.com/editorial_opinion/letters/values_crisis_not_tuition_crisis

  124. Mycroft wrote:

    ““modern orthodoxy has not only cut itself off from secular or non-orthodox Jews, it has cut itself off from Jews from lower socio-economic levels. How can formal Jewish education be made more accessible and affordable, not only to children born into religious Jewish families, but for children born into non-observant families”

    That’s because the overwhelming majority of MO schools include bells and whistles expected by its parent body to allow MO kids to compete for Ivy League admissions. That has been the MO educational model for decades-despite the fact that the model now realizes that a year or two in Israel and summer camps go a long way in helping reinforce the values learned and forgotten after a test or graduation.

  125. Abba wrote:

    “i’m just curious how the same commenters can feel this way knowing full well that in many cases parents who ostensibly exhibit mesiras nefesh are in fact abbeting a system that abuses its employees. i.e., it’s very easy to exhibit mesiras nefesh on someone else’s dime”

    a number of years ago, we spent a week at a time share in NH, which included many other Torah observant Jews as well of widely varied hashkafos from MO to Chasidishe. Our younger daughter met a Chasidishe giel , and I met her father, who turned out to be a computer expert who was responsible for the computer repairs at our daughter’s school. He commented that the school was very “msduar”, but that he always was paid on time-as were the teachers. Another school which our older daughter attended always has had a large contingent of paying working parents and many parents who simply cannnot afford the bill. Mesiras Nefesh means not only for oneself, or one’s family, but also on a communal level as well.

  126. Joseph Kaplan-I think that Mycroft’s POV can be reduced to the following-if you and your spouse are raising an average MO family without the need for any outside services who will associate with the same friends from K-12 and even possibly camp and Israel, then MO works for you and similarly situated persons. Your main spiritual goal will be the struggle to make sure your kids neither R “L go off the derech or flip out and reject MO. In a certain way, it breeds a cookie cutter approach to Halacha and Hashkafa that is as exclusive and condescending as the Charedi approach.

    OTOH, if you view MO as spiritually shallow in Hashkafa or have kids who don’t fit the cookie cutter , then MO is probably not a good hashkafic fit. That’s why NJ has communities other than Bergen County,for such people, such as Passaic.

  127. “. I know plenty of average and below average (I assume you mean financially) people whose children have received yeshiva/day school educations thanks to the scholarship policies of the schools and the egnerosity of many supporters of those schools. ”

    I am curious as to what income level you deem average and below average that receive “plenty”of scholarships.

  128. “That’s because the overwhelming majority of MO schools include bells and whistles expected by its parent body to allow MO kids to compete for Ivy League admissions. That has been the MO educational model for decades”

    Given the relatively small percentage of students who go to these MO schools that actually will attend the IVYs it is either overstated factor by Steve or part of misleading PR by the MO schools. Certainly by HS the vast majority of parents realize their kids have essentially no chance of attending IVYs. Those kids off course are not the ones that will be part of MO PR.

  129. “labelled Nazism a party of the Right, whereas Nazis were really a party of the Left (i.e. National Socialist German Workers Party) – who were in direct competition with Communists”

    The major companies in Germany and industrialists survived the Nazi period quite well under the same ownership- not exactly what you would have expected if Nazism were a socialist/communist theology.

  130. ” But it’s a difficult and complex problem and accusing MO, essentially and in my view unfairly and without proper and valid support, of financial (and intellectual) elitism, doesn’t “do more to make Judaism…”
    Financial -do you believe a couple with a median American salary can afford to be part of MO? It might surprise people-but the vast majority of people do not become physicians, actuaries, successful lawyers etc.
    In Israel one sees MO people who are security guards, taxi drivers, sanitation workers etc-how many do you see in North America.
    Intellectual-what IQ do you believe is necessary to succeed in an MO school? What % are below that amount?

  131. One should read the “Nonpublic School Performance on the 2010 Grades 3- 8 English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessments” which not long ago was linked to in Hirhurim-see the percentage of level 1s and 2s a minority but those are ones who perdiction will not easily get 65 in NYS Regents-I suspect many of commentators in Hirhurim if one added up all the missed points in Regents exams and subtracted from 1 exam would still have more than 65. Realistically only a fraction of level 4s will excell academically to enter the most prestigious professions. That is far from most of those attending MO schools. Note the real bottom-academically not bottom in neshama- have left before these tests are taken.

  132. Very important report about Jewish child poverty in UK (particularly amongst the Charedi community):
    http://www.jpr.org.uk/downloads/JPR%20child%20poverty%20report_7.pdf

  133. Why should one give charity to a school if many of their employees are earning far more than average-hypo if a day school/ Yeshiva teachers/administrators earn more than the median income why would there be a mitzvah for aedakah on gifts to them?

  134. Why should one give charity to a school if many of their employees are earning far more than average

    Because an organization needs excellent people in key places in order to function.

  135. Joseph Kaplan

    Mycroft. I’m not an economist and therefore will not get into a debate on issues that are not within my expertise. So I will respond to your questions this way. I have said that you have slandered, without support, the MO community. I still believe that’s true in 2 areas: you accuse it, in my words, of financial and intellectual elitism. I dispute that. here’s why:

    1. As far as I know, MO schools say that their policy is that they don’t turn students away because their parents can’t afford tuition. Rather, they give the family a scholarship. I’ve never been on a scholarship committee so I don’t have personal knowledge of how they operate. But I have spoken to members of scholarship committees and they’ve told me that if parents’ income and assets are such that they have no money left over after essential needs to pay tuition they get a scholarship even if it means a full scholarship. When I asked you earlier if you had any personal knowledge of situations where that was not the case, you gave me 2 or 3 examples none of which, you said, were in MO schools; you called the schools moderate Chareidi. Well, before you slander a community, you should have some evidence. I haven’t seen any though I’ve asked. (BTW, the same is true about shuls. Most MO shuls that I know of give discounts for those who cannot afford dues. Indeed, my shul has extended that to the annual dinner because it wanted as many members as possible to be able to participate.)

    2. When I was young (many many years ago), the schools I went to were geared to those whose intellectual abilities were, within the MO community, average and above average. Many of those who didn’t fit into these categories were lost. However, when I look at the MO schools to which I sent my children, I’ve seen a serious effort to expand that, with a great deal of money being spent on resource rooms and other educational programs geared to those who were not progressing in the regular classrooms. It’s expensive (one reason tuitions have gone up) and difficult. But I see care and concern and effort, where you see neglect. But I think you’re ignoring changes in what I believe are your unfair attacks.

    Let me be clear. I don’t think the MO community or our institutions are perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of problems including financial ones and class distinctions. But your broad brush constant attacks focus only on the problems and ignore the many areas where our community is seriously trying to deal with these issues and, in some cases, has done so successfully.

  136. ” the same is true about shuls. Most MO shuls that I know of give discounts for those who cannot afford dues”

    A big difference between schuls and schools. A school will bar the door to those who don’t pay tuition-a schul can’t bar the door to those who don’t pay. Effective difference US charity deductions. The reason why school tuition is not deductible is the services are received for tuition-it is not simply a moral obligation /social pressure. Schuls do not bar the door to those who don’t pay membership.
    The Sklar case and the various articles, decisions, briefs and agency answers to government attorneys arguing the Sklar case sorted out a lot in this area.

  137. “Hirhurim on April 3, 2011 at 8:56 am
    Why should one give charity to a school if many of their employees are earning far more than average

    Because an organization needs excellent people in key places in order to function.”

    And one can’t get excellent people in your opinion for salaries less than Governor of NY, VP of US, Cabinet Secretary etc?

  138. “But I have spoken to members of scholarship committees and they’ve told me that if parents’ income and assets are such that they have no money left over after essential needs to pay tuition they get a scholarship even if it means a full scholarship”

    What are essential needs. If you still have Fridays NYT bottom of first page business section B1-many jobs seen as failing to meet the basics-are the scholarship committees definitions of essential needs the samme as the NYTimes basics.
    Joe: The MO school my son went to at the time collected 91% of full tuition in actual tuition.
    Joe:
    What income do the scholarships committees deem enough to satisfy essential needs?

  139. Mycroft: you’re the one making the accusations that MO schools allegedly bar students whose parents can’t afford to pay. But every time I ask you for some factual support for that accusation, you come back with questions, not answers. It’s time for you to actually back your slander. Otherwise, my suggestion to you is, discuss the issue and the problems but stop the slander. Just a suggestion.

  140. Admittedly off-topic, but an opportunity for some shared learning…

    Over Shabbat my wife and I were discussing the choreography of the 3 steps starting and ending the amidah. The 3 steps ending the amidah is already in the Gemara (Yoma 53b) which illustrates that those steps backward date back to at least Sh’maya. But, the steps forward at the beginning?

    So checking my limited hardcopy library at home: Machzor Vitry only mentions the steps backward at the end, as is the case with Rambam in Hilchot Tefila. But, interestingly, I do find it in Sefer ha’Rokeach (Siman 322) :

    כשיחפוץ להתפלל ילך לפניו ג’ פסיעות שכתוב ג’ הגשות לתפלה .ויגש
    אגרהם, ויגש יהודה, ויגש אליהו
    ועוד כתיב ורגליהם ב’ רגל א’ ואחר ישרה. מיישר רגליו יחדיו

    Shulchan Aruch also only seems to mention the steps backward at the end, but some of the glosses add rationales to the simpler Talmudic explanation.

    Now, here’s the curious part…

    Sefer Ta’amay ha’Minhagim (late 19th century) describes the 3 steps forward at the beginning and – to my mind – has the nicest gloss. He explains the 3 steps are:

    כנגד שלש הגשות שנגש משרע”ה קודם תפלתו לתוך ג’ מחיצות חושך ענן וערפל

    And he references Sefer ha’Rokeach Siman 322 as the source. BUT, Sefer ha’Rokeach Siman 322 says no such thing!!!

    Incidentally, I also checked my copy of Siddur Rabenu Shlomo m’Germeiza who also references the Rokeach, but only brings out the Raglav Yachdav clause.

    I now see these references I checked are also available on HebrewBooks.org:

    Sefer ha’Rokeach: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=15280&st=%d7%95%d7%99%d7%92%d7%a9+%d7%90%d7%9c%d7%99%d7%94%d7%95&pgnum=244
    Ta’amay ha’Minhagim: http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14556&st=&pgnum=53&hilite=
    Siddur Rabeinu Shlomo m’Germeiza: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=21968&st=&pgnum=157

    Seems like a topic worthy of further study, but I thought I would check to see if any of you had some knowledge or ideas to share…

  141. “But your broad brush constant attacks focus only on the problems and ignore the many areas where our community is seriously trying to deal with these issues and, in some cases, has done so successfully”

    Joe:
    Two questions:
    What percentage of MO day school students come from families with family incomes less than 150% of the median family income in the US?
    What percentage of MO 12th grade students have IQs of less than 105?
    We are not an inclusive religion unless the answers to both questions are substantial-I do not believe many believe that to be so.

  142. through jhs-I went to schools that
    taught torah in the afternoon.-teachers taught all day.

  143. “MO schools allegedly bar students whose parents can’t afford to pay”
    Pardon the analogy but if non upper middle class Jewish students were a protected class-do you ahve any doubt that the courts would find disparate impact.

  144. I agree with Joseph K. Mycroft, you’re bluff has been called. All you have is vague impressions without any proof. How can you indict a community based on vague impressions?

  145. Joseph Kaplan

    Mycroft, it’s clear to me that you have no support for the claims that you make so often. As I said earlier, you have lots of questions but no answers and no evidence. You simply attack. Now we’re down to disparate impact. That’s it. But you need lots more than some anecdotal information to prove disparate impact and even if you do, it’s pretty controversial whether that’s discrimination. And I note, no one on this list who uses his/her name has ever said: hey, wait, I know a family who really had no income for tuition and a MO school turned them down. I’m a lawyer, but if I were a psychologist, I could probably find some reason hidden in your psyche for your animus to the MO institutions and leadership and your need to constantly degrade them and their motivations and concerns. Oh wait, I couldn’t even do that as a psychologist since you proffer your slander anonymously.

  146. I agree with R Gil’s response as to wny some administrators are paid more than an average salary, and would add the following critique of Mycroft’s POV-WADR, I think that it is based on a false notion of altrusim.

    OTOH, I fully agree with his POV that MO has a certain elitist and conformist POV that tragically has allowed it to become hashkafically stale in a sense that a BT or a Ger Tzedek who wasn’t part of the same educational system,from K-yeshiva/seminary and summer camp, won’t feel comfortable. This is especially true when one reads Tradition or the Orthodox Forum books-which IMO have become the NPR of the MO world-addressed to a certain constituency with no appreciation of the issues facing MO as a movement. For the same reasons, such persons eschew very Charedi communities that are equally insular. That’s one reason why many BTs and Gerei Tzedek like KGH and Passaic, rather than either the Bergen County MO communities or Flatbush, the Five Towns, Lakewood or Monsey-they feel accepted as members of the community, hashkafically comfortable and not subjected to comments which IMO can be characterized as Oonas Devarim such as “why would you want to become observant”, etc.

    That being the case, can Joseph Kaplan or anyone with a similar POV advise whether the MO schools have what can be quaintly called as “YU/SCW/Queens College track” and a “pre Ivies” track? I know of at least one prominent all girls school in the FT that has such a “derech” , and that some parents were questioning at a parents’ open house for potential juniors why their kids still had to take a full load of Limudei Kodesh.

    After all the above discussion-one simple point might be worth considering-there are numerous “out of town” communities where one can raise a family with a K-12/Kollel/Charedi lifestyle or a K-12 MO lifestyle without the huge expenses that living in a metro NY MO or Charedi neighborhood entails. Living out of town means that your activities in a shul or yeshiva or other communal affairs are valued , regardless of one’s income level.

  147. Joseph Kaplan

    “That’s one reason why many BTs and Gerei Tzedek like KGH and Passaic, rather than either the Bergen County MO communities or Flatbush, the Five Towns, Lakewood or Monsey-they feel accepted as members of the community, hashkafically comfortable and not subjected to comments which IMO can be characterized as Oonas Devarim such as “why would you want to become observant”, etc.”

    Right, Steve. YOU live in the good community; we live in the bad one. Got it. Just love the way you pat yourself on the back.

    “can Joseph Kaplan or anyone with a similar POV advise whether the MO schools have what can be quaintly called as “YU/SCW/Queens College track” and a “pre Ivies” track?”

    I’m not as “quaint” as you are so I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about. I do know that the high school that my daughters graduated from, which is a prominent MO co-ed school in Bergen County (enough hints??), has MANY MANY MANY graduates who go to YU/SCW/Queens/Rutgers (we’re in NJ so I thought I’d add Rutgers). I haven’t looked at the breakdown recently, but I’m pretty sure that in my daughters’ years (and my youngest is a sophomore in college) there were more each year who went to YU/SCW/Queens/Rutgers than who went to an ivy league college, and if not, the numbers were very close.

  148. Joseph Kaplan

    “one simple point might be worth considering-there are numerous “out of town” communities where one can raise a family with a K-12/Kollel/Charedi lifestyle or a K-12 MO lifestyle without the huge expenses that living in a metro NY MO or Charedi neighborhood entails. Living out of town means that your activities in a shul or yeshiva or other communal affairs are valued , regardless of one’s income level.”

    So when are you leaving the Yerushalayim of Queens for the olam habah of out-of-town? And your snide implication aside, in Teaneck (and probably most MO communities), people’s volunteer activities in shuls and schools are valued regardless of their income level. I’m sure the same is true for KGH.

  149. In my day, some graduates (and dropouts) went to Rockland Community College. One of my classmates with whom I’ve been in touch is a plumber married to a nurse.

  150. “Hirhurim on April 3, 2011 at 8:56 am
    Why should one give charity to a school if many of their employees are earning far more than average

    Because an organization needs excellent people in key places in order to function.”

    BTW Why is there an assumption that one can’t get Yeshiva principals, administrators etc for other than astronomic salaries while for example there is no shortage of people willing to manage environmental programs for less.

  151. “Hirhurim on April 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm
    In my day, some graduates (and dropouts) went to Rockland Community College. One of my classmates with whom I’ve been in touch is a plumber married to a nurse.”

    Who said it is easy to get into nursing school-nurses do above median income in the US-of course not on level of those who are physicians but OK. I am aware of at least one male in my small schul attending a nursing program.

  152. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “Right, Steve. YOU live in the good community; we live in the bad one. Got it. Just love the way you pat yourself on the back”

    WADr, my point was strictly anecdotal/sociological in nature, and I have seen and heard comments of that nature in both MO and Charedi communities. However, I think that if you compare Passaic or KGH with either the Bergen County communities or Lakewood or Monsey, BTs and Gerei Tzedek eschew communities, whether MO or Charedi, that are cookie cutter and conformist, and seek communities that accept them on their own terms and backgrounds as members of their communities, who are more than willing to work for a wide variety of communal institutions and endeavors without being judged as to their background.

    As far as the two track system, my question was whether the MO schools in NJ overtly come out and say so, not where their graduates end up.

  153. Joseph Kaplan-you live in Bergen County. What do you attribute the rise of the charter schools, the tuition crisis, etc to and is it apparently unique to Bergen County because of the cost of living
    ( NJ property taxes, etc)? I know that there was some discussions about public schools and Talmud Torah in the FT, but that the same went nowhere.

  154. MiMedinat HaYam

    mycroft — since everybody’s harping on you, are you implicating that plumbers make more than architects (the analogue to nurses / doctors)?

    as for mnanaging environmental projects — the lawyers are the ones making the money on those deals, and they wont let a lowly engineer make much money, esp since they anyway need liability ins / surety bond, and the lawyers later end up suing them anyway (a couple of cases i know about.)

    as for principals of MO schools, hire a charedi educator for cheap, or hire an MO educator and pay appropriately. (only applies to those communities where the local (MO) rabbi makes six figures. and is not allowed to earn outside income. like bergen county.)

  155. MiMedinat HaYam

    and to steve b: five towns is diff — too much aguda influence; insignificant MO influence. unlike RCBC territory.

  156. Joseph Kaplan

    “WADr, my point was strictly anecdotal/sociological in nature, and I have seen and heard comments of that nature in both MO and Charedi communities.”

    WADR you speak to the wrong people. I know BT and Gerei Tzedek in Teaneck who are well accepted and well integrated in the community. You make up your own image of the community and then attack it. Nice.

  157. Joseph Kaplan

    “Joseph Kaplan-you live in Bergen County. What do you attribute the rise of the charter schools, the tuition crisis, etc to and is it apparently unique to Bergen County because of the cost of living
    ( NJ property taxes, etc)? ”

    That’s actually a good question and although I think Bergen County is far from unique — there are Hebrew charter schools in Fl., Brooklyn and other places — we certainly are in the forefront of this issue. I don’t really know why.

  158. Joseph Kaplan

    “As far as the two track system, my question was whether the MO schools in NJ overtly come out and say so, not where their graduates end up.”

    What they overtly SAY is that they are proud of all their graduates and the schools of higher education that they were admitted and go to, and they are especially proud of the large numbers who take a year to study in Israel. And they actively support their students in their efforts to go to schools that the students and their parents, with the help and advice of their college guidance counsellors, think are most appropriate for the particular student — YU and Stern and Rockland Community and Rutgers as much as Harvard and Princeton and Columbia and MIT.

  159. “one idea that has been floated is for some classes to learn limude kodesh in the afternoon and limude chol in the morning, making the teachers full timers”

    A Bronx old-timer told me that the faculty at the old Salanter yeshiva in the Bronx would teach in after school talmud torahs sponsored by Orthodox synagogues, attended by students who went to public schools like Bronx Science. Those talmud torahs no longer exist. (Back then, you could be Orthodox and send your kids to Bronx Science.)

    “Slavery died out mainly because slaves are not as productive as wage earners”

    Slavery died out because of a civil war that cost over 600,000 lives.

    “ask them their experiences in collecting rent.”

    The Young Israel of Pelham Parkway recently sold their building in part because the school they had rented to went four years without paying rent.

    “So-called liberals labelled Nazism a party of the Right, whereas Nazis were really a party of the Left (i.e. National Socialist German Workers Party) ”

    Is a proof from Nazi propaganda acceptable on this site?

    “not exactly what you would have expected if Nazism were a socialist/communist theology”

    Socialists divested capitalists from their wealth and power (see Attlee in the UK). Communists removed capitalists from their lives. Nazis made them rich.

    And note another difference between the Socialists and the Nazis: Attlee was as anti-Nazi as Churchill. Blum was handed over to the Nazis by the Vichy regime. Calling Nazis “Leftists” is like calling a tshuvah from the Reform movement halachic.

    I should add that I am well aware that there are many differences between Mussolini’s economic ideas and Thatcher’s, and that Hayek and his fellows were just as opposed to Mussolini as to Stalin. I’m sure he didn’t think much of Attlee, either, but there were also just as many differences between Attlee and Stalin! The “Left” vs. “Right” analogies don’t work well here. But we don’t throw out what has been universally agreed upon for generations in order to score political points. That is intellectually dishonest. And it is a huge slander against European democratic leftists such as Attlee and Blum who did everything they could to stop the Nazis.

  160. “”i’m just curious how the same commenters can feel this way knowing full well that in many cases parents who ostensibly exhibit mesiras nefesh are in fact abbeting a system that abuses its employees. i.e., it’s very easy to exhibit mesiras nefesh on someone else’s dime””
    “abuse its employees”?

  161. STEVE BRIZEL:

    i have my issues with the BC community, but your accusation that BTs and geirim are not welcomed/comfortable there (and among MOs in general) relative to other types of communities is ridiculous.

    (btw, for me the litmus test of how a community treats BTs/geirim is the degree to which they are accepted as marriage partners with FFBs. i’ve *never* heard of a “mixed” marriage being an issue among my BC chevra, whereas we both know very well under what circumstances such shiduchim are proposed in other communities)

  162. MYCROFT:

    “abuse its employees?”

    violating the terms of employment by withholding salary for months (or longer).

  163. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    “there are Hebrew charter schools in Fl., Brooklyn and other places”

    but in a sense the teaneck school is still sui generis because its demographic profile and (unofficial) mission is *very* different than the existing charter schools.

  164. “and to steve b: five towns is diff — too much aguda influence; insignificant MO influence”

    Although there are many MO parents in the 5Ts and there are schuls that the vast majority of members are MO-I think the vast majority of Rabbis in the 5Ts do not send their children to MO schools.

  165. “MYCROFT:

    “abuse its employees?”

    violating the terms of employment by withholding salary for months (or longer).”

    That behavior can be found surprisingly by some great baalei zedakah-will pay their employees late but get feted as great baalei zedakah by Rabbonim.

  166. “numerous “out of town” communities where one can raise a family with a K-12/Kollel/Charedi lifestyle or a K-12 MO lifestyle without the huge expenses that living in a metro NY MO or ”

    The major difference between out of town and metro NY has been housing prices-in the past few years the differences have compressed.

  167. “mycroft — since everybody’s harping on you, are you implicating that plumbers make more than architects (the analogue to nurses / doctors)?”

    I hadn’t done the research but it wouldn’t have surprised me-
    see http://www1.salary.com/Architect-III-salary.html and
    http://www1.salary.com/Plumber-III-salary.html
    while I was at it I checked
    http://www1.salary.com/Accountant-III-salary.html

    Are Rebbes really underpaid? Do the median or below median of these fields have a chance at an MO family life.

    “as for mnanaging environmental projects — the lawyers are the ones making the money on those deals, and they wont let a lowly engineer make much money, esp since they anyway need liability ins / surety bond, and the lawyers later end up suing them anyway (a couple of cases i know about.)”

    Actually I was thinking of YU grad and then HLS who has spent decades at EPA running programs-obviously since not a cabinet member earns less than Yeshiva administrators and thus an exam-ple of how they had no problem getting dedicated bright people to work-

    “as for principals of MO schools, hire a charedi educator for cheap, or hire an MO educator and pay appropriately. (only applies to those communities where the local (MO) rabbi makes six figures. and is not allowed to earn outside income. like bergen county.)”
    One can’t have someone teaching a hashkafa that they don’t believe in Satmar wouldn’t hire an Bnei Akiva person to run their schools MO shouldn’t hire chareidi to run their schools.

  168. Charlie Hall on April 3, 2011 at 9:57 pm
    “one idea that has been floated is for some classes to learn limude kodesh in the afternoon and limude chol in the morning, making the teachers full timers”

    “A Bronx old-timer told me that the faculty at the old Salanter yeshiva in the Bronx would teach in after school talmud torahs sponsored by Orthodox synagogues, attended by students who went to public schools like Bronx Science. Those talmud torahs no longer exist. (Back then, you could be Orthodox and send your kids to Bronx Science.)”
    Except for elitist comment that could be Orthodox and send your kids to Bronx Science -why just limit to Science it was true of public schools in general.

  169. Mycroft — federal civil servants, like career EPA employees, have benefits and job stability that are miles beyond what almost anyone else can get. Comparing them to any other group based on salary is at best useless, at worst dishonest.

    As for your frequent trope of the salary of cabinet members, VP and POTUS, beyond the immediate employee benefits they get, the primary compensation is power, ego statisfaction and the jobs they get after. Take all that away and I doubt you could get people to do they job for twice what(you believe) a rebbi makes.

  170. ” federal civil servants, like career EPA employees, have benefits and job stability that are miles beyond what almost anyone else can get. Comparing them to any other group based on salary is at best useless, at worst dishonest.”

    And Rebbes/RY don’t have job security-what are the odds that someone will get fired at least by an MO institution and not win in a Beis Din–see eg Brisman case-just an obvious one because reported.
    Name the last YU RY that got fired-those who don’t even bother to learn the names of those in their shiur don’t get fired.
    Maybe Rebbes are even more overpaid than the fields I quoted before they have much better job security than accountants, architects etc. Their benefits- hours much less than other fields, many have tax free benefits that others could just dream about.

  171. Mycroft,
    Schools close. The federal government doesn’t (at least not permanently). But your rants are silly and I have nothing more to say to you.

  172. Charlie, none of what you or Mycroft have listed in any way indicates that fascists and national socialists were anything other than what they were, namely, leftist revolutionaries pretty much identical to their neighbors to the east. Different details, of course, but the underlying philosophy was the same. And underlying philosophy counts for a lot.

    “But we don’t throw out what has been universally agreed upon for generations in order to score political points.”

    “Universally agreed?” Give me a break. Try “dictated to us by leftist historians.” As Tom Wolfe put it, the separation of the two movements is the great scam of the twentieth century.

    It doesn’t help, of course, that Stalin and his gang still have their defenders.

    “Except for elitist comment that could be Orthodox and send your kids to Bronx Science -why just limit to Science it was true of public schools in general.”

    Come, come, mycroft. It’s well known that every Jewish child is above-average. The same movement that would deny the very existence of an objective measure of “intelligence” and that Jews as a whole are smarter than others would deny that some Jews aren’t. Odd but true.

  173. Charlie:
    >>“Slavery died out mainly because slaves are not as productive as wage earners” >Slavery died out because of a civil war that cost over 600,000 lives. CANUCK: Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833 by an act of Parliament. The American civil war did result in the end of slavery in the USA, but that was not the primary reason for the war.

    >>“So-called liberals labelled Nazism a party of the Right, whereas Nazis were really a party of the Left (i.e. National Socialist German Workers Party) ” >Is a proof from Nazi propaganda acceptable on this site? CANUCK: That is an outrageous response, Charlie Hall. Are you implying that I support the Nazis!? Is that what you say about a fellow Jew?

    >>“not exactly what you would have expected if Nazism were a socialist/communist theology” >Socialists divested capitalists from their wealth and power (see Attlee in the UK). Communists removed capitalists from their lives. Nazis made them rich. CANUCK: The Nazis nationalized many industries; other industries were allowed to function, but under harsh government controls; the Nazis may have gotten some business owners to cooperate, but they murdered many others.

    >And note another difference between the Socialists and the Nazis: Attlee was as anti-Nazi as Churchill. Blum was handed over to the Nazis by the Vichy regime. Calling Nazis “Leftists” is like calling a tshuvah from the Reform movement halachic.
    CANUCK: “Rightists” support the preservation of traditional social orders and hierarchies. “Leftists” support social change in order to create a more egalitarian society. Nazism and Fascism were revolutionary parties, which both combined nationalism and socialism. Therefore, they were parties of the Left, as was Communism. Suggested reading: Liberal Fascism – by Jonah Goldberg.

    >I should add that I am well aware that there are many differences between Mussolini’s economic ideas and Thatcher’s, and that Hayek and his fellows were just as opposed to Mussolini as to Stalin. I’m sure he didn’t think much of Attlee, either, but there were also just as many differences between Attlee and Stalin! The “Left” vs. “Right” analogies don’t work well here. But we don’t throw out what has been universally agreed upon for generations in order to score political points. That is intellectually dishonest. And it is a huge slander against European democratic leftists such as Attlee and Blum who did everything they could to stop the Nazis.

    CANUCK: Deceptive political language is often used to obscure the truth. I believe that most readers of this blog are interested in the truth. So, we should throw out bogus labels that were established by academic and political elites, on both sides of the Atlantic, who obscured their open support for Mussolini and Hitler before WWII, by mischaracterizing those movements in the public mind, and by creating deceptive political language. Don’t be smug. What’s been “agreed on for generations” is often wrong, and based on shallow knowledge. I never brought up Atlee. And, just who’s being intellectually dishonest? I’m sorry this blog posting got sidetracked by a heated debate on political language.

  174. “MDJ on April 4, 2011 at 12:28 am
    Mycroft,
    Schools close. The federal government doesn’t (at least not permanently). But your rants are silly and I have nothing more to say to you”

    Way beyond our debate-but schools do close-but so do army bases,why has there been such a debate every time that the Feds have closed down bases etc because jobs disappear.
    Hospitals close down too Vetarans Hospitals are hospitals too-of course in the US physicians will easily find another job but orderlies, etc won’t.

  175. Mycroft,
    Last I checked,we were comparing mechanchim to cabinet secretaries, lifelong EPA employees and the VPOTUS, no VA orderlies. Please stay focussed and don’t constantly change your point.

  176. “The American civil war did result in the end of slavery in the USA, but that was not the primary reason for the war”
    The issue would slavery have died out anyway in the US has been debated for decades-see eg John Hope Franklin vs Prof Fogel

  177. “Mycroft,
    Last I checked,we were comparing mechanchim to cabinet secretaries, lifelong EPA employees and the VPOTUS, no VA orderlies. Please stay focussed and don’t constantly change your point”

    you’re the one who wrote
    Mycroft,
    “Schools close. The federal government doesn’t (”
    I responded
    “Way beyond our debate-but schools do close-but so do army bases,why has there been such a debate every time that the Feds have closed down bases etc because jobs disappear.
    Hospitals close down too Vetarans Hospitals are hospitals too-of course in the US physicians will easily find another job but orderlies, etc won’t.”
    Maybe I should have responded about the devastating aspect to Brooklyn Middle Class of the closing of the Brooklyn Shipyard-would that have made you happier than my comment that when “Hospitals close down too Vetarans Hospitals are hospitals too-of course in the US physicians will easily find another job but orderlies, etc won’t”
    I just thought of VA Hospitals before Brooklyn Shipyard for facilities closing.

  178. Joseph Kaplan

    “>>“Slavery died out mainly because slaves are not as productive as wage earners” >Slavery died out because of a civil war that cost over 600,000 lives. CANUCK: Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833 by an act of Parliament. The American civil war did result in the end of slavery in the USA, but that was not the primary reason for the war.”

    You’re right, obviously, about England (although I thought it was the courts, and not Parliament), but Charlie’s right about the US. It WAS the war that stopped it. Primary cause? Can be debated. Major cause? Can’t. Would it have been abolished anyway? Probably. But who knows when. And considering how the South acted after the war by attempting, unfortunately rather successfully, to reimpose a pseudo slavery, I think arguments that it would have happened soon anyway are lots of wishful thinking.

  179. Mycroft,
    I was responding to your comment about career EPA workers.

  180. “You’re right, obviously, about England (although I thought it was the courts, and not Parliament), but Charlie’s right about the US. It WAS the war that stopped it. Primary cause? Can be debated. Major cause? Can’t. Would it have been abolished anyway? Probably. But who knows when. And considering how the South acted after the war by attempting, unfortunately rather successfully, to reimpose a pseudo slavery, I think arguments that it would have happened soon anyway are lots of wishful thinking”

    I am not getting into an argument between John Hope Franklin and Prof Fogel of U of Chicago. It is an area where cliometrics is used.

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