2/01/2007

Choice of Schools

With our oldest entering first grade next year, the wife and I had to decide on a school for her. Options abound. Thing is, there’s a group trying to start a new school, and they were hoping that we would sent her there. We decided, however, to send her to a school called ‘Lemaan Achai’, which is, as far as I can tell, ‘Haredi Lite’ – no uniform, separate classes, celebration of Yom Haatzma’ut, all Haredi teachers. Basically, what I grew up with (except for the Yom Haatzma’ut part). There are many in the Dat Leumi world who are scared of Haredi education. I’m not. In fact, I think that for elementary school, it’s a good outlook (see here for more on that theme). Anyhow, the Rebbetzin and I are not the type to wait around to see what everyone else is doing, so we made our decision.

The dilemma is this: What if the new school, fighting for every kid, is counting on us? What if people look to see what we’re doing? What if we’re damaging the new school’s prospects?

Before we left Israel almost 5 years ago to begin our stint in the States, we sat with R’ Lichtenstein to talk about things. We asked about becoming so important to a community that it would be damaging if we left. He told us a story of a relative of his who was a shochet in Alabama, I believe. When the shochet’s kids came of age, he decided to move so they could be educated. One of the balabatim said to him that if he leaves, there won’t be Kosher meat in’Bama, and people would eat treif. He left anyway, and the people ate treif. Your own kids have to come first.

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