Monday, May 12, 2008

Whose Children are They?

Those of us who have lived more than a few decades sometimes find ourselves in the position of saying "It was different in the 'olden' days." One of those differences applies to yeshivas.

True, yeshivas have always had guidelines under which they work. They have had philosophies that governed what they teach, how much of it and when. They have had entrance requirements. They have had a code of behavior for students which they expected the students to adhere to both in and out of school. There have even been things that a school "ossured" for their students. But...for sheer volume, nothing beats today's schools for the rules and regulations that they expect parents to follow. And, in my opinion, a lot of those rules and regulations fall into a gray area between school policy and parental rights, and some of those regulations fall into the area that is clearly marked "parental rights."

First, who paskins for parents? If parents have a Rav who is their posek and who has said "you may do X" and their children's schools say "You may not do X" who are you supposed to follow? Yes, I hear you say "Don't send your children to that school if you don't like the rules they say you have to follow" but it is not that simple. Every set of parents comprises a whole slew of practices. There is not one "standard" hashkafa. Some parents will do X but not Y. Some will do Y but not X. And then along comes the school which says do Z.

It seems that schools are attempting what clothing manufacturers have tried for years before them: one size fits all school rules. Consumers--and manufacturers--discovered that one size fits all usually translates to one size fits no one perfectly or comfortably. One size fits all is only an approximation, not a 100% correlation. But as schools add on layers and layers of requirements for parents of students in those schools, they are trying to build students who are "one size." What they want are clones. Human beings aren't clones of each other, and desiring that they all dress, act, think, speak and be the same is neither possible nor really something to be devoutly desired. Schools are not content to present information to the students and hope that the information "takes"--they are attempting by fiat to take over some of a parent's choices so as to guarantee that students will be "good" examples of a school's hashkafas.

Years back one of the RW schools in Boro Park gave out some rules for class dismissal time for their students. Mothers were not allowed to come to pick up their children wearing any type of head covering but a sheitle. And they were not allowed to drive cars up to the school to pick up their children. You should have heard the conversations city-wide over those regulations. Today, people just lift their shoulders resignedly. Why? Is it really my child's elementary school's job/right to tell me that I can't wear a tichel to pick up my child? Is it their right/job to tell me what kind of tichel I can wear? Can they really decide if a woman is allowed to drive a car or not?

Whose job/right is it to decide what a child can read in their home? Whose job/right is it to decide whether or not a parent can take a child to a library? Whose job/right is it to decide on whether or not a computer will be present in the home, or whether the Internet will be present in the home? Whose job/right is it to decide on whether or not a child can be given swimming lessons, or piano or another instrument lessons? Whose job/right is it to decide what hashkafas will be upheld in the home? Whose job/right is it to decide which nusach a family will daven? (I bring this one up because a school suggested to a parent that because the school davened nusach ashkenaz but the parents davened nusach sfard that this was confusing the child and the parents might want to consider davening nusach ashkenaz. They only "suggested" this nusach change--how much longer before some enterprising yeshiva requires it?) Is it the schools job/right to tell parents that they can only use cholov yisroel? Is it the school's job/right to tell parents that certain hechsherim are acceptable for their students AT HOME and others are not? Is it the school's job/right to tell parents that their children cannot wear certain colors of clothing when not in school? Is it the school's job/right to tell parents that they should not allow their children to play with children who attend other schools with other hashkafas? is it the school's job/right to tell parents that children must go to sleep away camp and which camps the school will accept?

Note: right about now a reader is going "so send your kids someplace else!" Easier to say then to do. No school is an exact perfect fit. And sometimes sheer convenience comes into the equation. Should I commute my kids 4 hours a day to get to a school closer to my hashkafas or should I send them a few blocks away and I'll straighten out the differences at home?

Once upon a time all the above were suggestions that sometimes got made, but not school mandates. Schools recognized that their "customers" were all a bit different. Once upon a time they would have liked to have had all their students following certain practices, but they knew they weren't going to get that. Once upon a time there was a far clearer dividing line between what belonged to schools and what belonged to parents. One of the reasons for the proliferation of so many different yeshivas today, some with very small student populations, is that schools are looking for complete homogeneity in their student bodies. What they don't seem to recognize is that they aren't going to get that homogeneity. But they keep on trying. And when they try, they step squarely on the toes of parental rights.

Here's a thought too. I wonder how many parents who would have otherwise sent their children to yeshivas didn't do so because of this intrusion into their rights as parents? How many sent to a less RW school because they found the schools less intrusive? How many people have we lost from frumkeit because we have mixed up the public and the private or created a school versus home battleground?

Sometimes the fight between schools and parents for primacy in their children's lives resembles nothing so much as two dogs fighting over the same bone. And that bone so clearly belongs to those parents. For the privilege of paying $10,000 a year and up in tuition I also get the privilege of not being allowed to be the primary input into my children's lives? Somewhere down the road a great showdown is coming, and it isn't going to be pretty.

61 comments:

SuperRaizy said...

Good post. I agree- the scenario that you outlined presents a real problem. It would be another manifestation of a larger problem that we have in the Orthodox world-that our "leaders" (hard to define)are trying to lead by decree rather than by example and education.
And I agree with you that this kind of religious force-feeding leads to a lot of alienation.

d said...

"looking for complete homogeneity in their student bodies"

Where have you been Prof. K.? Don't you know that the age of frum robots and clones has dawned already some time ago ?

Anonymously said...

D, there are still some of us who haven't fallen in line with what the yeshivas are pushing, even if we sent our kids to these yeshivas. We told our kids where we were different from the schools and we told them what their options were also.

The strange part is that the schools we sent our kids to we wouldn't pick today if we were first starting out because they have gone so crazy with their rules. Our kids, none of them are considering these schools for when they have kids either.

jewtoo said...

And when the schools can't find anything else to hit us with they remind us that not conforming will mean we won't make a shidduch. And they just love to point out examples of past students who didn't conform and show how they are still unmarried. Anybody want to guess what kinds of recommendations they give when someone asks a school or teacher about a person for shidduchim?

The school gave my sister and parents a hard time using shidduchim as the whip. No, she didn't get married until she was almost 27, and found herself a really great person. Was the school happy about her marriage? The principal had the real b---s to tell my mom that it would have happened sooner if my parents would have conformed better!

Josh M. said...

A school has the right to make any rules they want, as long as the market supports it. Presumably, they consider these rules to be an essential part of the chinuch they provide. If a school did not insist on so many rules, many people would probably consider it "less RW", so they don't really have an incentive to compromise on their ideals.

If parents want a different type of chinuch for their children, they have to band together with similarly-minded parents and find the teachers and administration (and donors) who (are willing to) subscribe to this vision in developing a school of this type. But considering the impact that this can have on shidduchim, it doesn't sound feasible.

Tovah said...

From what I see the problem with schools mixing into family business is more with the RW schools then with the schools that are more MO. The MO schools teach hashkafa but they don't make it a requirement that the school's hashkafa is more important then the parents' hashkafahs. And day schools are more normal then the schools that call themselves yeshivas. I can't imagine any day school telling parents how to dress when they come to pick up their kids. I can see that really easily with the RW schools.

Tamar said...

Josh--my mother is an identical twin. She and her sister are alike in lots of ways but they have different marriages, married different kinds of men, have different personalities. If identical twins are not identical in every way then getting like minded parents together to form a new school isn't going to guarantee that everyone in the school will feel 100% the same way about everything or have 100% the same haskafah. It's that 100% that I think the posting is talking about. The schools want 100% which isn't logical or possible, so they try to change the parents instead of accepting that we aren't all exact copies of each other.

Ruth said...

It's funny how we act about schools. What other product or service that we would be considering buying and that would be costing us $10,000 for would we just tell the "store owner" fine, whatever you think I should get? We'd shop around a few stores and see what merchandise was available. Maybe no store would have exactly what we were looking for but unless we wanted to do without the item we would buy the closest thing. And we would choose what color the material was on the chairs we were buying, or what size bed we wanted, not just what the store wanted to sell us. And would you let the store owner tell you what you could serve on that dining room tablek, or how you could sit on that couch? Schools are acting in too many cases like store owners who won't sell you a couch unless you swear in writing that you won't put your feet up on it or sit the "wrong" way. As the buyer it is my right to use the product any way I want.

Josh M. said...

Tamar: If identical twins are not identical in every way then getting like minded parents together to form a new school isn't going to guarantee that everyone in the school will feel 100% the same way about everything or have 100% the same haskafah.

Indeed. But the one thing these people would agree on is to allow parents some latitude in deciding the exact trajectory of their child's growth, so can attempt to design a "hashkafah achidah" that satisfies them more than those of the current yeshivos do, even if they have to accept some stringencies and leniencies which they don't agree with. I know it would be nigh impossible to achieve this, but I don't see any possibility of reversing the trend in schools besides starting from the ground and building up.

Tamar said...

Josh, your way is one possibility but not one that is easy to put into action, although it has been done before. Another way is through the threat of money. Lots of postings that have been done here and other places about the cost of tuition and how lots of parents in schools are not paying that tuition or only a small part of the tuition. Schools need their full tuition paying students. What if 5 parents tell the school they are pulling their kids out? What if 20 did? Even the threat of losing that much funding might make an existing school soft pedal the propaganda. It might not be necessary to actually start that new school; just the fact that the old school would know that parents are talking about pulling out and meeting to see how to do that might be enough.

It can work sometimes. The parents in my boys school did not like the second grade rebbi and thought he was totally incompetent. he was the son of the school's owner and the owner didn't listen to us and our complaints. When my second son was ready to go to second grade 9 parents refused to pay the tuition checks ahead and told the school we were going someplace else. We made sure they knew why. We backed up our threats by making it well known that our kids had had interviews at another school. The old school caved in to the pressure and removed the rebbi. Sometimes money talks.

mlevin said...

ProfK: You covered some of the school rules, but there are others so rediculous that it's not funny. Here in Brooklyn, girls are not allowed to walk on Ave M. My daughter's friend lives on Ave M and everytime she needs to leave her house she is petrified of being seen.

The other stupid rule is leaving a state without school's permission. That's right, when you go to NJ to visit your uncle you need school's permission. Otherwise, student will get a 3 day suspension.

My daughter's friend got expelled from Prospect because she did not have a right look. That's right she did wear right clothes and did behaive in the right manner, but she didn't have a right look. She was told that girls who looked like that were not Prospect material. She ended up graduating from Bruria.

Lisa said...

Mlevin what you wrote makes me even more thankful that I don't live in NY and am nowhere near these types of schools. You can't walk on an avenue? You can't leave the state? Can anyone spell communism or fascism?

Anonymous said...

"ProfK: You covered some of the school rules, but there are others so rediculous that it's not funny. Here in Brooklyn, girls are not allowed to walk on Ave M. My daughter's friend lives on Ave M and everytime she needs to leave her house she is petrified of being seen.

The other stupid rule is leaving a state without school's permission. That's right, when you go to NJ to visit your uncle you need school's permission. Otherwise, student will get a 3 day suspension."

===
This is completely nuts. How can they possibly even justify these sorts of rules? What's the problem with NJ? What if you have relatives there? What if the visit is an emergency of some sort?

Completely nuts, makes me glad that I moved out of Boro Park so many years ago, then moved to New Jersey, and then moved out of the New York area completely. I have to thank Hashem that my kids won't have to grow up in such a dysfunctional environment!

Mark [in South Florida]

Eli said...

Born and raised in Brooklyn and not living there now because as Mark said I don't want my children exposed to the craziness, the chumras and the real hypocrisy. Maybe schools in other parts of the country should ban taking trips to Brooklyn for their students as not being very healthy for them.

mlevin said...

Originally it was only Florida, but then someone pointed out that there are beaches in other states, too. So, they assured all states. Their line of thinking is if you need to visit an uncle in Lakewood all it takes is a phone call, and permission is granted. But if you're planning on doing something wrong then you won't ask for permission... then you get caught.

I just remembered another thing that is banned: married/pregnant students in high school. My mom got married in her senior year and she said many girls were graduating with bulging bellies. My doctor graduated from medical school when she was 8 months. In those days it was normal for girls to be married and still in school. Now days they can't even date until April of senior year, and those who are married are automatically expelled.

Our neighbor is a Junior in high school. Her class has many bukharians. Two girls are already engaged. One is having a long engagement, the other is dropping out and going for GED. Wouldn't it be better if they let her graduate?

Anonymous said...

Not going to swear to all the details of the rule but I'm pretty sure the public high schools don't allow married or pregnant women either. There is some kind of alternative program for them.

Re the dating in high school, I can't remember a school or a year that there wasn't at least one senior kallah. They must have been dating somehow.

Kayla said...

You know the funny part? Not so many years ago when I was considering sending my girls to Prospect some of my family objected because Prospect was more modern then the Bais Yaakov schools. Prospect and TAG were Bais Yaakov wannabes. Well look at them today. Is Shulamis the only normal girls school left in Brooklyn anymore?

Allen said...

Maybe the logical step for us to take is to require a visa and a passport for those visiting Brooklyn. We should also require a full range of vaccines and shots so that any visitors to Brooklyn don't bring back any bugs and diseases that the rest of us could do without.

mlevin said...

Shulamis normal? From what I heard (third person) Shulamis is known for surprize inspections (to make sure that girl's household is kosher, of course) and rejecting girls for having a large chest.

In Brooklyn Public Schools girls are allowed to be married and/or pregnant. Actually, we used to live not far from Lincoln and seen many pregnant girls going to school.

TR said...

Mlevin, I know you said that you got the information from someone else but is there really a chance that a yeshiva school seriously rejected a student because of a large chest? Does this make any sense at all? Just what issur d'oraiso does having a large chest violate? Please, someone tell me this just isn't so.

Brocha said...

I'm with Allen. but I say go even further. Put an embargo on Brooklyn like we did with Cuba. Make it illegal for Jews from anywhere else to go and visit there. Make it illegal to buy their products. And let's be humane like the US was. If refugees escape from Brooklyn we should take them in and show them what it is like to live in a better world not under a dictatorship. Brooklyn, Cuba, not much difference today.

mlevin said...

That is why I posted it. I want someone to tell me they know a large chested girl which got into Shulamis high school ( and she didn't go into their elementary school).

tr - it is not about halocha, it's about perception. Large chest is harder to high, so girls automatically don't look as tznious.

Anonymous said...

Do any of these schools teach biology or know anything about genetics? Body type is predetermined. How can they possibly create tsnius issues over something that cannot be helped changed or controlled?

Ruchie said...

mlevin-
That "large chest" story is ridiculous. Shulamith does not conduct surprise inspections of student's houses and there are girls of all shapes and sizes in their elementary and high schools.
There are enough appalling stories out there that are true. We don't need to spread the false ones, too.

Ezzie said...

Note that schools tend to wait until a small minority considers a trait something "important", then they make it a rule. It's rather brilliant and avoids running into too much of a head with the community.

But at some point, it will happen.

SP said...

"Shulamis normal? From what I heard (third person) Shulamis is known for surprize inspections (to make sure that girl's household is kosher, of course) and rejecting girls for having a large chest."

What nonsense! Utter bilge. shulmith has girls of all body types, and, as a Shulamith parent, I can give personal witness that there are no "surprise inspections" of homes. Does that even sound feasible to you?! Don't believe every silly third-hand rumor.

Anonymous said...

Shulamith has enough problems right now (v'y) without spreading stupid rumors.

yom tova said...

ProfK, you stated most of the reasons that I switched my daughter to Shulamis, the only school that leaves parenting to the parents. I feel that parents who say, "Who cares what the school says, I'm going to do what I want" teach their kids to say, "Who cares what YOU say, I'm going to do what I want, too." Making everything "assur" isn't the way to raise kids who want to be frum.

G said...

There are enough appalling stories out there that are true. We don't need to spread the false ones, too.

I'm sorry, you must not have been properly introduced.
Ruchie, meet The Jewish Community...The Jewish Community, meet Ruchie.

Now then, as we were...

Lion of Zion said...

SP:

"Does that even sound feasible to you?!"

yes. it is not done by shulamith, but i know of a school in queens that does it.

and what shulamith does do is call neighbors or aquaintances of an applicant if they suspect her family is not frum enough.

Lion of Zion said...

SP:

"the only school that leaves parenting to the parents."

unless you want to send your daughter to a coed camp?

JOSH M.

"A school has the right to make any rules they want, as long as the market supports it."

not this matters of course, but i doubt it is legal to bar a student because of what goes on in the home. (the schools are aware of this, hence the non-discriminatory annoucements that the yeshivot advertise)

Lion of Zion said...

"Shulamith has enough problems right now (v'y) without spreading stupid rumors."

the reason shulamith is having problems (assuming we are talking about the same problem) right now is because many of its alumna refuse to send their daughters there. some have genuinely moved to the right, as hashkafot do change. others are still where they were hashkafically 15 years ago, but send their kids to more RW schools lest they not fit in with the rest of flatbush. and then of course they moan and groan about the restrictions they must pretend to abide by.

a few years ago i spoke with my boss, who sent 3 daughters to shulamith and at the time still had 2 in the school. i asked him if it is true "that shulamith is not what it once was" (one excuse that neo-RWers use for not sending their kids there). he replied that shulamith is still the same, it is brooklyn that has changed.

i really do feel bad for parents that were expecting to send their daughers to shulamith for the next generation. there is a wide gap btw prospect and YofF and they will either have to choose one or commute.

Lion of Zion said...

i know this is going to make some of you groan (to quote someone whom i disagreed with last week), but does anyone care that kids from non/less religious families might not recieve a jewish education because of these types inquisitions?

Lion of Zion said...

YOM TOVA:

my comment above at 4:41 was directed to you, not SP

yom tova said...

Lion, I don't want to send my daughter to a co-ed camp, so that's not an issue for me.

I do want her to wear short sleeves for a few more years. I do want her to be able to watch tv or movies that I let her watch. I do want to be an active parent, but her previous school assumed I didn't and sent home infuriating notes every week. And then told me that "95% of the rules are made for 5% of the people," and they know most people ignore them.

And I'm glad that Shulamis doesn't have the 1-kind-is-all mentality that the other schools pretend to have. There's almost no way everyone follows all the rules in any school, so the fewer rules that inappropriately intrude into the home, the more likely they are to be followed. The rules that Shulamis has are rules that I feel are appropriate, so there's no "we can do this secretly" message being given to the kids.

And btw, Shulamis is staying in Brooklyn, so we won't have to choose between fake/wanna-be right-wing and YofF.

Packing up said...

"And btw, Shulamis is staying in Brooklyn, so we won't have to choose between fake/wanna-be right-wing and YofF."

Take off the blinders or you're going to get blindsided.

Yom Tova said...

Are you coming to the meetings? Register your girls or you'll help close it.

SephardiLady said...

Chiming in about married and/or pregnant hs students.

My public school district used to have a policy whereby all unmarried pregnant students had to enroll in a separate program. Unfortunately, they changed that policy and I believe it legitimized and made more normal unmarried teen pregancy.

There were also married students (both pregnant and not pregnant. . . and I'm not only referring to the husbands). I see no problem with allowing such students to stay in (public) school. A private school may have a myriad of other legitimate considerations.

I think my opinion is known: parents need to be given the opportunity to parent and these rules serve to make parents feel less empowered and when the rules are skirted, yashrut is compromised.

Lion of Zion said...

YOM TOVA:

whether or not you personally wish to patronize a coed camp is irrelevent. the point is that shulamith is not completely hands-off when it comes to intruding into the home.

but in any case, for your sake i hope you are right that it is staying in brooklyn . as opposed to some other commenters, you sound like you have found a good match and are happy.

ProfK Offspring said...

Personally, I think the most important educational component that anyone can give a child is the ability to think for his or herself. Without that, I wouldn't be close friends today with people from a myriad of Jewish backgrounds, ranging from very modern to very Chassidish. And, nowadays, I think if parents don't do that, than nobody will. Yeshivas certainly don't do it. They teach group-think.

My school was relatively normal when I arrived, but began to assur a lot of things mindlessly as I progressed; my parents told me why they continued to allow them. They told me why I had been sent to my particular school even though they disagreed with a bunch of school policies and would not force me to obey things they thought had absolutely nothing to do with halacha. (I laugh about the Florida thing...my mother will attest that a visit to my grandmother there was far more regimented than life at home--not my idea of a freedom-filled Spring Break). My mother, if she so chose, could certainly write a blog on the price of defiance...and how sickeningly against halacha it was.

But I nevertheless thought my parents far wiser and more practical than my teachers. I'm frum, shomer shabbos, and can formulate a thought that's original and hasn't been force-fed to me by someone else. I'm the child of my mother and my father, not the product of my school. And I'm a better person and a better Bas Yisroel for it.

Ariella said...

I really feel sorry for the Shulamis School. First they started out in Boro Park and the neighborhood changed on them. Then they moved into Flatbush into the old BTA-YU building. Now the neighborhood is changing on them again. It's a sad commentary when parents who really are a fit for Shulamis, and who want what Shulamis offers are afraid to send their kids there because of community pressure or worrying about what the neighbors will think. It's not like they would be sending to a catholic school, so why not do what fits them best?

mlevin said...

[rant] People did you ever look at the map. Shulamis is not in Flatbush and never was in Flatbush. The neighborhood is called Midwood. Same as Prospect, it is in Midwood, not Flatbush. [/rant]

Why no one commented on Lion of Zion's "i know this is going to make some of you groan (to quote someone whom i disagreed with last week), but does anyone care that kids from non/less religious families might not recieve a jewish education because of these types inquisitions?"

One Shulamis mother told me that she's all for these inspections, because she doesn't want her daughter to accidentally eat traif. PUUL-LEEEEEZE.

Doni said...

mlevin, I think you are mixing up how people generally use the words. Flatbush refers to a whole large general area where Midwood refers to only one small area within that larger area. If people say they are from Flatbush the next question is always Where in Flatbush?

Shuli said...

The situation is bad enough if you have all your kids in one school or all the girls in one school and all the boys in one school. You should see how bad it gets when you have your kids in 4 schools. We made the decision to send our kids to a school based on what the school could offer that particular child. A few of our kids needed services that weren't available in the schools where their siblings went. Some of the schools were better in elementary school then high school or vice versa. You know that old joke about 2 Jews equals 3 opinions? You should see when 4 schools are all trying to tell you what they really want in your home, and it's not the same for each school. One school we applied to refused us admission because we were not going to be sending all our boys there. That they didn't offer the special hearing and speech remediation that one of our sons needed then was not interesting to the school. They even had the nerve to ask us if he really needed those services or was this something we WANTED instead.

In the end it is parents who know their children the best, who love those children, who are the ones that should be making the decisions that affect those children. Too many of the schools are mixing in to what is not their business and putting down rules, even if they are not in writing but that every parent knows are there.

Yaakov said...

We had Shuli's problem when we went to put our boys into school. They asked us about our other children and then made a face when they heard where our daughters were in school. They began to question us really hard about why we were coming to them with the boys when we saw ourselves as the girl's school type of parents. In the end they decided that we were not the type of parents they wanted in the school and our boys were not the "right" type of boys, all based on our decisions as parents for where our girls were going to go. Yes, our girls went to Shulamit. But where in Brooklyn is there a Shulamit type of school for the boys? We chose from what was available and it was tough until we got a school that took the boys. Commuting little kids out of Brooklyn was not an option we thought was a good one.

Yom Tova said...

Yaakov, you can send your boys to Derech Hatorah. A lot of Shulamis brothers go there. And they actually teach English and other "secular" subjects. And the boys start Sunday school in 5th grade, not pre-1a.

Lion of Zion said...

YOM TOVA:

i was also going to mention derech hatorah as a haskafic equivalent of shulamith, although there are other considerations: a) i don't know if it is really the same academically. b) derech hatorah has an even worse reputation than shulamith does when it comes to the frumkeit factor (if that's an issue)

"And the boys start Sunday school in 5th grade, not pre-1a."

now that's for a post of its own

Yaakov said...

Derech HaTorah wasn't around to be an option when we needed that type of school. We sent one of our boys for high school into Staten Island to YTT but then the school closed down. One of the problems the school had was the same one that is facing Shulamit today--parents who really want the kind of education that the school provided (strong secular subject learning) but who are so worried about what "they" will say to keep sending to the school. The funny part was that the rebbes in YTT were tops. Not only learned people themselves but top mechanchim. And they loved the students and you could see that. Not enough out of Staten Island parents though to keep the school alive.

Leahle said...

I've been reading through the thread of all the comments and one thing stands out for me. It's awfully sad when people have to even ask who gets the final decision on how to raise the children in a family. What goes on in my home and what I do with my children isn't something that anyone else should have a right to mix into. That schools do what they do is nothing more then blackmail. What a great thing for them to be showing the students and teaching them. Threaten people enough and you can get them to do whatever you want. And then they want to know why there are bullies in schools and in the world.

Yom Tova said...

Lion, there's a good portion of the parent body in both schools, so how one could have a worse reputation is strange.

And no Sunday school, the fact that there's a basketball team and a choir that the boys can try out for, and that they want parents involved, are all reasons that I like YDH.

It's sad that I know people who "can't" send there because it's "not my crowd," and their sons are going to get a less-than mediocre secular education because of it. Bring your friends and make it your crowd if you need your crowd! :)

ProfK said...

Okay, I'm not in Brooklyn but I taught there for many years and still do and I confess total ignorance. Where is Derech HaTorah? Name of the Menahel? Is it an elementary school only or is there a high school? My son is 31 and I know it could not have existed back when we were looking for high schools. How old is it?

Yaakov,
We were YTT parents too and loved the schooling if not the principal. As you said, the rebbeim were tops. The boys actually had a senior year of secular high school subjects, advanced courses, computer instruction and all the trimmings. And you are right that we needed more Brooklyn parents to keep the school going. It's a real shame that it closed.

Lion of Zion said...

PROFK:

it is next to the kingsway jewish center on nostrand ave. off of kings highway. it used to be mizrachi lebanim, but it changed to derech hatorah in the mid 90s. it was originally only an elementary school, but they recently opened a high school. you can see the administration on their website, but not much else: http://www.ydh.org/

Moshe said...

Is there a website that lists all of the yeshivas and their affiliations?

ProfK said...

Moshe,

I did some research and I can't locate one place that would have a list of all "schools of Jewish education." The Wikipedia has a list of "yeshivas" both pre and post WWII, but those are strictly schools for males. And they say they need more input because the list is incomplete. Torah U'Mesorah has a list of the schools affiliated with them, but not of the others.

Moshe said...

Well then, let's make one. How about yeshivareview.com? Anyone got a better name? I'll pay for the domain and add it to my account.

ProfK said...

Moshe,
Brilliant idea! Would you mind if I posted this idea separately? Some good ideas might come up. Personally I'm wondering if calling it "yeshiva" might not confuse some people who think of yeshivas as something for boys, not boys and girls. I could be wrong.

Moshe said...

Sure, post separately. Let's get some good name ideas.

ProfK said...

Moshe,
Done. And I've sent off some emails to other blogsters asking them to have their readers respond to us as well.

And people say that those on blogs do nothing but kvetch.

Moshe said...

Great!
My kid is 2 and 3 and I'm really worried about school. I really don't like to lie and don't want to teach him to lie or have him taught all this bs.
I wish all of us could get together and put some real pressure on these schools and their rules.

ProfK said...

Moshe,
That's a whole other ballgame, but the fact that there would be a site where parents could compare schools side by side would be a start in the right direction.

d said...

Re Shulamis - see http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=18593