Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Change?

I've been playing around in my mind with some topics for future postings.  Yes, I've thought of a few things I haven't really written about before that I want to research.  But here's the depressing thing--the major problems that seem to occupy our minds are still alive, well and unchanged.

School tuition?  I've heard of a few schools that raised tuition for this year but not one that lowered tuition to a workable level, or any lower level.

The School Day?  No announcements anywhere that even one school is considering altering its hours to fit in with what working parents need and want or that would be beneficial for family togetherness.

School Lunches:  Still the same dismal offerings that most schools presented last year.

Shidduchim?  Still no national organization or community group that has announced it will be approaching things differently, allowing for more "natural" socialization among singles.

Money and Budgetting:  Not a single national organization or a local one either that has come out and said that expenditures are outrunning money available and it has to stop, the first step being eliminating conspicuous consumption and spending on simchas and lifestyle events. (Yes, I know that Satmar last year announced some changes, but they apply only to those in Satmar.)

Not all the problems we all wish would disappear or at the very least be reduced in intensity, but there they are, unchanged and still among us.  And yes, still  topics of serious and sometimes heated conversation when people get together.  And yes, here I will go again this year, banging my head against the granite wall of indifference that so many of the "major" organizations and "machers" of Klal have erected to keep us exactly where they would like us, never mind the harm that causes.

Oh well, I must be that cockeyed optimist because I believe and hope that if we all keep chipping at it, that wall will come tumbling down.  Even a few visible chips and missing chunks would give us chizuk to keep on trying.  We shall see.


AztecQueen2000 said...

Change will not come from an organization. It will come when enough of us get fed up and start doing things differently for our own families. And tell anyone who doesn't like it to get stuffed. Overpriced and inferior day schools, spending ourselves broke to create the same simcha as every family in the area, blind marriages based on tablecloth color and family background--none of this is mandated by Torah. (If we wanted to follow the Torah, we'd choose our children's mates by going to the nearest gas station and seeing who'd offer to pay to fill up our car. Rivka, if you believe Midrash, came from an evil family.)

Anonymous said...

Down here, despite rampant Rabbinic opposition, the Ben Gamla schools are growing and becoming acceptable in the community... where acceptable means families with kids there attend Shul, the kids play together, the families eat in each others houses, etc.

Those that remain in the Day Schools (the vast majority) seem to be happy with their schools now. Getting the people unhappy with Day Schools out of the Day Schools has strengthened morale.

I believe that the vast majority of Orthodox Jews are relatively happy with the situation, including whining about it. The Internet has exposed this. Those that are unhappy can make different decisions, and not face ostracization.

The organizations are smack in the middle of their constituents.

Mark said...

despite rampant Rabbinic opposition

This opposition is lessening. I think the recent years of reduced economic activity have been taking their toll and the Rabbis are weary of the increase of people being supported [in part] by the community.

The Rebbetzin's Husband said...

When I started in a certain shul, one long-time member warned me, "Nothing changes."
He was wrong - Institutions rarely change, but a lot changes for individuals. Small-scale matters a great deal, and I think a blog can help on that level.

Pragmatician said...

I think aztecqueen, the ones in charge rarely feel the blog-mentioned issues, and so no real change is forthcoming on their part.

Mark said...

School tuition? I've heard of a few schools that raised tuition for this year but not one that lowered tuition to a workable level, or any lower level.

There's one new school that just opened in New Jersey that appears to have a lower tuition structure than usual. Here's a link to their website -