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Rabbi James Kennard: Jewish Schools Are The Key

July 3, 2013 – 7:48 pm52 Comments

james kennard2By Rabbi James Kennard

Why are Jewish schools so important in the establishment of Jewish identity? Why do studies throughout the world show that attendance at a Jewish day school, allied with a positive home environment, is so successful at promoting ongoing Jewish engagement?

It’s not just the obvious – the quality and quantity of Jewish studies and the Hebrew language, the gateway to Jewish learning, literature and connection with Jewish people in Israel and around the world. Even though a Jewish school usually provides several hours a week of Jewish learning, skills and understanding provided by excellent and approachable educators, it’s the “hidden curriculum” that makes the greatest difference.

In the last 15 years, Jewish schools in Melbourne have developed outstanding programmes of informal Jewish education; camps, Shabbatonim, lunchtime activities, minyanim and many other positive Jewish experiences. Whereas the formal lessons impact on the head, it is these out-of-classroom events that reach the heart. As a Maths teacher I may wish that my students will remember their trigonometry or calculus lessons for all time, but in reality the memories that will endure forever will be of how we turned the school upside down for Purim or coloured it Blue and White for Yom Ha’atzmaut.

And the hidden curriculum acts in more subtle ways. In a Jewish school, the rhythm of the school week is that of the Jewish week, with Friday a different and shorter day. The rhythm of the year is that of the Jewish year, as each Chag approaches and then recedes. In a child’s eyes, an event’s importance can be measured by its power to change schedules. So in a Jewish school, the importance of Shabbat and festivals is manifest.

Yet it’s the unforeseen interruptions to the schedule that perhaps provide the most powerful message. When all lessons cease so that students can watch the release of Gilad Schalit, or to pray for peace and safety when Israel’s at war, students truly understand the significance of the people and state of Israel in their lives.

Some may ask “if a student attends a Jewish school all their lives, and lives inside a ‘Jewish bubble’, then how can they integrate into the wider society at University or beyond?”. The answer is provided by the hundreds of thousands of graduates of schools such as the mainstream institutions in Melbourne and their similar counterparts around the world. These myriads of students have, over the last fifty years, made their way through, and indeed contributed greatly to, each of the concentric communities – Jewish, national and global – around them. The evidence suggests that the in this endeavor the Jewish schools have not hindered, but helped.

For many Jewish graduates of non-Jewish schools (and I speak from personal experience), life becomes compartmentalized into distinct Jewish and general components, with at best a porous membrane in between. But a student benefitting from the holistic, integrated experience of a Jewish school sees no division, but just “life”, connecting to the world but permeated with Jewish identity. They can grow to be knowledgeable, engaged, Jews, with the confidence to wrap themselves in an Israeli flag or to stand on stage and tell their family’s story on Yom HaShoa. This pride and comfort in their identity comes from growing in a safe and empowering Jewish environment, that gives our graduates the confidence to take their place as Jewish Australians without a hint of a dichotomy between the components of their identity.

Some might say that I have a vested interest, that I promote Jewish schools because I work for one. But the truth is the reverse. I consider it a tremendous privilege and blessing to be an educator, able to help young people grow and learn in a Jewish school, and thereby to give them the tools to build Jewish life and to build Jewish lives.

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  • Seraphya says:

    I wholeheartedly disagree. If it is the informal education that is what the value of a Jewish school, then I will not take out loans and mortgages and spend $1 million (aprox. cost of unsubsidized Jewish school fees for three kids from creche to year 12) I don’t have to get that. I will send my kids to a Youth Movement; we are blessed in Australia with strong vibrant youth movements. I will take my children to community events. I will take my kids to shule.

    Especially for high school age kids I would rather pay a tutor for Jewish studies and teach them myself than be exposed to the negative aspects of the materialism and pettiness that are rampant in our schools. At least when they see it in others at school, they won’t associate it with Judaism. I went to a non-Jewish High School for a bit. I got a better secular education than was being offered by Jewish High Schools for free, and for much less than the cost of a Jewish school I got some of the best Jewish education I could find in New York. I got up earlier than my peers in Jewish and non-Jewish schools to go to minyan at shul, at a cost of zero dollars. I was involved in a youth minyan on shabbat, took youth groups on shabbat and was a madrich in Bnei Akiva, which cost nothing. I attended rallies for Israel on the weekend and had the ability to stick up for Israel in school as well.

    The one thing that would have been nice was to have chaggim off and ending early for erev shabbat. However, if anything, knowing that I needed to take action to make sure that the system accommodated my needs reinforced the importance of shabbat and chagim for me. I couldn’t just go along with the flow.

    It is not wrong to send you children to a Jewish day school, but it is a luxury that many can’t afford. If there are cheaper ways to inculcate Judaism in the next generation they should be looked at.

  • ittayf says:

    There is no doubt that Jewish Day Schools are very expensive, which unfortunately puts them out of reach of far too many people in our community. That said, there are much cheaper options, like Yeshiva and Beth Rivka, which would cost far less than the amount quoted in the previous comment.

    In regards to the comment that “materialism and pettiness is rampant in our schools,” I think this is an unfair generalisation.

    Every Jewish Day school has some sort of Community Service/Chesed/Tikkun Olam program (They use different names based on their respective ideologies). These programs teach children, from the youngest age, that giving of your time, money or experience to those in need are an inextricable part of being Jewish.

    For evidence of this, see this article, which speaks about all Independent schools, not just the Jewish ones.:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/islamic-and-christian-schools-on-the-rise-despite-decline-in-religion-20100915-15crv.html

    “A survey from the Centre for Independent Studies recently found that Graduates of independent schools were more likely to hold socially liberal views on gay marriage, abortion, IVF and foreign aid than graduates of public or Catholic schools.

    Non-government school graduates were more likely to be tolerant of free speech by religious extremists, while government school graduates were more likely to be in favour of reducing immigration.
    Graduates of independent schools were more likely to have participated in a demonstration, attended a political rally, and donated money to or raised funds for a social or political activity than graduates of government or Catholic schools.
    Graduates of independent schools were also more likely to be members of environmental groups or aid organisations.”

  • Yaron says:

    R’Kennard,
    I was under the impression that much of the research places far more emphasis on home life and youth groups. The influence of the day schools are at the bottom of the list. Could you please correct me if I am wrong.

    There is definitely a place for the Jewish day schools, but how much do they actually help if the home environment is already dynamically Jewish?

    Ittay,
    What basis do you have for placing the Jewish schools with the independent schools in this sense? How are they not “Catholic schools with an independent school price tag”?

  • James says:

    Yaron,

    Have a look at

    http://www.peje.org/docs/ResearchStudiesImpact.pdf

    and

    http://www.peje.org/docs/200705_peje_impact_of_day_school.pdf

    or

    http://www.thearda.com/Archive/Files/Descriptions/DAYSCH.asp

    and hundreds of others available online.

    The Gen08’s survey was that home and school are both components in order to maximise the likelihood of continued Jewish engagement.

    If the “home is already dynamically Jewish” then of course the child’s Jewish commitment has got a head start. But given the myriad of non-Jewish life choices available so freely today, don’t we want to give that Jewish commitment and knowledge all the help we can?

    I suspect that the discussion on Galus is going to be somewhat distorted. By definition, most of the people commenting will have a positive Jewish engagement, including many who themselves attended non-Jewish schools (like me). But we’re less likely to hear from those who attended non-Jewish schools and now have little or no Jewish engagement. They are the ones we need to consider most in this debate.

    In other words I understand (and empathise with) Seraphya’s point about having to take time off for Chagim made him more sensitive to the importance of the day. But what about all those who do not take those days off from school, who do not leave early on Friday winter afternoons? What is the effect on their Jewish commitment

    Of course we can all quote individuals who went to non-Jewish schools and are now rabbis or otherwise 100% Jewishly committed. Conversely we can all quote graduates of Jewish schools who have left the community. But such individual cases do not prove the case one way or the other. The issue is about maximising the likelihood of Jewish commitment. Readers have to decide if that’s better achieved in Jewish schools than in non-Jewish schools.

  • Yaron says:

    However we have a catch-22. The less Jewishly committed will be less likely to put in the high sums to go to the Jewish day schools.

    What about the Jewish Free School model in London (which I am aware of but do not know much about)? Is this a model that can be replicated here in Australia?

  • James says:

    In the UK, “faith” schools operate within the State system. About 7000 Christian schools, about 30 Jewish schools and assorted others are state schools, but denominational ones. I should be clear so that there is no confusion – these are not non-Jewish schools with some Jewish students and some Jewish-related programmes, these are exactly what we in Australia would call Jewish schools – except for the fees.

    The reason I’m always given when I ask why we couldn’t do the same here, is that unlike the situation in the UK, the State and Federal governments cannot constitutionally run denominational schools. I’m not aware of how vigorously, and at what levels, this has been tested.

    In the meantime the solution to the problem of fees is for the community as a whole to take urgent action to find ways to subsidise the fees together with other ways to reduce the cost of the current setup. It can be done, if only there is the will, and the realisation of the urgency and the essential need. One of the purposes of this article and this discussion is to generate just that awareness.

    But the solution is not to give up on the key to this community’s vibrancy, vitality and continuity – its day schools – and to just advise people to manage somehow in non-Jewish schools. That was never the solution in the past and certainly isn’t now.

  • Talya Bassin says:

    Ooooh if only it was affordable

  • Bernie says:

    Rabbi Kennard,
    How is it that Catholic schools are government funded to a large degree (is it 72%), yet other denominations receive much less. Is that not religious discrimination?

  • James says:

    Bernie, I’ve often wondered about that. I presume socio-economic issues explain part of the difference, but not all. I guess that our communal representatives have inquired and are have received answers.

    Incidentally, it’s worth noting that schools in NSW receive significantly more funding from their State government than do independent schools in Victoria. And Sydney Jewish schools are helped by their communal appeal, explaining why the fees in Sydney are a little lower than those of similar schools in Melbourne.

  • Seraphya says:

    I am yet to see anything that shows that the correlation is causation. If we could model creation of Jewish identity with the explanatory variables of Youth movements, communal engagement of the family and the importance the family places on Jewish identity, I think adding Jewish Day school attendance would not considerably improve the model.

    Parents who care about the Jewish identity of their children will send their children to Jewish Day Schools because they have been told that this is the way to accomplish their aim.

    To really tease out how and if Jewish day schools add value it would be necessary to find parents who send their children to Jewish schools but don’t care about Jewish identity as well as finding parents who care about Jewish identity but do not send their children to Jewish schools.

    Even if Jewish Day Schools are do add value in this area, I find it very hard to believe they are doing it efficiently economically. I don’t see how it is not better for the community to spend those dollars on Jewish informal and formal education in an organized manner outside of school time.

    If you are addressing those who aren’t very involved Jewish who you think most need a Jewish Day School, why would they want to spend a million dollars on something they don’t value so much? Shouldn’t we find a cheaper and easier way to entice them to consider doing something they don’t care about as much as we do?

    Perhaps, future surveys should ask parents how important inculcating Jewish identity is to them, but that would be a self-reported subjective number.

    Ittay, materialism runs rampant in the Jewish community. It might not be worse than in non-Jewish privileged schools, but it is certainly a down side in going to a private school. In fact, figure 13 in http://www.peje.org/docs/200705_peje_impact_of_day_school.pdf shows that Jewish schools do not produce people who are more engaged in volunteering.

  • James says:

    Rather than rely on what Seraphya thinks, let me tell you what I see with my own eyes in my own school. I see students growing in their connection to Jewish practice, Jewish learning and Jewish community, beyond, and sometimes far beyond, that which they acquired from their families. And I see this level of connection continuing and deepening after they leave school.

    They do this because of what the school gives them in knowledge and experiences, and what if offers them as values.

    I wish that they would go to youth movements but the reality is that most of them do not.

    I also see other students who do not particularly extend their Jewish connections beyond that what is common in their families – but in an era of 40% intermarriage I believe that for the school to help them maintain that level is no small achievement.

    And yes, I do see materialism and pettiness amongst my students. But I see other things too. I see n understanding of their responsibility to the community around them – the Jewish community, the Australian community and the world. I see students volunteering to help Sudanese refugees with homework, to entertain Emmy Monash residents, to work for the RSPCA.

    Seraphya would prefer that if children see materialism in a school, at least let them not associate it with Judaism. I’m happy that when students in my school embrace a spirit of volunteering and service, they do associate it with Judaism.

  • frosh says:

    While I don’t agree that “Jewish schools are the key”, I think it’s great that R’ Kennard has made his argument so eloquently and in a forum where it can be debated.

    I’m not for using intermarriage rates as the measure of Jewish identity, but since R’ Kennard has mentioned it…. the reality is that intermarriage is far higher in the generations that have had Jewish day schooling than in their parents’ generation, where education was primarily in non-Jewish day schools.

    Now, I’m not suggesting that Jewish schools actually cause intermarriage, but merely questioning the idea that they prevent it.

    WITHIN the current generation, there may well be a stronger Jewish identity on average for Jewish day school students compared to their counterparts in public schools, but as Seraphya has said, this could easily be explained by the fact that “Parents who care about the Jewish identity of their children will send their children to Jewish Day Schools because they have been told that this is the way to accomplish their aim.”
    What is constantly overlooked is that levels of social anti-Semitism (as separate from political anti-Semitism, or what’s often termed the new anti-Semitism) have plummeted. The fall in social anti-Semitism is the most likely cause of increased assimilation. See this excellent article
    http://galusaustralis.com/2012/04/5869/when-it-comes-to-intermarriage-experts-confuse-cause-and-effect/

    Unfortunate as it may be, a little social anti-Semitism goes a long way in reinforcing Jewish identity. But you won’t find it in your Jewish schools! *smirk* Perhaps people have some ideas on how to revive it?

    I don’t want to dismiss the value of Jewish schools, and I DO think they are of value (and R’ Kennard has pointed out the many positives), but like Seraphya, I’m not sure they are the most economically efficient way in situations where economic efficiency is required.

  • TheSadducee says:

    Unfortunate as it may be, a little social anti-Semitism goes a long way in reinforcing Jewish identity. But you won’t find it in your Jewish schools! *smirk* Perhaps people have some ideas on how to revive it?

    – a few more cases of rabbis talking about goyish children and dogs will go a long way…

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Is anyone questioning the value of Jewish schooling? Surely the majority of questions are all about access and sustainability not quality.

    And is the elephant in the room halachic difference? We can’t talk about intermarriage at KDS in the same way as at MSC or YBR? Completely different “marriage” environments… but all private Jewish schools.

  • Yaron says:

    What seems to be coming out of this is that there are a range of paths to achieving strong Jewish identity and it is possible to achieve it without the Jewish days schools, and also possible within the Jewish day school system.

    From what R’Kennard is saying the schools are a great tool for those who want to outsource their Jewish education (although not limited to that group). However there are other possibilities available for parents.

    There are also governments around the world who sponsor foreign schools. The Australians sponsor schools in Indonesia, while the Saudis sponsor Islamic schools throughout the world.

    Now if we could just find a country in the world that would have an interest in Jewish continuity we may be able to convince them to sponsor some foreign day schools.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    First off – thanks Rabbi Kennard and Galus for enabling this discussion. .

    Overall it’s hard to argue with Rabbi Kennard that Jewish schools combined with Jewish home life offer the best chance at nurturing an integrated and rich Jewish identity . So value in itself is not at issue – but value can’t really be measured without looking at cost.

    On the question of access/affordability – the response often made by the schools’ leadership is that Jewish day schools are accessible to everyone – either by greater sacrifice on the part of parents or through financial assistance.

    But how do we measure the cost/benefit of the sacrifices that people make to send their kids to Jewish day schools which include having fewer kids, having both parents in the workforce full time with increased pressure /stress for families and at the cost of doing other things which enhance family and Jewish life such as more family time, greater involvement in communal life, and taking kids to Israel?

    And is it the right approach for the health of our community to set the expectation that commitment to Jewish education means that people who by any broad measure are very fortunate but ho don’t have the annual after tax $65,000 (school fees for three kids) , must extend themselves by borrowing, or ask for charity?

    On that point – I would be interested in how much time and thought is given to the fee assistance process itself. If the only solution that the organised community has on this question is a financial assistance model, then I suspect a lot more work needs to be done on how that process is managed and who manages it because currently it’s a “come and ask us for help” model – with no transparency and accountability around how much support is provided, whether fees presently include an element of subsidy, what the sources of funding are, how much funding is available in ‘the pool’, what the criteria are for eligibility and what it feels like for families to have to ask for financial assistance.

    Part of the mix in cost is that parents of kids at Jewish day schools also want great academic schools . And the schools have to spend money to sustain that and to maintain enrolments from people who can afford to choose between Jewish schools and other private schools . So for all our self congratulation on our communal commitment to Jewish education, it’s also very much about affluent people wanting academic excellence and broad subject choice, at the cost of affordability for a greater number of people.

    When Rabbi Kennard spoke about this at Yom Limmud he referred to the lack of strategic leadership in the community on this issue – and that is very evident because a strategic and community wide approach would bring home the urgency of the issue and what that means (And Yaron has provided an interesting perspective there), more coordination between Jewish day schools and meaningful support for alternatives to Jewish day schools

  • James says:

    Yaron,

    I suggest to call sending to a Jewish school “outsourcing” is a little rich, unless it also refers to any model other than the parents themselves spending a few hours each day sharing Jewish learning with their children. Is sending an older child to Yeshiva or Midrasha also “outsourcing”? For that matter is sending a child to school “outsourcing” the teaching of Maths, English, Science etc?

    It would be nice if there were a country prepared to subsidise Jewish schools around the world, but my belief is that we don’t have to search offshore for such funding when it certainly exists in our community.

    Jonny,

    I’m not sure why differences over halacha is “the elephant in the room”. It’s no problem to state that KDS, Bialik and Scholem would recognise marriages that the other schools would not, but that nevertheless every school is strengthening Jewish identity and hence Jewish continuity.

  • Philip Mendes says:

    I guess much of the question here is what type of Jewish school, and for whom? The Jewish community is very religiously diverse, and very pluralistic in how it believes Jewish values should be applied to contemporary issues. The only issue on which most Jews seem to agree is support for Israel, but even that is now more about what kind of Israel and which political groupings inside Israel? So any Jewish school that manages to find some type of consensus or balance is pretty remarkable. That is probably why we have so many Jewish schools in Melbourne claiming to offer different values or experiences. But the more IMPORTANT issue is for which Jewish students. Most of our schools only cater for the affluent, and that is a massive problem given that many Jews cannot afford upper middle-class fees. We should have the same range of schools for different socio-economic groups that exist within the Catholic school system.

  • Yaron says:

    I was not suggesting that all parents are using the day schools to outsource the Jewish education. I was using it as one example of where a Jewish day school would be of clear benefit.

    There are other models where the Jewish day schools are of benefit, but I was using it as an example where everyone would accept the value of the Jewish day schools.

    One question that seems to have not been raised is home schooling. It would have to be financially beneficial to some families, and there would be no question of not being Jewishly immersed.

    At the very least a child can be ‘partially home schooled’ with a parent taking 2-3 hours a day to teach their children, even during school hours.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    James it’s an elephant in the room because as a measure of success it is not as unified as your comments would suggest… You simply cannot draw a link about Jewish Schools’ impact on ״minimising intermarriage” and therefore strengthening identity continuity with any legitimacy when you don’t distinguish between the different approaches of each institution; and identify what intermarriage means in each context.
    I think it was poorly defined in the gen 08 as well.

    If you are saying that all approaches are good then I think you make the measure irrelevant generally.

  • Otto Waldmann says:

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  • R B says:

    I think that as long as the annual cost of a Jewish day school is about 25,000$ after-tax per student, it cannot have a significant impact on the continuity of Australian Jewish community, for the simple reason that only a small part of the community can afford it.

    If Australian Jewish community was serious about Jewish education as an important tool in building Jewish identity, we’d see more affordable Jewish day school – with a good curriculum on both Jewish and secular subject, but without the other characteristics of Melbourne Jewish day schools like large-scale fancy campuses, swimming pools, sophisticated labs, and expensive trips to Israel (thousands of dollars on top of the school fees).

    The sad reality is that the community, and especially those who are in charge of education, prefer to continue business as usual and ignore the needs of the community. I recall the principal of Yavne Leibler saying in the last Limmud Oz day that “parents should sacrifice luxuries in order to afford a Jewish day school”. Sacrifice luxuries? For parents with three kids, it is 75,000$ a year – almost the average net income of an Australian working couple. What luxuries can such a couple sacrifice for Jewish education? Such sayings by a school principal show unawareness of socio-economic reality.

    Meanwhile, those who are interested in strong Jewish identity of their kids, can follow Seraphya’s suggestions detailed above, they are not bad at all.

    And yes, Jewish day schools alone are not enough.

    Look at the Israelis, all go to state-run Jewish schools, no tuition. Even in the non-religious schools – I attended such schools – they study Bible (mandatory from year 2 to 12), Jewish history (mandatory from year 5 to 12), and even some religious studies. The “rhythm of the year”, as Rabbi Kennard calls it, exists as well, especially in kindergartens and primary schools. However, if the graduates of these schools get out of Israel when they grow up, the weakness of their Jewish identity is revealed: Intermarriage rate among Israeli expats is 80% – much more than in the local Jewish communities in the same countries. Moreover, most of them have very weak connections, if at all, with the local Jewish communities – sometimes this is on purpose, sometimes due to indifference.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Well said RB.

  • Ian Grinblat says:

    Like Rabbi Kennard, I went to government schools and I agree with his comment that it is difficult in that environment to integrate one’s Jewish life with the “outside”. An additional problem is that Jewish education then has to be offered at Sunday and after-school classes which take a great deal of homework time.
    Rabbi Kennard is also correct about maximising attachment to Judaism even if he begs the question (don’t we want to give that Jewish commitment and knowledge all the help we can?)
    I think far too many of the commenters make too much of the high fees for Jewish schooling and the expensive facilities the day schools boast. The starting point is that we are fortunate that as a whole our community is wealthy. If Jewish schools were not available or did not offer drama, art and music and great sporting facilities, some/many of those parents who could afford to do so would send their children to non-Jewish schools that offer those facilities. In addition, all middle-class/aspirational parents are ambitious for their children and want to maximise their opportunities – this is not a crime and even if the only clear indicator for Year 12 success is residential postcode, none of us will take that chance.
    Although my wife and I made sure that ours was a home in which traditional Jewish touchstones – kashrut, Shabbat, yomtov, shul attendance, community involvement and tzedakah – were maintained, it was their attendance at Jewish schools that immersed them in Judaism and extended their knowledge far beyond what we could offer. We now see our grandchildren coming home from their day schools keen to share what they have learned. It makes every penny of the fees worthwhile.

  • R B says:

    Ian,

    Our community is not wealthy; there are wealthy people in our community. This does not help the others with the school fees, which are not affordable even for most families, where both parents are educated and work full-time. These families currently do not have a choice but a non-Jewish, public school.

    So, should this be the situation just because some wealthy parents may prefer a stylish non-Jewish school no a no-frills Jewish school? Is that what Jewish schools aim at?

  • Ronit says:

    Paraphrasing a conversation I overheard just last week at one of the Jewish Youth Movement camps. The conversation took place between a group of grade 4 boys, all of whom except one, attend a Jewish day school.

    The group of boys, upon finding out that the other boy does not attend a Jewish school, but rather a State school, began to ‘dig into him’ with a sense of social superiority. “Why don’t you go to a Jewish school?”

    His response: “Because my parents haven’t been so lucky to win the lottery yet…”

    Ten-year-old boys.

    Out of the mouth of babes…

  • letters in the age says:

    Jewish schooling is…

    The white flight by the jewish middle class to remove themselves from the “other” sector of the diaspora

    Many thanks to the erudite Rabbi but its a calculated choice by parents for sociological reasons other than just Jewish values et al

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    On a critical note, this Kennard-speak of “compartmentalising life”, reiterated by Ian, is wearing a little thin as reflections of the 70s… At Glen Eira College we are doing Hebrew in class time three hours a week excluding assembly presentations etc, The Holocaust assembly was for all year 7 and 8s in class time, Jewish festivals are at lunchtime on campus, and JSN is at school…the Afterschool program is literally the final lesson of the day on Thursday and is informal Jewish Ed. the roots project and R&S will be in class time… There is no Sunday school because our kids play sports with Maccabi…

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    And just to fill that out… The French kids do the same to keep continuity of their culture and the Chinese kids do the same and the Hindu kids.. But… The great part is the Jewish kids will go to the French events like Bastille Day or Chinese New Year, and the Chinese kids are welcome at the Jewish events and the Jewish and Chinese kids will participate with the French events etc etc…

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Ian, beyond your statement…”Although my wife and I made sure that ours was a home in which traditional Jewish touchstones – kashrut, Shabbat, yomtov, shul attendance, community involvement and tzedakah”

    … what more do under 17s need on the Jewish front?

    Editor: Jonny, as our editorial policy requests, please only post one comment at a time – ie. please wait for someone to respond before posting subsequent comments.

  • Mandi Katz says:

    the big question I have is why there is so much denial/lack of understanding that it’s not only a question of sacrifice or whether every penny is “worthwhile”.

    For many people no matter how much they sacrifice, and no matter how worthwhile the sacrifice, they can’t manage school fees of around $25,000 per kid per year. And others have to choose between financial security such as owning a(usually modest) home and having a decent quality of life – we’re not not talking “lifestyle” choices but real quality of life considerations.

    It is also a changing landscape. Twenty and thirty years ago a family could send two or three kids to Jewish schools on a middle class salary – maybe with a second part time income. Today you need two very hefty incomes or one mega income to do that.

    One factor in this is that teachers are finally getting some pay equity and that it a wonderful thing. But in the state system, the government meets that (as it should).

    On ‘no frills’ schools – in some ways we already have that. Yeshiva and Beth Rivka in Victoria both receive higher levels government funding than say Scopus and Bialik under the current state funding model and that, coupled with very generous policies on fee relief, means that the schools are more financially accessible. But would it be a good thing in terms of cultivating Jewish identity to send kids form traditional or secular but very much not observant homes to religious schools. There’s lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest it can be counter productive.

    But a no frills cross cultural or non denominational private Jewish school probably wouldn’t work. In a way that’s how Mt Scopus started but the parent body, the majority of whom are, as Ian says affluent and aspirational (and that’s not a criticism, having aspirations for one’s kids is admirable but let’s at least be honest that the schools are as much about that as they are about Jewish identity and content) and want schools with great facilities and choices.

    Also I believe the way funding works is that for tax reasons as well as human nature, it’s easier to get donations for capital works than to feed operating costs.

    The issue has to be addressed with a multi pronged strategy and has to depend more on government funding for core educational needs for people for whom priovate school is not a real option – which means we as a community have to get serious about Jewish programming at state schools and better support for UJEB and JSN.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Well said Mandi, sorry eds… Just thoughts over breakfast…

  • James says:

    Jonny asks

    (apart from) kashrut, Shabbat, yomtov, shul attendance, community involvement and tzedakah, what more do under 17s need on the Jewish front?

    How about

    Jewish knowledge and the skills to pursue Jewish learning independently
    Charismatic and inspiring Jewish educators and role models
    World class visiting speakers
    A large pool from which to choose Jewish friends
    Real-time engagement events in Israel and the Jewish world
    A safe and empowering environment in which to explore and extend Jewish observance
    Jewish-themed Community and Service opportunities
    Jewish chaplaincy

    and so on….?

    This debate seems to have run its course – perhaps because we clearly have very different ideas about what Jewish young people need, and hence what we mean by “Jewish Education”.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    Would be happy to read anything useful that the Jewish Educators, and particularly R Kennard would like to share about actually defining “Jewish Education”. All of those items listed by R Kennard can be accessed, and in fact must be accessed, from birth for a lifetime, and through multiple avenues. And must be in great part the province of Synagogues and Community Centres, and learning groups and Clubs…

    Here is my take on defining Jewish Education provoked by parents who needed a platform for decision making … but I am not a Jewish Educator…

    http://galusaustralis.com/2012/07/6177/unpacking-jewish-education-a-framework-to-help-parents/

    I am in favour of the Jewish Day School system… It is very special. But as RB put earlier. Not the key to continuity given inaccessibility. Appreciating the 40% who use the State system are not R Kennards constituents. And the remainder are split between more than 7 other institutions…who all value different elements differently.

  • Jonny Schauder says:

    My full comment did not upload properly… A sign that I wrote something inappropriate…in short I was saying that people could read my definition of Jewish Education here:

    http://galusaustralis.com/2012/07/6177/unpacking-jewish-education-a-framework-to-help-parents/

    Im not a Jewish Educator. I’d invite proper Jewish Educators to publish their definition of “Jewish Education” as young parents need a proper platform for decision making.

  • R B says:

    Mandy,

    Thanks for the historical perspective.

    So, as I understand, the current character of schools like MSC was formed at times, where such a school was affordable by most middle-class families – maybe the time has come to revise that?

    The problem is that none of the involved has an interest in that – neither the schools no the current parents who are all high-income-earners, and can afford the current fees. Who loses – those who cannot afford, and the Jewish community as a whole. A change can come only from the outsiders; their number is growing, and I believe that nowadays there is a justification for a no-frills Jewish school.

    Re the options that Chabbad provides, while I know many Modern Orthodox and traditional families who send their daughters to Beth Rivka, I cannot tell the same about their sons – Yeshiva does not provide secular studies at the same level that satisfies the parents, and since it a boys’ school, the students are taught lots of Chabbad ideology, which is not everyone’s cup of tea – not to mention other issues that have been revealed during recent years.

  • letters in the age says:

    Charismatic leaders….???

    What defines a leader as having Charisma within the Jewish context…??

    Wit with wisdom is subjective.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    I have come into this debate at the tail end. The comments makes interesting reading. I’ll read the article next. My solution to a lot of the issues raised here is this for what it is worth. For many years, Melbourne’s predominately Jewish suburbs have been overpriced and unless your family has accumulated wealth or ‘won the lotto’ as one very astute year 4 boy put it(and kol hakavod, such an answer deserves a full scholarship to a Jewish school for the lad) the Jewish schools are out of your reach.
    My solution would be to set up a community in the Gippsland. Buy a property of 150 to 160 acres and build an agricultural college – Jewish Agricultural College of Australia JACA and build housing on the kibbutz style arrangement, except the people living there would buy into their own houses or rent houses built by investors. Part of it would be for boarders and I think at first you would have students who are falling behind in the mainstream Jewish schools who could do subjects at the college for two or three days in a strictly Jewish environment and they could travel by train to Drouin or if there was enough demand for such a school, the students could bus out to the school. It would be a school for all Jewish students but the basic values underpinning such a school should be Orthodox ones so if someone came from King David they would be abiding by Orthodox school values. It would be only for boys in the beginning and if it was successful, then a girls school could be built. The emphasis would be on turning out good decent citizens with Jewish values and a Jewish global perspective. That means a boy from Adass, Yeshiva or Yavene or Scopus should feel comfortable there. It may not be so comfortable for a King David style of Judaism but then you can’t please everyone. Housing would be much cheaper and those who are in professions that can work from home could probably set up a home office. The steel kit homes from

    http://www.sheds.com.au/gallery/2441/Country_Home.html

    http://www.sheds.com.au/gallery/2445/Aussie_Retreat.html

    Would be quite affordable and probably you could build a five bedroom house with around two or three bathrooms for maybe $100,000
    once you had all the fittings etc.
    It would have to be a joint community project and you would want to incorporate a convention centre which could be used for camps, a rural retreat with kosher restaurant serving produce from the college and the students would learn important life skills in hospitality, agriculture, animal husbandry and the like. It would produce goats’ milk products as well as sheeps milk products and the ideas in agriculture are endless and worth researching – growing saffron, herbs and organic produce and poultry for eggs and meat.
    It would have to be very well thought out and organised and there are many ideas on that amount of land that a small community could put into action to make money and live a kosher country lifestyle.
    Now when I go out and win the 30 million lotto, I will get back to you and ask for volunteers both in Israel and Australia and we could form some brother sister relationships with a kibbutz or two in Israel and learn from them and they from us. :-)

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    Editor: please do not comment on moderation policies in the threads. You can email alexfein@galusaustralis.com with any comments or questions regarding moderation.

    Are we not allowed to post about building up alternatives to the present Jewish education system and the present suburbs of Caulfield and Bentleigh East?
    Change and movement is a good thing. Carlton and Brunswick were some of the first areas with Jewish communities and Shepparton as well. We all need vision and especially in Education.

  • Jonny says:

    No need to shut down the discussion just yet. It’s actually very important for a lot of people who are making tough decisions. We might just be getting somewhere.

    For those who want a definition of Jewish Education I’d love your thoughts on my Galus article from a while ago.

    http://galusaustralis.com/2012/07/6177/unpacking-jewish-education-a-framework-to-help-parents/

    Time for real Jewish Educators to put their vision on paper and define what exactly we’re aiming for. I’m no Jewish Education expert. Just a parent trying their best.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Apologies, Jonny and Ilana. Your posts went through to the spam folder by mistake, because they contained links and were therefore flagged by the spam filter. I’ve reinstated the comments. Have a good evening.

  • letters in the age says:

    Last point…

    The Jewish day school system caters for mainly third generations only now i assume.

    The marketing dollars and budgets of these schools should be directed towards other more inclusive options like a buddy system where they tutor other external students in a composite class of different ages and groups.

    #just an idea

  • letters in the age says:

    Seraphya…

    The Jewish princess syndrome is a condition that many would want to avoid in some of these schools

    That’s your right and i empathise with your observations

    Self entitlement is an annoying characteristic of gen y …

    Interesting to see how the next gen evolve and become a little more decent than their parents..

    Doubt it!

  • Alex Fein says:

    Letters, please do not comment directly after you’ve already commented. Please wait until at least one other person has commented before commenting again.

  • letters in the age says:

    Ok…

    ;)

  • Sunshine says:

    Many thanks Rabbi. As always you write well. My question is….As the principal of a Jewish day school of which 10-20 percent of the student swill have to deal with homosexuality, how does the Rabbi part of you deal with the obvious conflict that a Non jewish school or government school would better help these students where an orthodox school would have this as a conflict of interest?

    Since your school has not joined the SCCV for reasons of being orthodox don’t you feel that the Jewish homosexual students are better served outside our orthodox community where their needs are better taken care of than in a community that will not tolerate them.

    I believe whole heatedly in the Jewish day school system but the pressure on students within the orthodox and more religious schools to hide their sexuality is far more dangerous than going to a school of Non Jews where they can be them selves.

    How do you as a Principle and a Rabbi deal with this in a school that may be orthodox on the paper it is written on but certainly not in the people who attend. And then reconcile this with wanting to Maintain a Jewish identity when Orthodox Jews wont accept Homosexuals students and adults for who they are.

    I deliberately chose to remove my children from an orthodox school because of the close mindedness of the school and its teachers. I believe my children are better Jews for it.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    @ Sunshine
    I am probably an interfering old thing in commenting on this question addressed to the good rabbi, but I can’t help butting in. I actually think your view of Jewish day schools and the orthodox schools as quite narrow minded.
    Most young people go through a period of time when they can be quite confused about their gender identity in today’s times and their sense of self and sexual identity is in flux.I actually think it is quite manipulative and even dangerous the way some students’ sexual identity is ‘defined’ for want of a better word by the perceptions of others.
    Very few people are what you would call ‘gay or homosexual’ but I think the increase in the number of homosexuals has to do with a fashion or out there avant garde personalities and often it can be a form of rebellion and a way to fit in by not fitting in to the ‘norm’ of society. That does not mean to say that I trivialize or demean the very real gender crisis that some kids do undergo. These people are very vulnerable and can be easily preyed on by the unscrupulous and immoral and amoral elements in a society for their own gratification.
    Frankly I would want to keep such a student in a normal Jewish environment and I think it would give him or her more chances to find him or herself unless such a child was determined to follow an openly homosexual lifestyle and then you would have to say, go your own way but such a lifestyle is possibly at odds with the Jewish Orthodox lifestyle that underpins the values of the school.
    Does being in a non Jewish environment make it easier for the determinedly ‘gay’ or homosexual Jewish student to feel accepted? I do not know but I can think of situations where it could be worst and that student could be subjected to even more than homophobia, but antisemitism as well.
    I think it is about values and lifestyle choices and we all make choices. I think we can ask for tolerance and understanding, but at the end of the day, it is up to the students and the school and each situation is different.
    I did have homosexual students of both genders in my classes many years ago and their lifestyle choices were never an issue for me, as I was there to teach them English, ESL and Australian History, not to pass judgement on their lifestyle choices. So long as they did their homework, understood the texts and involved themselves in debates and discussion in class, I did not have a problem. What they did after school and how they lived was not my concern. Their grammar, vocabulary, expression, content and structural elements of essays were. Nor would I want their lifestyles to be to be any concern of mine. I have enough to do with ensuring I lead a good life that is in keeping with my values. Anyway there are plenty of people who have made very good contributions to literature and who are historians of some note, who might lead unusual lifestyles but they can still contribute to society in amazing ways. However, to judge all Orthodox schools as unfriendly and narrow minded religious institutions does them a great disservice.
    Obviously society at large does not agree with your perceptions of the Jewish Orthodox schools as they regularly appear at the top of the academic listings in the VCE. There is far more depth to the Jewish Orthodox education institutions than you appear to give them credit. Maybe it is your narrow minded perceptions that needs to change? Not theirs.

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H
    Correction “Maybe it is your narrow minded perception that needs to change? Not theirs.”
    Sorry it is late. I do know that is no excuse.

  • Alex Fein says:

    Ilana, please do not post one comment after another. Please wait until someone else has commented before making a subsequent comment. This includes corrections to previous comments. Please proof read all comments before posting rather than making corrections.

  • Sunshine says:

    Thanks Ilana and I don’t mind you replying.

    In total with all my children I spent more than 27 years in orthodox schools. I have a very good idea of how they are taught – I am neither religious nor narrow minded which is why I wanted my children to have the option of a religious education which I could not give them.

    I had to remove them when they and their friends and their friends parents were so narrow minded not only in relation to homosexuality but also to non- Jews across the board. one particular shabbos lunch involved a discussion on would you rather your child married out or was gay! A debate on which was the lessor of two evils.

    Reform Jewish day school and schools like Bialik are very different in their approach and do a lot of good in this area.

    My concern was that an orthodox school preaches but does not actually teach real tolerance was well founded. Your comment in relations to “what they did and how they lived was not my concern” is exactly my point.

    How children behave at school is more often than not a direct reflection of emotional events outside of school, at home or with friends that teachers and schools never see. Simply turning in your homework on time is never a true reflection of how a child is coping. How many youth suicides are followed with talk that “she was such a wonderful child” yet no one knew about the conflict of being gay or being bullied or being abused.

    As an educator if your only guideline is homework and doing the work how many students have teachers let down because gay students were at odds with Orthodoxy.

    My fear- how does a parent know if their child is gay. we don’t and if a school does not provide an environment for children to feel safe and have counselling but rather feel ostracised and a pariah there is a danger of real damage to the child before the parent knows.

    To what extent does Gay bashing and excuses such as yours where you think its just “fashionable to be gay” lead to deep emotional trauma in children who think they are simply doing something wrong in a way they don’t understand.

    At the non Jewish school my children attend they handle this incredible well and all children are educated in the area of mental health including homosexuality. When a school like Scopus does not join the SSCV it tells me it is ok to be friendly as long as you are not homosexual. This to me is racist and belongs in Nazi Germany or Apartheid South Africa.

    Ask yourself why intermarriage is so high- its because Jews are finding far more acceptance and less judgement outside their religion. It is terribly sad but true.

    In terms of VCE results I recently heard a good analogy …Jewish day schools stand behind their students pushing them hardtop achieve well for the school. Non Jewish schools walk besides their students encouraging them to do what is best for the student.

    I have experienced both and this is true. At the Jewish day school my children’s results were for the schools credentials and the school my remaining children are at it is all about my children.

    This is true education

  • Ilana Leeds says:

    Editor: Ilana, this comment is overly long and near incomprehensible. It seems you are quoting someone withpout differentiating between the quote and your own comments. Please do not do this again. Please keep your comments brief and clear.
    B’H
    I have answered the points you have addressed in your post because to do so at length expressing my personal philosophy would take an epic. I am not Homer or Dante.

    In total with all my children I spent more than 27 years in orthodox schools. I have a very good idea of how they are taught – I am neither religious nor narrow minded which is why I wanted my children to have the option of a religious education which I could not give them.
    It does not matter Sunshine how many years you spent with your children in this or that school, I hate to disillusion you but you have ‘no idea’ how they were taught. You have your child’s subjective judgments on the teacher of any subject which may or may not be correct or partly correct. There are teachers who teach bugger all to their students but they get on well with them and they are popular. There are teachers who are hated because they are very structured and rigid but they know their subject well and work their students hard. Then there are teachers who inspire a love of learning and they are the exceptional teachers. If you think that state schools are the bees knees when it comes to tolerance that I fear your experience of state schools and even private schools is narrow.

    I had to remove them when they and their friends and their friends parents were so narrow minded not only in relation to homosexuality but also to non- Jews across the board. One particular shabbos lunch involved a discussion on would you rather your child married out or was gay! A debate on which was the lessor of two evils.
    So what is so wrong about people debating that issue? Why didn’t they add the proviso of and if he or she married Jewishly? On Saudi Arabian TV they debate how to beat your wife or FGM to varying degrees. I consider that far far worse.

    Reform Jewish day school and schools like Bialik are very different in their approach and do a lot of good in this area.
    Didn’t Bialik just sack a ‘gay principal’ a few months or more back? That was not very liberal minded of them, was it?

    My concern was that an orthodox school preaches but does not actually teach real tolerance was well founded. Your comment in relations to “what they did and how they lived was not my concern” is exactly my point.

    How children behave at school is more often than not a direct reflection of emotional events outside of school, at home or with friends that teachers and schools never see. ***Simply turning in your homework on time is never a true reflection of how a child is coping. How many youth suicides are followed with talk that “she was such a wonderful child” yet no one knew about the conflict of being gay or being bullied or being abused.
    ***There you are very wrong. You can tell a lot from how a student is working in class and doing homework. You also observe peer relationships in the classroom situation and assess how the student is coping and refer to the counselor where necessary. That is the counselors’ role to assist the emotional and mental health of students. You as the teacher make a referral and also there is the Duty of CARE and mandatory reporting if you are aware of a student’s distress, possible abuse issues or discrimination. It is NOT a subject teacher’s role to play counselor and make ‘diagnoses’ about students. That is highly dangerous and should be left to the relevant professionals who deal with those sorts of issues all the time. Teachers ensure that students get the appropriate and best help.

    As an educator if your only guideline is homework and doing the work how many students have teachers let down because gay students were at odds with Orthodoxy.
    You have to try and imagine that your child in most subjects is one of 20 to 30 students taught by a teacher who teaches another five or six of those classes with different students. As an English teacher at one school with classes of 28 to 35 students in English X 3 and 5 drama classes of admittedly only up to 22 students, I was dealing with and writing reports twice a year for just over 200 students. I do not want to be rude, but I had to maximize the learning time, making interesting and relevant lessons in Drama and English for these students on whom I had to write the appropriate assessments of the course work. I did not have time to poke into their personal lives and NOR would I want to. My business was, if they were bullied or discriminated against in any way in the classroom or playground to have it addressed and not by me who was the English Drama teacher but by the school counselor whose business it is and who has the relevant resources at her or his disposal to do so. You listen and you make the appropriate referrals. I hate subject teachers who try to act as the kids’ counselor and friend. Most subject teachers do NOT have the time to play counselor. There was one time when I did make an exception to pursuing a case in defense of a student. I lost my teaching career over it.
    Why I made the complaint against a principal in 2005 after various incidents and discrimination against me was because I had intervened in conversation between a year 11 boy and his friends making fun of a year 8 girl’s private parts (yes she was a bit of a run around according to the local gossip if you listened, but even if she was, she still deserves to be safe and secure as well as free from sexual harassment at school and in the classroom and corridors) when I told him it was not appropriate, he then made reference to the fact I was a single parent and commented on my privates which ended him up in the principal’s and the deputy principal’s office. They were bits of lads and thought it was all a bit of a skylark. They treated me like a joke. I ended up making a complaint to the District Officer for the Region about their behaviour and it was upheld and thus the whole battle started. I lost. He had 37 years in the Union which represented both he and me and he had lots of contacts in higher places. Some people do not like constructive criticism from subordinates.

    My fear- how does a parent know if their child is gay? We don’t and if a school does not provide an environment for children to feel safe and have counselling but rather feel ostracized and a pariah there is a danger of real damage to the child before the parent knows.
    My question to you is why would you fear your child was gay if you are so ‘liberal minded about it? I am sure most schools to varying degrees have counselors. One of the problems I faced as a teacher in NSW was the fact that we had high need for counselors in the Riverina and there was one counselor for three or four schools. So if you have a kid with a melt – down on Monday which given that the week-end has just been and Dad has gotten drunk or stoned and beaten the crap out of Mum and some of the kids and your 12 year old sister was bashed and /or raped on the same weekend by one of Dad’s mates, this kid would have to wait until Thursday to see the counselor to process all this, because Thursday was the day the counselor came to that school.

    To what extent does Gay bashing and excuses such as yours where you think it’s just “fashionable to be gay” lead to deep emotional trauma in children who think they are simply doing something wrong in a way they don’t understand.
    We are not going to see eye to eye on this so please don’t try to go there. Gay bashing has never does not and will not occur in any classroom that I have taught in. The class room is a safe environment or should be where all people are respected. Our personal sexual orientation or gender whatever is not relevant to English, ESL or literacy or History. Yes it has come up when you read writers of certain sexual orientations, but certainly that should not be the main focus. I get very concerned as a single parent that my son has to sit in a classroom where they discuss two mummies and two daddies as a normal course of events (?) and thus my son comes home and says to me ‘why haven’t you got a girlfriend Mummy?’ and my reply to him has always been because we are Orthodox and observant Jews and we do not have Mummies with Mummies or Daddies with Daddies and indeed we do not have boyfriends and girlfriends. We simply have a wife or a husband at the appropriate time.
    Every family and school espouses values that are important to the individual and the family. Sometimes you have to be flexible otherwise you have chaos. Values, however do give the moral foundations for society as a larger extension of the community and family. We are in grave danger of losing our moral compass through the tolerance and PC push to accept everyone and anyone. Where does it end? Somewhere we draw the boundary lines and I am allowed to do that for my self and my family without hurting others or demeaning them. It is not a principle of living that I must support gay marriage and I would find such a concept difficult while I have no problem having gay students in my classroom and I teach them the same way I teach other students – with enthusiasm and respect. Their private life is not my business and nor do I want it to be. I do not bring my private life into a classroom. That is totally inappropriate.

    At the non Jewish school my children attend they handle this incredibly well and all children are educated in the area of mental health including homosexuality. When a school like Scopus does not join the SSCV it tells me it is ok to be friendly as long as you are not homosexual. This to me is racist and belongs in Nazi Germany or Apartheid South Africa.
    Racist is perhaps the incorrect term to use here. Don’t you mean sexist or genderist? If you look at the definition of racism it is simply as defined in this link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_discrimination

    Ask yourself why intermarriage is so high- its because Jews are finding far more acceptance and less judgment outside their religion. It is terribly sad but true.
    That is your perception. My perception is that Jews intermarry because they have
    A) Not been given reason to value their faith sufficiently to ensure that they marry Jewish. It could also boil down to education and relevant Jewish experiences that somehow did not inspire them to value their faith.
    B) Young Jews are influenced by the social mores of the non Jewish world which are very suspect in many ways today. Human nature is to find a mate or kindred soul out there but for many, they grow up confused, live a confused life and die confused.
    C) It is easier to marry a non Jew because there are fewer expectations and perhaps it is forbidden fruit and often perceived as ‘sweeter.’
    D) How deep is that acceptance? That is another question one should reflect on.

    In terms of VCE results I recently heard a good analogy …Jewish day schools stand behind their students pushing them hardtop achieve well for the school. Non Jewish schools walk besides their students encouraging them to do what is best for the student. I think you need to take off the rose coloured glasses, with all due respect. Where was that attitude when my son was bullied and assaulted at his city state school necessitating me removing him to a smaller more caring country school?

    I actually think that is not true of all Jewish day schools. Friends who have taught in several Jewish days schools have said otherwise. You can find government schools and non Jewish schools who are VERY concerned for the school ‘product’ which is their results, not just Jewish schools.

    I have experienced both and this is true. At the Jewish day school my children’s results were for the schools credentials (and that is not true of the non Jewish state schools???) and the school my remaining children are at it is all about my children.
    This is true education.

    Education is always about the children or the students. That is the purpose of education. If there are no students, there is no school and no education.

  • Avigael says:

    Australian Jewish Schools systematically refuse to accept Jewish Children forcing them to go elsewhere. Those who do manage to get in, navigate child abuse and a host of other maliades, many leaving Judaism altogether. US stats stand at 19% thinking Jewish Law is important – I wonder what the stats are in Australia? Less I would expect. Overall a very tragic result.

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