It’s always quite gratifying to see somebody who agrees with me. It happens so rarely!
Of course, it is more likely to happen through somebody who hasn’t read my blog and doesn’t know that he is agreeing with me.
In this case, I am referring to an issue that is not exclusive to the chareidi camp and, as such, my newfound ally is not a member of the chareidi camp. Yet, he is addressing a crisis that affects all shades of religious Jews and so we are all in the same boat.
The issue at hand is the prohibitive cost of day school and high school tuitions in the United States. I wrote about it back in January, 2016 (click HERE) from the comfort of Eretz Yisroel where we are not overwhelmed by this plague. I made two suggestions:
1. Get out of the US and move here (works for me)
2. Drop the secular education from the Jewish school system and replace it with state funded and accredited online education (distance learning).
Well, I am gratified to see a fellow oleh to Eretz Yisroel get on to a blog site (click HERE) and preach what amounts to almost the exact same two suggestions. His name is Reuven Spolter formerly from Oak Park, Michigan. This is what he suggests:
1. Get out of the US and move here (works for him)
2. Drop the secular education from the Jewish school system and replace it with state funded and accredited charter schools.
A number of commenters have challenged his charter school idea as being discriminatory. There are numerous other issues:
· Such schools, as a physical facility, will need to be located somewhere other than the religious school and will thus force students and parents to have to deal with two school locations on a standard school day.
· The states are not likely to set up a parallel secular school for each religious school, but rather large regional ones to deal with a big population. As such, the charter school serving Lakewood and Deal, for example, may wind up in Freehold.
· The hours will need to be unconventional.
· It is questionable if religious needs for being gender segregated or other thing will be upheld by the government.
All of these concerns do not apply to my online distance learning plan. The only problem with my plan is that it is currently not operational in many of the most vital states. I wrote that I think this problem can be fixed.
As I wrote, it is very gratifying to see somebody from a different sector take up this issue and propose a similar course of action. This is for two reasons:
· If you would like to consider my proposal a harebrained idea put out by a radical free-thinking farfrumta chareidi from the dark ages, I can now point to somebody who isn’t a radical free-thinking farfrumta chareidi from the dark ages who seems to be just as harebrained.
· If somebody who isn’t a radical free-thinking farfrumta chareidi from the dark ages makes such a proposal, maybe somebody will actually listen.
Rabbi Spolter and I do have one thing in common. We are both living in Eretz Yisroel, out of the loop. Far away from all of the American askanim who really count, and who must know better. Who is wiser? Is the sun getting the best of us or is the pollution (and GMOs) getting the best of the Americans?
Of course, I (and Rabbi Spolter), am still advocating the preferred course of action: make Aliya.
You know why?
Not only because health and education is so much more affordable, but also because:
אווירא דארעא מחכים!