Jewish Education

Are Scaled-Down Yeshivas A Bargain?


Assistant Managing Editor
Forget the sports teams, the debating club, or the science lab. Get used to a more crowded classroom, with only one teacher. And if there are any computers, they won’t be state-of-the-art. Welcome to the low-cost, no-frills yeshiva, an idea whose time may have come in this era of financial struggle, and one that could be a reality as soon as next year. The Orthodox Union says 135 existing schools in North America are in discussions about creating new, discount full-time Jewish education for $6,500 per year, or less than half the current average of $15,000.

A Conservative Remarriage

Assistant Managing Editor
In a bid to strengthen Conservative life in one of the Brooklyn’s most heavily Orthodox neighborhoods, the East Midwood Jewish Center has reached an agreement to keep 160 day school students learning on its premises. The accord will be a new phase in the 50-year relationship between the landmark, 85-year-old Jewish Center and the East Midwood Hebrew Day School, also known as the Harry Halpern Educational Center, and pump new life into an institution that has been struggling financially.

Yeshiva Brain Drain Feared

Staff Writer
Now that city teachers have won a hefty, 16 percent pay raise, Jewish education experts are worried about an exodus from day schools to public schools. According to a survey by the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York last year, the average maximum salary for head teachers at yeshivas and day schools is about $35,000.

`Money For Mitzvahs’

The “Cash for Clunkers” experiment has come and gone, but what was intended for car owners to benefit from increasing their vehicles’ fuel efficiency could be applied to improve Jewish life as well.

The premise would be the same - a valuable voucher or reward going to folks who trade in something less efficient for something on the next level - but our community could make use of it by having consumers of Jewish practice and education be rewarded for stepping up their commitment.

High Praise For Be’er Hagolah

Staff Writer
When Anna Motsenyat graduated Be’er Hagolah Institute in 1994, her last day of classes did not mean goodbye. “I kept in touch,” said Motsenyat, a 22-year-old who came here from St. Petersburg in 1987. Many of Be’er Hagolah’s students maintain ties with the yeshiva which, located in Starrett City, currently has an enrollment of 1,000 students from the former Soviet Union. But Motsenyat took her connection with the school a step further last year when she returned to her alma mater as a Judaic Studies teacher and program coordinator.

Jewish Test Scores Seen As ëWake-Up Callí

Associate Editor

In a development that has Jewish educators looking inward, more than half of all fourth-graders in New York City area Jewish schools failed to meet state standards for reading and writing, according to statistics on private schools released last week.The passing rate of 48.6 percent for Jewish schools was slightly higher than the 41 percent for Catholic schools.

Day Schools Facing New Dilemma

Associate Editor

With Jewish day schools reeling from a statewide test revealing that more than half of their fourth-graders failed to meet state reading standards, Jewish schools are now being confronted by a new test ó but only for principals and with only one question:Will the strategy be to improve academically, or to simply exclude those students who might drag down the scores?That question was posed by Rabbi Martin Schloss, director of school services for the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York.ìMy great fear is that some of schools that didnít do well will become overly

Why Yoni Canít Read ó Or Daven

Associate Editor

Abe Katz, a parent from Queens and a graduate of Bostonís Maimonides school as well as Yeshiva University, writes: ìI am the father of 17-year-old triplets (two boys and a girl)who have always attended a day school so that I feel a little bit like an expertî on Jewish education.

Sunday With The Ark

Staff Writer
For four years Lisa Amzallag's son, Daniel, 11, attended a Hebrew school in Manhattan that met two days a week from 4 to 6 p.m. Two years ago she enrolled him in the Jewish Youth Connection, which meets Sundays for 22 hours. The JYC experience has been much more rewarding for her son, Amzallag says. "To me, there is no comparison between his learning in one year compared to his experience in the afternoon program," she said. "Not only that, his attitude is terrific."

Modern Orthodox Rabbinical School Planned

Associate Editor

In what observers see as a challenge to Yeshiva University's hegemony over the Modern Orthodox rabbinate, Rabbis Avi Weiss and Saul Berman are launching a new Modern Orthodox rabbinical school in Manhattan.

The founders are pledging ìrespectful interactionî with all Jewish movements while ìexpanding the role of women in religious life and leadership.

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