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Some reasons why I'm not sending to public school
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 1:57 pm
amother [ Catmint ] wrote:
But don't the majority of these fall away if more of us send to public schools? If many in our community send to public schools, then there would be more in yarmulkes and tzitzis, social events on other days of the week, kosher food in class parties, etc?


The purpose of Government schools is for Government to MOLD the citizens they want.

100 years ago Government wanted Christian Citizens (schools had Christian prayers),
well educated, law-abiding and PATRIOTIC.

Today Government wants SECULAR (atheist) Citizens (Schools teach evolution as a fact -
even voluntary prayer is banned), Teach LGBTQT - which is Anti Christian as well as Anti-Torah, barely literate or numerate (ON PURPOSE), and HATING America as Fundamentally Racist.

And Socialist and Indoctrinated to Vote Socialist (D). Other Party is evil racists.

Public Schools are even a bigger danger today than public schools of 100 years ago.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 2:45 pm
amother [ Hydrangea ] wrote:
The issue of Jews becoming non-frum before WW II is a red herring. Most of the Jews who immigrated in that period were not particularly religious and only practiced in the old country because to do otherwise was unthinkable - let's call them Orthoprax.

They didn't particularly care whether their children were frum and most of them were at best Conservative in terms of how they practiced Judaism. They might have kept kosher but so long as a canned food didn't contain an obviously treif ingredient they were fine with it. For the most part they didn't wear wigs - they wore short sleeves and many ate in non-kosher restaurants but had fish or salad.

They generally did identify with Judaism as their culture and birth right but did not interpret it in a frum manner.


I wouldn't compare it to Orthoprax now. They weren't superficial, distracted, or necessarily even had genuine questions. They were busy morning to night putting food on the table, didn't all have infrastructure, and didn't all have connections to rabbanim.

You talk about short sleeves, etc. Do you have any idea how much of a victory it was that they were shomer Shabbos? Many many many of those people had more emunah in their little fingers than we have with all our advanced education. And come the next generation, when there was breathing time because the Shabbos battle had eased up, and there was broader education, there were changes on that front and others.
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chestnut




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 2:57 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
Only 10% of American Jews are Orthodox, but nearly all are descendants of immigrants
who were religious in Europe.

The children of Jewish immigrants went to public school, and rapidly assimilated into the American Culture.

What percentage of those people stopped being frum once they moved here, so their kids just followed? It's silly to only blame public school, when so many religious kids went to public school and had religious teachers that Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are still legal holidays in NYC public schools.
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 3:02 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
The purpose of Government schools is for Government to MOLD the citizens they want.

100 years ago Government wanted Christian Citizens (schools had Christian prayers),
well educated, law-abiding and PATRIOTIC.

Today Government wants SECULAR (atheist) Citizens (Schools teach evolution as a fact -
even voluntary prayer is banned), Teach LGBTQT - which is Anti Christian as well as Anti-Torah, barely literate or numerate (ON PURPOSE), and HATING America as Fundamentally Racist.

And Socialist and Indoctrinated to Vote Socialist (D). Other Party is evil racists.

Public Schools are even a bigger danger today than public schools of 100 years ago.

I won’t tell you how you sound.
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amother




Grape
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 3:05 pm
In case you were thinking of sending to PS...
This is now part of the fourth grade reading program:
https://matzav.com/here-comes-.....next/
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 3:20 pm
amother [ Razzmatazz ] wrote:
I won’t tell you how you sound.


And I won't tell you how you sound either.

Others on this site already informed you.
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amother




Birch
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 3:43 pm
It’s hard to believe frum people would think to send kids to ps while living in a frum community
I’m on shlichus in a third world country with my kids in online school and on my head all day and I’d consider public school as the biggest sin I could do to my kids
If I found it too hard to have my kids at home I’d faster leave my shlichus and community rather than put my kids up on the altar
So sad
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amother




Ebony
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 3:52 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
Only 10% of American Jews are Orthodox, but nearly all are descendants of immigrants
who were religious in Europe.

The children of Jewish immigrants went to public school, and rapidly assimilated into the American Culture.

I had no idea that my grandmother and her siblings were so unique. Each one is a matriarch/patriarch of a huge frum family with many many descendants.
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amother




Skyblue
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:00 pm
amother [ Razzmatazz ] wrote:
I won’t tell you how you sound.

You are being incredibly rude to BestBubby, what have you got against her???
Her post is 100% correct. Mocking her just makes you seem foolish and uneducated/ignorant.
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sarahmalka




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:11 pm
amother [ Birch ] wrote:
It’s hard to believe frum people would think to send kids to ps while living in a frum community

Everybody bashing on frum people who send their kids to secular schools need to realize you are talking about real people who made hard decisions with no better options. Instead take some time to think about how to improve frum schools to be more accommodating to students with special needs. Or how to promote better middos in all students, so that some students aren't bullied or shunned to the point where they reject frumkeit altogether. Our children are not blind to the hypocrisy of teachers, admins, and other students allowing arrogance, lashon hara, cliques, and unequal treatment where children from "important" families are allowed to act however they want, where teachers and admin turn a blind eye to bullying. Lots of lip service is paid to acting like a mentsch and having good middos, when the students are actually acting in ways to drive people away from yiddishkeit.
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nylon




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:29 pm
With regards to older immigrants, it wasn't simply a question of being orthoprax, or of Bolsheviks. There was enormous social pressure to assimilate and be modern and 'American'. To work on Shabbat. To many in the new generation, Orthodoxy was a thing of the old country and the shtetl. Immigrants had often left their family and social networks and were recreating them here. I saw how this worked with my own grandparents who were the first in their families to grow up in America.

Today, things are very different. There's more appreciation for diversity and frum children today have an American Orthodox culture they can see and understand.

I am not saying this means send to public, only that this era is not a good guide for exactly what would happen. I think the disadvantage of public school is less that it is bad--and I don't want this to turn int another political thread--and more of what it *doesn't* provide, a solid grounding in Torah and a Jewish chevra and atmosphere. I am a public school graduate and I had a solid education, but I know what I didn't get. It is true that if more frum families sent to public school that their needs would have to be accommodated and they would have more friends. But public school is not allowed to teach religion and so that would always be missing.

And of course parents of special needs children have long had to make this choice and still do, because Jewish schools cannot accommodate all needs. Even in NY/NJ there are gaps, much less elsewhere. When people speak of public schools as awful and no place for an Orthodox child, it's hurtful to those of us who have had to make that decision, especially as we have had to choose it because Jewish schools cannot or will not educate our children.
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amother




Lightcyan
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:37 pm
amother [ Ebony ] wrote:
I had no idea that my grandmother and her siblings were so unique. Each one is a matriarch/patriarch of a huge frum family with many many descendants.


I'm glad you know now. Do some research and you'll see. It's not popular to talk about the immigrants to America from frum homes in Europe who didn't raise their children to be shomer shabbos. Times were hard we can't judge but your great-grandparents must have been very special people or they had a zchus from their own ancestors that their offspring should remain frum. The same goes for Holocaust survivors. It's also not discussed in polite company but the fact is many left everything behind and assimilated into American society without looking back.
Any of us who had frum grandparents and great-grandparents, whether they remained frum through early 20th century Depression area America or were Holocaust survivors who chose not to lose faith, can be very proud of who they were. It makes it even more important for us to sacrifice to raise our own kids the best way we can. Another reason to make whatever sacrifices we have to to give our kids the best Jewish education we can get for them.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:43 pm
It's a shame history is not taught more accurately. I think most frum people assume their great great grandparents sacrificed for Shabbos and got fired every Friday, while in reality that was such a tiny minority. Most frum men (and ladies) worked on Shabbos up till probably the 1940s. It was a matter of survival, not Orthopraxy. It didn't even mean they weren't frum.
There were no safety nets or social programs around. Now, many of those Jews do have frum descendants nowadays but certainly a lot of their children drifted off. It wasn't really the public schools, it was other societal factors, especially the poverty of the day and the push for security and upward mobility, understandably so.
We take many things for granted, including a 5 day workweek and various social safety nets that just didn't exist prior to WWII.
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amother




Lightcyan
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:46 pm
sarahmalka wrote:
Everybody bashing on frum people who send their kids to secular schools need to realize you are talking about real people who made hard decisions with no better options. Instead take some time to think about how to improve frum schools to be more accommodating to students with special needs. Or how to promote better middos in all students, so that some students aren't bullied or shunned to the point where they reject frumkeit altogether. Our children are not blind to the hypocrisy of teachers, admins, and other students allowing arrogance, lashon hara, cliques, and unequal treatment where children from "important" families are allowed to act however they want, where teachers and admin turn a blind eye to bullying. Lots of lip service is paid to acting like a mentsch and having good middos, when the students are actually acting in ways to drive people away from yiddishkeit.


I'm truly sorry you've had such bad experiences with frum schools. I don't know where you live but if you still have school age kids it's definitely worth your while to look into different schools, even as crazy at it sounds to consider moving. It's not uncommon even among non-Jewish families with kids to make school district a top priority when looking for a place to live. There are some excellent Jewish schools out there. I won't name names but there are educators in our own frum communities who are sensitive to the needs of different children and would never allow the type of behavior you're describing. Admins and teachers turning a blind eye to bullying is completely unacceptable but it's also completely not the norm.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 4:50 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
Only 10% of American Jews are Orthodox, but nearly all are descendants of immigrants
who were religious in Europe.

First of all, the vast majority of immigrants were originally religious in Europe, definitely those who came around the turn of the century from the Pale of Settlement. (They weren't Bolsheviks, they were fleeing awful pogroms and antisemitism.)
Second, most of the frum world today that you are referring to is descended from immigrants who came to the U.S. at later times, like immediately prior and post WWII. Things had changed by the 40s/50s. The 5 day workweek, various social programs (because of the Great Depression) and such. People weren't stuck living in the awful tenements of those earlier generations. You really can't compare that set of immigrants to those in the 20s and earlier.
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amother




Hydrangea
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 5:35 pm
PinkFridge wrote:
I wouldn't compare it to Orthoprax now. They weren't superficial, distracted, or necessarily even had genuine questions. They were busy morning to night putting food on the table, didn't all have infrastructure, and didn't all have connections to rabbanim.

You talk about short sleeves, etc. Do you have any idea how much of a victory it was that they were shomer Shabbos? Many many many of those people had more emunah in their little fingers than we have with all our advanced education. And come the next generation, when there was breathing time because the Shabbos battle had eased up, and there was broader education, there were changes on that front and others.


You misunderstood my post.

The Jews who came to the USA at that time were not particularly interested in being frum. To the extent they still were observant it was because they were used to doing things in a certain way and not because they had a strong belief system. They did no more than was necessary. They might have attended Orthodox synagogues but that was out of habit and not because of any strong religious belief.

They had no desire to be more frum and at best were conservative or traditional in their belief. Having frum children was not particularly important to them and so it really was chicken and egg. They wanted their children to assimilate and wouldn’t have sent to a Yeshivah even if it had been available. It wasn’t public school that was the cause of the assimilation. They were frum in Europe because there was no choice except for very affluent Jews in cosmopolitan cities but it would have taken a truly extraordinary person to renounce Judaism in the shtetl versus the USA where there was no particular reason to remain frum and attractive alternatives existed including Reform and Conservative for those who wanted to retain some semblance of religion.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 6:02 pm
amother [ Hydrangea ] wrote:
You misunderstood my post.

The Jews who came to the USA at that time were not particularly interested in being frum. To the extent they still were observant it was because they were used to doing things in a certain way and not because they had a strong belief system. They did no more than was necessary. They might have attended Orthodox synagogues but that was out of habit and not because of any strong religious belief.

They had no desire to be more frum and at best were conservative or traditional in their belief. Having frum children was not particularly important to them and so it really was chicken and egg. They wanted their children to assimilate and wouldn’t have sent to a Yeshivah even if it had been available. It wasn’t public school that was the cause of the assimilation. They were frum in Europe because there was no choice except for very affluent Jews in cosmopolitan cities but it would have taken a truly extraordinary person to renounce Judaism in the shtetl versus the USA where there was no particular reason to remain frum and attractive alternatives existed including Reform and Conservative for those who wanted to retain some semblance of religion.


This is a vast generalization and not completely accurate. Most Jews who came prior to the 1920s were escaping antisemitism. There was a series of terrible pogroms, I think around 1903. Those were the poor, shtetl Jews. They came to America and were really almost as poor (just didn't have pogroms to deal worry about). Tenement life was awful, sweatshops were horrible to work in, aside from the Shabbos factor. There's a reason so much of the labor union movement was heavily made up of Jewish immigrants....think of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy--most of the employees were Jewish.

Once they came here to the U.S. yes, their children eventually became Americanized (the lightly fictionalized but based on true family history All of a Kind Family series shows this so well) and mostly became less and less religious, it was about upward mobility and financial security as I mentioned previously. BTW, Conservative Judaism did not become a thing till the 1950s, really.

I recently read Rocking Horse by Leah Gebber (waited till after the serial was done, lol) and was struck by something she said in the afterword. She mentioned attending a BY play that dramatized European girls deciding between staying frum or being tempted to leave because they wanted to dress modishly and not look old fashioned--it really bothered her and struck her as a such a false note, the girls who left frumkeit back in Europe were not that superficial. They had hard choices to make, it often was about marrying a husband they knew would not be fully religious, staying single especially if they came from a poor family and had no dowry, and being desperately poor all their life (or worse, I won't spoiler the book for you).
We were brought up with a sort of myth, that girls in Europe weren't interested in being frum because they became so sophisticated and worldly due to being educated in Polish gymnasiums (see, not that different from our current discussion!) and that actually wasn't the case at all. Girls were leaving frum life in Europe in droves for other reasons, some of which were life and death, actually.

Another myth was that there weren't any girls interested in marrying the frum/learning young men of the time, but actually most of that was due to lack of dowry. Poor girls were in an untenable position, they couldn't get married without one. That's also another reason that some girls immigrated on their own to America in the very early 1900s. I tracked down a book that Etka Gitel Schwartz mentioned in her book bibliography for Full Harvest. She obviously based a lot of her book on it, it was a private journal by a Jewish mail order bride who came from Russia to marry a Jewish man who lived out in the midwest basically in a shanty. (It sounded so harsh and sad, and, while she was content with how her life turned out it was not a happily ever marriage. Once their children grew up and they sold their farm, the two lived separately the rest of their lives.) But she never would have gotten married at all without a dowry, so that's why she left Europe and why she was content with the way her life had turned out, no matter how harsh.

The frum world for some reason was invested in whitewashing a lot of our recent history, and I think it is a shame. A lot of the stuff I know now, is from more recently published books. Even renowned historians such as Rabbi Wein did not cover a lot of this his books...or at least, glossed it over (or maybe that is due to the publisher's decisions, who knows?).
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amother




Lightcyan
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 7:18 pm
amother [ Lightpink ] wrote:
This is a vast generalization and not completely accurate. Most Jews who came prior to the 1920s were escaping antisemitism. There was a series of terrible pogroms, I think around 1903. Those were the poor, shtetl Jews. They came to America and were really almost as poor (just didn't have pogroms to deal worry about). Tenement life was awful, sweatshops were horrible to work in, aside from the Shabbos factor. There's a reason so much of the labor union movement was heavily made up of Jewish immigrants....think of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy--most of the employees were Jewish.

Once they came here to the U.S. yes, their children eventually became Americanized (the lightly fictionalized but based on true family history All of a Kind Family series shows this so well) and mostly became less and less religious, it was about upward mobility and financial security as I mentioned previously. BTW, Conservative Judaism did not become a thing till the 1950s, really.

I recently read Rocking Horse by Leah Gebber (waited till after the serial was done, lol) and was struck by something she said in the afterword. She mentioned attending a BY play that dramatized European girls deciding between staying frum or being tempted to leave because they wanted to dress modishly and not look old fashioned--it really bothered her and struck her as a such a false note, the girls who left frumkeit back in Europe were not that superficial. They had hard choices to make, it often was about marrying a husband they knew would not be fully religious, staying single especially if they came from a poor family and had no dowry, and being desperately poor all their life (or worse, I won't spoiler the book for you).
We were brought up with a sort of myth, that girls in Europe weren't interested in being frum because they became so sophisticated and worldly due to being educated in Polish gymnasiums (see, not that different from our current discussion!) and that actually wasn't the case at all. Girls were leaving frum life in Europe in droves for other reasons, some of which were life and death, actually.

The frum world for some reason was invested in whitewashing a lot of our recent history, and I think it is a shame. A lot of the stuff I know now, is from more recently published books. Even renowned historians such as Rabbi Wein did not cover a lot of this his books...or at least, glossed it over (or maybe that is due to the publisher's decisions, who knows?).


Whitewashing wasn't necessarily the intention, and I wouldn't call that a myth.

In doing extensive research on the time period she wrote about, Leah Gebber discovered a terrible but true set of circumstances that I won't describe so we both don't "spoiler" her book. That story applied to one small portion of the vast number of Jews in Russia, Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century. The Pale of Settlement, which included parts of Russia and what are today Poland, Ukraine and Belarus had a Jewish population of over five million before it was abolished. After that Jews could live where they wanted and their numbers grew even more. The number who experienced what Leah Gebber wrote about was a small portion of that huge community of Jews. We're leaving out the Jewish immigrants to the U.S. from Western Europe, all the German Jews like the Goldman's (Goldman Sachs), the Lehmann's (Lehmann brothers) and many others like the Saks' and the Altmann's from the department stores. It's hard to put all that history into a few sentences, and they all had very different stories.
Saying that girls had hard choices to make and left mitzva observance because of that sounds more like whitewashing than admitting they left Torah Judaism to blend into society and move ahead to join its upper ranks. In fact both were true. It's not a myth that many left yiddishkeit, both in Europe before they left and in the United States after they immigrated, because they felt more sophisticated and worldly leaving the Torah world behind them. You are correct though that for many it was a matter of life and death and they stopped keeping Shabbos because they felt they had no choice.

Millions of Jews ran away from pogroms in the late 1800's and early 1900's and hundreds of thousands more immigrated from other parts of Europe to seek their fortunes in The Goldene Medina. No whitewashing, no myths, just a lot of history and a lot of lives being condensed into a few short narratives.

On a different note, I'm not sure what you meant when you said Conservative Judaism didn't become a thing until the 1950's. Isaac Mayer Wise established HUC in Cincinnati in the late 1800's and Stephen Wise, one of the main founders of Reform movement in America, came to the U.S. as a baby at the end of the nineteenth century and started his career in the early 1900's. If you meant specifically conservative as opposed to reform, I'm not sure when Solomon Schechter founded JTS but it was also about a hundred years ago.
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amother




Lawngreen
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 7:21 pm
It’s fine for someone to make public school their own choice; it’s not okay to try and get government involved for all of us. It’s not ok to ignore our history and what we have found works for the vast majority of us.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Mon, May 23 2022, 7:40 pm
I'm not describing the more educated German type immigrants who were already less attached to tradition. They did not come in huge masses like the poor shtetl Jews from the Pale of Settlement who were the Jewish immigrants coming in huge waves around the turn of the century (the majority of American Jews then were of German background and were embarrassed by them and looked down on them as primitive and uncultured) who came to escape antisemitism and landed in the tenements and sweatshops.

The poorer girls from the shtetl with no dowry had little choice in their lives (not even referring to Leah Gebber's book)--that's not a myth. I don't think I thought much about those stories of 15 year old girls coming by themselves to America in the early 1900s when I read about them years ago, but it strikes me now as an adult the simple truth: if they didn't want to stay single and poor the rest of their life, they had no real options if they stayed in Europe. Like that book Full Harvest was based on. IIRC the woman who wrote it was named Rachel Calof--she was a young orphan working as a maid, with no dowry, when she replied to a mail order bride ad. She wasn't looking to drop religion.
And she did her best to stay religious out there on that prairie through some extremely harsh life circumstances that sounded worse than tenement life, imo. She was not educated very religiously but she tried.

Yes, I do say we were taught myths or maybe more accurately told stories repackaged in a mythological way. The newish book about Sarah Schnerer by Naomi Seidman (who is the daughter of Reb Hillel Seidman as well as the daughter of a BY teacher in Europe before the war) explains it way more thoroughly and eloquently than I can, about what life was like for Jewish girls circa 1920s-30s and how that time in Europe in general was mythologized. (Honestly the politics and infighting sound just as bad and maybe worse that that of today.)

Yes, Reform Judaism was around at the turn of the century (brought over by German Jews, which is where it originated from anyway) but Conservative Judaism did not become a wide spread movement until the 1950s. (I believe that even in All of A Kind family, when the oldest girl started attending a temple rather than a synagogue it was referred to as a reform temple;))
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