Showing posts from October, 2017

A Mechitza for My Car

A Mechitza for My Car An Educator’s Reaction to “Modern Orthodoxy from a Teenager’s Perspective” By Rabbi Perry Tirschwell In my high school yearbook’s “Last Will and Testament” , my class bequeathed to me a mechitza for my car. It reflected my classmates’ perception that 1) I was one of the most intensely-observant students in our class, and 2) The close relationships I had with a number of girls in our co-ed school (and perhaps the contradiction between numbers 1 & 2). I understand where the yearbook editors were were coming from . I spent the previous summer learning full time at Morasha Kollel. My classmates ran to Springsteen concerts, I ran to Mordechai Ben David. I spent each Shabbos at an inspiring NCSY Shabbaton and drove every Motzei Shabbos to learn with one of my Kollel counselors. I questioned why our 12 th grade rebbe let a student interrupt shiur with impromptu birthday parties. When I think about how I viewed the world as a teenager, Billy Jo

"We're # 1" is Bad News, and What to Do About It.

Oy vey- We’re #1! How to Tackle the Never-ending Tuition Talk  Nishma Lessons Part 2 By Rabbi Perry Tirschwell For many newspapers the biggest takeaway  from the  First Survey of  the Modern and Centrist Orthodox Community  is that 89% of the respondents listed  " Cost of Jewish Education" as a serious problem facing our community. Though 70% were very sasfied with the quality of our limudei kodesh, only 61% were satisfied with limudei chol. Argh! The Tuition Crisis has been the Jewish community's focus for  over twenty years . Our best and brightest have tried to solve this. No frills day schools, increasing enrollment and fundraising, increased government funding, joint purchasing, blended learning- we're still experimenting. Though these have all made us more effective and efficient, they have not (and will not) make a dent in tuition. This is because we have significantly improved (and will continue to improve) our security, technology, fa

Nishma Survey Implications Part I

The Nishma Study:  A Wake Up Call for Modern Orthodox Educators Part I  by Rabbi Perry Tirschwell What does the recently published groundbreaking survey of the religious beliefs and practices of American Modern Orthodox Community have to say to those of us who teach their children? I believe that there are a number of important lessons for our yeshiva day schools leaders.  In this post, I will examine the study's findings about adults' general shmirat hamitzvot and their implications for educators.  Learning: The Good and Bad News- I was positively surprised by the numbers regarding Talmud Torah, though I personally find the differential of men learning daily (35%) versus women (15%) upsetting.   I suggest that teachers give assignments which include listening to shiurim on topics of their choice online. Once students are familiar with the numerous apps and websites, they will realize how enjoyable, accessible and relevant a resource they are.