Philadelphia (Sep. 10)
To meet the unprecedented condition growing out of the epidemic of infantile paralysis now raging in this city which has resulted in the closing of all schools, the Associated Talmud Torahs has arranged to carry on during this period of enforced action through the medium of correspondence.
All schools of the Associated, having an enrollment of about three thousand children, were to have opened yesterday. This morning the parents received a notice apprising them of the situation and asking for their co-operation in this new experiment. “In order to meet this situation,” the letter to the parents read, “we have worked out a plan whereby every pupil in our schools will be enabled in part to prepare himself at home so that his enforced absence from Hebrew School will not deprive him altogether of what he might have learned at school.”
A packet containing lessons for one week was sent by mail to each child, the educational material in the packet having for its purpose to continue unbroken the contact with the child and to afford some sort of extension instruction in preparation for the coming High Holidays. Provision was made for two definite groupsâ€”younger children between the ages of seven and ten; and older children between ten and fourteen.
The first packet sent out yesterday contained material on Rosh Hashonnahâ€”lessons on the significance of the holiday with questions and seat work; also a story for the children on Rosh Hashonnah.
In a statement signed by Judge William M. Lewis, President of the Associated Talmud Torahs; Rabbi B. L. Levinthal, Chairman of the Committee on Education, and Ben Rosen, Director, the position of the school authorities is set forth. “The failure to reopen the schools at this time,” the statement read, “in no way relieves the Associated Talmud Torahs of its responsibility to meet the cost of the upkeep of the buildings and naturally, the salaries of the teaching staff. We are dependent upon the income from tuition fees as an important item in meeting the expenses of our schools. We feel that we can call upon you to continue to pay your tuition fee regularly, so that the work of our schools can be carried on throughout the year. We ask you as a matter of duty to the education of your own child and in order to safeguard the work of the Talmud Torahs, that you be prompt in the payment of your tuition fee this
month when the collector calls at your home for payment.
“These are difficult times. This situation will be a test of the loyalty of our parents to the cause of Jewish Education, and we do not want you to fail in your responsibility.”
This correspondence method will be continued until the epidemic is over and the schools are reopened for regular instruction.