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Hebrew Day Schools to Consider Strike to Dramatize Financial Plight

More than 500 Hebrew day school educators in the New York metropolitan area will vote tomorrow night on a proposal for a city-wide Hebrew day school stoppage “to dramatize the financial plight of the yeshivas” in the area, a spokesman for the educators announced today.

The action will be considered at a Delegates Assembly of Day School educators, representing 150 Hebrew day schools, which was convened by the Association of New York City Yeshiva Principals and Administrators, according to Rabbi Naftali Langsam, chairman of the associations. Some 50,000 children attend the affected schools.

Rabbi Langsam also said the delegates, which include principals and administrators of the all-day schools, and representatives of parents groups, would be given a report on the “failure” of negotiations with the New York Federation of Jewish Philanthropies to obtain financial help. He said another motion to be considered will be agreement on use of “confrontation politics” to focus attention on the “financial crisis” facing the day schools. Mass demonstrations by students and parents and a possible picket line at the Federation offices will be voted on, Rabbi Langsam said.

REQUEST FOR FUNDS UNDER STUDY BY FEDERATIONS

Rabbi Langsam said the meeting also would be attended by a number of college activists who took part in an effort at the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds last November in Boston to obtain a commitment for more funding for Jewish education by the federations.

A spokesman said the debts of the Hebrew day schools in the New York area last year totaled between $10 million and $12 million. He said the New York Federation gives subsidies to individual Hebrew day schools but that the total of such subsidies last years was about $40,000, “less than a dollar per pupil.”

The spokesman said that, during negotiations with Federation officials, day school representatives had asked for a “minimum” funding this year of $6 million. He said that the only response so far to the day school requests was that the Federation was “studying” the request.

The spokesman said that teachers were talking about a strike, that parents of day school students were being “taxed to capacity,” and that “frustrated and harried administrators” would not use new educational developments because of “inflation and rising costs.”

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