GREENFIELD PARK. N.Y. (May. 21)
Seminary deans and nearly 350 Hebrew Day School educators, psychologists, psychiatrists, and Hebrew scholars conducted a four day convention marking the 25th anniversary of the first Conference on Day School education ever held in North America. The convention charted a program to put a Hebrew Day School in at least every city with a Jewish population of 5,000 and over and would aim at a total Day School student population of 250,000 students. The Convention, which ended several days ago, was called by Deans of Theological Seminaries and the National Conference of Yeshiva Principals and Day School Administrators. Rabbi Pinchas M. Teitz, Chief Rabbi, Elizabeth, N.J., and Dean, Yeshiva and Mesivta of Elizabeth, proposed that parents not pay tuition for first grade enrollments since many parents are initially turned away from enrolling their children in Day Schools by the high tuition fees which range from $650 to $1200 per year. “Let us give children and parents a taste of Day School education. Having tasted it, parents will then make supreme sacrifices and superior efforts budget-wise, to keep their children in Day School,” Rabbi Teitz declared.
Educators also deplored the apathy of Jewish Federation and Welfare Funds in neglecting the needs of the Day School educational system. Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, Chairman, Rabbinical Administrative Board, Torah Umesorah, and Dean of Ner Israel Seminary, Baltimore, Md., said “Day School education should not survive on the backs of over-burdened parents and underpaid teachers. Day Schools across the country face daily the threat of economic survival because of the calloused indifference of those Welfare Funds – which serve as the communal arm of Jewish charities. While parents and students are maturing. Federation and Welfare Fund leaders are not.” A resolution adopted by the Convention which had been submitted by the Rabbinical Administrative Board of Torah Umesorah favored Hebrew Day Schools being represented by their own agency rather than by “bureaucratic agencies imposed upon them.” A spokesman for Torah Umesorah said the group preferred receiving funds either directly from funding agencies or to let Day Schools set up their own agency through which funds can be distributed according to needs.