Another look at tuition hikes
Rabbi Jay Kelman writes passionately about school funding (“How to leave a lasting legacy for Jewish education”). The burden on parents is escalating far faster than inflation or rise in earnings. Schemes like Rabbi Kelman’s to run down endowment funds or raid retirement nest eggs rely on non-renewable fossil money that, once depleted, is gone forever.
Efforts to gain state support for supplementary needs such as speech therapy (“CIJA renews effort to alleviate school funding squeeze”) can only chip away at the problem, but will not provide any significant relief. These approaches cannot work in the long run, and a more sustainable model must be developed.
It’s easy to moan, but what can we, individually and collectively, do? We must begin by recognizing that government funding is not going to be forthcoming in the foreseeable future. We must live within our means.
We need greater transparency from the schools. Many parties have contributed to the agonizing deliberations in these pages regarding the tuition crisis. The schools, however, have been very reticent in explaining how subsidies are calculated, or why huge annual increases are necessary.
Are we supporting bloated non-teaching administrations? How much duplication is there in running independent offices for each school? Are there economies to be had by merging non-teaching operations or by forming a group-purchasing organization to negotiate better deals with suppliers?
We need to develop a spirit of volunteerism that encourages contributions in kind by parents and students. There is a wealth of talent and skills that we can tap to reduce costs, whether it’s help at drop-off, security, or professional services. Parents’ and grandparents’ special expertise or interests must be leveraged to provide enriching experiences in many areas.
Contest in poor taste
I read the report about Miss Holocaust Survivor several times before I actually believed that a story of this type, one that personifies the pinnacle of poor taste, could be found in the paper (“Still beautiful”). Running a beauty contest that capitalizes on the murder of six million innocent victims is something I never dreamt could happen. How about Miss Slave Labour or Mr. Crematorium? Miss Starvation or Miss Yellow Star of David could be some good choices.
Israel and its ties with the EU
It is about time that Israel suspended diplomatic ties with the European Union. Israel, in its unceasing battle with Middle East-based terrorist organizations, has for decades effectively buttressed Europe’s back door against these murderous thugs. By failing to support Israel, Europe is now reaping the whirlwind of its cowardly acquiescence to the terrorists, evidently hoping that “by feeding the crocodile it would eat them last.” Dinner time is now upon them.
It is also way past time for Israel and all of the other nations of the erstwhile free world to at last cease their memberships in the United Nations, which has long since been hijacked by despotically run, West-hating, terrorism-fomenting, anti-Israel nations. The former should stop their financial contributions to this gang of nations that overtly and unwaveringly pursue their campaigns to undermine and ultimately destroy societies with any semblance of open democracy and human rights. And the United States should summarily boot the UN from its New York location and dispatch it to any one of the rogue countries where it will feel much more at home.