I am pleased to present yet another prominent individual who feels the way I do on at least one serious issue that I have with the current state of religious education. I wrote about this recently and said pretty much the same thing. How many people will accuse this individual of Charedi bashing? I can certainly understand why they would. This individual feels exactly the same way I do. Here is an excerpt from an Ami Magazine interview - itself excerpted here:
" Years ago, doors were open for any child who wanted to learn. No one was afraid that a child would spoil others around him. If a child wanted to come to a Yeshiva, then he belonged there. We are so busy protecting our children today, yet more and more children are going off the derech. Why? Because they are made to feel like second class citizens."How then should a school develop its policies? Where do they draw the line who they accept? "
There shouldn't be a line! If you have a child in a school and you have a problem with him, then you deal with that problem. But to initially close the door to a child because you anticipate a problem is simply not fair.
Schools limit their parent body to this or to that- whether it's families whose fathers are only in learning or only mothers who cover their hair. If a child wants to come to your yeshiva let him come. He'll learn that some people devote themselves to a life of learning or that it's a mitzvah for a woman to cover her hair. What will happen? Why don't they let the child in?!"
"Reputation"... "That's what they're concerned about. The bottom line is, you can always make room for one more child. Certainly today's generation has more torah, but there's less ehrlichkeit (sincerity). There's too much emphasis on chitzoiniyus ( outward appearance) today.
What can we do about it? We can be more aware. We can try to change it. We can accept everyone for who they are. It's a matter of ahavas yisroel (love of every Jew); every yid is a yid and every mensch is a mensch. Even if a person is better in this aspect or that aspect than another, if someone sees the next person as a nothing, then he is the one with a problem."
All I can add to this wonderful insight is ‘Amen’!
Update: The person interviewed in this article is Rebbetzin Dovid Feinstein. Here is the opening paragraph in The Lakewood View:
The following is an excerpt from a recent Ami Living magazine interview with Rebetzin Feinstein. She relates what it was like growing up orthodox when most Jews were not observant, and the influence her parents, and her father in law, Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT'L, had on her life. At the end of the article she discusses a topic that is all too fitting for the current atmosphere in Lakewood.