Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Skokie Jew

There’s a gentleman (and I use the term loosely) who comments here fairly regularly that identifies as Skokie Jew. I have no clue who he is since he has refused to identify himself to me. He claims to be a Talmid of Rav Ahron Soloveichik. But he has proven himself to be very far from being Rav Aharon’s Talmid.

In an unbelievably brazen but grossly misguided attempt to defend the elementary school where he is a parent, he has called up the principal and demanded the resignation of a teacher who is the wife of another frequent commenter on my blog who had written about a bad educational experience he had there as a student. Skokie Jew saw that as an attack against the school. Neither I nor anyone else saw it that way. Every school has had students that did not do well. No school is perfect. But this ‘gentleman’ obviously felt that saying anything other than that the school was, is and always will be anything but perfect is sacrilege!

Furthermore he has threatened to take legal action against me if I refused to take down the comments that so upset him. All this without ever identifying himself.

First I want to make absolutely clear what my attitude about that school is. Yeshiva Tifferes Tzvi (YTT) for the boys and Joan Dachs Beis Yaakov (JDBY) for girls are both terrific schools that parents, teachers and administrators there can all rightfully be proud of. Five of my grandchildren attend that school. They are all happy, well adjusted, and doing well in both Limudei Kodesh and Limudei Chol. Their parents (my daughter and son in law) are extremely happy with the school.

Yes, its Hashkafos are definitely Charedi. If you are Charedi and want an exclusively Charedi education for your child that is where you should send them. That its Hashkafos are different from my own does not detract from their excellence as a school nor the success they have had in their mission. Furthermore I personally never saw any intolerance there in any of my relatively frequent visits there.

I happened to attend events there today for two different grandchildren - a granddaughter who graduated nursery school and a grandson (7th grade) who along with several of his classmates made a Siyum on Meseches Makkos. All I can say is that I had nothing but pure Nachas from both of them. I just returned from that Siyum. It was a beautiful event and every parent and grandparent of those boys should be proud of their achievement. It was all done in addition to their regular classes.

As for their secular studies program, I defy anyone to find a better Limudei Chol principal than Rabbi Ephraim Kletenik. Furthermore I have nothing but respect and admiration for YTT principal Rabbi Zev Meisels and JDBY principal Mrs. Ahuva Wainhaus.

How does my grandson do in secular studies? Let me just say that I will match his 7th grade secular knowledge against any 7th grader in any other school.

I just wanted to make as clear as possible my own views about the particular school in question. But that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to condemn in the strongest possible terms the unmitigated Chutzpah to call up a school anonymously and demand that a teacher be fired because of a comment made on my blog by her husband.

Chutzpah doesn’t even begin to describe how despicable that was - as was the anonymous manner in which it was done.

That this ‘gentleman’ calls himself a Talmid of my Rebbe, Rav Ahron is an embarrassment. He has no clue about my Rebbe at all. His Hashkafos are as radically different from my Rebbe as is Satmar from Mizrachi.

If this ‘gentleman’ was anything like his Rebbe, he would send his children to a school, like his Rebbe did - one that says Hallel on Yom Ha’atzmaut. If he was anything like his Rebbe he would know that the absolute last thing his Rebbe would ever do is to demand that a teacher be fired from a job! If he was anything like his Rebbe, he would never hide behind an alias!

I am thoroughly disgusted and I apologize to the school, to the teacher, and to her family for any part I had in causing them problems!