The problem of unaffordable Jewish education in our community will be solved when the full community mobilizes to solve it. This means that men and women and families from across the spectrum of Jewish communal life must become involved or contribute in some way to finding a solution.
An example of wide community involvement in solving a pressing community problem arose last week from a small Jewish group of parents in South Manchester in the U.K. The nature of the problem facing the parents there was quite different than the tuition dilemma parents here face.
Nevertheless, it is important that we share the example because the message it sends is relevant to us as well, i.e., refuse to believe that it is hopeless or that we are helpless at finding an appropriate solution.
The London-based Jewish Chronicle last week reported that a group of parents took upon themselves the task of finding the necessary funding to ensure the North Cheshire Jewish Primary School would be able to provide sufficient classroom space for children who wish to attend the school.
The school is the South Manchester’s only Jewish primary school and had planned to restrict entry to only one class of 30 students. This would have left at least 14 children, whose parents seek a Jewish education for them, without a place at the school. Such a prospect was utterly unacceptable to the parents of these 14 children. They refused to believe that they were helpless to intervene. Thus they launched an appeal to raise £100,000 to ensure the school would be able to provide enough places for children who want to go there.
One of the parents and the campaign’s liaison manager, said, “The funds raised by the campaign would go towards ensuring excellence across the school and providing as many places as possible to the Jewish children of South Manchester in a school that embeds a love for Jewish life and Israel for today and the future”.
We commend the decision of these South Manchester parents, They got involved because their objective is to “embed a love for Jewish life and Israel for today and the future”. That is our goal too. It should be the goal of Jewish education throughout the world.
Setting aside the details of the dilemma the parents at North Cheshire Jewish Primary School faced and of the solution they devised, we learn from them:
• not to give up searching for answers.
• not to give in to the seeming intractability of a problem.
• and to seek the solutions together, as a community.
Failure for the South Manchester parents, and for GAJE, is not an option.
The JC article can be found at:
GAJE July 19, 2019