A Hard Look At The Real School Issue

By: Aaron Joseph. When I was in the Lakewood Cheder during the 1980’s, we the Cheder boys shared a morning school bus with the girls from Bais Faiga (Then called Bais Yaakov). There was no mixed seating; originally, the boys sat in the front and the girls in the back. When some boys bothered the girls walking past to their seats, the boys moved to the back and the girls sat in the front.

Some boys in my class did not eat Cholov Yisroel, a few boys had the Nintendo Games, and clippings from the New York Times or some other paper were brought in for various projects. One or two boys did not go to English, and all in all, we were one big happy family. As a point in fact, I went to nearly 100 Bar Mitzvahs in an over 2 year period of friends my age, older and younger. Everybody knew everyone, and everyone cared for everybody.

I agree that that Lakewood exists in memory only, for those of us lucky enough to have lived in the last remnants of what the original Lakewood was. I have suggested for a while that the Town’s name be changed just to preserve for posterity what the true meaning of the original town of Lakewood really was. It might be too late for that as well.

Yet today, we all of Lakewood today are joined in a microcosm of Judaism. There are us, the descendants of Lakewood’s original Torah settlers, arriving before Lakewood was the automatic popular destination for married couples to raise a family. Mostly there are those who have migrated over the past twenty or so years, all the while lining the pockets of the ambitious developers. Along the way came the diversity in Hashkafa amplified by the varied reasons of settling in Lakewood. I am not gloating or creating a divide I simply seek to point out the factual development.

The original shared mind frame of those who settled in Lakewood, I’d venture to say prior to 1990, was to be part of B.M.G., or to strengthen the tiny infrastructure of various other Torah entities. I mean before that time there was but one Pizza takeout counter behind Gelbstein’s bakery, without any seating area whatsoever. Oh, and if you wanted a full pie, it was best to call ahead. Unless you had a Seder Motzei Shabbos, or enjoyed a family game of Monopoly, or scrabble with a hearty Melava Malka, there was nothing to do.

Since that time, and I don’t know exactly at what point during the ‘90s, the reason for settling in Lakewood began to slowly diverge, until today, when the dizzying reasons for coming have morphed into a movement that even the newcomers cannot explain.

Hence, the diversity in schooling and their diversified if not rarified underlining Hashkofa explanations, which really cannot be explained either.

I am told, and have read in various Jewish history books, that there were places in pre-war Europe where each occupation had their own Minyan or Bais Medrash; they understood themselves best, and stuck together. I am under the impression that such a “Minhag” carried over to the first years of our Jewish American settlement. Was this ideal? What was its outcome? Perhaps networking helps, but to the exclusion of all else? Hashem wants Achdus.

I have read the recent various articles of children out of school, be it a mother venting a yearly frustration that her child received no invitation to ANY school at all, or a boys school closed down for whatever reason, and the blame game that follows.

Being in Lakewood a long time, I would like to venture an idea that there is one overriding concern that is perhaps being neglected. I saw it as a youngster all the time in Lakewood, wherever you went, and still see pockets of it here and there. I’m not blaming anybody for it somehow evaporating, nor seeking to insinuate any negativity. Achdus is required. But not any Achdus. Achdus by the way Hashem wants, dictated according to Shulchan Aruch.

We are the greatest people on earth. We have the most inspiring institutions and organizations that boggle the mind, and one and all are happy and look forward to opening their minds and money to participate with all forms of Chesed organizations. We bike hundreds of miles to create Geshmak for others, all the while having a Geshmak ourselves. We enjoy living for others. We look forward to helping others all the time.

However, we must invest in living for others even when we don’t enjoy it. Even when it is not Geshmak to do so. Even when we are not happy to, and even when we don’t look forward to it. That is our challenge. That is where we are challenged. That is where the Nesoyain is, and that is where we will receive our S’char from. L’fum Tzara, Agra. Life is not a joy ride, and Kol Zman it is, it is not life, it is surely not living for others.

It is true, people may not appreciate the skirt length of a parent, and therefore unilaterally decide because of that inch or two that the offender child’s Neshoma must suffer doubly. One- because of the parent’s indiscretion and the inherent affect it may have on her young daughter who now has absolutely no opportunity to know otherwise, and two- because she can now suffer with a social stigma and not receive a daily dose of peer interaction and proper Hashkofa. After all we say, I dress properly, why should I suffer that my child share a classroom or school building with the child of a “Koifer B’Ikur” – G-D forbid. And this is only one of the multitude of silly excuses. Yes my friend, you may dress properly. But do you think properly? Or are you missing the attire for your mind altogether? Do you act properly? Loma Lee Roiv Zivchaichem?

I’m not a Posek. Ask one.(A recognized one) What does Hashem want from us in regard to the way we interact with one another. Of course, it is uncomfortable to ask. After all, I may very well be opening myself up to a revamping of thinking. But then again, after all the Chesed I like to do, and all the Tzedaka I so selflessly give, should I not perhaps do a difficult uncomfortable Chesed that would actually earn me a bit of S’char in Shomayim? Perhaps my child must share a classroom with another girl who has videos at home. Because that is what Hashem may want. (Even though my mind says otherwise.)

We must learn to emulate the areas of success we have become so world renown for and actually fulfill so well without hardship or thinking. Is keeping Shabbos or eating Kosher a challenge for us? How about supporting Tomchei Shabbos, Hatzolah, Bikur Cholem etc. We do this exceedingly well, almost out of habit.

We must accept the challenge of improving in the areas we find challenging. Doing Chesed that I dislike, doing Chesed that is difficult, doing Chesed where it does not fully exists. Yes my son attends the same Yeshiva as a fine boy whose father wears color shirts (gulp), takes him to Met games (don’t ask me why)or works out, perhaps because of a heart condition that no one knows of. Or accepting a girl into “MY” school even though her mother may wear pants around the house. Perhaps you are from the school of thought that doesn’t want their child amongst those whose father sits and learns all day. Yes, I’ve even heard that grump in Lakewood already.

Be happy to allow diversity and even offer to buy the child school supplies and pay her tuition- if Hashem has graced you with the opportunity to do so. NO-not because it is popular or Geshmak or you like the idea. But, because it is against your very nature and because that is what Hashem wants. And ultimately because your Ahavas Yisroel and concern will create an atmosphere that will allow the unruly parent to see the true beauty of Hashem’s ways. It may take years and years, but thus far, the microwave only works to heat up food quickly, not a Neshoma. Perhaps invest in being M’Karov the family that needs it. KirovKrovim?!

Achdus according to Shulchan Aruch is the only Achdus Hashem wants. We must apply it to ourselves and unrelentingly demand it from our Askunim and leaders, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Because in this way, by living in harmony the way we are supposed to according to God’s will, we will surely find the redemption we are each seeking, and be truly Zoche to the final redemption, may he come speedily in our days. Amain.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. Great article, the lakewood cheder/bais faiga is still one big happy family with a very healthy mix of children. The other schools are maybe not that happy but the cheder/bais faiga continue to be like it always was, leading by example

  2. if the lakewood chedar is setting by example then why is it that they don’t accept certain alumni
    the ideal school would take anyone like they did back in the day

  3. I came here as a newly wed because my husband was in kollel. The town did not have any amenities to speak of as far as shopping goes, which was fine for me. As the town grew, I kept wondering what did we need all this gashmius for? I was happy living in a two bedroom apt. with 4 kids and no playroom. We eventually were one of the first Yeshivaleit to buy a single fam. house because my husband took a job so we could afford tuition. (Until then we eked by). Until that time most people in Yeshiva who needed parnoso left town. The Cheder?Bais Yaakov was started by the Yeshiva. everything was relatively simple. There were no eateries because the Mashgiach Rav Wachtfogel ZT”L said they were ossur and that was fine (for me, at least) When the town started growing and all off a sudden the big houses started mushrooming up all around and the booming businesses started sprouting all over, including numerous restaurants I personally felt something lacking in the atmosphere. Now I feel my house is too small when it was big enough to raise my large family. I feel some of the influence of all the materialism abounding, and it bothers me considerably. It’s a free country and no one can stop the surge of newcomers to Lakewood, but, it isn’t all about the Yeshiva anymore, far from it. It is a shame, really.

  4. I must say as a cheder kid and proud it was always a example to other, as a kid we had all types of kids in my class, yes you heard right we had from the working colored shirt people to the Rosh Yeshivas of lakewoods kids, insane that they can do such things to parents these days

  5. reply to cheder parent;

    umm, I’m very happy that you feel that way, most probably because your child is in the cheder /bais faiga, unfortunately, my cousins were rejected by bais faiga and so far are without a school for the coming year, even though their father still learns half a day, mother is a shining example of tznius, and, no, they do not have TV/internet/videos at home

  6. Valid points. However there are paents who know better and not willing to sacrifice on that one inch so their child could be accepted to school. He Schools have full rights to request that parents dress a certain way and adhere to a code. Its hypocriticle when we teach the children something and they see parents not practicing it.

  7. As far as I understand the Cheder /Bais Faiga is still the school that tries to help all ,understandably as much as possible.They have a Vaad who makes all decisions together. Thats the way it should be. No private yichidim just looking out for their own name.

  8. such words that directly identify the goal: Achdus. who knows why that family has videos–maybe they are working on becoming more observant or don’t see the negative effects. if anyone out there has less religious families you would understand these ideas. the adults are the ones to model the correct behavior. if my children see me accepting others, irreligious, partially observant, observant, yeshivish, etc, then they will too. each person is entitled to their chumrahs, but this does not mean they are any better then the next. we have to come together to ensure that all children are provided fair opportunities to grow in yiddishkeit. may we soon see the coming of mashiach bimhara beyamanu

  9. This is such a beautiful article and sooooooooooo true!!
    If every Jew would act like this there wouldn’t be anything to worry about because Moshiach would be on its way.
    Amoung the displaced students there are 130 boys without any school due to a last minute cancellation of a school. It would be wonderful if they could all go before the vaad, who is instrumental in placing children sucessfully into schools and divide the children between the many schools. Though the schools claim they are full if each school would share the burden of taking these boys, thereby working b’achdus, this would be a true way of serving Hashem and these schools will see much mazal! And for anyone who has an extra few minutes, it would be nice to say some tehillim that all the children who do not have schools yet should have that problem solved b’korov.
    Thank you again for this wonderful article!!!!!!!!!

  10. To number 6, I feel bad that your cousins were rejected, but you have to understand that they had three times the amount of applications then any other school in lakewood. They tried very hard to make everyone happy but what should they do, I guess thats one of the consequences of being the best!!

  11. This article addresses the crux of the problem. We live in a society that is too busy judging others by externals and forgets what hashem really wants from us: kovod habrios and ahavas chinam. Until we all realize this, no amount of achdus brought about by any asifa or siyum will bring moshiach!! We all had diverse groups of students in our classes growing up whether russian or iranian immigrants or families that were seeking to grow. I don’t know of anyone adversely affected by this. On the contrary, our children need to learn tolerance and acceptance of everyone!!

  12. thank you from the bottom of my heart for your letter. as the grandmother of two “rejected” granddaughters,i just spent a shabbos with a cloud over our “day of rest”. there were several times i was forced to leave the room,rather than the children seeing their bubby distrught over this injustice. even though there are so many wonderful people/rabbeim/teachers pleading our case…we are still no where.please daven for our children that the parties involved soften their hearts..

  13. Nice article with many true points. As a rebbi, I love a diverse class, and I don’t see children losing out by being friends with kids from different types of homes.
    My comment is in response to those who said “Though the schools claim they are full if each school would share the burden of taking these boys, thereby working b’achdus, this would be a true way of serving Hashem and these schools will see much mazal!”
    I’m not sure what you mean by the word “claim”. have you walked into a classroom in one of our schools? Have you counted the desks? Have you ever tried to maintain decorum with a group of 27 boys? Have you tried to reach out to each one on a personal level? Have you ever marked 27 tests, spoken to 27 homes, checked their homework, and dealt with many amongst them that have special needs?
    When you have done that, ill ask you if you can please take in one or two more. I have done it on several occaisions, and although it worked, everyone in the class, lost something to my being overextended.
    Simple analogy, you’r driving a minivan with 8 passengers, are you lacking achdus if you don’t pick up some more passengers? Or perhaps you are negligent if you overload? Let’s not lose focus on the fact that if our chinuch fails due to overloading our classrooms, the spiritual consequences can be fatal.
    We should not reject anyone based on our personal social preferences, but that doesn’t mean we should recklessly accept everyone. May we all have a success with our children and talmidim!

  14. Why is our kehilla able to give Twelve Million a year to school one group of 130 children, but not even a dime to school another group of 130 children?

  15. I grew up in a small out of town community. My family was not frum but they sent me to the local hebrew day school. Children in that school ranges from chasidish all the way down to non religious. No one was worried that I would be a negative influence on anyone. in fact, they encourged the religious students to interact with me in hopes it would rub off on me, WHICH IT DID.

    I stil live in that town, as a religious person. My children go to the same day school, as religious students. They are friends with everyone in the school, including those from non religious homes. We invite those kids to our home for shabbos meals and their faces light up when they see the beauty of shabbos. The spear of influence ONLY works in one direction in this school *UP* – there is no reason to think it would be any different in lakewood. For people to say “gosh, I would never want my child in the same school as a child who’e mother does not cover her hair”, goes against everything that being a true Jew is all about. That attitude is why there is such a problem in Lakewood.

  16. To “Cheder Parent”,
    The end of your last comment smells real bad! Those last words you uttered says it all- you are “the BEST”. So you think at least.

  17. To all the people who say that all the schools should squeeze a little and take in a few kids each, even if they have ZERO room, and you call that Achdus………… Are you willing to squeeze a few homeless kids into your house, it will cause Achdus, as you say. And even if you have no room, the va’ad should force you. Who do you think you are to think that you’re better than everyone else and not let poor or homeless kids into your house. Where’s your Achdus?

    And you know how many single girls there are? The va’ad should force you to marry some of them. That would really cause Achdus. And even if a girl isn’t as frum as you, or won’t cover her hair, so what? Is that Achdus? Hashem wants Achdus, so obviously Hashem wants you to marry girls that are less religious than you, all for Achdus!

  18. I don’t know what to say. My girl comes home every day wanting to copy her friends’ latest styles. Could you imagine if her friends were less religious? The styles would be even worse. It’s bad enough by the ultra frum, we don’t need it any worse.

    Sorry, it’s a different generation today. In the old days, girls didn’t feel pressured by others’ styles. Today they do, and the least we can do as parents is keep them as sheltered possible. Just my two cents of course.

  19. Mama Bear, Dear, Hashem wants Achdus. The article emphasizes according to Shulchan Aruch. I believe that Shiduchim have one set of laws, taking in homeless a second set of laws and educating children and its responsibility a third set of laws. The author of this great article does say that one should talk to a posik in regard to how to best understand Achdus. That is a wonderful idea and addresses everybody, especially you.

  20. To Yid:

    Possibly your girls coming home wanting to copy other girls styles is because we have a mindset that ‘our kids school is the best (frumest / most yeshivish etc)’ and when that trickles down to your child, then automatically all classmates are just as frum/yeshivish as you so if the others are following a trend there is nothing wrong for me to also.

    Now think of the opposite. Your child has classmates on multiple levels. Either they would be explained by you, or clearly see the difference themselves, to understand they are different (not as frum / yeshivish) and on your families level do not belong following certain behaviors. It hopefully won’t even be hard for your child not to copy but something your child should/would be internally proud to keep to their own level since they have a clearer boundary.

    Do not expect your child to always be surrounded solely by those on your level. As the child gets older there are summer camps, eretz yisroel, work force etc. We are not living in a shtelal in Europe.

  21. Great article and kudos to TLS for actually posting it.

    I have another point. How about when you the parents of a child at risk or even just a child that is having negative influences in other areas are the ones on the receiving end of the abuse that you gave others many years back when you didnt want your kid to be in the same class as this one and that one.

    How does it feel when people are requesting that their kids should not be in your sons 11th grade because of of his misdeeds. It hurts. Right?

    My point is that life is not perfect. Yes, you want your son entering Yeshiva for the first time to be surrounded with only good, but you may one day be on the wrong of the stick. Just keep that in mind.

  22. @yid I would not be surprised if your daughters trait of wanting to be like others actually comes from you or your spouse. Lets not blame it on today’s generation alone. Our children emulate what they pick up at home as well.

    You thought that innocent conversation with your spouse about getting a Bugaboo or Highlander was beyond your child?! I dont think so.

  23. Sorry.. but maybe it’s the chinuch in your house thats lacking… I couldn’t disagree more.. keep Sheltering your kids to that extent and let me know how that works out for you. Are you so blinded that you cant see the kids that go “off” are from all walks of life? Its all Siyata D’shmaya. One day you should take a look in the mirror and maybe you will stop blaming others for where your lacking.

  24. I to came here in 1976. The town was small and the lack of growth aloud more focus on religion. It was quiet and peaceful. Now its a city. The rapid growth has brought many distractions, as someone mentioned above much materialism. I see many Frum people now in Walmart’s and Targets these stores offer many distractions, clothing- toys- DVDs etc.. we are slowly leaving our world. We have traded old used cars for SUV’s and I see both parents talking on cell phones as they drive. Even the junk food Is it a favor to make it Kosher for us… Do we need powerade and potato chips all of the modern world…I have seen a big change in how women dress, Is this what we wanted in the community soon I fear it will all be lost to the modern world. I see it and I know it.

  25. The real truth is there are still not enough place to accomadate all of the children. Numbers are our real issue but you mention achdus and compromise. Why does it always go in one direction? If a mother is too stuborn to add an inch or two to her skirt to conform woth halacha then who’s the on that needs achdus and compromise “al pi the shulchan aruch?”

  26. Do u really think in the old generation the girls didn’t want to imitate their friends? The difference is their parants told them NO and educated them that we are different, today the kids are spoiled and parents like u have no backbone to tell ur kids this isn’t how we do it

  27. #22- totally agree.

    I strongly disagree with #18. The dynamic in a large community like Lakewood is very different than the one in a small out of town community. In a small community a child knows that he/she is different and can differentiate between themselves and others. If a kid wants something or goes to a friend where the level of tzniyus has what to be desired the child says that is not me. The same is not applicable in Lakewood, where things are so nuanced.

    Arguably, Lakewood’s achdus, where things are so nuanced, is what creates this situation.

  28. I think the homeless reference is not appropriate in this discussion. I also think that its a shame that you don’t have enough confidence in the power of your chinuch to accept someone from out of your exact circle. Are you really worried that one “outsider” will ruin everything? We are talking about like minded people, who are here, like you, to grow and serve Hashem. There is no place in our society for exclusivity. Having achdus with only your exact circle is not achdus, its wrong. Imagine, if you can, the tables turned, and you were seeking acceptance. Maybe a school wouldn’t touch you because you’re such a conceited snob!

  29. Excellent article. No blaming, no accusing, no finger pointing, just a heartfelt plea to hopefully inspire Ve’yayasu Kulam Aguadah Achas (as we are about to claim over and over during the Yomim Noroim).

    Over this summer I read both the (Artscroll) book on Rav Nosson Tzvi ZT”L and Rebbetzin Kanievsky A”H. Just read those books and one will understand what gadlus in Aghavas Yisroel means – no matter who the Yid is or on what level they are.

    As you make your Cheshbon hanefesh now during the end of the year, remember what Rav Noach Weinberg ZT”L said over and over. The Rosh Yeshiva of kiruv, and also another legend in Ahavas Yisroel, used to tell people to think about their own Levaya. that’s right, think about what people will say about you when your laying there in the box. Will they say you stood strong on your principals and you raised wonderful sheltered children and manged your Daled Amos perfectly? or will they say, with clear examples, that you were a person who loved. You loved Hashem, you loved your family, you loved your friends, your neighbors, your fellow yid and yes you loved yourself. The Aish Hatorah Rosh yeshiva was famous for saying “if you don’t know what you are ready to die for then you have not begun to live!”

    Achdus, acceptance, tolerance, strength, and most of all the real true believing of Veohaveta Lerayacha Komocha – really stopping to think would I want someone to do to me or to my kids were I in the situation they are in now – once we really believe that then we have begun to understand what our Pirkei Avos, Mussar Seforim and leaders mean when pleading for Achdus.

    Excellent article!

  30. This is so true bit it’s just one side. If I own a school I might not want to take a kid who’s parents don’t dress appropriate or maybe they have Internet in their house (unfiltered). For every one of these I lose 4 kids who’s parents don’t want there kids to be with your Internet-Fahr-shmotzed kid. So what am I to do? The truth is there right why should one kid who is growing up in a house w/o Internet, where the mother dresses tzniusdik have to be associated with sOmebody who is just the opposite. It’s not like there not doing the right thing by not having Internet and dressing appropriately, they are!! Now I am not saying you guys out there don’t deserve a school but I just don’t want it to be mine. My school I would like it to be on the highest standards, not that I have anything against you personally, just that by me accepting you my school is lowering its level of Yiddishkeit.

  31. As a former “cheder kid” (yes that’s how the kids from Brooklyn called us) growing up in the Lakewood of the early 80’s, I love the nostalgia of this letter. We Cheder kids used to hang out in BMG at night, play handball off the dining room wall, sled down the hill by the dorm and play gorilla on the field between the yeshiva building and the dorm. Many of our parents davened in BMG and we also came there to learn on Shabbos. BMG was our second home.

    Yes, some of our parents wore colored shirts, some were blue collared, some learned in Kollel, some were Roshei Yeshiva (I had 2 of the Roshei Yeshivas kids in my grade) and others worked in computer programming (that was the only professional job any of our parents had). We wore the oddest clothing and no one cared. Jamesway was the only store we knew of. Some of us were poor and some ok (no one was rich) and all were accepted. There were no pizza shops (until Gelbsteins opened one up in the back of their store), restaurants or even Shabbos takeout (until Kosher Experience came around). The only grocery store was the Co-op which ran out of a basement in Yeshiva Apartments and then moved to the Irvington. We all lived either off Forest Ave or 14th street- that was the whole town.

    However, that has absolutely nothing to do with the Lakewood of today- there is no resemblance whatsoever. To figure out how to deal with the complexities and politics of Lakewood today, you need to benchmark with the largest Jewish communities in the world. Look toward Brooklyn, LA, Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and the Chassidic enclaves for inspiration and advice- not to the Lakewood of old.

  32. #39
    Reb Yaakov Kamenetzky said: Ad D’maikar Lo Bola. As long as you are setting an example in standards of Yidishkiet you will not be influenced.
    Perhpaps one worries that he will not always be in position to be a positive influence, and then what happens.
    But if you are no longer a positiveinfluence, according to your own words and trend setting, who will want to do with you.
    Kol Yisorel Araivim Ze Lozeh.
    The article is about Achdus and yours is about a different look.
    Please feel welcome to be part of Klal Yisroel and not keep your different look.

  33. WOW! First of all, all of God’s children are made in the image and likeness of God. Nevertheless, every child has an intellect and free will, that enables that child to think and act according to that child’s particular personality, upbringing, and the tenants of religious training.

    Parents have an obligation to educate all children, by deed and reasoning. However, sometimes, a child chooses another path, regardless of family and religious ties. Sometimes a family does not keep to all of the religious tenants.

    So what is the community to do? Cast them out! That does not work. It makes them bitter.

    These are precisely the children and/or family that need to be embraced, They need you to share your love and understanding with them. Acceptance in one’s chosen society is critical to most people. If they are treated as outcasts, they will surely become just that. If there is room in your heart to extend a helping hand in one way or another, that may make the difference in the lives a family.

    The private schools in Lakewood have let the community down. Where was the planning? Where was the sense of need to be ready to accommodate every child? Where was the sense that a good education is needed by every child? Where is all of this selection come from, and who is to chose who is holy enough and who is not. Keep this up, and you will lose the ties that bind you together.

    No one can divide your community from the outside. That can only be done internally.

    Take control! New and better schools are needed in good areas on and around Oak Street or in or near the Industrial Park. Perhaps BMG needs to help with finances and planning.

    No child should suffer merely because someone believes that he or she is unworthy. All of God’s children are worthy, and worth saving.

  34. number #20—you are right on the mark—and lo and behold—our godal hador–rabbi shteinman–may he live to 120–agrees with you 100%–there is a video where he berates a man for thinking that a young bachor isnt good enough to be his son’s friend—it is enlightening and profound–but then he is rabbi shteinman—-we must listen –we must -for the health of our people

  35. This is one of the best letters written to TLS.

    It is 100% true that we need to be accepting of people on all levels. Of course, there will always be those who can make a good argument of, G-d forbid, exposing their sacredly sheltered children to those unperfect enough to associate with their kind.

    But they are wrong! If you are lucky enough to have been raised on a higher level, then your purpose in life is to inspire others. Not only is elitism wrong, it does not and never has worked. If you can’t open your heart to those less perfect than you, then you can perpetually delight in your self deceptive dreams until you finally find yourself on the other side trying to get in.

  36. I have to laugh at all of these comments, I was born in Lakewood in the 50’s my parents were born here in the 20’s you talk about the changes you have seen!! We all went to PUBLIC school together and we all got along- all races, creeds, religions and colors!! The public school turns no one away and you learn that there are many different people in the world, you become tolerant and accepting not separate and wanting it all for yourself and to heck with the rest! Lakewood is not even close to the town i grew up in, lived in and worked in for over 55 years. Most have no idea of the history of the town nor do they care, it has been erased- it has become a laughing stock. So sad. Try working together- all people -you may learn from each other!! No one is better than anyone else!!

  37. Update: Nobody cared enough to help this group of people out, so its every man for themselves. At least one fabulous person should be thanked publicly for over the top caring and loving others Jews. That’s Yanky Mandelbaum.

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