EXCLUSIVE: Refining Rechnitz Targeting – by Richard H. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D.

roberts rechnitz tlsI have never spoken with Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, nor heard him speak, until a video of his speech last week regarding the Lakewood community vis-a-vis its school system.

It is clear that Reb Shlomo is a tsaddik who cares about the suffering and welfare of Lakewood children and families and who uses his time, energy, thought, and money to try to rectify some of our challenges.

The following information should enable him to more precisely identify the challenges to more effectively target his solutions.

The rejection of some children by Lakewood schools, beyond capacity limitations, is not due to arrogance, a lack of caring, or elitism. It is due to a desire to insulate pure souls, during their developmental years, from secular values and the pervasive electronic media which pushes those secular values in tempting and seductive packaging to children who do not yet understand the world around them.

Intel makes computer chips, and pharmaceutical companies make injectable drugs, in absolutely pure environments since introduction of contaminants during the formation process can ruin the resultant product. The more contaminants there are the greater the risk of a faulty product that is supposed to perform correctly when launched into the world.

Many people in Lakewood accept a life of severe economic hardship to live and raise their families in a pure Torah environment. In my experience, when a group of these people will leave a school if a certain student attends it is not due to some elitist, arrogant, or callous attitude but it is to protect the success of their most important product, their children.

During adolescence, children are developing their own identities separate from their parents and within the context of the group that surrounds them (which is a child’s society). The degree that secular values are permitted to enter that child’s society is an increased level of risk that the child’s development will be distracted or derailed from Torah values.

Not every Orthodox Jew agrees that the level of dress, exposure to electronic media, or extracurricular activities must meet the standards of the “greasy yeshivish” community (disclaimer – I love and respect “greasy yeshivish” and I financially support such people.). But the response should not be to try to force the “more-with-it” children into greasy-yeshivish schools. The correct target for Reb Shlomo should be to sponsor a range of more-with-it schools in Lakewood so that the entire range of frum children can be accommodated.

For example, one such boy’s school might be for those with video in the home but who want mostly Torah learning. Another such boy’s school might teach a couple of hours of Torah each day but mostly teach professions such as being a plumber, electrician, computer repair technician, and car repair expert. There would need to be a variety of girl’s schools too.

On a personal note, my first child was rejected from the Lakewood elementary school, that we applied to, three weeks before the school year was scheduled to start. For two weeks, I called multiple times to the school begging them to tell me why she was rejected. No one ever picked up the phone but I left messages explaining that I was not trying to get her into the school anymore but we just wanted to know if there was something that we needed to change or if I had insulted someone to whom I needed to apologize. For those two weeks, I felt that the Lakewood community had “spit me out” as Eretz Yisroel does to treif behavior. Since my daughter was six years old, and my wife was from Bais Yaakov of Boro Park, I could only conclude that I must have damaged my child by my being a baal tsheuvah. We would need to move ASAP out of Lakewood so that my daughter could go to school. The pain, the hurt, the aching was indescribably deep and unrelenting. After two weeks of no reply from the school, we were told from friends who knew the administration that we were rejected because we had a video machine (VHS in those days) in our home which we used to play children’s videos (Uncle Moishe, Sesame Street, etc.). That day we gave our video machine to a kiruv organization. Our home became video-free. With one week left to the school year, we were accepted to another “right wing” girl’s school in Lakewood which subsequently educated all of my girls and to which I donated over $1.6MM years later when I had some financial success.

I understand the pain of having one’s child rejected from admittance to the school system. But the solution is not to force schools to accept children who do not represent what each particular school is trying to achieve. Reb Shlomo can do a lot of good by sponsoring additional schools which are designed to accept the children and families who do not fit the current schools’ objectives. Everyone agrees that every child is precious and deserves a Torah education. Reb Shlomo has demonstrated the caring and willingness to dedicate his resources to achieving this goal. I hope that this essay will help him to refine his targeting to achieve a solution.


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  1. Wow. Elegant, true , and b’lovodik. May Hashem help you, R Shlomo and others like you have continued hatzlocha so you can continue your avodas hakodesh

  2. Thank you Dr. Roberts for taking the time to write this article. I certainly do respect You and all you’ve done and continue to do for the Lakewood Community which I am happy to be a part of.

    But with all due respect… the “system” has changed since your child was first denied acceptance several years back. “Nowadays” if you do not apply to a school in Lakewood without informing the school of what pull you have and why they should accept you then you (or your child) will not get in.

    I can assure you the five schools my wife and I applied to did not do any research whatsoever in to my wife, my kid, or myself. I do not own a DVD player, I wear white shirts, an kovea itim and conform to everything the yeshiva stands for (I am working now though). I went through the yeshiva system and both my wife and myself come from good families.

    Having said all this I don’t believe I “walk on water” and I found out through other sources that at least three of the schools we applied to did not make one phone call about us after they received our application.

  3. Thank You Dr. Roberts.
    I have recently had the zchus of meeting Dr Roberts, and saw first hand a true oheiv Yisroel, who genuinely loves all of Klal Yisroel, but more specifically, he loves and respects bnei torah.
    How lucky we are to have such a selfless man in our community, who among all his other chassadim, stood up to the world when we needed him to speak out the truth of our beautiful community, and to explain the reality of the situation.
    Let us hope his words hit their mark, and hopefully we’ll see an attitude change towards our chashuveh community.
    May Hkb”h bentch him with gezunt and nachas from his whole family

  4. Kudos. Very well said. A real man with a big heart overcame rejection and keeps doing for the community. A clear thinking person. May he have much.success in all he does

  5. EXCELLENT piece. That sums it up better than most others can. It isn’t coming from a bad place, arrogance or elitism when parents ask that the yeahiva has or girls school not accept a certain child. It is most often coming from the desire to make sure their children are in a proper environment as befitting Lakewood. I KNOW Dr. Roberts is right. How? Been there done that. Exactly for the reason he so eloquently put forth.

  6. Well said!!!
    I always wounder why some not-so-hashkafically-amazing families even want their kids in the more yeshivish schools?!?
    mixed messages to their kids.
    A freind recently told me, “I hate when these teachers tell my daughter (in a top Lkwd school) about covering elbows (shes 6) & knees, then she makes me crazy to listen to those rule”.
    She clearley belongs in a different school. Dont mess up our kids who we are happy to dress according to halacha.

  7. Dr Roberts, very well written. However schools in lakewood that have accepted working parents, who when they needed children accepted all types and was not affraid of the negative influence of these kids, now want to create a elitist school. They want to reject working people, not because they don’t learn, (because they do) and not because of they have internet at home (becuase thye never asked) but for only one reason, not chinuch habonim and bonos, but rather to create a great and exclusive name for their school.

    Additionally, rabbi rechnitz in my eyes was not knocking a school for not accepting a working parent, but they way they did it.

    The schools care more for their external image then for the actual chinuch.

    When they care for chinuch, wholeheartedly, the rbsha will give them siyata dshmaya and every child will have a school.

  8. I disagree respectfully about this solution of creating new schools to accomodate the other type of families. In ALL Yeshivas there are ALL types of frum families with different standards all over the US . I ,for one grew up going to YOB and my family were not even observant! Our ‘type’ of children were a minority so it only assisted us to become ‘frum” and to follow the dictates of Torah and the majority of the school.
    Doors should be opened to anyone who wants a ‘torah’ education and if they dont mind being with ‘greasy yeshivish’ why should the school mind???

  9. Well said but the fact is some very frum people are also having trouble getting into schools.

    Additionally calling a School not to accept another child in order for my child to have a better education is pure rishos. Anyone that has ever learned Mussar seriously would never even think of doing things like that.

  10. If it is really about protecting our children from negative influence, then we need to study if its the less or more yeshivish schools that have found serious negative influence through electronic devices. There have been some really bad stories of kids showing other kids some really bad Internet sites, were those kids from yeshivish homes or the “working home”? Did those stories happen in the yeshivish yeshiva or the less yeshivish? I let you guess!

  11. how bout teaching kids to grow some backbone. You want to know why we dont do that? bc the gedolim say not to! You want to know why we dont buy that? bc we spend our money on things that earn nitzchius and not glamor or popularity. None of our gedolim grew up in insulated bubbles. The yetzer hara has been alive and well since the days of adam harishon albeit in a different form. Our generation thinks we have a “yetzer hara crisis”! Its called life!!

  12. By raise of hands how many of us grew up and went to schools that had a little “mix” of types of families amongst us.
    Look at how many of us only grew from the experience and are nice solid frum people with nice midos today. How many of us became “at risk” 20 years ago because one of our classmates might have had a “black box״ in their home??!

    Now look today here in Lakewood where the schools are trying to remain “homogenous”…how many “at risk” children are coming out of this system??? Look at the Lakewood streets on motzei shabbos..how sad???
    Something must be wrong with the system. Nothing is going to happen if your child has a friend In her class whose father is wearing (gasp) a blue shirt or (gasp) working to make a Parnasah. It won’t kill our children to know there are all different types of us.
    Perhaps keeping our children so sheltered will only make them run after things that they know they can’t have.

    Live and let be!!!

  13. I think it should be known that the Roshei Teshiva and the vaad have “a no child will be left behind policy” and they spend endless hours involved without any credit, the issue here starts from the fact that everyone in town wants the best ruchniyus for their children and they feel that it will be best in a certain school of their choice. Now schools only have a limited amount of slots so you will have people that will be turned away bec. there actually is no room!! we must recognize that these issues come from a good place and yes its not a perfect system. when a school is faced with accepting they will accept someone that they have people vouching for as opposed to a unknown! its not a personal decision at all! they are not judging you!

  14. So much to say. I send my kids to a smaller girls school that is catered to working parents. It’s an amazing school. However when it comes to highschool no one wants them. When it comes to sleep away camps, no one wants them. All because they go to this school. How do we solve that problem?

  15. All I can say after a week of pro-SY, neutral-SY, anti-SY or indifferent-SY is thank Heaven we finally have something to talk about!
    I mean, how much can we hear about Jackson Strong or Gourmet Flatt or Snowmeggedon Three:The Missing Plows or Pray for me I drive in Lakewood!?!

    (Please pass the popcorn!)

  16. I am sorry but rabbi rechnitz was correct here. There is a certain amount of snobbery here in the Lakewood schools now. I grew up in Lakewood and in my class was a mix. Some lived in yeshiva apartments and were extremely sheltered. Some came from yeshivish working homes that weren’t as sheltered and then there were girls like me who watched Disney movies and such and there was even a girl in my class who’s mother didn’t always cover her hair. We all went to each other’s house for our pirkei Avos groups and we all shopped at the co-op for heimesh brands for any school function. All of the girls in my elementary school class are not only frum today but raising beautiful Jewish households. The rejection coming from these schools is crazy. Lakewood used to be a wonderful place where every Jew was looked at as a beautiful person and rabbi rechnitz is trying to bring it back. Schools have to get over themselves and so do the parent bodies.

  17. In theory, What R’ Roberts says makes sense. But it doesn’t reflect the reality. Not all the kids who are rejected are children who come from problematic (or what is considered problematic today) homes. I used to say it can’t be true, but I have seen proof that it is the case in some schools, that children from good, Torahdik, solid homes are rejected because the father is working. If that isn’t elitist, what is?

  18. I have great respect for Rabbi Roberts and what he has done for Lakewood and Klal Yosroel. However this idea that school are restrictive because they want to keep children who would be a bad influence out is just not accurate.

    It is common practice for people who are considering going out to work, to stay in kollel a little longer, just so they can get their kids into school.

    Are these peoples haskafos any different because they stayed in kollel for one extra year, just so they can get their kids into school. What about a person who was in kollel for 10 years, then tried getting his first son or daughter into school. Are his hashkafos suddenly different because he had his first noy or girl later in life, when he was already working.

    Their is a bias against working fathers, regardless of hashkafos.

  19. Kids from the best homes, fathers who are b’nei Torah watch videos. Does that mean they should be rejected from a school? If fathers don’t work and only learn, how will they be able to pay tuition to those wonderful schools? I think schools should be a blend of working, learning parents, with all kinds of hashkofos, but it is up to the parents and the schools to instill in their children the values they want them to have, and with the right hadrocho at home and in school, hopefully the children should turn out just fine. If you care about what other children might be teaching your children, don’t let them play in everyone’s home, but screen their friends and create an atmosphere at home that they should want to emulate.

  20. as someone who grew up in lkwd i can say that schools were always competing for ‘elitness’. I remember when 1 school changed to the white shirt only for 7th grade and slowly all the other schools had to
    ‘keep up with the race to stay on top’ and make it a rule by them too.

    I too had a very diverse class from all walks of life: from the Lakewood Rosh Yeshivas grandchild to less fortunate child of a broken home.
    we all did just fine with eachother regardless of our home life.
    Its ironic that after 8th grade i found myself in highscool with kids from all schools mixed together and it didnt really matter which school you came from at that point. I think and i may be wrong that its high school that matters more than elementary school when it comes to the issues of our generation…..

  21. “Really” and “Lakewood girl” both of you are head-on!! Many of those like myself who grew up in “out of town” communities and are fine ehrlich yidin today, some even choshuva roshei yeshivos, grew up in schools that were and are a “mix” of all kinds of kids! If we would just give our kids the correct back-bone and foundation, and bring them up in the right type of home, these kinda things won’t affect our kids! Ps thx r rechnitz! If only their were more people like you who knew they had such power and used it the right way like you did and do!

  22. I still think It’s a numbers game. Schools receive tons of applications and don’t have the proper staff to research each applicant. According to their statistics, the odds of a Yeshiva family fitting the mold is greater than the working family. Until one proves that assertion wrong, the system isn’t likely to change.

    What do you suggest?

  23. Elitist is not only an issue in the greasy schools if I may say so myself.
    And elitist doesn’t only refer to the not with it crowd but often is amongst the with if crowd.
    To be told by a staff member when applying for my child that I may not get an interview if they don’t approve of my family sounds quite elitist to me.
    Sure enough we didn’t get our child an interview. We are a torahdik family, not sure what wasn’t approved enough for them to respond in such a way.
    Maybe cuz my husband works? But so do many others?! Maybe cuz I’m from out of town? So Re many others? I accept it from Hashem but the insinuation is hurtful.

  24. It’s a nice piece
    But the fact is that there are a lot of people not getting in because they don’t have pull or not elite people
    I am one of them and I know others
    I learn in yeahiva and my wife dresses apropete
    My daughter wasn’t a 100 student and got rejected

  25. This is not the point:
    1) The availability of newer schools does NOT exonerate the more established schools from accepting more students since often the parents have good motives for applying to that school. (Although some parents might be seeking it bc of image or peer pressure etc., a Yeshiva may not assume that.)
    2) Never should a mosad “brush” anyone off to the newer mosdos. Every applicant should be received with dignity and respect. When we moved to Lakewood with a bla”h large family, we found a mosad who felt that achrayos. They told us clearly “NO” (no roundabouts) due to space constraints, yet they were there for us in every way to the extent of their capability. Finally they accepted one of our children as well. Not for a second did they think why should we accept them if the newer schools have more room…..

    I’m a talmid of R’ Nosson Tzvi Finkel ztz”l who is renowned for loving each and every Bachur and new applicant to Mir which resulted in huge Yeshiva. I keep wondering how HE would run a mosad in Lakewood. Would he keep adding parallels? Possibly. Would he even consider himself patur because there is a newer mosad in town? Not for a second! THAT is the achrayos of a ba’al mosad…. (I can’t put this properly into words, you have to have known R’ Nosson Tzvi to understand this.)

  26. There are some truths on both sides.
    We the parents and the rabbonim should unite and not let the acceptance letters go out until every kid has a school
    How would we feel if our children didn’t get an answer till school starts or later !!
    The same way most children have schools by the beginning of the year they should be Forced to do this ‘trading’ before ACCEPTANCE LETTERS ARE SENT OUT!!!!!!
    It seems like they are being used as trading peices

  27. Rich you have a good point. However today even hard core yeshiva yungerlight can not get their kids into school, part of the problem is space, yes we need more schools. I am of the opinion we need not just more space but to create an environment where the schools need our kids.
    Also it is not only the rejected kids who are hurt every single child in Lakewood in some way is being sent a message we don’t need you to be part of klal yisroel. Every child is receiving a message you are trash. Think about it.

  28. Someone asked r Aron leib steinman should I go to an elitist school school and he answered we didn’t go as didn’t many other gedilim. We went to the community school and I think we turned out fine…… Btw thank u dr. Roberts for giving $ to our wonderful school and everything else u do…

  29. i have to say, it has been really entertaining watching the fallout from Reb Shlomo’s speech. From the righteous indignation of his supporters to the fierce “defenders of the faith” people, to the backpedaling wafflers who if they backpedal any more they’re going to end up in last month. I don’t care to share my opinion on this, I would just like to leave you with a thought. My own personal situation as a kid was that of the frum “with-it” crowd. And as such I never could understand how my yeshiva could on one hand lambast and denigrate those who would go to college and earn degrees in medicine, law, or finance but would hand us lists of such so we could go out on Purim and collect for the yeshiva FROM THOSE VERY SAME PEOPLE. Names of wealthy businessman from the Syrian Jewish community graced the exterior walls of the Beis Medrash, the high school, and the elementary school, while we were taught that they were “others”, practically “goyim”. But their money…….ahhhh…..their money was tahor enough for us to take it. I never forgot the hypocrisy. And so I sit back and watch the fireworks. And the machlokes, and the bickering and accusations. And all I can do is shake my head and utter a rueful laugh. At the end of the day, the very same bochurim that are “with it” or their parents went to college, or they have a TV……all still need spiritual guidance and Torah in their lives. And frankly, the yeshivas are going to need them later, for the monetary support.

  30. I respectfully disagree. Rejection is a blessing in life, it allows us to focus on what is actually important. Because those that mind, don’t matter and those that matter, don’t mind.

  31. Yos. You hit the nail on the head. The kids and family’s are being used as trading peices. I know for a fact the schools hold off accepting kids who are ok to accept for their school but appear to have an issue. This way they get credit when they negotiate with the askonim and say ok i will take this kid because you ask. See i am a zadik.

  32. I have read the comments. I think that some of them are spot-on.

    Here are some points that I would like to make in response to the comments.

    1. The usual limit for the number of words, in a published article, is around 700. Since my essay was over 800 words, I could not expand upon every topic. On some subjects I had to be very cryptic.

    2. Some comments criticize schools for not interviewing every child/family, even if the child won’t be accepted, to maintain the dignity of each child. In my article, I referred to “capacity” issues. It is likely that in many cases, due to the rapid growth (B’H’) of the number of children in our community, schools are too overwhelmed with applications to give due attention to each one. Post “30. unhappy” is correct.

    3. Some people cite 20 to 40 year old examples of how the mixed classes produced great frum people. In the last 20 years, the internet went from being an emergency military communication system to infiltrating virtually every home in America with the secular culture. Also, the ethical content of entertainment has deteriorated severely over that same period. What we see, hear, and experience influences us.

    4. When I wrote about geasy-yeshivish families not wanting their children exposed to children who watch current entertainment, that was just a surrogate for the whole range of behaviors that these (and other) parents don’t want their children to be exposed to. Due to the need to limit the number of words, I did not expound upon this topic but I assumed that people would understand that I also meant children who are involved with the other gender, using illegal drugs, demonstrating some specific overt psychiatric disorders that could influence other children, etc.

    5. Comment “24 JustWondering” is correct that many greasy schools don’t want working families. These families need to band together to open their own schools. This brings me to my most important point…

    Conclusion – The greasy-yeshivish schools are not going to change as long as there are plenty of students to fill their classrooms (which there are). Rav Shlomo criticizing them, or this great community, will not change these particular schools nor achieve his desired objective of providing schools for children who do not fit the characteristics that these schools seek. We are now experiencing the early stages of the “tsunami” which I warned about at the BMG Tent Meeting about four years ago – a rapidly expanding child population (B’H’) in a financially broke community where most of this generation of parents have exhausted their parents’ or grandparents’ savings and they don’t have a secular education to command substantial incomes. At that time, I said that I did not have an answer. But a rabbi subsequently told me that there are some frum Jews, from the yeshiva educational system, who have become super-wealthy so they can fund the expansion of the school system. I saw one such opportunity in Rav Shlomo’s recent address so I wrote my article in the hope of adjusting the current discourse to achieve this goal. It is interesting that most people only focused on the one limited aspect of my article that “hit a nerve” with them and did not address my overall objective. Rav Shlomo is clearly a well intended, caring person who has the resources to change this situation to achieve the goal that he desires. I hope that he will do so.

  33. Mr. Roberts,
    You write: “Comment “24 JustWondering” is correct that many greasy schools don’t want working families. These families need to band together to open their own schools.”

    So are you suggesting that we make an official Lakewood policy of having a segregated school system?

    You also write: “The greasy-yeshivish schools are not going to change as long as there are plenty of students to fill their classrooms (which there are)…. criticizing them, or this great community, will not change these particular schools…”

    How can we ever hope to change anything if we don’t even call people out for their misdeeds? Saying that they won’t change is inexcusable.

  34. To 43. Yadayadayada

    I was not frustrated that they did not return my call.

    I was dismayed, demoralized, and frantic. I did not know what to do. I did not know how to address the problem if they wouldn’t tell me what the problem was and I had no other way of identifying the problem. I couldn’t read their minds. My child was being hurt and I didn’t know why.

  35. With all due respect to Dr. Robert’s. I would rather that my kids hang out with children who’s parents are giving caring loving individuals even if they watch Bugs Bunny with their kids, rather than hanging out with kids from families who’s middos are not up to par with what I would want from my children. I hope you see where I’m going with this. It’s a slippery slope With many twists and turns and what’s good for one is not good for another. So we should just maybe have 40,000 private teachers teaching each of our kids individually because there is something about the other kid that I don’t like.

  36. Dear Dr.Roberts ,
    Thank you for everything you do on behalf of the klal. I strongly desegree with you though on making separate schools for different types of people & if the level of frunkeit is the same would be no rejection ..
    I am personally a bal teshuva from one of the former ussr countries & people from this community went out & influenced me to leave my family behind & go to Yeshiva . I learned in kolel for 8 years , wear black & white & Daven with a hat , no internet etc .
    But when we started to send out application to 3-4 NEWER schools not one exceptance letter came in !! I couldn’t understand you brought me here but don’t want my kids ?? You spent millions on kiruv projects & now I am here & you will turn my kids away ??
    I knew some menahalim of schools – didn’t help , my rosh Yeshiva went in to office of some schools no help, until one of wealthier people I knew made a phone call , all of a sudden you are in . The button line the schools excepting people for their own high reputation, if your family has $ you are fit our standards you in , no $, No connections we don’t care , go back to shuvu or Sinai ? Is This a normal system that only $ counts ?
    Kudos to Shlomo Rechnitz for standing up for our kids !!

  37. I am deeply saddened by this letter.
    I am hurt by this letter for those solid bnei TOrah Lakewood yungerman—WHO struggle so hard to put food on the table for their family-working long hours coming home late -only to run help their wives for the few minutes they have before running back out to night kollel and then sometimes back out to continue working and if your lucky a hop on the way home to buy something for his wife which she forgot to buy while schlepping to grocery or store with all her kids…..(don’t forget she’s not as lucky ” as my wife where I can run from 2-4 ) We’re talking about a guy who lives for Torah who works so
    His kids and family can have Torah and who runs after a full day of the hardest work sometimes physical work – like you dr Roberts mentioned plumber electrician …… to learn Torah ….. And you say to segregate ? That this kind of person /family is not good enough for the yeshivish school ? Is that not eliteism ? PLEASE dr Roberts HELP me understand how this would help such a community like Lakewood who stands for TORAH and obviously all that Torah encompasses. I don’t believe this letter was meant for tears . Please help me and others understand . Thank you for what you have done in the past.

  38. Dear Dr. Roberts,

    As I am aware of part of what you do for the Klal, it actually hurt me to down vote your comment. The fact that you acknowledged my earlier point that there is a bias against working parents, yet were willing to accept that is disturbing.

    I learned in what you would call “greasy” Yeshivos (personally, I cringe at this term, as I have these same hashkafos myself, even after going out to work, and I don’t consider them greasy)

    While I was in these Yeshivos, the Chashivus for spending a life in learning was always stressed, and that working is inferior. There is a reason why Yeshivos do this. It is because Yeshivos are there to make Gedolim and this is the ideal environment to nurture that.

    The reality is that after many years in Kollel, I needed a Parnossah. The same Rosh Yeshivos that had these “greasy haskafos” encouraged me at this stage in my life as well. My Hashkafos have not changed, and although I may not reach the same Aliyos I did at certain points in yeshivah, I have not changed.

    There is a false elitism that exists in Lakewood. What I have noticed is that it does not exist among the Ehrliche Yungeliet and Bnei Torah. It is most prevalent among those who were shmoozing in the hallways, while I was learning with Hasmodah and Mesiras Nefesh. Yet unfortunately this attitude has permeated the Mosdos.

    This fake elitism is not healthy for the community. It is also not healthy for the children, as they can see through it, and frankly, it turns many of them off. To just accept this as reality is a defeatist attitude that will harm more than just those who have faced rejection

  39. I grew up out of town and attended one of the bais yaakovs in my community which was like all the schools in my city which accepted everyone as long as they abided by the hashkafos of the school. As long as all school rules were adhered to, no one “checked” into us to see if we were frum enough for the school. Yet now I am married and have been living in Lakewood for almost 10 years and as I think about my neighbors we all more or less are at the same hashkafic levels. They all allow their children to play with mine and vice versa. Of the mothers. grew up in chicago, another in baltimore, one in cleveland and yet another in toronto with the rest in the tri state area including Lakewood. same with the fathers. There’s one from Philadelphia, one from Detroit, one from cleveland and the rest from tri state area. At the end though the only way to really discern who originated from where is from the accents! My question is and I would love to have someone answer, is if the out of towners grew up attending schools where all were accepted, why at the end is there not a difference between these parents and the ones who grew up in lakewood, brooklyn and monsey attending more “insular” schools?

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