The Pendulum Of Jewish Observance

Full tuition at Jewish high school such as YULA and Shalhevet runs close to $30,000 a year.

A Jewish mother emails: Hi Luke:

When parents send their kids to Jewish school all their lives, they expect them to be religious.

From my experience, and observations of my child’s generation, that is not the outcome, truth be told.

The pendulum is swinging back to a time of less observance. keeping kosher, shabbat observance, etc.

I wish that you would write something about Shalhevet’s policy about barring students from attending classes if their parents fall behind on tuition. It happened to me. It is happening to other students I know of, currently. I am a parent who paid tuition for my kids over the past dozen years. When business slowed down last year, they pulled my son out from class and asked me to pick him up. They would not allow him to return. I had about half a dozen meetings with them, explaining my financial situation (broke). I was told by an inside faculty member that they thought that I had hidden assets somewhere. I signed a form allowing them to investigate my (zero) assets. I have lived in the same tiny apartment with my kids for years. I have paid for private Jewish school all their years. Last year I couldn’t pay them. So I enrolled my kid in public high school this past year. It was very heart breaking. I was not allowed to speak to anyone else but CFO, not head of school, etc. She had control of my son’s future.

There is supposed to be a safety net (Donors!) for parents who experience financial problems. It’s against the Torah to embarrass someone, especially a child!!! Imagine!! It was horrible and mean spirited, with final exams and concert performances, and the student not being allowed to participate, having worked so hard the whole year.

SARA* EMAILS: I read your blog about the parent who wrote in about how Shalhevet treated them by kicking out their kid from the school due to financial issues. It happened to 2 of my daughters friends, they did not let them in the school to take their finals or to finish off the year due to financial difficulties that the parents were having.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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