Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

Conflict and Compromise: Day School Parents Weigh In

Last year, I published an essay on MyJewishLearning.com called “Seize the Day School.” I worried about this essay. “Seize” spelled out, in great detail, my own ambivalences — note the plural — about sending my daughter to Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. I feared that once the piece was published, her teachers might treat my little girl…differently; that the school moms would stop smiling at me and my wife; that our tuition bill would start growing exponentially.

My fears were unfounded.

In fact, people seemed to like the damned thing. The editor-in-chief of MyJewishLearning.com said that “Seize” “received a more impassioned response than almost all of our other articles.” The people at the school were jazzed, and I heard from a number of day school parents about it. Why? I think they were happy to see someone articulate his own nuanced feelings about Jewish education.

Clearly, there was a lot to say about day school, but only the rare opportunity for people to speak candidly in public. So after the story went live, I teamed up with the Project for Excellence in Jewish Education — you can call them PEJE — to get other people writing essays. The project produced a number of “Seize”-like pieces from a diverse group of authors, who had either attended, or who had kids in, day school.

The results were varied, stylish, thoughtful and honest. To wit:In “Et Tu, Brute?” Michael “Mr. Yiddish” Wex waxes poetic about the immense value of his daughter’s Hebrew education. Joshua Halberstam, philosophy professor and author of the recent novel “A Seat at the Table” compares his severe yeshiva education to his kids’ more liberal day school lives. It’s funny. Interesting. And a little sad.

Have you got a day school story of your own? E-mail us at [email protected] to share your experience.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.