I am not sure if the wider Lakewood community knows this, but as of Rosh Chodesh Shevat there are still 15 elementary school-age children who do not have a school to attend!
Yes, you read that right. We are more than halfway through the school year and sadly, no, tragically, these innocent girls are home … every single day. Without school, without friends, without a social life.
Recently, a prominent Rebbetzin in town called to inform me about this. I was shocked! How could this not have been in the headlines?!
The Rebbetzin told me that she personally knows some of the girls, and I have been told by highly reliable sources that they are truly wonderful, regular girls that any teacher would love to have in their classroom.
Now, I am not here to assign blame. The “sugya” of school placement is not a simple one. It is very easy to point fingers, but that does not get us anywhere.
What I do feel that all of us can and must do is contemplate the pain and suffering that these girls, their parents and their families must be undergoing! We always talk about how important ahavas Yisrael is. Now is the time to arouse within ourselves, our innate ahavas Yisrael and be nosei b’ol.
First and foremost, by davening. We should all daven three times a day, begging Hashem to grant all Jewish children a proper school to learn in. When you see your own children come home from school, think about those who are not so fortunate!
Second, if you can, in any way whatsoever intercede with a school, please do so!
Third, if you know of any girl who does not have a school, try to include her in your or your children’s social events. Perhaps, when you do something extracurricular, call to invite her.
I recently merited writing a book about Harav Shlomo Gissinger, zt”l. Rav Gissinger was the ultimate advocate for children without schools. What made him take on this thankless task?
He really could not bear to see the pain of these children and their parents and the possible resultant long-term spiritual fallout.
It is time to show that we care as well!
Avrohom Birnbaum, Lakewood, N.J.