We’re bleeding. Our Jewish community is need of a strong refuah now. Last night a former student from a yeshiva I taught at recognized me as we were entering a pizza store. He and his other Jewish friends sat behind us. He was not wearing a kipah. I asked him where he goes to school and he said public high school. I asked them why don’t you go to yeshivah and the friend answered he likes public school.
They were using inappropriate language and I felt so sad. I remembered the student. He had the same sweet face.
This is our future. This is what we fought so hard and long to achieve. Finally, our brothers and sisters in the former Soviet Union were permitted to leave and to come to a free country where they could practice Judaism. These families and their descendants are our responsibility. We have to do something and we have to do it now!
Our Jewish Children was started with the hope of helping students who would otherwise attend public school, transfer to yeshiva . We provide tuition assistance which can sometimes be the last hammer blow that allows a family to decide to send their child or children to yeshivah.
Queens has the highest number of Jewish children attending public school. Many of those children are from Russian and Bukharian families although not all of them. WE must help. There is no choice.