Jews, for centuries have been referred to as “people of the book.” We are undoubtedly the most educated minority in the world. Jews have led the world in the fields of science, industry, commerce and mathematics. Just try a computer search for “Jews in literature” and “Jewish Pulitzer Prize Winners.” But for many young boys and girls attending Jewish day schools (yeshivas) throughout New York State and New Jersey, the study of English (reading and writing) and mathematics offered them is shamefully lacking. They are not being adequately prepared for the future by their educators. They are being crippled by the scant knowledge they receive education-wise and in acquiring the basic rudimentary skills in writing that will prove absolutely essential for them to succeed in the career of their choosing.
The real tragedy here is that not only are the students being short-changed but the parents are as well. Without mentioning any names, there are a few day schools that serve the Jewish community throughout New York and New Jersey. Each of them boasts an eye-popping tuition price tag that comes along with the honor of attending these schools.
One would think that if parents are shelling out approximately $120,000 for their child to receive a high school education, the school administrators and board members would make it a priority to hire the very best English teachers in order to give each student the highest quality education.
As a newspaper that has hired eager student interns over the years to write on a part time basis during school vacations, we can honestly say that for the most part (with very few exceptions), these high school students are ill equipped to produce even a simple news article, let alone a literature essay that may be required of them in college.
Yes, their writing skills get a huge F, as the schools that churned them out have abysmally failed these students in a multitude of ways. Just to give a background, achieving at least a modicum of success in writing can make or break a career. Writing is a requisite skill that each of us must use on a daily basis. Without a masterful education in writing, our society which is currently predicated on intellectual curiosity, is doomed to collapse before our very eyes.
Our children are being raised in a modern society and when they enter the competitive world of commerce and industry they must be prepared to compete for jobs. Religious schools must alter their curricula to firstly educate their kids to read, write, compute and to understand what the complete world is all about. We need well-rounded, world-conscious, well-read students to lead us in the dangerous years ahead.
We must encourage our youth to use their writing abilities other than to chat on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platform. Limiting their communication skills to the electronic media does them and the society in which they will create a great disservice.
We need to put our heads together in a brainstorming effort focusing on effective modalities on which to significantly boost the standards of education we are offering our youth who will represent the future.
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