Have your say

We welcome ideas, evidence and opinions to enrich the community conversation about our Jewish schools. All comments will be moderated, and disrespectful posts will not be published. The Working Group also reserves the right not to publish comments that identify particular schools or individuals.

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  1. naleket says:

    An important aspect that needs to be identified is to define what Jewish Education is. Each school has curriculums that emphasis their particular ideology.
    What is lacking across all Jewish schools in Australia are core minimum requirements for Jewish literacy.
    Fluency in Hebrew- Jewish History- Jewish culture- Jewish Religion.
    That should be a requirement for all Jewish schools . Otherwise a lot of money and resources are wasted if after 12 years in a Jewish school, students graduate as ignorant Jews.

  2. SG2021 says:

    I would like to thank the working committee for all the hard work that has gone in to getting this discussion going.
    A suggestion, which may have already been put forward: combining the schools into one, with all secular studies being studied together, whilst religious studies being offered via a streamed system.

    1. Site Manager says:

      Thank you that is a great idea and something we will consider going forward.

  3. DanielJenshel says:

    Great initiative by Alan and the team behind this working paper and group. I feel the goal of affordable jewish education will only eventuate when individual and organizations objectives surrounding the jewish school system are meshed with a new global community goal for the long term benefit of all stakeholders – parents, schools and donors. Hoping it is successful for my children benefit.

    1. Site Manager says:

      Thanks for your feedback – we hope so too.

  4. Lets fix this says:

    What a great initiative! The situation is currently untenable for so many parents and children. Lets fix this for the future of our community.

  5. Ben says:
    Thank you so much Alan Schwartz and team for establishing this project. In my opinion it is definitely THE most important issue facing our community.

    I agree with what appears to be your objective driving the project: “To ensure that no Jewish child is denied a superb, affordable Jewish education.” I would phrase this objective slightly different: “To ensure that every Jewish child has an opportunity to access Jewish education.” For me, I consider “Jewish education” to be “Jewish day-school education”. (I deeply respect and am thankful for all that UJEB does, but as discussed below, I believe our community will be best placed with a higher proportion of Jewish students attending Jewish dayschools.)

    In my view, our Jewish community is most likely to remain (and continue to evolve as) a strong Jewish community if most Jewish child attend Jewish dayschools. I worry that Jewish children who do not attend Jewish dayschools are less likely to affiliate and be strong contributors to the fabric of our community. I observe that of my generation, those who Jewish dayschool for most of their schooldays are more likely to remain active and affilliated members of our community (as always, I acknowledge there are exceptions).

    After reading several facebook posts (and sitting on a dayschool parents’ council), I observe that there appears to be a disconnect between parents saying it is very difficult to obtain bursaries/fee-assistance and schools consistently saying that they have capacity to give more assistance if only they were contacted by more frequently. I think we need to get to the bottom of this to determine the facts here.

    I also observe your comments about reduced student intake at the 4 Jewish co-education K-12 schools. At the same time, I understand that some schools made active decisions to reduce intake and year level capacities from when I finished school in 1999 with 180+ student my year-level to current maximum year levels of 120. Again, I think that this should be investigated. Why are our biggest schools aiming for much smaller cohorts? Are they actively (or passively, via competing objectives) preventing more Jewish students from accessing Jewish education?

    I note your observation that many families only seek to access Jewish dayschools for secondary school. I am concerned that foundation skills/knowledge in hebrew and Jewish studies are established in primary school (junior primary school). I observe that if a child does not excel in something, they are less likely to be interested in that thing. I ask – how can a student excel in hebrew and Jewish studies in Year 7 and onwards, if they don’t have the foundations. If they are not interested in hebrew and Jewish Studies, they will not value it. If our students don’t value hebrew and Jewish Studies (no matter how much informal education is available at Secondary school – sorry youth movements, etc), what will happen to our Jewish community in the future. To this end, please do not overlook the importance of primary school.

    I am deeply interested in your project, and would like to actively assist in any way.
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    Thank you so much Alan Schwartz and team for establishing this project. In my opinion it is definitely THE most important issue facing our community. I agree with what appears to be your objective driving the project: “To ensure that no Jewish child is denied a superb, affordable Jewish education.” I would phrase this objective slightly different: “To ensure that every Jewish child has an opportunity to access Jewish education.” For me, I consider “Jewish education” to be “Jewish day-school...
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    1. Site Manager says:

      Thanks so much Ben these are all very valid points. We would like to encourage you to please fill out the survey and be involved in further discussion.

      1. Ben says:

        Filled in the survey. Would love to get more involved, including in the extended working group mentioned on the 10/8 Zoom discussion. Please contact me offline

  6. Avi Cohen says:
    Much as I was gratified to read the report and am pleased that the issue of affordability is being addressed I was frustrated that there was no mention of actual Jewish education.

    The raison d’ĂȘtre of the founders of the Jewish Schools in Melbourne was overwhelmingly the need to create Jewish Schools and not simply schools for Jews. Today not only do we face the challenge of affordability but also the no less significant issue of quality of staff and curriculum within the Day Schools.

    We cannot ignore this if we want to ensure the long term continuity of our community.
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    Much as I was gratified to read the report and am pleased that the issue of affordability is being addressed I was frustrated that there was no mention of actual Jewish education. The raison d’ĂȘtre of the founders of the Jewish Schools in Melbourne was overwhelmingly the need to create Jewish Schools and not simply schools for Jews. Today not only do we face the challenge of affordability but also the no less significant issue of quality of staff and...
    More
    1. Site Manager says:

      Thanks Avi for your comments. We will take this onboard.