Monday, March 02, 2009

Dominoes are begining to fall


Jason Ross, a modern Orthodox Jew from Cedarhurst, N.Y., has sent his two children to a school where they learn secular and religious subjects, follow a religious calendar and keep kosher. But Mr. Ross, a pharmaceutical salesman, was laid off earlier this month. He is now thinking about the unthinkable: public school.

I graduated from a yeshiva,” he said. “So did my wife. But it would be $28,000 for two kids this year.” His voice trailed off. “Sometimes I joke with the kids: ‘The bus will come a little later in the morning, you’ll be home by two, and you won’t have as much homework. It will be good!

This is bad for Torah-true Judaism. If MO shrinks, UO will feel the pain, and here's why:

1. MO people support haredi institutions (reverse isn't true)

2. MO institutions employ haredim as teachers, kashrut supervisors, and more (reverse isn't true)

3. Israeli haredim and their institutions rely heavily on American MO doners (and the dependency grows every year.)

4. A smaller market for glatt-products, means higher prices for those who remain

In short, if MO sneezes UO catches a cold. I agree Haredi Judaism won't go out of business - the hard core fundies will happily suffer for their faith - but the moderates won't be as pleased to suffer, and changes will follow.

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