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INTRODUCTION: The “what” and the “why” of this course

1. The Issues we face today

  • “We are raising a generation of young people who are very observant but not very religious” (Rav A. Feldman shlit”a)

  • Yediya chitzoniyus versus yediyah pnimis (Admor of Piaseczna)

  • The Conundrum: What is needed for a school to excel in highly controlled “observance” and elite academic “yediyah chitzonis” inhibits slow personalized “religious” growth and individualized “yediyah pnimis, and vice versa.

  • “The Yeshiva exists for the hatzlacha of the talmidim, the talmidim are not there for the hatzlacha of the Yeshiva.” - What is good for the school is not always good for the student, and vice versa

  • Rav Shalom Schwadron: The hypocrisy of being on the 49th level of tumah while still externally -  “lo shinu lshonam, malbusham u’shmam”

  • 3 top questions in all ”Ask the Rabbi sessions”: What’s so bad about talking to boys; what’s bad about goyish music; no one knows if Yiddishkeit is true - right?”

  • “I think I'm someone who watches movies, and listens to non Jewish music, knows how to have fun, and knows when to be serious. I am a normal bais yaakov girl that watches and listens to normal things and i definitely don't consider myself at risk.” (from mainstream East Coast BY HS).

2. Why davka today more than in previous generations?

  • The outside world is much scarier than ever before and in the process of creating controls - the content, beauty, and hashkafa of Yiddishkeit got taken for granted.

  • Today there is huge emphasis on externals and the bottom line.

  • It is hard to be a “hero” today - everyone is a “good frum BY girl”

  • “Religious” internal growth (as contrasted to external “observance”) is hard to measure and takes time, and thus is not immediately recognized in the student’s world of school and family.

  • Shidduch “Crisis” - We will put form over content and do what is good for the resume rather than what is good for the child’s neshama.

3. Goals and Success Criteria

  • All Rabbaim and Moros will be able to confidently answer all basic questions.

  • All Rabbaim and Moros will have the tools and confidence to deal with each student as an individual.

  • Schools will be a rich, complex, all encompassing educational experience.

  • Our students have be inspired and have vision and clarity of purpose.

  • Each talmid/a will feel validated as a unique contributing member of Klal Yisroel.

  • Students will have the tools and self confidence to carry Yiddishkeit through their adult lives, wherever they end up.

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