Mr. Hochman is certainly welcome to voice his opinion, but he is not entitled to make up his own facts (“No new high school,” Letters, August 9). Just about everything Mr. Hochman wrote is simply false:
1) Yeshivat He’Atid does give scholarships. And we use the same standards that all yeshiva day schools in Bergen County agreed to several years ago. Yes, we do give out less in scholarships, but that’s for a different reason. At a tuition level of $8,990, which is approximately 40 percent less than the average tuition of other Bergen County yeshiva day schools, our price point is affordable to a much larger percentage of families.
2) We absolutely do have both enrichment and a resource room. But our model is different in that it takes place in the classroom as part of our differentiated learning model. Mr. Hochman is guilty of comparing apples to oranges.
3) As members of Yeshivat He’Atid’s scholarship committee, we can testify that that no family has left because they weren’t treated fairly by us. To state that other schools are forced to take students we reject is motzei shem ra, pure and simple.
4) Mr. Hochman states that “As I suggested when He’Atid was discussed, did those community leaders approach the existing schools and suggest a way to introduce the blended learning method into the day schools? Did they suggest ways to reduce tuition? I was told no.” To be dan l’kaf zchus, we will assume that Mr. Hochman is just unaware of the facts as the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes”! Under the leadership of Sam Moed of Jewish Education for Generations, we and others have worked closely with all the local day schools on many initiatives to reduce the tuition burden and/or increase educational quality. When the idea of using blended learning to reduce costs was suggested, all schools dismissed the idea at the time as “too radical.”
5) We have invited all other local schools to visit us and learn firsthand what we are doing both educationally and financially. The offer is still open. To date, only one other Bergen County school has taken us up on our offer.
We at Yeshivat He’Atid don’t have all the answers. We continue to listen to all reasonable suggestions and learn much from other schools, both inside and outside our community. We also believe that a healthy debate as to how to create affordable high quality yeshiva education is essential to solving the tuition crisis. Letters like Mr. Hochman’s, that invent facts to fit a preconceived storyline, don’t advance the ball forward. We hope that in the future, both he and others will invest the time to get their facts straight before offering advice or criticism.