Learning from our day schools

Learning from our day schools

One of the reasons that Jewish unity shone so brightly as the sole light of this horrible summer is that unity is such a scarce commodity among us.

It has been thus since the 10 sons of Israel sold their brother Joseph into slavery, and later 10 tribes of Israel broke away from Solomon’s kingdom.

As Romans lay siege to Jerusalem in that most horrific summer centuries ago, Jews within the walls fought over how to respond.

And if Jewish unity has seldom reached that depth again, in our time we have seen how even well-meaning Jewish organizations with a common goal have found themselves at cross-purposes, prey to institutional pride and jealousy.

This is what makes the story we report on page 10 remarkable as well as admirable: Nine local Jewish day schools, both Orthodox and Conservative, have joined to create a common campaign to promote day schools as the “cornerstone of our community.” Even more impressive is that this joint activity is not new; it began a few years back, when the schools banded together under the umbrella of NJGives, and then continued as day school leaders met under the auspices of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. In so doing, they placed the groundwork for the present initiative.

Our day schools are a key pillar of Jewish education in our community. In working together, they have an important lesson for us all.