Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer
Affordability is creating (or should create) a Jewish education identity crisis. Day schools can be cheap, and day schools can be good—we know how to create both of these models. It is not clear that they actually can be both, which should force us to ask whether they need to be. They key question is one of priorities: Is Jewish education primarily meant as inoculation against the outside world, an immersive experience of Jewish-only space, or simply a Jewish version of the best kind of primary education that money can buy? If the former, a set of solutions should present itself that would make our schools inferior but at least affordable. If the latter—well, then it is a luxury item, and let’s acknowledge it as that.
Before we ask the affordability question, are we prepared to discuss what day school education actually intends to do?