The financial stress in the frum community, primarily caused by the tuition situation is a serious problem felt by the vast majority of the residents of most communities. But as we search for solutions it makes sense to focus on some of the beautiful aspects of our schools.
I happened to be at the local Bais Yaakov when it was my 3rd grade daughter’s birthday last week, so I came to the class party. This was not one of these heavily practiced siddur plays, just the normal half hour party that each of the 25 girls in the glass would enjoy on her special day. Mrs. S. graciously sat us in the front of the room and conducted the class as usual.
The girls were comfortable and well behaved and the ones who knew Linda and I greeted us warmly. Mrs. S. drew a birthday card on a piece of recycled oak tag. Then she called the girls one by one as they proceeded to give my daughter blessings. She wrote each one on the board. Many of the girls answered amen to each blessing. When the blessing was for a Good Husband or a Husband with Good Middos, my daughter dutifully answered, “but not yet”. It was so beautiful because the girls really meant it and you could feel the love this wonderful teacher was nourishing in the room.
After the blessings, the girls where chosen for various tasks in giving out the snacks and stuff and they all wanted to participate, but they did not complain if they weren’t one of the four who were chosen. As they noshed they came up to write beautiful greetings on the birthday card. This wonderful teacher was helping each of these girls feel a love for their fellow Jew in their hearts. There is no price that you can put on that.
Clean up was orderly and the rest of the morning period was carried on in a proper, loving and comfortable manner. The girls were truly happy to be there and it reminded me of a recent comment by my daughter, “I really like school, but you’re not supposed to say that”.
It was just one special hour, but it was a reminder that we truly have to focus and be thankful to Hashem for having transplated us into such a wonderful nurturing environment.