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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

Rosie has been pointing me to some interesting excerpts and stories in the Hamodia (thank you for being my eyes and ears). I was able to take a peek at one story she pointed me too. In the magazine, there is an article by Rebbitzen Tzipporah Heller and in the last paragraph she pleads with wives to stop their husbands from committing fraud (she notes that not such a small number of frum men are behind bars) by being alert to spending that doesn't add up and, where suspicious, confronting the husband and putting a stop to it.

The story that preceded this warning, was unfortunately rather convoluted. Although I certainly was pleased to see that at least one magazine is broaching the subject of fraud, I prefer a more direct approach and this wasn't it! The story, as laid out by the Rebbitzen, featured a couple that started off life with the struggles of a kollel family. The husband later entered the insurance business and yet as the tuition bills grew, the struggles never really let up. Yet, each big-0 birthday featured a rather large gift and the wife starts to think perhaps she should ask questions, but doesn't. (Hope I got that right).

At least on my end, the every-10-year-large-gifts really didn't raise my suspicion that there was something fishy going on (e.g. at 40 they took a trip to Israel and at 50 he bought his wife a large candelabra--as I recall). Sure, the numbers might not add up, but 1. a large ever 10 year gift is not particularly out of reach and 2. there was no other indication of regular expenses that should serve as warning signs (large mortgage, luxury cars, bling). The only real large and unaffordable expense that the story touched on is completely ordinary in our own society that it fails to raise a red flag, even if it should. (That expense: TUITION).

The article made me think just how unqualified your average woman is to detect her husband's fraud, especially where it is more subtle, and how needed advice and approaches must be much more concrete. Additionally, I don't care at all for the idea of getting suspicious and then confronting one's spouse. Why not suggest a more healthy, normal approach to *family* finance and be involved as a matter of course, not a matter of suspicion?

What I see as the real issue is that too many women simply aren't involved in their own financial lives and are at risk to be blindsided (and not just with something unusual like having the authorities show up one morning at your door to arrest your husband, but with something more usual like hitting the point of insolvency because of mounting debt). Some women don't want to worry their heads about such financial matters and prefer ignorance. Some women like to excuse their lack of involvement with some sort of "religious" excuse. Some husbands feel more manly when they deal with the money. . . . even when the wife is the primary income earner. Whatever the reason for non-involvement, if things go wrong the battle will have to be waged on a steep uphill grade.

The bottom line in my book is that if both spouses are not involved with the budget, that the family is not just susceptible to getting caught on criminal charges, but running their financial lives into the ground. I would say this is even moreso when one party's relationship to money comes from looking at what "everyone" else is doing, rather that taking a look at the only thing that really matters: the black and red budget!

So here is my advice: don't be on the lookout for fraud and in the position where you have to "confront" your husband (spouse), get involved in your own finances:

*take an active role in your financial life from day one. If you haven't taken a role up to this point, make it your duty to start being a part of this area of your life. Division of duty can still fall to whoever is best suited for the job, but neither spouse should be in the dark.

*always spend within your means and make guidelines for savings and debt. I don't believe every 10 year gifts are the trigger for fraud. My professional background and experience tell me that it is the regular expenses. So, make it a priority to not yourself on a path of monthly struggle.

*maintain balance sheets of assets and debts. Gifts can be a surprise, but there should be no mystery as to where the money to buy such a gift materialized from.

*learn about the industry that your spouse is engaged, what can be expected income in terms of income as well as other relevant information about the business. It is fairly standard practice for wives/spouses to be involved in the finances of a family owned business or even partnership.

*make integrity and honestly a focus of your marriage.

*don't pressure a spouse to provide what is not reasonable (see above regarding knowing what is reasonable).

Readers, add your comments

47 comments:

tesyaa said...

(she notes that not such a small number of frum men are behind bars)

I know this isn't your main point, but here, as with so many frum appeals against fraud, the concern seems to be the problem of having a spouse end up in jail, not the wrongness of the fraud itself.

Paying Parent said...

My husband happens to be the more conservative investor and more responsible in terms of paying bills on time. I am more financially literate and also do the bulk o fthe household spending.

Our Division of Labor:
I make the household budget and let dh know of any necessary changes.
He pays the bills, monitors our accounts for excess spending, keeps track of maaser and keeps track of all transactions. If we are close to being over the budget in any area he lets me know. If there is a significant change in income or expense trends, he lets me know.
We jointly make investment decisions with me presenting the majority of avaiable options until we agree on a decision.
We jointly look to save in individual financial areas and decide together about major purchases or changes.
Our birthdays are a week apart, so we do not look at the credit card bill for a few weeks prior to our birthdays. This way we can surprise eachother. If the gift is really large, we make sure it is returnable. Usually we do small, inexpensive gifts and celebrate TOGETHER by spending an evening out away from the kids- and we choose together.
I can't imagine not being involved at all. Especially if you do the shopping. How do you know your limits? What goal are you worknig towards if you dont know what money is coming in?

Miami Al said...

It is somewhat sad that so many of these problems that are considered "frum" problems are really a function of marital problems.

I'm sure every spouse can cite every Chumrah that they maintain in Taharat Hamishpacha, but somehow the basic skills to have a successful marriage seem to get swept under the rug.

Anonymous said...

The main point is that people dont think they will get caught. And if a man is doing something illegal, he is better off with his wife not knowing. The real question is, if the man wont listen to his wife is this a reason for divorce. The article gives the impression that woman are 'better' than men, I am not sure this is true. Most women do know that their husbands are committing fraud and are quite happy to go along with it. They also live a good life because of it (at somebody else's expense).
A previous article in Hamodia about a woman whose husband got 10+27 years for fraud. The woman complained about her hard life. She did not once mention about the 'hard life' her thieving husband had caused others. As though it didnt have to do with her.
The present article by R Heller is rather cryptic and I had to read it twice before I knew what she meant. She doesnt exactly spell it out. Maybe she doesnt want to put in print that men steal. But I never believe women who say they have no idea what their husbands are up to. Woman are not like that today. It most likely does not show itself in presents once a year.

aaron from L.A. said...

the Way to Stop Chareidi Fraud:

mention that there was an obscure "minhag" among the Righteous of Boiberik not to commit fraud....People are just more machmir on minhagim nowadays that on the Torah itself.

Not really that cynical said...

Fanmous story in yeshiva about someone in the dorm who kept having his milk stolen from the fridge. one day he put a sticker on it that said "Cholov stam" and never had the problem again.

Another supposed quote from one of the big guns in EY "Had the issur of Lo Signov been in the takanos of Rav Yehuda Hachasid instead of in the Aseres hadibros, we would havea lot less fraud." (and yes, I am aware that Lo Signov in the Aseres Hadibros is kidnapping not stealing money. Nevertheless, the quote is still a good one.)

Larry Lennhoff said...

In case you republish this elsewhere not 'blind sighted' but blindsided.

Abba's Rantings said...

SL:

"What I see as the real issue is that too many women simply aren't involved in their own financial lives and are at risk to be blind sighted"

for whatever reason, it just works out that in most families one spouse is in charge of the finances. it's just an economical (time-wise) division of labor and i do know families in which it is the woman in charge of finances and the man has no idea what's flying.

TESYAA:

"the concern seems to be the problem of having a spouse end up in jail, not the wrongness of the fraud itself"

because that is what will get people to listen. who cares about the wrongness of fraus?

tesyaa said...

Abba - if no one cares about the wrongness of fraud, why are rebbetzins preaching against it? Perhaps her concern is simply that Jewish husbands stay out of jail?

Miami Al said...

Abba's Ranting,

"who cares about the wrongness of fraus?"

Perhaps the people that wouldn't dare eat a hotdog with a Triangle K on it?

rosie said...

Fraud is the elephant in the frum living room. Rabbonim don't want to preach against fraud or acknowledge that money that is coming into the community coffers was earned illegally. No one bites the hand that feeds them. The only thing that might get through to people is the reality that some frum people are caught, prosecuted, and sent to jail. Reading about the affect on the family, since we know that they are not concerned about the victims of fraud, might deter someone.
To me, I am relieved to see someone acknowledge that the problem exists and should not be ignored. We have tzedukahs for poor brides and orphans and it would be very sad if a tzedukah fund needed to be started to support the families of convicted felons. There is not enough to go around.

JS said...

Just what kind of fraud are we talking about here? Are we only talking about people who run businesses and misreporting income to get a tax break?

There are lots of other types of fraud, but I imagine not everyone agrees that fraud is being perpetrated. For example, is it fraud to not get legally (not religiously) married to get more from government benefits programs? Is it fraud to take government benefits but work off the books as well? Is it fraud to be an employee in a cash business and get paid under the table? Is it fraud to misrepresent your income to a scholarship committee? Is it fraud to impoverish yourself on paper by buying a house and leasing cars so you appear more worthy to a scholarship committee? Is it fraud to run a charity in an inefficient manner or pay high salaries/benefits to those running the charity? Is it fraud to mismanage a yeshiva and run it into the ground causing people to lose their jobs? Is it fraud to not pay your employees on time or at all?

There are countless examples I could add, but I imagine not everyone on this blog would agree they are all fraud (and I'm not saying they all are - just that not everyone would agree).

It's hard to deal with a problem when you can't even agree on a definition of the problem.

On a household basis, it's really not uncommon for one spouse to be "in the know" and the other spouse to be less involved. It can be problematic even if there isn't fraud going on - but it's usually more of a marriage issue than a money issue. For example, it can lead to overspending if one spouse has that tendency and isn't informed as to the family budget. But, it can also lead to unrealistic expectations as to what the family "should" be able to afford and an unwillingness to compromise on lifestyle or other purchases. If you look at the Chump blog, a lot of the complaints about yeshivas and tuition are marital issues masquerading as financial issues.

rosie said...

JS, is there a link to the chump blog? (all I need is another blog)

I think that the type of fraud that we are talking about here is the type of large scale fraud that puts a person in jail for a long time. Some of that is ponzi schemes and medicaid fraud.
It is fraud to pay cash in a store and not pay sales tax but I doubt that anyone ever went to jail over it. It may be illegal and immoral but may be no worse than ordering something online with no sales tax and then failing to pay use tax to the state that you live in.

JS said...

rosie,

I really don't recommend reading the blog as it has devolved into complete bitterness and nastiness as the parents in Bergen County that comment on the blog realize their only alternatives to the existing expensive yeshivas are options they or their wives find socially unappealing. It's over at 200kchump.blogspot.com.

Do you really think fraud of that magnitude is common in our communities? Maybe I'm naive, but I wouldn't have guessed it's all that pervasive. I would think the misrepresenting of income is the largest issue. The real problem with saying "fraud" is that it has a legal meaning, but people tend to use it to refer to any financial funny business.

rosie said...

I think that large scale fraud is possibly more common than we realize. There was a multi million dollar house for sale in a frum neighborhood and the pictures of the house show the furnishings and it is immediately recognizable as a frum home. The reason that the beautiful house with the gardens, pools, saunas, etc is for sale is that the owner is in prison.
I don't know anyone that I personally would suspect of grand fraud because most of my friends struggle to be of average means. I don't think that the FBI is looking to make examples out of those folks.
The government radar is on the folks who are living big, regardless of what religion that they are. They are being watched to make sure that they are doing it legally.

Dave said...

Sales tax is owed by the store - not the customer. Even though most choose to pass it on, that is a decision they make, and not a legal obligation you have.

rosie said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc9Ef0OYOwA&feature=player_embedded

watch this, is it fraud or is it not?
Crownheights.info calls it chilul Hashem.

Shoshana Z. said...

I actually had a thought today before reading this post that I will be brave enough to share. If a family is accepting public assistance with one hand so that they can pay private school tuition with the other hand, to my mind that is fraud.

rosie said...

Shoshana Z, people who are on public assistance must prove that they have a low income and the income that qualifies is really low. I doubt that they can really be paying much tuition unless they are hiding a significant amount of money. Probably most people who are on public assistance are on tuition assistance as well.
What sometimes rubs people the wrong way is when those of public assistance and tuition assistance get a showy gift from a family member. The tuition committee doesn't love it if the grandparents who take the family to a Pesach hotel can't help with tuition. That isn't fraud, but it isn't nice either.

Shoshana Z. said...

I'm sorry, but my thinking is very black and white on this issue. If you cannot put food on your table, pay for medical care, or afford rent without government assistance - then I truly believe that your children cannot receive a privately funded education. It doesn't matter to me if the family is only kicking in $500 a year. That $500 should be covering basic expenses before going to a private school. I think this is one of the areas in which the frum community has such entrenched thinking that it doesn't seem wrong at all. And frankly I am aware of tens of families that have some form of public assistance and still participate in the private day school system. Don't get me wrong, I am very liberal in my thinking and believe very strongly that the government should help people in need. But the door just can't swing both ways. It is fraud.

tesyaa said...

But the door just can't swing both ways. It is fraud.

Shoshana - you may believe it's morally wrong, but it's not fraud if the government allows it. It's an important distinction.

Dave said...

Tesyaa:

In the State of New York, I can call *anything* (down to chazar treif) Kosher, if I want to.

I just need to register my approving agency and its standardes with the State, and make it clear at the point of sale which agency I'm using.

If I have a big sign that says Kosher, but I'm using an agency that will approve a bacon cheeseburger, am I committing a fraud on the public? Assume I'm in a Jewish area, but not an Orthodox area, so people aren't used to checking the Hechsher.

tesyaa said...

Dave: this is an issue that arises when states try to regulate religious matters. If a Conservative rabbi offers a hechsher and the state OKs it, why can't he sell swordfish (for example)? No Orthodox rabbi OKs swordfish, but many Conservative rabbis do.

Taken to an extreme, if there is a Jewish sect that allows bacon cheeseburgers, promoting them as kosher is NOT fraud.

It's silly for the state to regulate religious matters, when religious opinions vary so widely.

I don't think it's fraud if the state OKs the hechsher, and I don't think it's fraud to legally take government benefits and still pay some amount of private school tuition. It may be unwise. It may be morally wrong. But no, it's not fraud.

Anonymous said...

shoshana z,

would you also say that it's fraud to accept public assistance if you own a TV? a dishwasher? buys ready made food (instead of cooking every meal from scratch)?

where do you draw the line between a person that "is allowed" to get public assistance and one that cannot?

the government has drawn the line by verifying the person's income. what you do with the little income that you have is noone's business.

if someone who's on food stamps wants to use their meager income on a casino, they could. i believe it's morally reprehensible, but there's no way that this is fraud.

fraud is a legal term. your feelings can't define what fraud is or not.

Shoshana Z. said...

This is what I am referring to from Orthonomics' original post: "The only real large and unaffordable expense that the story touched on is completely ordinary in our own society that it fails to raise a red flag, even if it should. (That expense: TUITION)."


I am not addressing the legal terminology of fraud. I am speaking about the fraud mentality that is very prevalent in the world at large and unfortunately in the frum world as well. It may be true that no laws are being broken. However, the notion of accepting public assistance implies that one is so unable to provide basic necessities that they certainly cannot afford what most people in our country would define as a luxury - namely private education. As has been stated many times on this blog, the fact that many frum people confuse needs with wants (ie - camp, day school tuition, etc.) is part of the entitlement and fraud culture that is running rampant. I can assure you that if I needed and qualified for public assistance I would not hesitate to accept it. There is absolutely no shame involved.

Anonymous said...

rosie-Sure looks like perjury. Ick.

(sorry I can't login right now-SL)

A Muppet said...

Dave,

What makes fraud fraud is intent to defraud. If I open my kosher cheeseburger stand, not because I think cheeseburgers are kosher, but because I want to screw with the crazy people who care about such things, that's fraud (assuming I can extend the concept out from legality into the moral realm). If I opened a kosher cheeseburger stand not to deceive but because I was in good faith using kosher to mean something like blessed by a Rabbi or humanely slaughtered, I don't think anyone would say that was fraud. Same thing applies here. I guess, it would be immoral to take public benefits just so that I could send my kid to private school if by doing so I was trying to deceive the system. That's just not possible here.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I have noticed a common thread to this blog ie yeshiva is private education. But it isn't. If you're orthodoxn then you believe that Chazal mandated from Rabbi yehoshua Ben Gamla onward that the Jewish Community must give - in todays terms - actually owes each chid a minimal jewish education. So I humbly submit that Day Schools or Yeshiva or Chadorim etc is really Public Jewish Education which no child should be denied just like secular public school

Mike S. said...

Anonymous:

The halacha in this area is pretty well codified. First of all, the primary responsibility for educating children remains with their father--the communal obligation is to provide a melamed for those whose fathers can neither afford a melamed nor teach the children himself. Nor is their any obligation to provide a day school--one can provide a melamed who will teach the children at hours separate from the public school so that secular education (i.e. the requirement to teach kids to earn a living) can be financed by the broader community.

I am not, mind you opposed to universal day school. I have sent all my kids, and paid the tuition. But at some point,we have to stop pretending that we can do all of:

1) Have families of unlimited size
2) Send all the kids to day school
2a) With small classes and the latest technology
3) Live in areas of high housing costs
3a) Plus the remaining accouterments of upper middle class life (including cars, vacations, fancy watches ...)
4) Separate ourselves from the type of education that can provide the best opportunities for income that will support private schooling for all.
5) Support a large fraction of the adult population working less than full time (both men in kollel and women working for pay less than full time)


We have, both as individuals and communally many options for choices among those areas that will lead to balance. But we have to stop pretending that we can support everything we want on the salaries of part-time speech therapists plus the donations from a few g'virim who mostly made their fortunes years ago before we established the current system.

In my family, we have technical PhD's with the corresponding income, and limited ourselves to 4 children, and are living a lifestyle far more simple than others with similar income. Other people can make other choices. But we have to make choices.

Dave said...

The current Day School model is a very modern invention.

Therefore it cannot be a Halchic requirement, because you are not allowed to declare that all the previous generations were violating Halcha.

Miami Al said...

BTW: I keep bringing up the Catholic Church education model, because their two tier (now three) system makes sense.

Have lots of money but want a Catholic environment for your kids, go to an Independent Catholic school, priced/run like a prep school. The Modern Orthodox Day Schools are priced like this, but not run like this.

Have very little money, but want to avoid the public school element, use a diocese school. These are all heavily subsidized from tithes (communal funding), but bells and whistles are not part of things, NOR are free educations. Generally the schools run in the $3500-$4500/year range, with limited scholarship. Families are expected to work and scrape to get their kids there. As a result, the parent body truly values the school, not the case in the discounted scholarship world of Jewish education.

Middle Class and squeezed? Have a good local public school, can't afford independent Catholic schools but don't want a subpar inner city parochial school? Go to public school, have after school catechism.

What doesn't work? Offering a mediocre school system, that charges prep school prices, tries to be all things to all people, with parents that don't value the education and therefore try to get out of paying, while resulting in children not having the tools to get into a competitive University that will let them earn upper middle class incomes.

Dave, sure you can, you just say, "I don't mean to suggest that all the generations before Day Schools were sinful, Chas V'shalom, but with today's generational decay and the availability of day schools, how could one not require it?"

As long as you say you aren't accusing all previous generations of violating Halacha, and throwing a Hebrew/Yiddish/Yiddlish phrase in there, you can in fact access them all of being insufficiently frum.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Do you really believe what you said? Or just trying to be argumentative? The Day school is the adapted Cheder of the old world with its American additions. That's all...

Dave said...

Anonymous:

You have to be kidding.

Please tell me you're kidding.

For most of our history, if you weren't wealthy, your children got a basic (very basic) education. Nothing like the Day School model.

The children of the wealthy received private tutoring.

Miami Al said...

Dave,

The "basic" education was enough Hebrew to sign your name, and learn enough Hebrew to make a few basic Brachot.

The much maligned Reform Hebrew School education is probably superior to the education received by most poor Jews.

Regarding Cheder: the percentage of European Jews in Cheder was probably smaller the percentage of American Jews (of all denominations) enrolled in right wing Yeshivot.

Yes, they were real, but only a SMALL segment of European Jewry had that educational model.

Abba's Rantings said...

ANON:

"Day school is the adapted Cheder of the old world with its American additions."

of course education varied widely over time and place, but this is the average: a few hours a day for a few years in a simple heder (no smart board or school psychologist) or with a melamed. of yeah, and generally just for the girls.

today we have k-12 (at the barest minumum) for a full day with all the bells and whistles. you say this is an adaptation of the heder? do you really think your alte zeidi (forget your alte bubby) had anything resembling even a tenth of this type of schooling in the shteltl?

btw, this is not to say that there weren't a few schools in the 19th and early 20th centuries that started to resemeble our day school, but these represented a tiny, tiny, tiny minority of jewish schools and *many* more frum parents at this time started choosing public school over these "day schools." so if you want us to look old world precendents, maybe then we should be looking at public school

Anonymous said...

This is my point!

So basically what we have today is more - so then it should be paid for up front! But the the community still has to give the kids the basics ie to read hebrew, chumush and rashi, mishnayos, kemarah with rashi and tosafos and kitzur shulchan aruch. Then the community should also support yeshivos to produce rabbis, shochtim, mohelim etc. For the girls they should follow the bais yaakov paradigm. But it should be free to the children! And the parents as members of the community in additional to all members of the community have a halachic and religious obligation to maintain and support. Anything more is private education and as I personally highered a melamed to study mishnayot (all shas) with my son for 3 years prior to his bar mitzva. I meant hired.

Another point is that all these extras in the day school movement etc are just that extras...

I know what happened in the old country since there are still people among us who remember...

Orthonomics said...

Anonymous-WE are the community and the money just isn't there to support it all for "free". There is no such thing as "free". Someone has to pay and the group of payers is getting smaller and squeezed.

Dave said...

Uhmmmmmmmmmmm.

You do realize that your "requirements" dwarf the default Jewish education throughout our history, right?

For that matter, prior to Guttenberg, they would be impossible for many Jewish communities entirely, simply because of the availability of written materials.

Anonymous said...

New anon. here.

However, one major difference is that in prior generations in Europe (up until shortly before the war when there was mass assimilation), Jews did not go to secular schools either. Going to public school is not the equivalent, religiously, of not going to school. Rather, it is placing a kid in an environment that makes observance very difficult and/or makes the kid miserable for being different.

Even putting the environmental factors aside, if one is learning secular studies at a higher level it is important for one to learn higher-level religious studies as well. How can we expect our children to remain religious if we only give them an elementary-school level of Judaism while giving them a full secular education?

ProfK said...

New Anon,
It's not correct that Jews in Europe up until shortly before the war did not go to secular schools. In some parts of Europe attendance in school was mandatory for all children, males and females. My mother, born in 1922, and living in the Hungary/Romania area was required to go to school through the 6th class. And yes, some frum children continued on past that 6th class and went to Gymnasium. Judaic studies were handled either through a melamed or a cheder after the boys returned from the public school. Girls were not given much if any education in Judaic studies until the advent of the Sorah Schenirer morahs. Even there, that was not universal for all girls in all places.

Anonymous said...

I consider 1922 to be in the "shortly before the war" category, and the lack of Jewish education, combined with increased secular education, was one of the causes of the assimilation problem at that time.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I met an elderly woman from Tulsa, Oklahoma whose parents sent her to Germany, to study at the Hirsch Breuer's academy in Frankfurt for high school. There was a Breuer's school for girls in Frankfurt in the 1920's! Fascinating. Of course, this school was the predecessor of the Breuer's school in Washington Heights.

Miami Al said...

Anon,

"I consider 1922 to be in the "shortly before the war" category, and the lack of Jewish education, combined with increased secular education, was one of the causes of the assimilation problem at that time."

You are accepting a White Washed fantasy version of European Judaism from books and outright falsehoods of Eastern Europe.

The Jews of Western Europe had all been educated at the same level of the local populace going back to the Napoleanonic Wars -- the origin of Jews as citizens.

Prior to that, Jews were attending University since they started to crop up with non-theological studies in the 16th Century.

What causes more people to abandon Yiddishkeit:

A) Not enough years of instruction in Judaism
B) Not sufficient education in Judaism from that time spent
C) Being taught factually false things as true, so when exposed to truth, they decide that everything is fake

I think that C is a huge problem, at least amongst intelligent and educated Jews, and stems from teaching midrashim that teach an important lesson as historical fact...

Regarding B, I have friends that spent 13 years in RW Yeshivot, when I've learned with them, don't seem to have much beyond an elementary school grasp of most things, I know of two exceptions -- but they know the process of learning real well, just no absorption...

Anonymous said...

I never claimed that no Jews received a high-level of secular education in Europe (prior to the pre-war period), rather that it was rare, just as it was for the general populace, and that therefore it was okay to have a lower-level of Judaic knowledge as well.

I certainly agree with you that history should not be whitewashed and that the education received should be substantive. However, in my experience most graduates of frum schools do receive a substantial Jewish education on par or exceeding the secular education that they receive.

When the Judaic education is not on the same level as the secular education, or at least somewhere close to it, the likely result is assimilation.

Dave said...

Historically, the primary factor in Assmilation is the ability to assimilate.

Miami Al said...

Dave,

Two things are required for assimilation:

1. Desire to assimilate
2. Ability to assimilate

Number 1 is in control of the Jews, Number 2 is in control of the gentiles.

Jews like to rail about #2...

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