Monday, August 25, 2008

To whine or to act

I mentioned last week, we just got a new principal for the girls school. I'm on the PTA board and we had a meeting with her last night for 3 hours. One of the problems we are facing is that the Education department does not want to approve 2 of the younger teachers for positions this school year, even though they had already been assigned classes to teach. We have a bunch of old teachers who are not able to teach anymore, because they're all burnt out and are bad for the students. For some reason, they can't fire them either. So the solution has been to give them minimal hours and bring in new teachers to teach the classes until the old goats either retire or die.

The principal requested that the PTA board write a letter to the education dept. explaining that we won't accept a school year without those new teachers. Our big threat is that we're going to strike the school year. None of the parents want to do it, but we don't feel we have much of a choice.

I recommended raising money for new playground equipment (again) and suggested that we have 2 options, either to continue to cry that the city won't give us what we deserve or to take pride in our school and raise the money ourselves. The opposing board member said that she isn't a fryer (Hebrew for sucker) and she is not contributing anything to buy equipment that the city is required to buy for us.

The most surprising thing was when I suggested we bring in Bat-El Gaterer, the religious olympian, to speak to the girls, none of the other board members or the principal had heard of her.

Is there no pride in our community?


Anonymous said...

so she could tell the girls it's not negiah cuz it's kicking, it's ok to wear pants cuz it's necessary, you can do sports on shabbas as long as you walk there... don't let religion stop you from what you want to do! go for the gold! that's what really counts in the end...

rockofgalilee said...

1) I don't know of any opinions that say that a girl kicking a boy is negia. That's like saying she shouldn't call for help if she's being attacked because of kol isha.
They might say that it is inappropriate for them to compete together, but competitions are always per gender. So the only issue here is training. Separate training is better, but if there isn't any available, there are plenty of halachic opinions that say it isn't a problem.

2) Wearing pants is certainly not a halachic problem. We call that social Judaism. If there was a halachic problem wearing pants then girls would not be allowed to wear any form of pants, including under their skirts, pajamas, biker shorts, etc.. The only people who might have a problem with it are Chasidim, and we are talking about Judaism here.

3) Shabbos is a real issue. However, I would say it depends on the regularity of it and if there are any real issurim involved. If the issue is that it is not shabbosdik and it happens twice a year, I don't see a problem at all.

We, and I mean all the religious communities that I am familiar with, do not enforce shabbosdik behavior in any case. Do you know what shabbosdik behavior is? Do you think talking about sports, politics or any divrei chol is any better then taking part in a sport? Reading anything non-Torahdik? Playing a game?

On the other hand, every week is a problem.

What really counts in the end is showing young girls that there are religious women who have reached the top of their professions/hobbies and still consider themselves to be shomerei torah and mitzvos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.