Reexamine the salary and status of modern Orthodox teachers to determine an effective means of increasing recruitment.

The single most important factor that will determine the future quality, success or failure, of modern Orthodox Day School education in North America will be our ability to recruit and retain outstanding teachers who share our Jewish vision. Lord Immanuel Jakobovitz, zt"l, the late former Chief Rabbi of Britain, said about teachers in Jewish schools, "If you pay peanuts you get monkeys." His observation is an important part of the picture.

While this is a national problem, there is room for local initiative to be very productive. Create a special task force to study this issue in your school and to make specific proposals to improve both the economic situation and the communal status of teachers in Jewish schools. Start by comparing the school's salary and benefits package to those of the local public school district and to those of excellent private schools in the area. Take into account the difference in cost of living for Orthodox Jews caused by Kashrut, neighborhood and Jewish education of children.

  • Think creatively about ways to assure full time positions and competitive salaries and benefits. Explore getting endowments of teaching positions from large Corporations or family foundations. Consider creating composite positions with Synagogues or Jewish Community Centers for adult educators and with Summer Camps for educators or other staff positions. Create a benefits package that includes free tuition through College for children of Jewish educators, at a consortium of educational institutions.
  • Consider enriching the Jewish studies curriculum by the use of modern Orthodox Rabbis or scholars who chose other professions but who could make themselves available for a single course. They can be models of integration of Judaism in the real world.

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