Setting Up a Win Win

Friday, 29 July, 2022 - 10:05 am


Dear Esteemed Parent Body,

I’d like to address a recurring issue that has come to my attention. I will preface by expressing the desire of the Cheder, on behalf of the melamdim, hanhala and faculty as a whole, to work together in partnership with you to better the chinuch and overall experiences of your children.  Our goal is, unequivocally, to educate and nurture each child collectively and individually, according to his ways, and to provide a safe and enriching Torah environment for your son to beezras Hashem flourish in.  I write this letter with the certainty that our goals are mutual.  We work for you, but in order for us to be mechanech your son in the most appropriate and effective way, we need your dedication, your partnership and most importantly your trust.

Throughout my time serving as menahel, I have seen the manner in which parents approach the school when an issue arises.  The parent often cleaves to their child’s perspective and fiercely leaps to their defense, without delving further into the issue.  This is a “lose-lose” for several reasons.  If the parent gets a concession from the school, the child learns to see the school as an adversary.  The school is also put in a hard place as it damages our relationship with our parent body, who we value and respect very much. If the parent does not get a concession from the school, the child sees them as having failed to protect them or meet their requests.

A child is not considered a kosher witness in front of a Beis Din for a reason.  Their stories sometimes become skewed and their perception is naturally colored by their own feelings and experiences.  This is a natural part of childhood.  Children should certainly be listened to, respected, and validated. There is no end to how often or how thoroughly we should hear and respect all of the thoughts, feelings and words of our children.. The point I am trying to make is that it is absolutely crucial to look deeper and gather more information pertinent to the situation.  Part of a productive working relationship between the Cheder and the parent body means working together as team mates and partners, and recognizing that we are on the same side, bound by a mutual goal.

We welcome your questions and very much appreciate open discussion.  The concerns of a child should be investigated, and problem solving is an important part of growth and propels us forward.  The issue arises when parents approach us on the offensive, seemingly uninterested in gathering more information, and placing full blame on a Rebbe or the school.  Let us work together as a school and parent body to present a unified front to our precious children.  It is to their benefit as well as ours.  Together, we can work together to improve your child’s experience.


Cheder Chabad Monsey


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