Thursday, November 29, 2007


Ok - I realize that this "vent" is totally outside the general topic of this blog - but I have a need to do it!

So I got this email from a mother of a kid in my son's class....note, my son goes to a Jewish school - clearly not the most frum by any stretch of the imagination - but Jewish nonetheless.

Hello Everyone,

I am resending the below email as we have not gotten many RSVP's.

All Kitah Alef families are joyfully invited to celebrate the last night of Chanukah at the School. On Tuesday, December 11 from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. we'll gather in the lunch room for a yet-to-be-determined dinner, gelt, and dreidel spinning. Bring your menorah and candles so we can see what 270 candles burning at one time looks like! We will also be collecting contributions for Chanukah tzedakah. We would like to sponsor a child through The Smile Train. Through this group, physicians provide free cleft palate reconstructive surgery to children in the Third World. It costs $250 to sponsor one child's surgery and according to their literature, the full 100% of our donation goes to providing medical care. The cost of the evening should cost about $20/family. (This includes the evening, the food, and the donation) You can prepay Paula or pay the night of the party. Please RSVP to Paula at [edited] by Monday Dec 3rd.

I have a few issues with this -
#1 - I give tzedaka like everyone else, but I resent being told (and not being included in the decision) where my money is to go for stuff like this.
#2 - Come on - this is a Jewish school - can't we find a JEWISH place to send the money??? I mean - seriously! And as one of my politically incorrect, yet usually right friends pointed out - if a kid is living in a third world country, there has to be more important things than oral surgery. I tend to agree. (However - I have a sister who had a cleft palate, so Im acknowledging the difficulties of it ...) But really - its doesnt have to be fancy!! Give the money to the school for crying out loud!!

Independent Frum Thinker wrote an interesting post on the topic.

So I'm torn - I would like Zev to go to the party - all of his friends will be there. Do I let it go, pay my $20 and not say anything? I'm not one of those parents that complains about everything. Do I fire off an email to this women who probably wouldnt get it anyway? Perhaps a letter to the rabbi? My inclination is to, instead, announce my own donation of $20.00 to Kahane Chai - I mean - if your gonna protest do it right, you know?

Any advice?


Anonymous said...

I think a stern letter to the Rabbi is best. This lady clearly is clueless!

Lakewood Venter said...

I agree with you 100%. I would contact the school, and request that the charity go to a jewish cause of YOUR choice.

P.S. I like VENTS! lol

David said...

I think you're right on about this. The question is who DID decide where the should go? Is this woman acting on her own, or was it sanctioned by the school/Rabbi? Find out before you rip the Rabbi.
Perhaps you can attend the party without contributing the "charity" portion.

As far as Kahane Chai,
Never Again! LOL
I grew up in the same neighborhood with R' Kahane, and I was a big fan. He was ahead of his time.

Good post. :-)

c said...

I really agree with your sentiments and not surprised at the least that this bothers you.
I really like your vent posts. I look forward to reading more deep posts.

Miriam said...

wow. I understand your sentiments and agree. I also understand for Zev, and his friends,etc.

Can you go if the $20 is donated but donated to Kahane Chai?

Tr8erGirl said...

Thanks for the support guys. I did drop an email to the rabbi who was surprisingly agreeable and promised to speak to the person in charge. He did and that mother then sent a follow up email about how, now that they were no longer collecting for The Smile Train, there was no longer any pressure to collect $250 so basically give what you want.....I'm taking it as a victory! I think I will give to Kahane Chai! :-)