Tuition: Mission Impossible, Part 2


Last month’s article on tuition highlighted the tremendous struggle some typical day school parents have in shouldering tuition costs. This article will discuss ideas and efforts that are being put forth to help alleviate the problem.

As noted last month, our schools meet most of their budget items with tuition money, yet a good portion of operating expenses must be covered by other sources of income, including direct donor contributions, fundraising events, and other sources. In the past, day schools could count on support from Jews who were not necessarily Orthodox but recognized the importance of Jewish education. This source of funds has become minimized, as non-affiliated or more assimilated Jews, who may have a diminished attachment to Judaism, are giving the majority of their charity donations to non-Jewish causes.

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Communicating with Our Schools

man teacher

With Yom Tov over and school continuing in earnest, both parents and children hope that this school year will be better than ever – that good students will become great students, mediocre students will significantly improve, and poor students will meet basic requirements. As often happens, though, while students and teachers progress toward their goals, issues emerge that must be dealt with. Parents naturally try very hard to effect changes in their children’s situation. Some will succeed, helping their children reach new heights. Others will not succeed, and may instead cause terrible damage in their children’s relationship with their teachers, as well as in their attitudes.

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Rav Zvi Dov Slanger 70 Years after Freedom from Nazi Terror, Part 2

bais hamedrash

Once a Pikesville country club, now a yeshiva campus, the Bais HaMedrash and Mesivta  of Baltimore is a jewel of Torah learning – and the pride and joy of its founder and Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Zvi Dov Slanger. I recently visited the yeshiva on a weeknight and witnessed over 135 bachurim packing the beis medrash and learning with tremendous enthusiasm. This room filled with a chorus of Torah learning is the fulfillment of Rav Slanger’s dream and the crescendo of his Torah life.

The journey to this accomplishment starts with a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor who, this year, celebrates the momentous 70-year anniversary since his release from the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp at a commemorative seudas hoda’ah, (festive thanksgiving banquet) on the 21st of Kislev. In preparation for this event, Devorah Klein told Rabbi Slanger’s life story in last month’s issue, from his birth in Budapest to his incarceration in Bergen-Belsen to his arrival in Baltimore. We continue with a detailed account of his years in Baltimore.

Read More:Rav Zvi Dov Slanger 70 Years after Freedom from Nazi Terror, Part 2

Embraced by the Earth Hidden Children of the Holocaust

hidden children

Of all the stories to have come out of the terrible World War II years, among the most poignant are those of children who were saved from death by going underground – literally. These young children spent formative years buried beneath a barn floor or confined to an attic, without toys, books, or writing materials, let alone an iPad, to occupy their time. What did they do? How did they play and learn? Were they immobilized by fear? Did they emerge emotionally stunted for life? Here are the stories of three such child survivors with a Baltimore connection.

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Lunchbox Woes Or Garbage by any Other Name…

lunch bags

I’d like to talk to you about my relationship with garbage. I’m not talking about clutter; I’m talking about pure, unadulterated refuse. Surprisingly, it is not only noteworthy but also has a history that, unbeknownst to me, began in my childhood and took on a life of its own only after I married and had children.

My first inkling of the role garbage was to play in my life began when my oldest child mistakenly thought the garbage can was a toy. Please note: She was not a deprived child in any sense of the word. I have to say I was surprised by her interest in our garbage can. I’m not really sure what attraction there is to a container of smelly, stinky stuff – but who am I to judge? As a new mother, I was also under the false impression that my adorable daughter would actually listen to me when I told her not to knock over the garbage can, eat its most recent contributions, or drop our wedding silver into it. After coming to terms with one of my first myths of parenting, however, I relegated the garbage can to the top of the kitchen counter. Now, this made perfect sense to me, since I was spending an inordinate amount of time picking garbage up off the floor. (I quickly got over the yuck factor here.) My husband came on board with the concept after a brief period of time while I was out and he was left at home to literally pick up the pieces (of garbage).

It wasn’t until my daughter started experiencing garbage-can-peer pressure that it occurred to me that maybe she had outgrown this phase. One afternoon after a play date she asked, “How come all the other mommies keep their garbage cans on the floor?” So I decided to give it a whirl and take it down. First, let me say, it took about a week to get used to this. During this time, my husband and I frantically – and frequently – turned left and right looking for the garbage can, since it no longer occupied its prominent position on the counter. More importantly, however, we had reached a milestone. My daughter no longer played with the garbage. The only painful part of the garbage-off-the counter milestone was when I explained to her why we used to keep it there. She peered up at me with a disgusted look on her face, “Eww, who would do that?”

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Count Your Blessings Restoring Sanctity to Eating… and to the Rest of our Lives, Part 26


Rav Yisrael Salanter was once in a hotel in France. He went into the restaurant and asked for a glass of water. As he was ready to leave, the waiter gave him a bill for 50 francs. Rav Yisrael was surprised, and told the waiter that he had only had water. The waiter explained that the bill included the overhead, the art, the music, the ambiance of the restaurant, etc. Rav Salanter paid the bill and even left a tip. He wrote a letter to his students, saying that now he knew why we recite “…shehakol nihyeh bidvaro,” that everything came to be through His word. We are not making a bracha just on the water; we are making a bracha on everything! (Rabbi Label Lam on parshas Eikev,

Read More:Count Your Blessings Restoring Sanctity to Eating… and to the Rest of our Lives, Part 26

How to Be Married to a Woman


My article, “How to Be Married to a Man,” recently published in the Where What When, earned me a lot of head nods and a couple of high-fives from male readers. It also led some women to indicate that perhaps I could offer some comparable tips to the other gender. (That would be the male gender. I am spelling that out for the men, who, of course, need things made explicit for them, because they don’t do things like “infer” from what you said.) In recognition of the great need, I present you with this article about how to be married to a woman. And this time, I can claim a lot more credibility, since I (a man) am married to a woman

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Poor Me


I remember the scene well. We are about eight or nine years old, getting ready to go out for recess or some other enjoyable activity. “David” rushes to the teacher and in an excited burst asks: “Can Johnny and me be first in line?”

The teacher’s finger rises. She pauses. She pronounces: “Can Johnny and – I – be first in line?” 

There is a hush as the excitement drains from David’s face, and from the faces of the million other Davids and Susans who experienced the very same reprimand.

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Driven to Give Back – On Patrol with NWCP


Most of us living in Baltimore take it for granted that every night we see “NWCP cars” riding around our streets. After all, doesn’t every frum community have a patrol like we do? The answer is that no other community of any kind in the world has a patrol like NWCP! The Northwest Citizens Patrol is the model and benchmark for citizens patrols globally, and is the largest and longest-running of its kind on the planet. And no, most frum communities do not have any kind of citizens patrol, much less what Baltimore has. NWCP is one of the great and unique assets of the Baltimore Orthodox community.

For 32 years, men in our community have volunteered their time a few hours a night, once every seven weeks to patrol our neighborhood. If they were not willing to participate, give back, chip in, do their part and step up to the plate, there would be no patrol. Imagine if there were no cars patrolling at night in the neighborhood. Would you feel as safe? Personally, I always feel a little safer when I see a patrol car. And although I may not say anything to the person behind the wheel, I’m grateful for his presence.

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Vitamin D-ficiency: A Common but Correctable Condition

vitamin d

Health professionals have known for decades about the role of vitamin D in building strong bones, yet an explosion of medical research in the last decade has shed light on the role of this nutrient in many other body systems and health conditions. Researchers now know that vitamin D receptors are found throughout the body. This means vitamin D is involved in a wide range of body functions.

Along with this, research has shown that correcting low levels of vitamin D can help in managing a number of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. And higher vitamin D levels have been linked to a lower risk for many types of cancer.

So it’s worth boning up on this crucial vitamin. Below are answers to common questions and some guidelines to help you decide whether you need to supplement your intake in order to optimize your levels.

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