Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Israeli Yeshiva Backlash

A relative of mine is a senior in high school, and is looking at yeshivas/seminaries for next year. Over the last few years, whenever the discussion of Israel came up, both parents commented how they don’t want their child to “flip out.”

Parents view flipping out as a rejection of their values. While true in many cases, it need not be so. Many yeshivas do an inadequate job of preparing children for when they return home, if they prepare them at all. Leave talmidim clueless, and when they come home they’ll be reactionary. The only way to “save” what they “built” over their year(s) in Israel is to reject everything that their parents embrace.

On the other hand, parents don’t keep an open mind, and view any change as a rejection. Interestingly, some parents can agree to disagree on other political or social issues. But when it comes to religion and their children, there’s only one way.

Has there been a backlash? Are parents beginning to push children into yeshivas that don’t have a “flip out” reputation?