Here in Brooklyn, four yeshivas and one Jewish day care center have announced that they are closing for the week because of either suspected or confirmed cases of swine flu among their student bodies. None of these schools were ordered to close by the Department of Health. In each case, the school's administration made the decision independently. Whether or not these closings are really necessary or are an overreaction, it seems to me that the administrators should be acknowledged for putting the safety of their students and staff above the schools' innate desire to avoid any unpleasant publicity.
In a community where every action is scrutinized, criticized, misinterpreted and gossiped about; a community where Rosh Yeshivas have ignored known incidents of sexual abuse of children; a community where students and their parents are routinely pressured to avoid any act that might be deemed to make the school "look bad" in the eyes of others; in this overcrowded, insular, internally divided frum community that we have set up here, it seems to me that we should appreciate the caution and integrity of the schools that have placed the welfare of their students first.
Weinstein, Mayim Bialik and the Perils of Religious Instruction - *I wrote the following for my Beit Midrash's weekly email, and on reflection I'd like to get feedback from a broader population, so I'm reproducing it here...
5 hours ago