Saturday, February 3, 2007

A modest proposal

There is no debate that Jewish educators are underpaid. Raising their salaries measn raising tuitions or other significant fundraising attempts, none of which are too popular. Here's a simple proposal.

In my years working in day schools in the States, I discovered that many professionals offered me discounts. Car mechanics whose kids went to the school, accountants, even doctors would sometimes waive the insurance co-pay. True, I would rather have been paid a more respectable salary and paid for my fair portion, but I was certainly happy with the savings, which did add up.
A central agency, such as The Lookstein Center, would issue 'membership' cards to all Jewish educators who register. All Jewish professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.), businesses, sefarim stores, Judaica shops, kosher restaurants, etc. agree to give Jewish educators showing that card a discount. Many of them anyway give discounts to all sorts of groups - here is a group that is dedicated to serving the Jewish community, and here is an easy way for the community to give back. Those stores that give the discount could proudly display a sign saying something like, "we proudly support our Jewish educators". That advertising itself is good for the stores, and cheap.
I don't think that lots of people will rush to become Jewish educators as a result. But this is one step toward helping those who have made the commitment, and toward communal recognition of the value of those educators.


  1. Why would you assume that? Day school teachers are supposed to be thanful that they are not teaching in public schools. Their monetary compensation is on average less than public school teachers and they have none of the benefits, eg. good pensions, great health care, that public school teachers get.

  2. I too do not think that Jewish educators are underpaid. Why do you think they are?