Young leaders meet David Miliband

Politics matters because it can change things, David Miliband has told two students taking the Archbishop of York Young Leaders Award.

Ella Boorman and Xanthe Mitten, students at Manor Church of England Academy, had the opportunity to meet and interview the MP for South Shields.

They asked him about leadership and what inspires him most in his role as a Member of Parliament.

When asked why politics matters and why young people should get involved, he said:
âPolitics matters because you really can change things. Life is not about fate. People can make a difference.

“Change doesn’t happen all at once. You make small steps, but they are significant and it’s really important to be part of that.”

The award invites leaders from all areas of society to share their experiences with students taking the Key Stage 4 course.

The aim of the two year programme is to raise the students into leaders of the future.

Ella was especially keen to interview Mr Miliband. It was his leadership within Labour that inspired her to enter the National Youth Parliament.

Thousands of students are taking part in the Young Leaders Award, which is run by the Archbishop of York Youth Trust in schools across the north of England.

Dan Finn, Young Leaders Award Coordinator, said: “It’s great to see how well this new programme is developing and the exciting opportunities that are arising for young people.

“No matter what background you are from or what political views you may hold, we all have a responsibility to contribute positively to our communities and that is exactly what this award is enabling young people to do.

“It is a wonderful opportunity for Ella and Xanthe to meet Mr Miliband today – but we want to see these young people going out into communities inspiring others. Young people are not the leaders of tomorrow. They are the leaders of today.”

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Faith through film

Paulo Reyes is one of the winners of Faith Shorts. The global competition is run annually by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation and gives 14 to 18-year-olds the opportunity to express what their faith means to them through a three-minute film.

It’s a chance for people of faith to demonstrate that their faith is a force for good in the world and not the force for evil that some of the popular negative stereotypes would suggest.

Paulo’s film, First Steps to Recovery, is a worthy winner. In it, a journalist interviews a young boy with an unwavering faith in God despite being gravely ill. Although their conversation is brief, the journalist discovers the faith she lacked through the boy’s testimony.

At the heart of the three-minute clip is the sense that faith can bring solace and comfort to people in extremely difficult circumstances.

There is a clear message Paulo, a practising Christian, would like viewers to take away from his film.

“Faith is not just believing that God will pull through for you. Its also putting your complete trust in Him even if He does not pull through for you,” he says.

As films often are, Paulo says the project was very personal to him.

“I was going through a tough period in my life and I was really clinging on to God with everything that I had. I wrote the character of the little boy around the idea of the person who I wanted to become during this period in my life, which is a little boy with big faith.

“Before making the film I would have to admit that I was Yasmin (the journalist). I was really unsure about the future and what it holds for me.

“But making this film helped me to realise that God really is in control over everything and in order for me to have true joy in my life and recover from this situation, I have to surrender everything to Him.”

With his film delivering such a strong message of hope to people going through tough times, it’s little wonder that all the suffering in the world is not a challenge to Paulo’s faith.

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Ross: Iran Nukes Pose Danger Of Nuclear War

The greatest danger posed by a nuclear Iran would be the increased likelihood of a Middle East nuclear war, Dennis Ross said.

“If Iran has nuclear weapons, the potential for nuclear war in the Middle East goes up dramatically,” Ross, who retired as the White House’s top Iran policy official, said during his first post-Obama administration address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The danger, Ross said, lies in the complete lack of communication between Israel and Iran, as opposed to open lines between earlier nuclear antagonists, like the United States and the Soviet Union.

“You are not going to have a stable situation where anyone can feel that they are going to wait,” he said. “If there is the slightest indication that Iran is changing its readiness, can Israel wait? … The potential for miscalculation would be enormous.”

Ross said President Obama was committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

“The administration prides itself on a certain reality that it does what it says,” he said, referring to Obama’s making good on his promise to capture or kill Osama bin Laden.

Regarding Iran, Ross said, when Obama “says all options remain on the table, it doesn’t mean that force is his first choice, but it means that that’s an option that he intends to exercise.”

Meanwhile, a bill agreed upon by Senate and House negotiators Monday creates more leeway for the administration to opt out of cutting off entities that deal with Iran’s Central Bank, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the upper body’s lead negotiator, told reporters.

Cutting off Iran’s Central Bank would effectively shut off the Islamic Republic’s economy from Western trade. The Obama administration sought to moderate the bill, arguing that it needed leeway in order to line up support for sanctions elsewhere in the world before fully shutting out the bank.

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Matisyahu Sheds Signature Beard

Jewish reggae star Matisyahu shaved his signature beard and issued a statement saying “No more Chassidic reggae superstar.”

The artist posted two photos of his beardless face on Twitter and a statement about his decision on his website.

“When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process,” he wrote. “I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules — lots of them — or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself.”

He signed off, “Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry … you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.”

Born Matthew Miller, Matisyahu has been the most visibly Jewish artist in the hip-hop world since his debut album “Shake Off the Dust… Arise” was produced by JDub Records in 2004. While he first affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Matisyahu later distanced himself from the movement and moved on from JDub, which shut down this year.

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Israeli Committee Chair: Protests Will ‘Play Out Very Strongly’ In Elections

Manuel Trajtenberg.

Tel Aviv economist Manuel Trajtenberg says he has ‘translated the clamor of the people’ into ‘a language that government can do something about.’

The half-million middle-class Israelis who took to the streets calling for social justice last summer will be a force to reckon with in next year’s election even as some of the demanded changes are implemented.

That was the view of Manuel Trajtenberg, a Tel Aviv economist and chairman of a committee that released a 270-page report in September that he said “translated the clamor of the people into a language that government can do something about.”

The committee, appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a month earlier, was formed to examine and propose solutions to Israel’s economic problems.

Among its recommendations: approval of 196,000 apartments, 20 percent of them set aside for affordable housing, within five years; increasing the corporate and capital gains taxes; reducing the price of subsidized food products; discounting public transportation for students and operating express buses from the periphery to central Israel.

At a press conference organized here by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Trajtenberg said that unlike many of the other mass protests that took place worldwide this year, those in Israel were different because the protesters “were able to articulate demands.”

“There is a generation of young people in Israel who discovered that they have a voice and can take charge of their destiny,” he said. “Once that is discovered, it is hard to take away. I am convinced that the next time there is an election in Israel, this is going to play out very strongly.

Trajtenberg said many of the recommendations in his committee’s report cannot â€happen by decree; they have to change the DNA” of the country.

“What we did in the committee is to engage the protesters and the government, and it was a big reason why the protesters backed off,” he added. “We were on Facebook and Twitter, and held public hearings that went on for hours. And people could send questions through the Internet when there were public meetings. This had never happened before.”

A member of the committee, Rafi Melnick, provost of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, agreed in a phone interview that “what happened last summer was a major event in Israeli society.”

“We don’t know exactly what the political repercussions will be from these events, but I anticipate it will have a large impact on the next election,” he said.

Trajtenberg said that when he saw “a huge demonstration” on the streets of Israel a week after terrorist rockets were fired at southern Israel this summer, he knew that this was a movement “that wasn’t going away.

He acknowledged that he has been asked if he would be interested in entering the political arena; he did not rule it out.

“Jewish people in the States who are concerned about Israel should see this not as a threat but as a huge opportunity,” Trajtenberg added.

Gerald Steinberg, a political science professor at Bar-Ilan University, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “knows that his political future will depend on how voters see the implementation of the recommendations a year from now. The next election will be at the end of 2012 or the spring of 2013. Certainly a year from now we will be in the middle of the election season and street protests could resume unless the issues are addressed.”

He pointed out that different groups of protesters had different concerns. The students, for instance, called for more rental housing and divorced themselves from the political leaders of the protest movement. Other groups marched for reduced tuition for education.

“It will be hard to rebuild the momentum [of last summer] unless the government does not move at all,” Steinberg said. “And so it is not automatic that there are groups ready to go back to the streets.”

He noted that Shelly Yachimovich, who was elected in September as the new leader of Israel’s Labor Party, won in a campaign that stressed socioeconomic issues rather than security concerns. In the process, she attracted thousands of young voters to Labor, a party that had become known in Israel as the “alter kockers party” — Yiddish for œold folks.”

“We are the only ones on the political map who can present a real, deep, social democratic alternative to the capitalistic extremism that Netanyahu has championed,” Yachimovich, 51, insisted.

During her six years in the Knesset, the former newspaper reporter initiated laws requiring employers to provide chairs for their cashiers, favoring Israeli-owned factories and companies over foreign ones, and extending maternity leave to 14 weeks.

Steinberg said he found Yachimovich better at articulating the socioeconomic issues than the Kadima Party led by Tzipi Livni, a party that he suggested may lose a lot of its strength in the next election.

“It is very disunited and it does not have much of a platform or leadership,†he said.

Thus, the Labor Party, which in the last election in 2009 won just 13 of the 120 seats in the Knesset after having once been the dominant party in Israeli politics, may be revitalized in the next election.

Trajtenberg said his committee’s report put forth a set of principles and made recommendations regarding such things as affordable housing, taxes and the lowering of tariffs so markets become more competitive and prices lower.

“The government in October accepted the report in principle,” he said. “The prime minister when he ran for office ran on a platform to reduce taxes. We said reverse course and he agreed to it.

As a result, instead of the tax rate going down to 37 percent by 2017, the Knesset increased the tax rate to 48 percent from 45 percent.

“That’s pretty dramatic,” Trajtenberg said. “It’s like the Republicans here saying they have to raise taxes.”

But he pointed out that another recommendation of his committee, calling for an additional 2 percent tax rate on the rich, was removed from the Knesset bill before the vote.

Melnick said he was surprised about that.

I don’t understand how that happened,â he said.

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The untold love story of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi

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By Rebecca Frayn, The Telegraph, 11 Dec 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi, whose story is told in a new film, went from devoted Oxford housewife to champion of Burmese democracy – but not without great personal sacrifice

London, UK — When I began to research a screenplay about Aung San Suu Kyi four years ago, I wasn’t expecting to uncover one of the great love stories of our time. Yet what emerged was a tale so romantic – and yet so heartbreaking – it sounded more like a pitch for a Hollywood weepie: an exquisitely beautiful but reserved girl from the East meets a handsome and passionate young man from the West.

Michael Aris, Aung San Suu Kyi and their first son Alexander, in 1973 Photo: ARIS FAMILY COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

For Michael Aris the story is a coup de foudre, and he eventually proposes to Suu amid the snow-capped mountains of Bhutan, where he has been employed as tutor to its royal family. For the next 16 years, she becomes his devoted wife and a mother-of-two, until quite by chance she gets caught up in politics on a short trip to Burma, and never comes home. Tragically, after 10 years of campaigning to try to keep his wife safe, Michael dies of cancer without ever being allowed to say goodbye.

I also discovered that the reason no one was aware of this story was because Dr Michael Aris had gone to great lengths to keep Suu’s family out of the public eye. It is only because their sons are now adults – and Michael is dead – that their friends and family feel the time has come to speak openly, and with great pride, about the unsung role he played.

The daughter of a great Burmese hero, General Aung San, who was assassinated when she was only two, Suu was raised with a strong sense of her father’s unfinished legacy. In 1964 she was sent by her diplomat mother to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford, where her guardian, Lord Gore-Booth, introduced her to Michael. He was studying history at Durham but had always had a passion for Bhutan – and in Suu he found the romantic embodiment of his great love for the East. But when she accepted his proposal, she struck a deal: if her country should ever need her, she would have to go. And Michael readily agreed.

For the next 16 years, Suu Kyi was to sublimate her extraordinary strength of character and become the perfect housewife. When their two sons, Alexander and Kim, were born she became a doting mother too, noted for her punctiliously well-organised children’s parties and exquisite cooking. Much to the despair of her more feminist friends, she even insisted on ironing her husband’s socks and cleaning the house herself.

Then one quiet evening in 1988, when her sons were 12 and 14, as she and Michael sat reading in Oxford, they were interrupted by a phone call to say Suu’s mother had had a stroke.

She at once flew to Rangoon for what she thought would be a matter of weeks, only to find a city in turmoil. A series of violent confrontations with the military had brought the country to a standstill, and when she moved into Rangoon Hospital to care for her mother, she found the wards crowded with injured and dying students. Since public meetings were forbidden, the hospital had become the centre-point of a leaderless revolution, and word that the great General’s daughter had arrived spread like wildfire.

When a delegation of academics asked Suu to head a movement for democracy, she tentatively agreed, thinking that once an election had been held she would be free to return to Oxford again. Only two months earlier she had been a devoted housewife; now she found herself spearheading a mass uprising against a barbaric regime.

In England, Michael could only anxiously monitor the news as Suu toured Burma, her popularity soaring, while the military harassed her every step and arrested and tortured many of her party members. He was haunted by the fear that she might be assassinated like her father. And when in 1989 she was placed under house arrest, his only comfort was that it at least might help keep her safe.

Michael now reciprocated all those years Suu had devoted to him with a remarkable selflessness of his own, embarking on a high-level campaign to establish her as an international icon that the military would never dare harm. But he was careful to keep his work inconspicuous, because once she emerged as the leader of a new democracy movement, the military seized upon the fact that she was married to a foreigner as a basis for a series of savage – and often sexually crude – slanders in the Burmese press.

For the next five years, as her boys were growing into young men, Suu was to remain under house arrest and kept in isolation. She sustained herself by learning how to meditate, reading widely on Buddhism and studying the writings of Mandela and Gandhi. Michael was allowed only two visits during that period. Yet this was a very particular kind of imprisonment, since at any time Suu could have asked to be driven to the airport and flown back to her family.

But neither of them ever contemplated her doing such a thing. In fact, as a historian, even as Michael agonised and continued to pressurise politicians behind the scenes, he was aware she was part of history in the making. He kept on display the book she had been reading when she received the phone call summoning her to Burma. He decorated the walls with the certificates of the many prizes she had by now won, including the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. And above his bed he hung a huge photograph of her.

Inevitably, during the long periods when no communication was possible, he would fear Suu might be dead, and it was only the odd report from passers-by who heard the sound of her piano-playing drifting from the house that brought him peace of mind. But when the south-east Asian humidity eventually destroyed the piano, even this fragile reassurance was lost to him.

Then, in 1995, Michael quite unexpectedly received a phone call from Suu. She was ringing from the British embassy, she said. She was free again! Michael and the boys were granted visas and flew to Burma. When Suu saw Kim, her younger son, she was astonished to see he had grown into a young man. She admitted she might have passed him in the street. But Suu had become a fully politicised woman whose years of isolation had given her a hardened resolve, and she was determined to remain in her country, even if the cost was further separation from her family.

The journalist Fergal Keane, who has met Suu several times, describes her as having a core of steel. It was the sheer resilience of her moral courage that filled me with awe as I wrote my screenplay for The Lady. The first question many women ask when they hear Suu’s story is how she could have left her children. Kim has said simply: “She did what she had to do.” Suu Kyi herself refuses to be drawn on the subject, though she has conceded that her darkest hours were when “I feared the boys might be needing me”.

That 1995 visit was the last time Michael and Suu were ever allowed to see one another. Three years later, he learnt he had terminal cancer. He called Suu to break the bad news and immediately applied for a visa so that he could say goodbye in person. When his application was rejected, he made over 30 more as his strength rapidly dwindled. A number of eminent figures – among them the Pope and President Clinton – wrote letters of appeal, but all in vain. Finally, a military official came to see Suu. Of course she could say goodbye, he said, but to do so she would have to return to Oxford.

The implicit choice that had haunted her throughout those 10 years of marital separation had now become an explicit ultimatum: your country or your family. She was distraught. If she left Burma, they both knew it would mean permanent exile – that everything they had jointly fought for would have been for nothing. Suu would call Michael from the British embassy when she could, and he was adamant that she was not even to consider it.

When I met Michael’s twin brother, Anthony, he told me something he said he had never told anyone before. He said that once Suu realised she would never see Michael again, she put on a dress of his favourite colour, tied a rose in her hair, and went to the British embassy, where she recorded a farewell film for him in which she told him that his love for her had been her mainstay. The film was smuggled out, only to arrive two days after Michael died.

For many years, as Burma’s human rights record deteriorated, it seemed the Aris family’s great self-sacrifice might have been in vain. Yet in recent weeks the military have finally announced their desire for political change. And Suu’s 22-year vigil means she is uniquely positioned to facilitate such a transition – if and when it comes – exactly as Mandela did so successfully for South Africa.

As they always believed it would, Suu and Michael’s dream of democracy may yet become a reality.

Rebecca Frayn is a writer and film-maker. ‘The Lady’ opens nationwide on December 30

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Vietnam sentences 2 Buddhist activists to prison for ‘abusing democratic freedoms’

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by Associated Press, December 13, 2011

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam sentenced two Buddhist activists to prison Tuesday for distributing anti-government leaflets and CDs, a relative and state media said.

Nguyen Van Lia

Nguyen Van Lia and Tran Hoai An were sentenced on charges of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the state,” state media reported Tuesday.

Lia received five years and An received three years on the same charges, state media reported.

Lia, ȧ, denied the charges in the half-day trial, said his daughter, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lua, who followed the trial via loud speakers outside the courtroom.

Officials at the People’s Court of Cho Moi District in southern An Giang province declined to comment.

An and Lia are members of the Hoa Hao Buddhist group. They were arrested in April after authorities found 15 books,ೀ CDs and DVDs and 36 documents accusing the government of violating human rights and suppressing religious freedom, the official Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.

New York-based Human Rights Watch demanded Lia’s immediate release and called the sentence “outrageous and unacceptable.”

One wonders what exactly the government of Vietnam is so afraid of that an elderly man like Nguyen Van Lia, who has dedicated his life to religion, should frighten them so much that they feel they need to lock him away in prison,â said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the groupâs Asia Division.

Robertson said Lia, who is suffering from high blood pressure and several broken ribs, should be released and allowed to seek medical treatment.

Further information on An was not immediately available.

Vietnam does not tolerate challenges to its single-party rule.

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Currency row: Karmapa office assures cooperation

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IANS, December 9, 2011

Dharamsala, India — Two days after police included the name of Tibetan religious head and 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje in a chargesheet on the seizure this year of huge unaccounted foreign currency from the monastery where he is residing, his office here on Friday assured the investigating agencies of full cooperation.

“The Karmapa office of administration has provided the authorities with complete details and documents pertaining to the case. We will offer our full cooperation and assistance in future too,” Karmapa’s spokesperson Karma Chungyalpa told a news agency.

He said “at no point of time the Karmapa was ever called or examined by the investigating agency. His Holiness has no involvement, direct or indirect, in the financial administration of the office or trust”.

The Himachal Pradesh Police Wednesday included the Karmapa’s name in a chargesheet filed by it in a court in Una town on the seizure of foreign currency worth Rs 70 million (over USD 1 million) from the Karmapa’s Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery on the outskirts of this town, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Investigating officer RR Thakur told a news agency that the Karmapa has been charged under Section 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code, a charge related to conspiracy, over seizure of unaccounted money from the monastery.

He is the 10th accused named in the chargesheet, filed before Una Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajesh Tomar.

“Since the Karmapa was heading the Karmae Garchen Trust (of the monastery), all financial transactions being carried out by the trust were in his knowledge,” Thakur added.

The Karmapa’s office has been saying that all the money seized from the monastery was from donations from followers the world over, including scores who come from Tibet and carry Chinese currency.

Meanwhile, state police have again decided to seek permission from the central government for registering a case against the accused under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

“We will soon move a request to the central government to allow us to register a case against the monastery functionaries, including the Karmapa, under FCRA as a huge amount of foreign currency was seized from it,” Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) SR Mardi said in Shimla.

The 26-year-old Karmapa is the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four sects of Buddhism. He joined the Dalai Lama in exile in 2ዀ, and is widely seen as his religious successor.

Police Jan 28 recovered the currencies of 26 countries, including 120,197 Chinese yuan and around Rs 5.3 million in Indian currency, from the Karmapa’s Gyuto Tantric University and Monastery on the outskirts of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

It was after the seizure of Rs 1 crore meant for land purchase that police conducted searches at the monastery and recovered the currency.

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Constitutional Crisis At Young Israel

The Young Israel of Flatbush.

In a surprise move, the president and board chairman of the embattled National Council of Young Israel both announced their resignations Tuesday, and the organization’s executive vice president, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, received board approval to take a six-month sabbatical.

Some of those actions were quickly denounced as “unconstitutional” by Avi Goldberg, a spokesman for a group of Young Israel synagogue leaders who have been complaining for more than a year about a lack of transparency in the organization.

The National Council’s president, Shlomo Mostofsky, said in a statement that he would be stepping down at the end of the year to spend more time with his family and to place a renewed focus on his law practice and other professional pursuits. He has served as president since 2000.

The statement said that pursuant to the organization’s constitution, the first vice president, Eli Dworetsky, a New York-based CPA whose family has multi-generational involvement with the Young Israel movement, would assume the presidency.

Rabbi Jonah Gewirtz, the organization’s board chairman for the past seven years, also announced his immediate resignation. Sheldon Schreiner of Plainview, L.I., a three-term past president of the Young Israel of Plainview and the national group’s current financial secretary, was appointed to succeed Rabbi Gewirtz.

In a statement, Goldberg pointed out that the National Council’s constitution “requires elections to be held every two years, but none have taken place in almost five years. Mostofsky’s move to appoint successors circumvents the organization’s governing rules and is yet another example of the board’s disregard for fundamental governance requirements.”

In light of that, Goldberg called upon all approximately 120 Young Israel congregations to place their annual membership dues in escrow until there are “fair and open elections … the required financial audit is completed†and delegates are again able to vote by telephone at national meetings.

A leader of the organization who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals said he was surprised when the press release referred to Dworetsky’s selection as being in accordance with the group’s constitution.

“You can’t cherry pick when you are going to follow the constitution,” he said. “Once you decide not to hold elections, you throw the whole constitution in the air; you can’t trot it out when it suits your purpose.”

Rabbi Lerner, who asked for a six-month sabbatical after 20 years as its executive director, said he wanted to pursue some “special projects … solely for the betterment of the Jewish community and the State of Israel.”

Neither he, Rabbi Gewirtz or Mostofsky replied to phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

It was announced that Rabbi Bini Maryles, senior director of branch services, would be given the additional position of associate executive director to handle day-to-day operations in Rabbi Lerner’s absence.

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Day School Enrollment Trending Downward

The Pre-Collegiate Learning Center of New Jersey.

Enrollment trends in American Jewish day schools are “worrisome,” with an increasing number of families seeing day school as optional, an educational consultant for the Avi Chai Foundation told The Jewish Week.

The consultant, Marvin Schick, just completed an annual census showing that day school enrollment outside the fervently Orthodox community experienced “modest decline” this year.

The census, released Tuesday, found 83,519 students enrolled in 297 schools in the United States for the 2011-12 academic year, down by 1.4 percent since 2010-11. Last year, enrollment had been relatively stable, following a 3 percent, recession-induced decline the previous year.

€œThe overall trend if you look at the last three years is modestly downward,” Schick said.

“There’s more talk about the tuition crisis, more talk about the impact of the economic downturn and more talk about options such as Hebrew charter schools,” he said.

Schick noted that while enrollment overall has dropped, some individual schools have grown.

“It’s a very dynamic area,” he said, noting that new schools are opening at the same time other schools are closing.

At least two schools, a pluralistic high school in East Brunswick, N.J., and a Modern Orthodox elementary school in Baltimore opened this year, but more have closed, including ones in Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona and Florida.

Enrollment declines were greatest within the Conservative movement’s Schechter network (down by 3.8 percent) and the RAVSAK community day school network (2.5 percent), which has a large number of schools enrolling 100 or fewer children.

In addition, South Florida — home to five Hebrew charter schools, two of which just opened this fall — has seen especially large day school declines, Schick said.

As schools in other parts of the country close or shrink, New York and New Jersey — home to the largest Orthodox communities — are accounting for an increasing share of total day school enrollment, he said.


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