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Clarification Letter from R’ Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz

rech[Submitted to TLS by R’ SY Rechnitz] Dear Readers, As there is a lot of confusion regarding my speech, I would like to clarify some of my points and my intentions. I apologize for any typos etc….but I am writing at a very inconvenient time from a very inconvenient place (Maimonides Hospital). I nevertheless feel it’s important to write now, to avoid anymore potential Lashon Harah.

  1. I apologize and ask Mechila for not for seeing the possibility of people using my comments out of context. The point of my speech was to deliver one message, and one message only, and that is to make sure that there is a place in school for all our children in Lakewood. It was not meant in any way to “bash” Lakewood or its leaders. Anyone using my comments to support their own ulterior agendas are twisting my words. I am not Anti-Lakewood or Anti-Kollel, and if that happens to be your position, I would reccomend you take a tour of the city and its Mikomos Hakdoshim and I assure you, that you will be impressed. Anyone who is somewhat familiar with the substantial financial resources that I’ve invested and will continue to invest in Lakewood, would quickly come to the conclusion that I adore Lakewood, realize how important it is for Torah, Kavod Hatorah, Harbatzos Hatorah and for Kiyum Ha’olam, and how much I need to be a part of it. I consider its inhabitants as my Family, and am proud and thankful that I can be a part of this extraordinary Makom Torah. Besides supporting the Mosdos, I think I’ve proven that I try to do everything in my power to help any Yungerman or their children in a time of need, and IY’H hope to continue to do so, in addition to the rest of Klal Yisroel.
  2. I never Chas V’shalom meant to be Mevazeh any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim. To the contrary, I spoke of the Roshei Yeshiva’s attempts and involvement in helping children get into Mosdos, only to be turned down. I have heard directly from many Roshei Yeshiva, both from Lakewood and other cities, that they consistently have problems getting children into Lakewood schools. If any of the Roshei Yeshiva or Rabbonim were offended, I hereby ask them publicly for Mechila. If any Rov or Rosh Hayeshiva would like me to come to them personally, I’m prepared to do so. I have, and always had tremendous Kavod for the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva. Im sure if asked, they will all tell you that I fulfill any and all requests they ask of me without asking any questions. As an Askan, I have never acted without the directive of the Gedolim. In all my Tzedakos, I believe that I’m known to never ever give with strings attached. I don’t discriminate against any person or Mosad even if they’ve done me wrong.
  3. If I had to do it again, I would’ve spent the first hour telling people about the greatness of Lakewood. Lakewood has grown by leaps and bounds in population and Ruchniyus. Under the tutelage of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Hagaon Hatzadik, Reb Malkiel Kotler Shlit’a, Lakewood has been more successful than anyone’s wildest imaginations. It’s Talmidei Chachamim have sprouted all over the world, spreading Torah and Yiddishkeit. The city off route 9 that we call Lakewood is merely the “corporate office” for the world over. I mentioned that Lakewood is everything right, that there is nothing more beautiful than Lakewood, but they are deficient in just one area. Due to the fact that I wanted to get a point across in the time allotted to me, I clearly did not spend enough time describing my genuine Ahava for Lakewood.
  4. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough when I specifically said that I don’t place the blame on the Roshei Mosdos, as they’re doing what we’d all do, to protect their Mosdos and not compromise the Chinuch they provide for following years. I also did not want to place blame on them, as every single one of them have bent over backwards to try and help alleviate the problem. I’ve been in communication with most of them, and they’re always trying to place “just one more child”.
  5. Let me be clear. I put most of the blame on the Elitists. An Elitist is someone who calls a Mosad, and holds them hostage forcing their will and desires, while clearly harming other children. They are generally of the belief that they are superior or frummer than everyone else. They put themselves on a pedestal and insist on their way or the highway. Instead of viewing other kids as the Aibeshters children, they view every child as a potential threat to their child’s reputation. This happens every year at nearly every Mosad. I can understand a parent wanting a school where all the children come from homes without Internet, televisions or other negative influences, but if you don’t want your child in a class that has children who’s fathers work to provide Parnasah for their family, then you are an elitist! The working father can be ehrlich, Kovea Ittim, have all the right Hashkofos, but that’s not good enough for you, because you consider yourself on a much higher Madreigah.
  6. The one point where I should’ve been clearer is that the vast majority of Lakewood are not elitists. They are humble B’nei Torah who’s Zechusim we rely on to exist. But as in every religion and every culture, the extremists and the most vocal carry the show. While the elitists are the Mi’uta D’miuta, they’ll cause 90% of the problem. In my opinion, it’s incumbent on all of us, as the silent majority to speak up and not tolerate these attitudes that are the impetus and perpetuation of the problem.
  7. I should have taken out the time to thank all the Askanim who work day and night, trying to get children placed. They Aibeshter should bench them with Shefa and Bracha. Unfortunately, they don’t have the power alone to fix the system.
  8. As I have clearly gotten too emotionally involved, I don’t think I’m the person to deal with the schooling issue. I have therefore decided to remove myself from this Parsha. In terms of financial support, I will continue to support this beautiful Makom Torah, and hopefully with Hashem’s help, and your Tefillos, I’ll be able to increase my support.

As the Seforim Hakdoshim write: We’ll never know who is supporting who.

Ha’Aron Nosei Es Noisov. (Yalkut Shimoni)

B’Chavod Rav,

Shlomo Yehuda

[TLS]

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There are 74 Comments to "Clarification Letter from R’ Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz"

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for clarifying R Shlomo Yehuda.

  • against chilul hashem says:

    rabbi rechnitz i had tremendous respect for you even before your speech, my level of respect shot up after your speech, and (if such a thing is possible) my respect has gone up even more after your letter

  • jerry says:

    Wow, this person is a giant!

  • Sensible guy says:

    An elitist is also someone who feels that a school must have “nice parent body”. Aka Bal Habatish. I know nerds that were truned down from many schools. That’s even worse than turning down working parents.

  • anom says:

    you are doing a wonderful job supporting the mosdos both financially and morally, don’t drop the ball because some cranky people let out their feelings, that is absurd.

  • Proud says:

    What a man… I thank RSYR for his clarification, and hopefully this will be a lesson for the future

  • jbw says:

    Thank you so much R Rechnitz for all you have done and will continue to do.

    Shame on all of those who twisted R Rechnitz words and used them to further their own agenda. Shame on all of you who critizised and and blamed and pointed fingers. Because of people like you R Rechnitz has to feel attacked and accused. Having removed himself from this pasha you will have to answer for those children he would have helped.

  • parent says:

    HE IS KING!!
    HE MEANT IT FROM THE HEART AND IS A BIG BOY TO STAND UP AND CORRECT THE MISCONCEPTIONS!
    I ALWAYS WAS HIS FAN BUT NOW TO A NEW LEVEL!!
    YOMIM AL YIMEI MELECH TOSIF!!

  • Eli says:

    Unfortunately Baltimore has tens of kids with no school.

  • Meir says:

    Shlomo Yehuda Please continue to stay involved. Klal Yisroel needs your help and involvement to fight for the underdog!!!!

    Please! Please! Please!

  • Sad says:

    Point #8 where R’ S”Y says “I have therefore decided to remove myself from this Parsha” saddens me.

    I understand why he is doing it & the “elitists” who posted the spiteful comments are the cause. I hope you “elitists” are proud of your accomplishment… Because of you the great work put in by R’ S”Y to help get children in to school and all the children/parents that benefited will no longer be prevalent.

    R’ S”Y asked mechila if he offended people in the letter… I think the “elitist” bloggers are the ones that need to ask mechila to every parent (or child) who still does not have a school to go to next year (or future years).

    Sincerely,
    A parent who’s daughter does not have a school for next year as the several schools we applied to as soon as they started taking applications were already full.

  • Joe shmo says:

    I don’t think he needs to apologize to anyone. Sometimes the truth hurts! Of course he did not mean to embarrass anyone but we all know exactly what he was referring to. I never really knew a lot of him until now but now I had a new respect after the speech. Keep up the good work we all need you. And most of all it was refreshing to hear you say what you said

  • Wow! says:

    To r’ syr
    I applaud and commend everything you stand for. It was something that was uncomfortable to bring forth to the table but someone had to do it so you jumped in bec no one else would. One thing that u commented on was the lack of individuality accepted in this town and I am one of those who never fit in the ‘box’ they created for me. I went to work at a point in my life that was ‘unacceptable’ in lkwd. It’s funny how those same rabbeim who criticized my move and how it will ruin me meet me and ask for my support (I’m not on ur madreiga that will give to a Mosad that probably wont accept ur own child) BH that my children are in the school I wished for and that we didn’t have to go through any humiliation we know so many do.
    Hatzlocha & keep going strong

  • s.c. says:

    im sorry, but its definitely true what he said about lakewood and i know it hurts to hear it, but hear it we must!! talking about ahavas yisroel, he meant nothing about the askonim getting children into schools, and the love the teachers and rebbeim have for students!! its the snobby attitude that lakewood has become infamous of. and dont deny it. the peer pressure, elitist, snobby personality has seeped in tremendously and has got to stop. we need to take the criticism head down and not start screaming back and twisting his words altogether. and yes, many towns have similar problems with school placements as Lakewood, but we are famous for our school problem. it is of a way bigger proportion than another city of our size. and yes, the problem is ours, and yes, he wasn’t saying that its the rabbonims fault. if anything, he was taking the blame off of the rabbonim and putting it on us. so there you have it.

  • Okay says:

    I agree that there is a problem caused by elitists, but it’s not necc. that they are calling the schools telling them not to accept certain people. It is the Mosad preemptively not accepting certain kids because they are afraid of what the parents will say and they are afraid that in the future their school won’t attract certain type of families.

  • nice says:

    SY, stand strong we all love you , you have touched the lives of many people you will never even meet!!!!in so many ways you do not even know!!!!

    PS. and I usually not comment on scoop…

  • Moshe230 says:

    If you listened to his speech by this dinner, and for a second you thought he was bashing lakewood please get help, R shlomo is a do-er he gets things done he does not have to explain himself especially while he is going through a tough time

  • Mark Levin says:

    Thank you for sticking up for the underdog. Since you believe this is such an important issue I beg you don’t stop fighting for the right cause. It’s the minority who wants you to quit so you must stand up to them. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

  • Jewish Man. says:

    There was no need to apologize just because some twisted individuals with twisted minds have twisted the words of Mr. Rechnitz, yet a man of such great stature is so worried that even a drop of negativity could come out of his words, so he took time out of his extremely busy day to pen this letter to silence the haters. I applaud Mr. Rechnitz’s efforts for he is 100% leshaim shamayim, and if only we would have more of such great people. It’s time we all show respect and hakaros hatov where it is due.

  • abe says:

    please dont apologize . the people who are offended obviously have a common case of selective hearing. anyone with a clear mind without negius who payed attention to every word you said understood your love for lakewood and its leaders. the same people who cause the problems are the same ones who are offended and twist what you clearly said. we need you to stay at the forefront of this matter please dont apologize or back down. we need your efforts. coming from a prou to live in lakewood person. tyvm

  • cool masmid says:

    R’ Shlomo Yehuda- you are a giant amongst men. I for one never doubted your good intentions behind all of this. I always had one question about you that I think this letter answers and that is; its no secret that you give vasts amount of money to Lakewood and it’s really across the board; to the Yeshiva and to the many many mosdos and yechidim that you help – I always wondered given that you live on the other side of this great land and thousands of miles away and that you are very involved in your own city of LA for one thing, why do feel so attached to Lakewood in the way that you are. But after hearing your powerful address and moreso reading you beautiful letter its clear that you have a tremendous love for Lakewood on every level. As such all I can say is Lakewood and the Torah world are very fortunate to have you as one of their … if not their best friend. May HKBH continue to shower you with brocho and hatzlocho in all your endeavours.

  • Joe says:

    R’S.Y. Your a giant amongst us,there’s nobody with a bigger caring heart than u.

  • Miriam says:

    Had R.S.Y. Spoken gently, with nice cushioning, no one would have felt offended but no one would’ve taken it to heart either. The truth needed to be said and we see it hit a nerve. We each individually need to look in ourselves and see where we can improve. Everyone can. R’ Rechnitz stood up and said “Mi LaHashem Eilay?” Let’s face it and not twist his words to justify ourselves.

  • 2cents says:

    Most people have a touch of elitism inside them.
    There’s a wondeful girls school in Lakewood – great chinuch, great teachers, great facilities, great hanhallah, great girls, and they have room for next year. Why? because of their more open acceptance policy. RSY was talking about attitude – everyone likes to feel that they’re better than somebody. If you accept everyone it doesn’t make a statement that my child/family is something special. Though we think/say it’s l’shem shamayim for our children’s chinuch, underneath it all it really boils down to reputation & a bit of gaava (d’kedusha) Same thing is true with boys mesivtas and seminaries. Not sure what the eitzah is, but he’s making a good point.

  • Sensible guy says:

    Dear Sad / #11,

    Please make sure you look into the newer schools in town as the older ones have limited space. Some of the newer schools have even more to offer. Newer schools tend to hire only professional experienced teachers. After all they have to earn themselves a good name. Plus if you only have 4 or 5 teachers you can afford to pay a little more to attract the good ones. So newer schools generally have more experienced and a more energized staff than established schools. And there is more individualized attention. if the school is 2/3 years old already you can also get a clear picture of the parent body as well.
    Of course if one is embarrassed by family or friends that es pas nisht to send to a newer school then my suggestion is futile.
    Sincerely,
    A proud parent of a new school.

  • Toms river says:

    Please. Please. Please. Please do not step away from being involved. Please do not only send a check. Please answer every yiddishe call for help. You CANNOT stop ‘doing’ your involvement and do a Trump to walk away from a debate because it’s tough. Keep doing and keep walking with your head high! Am Yisroel is gebenched to have askanim like you.

  • BD says:

    #11, not having a school at this time of the year is sort of a normal process in Lakewood, and I don’t think you should take it so personally. I have gone through this myself for my daughter who is now in 8th grade. I never took it personally. I understood there was not enough room. Baruch Hashem, we did get into school FOUR days before school started. I’m eternally grateful it was before school and not after, but just letting you know, feeling sorry for yourself and “crying” wont help you much. Of course, tefillos will.

    Bhatzlocha

  • command post says:

    Boruch SheKivanti – at first I also thought he was knocking the Roshei Mosdos, then I heard the part aboput the fear of becoming the Nebby scool and I realized he was bashing the elitists/bullies. And in that, he’s 100% right. May HKBH grant him the koach, knowledge & parnassah to continue supporting our mosdos of Torah & Chessed Ad Bias Goel Bimhairah. Plz post his shver’s name for tehillim again. Thx.

  • police fan says:

    kol Hakovod to R’ shlomo yehuda
    it is rare to find an askan and such a big baal tzedakah that also has the proper wisdom to go along with it and talks with seichel

  • Sad says:

    To Sensible guy:

    Thank you for advice.

    I should have added to my original post – only one of the schools I applied to is over five years old. I did not apply to any schools which people would call “impossible to get in to”.

    I’m fairly confident that not one of the schools I applied to even made one phone call about my child, my wife or myself (not because of egotistical reasons). My mistake was not using pull when sending in my applications. I overestimated the system be feeling I didn’t need to use pull and maybe I am to blame for that.

  • Anonymous says:

    I doubt anyone would question that R’ Shlomo Yehuda’s very clear intentions and actions have always been to help our community in any way that he can. May Hashem give him the strength to continue bearing the load of all of our needs.

  • Baruch says:

    Very nice, no need to apologies, I believe the speech was the Dvar Hashem. As many have been saying, the problem is the system. R’ Shlomo Yehuda, with his background and perspective, can help fix the problem!

    “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

  • A Yid says:

    Chaim Yisroel Ben Chana Tzirel L’Refuah Shleima

  • Baruch says:

    “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.

    “Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”
    -Steve Jobs

  • Anonymous says:

    On elitism: A well known social researcher and author, Malcolm Gladwell has presented compelling evidence that many highly intelligent and gifted students will do much better in academics and in the careers that follow when they do not attend prestigious Ivy League universities. The big schools have well deserved reputations but they are not the best option for everyone bright enough to be accepted.
    Still, their names have cachet and power and so the push and pull and struggles persist even when there is not always something to be gained.
    Maybe something similar happens in town, when loving parents feel they need to choose the “best” school even if/when it is not right for their child. Not because they or their child is lacking in any way, but because it is simply not the best possible place for them
    When there is so much overcrowding and need for classroom space, why can’t we build more good schools and have the courage to support them?
    When R’ Rechnitz spoke so strongly and from the heart, imploring the “Elitists” to acknowledge the beauty of each and every Neshama, perhaps it is the “Neshama’lehs”, their families, all of us who are not in the “Elite” who need to absorb that message. How many of us really feel that H’ loves us and accepts us and treasures us in our uniqueness?
    When we all can truly accept our selves and our missions the school system can change. We can continue to strive for emes and ehrlichkeit without worrying about the judgments of a given segment of the population. As R’ Rechnitz said, we can put H’ back in the picture and do our own jobs, build and choose schools which are right for our children.

  • Out of Towner says:

    Dear sir , you were right . Please don’t back down from your points ( which were made respectfully ) . Lakewood needs vision and accountability. The just last night and this morning I saw several people that in the secular world the term ; ” Posers ” is appropriate. Phone in 1 hand Gemara in the other hand while the Baal Tefilla was saying Alenu . Talking about the Daf during Kaddish . We all need to work on ourselves . Even those on High . Everyone needs to stay focused on the situation at had . The school placement is only a byproduct. Yes this a Makom of potential greatness. . Yes there is a lot of chesed and Talmud Torah. But the practical application of this learning is equally important

  • anon says:

    I would like to humbly advise you to leave that Hospital right away. It is full of infection and inferior care, one that killed my father and many others. If your father in law is being treated there please remove him ASAP when there is life there is hope but not at Maimonides.

    Please continue to work with and feel the pain of our dear children in Lakewood. I would like to mention that I truly believe your speech made Moshiach come one step closer, do not abandon the children of Lakewood, for if you give up now there will no longer be hope for these precious, innocent souls. instead say Mi Lashem Ailai and continue of your righteous path.

  • Noway says:

    maybe #24 2 cents should tell #11 sad which school s/he’s referring to and then our problem is solved!
    Unless of course the school is not “the right fit” for “Sad” and then we have a new question for R’ Rechnitz.

  • Bh says:

    I hope you are moichel all of us here in Lakewood for not understanding,you did the right thing,Unfortunate that’s why an Askan has to be Bentched every Shabbos with the Mi Sheberach…vchol mi shoiskim btzorchay zibbur bemuna,hakodosh Boruch h yeshaleym …

  • Really??!! says:

    The fact that this GREAT man, needed to write the above letter really breaks my heart. Anyone who watched his speech clearly saw how hard it was on him to give it. I read a lot of comments of how people cried when they watched it. They cried because of the substance of the speech. When I watched it I also cried for R’ Rechnitz. It was as if the one above was talking via this great man and G-D himself was crying out to us.

    The truth is that EVERY word he said was correct. I dont think the fact that he did not praise this town enough is even an issue. THAT IS NOT WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH. Why people think they are in need of hearing his praise instead of constructive criticism is in of itself the problem. A man in the position to help has a responsibility to help! He is in that fortunate (or should i say unfortunate) position. He got up and beseeched those who needed musar. How was that lashon hara? How is it that a TRUTHFUL and definitely a statement with major to’eles is lashan hara?

    Those who complained about his speech are the heart of the problem. The yeter yara comes in many forms. The complainers are the yeter hara in this case.

    After hearing the pleading in his voice while giving his speech, why did they jump to dissect some of his comments and portray them as negative? Just imagine if those same people jumped to dissect the REAL message of the speech and opt to carry that message and commit to be a part of the solution…. Thats would be Real Ahavas Yisroel. Dont hide behind your mask of being so great to call his speech lashan hara when you know you are a yetzer hara and are a part of the problem.

    Many times I pray in my heart for G-D to show me a sign that would lead me in a positive direction. I beg for just a small sign…… Even a hint to point me in the right path and show me that I am not alone…. This town literally just heard words that I believe came straight from the Almighty in the clearest sign possible of what Hashem wants from us. How ungrateful are we? How can we face Hashem again and ask for more?

    Last year R”L a child was killed in Lakewood in a vehicular accident. On TLS there was dozens of comments how lack of TZNIUS was the cause of this…….Oy. (was that lashan hara on a klal?) Hashem gives us precious souls to raise and take care of. This town has a tendency to be selective in which of these souls matter. Then we complain when Hashem takes one back from us. Who do we think we are?

    We can either be a Hillel or we can be a Shamai. The Hillel route is to understand that Torah is universal. There are no perquisites to be zoiche to receive the holy words. Hillel, the man who almost froze to death to hear the sweet words of torah was willing to teach anyone who wanted to learn. EVEN IF THEY DID NOT FIT A PARTICULAR MOLD. Hillel was the man who whose message was that the essence of torah is “V’ahavta l’reacha K’mocha” and the rest is commentary. Hillel was the man who was willing to teach a man who was clearly mocking him when he asked to be taught the torah while standing on one foot. Hillel is the role model Hashem wanted us to follow. Hillel was the man that Hashem agreed with and asked us to follow his path. We therefore follow his way as opposed to shamai.
    R’ Rechnitz is a Hillel. R’ Rechnitz is a TRUE messenger of Hashem.
    Those who publicly shamed this wonderful man should not DARE ask Hashem for anything until they find a way to make R’ Rechnitz look positive again and PERSONALLY and PUBLICLY as his forgiveness. From what I see of R’ Rechnitz he will gladly be mochel these ungrateful Dasans & Aviroms.
    How I wish I can meet R’ Rechnitz and befriend him. Not for his money but for his true Yiddish heart.

    From,
    A father who personally went thru geyhenom getting his wonderful little daughter into a school here in Lakewood.

  • what? says:

    RSYR you are a truly great man. Your benevolence and desire to help the klal is obvious. But respectfully, I must disagree. THis elitism that you refers to is not the main issue in Lakewood by a longshot. The main issue is that we DONT HAVE ENOUGH SCHOOLS IN THE TOWN! – especially on the girls high school side. I think you’re a wonderful man. And certainly elitism is something to work on and remove. But to say that is THE problem? No way. There is a lot more to the issue. Maybe on the boys side we can consider that the main problem. And even in that regard, I think it is a lot less pronounced on the elementary school level than in mesivta. – On the girls side though elitism is far from the main problem. We need more places pashut to put girsl in school. More seats, more classrooms, teachers and more mosdos. When you have a shortage in schools, demands are going to go haywire.

  • Shmuel Chaim P. says:

    The speech you gave was perfect 100% perfect And warrants no apology at all or any clarification, the truth might offend people but that is fine. I am sure that a giant like you can handle a few cranky people.
    Signed, All of my children are in schools

  • Sensible guy says:

    Sad,

    I made the same mistake with my child. I applied to a school two yrs old thinking that I don’t need pull for a two year old school. How wrong I was. i ended up sending to a brand new school with a great staff

  • Free Advice says:

    Reb Shlomo Yehuda, You have true Ahavas Yisroel. Keep up the good work. This is just a bump in the road. It will pass like a dream. you are a real An’shai Chay’el. Your enternal reward in this world and the next is off the charts.

  • ixnay says:

    Rechnitz, you are correct about the ELITISM problem and I can prove it very simply–
    having lived here for 25 years and observed the scene, i see two things–
    the schools that have been accepting struggle and eventually close their doors.
    the schools that reject people have the most applications.
    the more they reject people, the more the people are dying to get in.

  • Levi J. says:

    There is no need at all to apologize.

    Just seeing how people took this so personal and got offended, just shows how right he was with his speech, we are putting our ego before our chinuch.
    And for all those who were upset on the chutzpa of someone from out of town coming and telling them who they are, yes, obviously we all are so into it so definitely we think we are the best, but a a guest can see much more then us who grew up here, we need to fix our ahavas yisroel, we need to embrace his speech and correct ourselves instead of getting offended by hearing the truth.
    Kol hakavod reb syr, I will try and work on myself and I hope my neighbors will too.

  • Yaakov says:

    I was at the speech, disagreed what he said how he said it. This clarification does a lot because he zeroes on a specific adittue that is wrong. And goes back on the ‘lakewood machlah’ line claiming he understood that it’s a growing town and this is bound to happen that there isn’t place in one school or another do to too many applications but this elitist behavior is what hurts.
    Rsy with that we definitely agree
    Thank you.

  • ahn says:

    Fantastic!!!

  • I.s. says:

    I think that Shlomo rechnitz should have any institution that he supports have an outside group paid to decide who is accented. And also hire a vaad in each city to make sure all children have a place. If the institution does not join this agreement then he will not support them. It should also be publicized that they did not agree. There are a lot of people without negius who can be hired. Please pass on my idea to Shlomo if you have his e mail. I have been thinking about this for 25 yrs. I. S. From Israel. Thanks

  • Sanity Please says:

    RSY,
    #1, you have a great accomplishment!
    You woke everybody up!
    I can guarantee you that next year people will be much more cognizant of the issues and will try harder to resolve them without causing pain to the children and the parents.
    For that alone, it was all worth it.

    However, I am very saddend and sorry for all you went through trying to help.
    I am most saddened for the people who lost a tireless advocate for them. I hope, for the sake of the most vulnerable children you will reconsider your decision.

    As we say, kol me shaoisekim btzorchay tzibbur b;emuna, hkb”h yeshalaim sechorom, because people wont.

  • Kids were out says:

    I listened to your speech four times! You couldn’t have said it any better ! Everything you said was exactly the way I felt when my son was out of yeshiva. You where the first person that validated what I felt! If anyone wants to take it the wrong way then their not looking at it to help people it’a about their own pride! Hashem should bless you with continued success to continue helping people!

  • gotten rejected in the past says:

    Now we know who the people that call the schools and pressure them are. They used to hide behind there closed walls and now they are all bent out of shape against what was said and needed to be said even stronger and louder, all those that are upset are those that are the problem. job well done

  • First timer says:

    I truly respect you for clarifying ! Thats the difference between a Yid and Trump!

  • hadtobesaid says:

    thank you R’ Rechnitz! this is something that had to be said as clearly and as blatant as possible. Lakewood has a problem, and everyone else skirted the issue. you are a leader to be able to get up and say what needed to be said even if you knew you would get backlash about it. please continue to help those in need of getting into school! as a 4 year old morah, I know how much these parents suffer. they need your help!

  • Poshter Yid says:

    R,Shlomo,

    My admiration for you and you big heart is even greater after your apology letter.

    I think it was the correct thing to do since so many people really misunderstood you.But I want to share my opinion and differ slightly from what you wrote that the rosh hamosdos are really doing their best..

    Yes the problem does exist but like you said it is only a small % of this great town and Mokom Torah ain ani dar aleh bmokon Torah.

    I myself did experience this rejection when I registered my daughter.
    In my case I felt the Hanhala of the Mosad had at attitude to all parents like cattle after so many years people begging them, it really gets to their heads .They had 7 or more couples sqished into a tiny waiting room or doorway entrance lucky if you find a folding chair to sit filling out applications no one there (secretary ) etc.
    to meet you or help you.

    A voice from above watching with closed circut calls(never in the order of who came first) you in to King.
    Gives you a 2 1/2 minutes of your his highness time talking down to you. This a bizyom
    to treat all of your parent body like this.When you come to registar your
    child you should be greeted like mench to feel I want my child to grow in this school like these people who run it even if you dont accept my child .Yes my child was accepted after many twists and turns to a school great teahers. But my heart will never give anything extra for such a school.It should be a joy to come to your childs school with happy heart and not feel for the the next eight years like they did you the biggest favor and dont dare ask for anything.Yes I keep many sedorim learn every extra minute support
    2 Kollel youngeriliet full time and consider myself a yeshiva baalabos but I was still second class citizen to get accepted , and so were all the choshuv parents
    and talmidei chacomim sitting there like cattle.

    Thanks again for trying to slove this issue and hope that those to whom this is relevant to will learn from you what it means to have a Hartz even after you do it over and over again .Torah teciloso chesed vsofo chessed lets
    never forget that.

    May your Shever Merit a big Yshoua bkorov.And thanks again for all that you did and will do for this Ir Hatotah even though you live in sunny Ca.

  • avraham says:

    i would like to thank MR RECNITZ for starting this and saying what has to be said and ending this with his clarification today .

  • yakov says:

    R shloime Yehuda there was no need for clarification.your words were on the mark.The same “gavva”that you were accused of is the same gavva that these bashers are guilty of by not being able to face the truth.It is unfortunate that a few kanoim that cant deal with reality have to ruin it for the vast MAJORITY that made u step down.We the tzibbur bessech you to strongly reconsider;the children of our beautiful non-elitist town need you!

  • I had enough says:

    SY you are a Zadik Nistor, I really feel for you getting your.. name dragged through mud. It is not for nothing that we give a Brochas every Shabbos to the oiskay Ztibur.
    This is the Soton doing what he does best and the Soton never gives up. We must learn from the Sotton never to give up. If our role models from the previous generation such as Mr. WILLHEM would have giving up where would we be today?
    Your speach is a very big Zecus for your father in law. May he have a complete Refua bekorov.
    Money can only help to a certain point. Sticking your neck out can get the job done. I encourage you to continue in your avodas hakodesh. And not get side tracked by nay sayers. Look how Esther put her live at stake for her fellow yiden. You are a great man and you a Great speaker. No one comes close.

  • Don't appoligize says:

    Dear Rabbi Rechnitz:

    As a parent that this happened to in the past. I beg you, please don’e apologize or quit. The damage does not go away when the child is finally accepted into a school. It stays with the person the rest of his or her life. It is a terrible thing what they do. It needed to be said in just the way you did and should have been said many years ago.

    Thank you for all you have done and I hope you will be able and willing to do so.

    Much hatzlacho to you and your family and a refuah sheleima to your in- laws

  • REALIST says:

    Der aidem iz a shtik shver, l’havdil bein chaim l’chaim.
    Only a shtik, because Rav Belsky never felt the need to explain or apologize.
    There were many over the years that denigrated Rav Belsky, but being the rock solid Ish Emes he was, paskined, did, spoke, and never looked back.
    R’ S. Y, Ashrecho! Ubila hamaves… Amein

  • REALIST says:

    One more thing R’ Shloime Y.,

    You on one hand support Toirah…yet on the other you are the cause for Bittul Toirah.

    How??

    I stayed awake in bed listening to your beautiful, heart-stirring drosho twice… and overslept and missed my early AM shiur!

  • elitis says:

    I am confused as you make it seem that the schooling issue has to do with individuals feeling they are better than though. That may be the case with some of us and must be addressed but that is not the schooling problem in Lakewood. At the end of the day and rightfully so no one wants to go to a new school, and the existing schools cannot handle all of the children. that automatically creates an environment where the elite and better connected get in and the rest don’t. That situation is then compounded by the fact that some of us feel that they are better than the next but that is not the core issue at hand. It is definitely something we should all work on but that alone will not solve the Lakewood schooling issue.

  • CSA says:

    Mr. Rechnitz, I listened to your entire speech and thought it was beautifully said. I have not seen one person say the following, what I think is the most important point: the entire problem with Lakewood is the elitist attitude you described. That attitude and those ‘ani maamins’ are prevalent and so destructive. Truly, the school crisis is but a symptom of the greater malaise and you nailed it.
    I heard no disrespect for any of the R”Y. I would venture that if anyone actually asked them, they would agree with everything you said. I believe that the individuals who are getting bent out of shape are actually personally offended because the truth hurts. Any person who heard that speech and found it insulting or untrue is part of the problem. Simple as that.
    My most sincere condolences on the loss of your great father in law. May you and your family know no more tzaar.

  • Concerned says:

    Rsy I don’t know if you will read this. However, you can not retire from helping lakewood kids/children with getting into school. That would mean a major win for the “elitists”. Pls see introduction from Chovas halivavos who as well wanted to give up and realized that’s exactly what the yetzer wanted him to do.
    I would also advise Rsy to set up a dedicated email for this issue where ppl can give ideas on solutions to this serious matter and you can string them together.

  • Rechnitz rocks! says:

    I was absolutely riveted by Reb Rechnitz’s speech. I still remember how I tried to apply to a school for my daughter several years ago.The principal was an aquaintance and I always had positive interactions with her and since I was a naive “out of towner”, thought she would be thrilled when I expressed interest in her school. Well, guess what? I was given the run around for several weeks and after finally getting her on the phone, was told that they are not “catering” to parents from the school where I send my boys. I started crying from shock and shame. To her credit, she apologized and I was mochel her. However, even now, seven years later, I feel a tinge of hurt when I think about it.

  • tuna bagel says:

    Mr rechnitz ur speech was so true.and thank you for what ever you do for our town!!!

  • a chashuvayungerman says:

    I totally agree with everything that u said RSYR,u got ur point across very well.anyone that argued its bec. They realize how wrong they r and r 2 immature 2 face it,keep up ur great work…

  • YT says:

    Does anyone agree to suggestion below?
    I suggest the underlying misunderstanding between directors of mosdos and parents is whether the availability of newer schools exonerates the more established schools from accepting more students. The mosdos directors feel it’s “ludicrous” to expect them to accept because there are so many other good new schools with more room. For many situations this might be true. However, if from a sincere chinuch perspective, the more established school is a better fit for the child, then all the arguments to exonerate the more established schools fall away and any rejection can be perceived as insensitivity.
    I can substantiate the parent’s perspective as a parent myself with a background in chinuch who recently moved to Lakewood with ble”h a large family. When I researched some schools I was not comfortable with their approach to chinuch; there were too many agendas which I felt detracted from chinuch. However, there were a few select schools that were well established and I felt comfortable with their approach. I wasn’t running after that school because of peer pressure etc. rather because of a genuine chinuch reason. Of course a mosad can’t have room for everyone, however, that does not exonerate them.
    There is perhaps another reason the mosdos should not brush you off to the newer mosdos: I’m a talmid of R’ Nosson Tzvi Finkel ztz”l who is renowned for loving each and every Bachur and new applicant to Mir which resulted in huge Yeshiva. I keep wondering how HE would run a mosad in Lakewood. Would he keep adding parallels? Possibly. Would he even consider himself patur because there is a newer mosad in town? Not for a second! THAT is the achrayos of a ba’al mosad…. (I can’t put this properly into words, you have to have known R’ Nosson Tzvi to understand this.)
    To end on a positive note. B”h in our experience we found a mosad who felt that achrayos. Out of all the schools they had the least room, yet they were there for us in every way to the extent of their capability. Not for a second did they think why should we accept them if the newer schools have more room…..

  • New School Parent says:

    Elites Say,

    “At the end of the day and rightfully so no one wants to go to a new school”

    Why is that rightfully so. Please explain. Here is my take on new school,
    1) They pay their staff more. They can both afford to do so (since its a small staff) and they want to prove themselvs good. If you pay more you got a good staff. Therefore, most new schools hire only experienced staff. That makes them better and more experienced than established schools.
    2) More personalized attention.

    The only vaild concern I have heard is we don’t know what the parent body will turn out like. Its somewhat valid but firstly you can somewhat sense what its like based on other applicants and the schools mission statement. And if you listen to SYR then parent body won’t be such a concern.
    I think most of the time the problem with new schools is purely image. What will my neighbor/ sister say. That again circles back to SYR elitist argument

  • yisroel says:

    It was a sincere heartfelt speech,but it brings up many uncomfortable issues that we don’t want to face.
    A common explanation given,is that the reason there is such a problem in town with a lack of schools, is because of the speed of growth our town was zocheh to.
    This reason has become accepted as an unsurmontable problem,thereby excusing us all from the outcome.
    First of all,there are some holes in this argument.Even though wew are witnessing a huge growth in our communty boruch hashem,percentage growth was greater not that long ago.
    During the post WW2 era,in a world where most struggled to establish themselves in a strange country,working very hard to support themselves,while not letting the terrible ordeal that they went through hold them back,this generation which exploded as they desperatly tried to rebuild the churban that happened,still manged on their much more meager resorcres,to establish schools for all children to attend.
    While the numbers are much higher today for new school children,the percentage increase generation over generation is not even close.Was there talk that how can we do it,it’s like building a community from scratch,catering to all these children at once? Of course not,the “challenge”,was looked at as a matana from hashem.This was a “problem”that everyone wanted more of.
    Remeber this was a world where the parents werre on their own,spitting blood to survive financially,doing all type of menial work none of us would dream of doing today,yet they wouldnt dream of leaving children in a situation where they had no school,because the Dor repopulated quickly.
    The differnce between the 2 generations seems to be that while that generation wanted more yiden to join our camp,our generation seems to say,we have enough,please don’t add to the “problem”.Groth ois not a problem,it”s a gift from hashem,and if we don’t appreciate it,haodush boruch hu can one day chas v’shalom solve our problem.
    If we would look at each child as hungrily as that generation did,we wouldn’t be turning anyone away.It’s just that we look at them as just another burden,what a difference in perspective.

  • Shuli says:

    As a working parent that does not make a lot of money that does not have a voice in this town .
    I beg you please stay involved , please help kids like mine , please call out the true haters of God’s children , and please to fix this sickness in this town.
    I cried when I heard your speech but I cried even more when I read this letter above ….
    Because all the power administrators/parents/wealthy this letter that you wrote was a used as victory for them they can say they defeated the great Rabbi rechnitz.
    Continue fighting for those who can’t fight for those who can never win with those who can never speak up and you will win I promise …
    Shuli

  • Anonimis says:

    Shlomo yehuda you’re speech wa great
    You showed that even though you are wealthy that you care for a every yochid
    I am one of those that wa effected from the elites
    You are a tzadik and keep up the good work

  • uiy says:

    wow so many comments really awesome reading entertainment

  • levy says:

    hes right enough said

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