As I explained in Part #3, my husband would like our daughter to attend an all-girls school, while I'm really leaning towards co-ed (isn't it adorable how, in this NY school scene environment, we insist on acting like we're the ones picking the schools, instead of the schools picking us... but I digress).
I would also like my daughter to attend a Jewish Day School.
For a variety of reasons.
The first is that I learned my lesson with my boys. They do five full days of school a week, then, twice a week, add on two more hours of Hebrew School on top of that. That makes for a lot of hours spent in a classroom (and doesn't factor in homework).
A Jewish Day School would solve that particular problem. (I also wouldn't have to pay extra - always a plus.)
In addition, the Jewish Day Schools begin immersing foreign language right in Kindergarten. Granted, they aren't the only ones. There's the Lycee Francais and La Scuola D'Italia, not to mention many public schools, like PS 84, PS 163, Lower Lab, NEST, Anderson, etc...
But, because I speak several languages, I know that the best way to really get a child speaking fluently is to support the language at home. I can't support Spanish, French, or Italian. I can make a stab at it with Hebrew (in case you're wondering whether I am super-excited about the Harlem Hebrew Charter School opening up in Fall of 2012, yes, I am super, super excited).
But, because, unlike Spanish or French or Italian, the Hebrew language also has a religious component, choosing (again, as if we really have a choice!) a Jewish school in Manhattan isn't simple.
(This list excludes Orthodox schools and yeshivas.)
But, what if, as a family, you're not into labels?
We belong to a Conservative synagogue. But we are also an interfaith couple, which the Conservative movement frowns on, while the Reform is more open to. Then again, we love the intense curriculum of the Modern Orthodox. But, would a child with one Jewish parent and one not, feel comfortable - or even be welcome - there? (So far, at Ramaz, we've been politely informed, "It's not that you're not the right family for our school. We feel that our school is not the right one for your family." And honestly? I respect that. I appreciate them telling us not to waste our time - and application fee. Not everyone would be so open.)
Still. We'll go. We'll look. We'll keep you posted!
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