Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Responding to Hillel Koslowe on his response (December 5, 2019) to Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s article in The Jewish Link (“The First Modern Orthodox Jew: Two Models,” November 21, 2019), Mr. Koslowe’s credentials consist of the fact that he grew up in Bergenfield, went to TABC, learned in Yeshiva Har Etzion, davens at Beth Abraham and is in his second year studying computer science at Princeton University. How can he criticize the mara d’asra (head of community) of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun, who has served Teaneck to its great benefit for over 25 years? Mr. Koslowe appears to be unaware of the rabid widespread anti-Semitism and pro-Palestinian activities occurring across this country on secular liberal college campuses. A relative of mine was recently not excused from taking an exam at a college on Yom Kippur and was given a zero.

Rav Pruzansky is well aware of the realities on secular campuses and the dangers they pose. To call him sarcastic and mocking demonstrates a lack of respect due to a widely esteemed rabbinic leader.

I would like to know if Mr. Koslowe has the statistics to show how many Orthodox students retain their religious level when attending secular colleges and ultimately lead meaningful and serious Torah lives? How many ultimately intermarry? While I don’t know his dorm arrangements, the mere environment of co-ed dorms is certainly not conducive to a religious lifestyle.

I suggest Mr. Koslowe reexamine his attitude towards the effect that a secular college may have on our youth, even if he believes himself immune. I also suggest that he reexamine his level of respect towards Rabbi Pruzansky, who has significantly more Torah knowledge, general knowledge and life experience to understand what impact secular college has had and will continue to have on our youth who choose to attend one.

Dovid Savetsky