Bergen County is the bedroom community for hundreds of families who have invested their time, money and children, their own livelihoods and souls in Yeshiva University and trusted YU to do for their children what was done for them—to have them excel in the secular world as well as the religious world. Some of our neighbors’ grandparents were the founders and rebbes who built that institution from scratch. YU graduates have achieved the greatest heights in virtually every field and industry. And these people—our friends, family and neighbors—send successive generations to YU because they want their children to turn out to be well-adjusted, observant Jews who can think critically, and be taken seriously in the outside world. Our yeshivot act as prep schools for the YU system.
Many of our neighbors are part and parcel of that system, and make their parnassah at YU. And when YU has to fire people, they could be firing our neighbors. Yet these families are the backbone of YU and need to support its survival so that they can survive.
YU faces many challenges today due to fiscal mismanagement, fiercer competition on both the left and the right, and the changes in higher education roiling universities across the country.
Disappointment aside, YU cannot exist without a strong Contemporary Orthodox community. And our community cannot exist without a strong YU. A symbiotic relationship is required for survival. We need to find a transparent formula or method to ensure that both communities survive together.