EXCLUSIVE: OT Restructures Principals, Hires 3 More

CROWN HEIGHTS [CHI] — Major changes are afoot for the upcoming school year at Oholei Torah’s elementary school. CrownHeights.info has learned that neighborhoods largest school made structural changes to its educational administration by hiring three new principals.

Rabbi Hershel Lustig, longtime principal of Oholei Torah, will now serve as dean of the school and three new principals, Rabbis Zalman Goldstein, Rabbi Shua Lustig, and Rabbi Sholom Goldstein, will join Rabbi Meir Shimshoni as division principals.

Rabbi Shimshoni will continue to serve as principal over grades Pre-1a through 2nd grade, while Rabbi Z. Goldstein will take the reigns of 3rd and 4th grades, alongside Rabbi S. Lustig who will oversee 5th and 6th grades, and Rabbi S. Goldstein who will be charges with 7th and 8th grades.

A welcomed return this school year is Rabbi Pinchus Rapoport, who served as principal for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades for the past sixteen years, will be returning as a teacher for the 5th grade, the position he truly wanted and preferred.

Many teachers welcomed this news in a conference call last week with Rabbi H. Lustig and Rabbi Binyomin Ginsburg, principal of Torah Academy Day School in Minneapolis, MN and an acclaimed educator, who has been behind much of this new change.

One teacher told CrownHeights.info “this makes sense and its refreshing to see change,” adding that the school ka”h has over 1000 students, and to have one principal for 200 to 300 students will make sure that the educational needs of individual children are better met.

Related Articles:

Oholei Torah Gives Honor to Rabbi Rapoport [6/15/10]

Oholei Torah Continues to Lead the Way [9/18/08]

21 Comments

  • 1. shmuel wrote:

    Hmmmm, Usually “Restructuring” means, cutting and saving in order to more efficiently streamline operations.
    Here we have 3 new jobs AKA salaries that must be paid.
    Can someone enlighten me for what?

    Shmuel

  • 2. parent wrote:

    let’s hope that this will be a positive change for the school. all the principals who have directed my boys’ chinuch in the past have been fantastic, on top of the teachers, and instituting innovative programs. there is always room for improvement! only the best for our sons!!!

  • 3. Anonymous wrote:

    To #2:

    There is only one new salary. Rabbi Rapoport is being replaced; Rabbi Zalman Goldstein is staying on (not as mashgiach, but) as Principal (3-4). Only one new portfolio is being opened.

    The article didn’t make any mention of whether Rabbi Goldstein’s previous position as ‘Mashgiach’ will be replaced. If it will be eliminated, there won’t even be one new salary introduced.

  • 4. insane wrote:

    Pricipals who have not had years of teaching experience? And that is supposed to be improvment. It seems that whoever set this up has no idea about chinuch either. Good luck to all of you

  • 5. soheyla amrami wrote:

    Rabbi Benyamin Ginsberg was our kids principel at torah academy for many years. He is excelint teacher and principal and educater ,your school is very lucky to have him help you and guide you, may it be a sucessful years for us all.Amen.

  • 7. Question.. wrote:

    As a change in the Hanhala has been long overdue, this move on the part of the Hanhala is quite far from the change we have been expecting!
    With credit to the administration for showing an interest to improve the operations and education of the school, it seems that the change necessary should be in upgrading the quality of the Hanhala itself. With this we expect to see that the Principles of our schools be Master Educators/Mechanchim, able to take on the tremendous responsibility of caring and administering the highest quality of education to our children, both from a professional standpoint, and most importantly from quality experience.

    Though it should be expected that a Principle of an Elementary School would have some sort of educational degree and experience whereby certifies their position, we know, as unfortunate as it may be, that this has never been the case… As we have seen with the Principle(s) (now Dean?) to date. However, we do accept upon ourselves that a true Mechanech is one who has proven himself to us with Dedication and experience, and one who we can accept as a Menahel.

    With the above mentioned, over the last 10 years we have witnessed (to our astonishment) how the Hanhala and Administration of Ohlei Torah has filtered out their quality teachers… the teachers who have dedicated their lives with sweat and tears to teaching our children, only to be replaced by younger out-of-Kolel newlyweds who have had little to no experience in Chinuch whatsoever!

    Where have these Mechanchim gone? What has become of those Older, wiser, experienced, reputable, honorable, respected teachers of our children?

    We wonder now, how is it that downgrading the quality of our children’s education with providing young and inexperienced [family-tied] Principles not follow the Downgrading Pattern of the last 10 years?

    How can this possibly be an improvement to the Chinuch of our Children?

  • 8. Huh? wrote:

    Wow, #7, if only your English was understandable I might be able to rebut your point. Or agree with it.

  • 9. go rabbi sholom wrote:

    go sholom. i know you got it in your blood. your grandfather was the best in B.Y of deitrot. your father in YESODAY HATORAH and you did exalent in CT and in OT. be matzlicah.

  • 10. CH parent wrote:

    This “improvement” is the most major chutzpa .One can really only wonder how the yeshivas administration is not embarassed by this announcement. Where in the world do these people have the nerve to put thier children in positions in a community mossad. The same applied to OT Mesivta where the menechel is employing his own son.How is this called chinuch??Rabbi Rosenfelds granson neve opened a sefer in his entire yeshiva “career: In which respectable yeshiva or school do you find sucn a situation that one who never taught is being made principal. And wehre is the so called Vaad Hachihuch???????

  • 11. To #7 and #10 wrote:

    For your information, Sholom Goldstein is acutally now completing a Masters in Educational Leadership, so he does have the qualifications #10 is claiming he doesn’t have! He has also taught for a number of years and led programs for boys of this age, in CT, in Melbourne, in OT Mesivta and other places. Get your facts straight before you spew your negativity. The biggest challenge OT faces is the negativity of its parent body who serve as terrible examples to their children. If you want a better school, get behind the people, be positive so that your children will also have respect for their teacher’s and Hanhala. This is a mandatory prerequisite to be able to learn from them.

  • 12. I Know Him Personaly wrote:

    to#7 rabbi Sholom Goldstein Does have credentials including but not limited to a masters in education,
    to #10 wow u sound bitter:), he is not Rabbi Rosenfelds Grandson
    he just Married in, he is extremely learned if u dont believe me have a conversation with him, and as someone who learned with him on 3 different continent’s i can tell u ur mistaken he opened many books thru out many years,

  • 13. # 12 wrote wrote:

    Masters in Educational Leadership, isn’t that Young Israel’s offering. It is an easy on-line no intership masters. That experience to guide our children? That is the best we have for our showcase school?

  • 14. Parent & former student wrote:

    I am a ot graduare i can say this the system is a real desaster, myself and my classmates still cant spell or read script, mathwork is out of the question, if tour still hoping for a good edmecation for your son, all i can say is compare it to any litvishe school, and see why the results are so bleek, when the hanhala’s first priority is dollars, its a wonder its still called non for profit… I learnt there all my life, & would rather send my kid to a chagas chasidish or litvishe school. I kmow it hurts but let the truth be told, there’s a lot more i can say, but thats the least i can say, when i see a bunch of people berring their heads in the Sandra and giving praise to a horrible system that is giving false hope to innocent parrent & children. Ask rabbi xzy at the end of all the years what skills Williams my son have to make a honest living?…

  • 15. This is an OUTRAGE!!! wrote:

    By all means create jobs for your family members – but not on the cheshbon of our children.

    This is a COMMUNITY school, not a private business – so don’t hire as if it is your personal company.

    Think about that the next time OT asks for community support.

    When hiring – pick bases on the best qualified, not the closest blood relative. Then there won’t be a need to “justify” and “explain”.

    The chinuch lesson here will be clearly taught to our children:

    It doesn’t matter if you are qualified or how much you know, or how experienced you are – all that matters in life is who you are related to.

    So, if you are related to the right people, there is no need for you to work hard – you will get the job opportunity anyway.

    But if you aren’t related to the right people, then there is no point for you to work hard – you won’t get the job opportunity anyway.

    OT is educating the next generation with these new “values” – the churban starts HERE and NOW.

    This is an OUTRAGE!!!

  • 16. The door is open wrote:

    I beg your pardon, Oholei Torah is indeed a private Institution. As parents we shall be grateful to have our children enrolled in this outstanding school, and we shall feel free to send our children somewhere else if we don’t like it. No other respectable school asks the parent’s opinions in any matter. The Board of Directors and Faculty have surely researched extensively and consulted with experts before reaching their conclusions and making their decisions. They surely can’t take into consideration the opinions of the taylor, the locksmith, the shopkeeper and my next door neighbor.
    As a proud Oholei Torah parent I wish much Hatzlochoh to the new Faculty and welcome these changes with an open mind.

  • 17. Welcome to the newbies wrote:

    I welcome the newbies and wish them hatzlacha. I only wonder why OT did not hire from among its own experienced vetran mechanchim? For instance, Rabbi Levi Bornstein is a well respected experienced successful mechanech who is beyond qualified. There are several others too.

    Oh, silly me. They aren’t married into the mishpocha.

    Mishpocha is a great magazine – but it is not the criteria for hiring principals.

  • 18. To the door is open wrote:

    “Oholei Torah is indeed a private Institution” – of course!

    I guess the money OT raises from the community is donated because people want to support the private business and bank account of those who run it?! I suppose the tzedaka coins put into the OT pushkas are given to help the private individuals in charge of this private company?!

    Indeed Oholei Torah is a private Institution – built and funded with the private money of our community.

    Yes, there are dedicated workers who run the community school, but they aren’t working for free! Their work is appreciated and we are grateful. But in case you didn’t know, they are paid for it!!

    Working for OT doesn’t mean that OT belongs to these people to do as they see fit!

    The APPEARANCE of conflict by hiring family members raises a real suspicion that they MIGHT not have put the best interest of our children as the primary consideration before hiring their relatives. That is troubling!!

    More so, when they hire “outsiders” (who happen to be related) rather than from existing staff members from within, the probability of conflict clouding their decision becomes more certain.

    Where there is smoke – it ain’t a burning bush, but trash on fire.

  • 19. pray tell me why are you there? wrote:

    reading your commments at the other end of the world I am amazed. Do I have my fact right? Are there TWO mains stream schools you can choose from? If you don’t like it for what ever reasons you prefer vote with your feet. Withdraw your son. Pay school fees somewhere else.Why carry on with loshon hora etc. just go . Most commentators seem to have been miserable for years. Why did not not leave? I never shop in a store that I feel is not giving me a good deald.
    Good luck to the new recruits. For the sake of the kinderlach I hope that you will have much hatzlocho

  • 20. The door is open replies: wrote:

    The reply to my previous comment is extremely disturbing. To imply that “the money OT raises from the community is donated because people want to support the private business and bank account of those who run it” or say that “the tzedaka coins put into the OT pushkas are given to help the private individuals in charge of this private company” is absolutely ridiculous. You may not be aware of them, but “Yes, there are dedicated workers who run the community school,” and yes, they are “working for free!”” Their work is appreciated and we are grateful.“ ”But in case you didn’t know,“ some AREN’T paid for it!! And those that receive payment, actally work for their salaries.
    I am sure that people who put coins in their pushkas are happy to help the many students who can’t afford their tuitions, and the many private donors are happy to pay for the salaries that keep our talented Melamdim in our midst, or are simply happy to support children learning Torah, or simply happy to get a tax deduction.
    Working for the school means making the decisions for the school. Donating money for the school shall never, ever, ever give you the right to make those decisions!!!!!!!
    And lastly I’ll reply to your comment ” they hire “outsiders” (who happen to be related) rather than from existing staff members from within,“ by reminding you that Oholei Torah did not have Pricipals working as secretaries, janitors, cooks, teachers or other ”staff members“, therefore the need for hiring ”outsiders”. Principals need a completely different set of skills: organization, leadership, direction, enforcement, curriculum developement…good night!

  • 21. PARENT wrote:

    They don’t need mor principles. They need more tutors and to slow down the curiculum.

    TO the door: You are wrong to think that the OT educators are such angels. Parents should have a large say. If only we realy got together.

    There is not realy much of a choice of schools. The others is either full, small and nuty, and/or bumy. Those alum that get ahead are despite OT not thanks to OT.

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