Do Teachers Need To Be Involved In Enrollment?

Question: I’m a teacher in a small-community day school which is the only frum school in the area. The administration wants to expand the enrollment and is asking the teachers to be active in the enrollment campaign. I do not feel it is right for two reasons: (1) It is the job of the administration, not the teachers, to deal with the enrollment. (2) It is a little demeaning (and feels disingenuous) to encourage parents to send kids to your own classroom. I’m not officially a Chassid, but I am an admirer of Chabad. I am wondering what is the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s approach to the above?

Answer: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the Rebbe’s view on this subject. To the Rebbe, there is hardly anything more important than ensuring that more children receive a Jewish education, they are the future of our people. The following are a sampling of the Rebbe’s letters on this very important subject:

“Not every aspect of Torah and mitzvos is easy”

(1) “It is self-understood that you — the teacher — need to do all in your power (and even more) to increase the amount of students in the school.

As to what you write that it is not proper for a teacher to beg parents to send their children to the school at which he’s teaching:

Not every aspect of Torah and mitzvos is easy, yet in all aspects of Yiddishkeit we have been shown an example by Dovid Hamelech that notwithstanding the halacha that a king is not allowed to forgo the honor that is due to him, he never allowed his honor to get in the way of serving Hashem.

This is especially true in your case (of teachers being involved in recruiting new students), as we are dealing with truly saving the lives of Jewish children. When all the teachers will be involved — with this focus and purpose — it is certain that you will be able to raise the number of students in your school.” (Igros, Vol. 21 p. 277; #8034)

The Bodily Inclination of “Sitting Back and Doing Nothing”

(2) To Rabbi Uri Ben Shchar of Tel Aviv: “I have received your letter and I’m greatly pained by the fact that you are not actualizing the formulated plan and agenda to increase the number of students in the school. This distress is caused especially since it seems that there is no true and serious reason for the lack of implementation besides for following the inclination of the body and animal soul that “sitting back and doing nothing is the better way to go”.

This attitude is contrary to the true purpose of the creation of man — to continue growing and to ascend from level to level. Our sages have told us that there is no rest for Tzaddikim in this world.” (Igros, Vol. 12 p. 401; #4215)

(3) In 5716 (1956), the Rebbe wrote to the famous Chassid Reb Zushe Vilimovsky (known affectionately has “Reb Zushe the Partizan”):

Concerning what you write about the importance of adding students in Tomchei Temimim and in all Chabad institutions: The need for this is even greater than you can estimate and imagine. I have already written that you must use this opportunity to expand the enrollment, for soon you will be looking for students “with candles” (i.e., it will be difficult to find new students) and you are losing the chance to add hundreds of children to Chabad institutions”. (Igros, Vol. 13 p. 14; #4284)

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