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I have conducted some research and found that children of observant Jewish parents often attend Jewish schools. Is this a requirement derived from halacha, or a preference on the parents' behalf?

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  • I think most observant Jewish parents send their children to Jewish schools because the environment of a public school could prove to be negative on the spiritual growth of their children, as well as the other children becoming bad influences. Not to mention co-ed classrooms. – ezra Jul 26 '17 at 18:04
  • "is this a requirement derived from halacha" What do you mean? Do mean to ask whether it is itself a halakha, whether it is a necessary practice based on a general halakha, or whether it could be justified on the grounds of a halakha? – mevaqesh Jul 26 '17 at 18:21
  • It was not unusual for observant Jews to send their children to public schools in New York City during the first half of the 20th century. The boys would attend cheder or Talmud Torah for a few hours after school. Perhaps it was more acceptable to do so then due to the huge number of Jewish students and teachers at the time. – JJLL Sep 24 '17 at 20:20
  • @jjll it wasn’t a particularly successful approach. A large proportion did not remain observant. – LN6595 Jan 7 at 15:39
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Off the cuff, I can see 3 issues, each of which touches on a different aspect of some sort of law:

  1. The obligation of a parent to teach a child Torah (often accomplished through the use of a teacher). This is a halacha.

  2. The attempt to keep the child separate from outside influences. Judaism is full of laws which have, as part of their reasoning, to avoid mixing with non-Jewish elements. This discusses some parts of this idea.

  3. Judaism views itself not as a set of discrete laws, but as a way of life which intersects with every other element. Therefore, the education system is fully integrated with Jewish law. Such awareness and religious presence cannot be effected under American law in a public school.

  • I like this answer, especially point 2. The co-ed classes are problematic. – ezra Jul 26 '17 at 18:06
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    So in summary: There is no law that requires it, but it might help parents raise their children properly, right? What exactly is the answer? – mevaqesh Jul 26 '17 at 18:06
  • That the understanding and application of halacha, and the logic behind other halachot cannot be fully realized in a public school setting according to some parents. – rosends Jul 26 '17 at 18:07
  • " Therefore, the education system is fully integrated with Jewish law" Nice buzzwords, but how does this answer the question? What does it even mean? That the Jewish religion maintains a standard system for education? That hopefully Jewish education conveys vital messages? Something else? | How do you know it cannot be effected. How can you prove the negative? | Consider clarifying precisely what you are claiming and how exactly it answer the question. – mevaqesh Jul 26 '17 at 18:08
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    @DanF "It was a minimal problem about 50 years ago" depending on what you define as minimal. It may not have been as focused on in relation to other things (i.e. Shmiras Shabbos), but that doesn't make it any less of a problem. There are a number of Tshuvos in the Igros Moshe related to co-ed schools, so it was definitely discussed back then. – Salmononius2 Jul 26 '17 at 19:12

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