By COLlive staff
Property owner Yossi Popack was recently asked to support a cause led by a group of educators and activists to better the education in the Crown Heights neighborhood.
Working behind the scenes, their objective is “fixing the cracks in the educational system.” They told him that many resolutions and decisions have been made and put into play over the years, but the problem is only growing.
Before Popack decided to give them an answer, he decided to get “consumer feedback” and went on a fact-finding mission to the Aliya Institute, home to boys who ‘fit that bill.’
Aliya Director Rabbi Moishe Feiglin agreed and spread the word that the young men’s experiences and opinions were being sought out.
Over 40 of them showed up. “What would have engaged you enough to get you to stay in the ‘system’ when you were considering leaving?” he asked them. The responses just kept coming.
“This was an unprecedented event,” Feiglin told COLlive.com. “We never had a person in the position to do something that came to hear what our members went through and feel about the community’s affairs.”
The meeting, which was called for 8:45 PM last Thursday, was expected to be over by 9:30 PM, in time for Popack to drive to his home in the Five Towns before it got too late.
But everyone had something to share and wanted their opinion heard. It was close to 11:00 PM when the philanthropist was finally able to slip out with plenty of insights to share at the following morning’s meeting with the education committee.
A member of the committee commented, “Thanks to the tremendous insight provided by the Aliya members the meeting took a whole new turn. The original thoughts of what was lacking in the educational system was not in large shared by the members before they heard what they had to say.”