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Sunday, 21 Iyyar, 5779
  |  May 26, 2019

    The Only Dad at Daughter’s PTA

    Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin was the only father at his daughter's PTA meeting in school, and gives 3 reasons why he still goes. Full Story

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    Very nice!
    Guest
    Very nice!

    Well written, true, and important!
    Thank you for doing that!

    Reason #1
    Guest
    Reason #1

    The first reason is the single most important. The other two are distant others. Girls should not be made to feel that they are less important.

    Thank you for bringing this up.

    Excellent
    Guest
    Excellent

    BTW – this is normal and commonplace in the modern orthodox system.

    i know the feeling
    Guest
    i know the feeling

    as a father of a few daughters I am shocked how men never show up to the pta for the daughter. The excuse is always they are babysitting…the teacher love when a father who is a ffb shows up and honesty gives his input.

    Really! Comment 4
    Guest
    Really! Comment 4

    What was meant by “the teacher loves when a father who is a ffb shows up” mean??! So confused

    PTA
    Guest
    PTA

    Why would only Mothers show up to a PTA meeting for their daughters. Is it a Frum thing to not allow a Father in a girls school PTA sesson ? My children attend an out of Town Chabad Moisad in a large city and Most Parents in our Kehilla attend PTA together. My children are mostly grown up and my husband always came along with me to the PTA meetings both for my daughters and sons.

    Finally
    Guest
    Finally

    Very nice to see respected leaders taking A stand.

    Yesher Koach R” Shmotkin.

    To number 5
    Guest
    To number 5

    In short. Not just a bal teshuvah who is rightfully excited about yidishkait, but also someone who is frum from birth and – unfortunately – not as enthusiastic about yidishkait. But yes, there are exceptions on both sides.

    Graduation
    Guest
    Graduation

    I always attended all my daughters class production last, PTA’s and events. That is, until my youngest graduated from high school 2 years ago. At that time, the administration changed the rules and prohibited all men, even fathers, from attending the graduation. I was very upset and even spoke to the administrators, but to no avail. So Elkanah, enjoy attending now, cause you won’t be able to later on.

    Great article
    Guest
    Great article

    And great message!!! Thank you Rabbi shmotkin!!!

    lots of girls all PTA's!
    Guest
    lots of girls all PTA's!

    We are quite a few girls in our family and my Dad went to all our PTAs with my mother all through high-school. In CH, FFB…this goes back some years already as BH we are all married today and our husband’s do the same BH!

    LA
    Guest
    LA

    In Los Angeles I see many, many men at the girls PTA

    Why?
    Guest
    Why?

    Am I missing something here? Why do fathers not attend their daughter’s parent teacher meetings and graduations and if they do, why do they need to wait in the hallway? If the answer is Tznius then a man should not be able to accompany his daughter to a female doctor, which of course not the case. Please fill me in.

    To number 6
    Guest
    To number 6

    Father are definitely allowed to come. It’s just that most don’t in our community. Somehow in crown heights there is always something going on in the evening that takes parents out of the home and PTA just ends up feeling like another thing to go show your face at. So only one parent goes….
    This article is highlighting that it should be a priority for both parents to attend, even though it means getting a babysitter and might be inconvenient.

    Only in Crown Heights
    Guest
    Only in Crown Heights

    The same ways fathers don`t attend their daughters`s graduation, they don`t attend their daughter`s PTA.

    Esther(benarroch)Michael
    Guest
    Esther(benarroch)Michael

    I agree totally with Rabbi Shmotkin. It is very important for the fathers to show up. The teachers should realize that both parents should be concerned about their child Chinuch.

    Thank you Rabbi Shmotkin!
    Guest
    Thank you Rabbi Shmotkin!

    Very true!

    Ummm
    Guest
    Ummm

    Glad I don’t teach your daughter
    Absolutely your daughters chinuch is important and be invested in it
    That doesn’t mean a man should go to PTA! Discuss with your wife before and after

    Out of towner
    Guest
    Out of towner

    Couldn’t agree more.Out of town,many parents come as couples,and it is always wonderful when my husband isnt teaching a class and is therefore able to attend with me.I taught in Bais Rivkah for 6 years and I rarely saw a father show up.the couple who did sent me,the teacher,a most powerful message.

    we always go as a couple
    Guest
    we always go as a couple

    I agree with this, just surprised that he is the only one going. We always go as a couple and I’ve seen many fathers come to PTA as well.

    Elkanah
    Guest
    Elkanah

    Your a jem in the eyes of lubavitch kol hakavod!

    To No 18 and 20
    Guest
    To No 18 and 20

    To No. 18 and 20….he clearly says he goes together with his wife. My husband and I also always attend PTA together, it is a no brainer! Our children’s education is a top priority, there was never even a question in my husbands mind about going, just as I always attend PTA with my husband for our son.

    A parent
    Guest
    A parent

    Babysitting is important. Not everyone can find or afford a sitter. After pta the parent that went discusses what was talked about at the meeting

    pta?
    Guest
    pta?

    re we talking about individual conferences with Parents and Teachers or a social general public talk and discussion with Parent and Teachers

    Pet peeve
    Guest
    Pet peeve

    We have always gone as a couple in crown heights to both our boys and girls pta’ s. Last year was the first year we went to girls high school pta which was a whole new experience and very enjoyable. Although there were a few other father’s there were not many. Over the years we often needed to get babysitters to stay with young children at home so we could both attend. We strongly feel it has helped us understand and be involved with the education of our girls. Asher and Miriam Friedman

    Doesnt really matter
    Guest
    Doesnt really matter

    I stopped going to PTA by 11th grade; I figured by then I already knew the situation.

    Besides, when I went for my girls in the younger grades, I left with the feeling that a) the teachers had no clue about my kids; b) they just wanted to get out of there; c) whatever I had to say was irrelevant. Maybe it’s different when a MAN, & a respected figure in the community, goes with his wife. Perhaps the teachers actually communicate & listen then.

    parent
    Guest
    parent

    Once you have older kids at home to watch the younger ones, it’s easier for both parents to attend the PTA.

    to #13
    Guest
    to #13

    he waits in the hallway with his wife, until it is their turn.
    Each parents get their 7 minutes.

    Taruvos
    Guest
    Taruvos

    It’s not tznius for father’s and mothers to be hanging out in the hallway together. The rambam says that in a holiday time Beth dim should make sure that the men and the women don’t mingle when they come to the bais hamikdosh. Same is with pta. Maybe the school should make separate times for The Father’s in the mother’s or some kind of a mechitza.

    Graduation
    Guest
    Graduation

    Can anyone explain why Fathers cannot attend their own daughters Graduation at BRHS…Why can’t the Fathers Shep Nachas as well. My Cousin in CH whose daughter graduated 12th grade in June said that Fathers were not allowed to attend. How Sad! Here in the West Coast all Parents and Grandparents are Welcome to attend their Daughters and Sons graduation …The Semicha program here allows Both Mother and Father to attend Graduation.

    don´t agree.
    Guest
    don´t agree.

    Not so excited to read this article.
    Yes your daughters education is precious, but you can discuss it with the teacher in a phone call.
    Men should NOT MIX WITH WOMEN WHEN IT IS NOT NECESSARY.

    Lets help the Educators
    Guest
    Lets help the Educators

    Very Important for a father to be fully involved in a daughter education. part of that education is TZNIUS which includes a man NOT hanging out in Bais rivkah or in any other girls school etc. There is a reason why a woman may hear a man sing but not the opposite, there is a reason why a man can walk in short sleeves but a women cant, etc. etc. its HALACHA. Lubavitch needs to get back to its original standards and not look to lower and lower them. I personally NEVER went to my daughters PTA’s and thank g-d… Read more »

    Shocked
    Guest
    Shocked

    I live in Chicago and always, always see lots of fathers at our daughters conferences. Is there something wrong with CH that the dad’s don’t attend? I don’t believe this is about frumkeit, it has to do with a passive approach to chinuch.

    To those wondering (9, 30)
    Guest
    To those wondering (9, 30)

    Productions graduations etc. – unlike a PTA meeting – usually involve singing and preforming, Which is not proper to be done in front of men

    Point #1
    Guest
    Point #1

    “It’s helped me drive home the message that they are no less important than my sons” well, in our sons school it’s also mainly mothers going to meet with the Rebbies. PTA is 5 minutes with no one respecting the times, so you finally have your first appointment only 20 minutes late, but then you missed your next one, so you try making that one up but your 3rd meeting is already coming up. It’s a very frustrating experience that lot’s of men can’t handle the unstructured system. Besides, since you don’t know when you’ll actually be home, how can… Read more »

    TO 32 Dont blame others for your laziness
    Guest
    TO 32 Dont blame others for your laziness

    Your comment is ridiculous if I may say so. My husband proudly attends all my daughters’s PTA meets with me, and I attend all of my son’s PTA meets at Oholei Torah along with him. Not only me, but 99 percent of the mothers attend the boys pta’s along with their husbands. So it is the exact same thing, just in a different school building. You have both parents waiting on line and meeting with teachers. There is nothing wrong with a father and mother meeting with their child’s teacher. Just because you either dont care enough to get out… Read more »

    Not everyone has a flexible job that they can just leave for 3 hours to attend pra
    Guest
    Not everyone has a flexible job that they can just leave for 3 hours to attend pra

    1. it is not always about laziness that dads don’t come. A lot of people have to work, yes, even on Sunday mornings. Just be happy that you’re able to go and don’t make other dads feel worse than they do about not being able to go.
    2. Fathers not attending graduation is a ridiculous thing that BR started a few years back. They are using tznius as an excuse. Before they instituted this the girls didn’t sing at graduation and honestly I don’t think the singing adds anything to the ceremony that would be missed if taken away.

     a figure in the community
    Guest
    a figure in the community

    First to R’ Elkanah how old is your oldest daugther? How many pta’s have you had so far that you r the only dad going? Sorry but i take it very offensive that you use the title that you used. I bh have a daughter out of sem and i have yet to miss a pta for my daughters or sons unless circumstanses did not allow it. In over 15 years i have missed maybe 1 or 2 pta’s from my children and in all my years there have been quite a few men there. Maybe you should go back… Read more »

    surprised
    Guest
    surprised

    sorry, i never even thought not to go to PTA!

    Berel
    Guest
    Berel

    I love op-eds cause I learn so much

    I’ve always gone to all the parent teacher thingys but didn’t know that makes me special

    And I never felt indignant about who did and did not attend

    I’m falling behind the times

    Not Sure
    Guest
    Not Sure

    All are valid points however most could be accomplished without actually going to PTA.

    A Rav should be consulted.

    My husband is very involved inour daughters chinuch and does not attend PTA with me.

    Many of the women teachers are uncomfortable with fathers attending.

    Couples socializing with each other in the school hallway is questionable.

    Please ask a Rav.

    Berel
    Guest
    Berel

    Ask a rov about what?

    There is no issue of yichud. And there is no need to socialize.

    What is the issue of man speaking about his child with a female teacher in a public setting.

    to #5
    Guest
    to #5

    i second your thoughts. as a teacher i can honestly say that to the teacher the child is of primary importance. if a parent ,whether father, mother or, ideally, both show(s) up we are duly impressed and grateful , be they ffb or whatever. btw, it would surprise the parents who make a great effort to come, to find out how many parents actually don’t make p/t meetings a top priority and don’t show up at all. some do take the time to get in touch by phone ( obviously not as effective, but still good) others don’t even do… Read more »

    To #s 38 and 40
    Guest
    To #s 38 and 40

    To #40, I don’t see any indigence in what R’ Shmotkin wrote. I see a very respectful level-headed article sharing his experience, and suggesting that fathers go to PTA.

    To # 38, you’re unhappy about the “the title he used.” If you know anything about how media and websites operate, it’s quite obvious that R’ Shmotkin didn’t write that headline.

    As well, he wrote thus under his own name, unlike the typical articles of this type, for which I salute him!

    From a mother and a teacher
    Guest
    From a mother and a teacher

    Agree with 41 totally. 1)As a mother, my children always know that the day of PTA, Mammy sits with Tatty, and every child’s progress is discussed, and rewards are distributed from both parents. Compliments are discussed at the supper table. At bedtime during the next few days, each child gets to talk to us alone to discuss how we can make things better. All done without Tatty going to PTA. 2)The hallways in BR a too close for comfort(and modesty) in the opinion of many. I think that the sensitivity of both the women and men of our community can… Read more »

    Get a new pair of glasses
    Guest
    Get a new pair of glasses

    I am a FFB father who has attended almost all my daughters PTA’s and there have been many other men there as well

    Not a lot, but certainly more than one man attends

    32 nutty or crazy lazy parent
    Guest
    32 nutty or crazy lazy parent

    what does lubavitch mean??? in lubavitch of russia no pta meetings…live with the times… fathers need to be involved with the chinuch of daughters and sons…its sad that in crown heights we are frummier then everyone..even your own daughters chinuch…sad state of affair when a parent is made uncomfortable about his daughters life….

    as a teacher
    Guest
    as a teacher

    I find it charming when a father comes together with the mother it shows this child has two concerned and involved parents. I do find it a bit uncomfortable to talk in front of a father. as a single woman and Morah it can be challenging and personally I prefer if just the mothers come but I do what I gotta do and I think its best for the child.

    To 34
    Guest
    To 34

    There’s no singing or dancing at graduation.

    CH father
    Guest
    CH father

    Agree with #45.
    My wife and I discuss our children’s progress and I trust her to communicate with the teachers. If fathers come the teacher won’t be as open, and that’s definitely not in our children’s interest.
    To #48, your discomfort is healthy, and fathers attending don’t add to the child’s education.
    Chinuch is not only about academics, it’s primarily about setting an example of how Jewish girls should act and be sensitive to Tznius and Kedusha.

    So are my kids doomed?
    Guest
    So are my kids doomed?

    My husband works hard to put a roof over my children’s head. His job requires him to work Sundays. Unfortunately, PTA is normally on Sundays.
    So now the teachers think negatively about my kids? He can’t go to my son’s PTA either for this reason.
    We have requested of the schools numerous times to make it in the evenings instead so that he can attend but they say the teachers don’t want to work the extra night.

    proud wife and mother
    Guest
    proud wife and mother

    My husband and I have always gone to ALL of our childrens’ ptas, whether they are in town or out of town. My husband, as a Rebbe in yeshivas for over 25 years, sees that it is important, in this day and age especially, BOTH parents should know what is going on; he personally has spoken to the other parent if they couldn’t attend the pta in school. And this year, with our youngest starting in high school, he was the only father at the class open house. Their are legit excuses and there are legit solutions!!!! The choice is… Read more »

    Thank you for sharing.
    Guest
    Thank you for sharing.

    I have new found respect for you and appreciate that you took out the time to write on this important subject.

    I as a mother, handle all of my kids, (INCLUDING THE BOYS YESHIVAS AND MESIVTAS) correspondence with the principals and teachers, most of the time exclusively.

    While I understand that this is not my husband’s strength or interest, I appreciate this effort and know it matters to the children as well as to the teachers who will surely give greater attention to the kid as a result. kol Hakavod.

    X