Lakewood, NJ – Orthodox Jewish Schools Backing off Thanksgiving Busing

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    Lakewood, NJ – It appears the Thanksgiving school bus debate in Lakewood is calming as bus companies say they’re willing to send out drivers on morning routes and private school say they don’t necessarily need buses on the holiday.

    About 18,000 students — or three-fourths of the school-age kids in the central New Jersey town — attend Orthodox Jewish schools.

    While the schools, about 65 in number, are private, the public school district is legally obligated to provide transportation for them. The school district hires several private busing firms for the job. And under state law, they’re required to transport the students whenever school is in session, Monday through Friday, September through June.

    And unlike Christian private schools, the Orthodox ones aren’t giving students and staff the day off for Thanksgiving.

    In years past, the schools have given the bus companies the day off.

    But this year, some said they wanted their services. That set off tensions in the last few days.

    School board lawyer Michael Inzelbuch said that one company put in writing that it would not send out drivers on the holiday, and two others said the same thing by phone.

    But by Thursday afternoon, he said, things were looking better. He said all the bus companies said they would provide service, at least for morning routes.

    Meanwhile, 10 of the schools said they would not need busing at all and more than 20 said they would need it only in the morning. He said most of the rest are still deciding what to do.

    Inzelbuch has said he’d buy dessert for all the drivers who end up working the holiday.

    “We are very confident this will all be resolved,” he said.

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    39 COMMENTS

    1. why can frum people observe American holidays, that are not religigiuos

      you live in the country, get all the benefits of citizenship.

      yet behave that any holiday even July 4 is goyish. I have head that from many if not most frum people

      then you wonder why people say that Jews (really frum jews) are really not loyal to any country they live in

      it seems there is some truth to it

      • U’vechukoseichem lo seleichu.

        >>>>>> then you wonder why people say that Jews (really frum jews) are really not loyal to any country they live in

        As if observing secular/religious holidays will stop those people from saying whatever they want to say

        • the shoe fits
          maybe try a different tactic and see what happens when you act as you really are not part of society country you live in and refuse to participate in the countries holiday (non religious what do you expect them to say)

          you act a certain way and then are shocked that people respond exactly the way one would expect

        • hello,
          Thanksgiving and July 4 is a holiday for the country that you live in, a great country that you benefit from I am sure you know people who receive benefits money from this government. we are free because of many goyim who dies in wars before, and still you do not see a reason for veterans day

          some thanks would be nice

          but most yiddin I am afraid fit nicely into what #9 says

          did you ever se a 10 yiddin at a a ceremony honoring veterans Jews yes, yiddin no

        • The true Jew haters will always find something to attack us about. That said, it doesn’t change the fact that this is a major American holiday that should be respected by all…if the community doesn’t wish to participate fine …but have respect for those that due.
          I am curious what has happended in the past when Christmas falls on a school day? This year it is on a Sunday and the state law won’t be an issue.

          • So anyone who criticizes the frum Community over this issue is a “true Jew Hater”. Typical arrogance. As I posted before, the frum yidden would be the first to scream and sue if anyone dared suggest they work on a Jewish Holiday. Why cant yidden get it through their heads that other people are entitled to get the same respect they DEMAND. I’m so tired of hearing frummies refer to the 4th of July and Memorial Day as “goyische” holidays. My Jewish relatives died in WWII so these “frum yidden” could have this great country to live and prosper. Thanksgiving isnt just a day for Turkey and football for non-Jews. Many churches have special services of praise and thanksgiving and non-Jews have a right to attend their religious services. If Yidden want respect, they should start by being respectfull themselves.

    2. I thinks its a chutzpa what these bus companies are doing. It is the drivers job he should do it for these wonderful frum children not giving into the shtus of thanksgiving

      • I thinks its a chutzpa what these frum Jews are doing leaving their jobs early for their shtuz yommin tovin .

        it works both ways

        want others to respect and give you some leeway on your jobs for your holidays

        then you must respect other peoples holidays

      • Calling Thanksgiving “shtuss” reminds me once again why I am so unimpressed with the Chareidi way of thinking. So dull, so self-centered and smugly self-righteous, so arrogant and uncaring about other people’s feelings.

      • Why it is a Chutzpa of the bus companies, dont they have a right to have off on there holiday you dont to give off thats your business but dont expect non Jews to happily agree to go to work on there holiday i think its a chutzpah that they are even asking and BTW most Jewish companies give off on thanksgiving.

      • Why can’t you understand that 99.99% of the SCHOOL bus drivers are off this day. Why should they have to work on their holiday when the work they do the people usually do NOT work. Not sur why people in Lakewood cannot understand this.

        Now I understand you are a troll and just wanted a response.

      • If you think that Thanksgiving is shtus, then you should not be living in this country, nor should you be enjoying all the wonderful benefits of this country. Go back to your alter heime, where you were thrown out of. You SHOULD give thanks to the country that saved your people.

    3. Inzelbuch has said he’d buy dessert for all the drivers who end up working the holiday.

      that will do it, I will not spend my time with my family on thanksgiving like i have for many years to get some pudding.

      pay them overtime for working on a holiday maybe then

      • Perhaps you can understand this you fool.

        The bus companies contracted with the school district. The law requires bus service when schools are open. It is the bus companies responsibility to provide drivers. It would be their responsibility to pay drivers, not the school district. Not the schools.

        You did not quote Inzlebuch’s full comment. But being an idiot, you couldn’t help yourself.

        What would you be saying if a Jewish company contracted to provide service and said they don’t want to be cause its a holiday?

        Besides, many many of these people are working in stores on thanksgiving, they just don’t want their contractual requirements to interfere with them making additional money.

        They would have to work with their employer to see if they can take time off on a day they are required to work. They may have to take unpaid leave.

        But this is beyond you because you are an simple hypocrite.

    4. Not really understanding the opposed ppl. If the contract says that when school is open there will be busing, then that’s it. Not sure why this is getting heated up. A lot of ppl are off for TG, on the other hand a lot of ppl work. Either way an agreement is an agreement. I wish new York had a contract like this, bit they don’t, so every little holiday or voting day or PTA day etc… There is no busing. But that is the contract.

    5. Derech Eretz Kadma La’Torah! Unfortunatly we’ve just done the opposite. This could have been a great Kavod Habrios lesson instead what the kids walk away with is, if you have enough clout you can get what you want. Mentchlechkeit lost today!

    6. Why doesn’t the Jewish community celebrate Thanksgiving? It isn’t a religious holiday, it’s an American holiday. This is a Holiday for everyone in the USA, aren’t Jews Americans?

    7. Instead of showing appreciation for the non jews who respect us in this country and don’t make us work on shabbos and yom tov we turn around and spit in their faces. A nation that has no daas.

    8. Its kind of crazy for Lakewood people to make a whole fuss about this and make this big news. They get enough benefits frome the state and now they want more benefits that they arent entitled to. Its a poor shame that the fathers can now spend 20 minutes driving their kids to school before they go off learning and not earn a living.

    9. It is clear that the religious schools can decline the bus service if they so desire (and some of them are doing just that). The right thing to do would be for the remaining schools to also decline the bus service. If it is so important that our tayere yungen go to school on Thanksgiving, their parents can be moser nefesh a little to drive them.

      • Okay, folks. Let me help clear this us: Thanksgiving is NOT a religious holiday and certainly NOT a “goyishe yom tov”. Any American with an elementary education knows the rudimentary story of the Puritan Separatists coming to Plymouth in 1620. They did NOT celebrate “Thanksgiving” in the way we have come to know it. Scholarly research shows that they were often giving thanks to G-d for eradicating the Native Americans (mostly through disease brought by boatloads of Europeans with better immunity). Nonetheless, there was a documented meal with Squanto and other Native Americans, who showed the early settlers how to grow corn and other key crops. The reason these natives attached themselves to the Puritans is because their people were almost entirely wiped out and it would have been advantageous to become allies.

        The holiday of Thanksgiving as we know it today was not created as a national holiday until late in the 19th century, and there is no reason why Jews shouldn’t celebrate this wonderful expression of religious freedom. Many (observant) synagogues even have shulwide Thanksgiving dinners with a distinctly Jewish-American feel.

        — A teacher of history —

    10. Firstly what most of you are missing is that ON THANKSGIVING most businesses are closed!!! They open Thursday late at night for the black Friday sales. That being said, govt. offices, banks & business are closed on thanksgiving & unless you work for a jew (which i do & he is closed for thanksgiving) most people are off on thanksgiving, so parents it will not kill you to carpool your kids once in a while & if you do have to go in to work, then work something out with a friend or neighbor!!! it works wonders in Brooklyn. Yes!!! Every legal holiday & then some including Sundays I carpool my kids to school & I always end up enjoying the extra time I get with my kids in the car!!! this whole attitude of me!!me!!me!! makes the rest of us frum jews embarrassed to be affiliated with the ME crowd!!!!

      by the way my girls have school (with no bus) on thanksgiving but my boys are off & in both the schools teach the kids the importance of thanksgiving and at night at home we have a big turkey dinner with all the trimming & the kids talk about all that they are thankful for. Its a great opportunity to teach our kids about saying thank you!!!!

    11. I am shocked, amazed and disappointed in the Lakewood community. I grew up there when it was a small town and the yeshiva was located in a rikkity old building on Forest Ave. I was there when Reb Aharon was niftar. I am a product of the Bezalel Hebrew Day School and I turned out okay. Raised my kids to be erlicher Yidden and mentchen. But wake up, folks. Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. If we cannot live in Eretz Yisroel then I think we should be grateful that we are in the USA. Thanksgiving is a day when families come together. What is wrong with that? My parents are Holocaust survivors and celebrated Thanksgiving every year. They were grateful to be here and alive. So all you fellow Lakewooders — lighten up. Be happy you have bus transportation at all. One day won’t kill you if you have to carpool. Here we have to do it an entire week until January. There are other things that the Lakewood community should be worried about–not one day of no bus service!!!

    12. Reb Moshe Feinstein wrote about Thanksgiving in a Teshuva. I don’t have it in front of me, but I definitely did see it “inside” in the original Hebrew. He stated that Thanksgiving is NOT a religious holiday, and “BeHukuseikhem’ does not apply. I had a Rebbi/Magid Shiur from the East Side who was close to Rav Moshe z”l. He said that it’s OK to observe Thanksgiving – the intent of the Holiday is that every American should give thanks to the A-mighty in their own way. As Orthodox Jews, we do give thanks to Hashem in our prayers thrice daily, and the fact that the government asks us to set a side a time to thank Him does not contradict our religious obligations. The Rebbi said, however, that we are not required to eat turkey, although we may, if we desire so….

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