Modern tyranny can change things quickly by making us react slowly. You have an enormous amount of influence in the first weeks and months. If you spend that time saying, “This is not that big a deal,” or “The institutions will protect us,” or “This can’t happen here” or “I’m going to wait for someone to tell me what to do,” then it’s all over.
How should Jewish schools weigh the need for autonomy against the lure of state subsidies? Some day schools, mostly non-Orthodox and in smaller Jewish communities, are already happily educating many children who do not identify as Jewish. Hebrew-language charter schools in cities like New York and Los Angeles straddle the boundary between public school and day school, with majority non-Jewish student bodies and a focus on language and culture rather than religion.
Over the past few months, a series of student protests has erupted across the United States on campuses such as Amherst, Dartmouth, Ithaca, the University of Missouri and Yale. While the specific spark of each protest has differed, their substance has been of like mind: Students are contending that their administrations have neglected an obligation to address bigotry, discrimination and intolerance, and specifically racism.
Since last October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children—twice as many as the previous year—have crossed our borders illegally. Unsurprisingly, the flood has raised conflicting attitudes among Americans.