C.S. of Cedarhurst writes:
My husband and I are Orthodox Jews. I lean a bit more toward modern views on life, particularly as concerns the role of women in society. My husband, on the other hand, is very much of the traditional mindset, believing, among other things, that girls, whose role is marriage and place is in the home, have no need to go to college. I would like your opinion on the subject, as my daughter will be entering her senior year of high school in the fall.
The College Whisperer responds:
Ordinarily, The College Whisperer, more adept at college matching than matchmaking, would tell you to consult your local rabbi, as to both custom and practice.
Since you ask, however, I will opine…
First things first. College!
Boy. Girl. Everyone should have the opportunity to excel, to achieve, to “go for it,” and, most assuredly, to attend, or at least apply to, the college of her choice.
With due respect to your husband’s views on college and the sexes, as arcane as some may find them, let me be blunt. We live in 21st Century America, not 19th Century Poland.
The times they are a changin’, as the Bob Dylan song apprises. We should, too.
In an economy where both spouses often must work outside the home, as of necessity, to put food on the table and clothes on their backs, college is essential, not a luxury.

If you have a son or daughter in high school, in all likelihood, college is on the horizon. [A shidduch (traditional Jewish matchmaking) may or may not be too far down the line, but, short of calling upon Yente the Matchmaker, what better place to find a nice Jewish boy or girl than the university of your choice? ;-)]
Kidding aside, and with more than a passing tome to tradition (The College Whisperer saw Fiddler on the Roof four times, after all), custom must yield, if not to the times, then, certainly, to practicality.
You should discuss your concerns and respective considerations with your daughter (as well as with your rabbi, should that give you comfort). Ultimately, the decision should – no, must – be hers!

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.
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