In theory Hebrew schools are a great idea. A heavy dose of secular subjects in the morning and a nice light sprinkling of Jewish wisdom in afternoon sounds like a fine balance for the well-rounded Jewish child. But, as we know, theory and practice are two different things. On the ground Hebrew schools are not working.
But what’s not working isn’t the teachers, the curriculum, or the students, it’s the parents. The truth of the matter is that the parents themselves don’t want to spend the time taking their kids back and forth three times a week to a synagogue that they themselves show up to no more than five times a year. For a number of years, parents have been at the forefront of rolling back Hebrew school time for their children. More than the kids, the parents are the one’s who have pushed for Hebrew school to adopt a once-a-week schedule (down from three days a week). To be honest, I am at a loss for what will make Hebrew schools work, but I do know for certain that unless parents are behind them they will go nowhere.