Last week, I blogged about a letter sent by the principal of North Great Neck High School, a public high school on Long Island:
We write this letter to inform you of a situation in our community about which we have deep concerns. There is a store front temple that serves kids free food and then while they are eating, preaches to them. They only permit Jewish kids to enter. They separate boys from girls. Girls are offered free food and religious instruction Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and boys are offered free food and religious instruction on Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
As you know we have an open campus and students are allowed to leave campus on their free periods or lunch periods to walk to town and get lunch. They are not allowed to drive so their choices are constrained to the immediate general area. The Torah Ohr Temple at 575 Middle Neck Road believes it is perfectly okay for them to entice our students with free lunch in order to give them orthodox religious instruction, or what many would frankly call proselytizing children. We don’t agree. We have consulted many other local clergy, and they don’t agree with the practice either. These are children, not adults.
Upon hearing about the situation, we visited the Temple ourselves. The visit was unsettling. There were at least several dozen of our students sitting at long tables in a room that had to be entered through a side door. They were quietly eating while a man was instructing them in orthodox religious beliefs. There is no sign on the building even identifying it as a Temple.
We entered into conversations with Rabbi Kohan, the man in charge who clearly believes that what he is