|Great Neck North High School|
Many high school students enjoyed free lunch given to them by a local rabbi and while they were eating they listened to a lecture from the rabbi.
Students at Great Neck North High School can hang out at fast food restaurants, go to the houses without supervision or do almost anything they want for lunch.
But listening to a Torah lecture in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue should require parental consent, according to the school.
That was the initial position of principal, Bernard Kaplan, when he sent a letter to about 800 homes last month explaining his "deep concern" about the activities of the nearby Hebrew Academy Ohr Torah.
Kaplan went so far as to call the police in response to parental concerns about "proselytizing" students at Great Neck by Rabbi Abraham Kohan. He also tried to convince the rabbi to ask for permission slips from students who noshed on pizza bagels there and listened to lectures during their lunch hour. the rabbi rejected the idea of permission and police said it was not their concern.
But when Kaplan’s letter encouraged parents and Jewish organizations to criticize him for trying to obstruct religious practice outside of school, he backed down, apologized and sent a second letter of retraction of the first.
"Our only problem is that we think that parents have a right to know if their children are receiving religious instruction during the school day," Kaplan said in an interview Monday.
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