a. He has a "mini Jurassic-park" in his back yard, complete with "zebras and antelope, camels and kangaroos, hundreds of rare waterfowl and big birds that strut and honk after visitors."
b. His next ambition is to open a series of secular Jewish day schools.
They would focus on Jewish history and culture — for instance, teaching the Torah as history — while leaving worship for homework.With all due respect to Michael Steinhardt -- and a lot of respect is due -- the question is: far from being 'the most-needed institution in the Jewish world,' would there be much demand for secular day-schools at all? My guess is not. Because while there are thousands upon thousands of secular Jews out there, I don't think that many of them are actually ideologically committed to secularism. And the reasons people don't send their children to Jewish day schools have far more to do with cost, fear of being isolated from other cultures, and simply lack of affiliation and interest than with fear of a little religion.
Steinhardt, in his typical sweeping way, calls secular day schools the most-needed institution in the Jewish world.
"Such an institution would be a great first step in bringing back the socio-economic elite of the Jewish community," he said.