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Discontinuing the Employment of A Melamed


If I could trouble you for an indication of minhag botei dinim in EI and USA with regard to the sacking of a Melamed where it seems the Melamed is academically and teaching-wise competent but it seems that the school board don’t want him for one or both of the following reasons:

1)    hashkofodig too shtark for their school

2)    not machnia himself enough to the menahel/ board

There is no signed contract but he has been teaching for two consecutive years. They have terminated his employment and offered a one year pay out.

Igross Moshe (CM simn 77/78) is very reluctant to sack without good reason but others are not so ‘makpid’ .


מעיקר הדין there is no requirement to continue employing an employee after his contract has terminated, unless there is a local minhag that requires automatic renewal of the contract if sufficient notice was not served.

However, as you correctly point out, Rav Moshe seems to not allow it. Perhaps he holds that a melamed is like a position of שררה in the community, in which case a person may have a חזקה of some sort and cannot be removed unless he doesn’t do the job properly.

See also Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 245:18 that a melamed can be removed if a better one comes along. (See Pischei Teshuvah who quotes a Radvaz who seems to disagree.)
Assuming they can only remove him if he is not competent, do the two reasons that you give justify his removal? On the face of it, neither of them sound like reasonable, לשם שמים ta’anos – the main point should be what is in the best interests of the pupils. Nonetheless, a school must surely be given the jurisdriction to ensure that the teaching staff reflects the ethos of the school, and that they can work together well as a team with the rest of the staff.

It would seem that the answer would depend on the particular circumstances.

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