The Tragedy Surrounding How Children are Educated and the Rifts Within a Community Worldwide [Video]

Apparently depicted in this video: An English Rabbi being harassed by Protesters because he has taken a liberal view on education, as the government in England (similar to New York) moves to enforce guidelines on teachings in private schools.


The following is a beautifully articulated article by Rabbi Pini Dunner regarding education. It is a follow-up of other articles he has written. Respectfully, we have only posted part of his comments, without permission, and ask that you consult his original text for his full commentary by clicking here.  We believe, though could be wrong, that the controversy to which he is referring is the scene depicted in the video above. 


Earlier this week, I briefly visited New York for a wedding, and once again I came face-to-face with the controversy that continues to rage over proposed education regulations formulated by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Feelings are running high, and the campaign to thwart the said proposals is in full swing. Many within the orthodox community are convinced that this scheme is the thin end of a very insidious wedge, and they include those whose schools provide a very good general studies education.

Quite a number of the people I spoke to believe that allowing the authorities to determine how and what is taught at Jewish private schools poses a grave danger to the future of orthodox Jewry in America.

But how did we get here? How is it possible that a bunch of bureaucrats in Albany has managed to rattle the orthodox community to this extent?

Why is it, if so many schools are compliant with equivalency requirements, that NYSED wants to institute these draconian measures to regulate and oversee them?

Incidentally, whatever happens in New York will surely foreshadow similar legislation in other states. There is a broad concern among education officials that Jewish private schools are not in compliance with basic educational requirements, and that children who attend these schools are being shortchanged by their institutions, to the extent that they will “graduate” without the basic skills required to provide for themselves and – once they marry and have kids – their families.

In the Satmar Hasidic community this whole episode is being painted in very stark terms. Last month, the various factions within Satmar (please note: it is no small feat to unite this very divided community) issued a powerful declaration regarding the dangers posed by the proposed regulations.

In a vigorous call to arms, the leadership requested that the “honored parents” of students in their various institutions join a letter-writing campaign to the authorities to ensure the failure of the “evil education decree” which threatens the status-quo, and which – they claim – might result in the devastation and destruction of Torah-true Jewish education in New York.

And this week twelve Hasidic institutions published a notice to announce that they would never include “common core” education books in their general studies curriculum under any circumstances, as they are full of “heresy”, and their only intent is to prepare those who use them for a college education.

Meanwhile, thousands of parents within the Satmar community and other associated Hasidic communities, including many who have sent letters to NYSED so that they openly comply with the mandated letter-writing campaign, are secretly hopeful that the state will impose the regulations on their children’s schools so that the next generation will be forced to learn English and math, and be properly equipped for life in twenty-first century America.

I have received hundreds of emails and calls since my last article on this subject, the vast majority from Hasidic parents congratulating me for my stance, and imploring me not to abandon them and their children to a life of ignorance and penury.

One parent wrote to me that his children only speak Yiddish, as their school does not allow them to speak English at home, otherwise they are in danger of being expelled. This means, said my correspondent, that his children do not know the English names of the days of the week, nor do they know their English dates of birth, nor can they explain to the doctor what their symptoms are when they require medical attention.

These children, it is worth noting, are all third-generation Americans. How is it that if they were Jews from the former Soviet Union, or living in low-income industrial towns in Israel, that we would do everything we could to help them gain a foothold in life, but just because they live in Williamsburg, or Monsey, or New Square, we do nothing to help them, and simply write them off? How does it make any sense that hundreds of thousands of Jewish children are being doomed to a life of poverty right under our very noses?

To continue reading click here.

6 thoughts on “The Tragedy Surrounding How Children are Educated and the Rifts Within a Community Worldwide [Video]

  1. In the eyes of government a child is a child – period. No matter that the parents are Hasidim or Muslim or anything else. That’s immaterial. Laws apply to all children equally and likewise to their parents. A basic curriculum in English, mathematics, social, physical and biological science and non-religious history must be taught to them all. That’s the law, and NYSED should enforce it whether the black hats like it or not. Their religious extremism doesn’t put them above the law, other than to the extent that they can get the politicians who’re dependent on their bloc votes to make exceptions for them.

    • Your “other than” caveat is really the key to the goose that lays the golden egg. The current politicians are going to leave a world where the secular and on-Jewish people are supporting an entire group of children brilliant in Halacha and Talmud but unable to speak or understand the laws of the land.

  2. If the Ultra Orthodox do not want to prepare their kids for college or professional careers, fine. If they want their schools to mainly focus on the Torah and its way of life fine. But they need minimum skills of English, basic arithmetic and grammar for survival if they want to live in the US. That basic level of education is not unreasonable to expect their schools to comply with. Or stop using government money!!!

  3. Next thing you know, the state will mandate that all students receive the measles vaccine(lol)

    In the case of requirements by the state that all schools meet minimum curriculum standards in secular studies, the state and all citizens have a legitimate economic interest in the outcome. A disproportionate number of students who cannot speak, read or understand English wind up as recipients of public assistance, which affects everyone.

  4. How do you take government money and know nothing what your country is all about.
    To deprive the children of learning English, math etc. and depriving them and everyone of their ability to help
    man kind to a better and healthier way of life is nothing but a selfish and demeaning waste of human life
    by ignorant people who know how to take government money themselves and care nothing about the future of their children. You people have no right to hold back the children from making their own way of life. You are wrong.
    Do what is right, free the children.let them live their own lives.

    • Simple: the likes of you and me are beneath notice, beneath contempt, subhuman. Therefore anything the black hats can take from us by way of tax-paid benefits is nothing less than what they consider to be their due.

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