In a landmark decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that children have a constitutional right to literacy, dealing a remarkable victory to students.
The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by students of five Detroit schools, claiming that because of deteriorating buildings, teacher shortages and inadequate textbooks, the state of Michigan failed to provide them with the most fundamental of skills: the ability to read.
For decades, civil rights lawyers have tried to help students and families in underfunded schools by arguing that the U.S. Constitution guarantees children at least a basic education. Federal courts have consistently disagreed. Until now.
The ability to read and write is “essential” for a citizen to participate in American democracy, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday. One cannot effectively vote, answer a jury summons, pay taxes or even read a road sign if illiterate, wrote Judge Eric Clay, and so where “a group of children is relegated to a school system that does not provide even a plausible chance to attain literacy, we hold that the Constitution provides them with a remedy.”
The following is a Letter to the Editor we received. We are posting it with the anonymity attributed to it.
It is premised upon a direct link between secular education and pandemic deaths.
While we do not necessarily agree with the numbers of dead as it relates to education, primarily because there are other factors that might underlie why Covid-19 kills some and not others, the premise holds true if you look to the sheer numbers of sick within the communities our writer cites.
The rate of infection is consistent with the premise, namely that education and respect for secular authority is keeping people healthier.
The Cruel Irony, Keep them Uneducated in Secular Subjects and you Keep them Observant…. and they are now Dying in Proportionately Higher Numbers [opinion]
Matzav posted a list of those who have died from Covid-19 and the areas where those dead were located within New York and New Jersey. Please accept the following opinion related to that list.
For years now, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwibel, the head of Agudas Israel, State Senator Simcha Felder, Attorney Avi Schick and his sister NYU professor Adina Schick, have fought to protect the ongoing education abuse in the Brooklyn Chasidic community.
All four of them fought to keep the Chasidic community uneducated, isolated, and separate from the world and to do so used every play in the book.
They did this despite the fact that they all personally believe in secular education for their own children and are neither members nor live in the Chasidic community.
The bitter irony is, their own community of Flatbush came out relatively unscathed from the pandemic, as their community believes and trusts the civil authorities and therefore did not congregate.
Not so the Chasidic community, which suffered over 215 tragic deaths to the corona virus.
In the end, all Zwiebel, Felder, and Schick accomplished through their covering for education neglect and abuse was death and more death.
A Shanda if there every was one!
Reprinted in its entirety from www.riseupoceancounty.com
In the last three weeks the Asbury Park Press has written FIFTY articles about Lakewood, most having a somewhat favorable if not distorted slant. THere are links at the end of this post to all fifty. At a time that the optics for Lakewood are HORRIBLE (weddings, funerals, school buses, engagement parties) leave it to the Asbury Park Press to come to the rescue. Kinda, sorta.
Recently the first Jackson Township Multicultural Committee meeting took place and by all accounts it is a regurgitation of Lakewood Neighbors, One Ocean County and our personal favorite, the Unity Project, sponsored of course by…drumroll….The Asbury Park Press.
Last September Randy Bergmann, the head of the Asbury Park Press Unity Project, wrote a piece for the Asbury Park Press describing The Unity Project and posing some questions. On our Facebook page we wrote a rubuttal.
In his piece he would have you believe that if only gentiles would better understand orthodox Jews, peace and harmony would rule the land. Following his reasoning, he would also have you believe that Stevie Wonder is best suited to drive a car, in Lakewood at 3pm.
That might explain why the Unity Project is designed exclusively to vomit out orthodox Jewish propaganda and why it is doomed to fail. You can read his piece in its’ entirety here: https://www.app.com/…/nj-lakewood-orthodox-jews…/3780450002/ . For an indication of the perspective that the unity project approaches things from, please note in the link the words ANTI-SEMITISM, JACKSON AND TOMS RIVER.
Anyhow, in his most recent missive he asks a series of questions, we are happy to provide the answers for him right here and right now:
This was Posted as a Comment – We Are Posting it As a Feature –
NATIONAL EDUCATION AND SHARING DAY, USA
“For members of Chabad, the year is 5781.
This what Brooklyn, NY resident Chaim Levin wrote on Huffington Post about National Education Day in April 2012:
Yesterday was proclaimed “National Education and Sharing Day, USA” in tribute to the late Chabad Lubavitch Rabbi Menachem Schneerson’s birthday. President Obama wrote:
For centuries, the pursuit of knowledge and the cultivation of character have driven American progress and enriched our national life. On Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., we renew our commitment to these timeless aspirations, and we rededicate ourselves to fostering in our sons and daughters inquiring minds and compassionate hearts. In a global economy where more than half of new jobs will demand higher education or advanced training, we must do everything we can to equip our children with the tools for success. Their journey begins early, and it demands stewardship from throughout the community — from parents and caregivers who inspire a love of learning to teachers and mentors who guide our children along the path to achievement. Our Nation’s prosperity grows with theirs, and by ensuring every child has access to a world class education, we reach for a brighter future for all Americans...
Reading the President’s proclamation deeply saddened me as I thought about the education I missed out on in the Chabad school Oholei Torah (Educational Institute Oholei Menachem) in Crown Heights. Basic reading, writing, spelling, math, science and history were not part of the curriculum at any of the Chabad schools I attended. My classmates and I did not have access to a world class education.
I have profound respect for the late Rebbe and his legacy. However, I remember very clearly those talks that he gave — the ones we studied every year in elementary school about the unimportance of “secular” (non-religious, formal) education, and the great importance of only studying limmudei kodesh (holy studies). As a result of this attitude, thousands of students were not taught anything other than the Bible throughout our years attending Chabad institutions.
Until this day, Oholei Torah and many other Chabad schools — particularly schools for boys and a few for girls in Crown Heights and in some other places — do not provide basic formal education. It pains me to think of all the the doctors, lawyers and other professionals and leaders that could have come out of these institutions. These institutions have cultivated the character, compassion, cooperation and goodwill the President also speaks of, producing thousands of shluchim (emissaries) for Chabad all over the world. However, that is the goal of such schools; if you do not become an emissary, you fell through the cracks and are not prepared for anything else. The mantra of Oholei Torah, what most people say when asked why they send their kids to such a school is: “That’s what the school wants for their students, and that’s what their parents want; they hope for their kids to become emissaries of the Rebbe.”
The big question remains unanswered though: What happens to all of us whose futures do not involve becoming emissaries? The majority of students do not go on to become emissaries and lack even a basic formal education, and, hence, the brighter future the President refers to is difficult to reach. As I attempt to make up for a lack of education in anything other than the Bible and a language not relevant to the workplace, I have more and more questions about how such a harmfully unbalanced educational system still exists.
Four and half thousand people have become emissaries, a few people have managed to go on to college and a few Chabad schools do include formal non-religious curricula. Many people within the community of Crown Heights still rigorously defend Oholei Torah, excusing the failings of the school by pointing to the “many success stories.” Yet, they fail to notice the largest crowd, those of us who have been ignored, who miss and always will miss the basic education that the President extols.
In honor of National Education and Sharing Day, we should examine whether we are doing everything we can to equip our children for success. Failure to provide basic formal education cripples children within Chabad communities. We cannot ignore the harm done, and I refuse to remain silent. By opening discussion on education, we risk only improving the Chabad community and honoring the Rebbe’s humanitarian legacy as an advocate for youth.
On National Education and Sharing Day, I hope we all reach for a brighter future for everyone and strive for schools that cultivate not only character, compassion, cooperation and goodwill, but basic education and tools for success. As we celebrate Passover and overcoming the chains that held us back, I hope we reflect also on things things that keep us from personal freedom today.”
Torah Umesorah: Yeshivos And Day Schools Should Remain Open Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic
We have been asked, in light of the pandemic spread of the terrible coronavirus, whether yeshivos and day schools should close down until the danger of infection has passed.
It is our opinion, at least as of now, and at least in cities or municipalities where public and private schools are not required to close, that yeshivos and day schools should remain open. The koach haTorah generated by tinokos shel bais rabban is inestimable, and is urgently needed in times like these.
The general consensus among health officials at this time appears to be that schools may remain open, as evidenced by the fact that most local health authorities have not at this point ordered the wholesale closing of schools, neither public schools nor private schools. We do not think that yeshivos and day schools need to hold themselves to a different standard than that determined appropriate for neighboring public or private schools.
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This Orthodox Brooklyn doctor saw the truth about coronavirus weeks ago
On Wednesday evening last week, Dr. Stuart Ditchek convened an unprecedented meeting. At a synagogue in Midwood, Brooklyn, he gathered 170 rabbis, yeshiva principals and administrators (some streaming in via Zoom) to ask them to make a difficult, but necessary, decision: close their doors immediately to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Ditchek, a pediatrician and an Orthodox Jew who is well known in South Brooklyn’s Orthodox communities, has been working at the grassroots level over the past weeks, trying to urge yeshivas and synagogues to help “flatten the curve” of new infections, giving hospitals more space and resources to treat patients with coronavirus and other serious illnesses.
At the meeting, Ditchek presented the evidence in a slide deck: The infection rate is high. Children under 10 are not dying, but they are transmitting the disease. Limiting interaction of all kinds, immediately, will make an enormous difference compared with waiting even a few days, given the exponential rate of new infections every day.
“It was well received by about half of the room,” Ditchek said in a phone interview Sunday morning, in between seeing patients and speaking to rabbis calling for his advice. “It was not so well received by the other half.”
As the coronavirus has spread across the United States, it hit the Orthodox community early and hard. A synagogue, Yeshiva University and several schools in suburban Westchester County were among the first institutions in the country to close their doors in response to the virus.
Yet the Orthodox community has grappled in recent days about whether to push for full-scale closures of schools and shuls across the country. Many organizations — some persuaded by Ditchek, working around the clock — have closed. On Sunday afternoon, Agudath Israel of America, the largest Orthodox umbrella organization, reversed itself and started urging communities to shutter their synagogues and schools. There are still some holdouts, however, and Ditchek hasn’t given up on them.
What Other Schemes are These Puppeteers Orchestrating and Who is Being Manipulated? Some thoughts…
At what point does the activity in the Haredi community of Rockland County, New York and those who control the East Ramapo Central School District cross the line from what is now a civil litigation into the acts, conduct or omissions that engender criminal behavior? And when does that get prosecuted? Perjury is only the beginning.
This question is not being asked because the bad actors involved are Haredi Jews. To the contrary, a response is demanded in spite of a religion which does not espouse to this contemptible behavior. The Haredi men who have run the school board for the last fifteen or so years, who place non-Haredim on strings to be puppeteered at their will, are not behaving like Jews. They are behaving like liars and criminals. They are engaging in conduct unbecoming the garb that they wear or the religious beliefs to which they claim to adhere.
Because they are Jewish, they are making every Jew look bad. Because they wear the cloak of religious observance, they are giving those people unable to understand the unique nuances of Judaism a reason, founded in behavior, to hate Jews.
Finally, they have perpetrated a fraud. They have, by way of school bonds, borrowed money, sold school buildings for pennies on the dollar (to their own Yeshivas). They have defunded a school system, disenfranchised children, and manipulated others acting in good faith to do the same. That is by its very nature criminal and if not, perhaps there are laws that could be deemed to have been broken (like the encumbering of assets to obtain bonds) the violation of which paves the way for criminal prosecution.
We ask Letisha James to look to this case and to our commentary from your election and use it as a basis to not only rethink your position as a pawn for the aims and goals of the Haredi community, but also to look yourself in the mirror and ask whether you really want to be mastered by a puppeteer.
You are smart. You are a woman. You are a woman of color. Is it not time that you set aside what those who funded your campaign would want in favor of what those within your own community need, namely justice.
We then ask that you take on issues, like lying in court, orchestrating what might otherwise be deemed a fraud on an entire community and so many others and find ways to prosecute the perpetrators.
“All I’m saying is don’t trust the man 100% when you know he’s lying,” U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel told David Butler, an attorney for the East Ramapo Central School District.