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. 

STAND AND DELIVER

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.

The Satmar and the Value of their Money – De Blasio’s Presidency Bid and the Money in His Coffers…

Orthodox Jews stroll in Borough Park | Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo

Satmar Chassidim Helping DeBlasio Presidential Campaign Stay Alive

The following is via Politico:

Mayor Bill de Blasio is turning to reliable allies in New York City’s Orthodox Jewish community as he scrambles for debate-qualifying donations to his presidential bid.

A fundraising request for 10,000 donors giving just $1 each is circulating online and on WhatsApp — an encrypted messaging app — among those in the Orthodox Satmar sect, which is prominent in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The message, written in Yiddish and translated for POLITICO by three different people fluent or conversant in the language, acknowledges the mayor’s long-shot chances. It says it is not a request to support his White House bid, but rather to help him qualify for the September debate.

Failing to secure a spot on the national stage would be a blow to his struggling campaign.

The pitch also implies the donations would yield favorable treatment in the future.

It opens with a donation request on behalf of those “who work together with the faithful askanim [loosely translated to influential people] who are in constant contact with the government to lobby on a number of issues on behalf of our holy institutions and communities and for individuals who need help and to represent your interests,” according to one translation from a fluent Yiddish speaker.

It says the mayor “personally asked” for the support and then asks donors to extend the request to their wives and adult children.

“By donating the dollar you support your needs, the entire ultra-Orthodox public and our rights and needs by answering the call of askanim who need to show that the public recognizes those who understand our interests,” it reads.

Finally, it notes, “with the dollar you do not support his candidacy but you can help get him to the debate.”

De Blasio needs to show the Democratic National Committee he has raised money from 130,000 individuals in order to qualify, and as of his campaign filing this month, he only had about 6,700.

The message, shared with POLITICO by two people involved in Jewish politics who declined to be named, was signed by people they identified as Satmars.

The sect is divided into two factions, based upon loyalty to brothers locked in a succession feud following the death in 2006 of their father, prominent rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum.

To continue reading via YWN click here.

 

In search for debate-qualifying donors, de Blasio finds help among Orthodox Jews

From Politico.

The Importance of Judge Elena Baron’s Campaign – Defeating the Political Party Bosses and Unencumbered Justice

Judge Elena Baron Campaign for Surrogate Court: One Woman Against Brooklyn’s Political Bosses

 

Community and political leaders were astounded when in 2017 Elena Baron beat Brooklyn’s political bosses and won her election to become a Civil Court Judge.  Elena ran a grassroots judicial campaign winning by an overwhelming majority against three opponents in the 6th municipal court district, all backed by politicians.  Voters understood the importance of Baron’s independence from entrenched political insiders, who according to the NY Times pick almost all the judges in Brooklyn.  This year, Baron, who is running for Surrogate Court, is clearly the front runner in the race. Voters do not want to see lawyers connected to the Democratic Party looting the estates of widows, seniors and orphans in the Brooklyn Surrogate Court.  

Judge Elena Baron

In Brooklyn Heights Anne got out of her car to tell Baron, who was campaigning, how courageous she was to take on the Brooklyn Democratic Party Bosses and to run independent for judge.  In an era where the so-called progressives and reformers look the other way as the political bosses pick judges and use our courts for patronage, Baron is the leader that Brooklyn needs. 

Ann was familiar with how the Surrogate court operates because her close friend fell into a serious life-long depression after the estate of her mother was drained by administrators appointed by a Surrogate Court Judge. One of Elena’s best friends compared her campaign against the political bosses to the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, where an outsider takes on the entrenched establishment to serve the people. 

Judge Elena Baron has spent over a decade working in five NYC Courthouses with a wide variety of issues and matters that come before the civil and supreme courts.  Elena has worked with families going through guardianships, dealt with myriads of issues pertaining to residential and commercial real estate, small claims, receiverships and refereeships, as well as matters concerning credit card debt and personal injury cases.   “Judge Baron’s independence and her well-diversified experience working in NYC Courts for over a decade will make her a very effective Surrogate, able to create personalized solutions to many individual family situations that come before the Surrogate Court,”said Yana Saffian, an attorney who practices before the Surrogate Court.  Elena has a track record of being independent from the Democratic party bosses, having been elected grass roots as a Civil Court Judge.    

To enter the Surrogate Court is to stumble upon Ponce de Leon’s own spring, an eternal source of easy money for the politically wired.  The Surrogate Court Judges appoint guardians to estates who make handsome fees of those residents who die without wills.  Robert Kennedy called the “The Surrogate Court A Political Toll Booth Exacting Tribute from Widows and Orphans.”  The Democratic Party bosses tell the Surrogate Court Judges they elect to hire party supporters, a patronage operation that strengthens organization by make money for their troops. 

Surrogate Court races are more about who and whose money is behind the candidates then the person running for office.  That is because the people behind the candidates get the benefits of the office, being appointed as administrators and guardians.  Elena Baron is the only candidate in this race who is not backed by the political bosses and the money and political support they bring to their candidates’ campaigns.  In her first race Elena Baron was a grassroots candidate who was challenged by the political bosses and she won overwhelmingly, because the voters want independent judges.

Growing up in the Soviet Union Elena witnessed many injustices that effected people around her and her immediate family.  One family member was sexually harassed and had to quit her job, another family member was being pressured into diverting funds going into the organization to a real estate development project, which she refused, and her private business venture was destroyed by thugs threatening to murder family members.  These and other experiences made Elena Baron love and respect justice and the law and to become a lawyer.  Elena would be the first immigrant to be elected to the Surrogate Court. 

The current surrogate, Margarita Lopez Torres, who is backed by bosses Seddio, Carone and the party machine this year, several times appointed Adam Kalish, who works out of Brooklyn County Boss Frank Seddio’s Canarsie home and office as a guardian.   Lopez Torres is running for a second 14 years term, although she is unable to serve it, since she must retire in 2 years at 70, the mandatory retirement age for a Surrogate Court Judge.  There is also talk, despite her denials, that Torres will take a Supreme Court position after the primary which will allow her to serve until she is 76 and allow party boss Seddio to back-fill one of his hacks as a replacement for a full 14-year term. 

To continue reading click here.

The Satmar’s Uncharitable Wars of Attrition, Satmar v. Chabad – The Attack on a Chabad Synagogue, Not a Very Jewish Thing to do

Youtube screenshot of Satmar yeshiva in Chabad shul in Seagate, NY

SATMAR YESHIVA ATTACKING NY CHABAD SYNAGOGUE IN FIERCE LEGAL BATTLE

A Chabad synagogue in Seagate, New York is under attack by a yeshiva connected to the Satmar Hassidic group, which was renting a space in the synagogue, according to CrownHeights.info.

Rabbi Chaim and Rivky Brikman, two Chabad shluchim (emissaries), were hired as the rabbi and rebbetzin (Rabbi’s wife) of Congregation Kneses Israel of Seagate 28 years ago. The Brikmans founded a Hebrew school, adult education classes and programs for youths, teens and seniors.

Eleven years ago, they were approached by the United Talmudical Academy (UTA), a Satmar Yeshiva from Borough Park that wanted to rent space in the building next to the main synagogue.

Hurricane Sandy destroyed the lower level of the synagogue, and then an electrical fire caused even more damage and left the community without a building or a place to pray.

The Chabad congregation decided not to renew their tenant’s lease since their building had been destroyed. The Satmar Yeshiva verbally agreed to vacate the building at the end of the school year, but then reneged on the agreement and fabricated a lawsuit against the synagogue. This was only the first step in an alleged series of deceit trying to bankrupt the synagogue and to initiate a hostile takeover of the synagogue’s property.

“We have no space in our shul [synagogue]. We’re physically locked out of our building.” Rebbetzin Brikman said in a video published to collect donations for the synagogue. “We have a tenant there who is just playing the system and refuses to leave.”

The yeshiva allegedly fabricated serious accusations against the shluchim and local community members, according to CrownHeights.info. UTA hired armed guards to stand in front of the synagogue to prevent community members from entering.

The group even insisted that the judge order the arrest of Rabbi Chaim Brikman because he hosted a Shabbat Kiddush in the building.

The yeshiva is allegedly attempting to draw out the proceedings in order to exhaust the community’s resources.

 

TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY CLICK HERE.

Raising Money to Fight Satmar’s Ownership of NY- Seagate and Rabbi Chaim Brinkman, Could be a Worthy Cause

https://matchathon.com/en/matchathon?campaign_id=464

CHABAD OF SEAGATE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

EVERY $1 = $2
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  • MENACHEM & DINI GUREVITCH
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    ANONYMOUS FRIEND
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  • JOSEPH & CHAYA WOLHENDLER
    ANONYMOUS FRIEND FROM MONTREAL
    ANONYMOUS GROUP OF SHLUCHIM

HOW IT WORKS

For the next 10 hours, every dollar you give to Chabad of Seagate will be matched by extraordinary benefactors to reach our goal of $300,000!

EVERY Donate YOU GIVE TO =
Donate Donate

  • 54 DOLLARS x 2 = 108 DOLLARS
  • 100 DOLLARS x 2 = 200 DOLLARS
  • 180 DOLLARS x 2 = 360 DOLLARS
  • 500 DOLLARS x 2 = 1,000 DOLLARS
  • 1000 DOLLARS x 2 = 2,000 DOLLARS
  • 1800 DOLLARS x 2 = 3,600 DOLLARS

ABOUT THE CAUSE

Twenty-eight years ago, Rabbi Chaim and Rivka Brikman were hired as the rabbi and rebbetzin of Congregation Kneses Israel of Seagate, a synagogue with a storied past dating to 1924. The synagogue had always prided itself on being a place in which every Jewish resident of Seagate would feel at home, so the Brikmans’ Chabad philosophy of warmth and outreach to every Jew was a natural fit. In keeping with their mission––they are shluchim, emissaries of The Lubavitcher Rebbe––the Brikmans founded a Hebrew school that has provided an authentic and state-of-the-art Jewish education to generations of Seagate children, and they created programs for children, teens, adults, and seniors, transforming what was a relatively small Jewish community into one that is vibrant and brimming with Jewish pride.

Eleven years ago, because their synagogue building sufficed for the congregation’s needs at the time, the congregation rented their adjacent building to a Satmar school, UTA of Boro Park. As the community grew, however, the congregation needed the space for all their ongoing services and programs, and chose not to renew their tenant’s lease on the school building after it expired. While verbally agreeing to vacate at the end of the school year, the tenants reneged on the agreement, fabricating a lawsuit against the synagogue––the first step in what would become a pattern of deceit by the erstwhile tenants. A court settlement required UTA to vacate the premises at the end of the following year, but they flouted the court order and brought a new lawsuit challenging the congregation’s right to its own synagogue. They teamed up with a former president of the synagogue, who had been voted out by an overwhelming majority.

In the past few months, UTA (Gary Schlesinger) hired armed guards to station themselves in front of the synagogue to stop community members from entering it, restricting the community’s use of its own building. They went as far as to insist in court that Rabbi Brikman should be arrested for hosting a Shabbos Kiddush in the building. They are well aware that their fabricated allegations will not hold up in court, and so they have engaged in delaying tactics––actions clearly intended to push off their inevitable defeat in court––hoping to exhaust the community’s resources through the legal proceedings.

The legal team is confident that Kneses Israel/Chabad will win in court as soon as the case is heard. Now, Chabad is turning to you to help cover the legal fees.

The community has shown its resilience in the face of adversity time and again. When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the lower level of the synagogue, they moved upstairs and soldiered on. Recently, an electrical fire wrought havoc in the upper level, forcing the community out, and the hundreds of Jewish families who enjoy services, events, and programs at Kneses Israel are currently without a building and a place to call their own. With your help, the Seagate community will once again overcome adversity, and continue to grow together as a community in our beautiful synagogue.

Friends of Rabbi Chaim Brikman
Rabbi Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi and head Shliach of Russia
Rabbi Boruch Hertz, Rov Kehilas Chabad, Chicago, IL
Rabbi Chaim Meir Lieberman, Lubavitch Youth Organization, Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Osher Vaisfish, Chabad of Huntington, NY
Rabbi Shimon Posner, Chabad of Rancho Mirage, CA
Rabbi Yochanan Marozov, Rov Kehilas Chabad, Flatbush, NY
Rabbi Yossi Paltiel, Mashpia Yeshivas Chovevei Torah, Brooklyn, NY

Community Campaign members
Polina Bulman
Levi Pavlovsky
Natalya Permyakova
Shaya Polsky
Eddie Yair