Yaffed Sues State, Cuomo Promises to Leave Education Untouched and Tish James Joins Cuomo Ticket- Education in NY?

Group sues state over yeshivas

GROUP SUES STATE FOR GREATER YESHIVA OVERSIGHT — POLITICO’s Madina TouréAn organization seeking to reform curricula in yeshivas is suing the state over legislation that, in the group’s view, protects the schools from proper oversight. The organization — Young Advocates for Fair Education, also known as Yaffed — filed the suit on Monday morning in Brooklyn federal court. It named Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa as defendants. Lawyers from the firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan are representing Yaffed pro bono.

“Ultra-orthodox yeshivas, by our estimates, receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars each year,” said Naftuli Moster, Yaffed’s founder and executive director, at a press conference in Manhattan announcing the lawsuit.”This is clearly a problem and a problem that elected officials in New York have known about for decades and instead of improving the situation, the state allowed one lawmaker, Simcha Felder, who represents the interests of yeshiva leaders, to hijack the state budget process to ensure inclusion of an amendment that exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshivas statewide from having to provide a proper secular education,” Moster continued.

Felder, a Democratic state senator from Brooklyn who has been caucusing with Senate Republicans since he was elected in 2012, was accused of holding up the $168 billion state budget earlier this year until the state acquiesced to his request for yeshivas to be exempt from curriculum requirements. He provides the Senate GOP with a key 32nd vote. The final budget gave the state Education Department the authority to address the issue for bilingual teaching for a greater number of hours, a requirement that yeshivas fulfill.

The group contends that the state’s action flouts the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion” or “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“The carve-out in the Felder Amendment is actually defined in a way that only those ultra-Orthodox yeshivas are included within that carve-out,” said Eric Huang, lead counsel for Yaffed. “These are defined by the fact that they’re nonprofits, that they have a bilingual program and that their education program is marked by very long days.” Read more here.


There Will be “No Government Interference” with the Education within the Haredi (Satmar) Community

Dear Readers:

In the Hebrew and English papers it is being reported that the Satmar community has received confirmation from Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with Senator Simcha Felder that there will “be no interference in the education of Jewish children.”

You will find the Hebrew article first and below it a very loose translation.


המושל הבטיח: “לא אתערב בחינוך”

ניו-יורק: הקהילות החרדיות מתאחדים סביב המועמדים שמתחייבים להשיג את התוצאות הטובות ביותר עבורם • בבית הרבי מסאטמר התארח מושל ניו-יורק אנדרו קומו שהגיע לגייס את תמיכת הרבי


החוגים והעדות מתאחדים סביב המועמדים שיביאו את התוצאות הטובות ביותר בשביל החרדים, זאת בהתקרב מועד הבחירות שיתקיימו בעוד שבועיים, לתפקיד הסנטור של המדינה. 

הסנטור החרדי שמחה פלדר, המייצג את תושבי השכונות ברובע ברוקלין, בורו פארק ופלטבוש, הגיע בשבוע האחרון לביקור אצל האדמו”ר מסאטמר במעונו בשכונת ויליאמסבורג לקראת הבחירות הקרובות, האדמו”ר ברכו בחמימות ואף הביע את תמיכתו הפומבית. 

בסוף השבוע הופיע בבית הרבי מסאטמר, מושל ניו-יורק אנדרו קומו. במהלך הפגישה, בה השתתפו ראשי החסידות ועסקני ויליאמסבורג, עלתה גזירות החינוך בארצות הברית. המושל הבטיח לאדמו”ר שלא יתערב בענייני החינוך במגזר החרדי. 

גם האדמו”ר מהר”א מסאטמר שיבח בחג הפסח האחרון את הסנטור החרדי ר’ שמחה פלדר, ואמר כי “זכות הרבים תלוי בו וזכות כל תינוקות של בית רבן תלוי בו ויש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת”. “אני יודע שהתקשורת תצא נגדך אבל זה הכבוד שלך בעיני כל העם היהודי לכל קהילותיו”, אמר הרבי

The following is a loose translation:


New York: The Haredi Community are supporting the candidates that are promising the best results for that community. At the home of the Satmar Rabbi was hosted the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo who came to enlist the Rabbi’s support.

Also in Israel there is an expansion of gathering support for candidates for the local elections in New York who will best advance the  beliefs of the Haredi community. The people are being encouraged to garner support for centered around candidates who will bring about the best results for the Haredim, and the choosing of candidates for Senator who come closest to continuing and advancing, the best interests of the Haredi community within the State [of New York].

The Haredi senator, Simcha Felder, the representative of the inhabitants of communities of Borough Park and Flatbush, cam this las week to visit at the head of the Satmar in the community of Williamsburg because of the upcoming local elections and the head invited him (Felder) and promised his election support.

At the end of the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo was present at the Satmar Rabbi’s residence. During the meeting, there was also the participation of the head of the Chasidic and the representative of Williamsburg, and raised the issues of the interference of the education within the United States. The Governor promised that during his tenure, there would be no interference by his office with the Haredi education.

Also, all of the members of the US Satmar commity who spent last Passover with the Haredi Senator Simcha Felder understood and reiterated that “the greater rights [of the Jewish people] are depending upon him and the rights of all children of Israel are depending upon him at this hour. “I know that the media is sending out negative messages but this is the honor of yours on behalf of the entire Jewish world and all of its people” said the Rabbi.