“We’re very concerned for them,” he said. “We’re concerned for the loved ones they go home to, we’re concerned for the grocery store workers they come in contact with. We’re concerned for the community, that this could be the way it’s transmitted out of the facility.”
Terenzini said the town wishes Scott would reconsider the 50% occupancy requirement for hotels, and instead base the occupancy cap on the size of the institution. While he thinks the rule, as it stands, makes sense for small bed-and-breakfast-style inns, he feels large hotels should be more restricted.
“When you have a facility that can host 600 people,” he said, “50% is 300, and that’s still a lot of people, during a pandemic, to come into a small community and stay for a long period of time coming from other places in the country, including some of the hardest-hit places, like New York City, and the surrounding communities in New Jersey and elsewhere.”
Bennington town officials released a statement yesterday detailing actions the town has taken to ensure compliance with Scott’s executive order, including a cap on 75% occupancy at summer camps.
Given the camp’s reported number of 350 campers, the camp is well within occupancy of Southern Vermont College’s campus, which has an occupancy of around 1,000 people, Schirling said.
Some Bennington residents are frustrated that state officials have relied on the camp director’s word, and have not attempted to otherwise verify the number of campers, their negative Covid-19 tests, or whether campers and staff members are socially distancing and wearing masks.
“If there are reasonable grounds to believe someone’s in violation of an executive order, then we send a variety of different entities depending on the circumstances to check in on that,” Schirling said. “There’s been no information coming out of Bennington to indicate that they are not in compliance with the health and safety guidance.”
The town’s statement, written by Bennington Selectboard Chair Don Campbell and Stuart Hurd, town manager, also mentioned a blog post — titled “Jackson NJ Lawbreaker Sets Up Sketchy Summer Camp in Vermont?”— by an organization called Rise Up Ocean County that circulated recently. The group has been under scrutiny by New Jersey officials and anti-hate watchdog groups for anti-Semitic and racist comments that appeared on its Facebook page.
“Earlier this year, the governor of New Jersey identified Rise Up Ocean County as an anti-Semitic group and their Facebook page was taken down due to their hateful messages about the Jewish community,” the statement reads. “The town of Bennington does not condone any hateful rhetoric and strives to create a welcoming and safe environment for all.”
Terenzini said his reluctance about Perlstein and the camp is centered on health concerns and its alignment in timing with Covid-19.
To read the article it its entirety, click here.
Yesterday the attorney representing Bennington Township was to be in court seeking to withdraw from the stipulated agreement made on July 22nd and approved by the court on July 23rd regarding noise violations occurring on the campus of Southern Vermont College as a result of Camp Zichron Chaim.
Merrill Bent was to ask that each defendant be held separately in contempt stating in her motion that “It is clear that defendants will not adhere to any obligation imposed on them — whether by this court’s order or by contract.”
Bent’s demand was to be “that the court issue an order forbidding the defendants from conducting any summer camp activities on the property, effectively immediately, and order defendants to pay the town the expenses of suit, including its attorneys’ fees.”
But it was not to be.
The defendants, Moshe Dovid Perlstein and Camp Southern Vermont LLC, represented by Carl Lisman, requested and received a postponement with a new hearing date of August 5, 2020. That delay allows the camp to continue to operate for at least the first week of a scheduled three week camp.
What Wouldn’t You do for Your Children? Teach them English, Mathematics, Science and History…
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.
Let the state in to check. (Roca, John)
Some of the toniest private schools in New York, places that deliver an exemplary secular education to their kids, are going to war against new state regulations arm in arm with a small subset of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas that are failing to teach their kids English, math, science and other core subjects. For shame.
Back in May, the state Education Department issued new proposed rules to ensure that non-public schools live up to the legal obligation to deliver a “substantially equivalent” education to their students. That’s long been the guarantee under law; where the rubber meets the reading, writing and ‘rithmetic, there’s been virtually no enforcement.
And for years, a small sliver of religious schools in the Hasidic community — not all Jewish schools by any stretch, and not all Hasidic ones either — have been neglecting to teach kids the basics, despite pocketing millions in public money.
This must end. The only way to make it end is to step up state oversight, which means starting periodic and unobtrusive visits to all non-public schools. It’s just not constitutional for the state to single out Jewish K-12 institutions for scrutiny .