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?
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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 .
The following is being reprinted with the permission of its author.
The intent in reposting is related to comments made under the Request for Information below and a possible connection to this morning’s fire in Midwood.
We have no way to know if the allegations in the comments section are correct and have therefore done our best to redact unverified allegations or responses to them. We are not posting with intent to harm, defame, injure, slander, hurt, abuse or otherwise; but rather to assist law enforcement in ascertaining what happened.
If the allegations are correct, we sincerely hope that the victim is handled with extreme care. It is our belief that the Yeshiva community he attended would have reason for him to be permanently unable to tell his story. If he is actually an arsonist, he still may have a story to tell.
If the allegations are deemed incorrect, we will gladly post an apology, correction, redaction or whatever is required and will do so publicly. We do not take matters of this sort lightly.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
June 4, 2019
The fight for substantial equivalency for non-public schools made its way to the Board of Regents meeting in Albany this week. Naftuli Moster, Executive Director of Young Advocates for Fair Education, discussed what he hopes to see the State do next to ensure substantial equivalency.
Amid a record-setting nationwide measles outbreak driven largely by New York cases, the state ordered a Long Island school to accept unvaccinated kids into its classes and after-school activities.
The Shulamith School for Girls in Cedarhurst says the state Education Department was wrong to twice overturn the school’s decision to bar Ilana and Nikolay Jinjihashvili’s two daughters after the parents sought a religious exemption to the vaccination rule.
The Jewish day school is now asking a federal judge to overturn Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia’s orders, calling them “illegal, void and unenforceable.”
While the current measles outbreak has put the vaccination debate at the forefront of public health, the school is framing the dispute as a First Amendment fight.
“There are schools that have taken the position that under the school’s religious belief, as a matter of Jewish law, students should be vaccinated,” the school’s lawyer, Philip Kalban, told The Post. The parents may have a different and “sincere” belief about vaccinations, Kalban explained, “but they say it’s based on Jewish law, and our position is that Jewish law says just the opposite.”
The First Amendment comes into play because the school argues the state has no business interfering in a religious matter.
The case landed in Brooklyn federal court last week after the family sought to send their girls to an after-school art show and fundraiser but were blocked by the school.
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