Sunday, September 11, 2022

Chassidic Chickens Come Home To Roost

It's finally happened. 

For decades, the Chassidic community in the New York area has avoided teaching its children secular studies, or even the English language. Moreover, they've managed to secure a vast amount of public funding for this, through a combination of political power and cunning finagling. Along the way, countless young chassidim have been doomed to poverty, with many of them bitterly disillusioned by the chassidic lifestyle and some of them leaving it with a well-earned grudge.

The inevitable has now happened. The New York Times has published a seminal report on the situation, bitingly titled "In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Private Schools Flush with Public Money." They even published it in Yiddish translation!

Now, in the past I've had harsh words for the New York Times, with its grossly incompetent and false articles about Israel. But this article is meticulously researched. The journalists reviewed thousands of pages of public records, translated dozens of Yiddish documents, and interviewed more than 275 people, including current and former students, teachers, administrators and regulators. (Many of the school principals from whom they sought comment refused to be interviewed, and the Times went to the extent of sending them a pre-publication preview of the article, to get their response.)

Furthermore, anyone who is familiar with the chassidic community, either in New York or England or Israel, knows that it's all true.

Unfortunately, it feeds into the worst antisemitic stereotypes. From time immemorial, the antisemitic caricature of the Jew has been as a cunning thief. But who should be blamed for the antisemitism that could result as a result of this stereotype being reinforced?

I was disappointed to see some non-Chassidic rabbis and public figures castigate the New York Times for this. It is the job of the Times to report such things. We should not be blaming the non-Jewish media for exposing Jewish dirty laundry, whether it be sex abuse that isn't being dealt with or inadequate education and misappropriation of public funds. The ones responsible are the Chassidic community, who not only acted wrongly and irresponsibly, but also foolishly in expecting to get away with it forever. The backlash that this could cause against the entire Jewish community was entirely predictable and is their fault. 

But it's not only the Chassidim that are to blame. It's also the rest of the Jewish community, who turned a blind eye to this, or who in some cases, defended the chassidic approach. If we don't take care of our own problems, then we have no right to be angry when other people address them in ways that we don't like.

Hopefully the New York Times article will do what Jewish leaders never even tried to do - force a vital change. This is what just happened in Israel, when as a result of pressure from a non-charedi government, Belz chassidim finally agreed to incorporate basic secular studies into their schools in exchange for funding. 

We can fix problems ourselves, or we can have others fix them for us. It's our choice.


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189 comments:

  1. Anecdotes, even many, do not make data.

    This article has some data but far too often relies on anecdotes. It also confuses issues.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe there is a legal requirement to teach English. Certainly, the USA does not have an official language.
    2. Some of the programs that these schools tap into likely are not conditioned on the quality or lack thereof of the education provided. As such, the schools are allowed to get this money.
    3. The whole discussion of corporal punishment was entirely anecdotal and without reference to anything else.

    These above discussions are the result of either shoddy writing/journalism or are simply intended to inflame.

    I'm not a lawyer, but from what I have read, the #1 is question is about to what extent do graduates of these schools tap into poverty benefits. I'm fairly certain that the substantively equivalent rule, despite going against freedom of religion, is predicated on the government interest in training children to not be reliant on benefits like food stamps. The NYT provides little discussion of this point and ZERO data about:
    1. What percentage of alumni of these schools use benefits and
    2. Is this rate statistically and meaningfully higher than use from minority populations?

    If benefit usage is on par with say Hispanics, I'm not sure anybody has a legal case to be made.

    Of course, one can also question the prudence of schools' educational decisions. I certainly do!

    But bottom line: an article like this one from the NYT needs DATA and to stick to LEGAL ISSUES.

    P.S.
    The NYT should get credit for mentioning that Chasidim have often received much antisemitic violence.

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    1. "Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe there is a legal requirement to teach English. Certainly, the USA does not have an official language."

      Of course there are requirements to teach English. The official status, or lack thereof, of English has nothing to do with it.

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    2. https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/non-public-education/regulation-map/newyork.html

      See section labeled curriculum

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    3. Ok, I stand corrected!

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    4. KJ and skver have the highest rate of people on programs in the usa

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    5. English has not always been required everywhere. I knew a lady whose entire education had been in French language Catholic schools in Rhode Island during the first half of the 20th century.

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    6. @AnonymousSeptember 12, 2022 at 5:29 AM

      Presumably those schools in RI were not taking public funds.

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    7. They taught a general curiculum and students came out speaking English as well, don't you think?

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    8. Of course they are 'allowed' to get money and be poor quality. And the public is 'allowed' to know that 'failing schools get public funding.' Such a story is as American as apple pie, people have a right to know the fruits of taxpayer money.

      As for English, very likely the way English (and all the subjects) should be taught in Chasidish yeshiva is through ESL. For sure, let them use a lot of Yiddish to teach math, etc. - but *it isn't happening*. Also - Yiddish *itself* isn't being taught (or Hebrew, or Aramaic). Immersion is not teaching, speaking is not writing, etc.

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  2. Lubavitch is teaching Jews about Judaism- that is not " proselytizing ". Otherwise , I agree with the gist of the article that these schools are failing their students and condemning them to poverty or worse.

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    1. Lubavitch is teaching Jews about Lubavitch, which is close, but not the same as Judaism.

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    2. "convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another"
      The fact that they target only a particular subset of people is irrelevant. They proselytize in an attempt to get non-religious people to be religious.

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    3. "Lubavitch is teaching Jews about Lubavitch, which is close, but not the same as Judaism."
      Then I guess according to you, only Lubavitchers put on tefillin, light Shabbos candles, make a blessing on lulav and esrog, eat matzo on Passover, or blow Shofar on Rosh Hashanah or read the Megillah on Purim.
      I've done all of those things as part of outreach at one point or another (except for Shabbos candles--my daughters distributed Shabbos candles on occasion).

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    4. Yehudah P., I think Anonymous' point is that Lubavitch is slightly not Jewish, or at least the Meshichist strains are. He could be making a very old joke (but the joke isn't dead yet - SWIDT?) or could be legitimately anti-Chabad. It's not that only Chabad put on tefillin or light Shabbos candles, it's that only Chabad put on tefillin and then say yechi adoneinu.

      I'm just theorizing, not making an argument.

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  3. You left out the detail that Belz's issues may result (one can pray) in there being no (Ashkenazi) charedim in the next Knesset. Belz would be happy to incorporate its schools into Chinuch Atzmai (and get funding with no requirements), but the Litvish are too protective of their funding to agree. They could do something similar with Shas' network, but there are other issues there.

    As a libertarian, I'd point out that other culprits are the governments throwing around money like drunken sailors, but that's a more meta issue.

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    1. Throwing it to the whores. ACJA

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    2. There is too much crying wolf. What religious freedom is under attack-that one might prefer teaching Shas to English is not an attack of freedom. Even assuming the State demands 1000 hours a year of secular studies-my math shows less-there are 8760 hours in a non-leap year leaving far more time for limudei kodesh than the vast majority ever learn. 1000 hours is about half the hours that adults work during the year.When one pays taxes one is giving up time to the state-the hours it took to earn the taxes.Is it now the claim that payment of taxes is against religion.
      BTW truth be told not even MO schools come close to the secular education taught in public schools of students of equivalent socioeconomic background. We accept that because state has tolerated until now and we are willing to sacrifice for limudei kodesh and required socialization that day schools accomplish.
      Cry wolf and God forbid something serious comes down no one will believe religious argument.

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  4. I attended Lubavitch sine 11th grade. I can't related to anything the artice protests. There was NO corporal punishment. As in every society there are sexual predators, but our rabbis instructed that the first move on learning of such a thing is to call the police. Then we name and shame . https://www.jewishcommunitywatch.org/category/wall-of-shame/

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  5. Instead of focusing on improving his own community, Natan is always busy with dredging and digging up dirt on other communities.

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    1. While I largely agree with your critique, we should always be respectful. As Chazal teach us, אין לך אדם שאין לו שעה. As such, perhaps consider referring to the author as Rabbi Dr. Slifkin.

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    2. Rabbi Dr. Slifkin hasn't dug up anything here. This is the hottest in New York today. Everyone knows about it; social media is abuzz; frum internet sites are abuzz; and politicians are quaking in their boots as to how many votes they will lose if they dare do anything about this.

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    3. Anytime someone offers a straight forward critique of anything in the frum community, some people inevitably resort to the tired, childish response that “they only want to dig up dirt”— completely ignoring
      a. the fact that many of these people, such as R’ Slifkin, spend much of their time talking about widely varied, interesting & positive topics—not “digging up dirt”…and
      b. They may have presented their critique respectfully, articulately and in detail. They’re not just “tossing dirt“— they’re presenting facts.

      What exactly would it take, for those who vilify anyone presenting a fair, well-reasoned criticism of the frum community to actually try to engage with the critique, and not simply denounce the one saying it? Immature individuals like that are a big part of the problem.

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    4. "a. the fact that many of these people, such as R’ Slifkin, spend much of their time talking about widely varied, interesting & positive topics—not “digging up dirt”…and"

      WHAT IN THE WORLD????

      I have been following this blog for around 2 months now as well have read many back posts, and have not seen a SINGLE positive post about the Chareidi community. Actually, the majority were about nastily bashing the Chareidi community and the small minority that did not somehow wound up doing so in the the comments section. In fact, THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG (CONCIOUSLY OR SUBCONCIOUSLY) SEEMS TO BE RNS'S PAYBACK AT THE CHAREIDI COMMUNITY AND HIS COGNITIVE DISONANCE OF HIS NEW LIFESTYLE!!!

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    5. Tell me, do your comments "nastily bash me," or do they critique what I write?

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    6. Sorry. No offense, just like to stir things up!

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    7. Besides for which, I think that if you have a blog devoted to attacking us, we are well within our right to come attack back! Especially as it is so much fun!

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    8. Additionally, although I like to at times employ hyperbole and exaggerated language, my comments are (almost) always substance based.

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    9. Peanut Butter & JellySeptember 13, 2022 at 7:14 AM

      Come on Shimshon, let's get the retards rolling!!

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    10. What do you want from me? I'm with מכרכר בכל עוז. I'm amused at times. And like him, while I resort to rhetorical flourishes, I too provide substance to go along with the well-deserved name calling.

      "I have been following this blog for around 2 months now as well have read many back posts, and have not seen a SINGLE positive post about the Chareidi community."

      It's even worse. Last November, Globes posted a surprisingly positive article on the Charedi participation in and contribution to the economy. Slifkin made it his personal mission to fact check and debunk this article. He was so proud of his response that he mentioned it several times in some more recent Charedi bashing posts (I think after the multiple posts on abortion after Roe v Wade was overturned). Would that he were to apply the same treatment to the NYT article. One confirms his worldview, and one contradicts it.

      My personal opinion is that when you take government money, that comes with strings. Even when the conditions are amenable. Even if completely legal without any subterfuge. One of those conditions often is, you become part of the public record, and that record can be twisted and manipulated into something ominous even when 100% innocuous. Sometimes, the money is just not worth it.

      What could I add here? Fascists are gonna fascist. Slifkin and the sycophants take a hit piece from a media organ known for hit pieces, and riff on that. It's not like he can criticize the Chasidim for sucking from the government teat, since he runs a non-profit and aspires to the same. What he wants to do is reserve the right to criticize how they run their lives and educate their young, based on hearsay and the outlier cases that exist in their world, no differently than in his. Sure, that's retarded. But it's more pathetic.

      I have never seen Slifkin admit once to being wrong. I still hold out hope though that he won't do anymore gaslighting posts. That would be admission enough for me that he was wrong on something.

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    11. "What he wants to do is reserve the right to criticize how they run their lives and educate their young, based on hearsay and the outlier cases that exist in their world, no differently than in his. Sure, that's retarded. But it's more pathetic."

      Well said! I find it to be very entertaining watching all these Israeli MODOX dudes who have probably never been to Monsey or Boro Park in their lives so confidently making sociological 'observations' which are so far from the truth! Their faces are literally dripping with egg and they don't even know it! I don't know about in the NYT's world (did not read the article, past my limit for free articles and would never toss those anti Semitic clowns a nickel), but in the real world, Chassidim in the US are very hard workers, entrepreneurs and basically live in a very materialistic money driven society. So it's quite hilarious seeing these ignorant and self-righteous doofuses claim otherwise, point fingers, and scream silly accusations.

      Anyhow, RNS, time for a new post. This is starting to get stale.

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    12. I grew up in Beverly Hills. I know what materialism is. Circa the 1980s. Which is old news in 2022. I have heard stories of how the moneyed Chasidim live, and how many of them there are. My anecdotal data is as good as any, including the NYT.

      I know someone who was in the "life coach" business and very successful. He lives in Israel very modestly in a modest Charedi area but word of mouth spread to the point that he had several NY Chasidim among his clients. Mostly done by Skype, more than once, one of these clients came for more personal attention. They, and there were several, would fly first class, stay at hotels like the Waldorf, for a week or more, and reserve a block of several dozen hours of this person's time, paid in cash, at well over $100 per hour, plus meals and other other expenses.

      One time, at least, one man had this coach in the lobby of the Waldorf and ordered a shot of whiskey, which was probably like $30, solely to dip a cigar in before lighting it. It was materialism of a level I had not heard of before. I have no doubt this is a more accurate depiction of these groups than the ravings of agenda-driven retards and losers. And they support the less-moneyed among them. There are no actual destitute people like alleged if they remain in the community. The key is "remaining." Those who leave the community do not receive the same treatment.

      Regarding the government funding, they take the money because they are legally entitled to it for the services the funding covers. Nothing more, and nothing less. By and large. Outliers notwithstanding.

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  6. You are feeding into the trope that the non Jews actually care about the Jewish communities level of secular education. It's about money and anti-Semitism......

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    1. Abuse of taxpayer concerns is a legitimate concern apart from "caring about the Jewish communities level of secular education".

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    2. *abuse of taxpayer funds

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    3. Yoni, I'd agree with you that when the Russian (?) government wanted to add secular education to Volozhin, it was with an eye toward de-Judaizing the next generation.

      I'd like to think, however, that while there are probably some antisemites and antireligious folks in the government (and the Department of Education, specifically), in today's world of pluralism, that desire really is that every child should be given a foundation upon which to build a career such that he or she could contribute to - or a least not be a parasite on - the greater society and economy.

      And the misappropriation of funds thing. There is that too.

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    4. Oy vey. Yosef R, the innocent naivete shown in your comment is so sad. You think their desires are for "the greater good." Have you ever seen how communism was presented? Honeyed words and smiling murals, hiding the ugliness underneath. See how empty newspeak like "tolerance" and "pluralism" and "equality" are used cynically to quell dissent, and laughingly ignored when it suits them. And absorb the wisdom of what the sages meant when they said the Egyptian servitude was built on עבודת פרך - פה רך . Don't fall for the potemkin facades!

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  7. We should be careful not to lose sight of what should be our bottom line: State intervention in religious any matters is toxic to the free exercise of religion. Governments telling people how they can and cannot practice their religion is always dangerous - all the more so in a culture that increasingly looks down upon belief system that defies cultural norms. We should fiercely resist such intervention in all cases. That goes for Satmar chassidim, Muslims, Christians et al. Telling Satmar to change their mesorah of chinuch (whatever we feel about it, it is as legitimate as anyone else's) is no different than telling YU that they must recognize the Gay Pride Club. Legal principle must be upheld, even when we don't like the consequences.

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    1. How can you protest government interference when the chassidic schools are acting in a way that affects everyone else?!

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    2. If you want to be independent from government interference don’t take government money.

      NPC

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    3. "Governments telling people how they can and cannot practice their religion is always dangerous"

      Really? What about Goverments stopping human sacrifice? Female genital mutilation? The British stopped Sati in India. Good or bad?

      As we say in yeshivish 'what's the geder exactly"?

      PS I am not agreeing with you that there is any Jewish religious requirement to bring kids up ignorant, but let's park that.

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    4. The government has a legitimate interest to ensure students do not grow up dependent on benefit programs.

      The percentage of alumni from these schools requiring benefits needs to be determined. Then, if this level is significantly higher than what results from other groups or school systems, the government has the right to intervene. Perhaps, one noncoercive way to intervene would be to simply make such individuals ineligible for benefits.

      Rabbi Adlerstein, as an askan with substantial experience fighting antisemitism, do you believe the civil servants trying to enforce NY laws here are antisemitic? (YAFFED is a different story.)

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    5. My take- We are in galus -- The piper you must pay, that's the only way. kt

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    6. שו"ת דעת כהן (ענייני יורה דעה) סימן קלב
      ולפ"ז רווחא לן שמעתא, דשני טעמים יש לנו באיסור קבלת צדקה מן הנכרים, טעם אחד משום דמבזה נפשי', דלרש"י הוא משום חלול השם, שמתבזה ישראל בפני הגוי בפרהסיא, ולרמב"ם הוא מעצם טעם הביזוי שפוסל לעדות, וטעם שני משום ביבוש קצירה, והיכא דאיתא להא ליתא להא, דגבי יחיד שייך רק טעם דמבזה נפשי', ואסור לישראל לבזות נפשו לפני גוי בשפלות כזו, וזהו דוקא בפרהסיא ולא בצנעה. וטעם של ביבוש קצירה לא שמענו כלל על צדקה דיחיד, אלא בצדקה דרבים, וכ"מ שהוא יותר בצנעה הזכות יותר, ואיכא יותר משום ביבוש קצירה. ובצדקה דרבים, שמתחלקת ע"י גבאי צדקה, שייך רק טעם דביבוש קצירה, ………
      ובאמת לולא דברי רבותינו בעלי התוס' וסתימת דברי שאר הפוסקים, שמימיהם אנו שותים, הייתי אומר, דכל הטעם דביבוש קצירה תשברנה, שזה קאי על המשכת המלכות, אין שייך כ"א בצדקה שבית המלכות נותן, אבל בנכרים יחידים לא שייך טעם זה, ומשו"ה לא מצינו ענין זה כ"א גבי אמי' דשבור מלכא. והי' יוצא לפ"ז דין חדש, דברבים ואינו מבית המלכות אין שם איסור כלל, דאי משום מבזי נפשי' הלא כבר בררנו דלא שייכא כ"א ביחיד, ואי משום ביבוש קצירה ליכא כ"א כשבאה הצדקה מבית המלכות. אבל מה נעשה לרבותינו בעלי התוספות, שהקשו מהא דביהכ"נ בעובדא דטייעא אסוגיא דבב"ת, וסתימת הפוסקים שלא נקטו חילוק כלל בין בית המלכות לשאר יחידים, דלא משמע הכי, וצריכים אנחנו לקבל באימה את דעתם הרחבה מדעתנו. אבל יסוד זה שאמרנו קיים הוא, דביחיד שייך רק טעמא דביזוי, ולא טעמא דביבוש קצירה, וברבים שייך רק טעמא דביבוש קצירה, ולא טעמא דביזוי.1 וכן מוכיחות הסוגיות, ומסתבר טעמא, ואין ע"ז שום סתירה מדברי רבותינו הפוסקים. ………
      ע"א ד"ה חזר, ומשנה למלך פ"ז דמעילה הלכה ו', כל אלו הענינים שייכים רק לגבי חלק האיסור, אבל כאן היסוד הוא זכות הממון, וזכות הממון לעולם לא בטל בממון שיש לו תובעים. ולד' השא"ר בה' חמץ (סי' צ), שסובר שבדרבנן אמרי' יש ברירה ואין ברירה תרווייהו להקל, יהי' מותר ג"כ משום יש ברירה בדרבנן, ואמרי' הוברר הדבר שהחלק הזה שבא לידי ישראל הוא ממון ישראל שנמצא באוצר הממשלה, ……., א"כ נחשבים הכספים של ההכנסות שישראל מכניסים להממשלה, בכל מקום שהם, לכספי צדקה של ישראל, ואם אח"כ הם לוקחים מזה, מדידהו קא שקלי, ולא נפיק מעולם מבי גזא דרחמנא, ואין שום איסור לקחת מהכנסה זו לצדקה של ישראל.

      מ"מ נראה לע"ד, שראוי לערוך את הבקשה אל הממשלה באופן שיתן כבוד לישראל, ולא תהי' מיוסדת ע"פ בקשת חנינה, כאילו ח"ו אין כח בקהילה עשירה זו לפרנס את ענייהם, והם נצרכים לעזר הנכרים, אף על פי שלא מצינו ענין ביזוי כזה, בדין איסור קבלת צדקה מן הנכרים, כ"א ביחידים העניים שהם עצמם מקבלים, מ"מ יש לחוש קצת שמא יש בזה איזה דוגמא לאיסור זה, או חשש חלול השם ח"ו כדרש"י……..

      שו"ת אגרות משה חושן משפט חלק ב סימן עז
      אם מותר לתבוע שרי המדינה בפני שופטים במדינה אחרת.
      ………, ושיכריחו אותם ליתן גם לבתי ספר של יהודים, שודאי יש לחוש להטלת איבה מהממשלה להיהודים שזה אפשר שח"ו יביא לתוצאות לא טובות בהרבה ענינים ואיכא בזה ענין רדיפה והרבה חששו חכמים לחשש איבה והקלו כמה דברים בשביל זה כמפורש במסכת ע"ז דף ו' ע"ב כי צריך לידע שהשנאה לישראל מכל האומות היא גדולה גם ממלכיות שנוהגין בטובה, וכבר אמרתי על הלשון שהביא רש"י בפי' החומש פ' וישלח (ל"ג, ד') על קרא דוישקהו ארשב"י הלכה היא בידוע שעשו שונא ליעקב דמה שייך זה להלכה, דהוא כמו שהלכה לא משתנית כך שנאת עשו ליעקב לא משתנית דאף אלו שנוהגות באופן טוב שנאתן גדולה בעצם שלכן ח"ו להתגרות בהם ולגרום איבה וזהו ודאי טעם הרב פאדאווא שאמר שלא יעשו זה אך מאיזה טעם לא רצה לומר טעמו. ואני מרחוק המקום וחסרון ידיעת ענינים הפאליטיים /הפוליטיים/ איני יכול לומר כלום……..

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    7. "The government has a legitimate interest to ensure students do not grow up dependent on benefit programs."

      That's a very statist way of looking at things. Society has an interest in ensuring that citizens are productive.

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    8. RAK:

      Presumably your strongest allies are Republicans. What do most Republicans think about defending a group who raise its children to be dependent on government handouts, don't learn English, aren't particularly proud to be American, deceive the government by taking funding for services they don't provide like internet? etc. Trying to marshal Republicans to support not intervening in Chasidic schools is playing a very dangerous game.

      Delete
    9. "Governments telling people how they CAN and cannot practice their religion is always dangerous"

      And one more thing. What do you think about Goverments telling people they CAN continue with bris milah on eight day old babies (which they de-facto do by refusing to listen to the anti-miloh lobby)? Even though it flies in the face of every human right and is techincally severe assult which should lead to a substantial prison sentence?

      Do you think that is dangerous too?

      Delete
    10. I am also for strong separation of Church And State and is one reason why I am very against tax money going to religious institutions. BTW that was the opinion of many if not most religious people decades ago. Now religious people can’t wait to get to the pork trough. ACJA

      Delete
    11. Curveball low and outsideSeptember 12, 2022 at 1:26 AM

      The Satmar can do chinuch however they want, and on one is stopping them, as long as they don't accept public funds for it. When they accept public funding then obviously that comes with certain requirements attached.
      If you think it's a violation of their mesorah then the solution is simple - don't accept those funds.

      Delete
    12. "Governments telling people how they can and cannot practice their religion is always dangerous"

      So should polygamy be legal for Mormons? Hallucinogenic drugs for Indigenous People who use them in religious rites?

      Delete
    13. "The government has a legitimate interest to ensure students do not grow up dependent on benefit programs." They seem to be failing miserably with those they educate publically in the focused comparison even though they expend >10x more per student than they give the private schools.

      Delete
    14. "How can you protest government interference when the chassidic schools are acting in a way that affects everyone else?!"

      RNS, first of all how could you so chutzpadikly (made up that word on the spot :)) respond to your shadchan and the man who had your back when you were in a tight spot like that??

      And second, you did not address his point. He is saying that whether or not what they are doing is right, allowing government interference in our religious practice is a dangerous precedent. Because to them, bris millah is just as arcane as not teaching English, and perhaps more so. Through the lens of their new woke moral system, it is not just the chassidim who are 'backwards' and once they feel comfortable pushing us around, our entire religion, including our opposition to gays and just about everything else is up for grabs. So that is precisely the reason why we are protesting their interference!

      Delete
    15. They already interfere in miloh. By ignoring the anti-brigade. You can't have it both ways. Expecting Goverments to protect religious rights yet ignoring laws at the same time and expecting governments to fund lifestyle by taking limited publuc funds to support deliberate ignorance

      Delete
    16. @RNS and @Adlerstein,
      Adlerstein wants total freedom of religion from state interference. Of course this is simplistic. Some level of interference is always needed. Really what this boils down to is the core issue of Liberalism. As JS Mill wrote, in a basically civilized, moderate society, people should be free to do what they want as long as it doesn't injure others. Adlerstein is advocating an extreme version. " I should be free to do whatever I want to do regardless of the effects of society." Why he thinks this is a good idea is beyond me. Perhaps he thinks that G-d wants us to create a society of infectious, ignorant people who don't pay taxes, serve the public, take benefits (sometimes corruptly), dont create jobs and don't contribute to innovation or progress in the wider economy. If he does, then to further this aim he seeks to ensure no interference from government and he is, de facto, biting the hand that feeds him. I'm sure he has foreseen the scenario of this NYT article and has a well-planned response.
      His extreme conservative stance is, in my mind, stupid. But it reflects the direction of the UO community in America. Adlerstein has already written how he feels that Right-Wing Jews have more in common with Right-Wingers in other religions than with left-wing Jews. (It's not clear if he wants this as a tactical move in order to maximize the cash he can squeeze out of the federal government or as a strategic alighment with those he shares values with.)
      It's a terrible, selfish attitude. Amazes me how someone can think it's a good idea for American Jews to only take care of themselves and to feed off the government. (Perhaps he got the idea from Israeli chareidim).
      Pay-day will come. And it will bring terrible anti-semitism. And Adlerstein will be the one who enabled it. And Adlerstein will be the first one to call 'anti-semitism' on those who point out the bad behavior of Williamsburg Jews. And it will be a chillul hashem of massive proportions. And, honestly, the secular federal government will be right on this one and Adlerstein will be morally wrong.

      Adlersteins article in hakirah is found here https://hakirah.org/Vol23Adlerstein.pdf

      Delete
    17. R Adlerstein,
      Are you arguing that the State should have no rules, curriculum, or basic requirement for education?
      Furthermore, since these requirements have been on the books for a very long time, yeshivas who have ignored them have actually made things worse. For all the external backing of Chassidish yeshivas vs the State, internally, many Litvish yeshivas in NY are pretty upset. They don't follow the rules exactly (hours of math etc), yet NY never paid attention as their students achieved decent results on standardized tests. Now they may have to deal with unwanted attention.

      Delete
    18. "...dont create jobs and don't contribute to innovation or progress in the wider economy..."

      Ha! Not a fan, you really don't seem to know what you are talking about, do you?

      The job and business economy in US Chareidi economy is BOOMING, to the extent that their are not enough employees to go around! Business are popping up every day and literally poaching employees from each other! Not only that, but many Chareidi economies provide employment not only for the local Chareidi population but for the surrounding non-Jewish population as well! I live in the suburbs of a very large tristate Jewish community, and many of my non-Jewish neighbors work in the community. We can perhaps argue if the Times has a point about the obligation to society that the Chassidim have to provide their kids with a basic English education (I never said that they shouldn't), but you obviously don't understand the issue at hand!

      Delete
    19. EY, you have a good point. They should have and it's an embarrassment to them and to us that their students grow up in the US and do not know basic English. But I still understand Adlerstein's concern. Once the cat is out of the bag, there's no knowing how things will end. Everything can become fair game to them, unless we put our foot down from the outset. Can we be internally upset at our Chassidish brethren and perhaps coax them into providing adequate English education, at least in the elementary schools? I think we can tell them that that in the future we will no longer defend such behavior and they must stop. But outwardly, if we don't present a united front, we may be placing ourselves in grave danger.

      Delete
    20. Iggy:

      Yes. As long as they keep it to themselves.

      Delete
    21. @Yitzchok Alderstein

      They take public money. And have a system that breeds reliance on welfare. No attempt is made to teach English whatsoever. There is not a single other group in the Unitrd States that does this. You are missing the whole point, they take state funds for schools that are functionally not schools. The New York taxpayer has a right to not have his money taken by the state for a Satmar school that doesn't teach the ABC's.

      Delete
    22. @Yitzchok Alderstein
      https://www.dailysignal.com/2022/09/09/orthodox-jewish-schools-share-priorities-of-most-americans-regardless-of-what-ny-times-says/

      The usual YA

      Delete
    23. @Yitzchok Alderstein
      It talks about the article also.
      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/is-the-blue-tide-a-mirage/id1047335260?i=1000579351768.
      The usual YA

      Delete
  8. Rabbi Dr. Slifkin has no clue how journalism works. I repost from NY

    Chaim Deutsch
    @ChaimDeutsch
    ·
    6h
    Hasidic New Yorkers are doctors, lawyers, businessmen, elected officials, journalists, and more. There are thousands of stories of success in the community. Instead, the Times chose to focus on a few unfortunate cases.

    It’s a shameful & transparent attack on Orthodox Jews.
    Quote Tweet
    Simcha Eichenstein
    @SEichenstein
    ·
    6h
    The result of a two year @nytimes investigation is a pitiful rehash of cherry picked data and inaccuracies, peddled by the same group obsessed with Orthodox Jews.

    What’s clear is that the NYT is not interested in the positive value of our schools, just spreading lies for clicks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What embarrassingly obviously false comments. Cherry-picking is talking about chassidic "doctors and lawyers," not the facts that the Times provided.

      Delete
    2. And who said one must become a "doctor and lawyer"? Your great grandmother?? And what is wrong if one goes into real estate, construction, Amazon, or even becomes a bus driver for that matter?? That is not cherry picked data, there are THOUSANDS of Chassidim in the above professions. Let's face it: the DL commentors on this site (many who don't even originate from the US) seem to have NO CLUE how hard working the Chassidish community in the US is!

      Delete
    3. Boruch Perlowitz amazing video and very informative.

      I'm to a victim of Hasidic Yeshivah Education.
      And I work for a Firm that all Employees are the same victims and we run a operation of Packaging Materials Sales of over 100 million dollars a year and we actually pay taxes because we are Victims and we attend big trad shows and are able to pay private school tuition and provide for our families and marry off children and rais our grandchildren because we are victims .

      We ware Victims for the same reason at the holocaust and Parished in brutal Concentration camps by the Natzis because we ware Victims.

      But no more we won't let that happen again

      NEVER AGAIN.

      Delete
    4. The times doctored the facts just like the public schools do

      Delete
    5. Maybe Chaim Deutsch should return all the money he stole before pontificating…??

      Delete
    6. @HG 6:21, I don't know who's words you're using, yours or B Perlowitz'es. But actually it proves the opposite. Whoever wrote those words managed to pack in about 15 crude spelling and grammar mistakes in the space of only two small paragraphs ... yet is in a 100 million dollar company, pays taxes, and attends trade shows etc. So even if dee schreibst English vee a Chinaman you can make a good living. So let the Chassidim go on without teaching English. They'll raise economic powerhouses like you/him.

      Delete
    7. "We ware [sic] Victims [sic] for the same reason at [sic] the holocaust and Parished [sic] in brutal Concentration [sic] camps by the Natzis [sic] because we ware [sic] Victims [sic]."

      Just noting, this is an interesting spin on Godwin's law. In my experience it's usually invoked by a third party. Here the victim uses it on the victimizer.

      Delete
    8. HD, instead of cherry-picking Hasidic professionals, look at the statistics:

      "NEW SQUARE (...) In the Hasidic Jewish community founded in 1954 along Route 45, the poverty rate is 70 percent, with a median income of $21,773 compared with the state median of $60,741.

      New Square's median annual household income stands nearly $5,000 below that of Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic Jewish village in Orange County that was ranked as the state's next poorest municipality."

      Delete
    9. The Chassidim are in general much better off than an outsider would know. There is a very simple answer to all those quoting government stats on how poor Hasidic municipalities are. Those of us who live in the US and are even loosely affiliated with these communities are very much aware of what it is. To those who are not part of the clan... keep guessing!

      Delete
  9. Decades ago separation of church and state was much stronger than today. Billions of tax dollars were not flowing to religious institutions. Now the flood gates are open with little or no oversight and the ensuing corruption is to be expected. Anyway, I attended several (non chassidic) OJ yeshivas and can vouch secular education was held in low esteem, except one yeshiva it was held to be somewhat important. Some Yeshivas did the SAME punishments as outlined in the Times article. Yeshiva trained me to have sitzfleisch plus a sort of legal-logic -reasoning ability. I do think Yeshiva studies have some positive aspects, but there is something known as too much of a good thing.ACJA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know a guy in my city (a Roman Catholic) who taught English at a Yeshiva -- his comments were not flattering. In particular he felt that the behavioural standards at the Yeshiva -- at least in his class -- were abysmal (the students behaved horribly, relative to what he saw in the public system).

      Delete
    2. Joe Q - I have heard both directions. I have seen (kinda) both directions.

      I do know that when English teachers (whether they be Jewish or non-Jewish people) go into a yeshiva (and/or when female teachers go into a yeshiva) and the boys are clearly not giving the subject (or the teacher) enough respect, it is a chillul HaShem.

      I have been horrified by stories of religious school children. I don't think this is a particularly chareidi problem though. I WAS hoping it was LESS of a problem in more right-wing schools. Imagine my surprise when I was told things like, "in we learned how to cheat!"

      Delete
  10. If they don't want to interfere with their education, then they should do as the Amish, don't take any government money

    ReplyDelete
  11. "But who should be blamed for the antisemitism that could result as a result of this stereotype being reinforced?"

    I agree with what you wrote except for this. The antisemite is the only one to blame for antisemitism. The behavior is neither exclusive to Jews nor the practice of most Jews.

    But there is a problem in the Chasidic community. It's the sort of thing that happens in fundamentalism, whether, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or secular ideology. And yes, it should be exposed, and ended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The antisemite is the only one to blame for antisemitism."

      Yet in this very thread we have mention of others who can cause anti semitism.
      שו"ת אגרות משה חושן משפט חלק ב סימן עז
      ... שודאי יש לחוש להטלת איבה מהממשלה ....

      Delete
    2. Eh, Iggy. I'll accept your premise that haters gonna hate. However: we still have a responsibility to keep the moral high ground. If antisemites rally around nonsense, then it is easier to fight them in the courtroom of public opinion (and let's not kid ourselves, this courtroom does matter). If our behavior is off, then we give fodder to those who hate us, and it is harder to defend ourselves.

      Delete
  12. Peanut Butter & JellySeptember 12, 2022 at 3:09 AM

    If black inner-cities can be given a pass for replacing English with 'Ebonics', I think we can definitely give our Hasidic brothers a pass! Especially as unlike the inner-city population, a great number of Hasidim go on to be very successful in the business world, the lack of formal English education aside.

    Regardless, the timing of the Times article was intentionally orchestrated to coincide with the imminent vote of the Board of Regents to imply new harsh requirements, which would effect not just the Hasidic schools, but the non-Hasidic and even MO schools as well. So while they may have a point with the Chassidim, they are taking the entire Orthodox community as collateral damage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have data to back up your claim that a higher percentage of Chassidim become financially successful than students from inner city schools? It is important to avoid heuristics.

      Regardless, the more important question is, what percentage are unsuccessful financially and require benefits? Again, we need data.

      I agree that the NYT missed a lot of the crucial issues here. However, I think that the Board is allowing many ways for schools to qualify, such as taking Regents. As such, even if a school doesn't offer so much math time, if the majority of kids, pass, all will be fine. I think this is largely a threat only to the Chassidim.

      Delete
    2. If they are indeed successful in business why are there so many Chessed organizations, food banks, calls for charity this time of year so people won’t go hungry…??

      Delete
    3. Thinking Talmid, no I do not have 'data' because I doubt any such data was ever formally collected, but as a member of the NY metro frum community and property owner in the inner cities, it is quite clearly true. You obviously never lived in (or have even visited) Boro Park, Williamsburg, Monsey or Lakewood to understand how ridiculous what you are insinuating is. Unfortunately, the standard of living for Chassidim in these communities is quite ostentatious (houses, cars, clothing brands, baby carriage brands (for crying out loud! - pun intended) vacations, and just about everything else). I will give you a little example from my line of work: the average home in a frum neighborhood in the tristate communities is over $1M, and it is safe to say most families over the age of 35 own there own homes, whereas as in the inner cities, virtually no one owns their own home. There are many gorgeous neighborhoods in the frum communities even by secular standards. So clearly to suggest that the two communities may be of equally disadvantaged is plainly ridiculous.

      Anon, just so happens to be that most of these "many Chessed organizations, food banks, calls for charity this time of year so people won’t go hungry…??" are either for people in Israel, dysfunctional families, or people learning in Kollel. Not for people that are gainfully employed, despite them not graduating with a college degree.

      Delete
    4. "why are there so many ... calls for charity ...??"

      Because of their higher cost of living, kosher, large families etc.?

      Delete
  13. This really has nothing to do with state intervention in religious any matters; it's about taking state and federal money and lying about teaching minimum educational requirements, which have been in place for 75+ years. It's very different from what has been going on in, say, England.

    ReplyDelete
  14. All I can say is look at the 2000+ comments on the article. The NYT has whipped their readers into an anti-Semitic froth that would have made Goebbels proud.

    And by the way, much of the content is directed at ALL OF US, not just the targets of this smear piece.

    Government funding of private schools could (and should) come with strings (and standards) attached - however, as a parent of children in centrist Orthodox private schools, I resist attempts from the government to legislate what we should and shouldn’t be teaching our kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The NYT didn't "whip up" anything. They reported the reality, which is their job.

      Delete
    2. Ho ho RNS!! Where you born yesterday? Ever heard of a smear article?? As in focusing on the negative to spin things in an extremely unfavorable fashion? Surely you know about it! The NYT and other liberal papers do it about Israel all the time! You have posted about it many times on this very site. But all of the sudden they are practicing fair journalism now. Oh, so no Mr. Obtuse, Yaffed was not behind this article, and it was not deliberately published a few days before the Board of Regents vote on the new English requirements. The Times was just coincidentally and innocently 'doing their job' and 'reporting the reality'. Same way they do it with Israel. Good grief!

      Delete
    3. My father-in-law o.b.m. was a math teacher. He was from a Chabad family in Russia, and kept yiddishkeit as well as he could under Communism until he managed to get an exit visa to leave for Israel.
      He could never understand why they couldn't teach math in yeshivot. (He taught math in Karlin in Jerusalem for a while, where they operated a Chassidic yeshiva high school.)

      Delete
    4. The NYT did something cunning and underhanded, and so many people were fooled by it, including the blog host.

      In reality, none of the money that the Yeshivos receive are connected to their education or lack thereof. They are two separate stories. If they wanted to report on the lack of education, they could. But nobody would care about such a story. Why should the average NYT reader care about Hassidim's knowledge of English, math, science, or civics?
      The NYT had a problem; how to make people care. The fact that this was a problem tells us something. It tells us that the facts were not the issue, it was the whipping up of sentiment that was the issue. So they falsely and maliciously connected the money that the schools receive for security, daycare, bussing and other (mostly mandated) services, and claimed that the money was being misused. Of course, that money is subject to oversight, and if someone is caught, he is punished. The money is NOT being misused, even if not one Hassidic boy learned anything other than Gemara in his life.

      That is why the excuse that the NYT is 'just doing their job' is counter-factual, inexact, contra-indicated by the facts, and a plain bald-faced lie.

      Delete
    5. @Yehudah P. -- Your late father-in-law could never understand why they couldn't teach math in yeshivot, or why they wouldn't do so?

      Delete
    6. Oh you mean like the millions they got for providing internet service

      Delete
    7. @Joe Q.: I think his point was, "What are they afraid of? A person will become irreligious from learning math?! The opposite: it's a necessity to function properly in society, and also sharpens the mind and teaches thinking skills."

      I remember learning mishnayos Menachot. There's a situation where a person has to bring a minchah offering, but doesn't remember the amount. The maximum offering is 60 tenths of an ephah. So he should bring 60 separate minchah offerings of 1, 2, 3, 4...60 tenths of an ephah.

      The Tiferes Yisrael brings there the formula Sum = n*(n+1)/2=60*61/2 = 1830 tenths of an ephah.

      I told my chevrusa then, "I just learned that in math class in high school!"

      He responded: "We can learn everything from the Torah!"

      Delete
    8. @Yehudah P. -- so it's that they wouldn't do so. Interesting.

      Delete
  15. An interesting comparison would be to the Amish Community. Like many Hassidim, the Amish do not believe in the importance of a secular education, and teach their children in private schools with little to no general studies. Most Amish complete their formal education in 8th grade, when they leave school to work on the farm with almost no Science, English, Advanced Mathematics, or other basic subjects.

    The big difference is that unlike many Hasidim, the Amish believe that it is sinful to accept money that is not the result of your own work (ideally your own physical labour), not only do they not apply for grants from the government, but any type of child-support that they receive are normally refused or donated to the community.
    Unlike many Hassidim, Amish also typically do not vote, as their pacifist belief prevents them from voting for a government which funds an army, so they have very little leverage in local government.

    If the Hasidim said "leave us alone, we will educate our own kids in our own way, with our own money and we will take care of our own community without looking for external help", we would still see poverty and ignorance in the Hassidic community (as we do in the Amish community), however it would be an internal problem within that community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not a lawyer, but from what I have read, I think this legally hits the nail on the head. There is freedom of religion but I'm fairly certain that legal understanding acknowledges that the government's interest to ensure students do not grow up requiring benefit programs supersedes religious freedom.

      Amish are allowed exceptions from these school mandates because they do not take benefits.

      We need data about the use of benefits by alumni of these Chassidic schools and how these levels compare to other groups. This is a real issue but the NYT didn't discuss this.

      Delete
    2. The Amish live a healthy working lifestyle and have an adequate income from their own labor and do. It depend upon handouts. If Hasidim were the same and worked no one would care

      Delete
    3. "If Hasidim were the same and worked no one would care"

      Listen, I am not Chassidish and frankly think that their education system is inadequate, but all these MODOX trolls repeating over and over again that Chassidim in the US don't work sound flat out ridiculous! If you don't know what you're talking about, just shut up!!

      Delete
  16. Ira Stoll in the Algemeiner:
    Long-Hyped New York Times Investigation of Hasidic Yeshivas Fizzles
    “In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Private Schools Flush with Public Money” is the online headline the Times slaps over its long-awaited “New York Times investigation” of Hasidic schools for boys. The print article, under the slightly more sober “Failing Schools, Public Funds,” appears at the top of page one.

    It’s a measure of how disappointing the Times article is that it fails to deliver even on the basic headline claim that the yeshivas are “flush” with public money. “New York’s Hasidic boys’ schools received more than $375 million from the government,” the Times breathlessly reports. Yet there’s no evidence that the yeshivas are paying their executives large sums, that they are hiring fancy architects to erect palaces, or that they are otherwise living extravagantly on the public purse. In fact, the article admits (albeit in the 29th paragraph) that Hasidic boys yeshivas “receive far less per pupil than public schools.”
    Among the subsidies the Times is complaining about are school lunches. This is remarkably hypocritical. When the city of New York made lunch free to all public school students, including those at affluent schools in neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Tribeca, and the Upper East Side, the Times editorial board praised the decision, saying that it “ensures that more children will get proper nutrition during the school day” and that “Missing meals and experiencing hunger impede a child’s ability to learn and achieve.” Would the Ochs-Sulzberger heirs prefer that only the Hasidic children go hungry?...
    The Times attacks the yeshivas for breaking the law, writing that the “schools appear to be operating in violation of state laws that guarantee children an adequate education.” But New Yorkers break the law all the time. You can barely walk down a street or walk through a park in New York without smelling marijuana being used in violation of federal law. Why does this law, of all of them, deserve the Times’ extensive attention? If the Times had done its homework it might have investigated why and when that New York law was passed—amid an attack on Catholic education animated by anti-Irish bigotry.
    The Jewish law studied in the yeshivas records, in the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin, the conflict over the purpose and content of education. The rabbis said a father was obligated to teach his son a trade. Rabbi Nehorai set aside the trades and taught his son only Torah. I write about this in the concluding chapter of the 2020 book Religious Liberty and Education: A Case Study of Yeshivas Vs. New York.
    Instead of a thoughtful or empathetic, nuanced article, the Times produces a comically hypocritical hatchet job — precisely as the prebuttals in Tablet and the New York Sun predicted.
    None of this is to say that the Hasidic yeshivas serving boys couldn’t be improved. But so could the public schools in these neighborhoods, which absorb far more taxpayer dollars. So why does the Times have such an investigative zeal for Orthodox Jews? The pretense is that the paper sincerely cares about the children in attendance or about the preservation of taxpayer dollars. I suppose that’s possible.
    Whatever the underlying motive, the journalism is lame. It’s the sort of article that, rather than triggering improvements in Hasidic yeshivas, is more likely to generate a circling of the wagons. The Times investigation online, in the manner of an ambulance-chasing lawyer shopping for plaintiffs, carries a form for readers to submit their own horror stories. It amounts to a concession that this first installment, lengthy though it was, fizzled out when it came to producing anything close to evidence justifying increased state regulatory entanglement with religious schools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You wrote a really long comment, but totally missed the point. They received 375 million dollars. That's pretty flush. You are taking one slightly poorly worded sentence from the article and making a mountain out of it on order to avoid the main point.

      Delete
    2. No, YOU missed the point. His point was that the money was given for food programs and bussing and not for education. Besides for the fact that basing an accusation that they received 'flush' aid based on a raw dollar amount is pretty darn stupid. Between how many thousands of students was this divided, pray tell? And how does that compare to how much public school children are receiving per student?

      Delete
    3. $375 million, spread over hundreds of thousands of kids, is not that much money per kid.

      Delete
    4. Hundreds of thousands??? Perhaps not.

      But if you don't think it's a significant amount, then let's stop the flow. I assume since it's not significant there won't be a big outcry, right?

      Delete
  17. When they report on matters that you claim to have knowledge of, such as Israel, you see their gross misinterpretations, skewing of facts and mendacity. Yet, when they discuss something you know nothing of - the Satmar in Brooklyn education system - you accept their words as gospel truth.
    Journalism is not the reporting of facts, it is entertainment. Sophisticated entertainment to be sure. But it is a way to help people pass time pleasantly. Faux outrage, feel good as well as feel bad stories, are par for the course. Nothing from a journalists hand should be considered true. They are no different to lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The non-Jewish site "Legal Insurrection" agrees that this article is "A New York Times article attacking boys’ Hasidic schools was published today, on the eve of the New York State Board of Regents vote on regulations poised to undermine the way Jewish religious schools have operated for generations. The timing of The Times’ attack appears planned to influence the vote." :
    A New York Times article attacking boys’ Hasidic schools was published today, the eve of the New York State Board of Regents vote on regulations poised to undermine the way they’ve operated for generations. We wrote here about the proposed regulations requiring private schools to be “substantially equivalent” to public schools and the threat to all Orthodox Jewish schools or yeshivas. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow morning, so the timing of The Times’ attack appears planned to influence the vote....
    Corporate Media Coordinated Attack
    And all the way out in Texas, Ted Cruz saw the impending attack for what it really is—yet another example of the corporate media working hand-in-hand with the progressive left to defend a failing public school system against parental choice:...
    An Old Trope
    The main thrust of the article though, is to reframe the debate over parents’ rights to direct their children’s education with an appeal to good governance and accountability—and an old anti-semitic trope:
    “The leaders of New York’s Hasidic community have built scores of private schools to educate children in Jewish law, prayer and tradition — and to wall them off from the secular world,” they claim. And they do so by “tapping into enormous sums of government money, collecting more than $1 billion in the past four years alone.”
    The Jews-and-their-money slur was so predictable:
    New York State Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, who represents the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Borough Park and Midwood, responded to the accusation of misuse of government funds, as well as the article’s other accusations, in an op-ed anticipating the hit piece.
    As he predicted then and tweeted today:
    Eichenstein calls out the deceit in the article’s “private schools, public money” claims:
    As someone who spends much of the year in Albany studying funding allocations, I found the Times’ summary description of the funds that chasidic parents or yeshivas receive to be particularly dishonest. By way of background for the uninitiated, New York State spends $25,520 per pupil, more than any other state....
    A back of the envelope calculation suggests that New York’s 400,000 nonpublic school students save taxpayers $10.2 billion a year. Every year. A substantial part of that savings is attributable to chasidic and other Orthodox Jewish students....
    Say what you will about the Hasidic communities in Borough Park and the Lower Hudson Valley, targeted by the Times, you can’t gainsay their success, writes Liel Leibovits:
    The community that runs these schools produces individuals who grow up in multigenerational homes, live close to and support each other throughout life, raise children, live according to their virtues, and spend their days doing things they love and believe are of the utmost importance. As a result, they are happier....
    The Journal of Psychology, which, in a 2020 study titled “Prioritizing Patterns and Life Satisfaction Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews: The Moderating Role of the Sense of Community,” came up with the following conclusion: Haredi Jews are happier. “The results,” read the survey, “demonstrated that prioritizing meaning and sense of community were positively associated with life satisfaction … Our findings suggest that even in extremely close-knit community-oriented societies, a strong sense of belonging to a community enables individuals to prioritize more hedonic aspects of their lives in order to promote their life satisfaction.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need to look beyond years in school. How much money does the government spend on public school children who become self sufficient vs private school children who end up requiring benefits.

      Obviously, not all private school children grow up needing benefits and not all public school children grow up being self sufficient. But looking only at government money spent on schooling misses the real issue.

      We need data. The NYT raises real questions but fails to provide data on the key issues.

      Delete
    2. They are miserably poor and depend on the shame of charity to survive…

      Delete
  19. Never mind America. Bibi just committed to fund schools that don't teach ליבה at the same level that state schools are funded. Now all of us tax payers are paying people to become unproductive members of society.

    Sickening and this alone is a good reason not to vote for him.
    https://m.ynet.co.il/articles/bjjs8jhlo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Better to give it to the Arabs? Politicians will do anythimg to stay in power weather Bibi or anyone else.

      Delete
  20. Here is a satirical article, but it makes some good points:
    http://www.preoccupiedterritory.com/sanhedrin-rejects-yeshiva-graduates-for-ignorance-of-languages-science-math/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Government money is our $$$. Why Slifkin doesn't publish my comments. We pay taxes too.

    ReplyDelete
  22. The argument for getting government funds for religious schools has often been that the parents pay taxes to fund public schools from which they don't benefit. $5,000 per pupil in funding compared to $25,000 for a public school student isn't a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Public schools are funded through everyone's taxes because it is considered a societal good (i.e., everyone benefits) to have an educated population.

      One can argue that the parents of kids in religious schools "don't benefit" from the taxes they pay to fund public schools, but by that logic, neither do people without kids, or people whose kids are no longer in the school system -- so they should be exempted from funding it too. Right?

      Delete
    2. Not exempt, but given some consideration. That is the argument, I believe.

      Delete
    3. The difference is that these kids ARE going to a school, they're just going to a different one, which they pay for out of their own funds. Sure, public school may be (or might once have been) a public good, but I don't have to pay for every public good. Why should private school parents have to pay both for their own school AND for their neighbor's school? They are effectively being taxed twice. It's a compelling argument, which many states agree with, and pay those parents back via vouchers.

      Delete
  23. The NY Times term “Flush with public money” is blatantly anti-Semitic. The U.S. government has distributed TRILLIONS of dollars since the beginning of the Covid crisis, the latest handout being forgiveness of student debt. The Jewish community (including Chasidim) contributes far more in taxes than the educational services it receives in return, especially in Rockland County where the property taxes to fund the ever-shrinking public school system are astronomical.
    Chasidim, as a group, are hard working people who are willing to take on nearly any job, including manual labor, that is direly needed in places like New York. The NY Times is OK with pouring taxpayer money into drug rehab facilities, welfare, Monkeypox vaccines and housing illegal aliens in hotels. But when it comes to throwing a bone to Chasidim who are hard-working, honest family people, the NY Times decides to focus on the problems and ostracize the entire group by characterizing them as exploiters of the system and ignoring their contributions.
    The Chassidic Yeshivas produce entrepreneurs and real-estate magnates as well as plumbers and truck drivers. What they don’t produce are criminals and drug addicts.
    I agree that Chasidim would all benefit from better English and Math skills, but that needs to be done by their own leadership from within, and not by a state like NY which seeks to uproot their entire way of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i lost you when you said "Chasidim who are hard-working, honest family people"

      I don't want to be Motsi Laaz on a whole swathe of people but honesty in business doesn't always go hand in hand with having a Chasidishe kop and the ghetto mentality

      "laws/rules are for goyim"

      Delete
    2. @BHB
      I think you just were! Honest isn't an absolute; none of us are.

      Delete
  24. NYT is a controlled media outlet. It advances an agenda and doesn't engage in honest joirnalism. Nothing that it writes can be believed.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The claim that chasidim in US live in poverty is BS, If you ever been for example to New Square, a town populated entire of chassidim, you would see people having private homes with two kitchens and many having cars. Residents do speak English (don't know if they learnt it in school) and are those who want do work in various places including diamond businesses, whether they studied English and math or not. I would think NY Times better off be concerned about >12 million illegal immigrants from Latin America countries, most of who hardly speak English (dunno about they math).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then why does skver have one of the highest poverty rate in the whole United States

      Delete
    2. Because all their possessions come from indirect sources, gifts from family, the kehila, etc.

      Delete
  26. Zai nisht a Nahr. The same NYT also thinks Israel is an occupying army and the Palestinians need a state of their own. We are as interested in its opinion, as it is in the Yated Neeman's opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah - except NYT readership is 350k and Yated is 20K

      Delete
    2. So? If its 350k, its 350k automatons on group think, and down from millions. Whereas the Yated and Charedi media keep growing

      Delete
  27. Two more issues raised here:
    1. Should a country i.e. a society have a right to set educational standards that it believes are necessary for its citizens? I believe so. If these standards are unacceptable to a certain minority or individuals they should emigrate to a more hospitable place.

    2. Fraud! That is for the authorities to investigate and deal with. There is plenty of that taking place in many areas and where is the government? The government is responsible to seeing to it that taxpayers' money isn't wasted. There is infinitely more fraud commited by the corporations, colleges, universities, negroes and the immigrants then by the chassidim.

    ReplyDelete
  28. It's a handicap to not have a general education that is apropriate for the times and society that one lives in, but so is not having a Torah education. RNS has never raised an alarm concernimg the erosion of the Jewish identity amomg the Jews who are not benefiting from it, or from the cohorts that go through the DL system and drop out. These are the ptroblems that are closer to home for him, so to speak, abd will come to bite.

    ReplyDelete
  29. There’s obviously no formal study/survey on this, but I would not at all be surprised if the GDP per capita of Chasidim collectively is higher than the GDP per capita of the U.S. general population. RDNS has pointed out that although there are many wealthy and successful Chasidim, the majority of the Chasidim are not as fortunate. I have no doubt that he is correct, but the fact remains that the Chasidic education system does produce a disproportionate amount of wealthy entrepreneurs, thereby making the economic contribution of Chasidim to the U.S. economy a net benefit to the U.S. taxpayer. (I suspect that in Israel, where business opportunity is harder to come by, Chasidim may be less fortunate as the are shut out of many professions.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It happens to be you're right that the chassidim are, kh, very successful, but the point is irrelevant. Other than athletes and entertainers, blacks are poor. Therefore what? Therefore they should become wards of the state?

      Delete
    2. You missed AK's punchline - "thereby making the economic contribution of Chasidim to the U.S. economy a net benefit to the U.S. taxpayer." You can't say that about Lebron.

      Delete
    3. Really no blacks have money except athletes and entertainers, are you serious?

      Delete
    4. Really, no chassidim are successful and highly educated, is the NYT serious?

      Delete
    5. Some of you seem to not realize the great power of familial connections and inheriting real estate.

      Delete
  30. Listen to this:
    https://www.commentary.org/john-podhoretz/the-great-yeshiva-slander/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Many of us in the US have been screaming about this for decades. And we were called aporikosim, Nazis and Amalek for our troubles. Footsteps and other organizations were created to help the victims survive in the real world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, Footsteps was created to be מסית people to go completely off the derech r"l, and ensure that they never come back. I guess to you שאול תחתית is the real world. Very telling!

      Delete
    2. There's a similar organization in Israel going by the name Hillel (not the US campus organization, but rather הארגון ליוצאי בשאלה). Although they'll help formerly Charedi people get acclimated to secular Israeli society (secular education, army service, etc.), it's not like encourage them to maintain at least some aspects of religious life. Quite the opposite: to leave and never look back.

      Delete
    3. I dont think you were called apikorsim, more like amharatzim, But nu, you speak in the past tense - you think this article from the new york times changes anything?

      Delete
  32. Natan Slifkin, when the NYT reporting on Israel: "The NYT's Worst Journalism Ever? The New York Times recently published an article that was so appallingly flawed and dangerous that it simply beggars belief. Its subsequent "clarification" only serves to highlight how bad it was....Journalistic accuracy in the New York Times about the most fundamental aspect of the world's most prominent conflict, on the other hand, proves very elusive indeed."

    Natan Slifkin, when the NYT is bashing charedim - NOW you should believe it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why you seem to feel that there is some sort of contradiction here.

      Delete
    2. Huh? You yourself see the contradiction yourself, and tried to anticipate it in your post. But you failed, because it can't be papered over. Who do you think you're fooling? When it attacks something you support (Israel) then the paper can't be trusted, but when it attacks Chasidim, a point you agree with, then suddenly its "accurate"? C'mon, give it a rest.

      And just on what basis do you claim, in your post, that suddenly "this time" its "accurate" - because the paper "reviewed thousands of pages of public records, translated dozens of Yiddish documents, and interviewed more than 275 people"? Are you for real? That claim came from the paper itself! And even if those facts by themselves are accurate as claimed, which we have no reason to believe, who says they're representing the contents accurately??

      And finally, your claim "anyone who is familiar with the chassidic community, either in New York or England or Israel, knows that it's all true". (Note the antecodtal and wholly unscientific nature of that claim, coming from a supposedly "rationalist" site.) You simply prove the point, that you actually don't know anything about chassidishe communities. How could you? You come from a town in Northern England with a tiny orthodox community. You identify now with mizrachi/modern orthodox. You know nothing about the Chasidishe world. If you did, you would know - as others here have already observed - that quite to the contrary, the claims of that paper are entirely at variance with reality. It's a hit piece against religion and conservative family values, nothing more. It preaches to its shrinking choir, same as always. The only proper place for it is the wastebasket.

      Delete
    3. Lawrence - you will note that whenever arguments like yours are made, our blog host remains suspiciously silent. He obviously has the time to answer people on this blog, but he restricts his answers to the non-questions. Whenever an actual hard-hitting question comes up, he is AWOL. Then he repeats his debunked claims.

      Again Rabbi Dr, How are you so sure what happens in the Chassidic non-English speaking world of America from your Israeli home? Why do you think that this time they told the truth?

      Delete
    4. Because I know a lot of people in the chassidic world. Hey, you don't have to take my word for it or the NYT. Just look at all the comments online from various people in those communities acknowledging that it's true.

      Delete
    5. You can find a lot of online comments [sometimes even from the same person] to support anything. And you can always find disgruntled ex-members of a community ready to bash it.

      Delete
    6. 'The Chassidic world' is a vague statement, and ignores the actual question. The insular Chassidic world of Williamsburg, not a mispallel of Number 11 in Manchester, not someone who grew up in Machzikei Hadas, and not someone who speaks English too fluently. Williamsburg Chassidim, with a shtofene hut, no English to speak of, works hard from morning to night, speaks a mile a minute, thinks Be'er Mayim is the only soda (lemonade to you) to drink, and spends two and a half months a year in the Catskills. How many such people do you know? Why do you consider yourself a greater authority on that than Americans on Israeli issues?

      Delete
    7. Go to New Square yourself and find out. It's not difficult. You will find that you can't converse with most of the male youth in English because they are Yiddish is their native tongue and they are not taught enough English in school to be literate. That is how you get the 0% pass rate documented at the start of the article.

      Delete
    8. I've been to New Square more than once. They speak English fluently.
      The usual YA

      Delete
    9. Of course the Chassidim speak English fluently; but they speak it with a funny accent, you see, and they wear different clothing, and they don't keep the same laws, and they are not in the gov't interests. Like the old saying goes: Scratch a leftist and you'll find a racist.

      Delete
    10. I'll conjecture that DO dresses "Goyisch" so they played dumb on the English, while YA dresses only like a "Livak a Shaigatz" so they spoke to him. Or that he spoke to the youth while he spoke to the adults who need to and know what to do to make a living.

      Delete
    11. Yeah I spoke to them like a Litvak to adults and children alike, plus I have Chassidic relatives and the only ones who don't know English are those who don't live in an English speaking country.

      Delete
    12. "the only ones who don't know English are those who don't live in an English speaking country."

      Actually that has a good rhyme and reason--for the Chassidic mindset--to stay away from the *host* culture. But to know the language of a different country who's danger to assimilate is more remote, no problem.

      Delete
  33. Why don't we look at the data a bit, eh? Try these two links and see if you think that haredi jews in America are making an equitable contribution to the economy?
    https://www.incomebyzipcode.com/newyork/11219
    https://www.incomebyzipcode.com/newyork/11206

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous
      Even with Chareidim in general it varies. We are talking about Chassidim.
      The usual YA

      Delete
  34. Elder of Ziyon pointed out a comment by the American Civil Liberties Union on the article, which is more blatantly anti-Semitic:

    One feature of antisemitism is when Jews are blamed for two opposite, mutually exclusive attributes (like being behind communism and capitalism.) Here, though, we see the same NYCLU blames religious Jews both for "trapping generations of kids in poverty" and for withholding their fabulous riches from people of color, as their article says:

    "While East Ramapo public school students are recognized by the state as having high needs compared to other districts, there is substantial income and property wealth within the district....East Ramapo is the most fiscally stressed district in the state, according to the New York State Comptroller. This is not because the district lacks wealth, but because white voters refuse to fund public schools."

    The NYCLU claims that religious Jews are wealthy white racists who steal government funds for their exclusive rich schools and are choosing to keep people of color poor and oppressed. But they are also politically powerful but poverty-stricken wretches who steal government funds to keep their own children poor and oppressed, under the tutelage of teachers who beat them (a theme of the NYT article.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jews, by irtue of their

      Delete
    2. Jews, by virtue of their high IQ, are prominent in all fields of human endeavor. We are leading communists and capitalists. Both are true and it's unreasonable to expect people npt to notice it or like it.

      Delete
    3. "While East Ramapo public school students are recognized by the state as having high needs compared to other districts, there is substantial income and property wealth within the district....East Ramapo is the most fiscally stressed district in the state, according to the New York State Comptroller. This is not because the district lacks wealth, but because white voters refuse to fund public schools."

      All of this is basically true. Sorry.

      Delete
    4. As pointed out by a gentile elsewhere, "The article is another classic case of misdirection. Public schools in New York, as well as other school districts in cities run by liberals (e.g., Baltimore, Houston, Detroit) so they divert attention away from their massive long term failures by focusing on selected [alleged] flaws of religious run schools."

      Delete
    5. Yakov, by virtue of his low IQ, writes sentences that start with "Jews, by virtue of their high IQ..."
      Moron.

      Delete
  35. The article says that the parents pay up to $100 a year in bribes to the teachers so that their children shouldn't be beaten. It's am old tradition to tip the rebbes on Chanukkah and Pirim and this has nothing to do with bribes or buying a protection from beatings. NYT is a shameless rag and journalism is a trade of liers and slanderers.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Most Chassidim in New York speak and read English and fluently. I know from personal experience.
    The usual YA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t see that at all….

      Delete
    2. Well I do.
      The usual YA

      Delete
    3. They can speak and read it. But writing it is another story...

      Delete
    4. No for the same price they learned to write it.
      The usual YA

      Delete
  37. It makes me laugh how you seem to be oblivious to your biases. Not that I disagree with everything you say, but you sound almost cartoonish when you talk about how horrible the NYT is when it comes to Israel reporting (an opinion which you happen to disagree with), yet you feel their journalistic approach on this topic (an opinion which you happen to agree with) is impeccable.
    I'm pretty sure that if the NYT did the same amount of research and interviews for an Israel bashing article (and even translated docs to Hebrew), you wouldn't be so impressed with their journalistic integrity...
    -D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, but as noted above, who says they actually did the research or interviews they claim they did? Even if they did - if I call 50 people, 40 of whom hang up on me when they hear who I'm with, can I then claim to have "interviewed" 50 people? I didn't see a single ordinary chassidishe balleboss quoted in the whole hot mess of an article. Not a one.

      Delete
    2. As pointed out through perusing links I've given here the poverty percentage of their community is comparable to the level of the area and also the Chassidim have more children and the New York Times has a bias altogether against NonWoke education and religious Jews of all Orthodox stripes altogether. Reality isn't going to change just because you don't like a community and you can't ask the Times to be accurate for Israel but not Chassidim.
      The usual YA

      Delete
  38. let's not fail to mention that each yeshiva student costs the government around $2,500 per year, while each public student cost the government about $25,000 per year.

    Also, all of the orthodox people across the board who do "donate" via taxes to the public school system while not consuming the public-school resources.

    Essentially if it were to happen that all the orthodox pupils ended up transferring to public school system, it would cost the government about 10x more for each student the government currently doles out to each orthodox student in private school.

    Maybe a fair mutually agreeable solution to this challenge would be to offer post yeshiva programs and subsidies to train the yeshiva graduates in a trade or business. that should solve some of these challenging issues that some (albeit the large minority) pupils are experiencing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ots a question of return on investment, not a question of upfront costs
      In the two links sent earlier with income data you can see why that is important. The 25k spent on a public school kid brings more benefit than the 2.5 wasted on a talmid/bum

      Delete
    2. "The 25k spent on a public school kid brings more benefit than the 2.5 wasted on a talmid/bum"

      Source?

      Delete
    3. @Not a fan
      A talmid/bum? He's working and at jobs masses of people work at.
      The usual YA

      Delete
    4. https://www.taubcenter.org.il/en/research/return-on-educational-investment-for-israels-haredim-ultra-orthodox/

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-ultraorthodox-economy-idUSTRE73D25W20110414

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.social-finance.org.il/editor/assets/GDP%2520Effect%2520of%2520the%2520Social%2520Impact%2520Bond%25203%25207%252013%2520Final.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiaicWq9JT6AhU4_7sIHbUeBqk4ChAWegQIHhAB&usg=AOvVaw2GbLFnYtOOy1VibtD4L7r_

      The data just reflects what is obvious to all but the self-deceiving haredim.

      Delete
    5. @Not a Fan. Chassidim work and don't usually go to Kollel.

      Delete
    6. Work yes. In low income jobs, also yes. Innovate? No. Create other productive jobs and industries? No. Pay a reasonable level of taxes? Also no.

      Delete
    7. But don't let the facts intrude on your position.

      Delete
    8. Low income jobs? I don't see that as the grand rule. What about for instance Chassidim in the diamond industry and what about the shops? And even low paying jobs are needed for society. They have a comparable to their area percentage of poverty in their community and way more children. I've seen the facts with my own eyes, but as you said to me don't let the facts intrude on your position.
      The usual YA

      Delete
    9. Not a fan,

      "Create other productive jobs and industries? No",

      You don't seem to know the facts on the ground, at least not in the NY metro area.

      But don't let the facts intrude on your position.

      Delete
  39. My wife handles data analysis for a major US school district. She has been doing a project on English language acquisition among immigrant populations. The universal rule is that you can't stop the kids from learning English. It is necessary to integrate with the wider culture, to get good jobs, engage in society as citizens, etc. Even if you speak another language at home the kids will learn English with at most a few years of ESL.

    There is only one exception. The insular Charedi communities. They are as smart as anyone else. But they actively discourage learning English and being educated in anything except religious subjects. The consequences when they end up being tested on their educational attainments OUTSIDE OF CHAREDI SCHOOLS are tragic. They are mostly functionally illiterate in English, innumerate, and ignorant of civics, science, history, and geography. The implications are left as an exercise to the reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goyim blend in. What else is new? The main question is if the Chassidish education prepares them for life and Chayei Netzach. And how does it compare to the PS education. Holmes was a sorry loser in certain areas, but made a decent living anyway. At the end of The Adventure of the Priory School, he finds the false cow hooves to be the second most interesting thing of the adventure, the most interesting is the £6000 check he received for his services. Again, are the Chassidim prepared for this life and Chayei Netzach??
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes#Knowledge_and_skills

      Delete
    2. It’s curious you should quote Holmes. He does appear in a Yiddish edition yet I truly doubt any chassidic school has assigned it as reading in their classes….
      https://www.amazon.com/Yiddish-Study-Scarlet-Sherlock-Holmess/dp/0998049751

      Delete
    3. What's curious--I'm not Chassidic. Holmes is an interesting way of simply saying that you can do well without much of what they teach in school.

      Delete
    4. you are sadly lacking in Holmes cannon knowlege, he was a University Graduate and had a solid working knowledge of British Law, Chemistry, Music, Geology.... shall I go on?

      Delete
    5. @Anonymous September 16, 2022 at 4:29 AM

      If you want to go on, list the things from the link of which his knowledge was nil.

      Delete
    6. Most lawyers know little about astronomy also…..yet Holmes advised Barristers in Capital cases, ergo, he was highly educated in a highly specialized field that was applicable to general life.

      Delete
  40. Bottom line: Good luck enforcing this. If the current governor wins the election - and she might, especially since all the smart people have already left the state - she's already stated that this isn't her initiative. Already backing off of it. I'd love to a governor who doesn't care about something devote shrinking resources to fighting hundreds of thousands of angry chassidim, for the sake of naftali momzer's pet project. And it wont be hard for the Chassidim to get the support of the Catholics and Muslims either.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I'm a Modern Orthodox Jew and it seems to me that the fact that Chassidim speak Yiddish as their first language is a far bigger problem than the lack of secular studies. If the advocates of secular studies got all of the things they want, the Chassidim would have 4 classes a day in English, math, social studies, and science from 1st through 12th grade. If each class is 45 minutes, that's 3 hours the Chassidim would spend in an English-speaking environment. Many of the Chassidic students would probably be able to read and write English at a decent level, but would probably be very uncomfortable speaking English. (In the average public school or Modern Orthodox school, how many minutes a week does the average student speak in class? It's probably less than 20 minutes. For some students, it's 0 minutes, if they don't have teachers who call on the students who don't raise their hand.) I've met some Orthodox men from Lakewood where many of the boys' yeshivos have no secular studies after 8th grade, but the men speak English as a first language. I think they're much better prepared to get a job in a secular workplace than a Chassid whose first language is Yiddish but had 12 years of secular studies. I know I would prefer to be in the former situation over the latter. Nobody is going to force Chassidim to speak English outside of secular classes, nor should they. But with Yiddish as the language they speak 95% of the time, most of them are going to feel uncomfortable speaking English and speak it with a Yiddish accent, which will probably cause many employers to be less likely to hire them. I don't know of a solution to this problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @AJ, you write with dignity, perhaps a pleasant surprise for this blog. But the main question is if at the end of the day they manage to find jobs. If they do, then there must be a loophole somewhere in your otherwise fine analysis. (Perhaps because they very actively give each other jobs. I.e., they have a high hiring ethic for their own.)

      Delete
  42. Nice debunking of the modern-day Maskilim here: https://www.commentary.org/articles/moshe-krakowski/new-york-times-slander-hasidim/

    Chaim K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice. Slifkin will either ignore or claim it was not well-researched. Sad. One grows by challenging one's preconceived notions, not constantly seeking out confirmation for them by the similarly biased.

      Delete

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