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JV Editorial

Simcha Felder: Give Our Kids a Chance to Learn



For centuries in Europe, education among Jews kept them ahead of the growth in industry and the industrial revolution. The abilities of the Jews to read, write and to calculate made them a necessary factor to their respective governments and were a major force in keeping our people’s heads above water.

Once they migrated to the United States, they immediately jumped on the free education bandwagon afforded them by the government. We benefited from the secular studies required by our educational metric and guidelines. The authorities and Jewish families knew what they were doing. And look where we are today. As Archie Bunker said, “You gotta go to a Jewish doctor.” That goes for Jewish lawyers, accountants, professors, scientists and so on. We have earned the reputation of being America’s best educated minority.

So why are parents of boys attending yeshivas in Brooklyn and other locations in New York City ignoring the obvious–that their kids are not getting a thorough education in the basics for their future survival, namely English, science and mathematics.

Brooklyn State Senator Simcha Felder (D) spearheads a drive to protect Jewish religious schools from following educational guidelines set down by the states’ educational bureaucracy. He is paving the road for these kids to experience devastating career failures throughout the course of their lives. Back in April of this year, the Boro Park elected official stubbornly refused to sign off on the state budget unless yeshivas were given more autonomy over curricula.

In other words, this politician would exempt these private religious schools from the state’s requirements to provide their students with adequate educations in the basic areas of English, math, science and history. Currently, these kids intensely study religious texts such as the Torah and Talmud. Hasidic boys are prepared to be rabbis in later life but opponents of Felder and his yeshiva “clients” point out that roughly 5 percent of yeshiva graduates become rabbis. The other 95 % enter the real world unprepared to become self sufficient and lack the basic skills required in today’s high tech jobs market.

New York’s ultra-orthodox communities are heavily dependent on taxpayer handouts. According to a recent 24/7 Wall Street report, the Hasidic village of New Square is the poorest in NY state with a 70% poverty rate.

If families wish for their young men to become rabbis, let them launch a campaign to compel the yeshivas they would attend to comply with New York State educational mandates and have the schools maintain the same standards that public schools are required to adhere to. They must permit educational audits from the state, and there are no two ways about it.

For Simcha Felder to advocate for Jewish religious schools to continue to offer inferior educations to their students is basically criminal and he must be outed and removed from office if he does not cease and desist in this grossly misguided stance. Denying these kids the educations they deserve under the law is not only illegal but it smacks of the highest form of immorality.




    08/27/2018 at 1:51 pm

    Each religion is entitled to create their own curriculum that fits their standards. However reading writing and arithmetic should be a must

  2. [email protected],com

    08/27/2018 at 6:11 pm

    I absolutely agree with the writer of this article. We are raising generations of beggars and welfare recipients.
    My eye doctor had a 15 yeshiva student that was born here and could not read the letters on an eye chart !

  3. Marc Edelstin

    08/27/2018 at 7:43 pm


  4. fed up heimish guy in boro park

    09/03/2018 at 12:08 pm

    What’s interesting her, is a young man who is a graduate of the chassidic yeshiva system, approached Felder ata Boro Park community eventin a most respectful manner and said– “Look, I am a product of this educational system and now at 27 I don’t even have a high school diploma to get the most basic level of work, why do you support that the yeshivas shouldn’t have to provide the most basic level of the mandated secular English education? Shouldn’t there be accepted uniform standards?” Felder answered like a politician and said, “Well, it’s your parent’s fault bc they made the choice to send you to those yeshivas.” In other words, you vote for him to serve in teh State Senate and it’s your fault bc you know what you are getting– NO basic standard level of education!! And it’s bc he alone blocks the vote from going through.

    What are the yeshivas afraid of? The boys being independent and being able to actually go out intot he world and earn an honest livign? Possibly opening their eyes and the now-leaders losing their power? How about prepare the kids with strong foundation so when they go out into the world, they go in a strong bloc (like your bloc vote) and they aren’t frazzled by the outside influences bc they were properly inoculated and have strength based on the proper values you instill in them all along in their formative years. But maybe you know what you are sellign is pretty shvach… and the only way to hold onto them is by crippling them….In the words of Felder “It’s your problem, go blame your parents bc they made poor choices, and I iddn’t do my job to uphold/enforce the law.” And now we’ll have Eichenstein doing the same thing.

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