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.