Does Yeshiva of Flatbush Condone Students’ Behavior? - The Jewish Voice
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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Does Yeshiva of Flatbush Condone Students’ Behavior?

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As we have reported, a group of 100-plus students from the Yeshiva of Flatbush was ordered to get off a Southwest Airlines flight just over a week ago. According to airline personnel, the teenagers did not comply with the flight crew’s requests to sit in their seats and, most importantly, turn off their cell phones during the time that all passengers were obligated to do so. It must be noted here that such actions of non-compliance with airline directions are considered a federal offense. While several students – along with accompanying school staff members, and YOF Executive Director Rabbi Seth Linfield – claimed they were not seriously misbehaving, and the airline overreacted, however at least one observing passenger corroborated the crew’s version of events, contrary to the students’ claims.

The way we see it, it is highly unusual for an airline to throw off an entire large group of people, so there must have been good reason for Southwest to make that decision in this case. How can it be that a prestigious Orthodox school such as Yeshiva of Flatbush does not train its students to behave properly while on a school trip? How can it be that the school’s staff overseeing the students did not exercise their duties and ensure that the youngsters in their charge were acting in a fashion that brings honor to the image of religious Jewish institutions? And – perhaps most crucially – how can it be that the school’s administration appears to have taken the side of the students and essentially condoned their blatant misbehavior?

We wish to note here that the Jewish Voice made repeated attempts to contact the heads of Yeshiva of Flatbush to provide us with an explanation for their apparently misguided reaction, but as of press time they did not respond to our phone calls.

This story was reported in thousands of media outlets far and wide, thus tragically amplifying its unfortunate message to the greater society. Isn’t this the perfect example of an outright chillul Hashem (desecration of G-d’s name)??

The Jewish Voice is calling on the principals of the Yeshiva of Flatbush to issue a public apology for their students’ disruptive and embarrassing behavior. These educational leaders must stand up and do what’s right. They must send a message both to their own students and to yeshiva students everywhere that whenever and wherever they are traveling, they must always keep in mind that the outside world is watching them, and most likely judging their behavior as representative of all Orthodox Jews. With an unambiguous apology of this nature, YOF may just be able to turn a real chillul Hashem into a potential Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name).

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