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New York - Parties Call On Schools Chancellor, Superintendents To Investigate Lack Of Secular Education In Ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas

Published on: July 27, 2015 08:40 PM
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Th letter was sent by an Org calling itself Yaffed.Th letter was sent by an Org calling itself Yaffed.

New York - “Enough is enough!”

That’s the basic message of a letter sent by concerned parents, former teachers, and former yeshiva students to New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and seven district superintendents in Brooklyn and Queens expressing upset over the lack of a substantial secular education in at least 39 yeshivas.

Fifty-two unidentified signatories added their names to the letter, noting that ultra-Orthodox schools, especially boys’ yeshivas, spend far less time on secular instruction compared to the time spent on religious education.

Organized by the nascent education advocacy group Yaffed, the letter asks officials to “investigate the quality of secular education and, in particular English instruction, at the listed yeshivas and to take steps to ensure that pupils at these yeshivas receive the essential and substantially equivalent education to which they are entitled.”

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According to Yaffed’s press release, these haredi schools typically offer an average of one-and-a-half hours of general studies on a regular school day, and English and math is only taught until students reach the age of 13, at which point their secular education is terminated entirely. Some graduates have alleged this disproportionate education has led them to become professionally stunted, unable to obtain financial independence, or enter into successful careers.

Yaffed officials are pushing for extended instruction hours; expansion of secular instruction in other subject areas besides English and math; and continuing secular instruction even into high school, among other reforms.

In an effort to protect its supporters, Yaffed said it has withheld the names of the signatories and the targeted schools. The group has retained attorneys Normal Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum to represent their interests with the New York City Department of Education.


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Read Comments (69)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 27, 2015 at 08:51 PM LCSW Says:

It's about time!!!

2

 Jul 27, 2015 at 09:03 PM Maven Says:

To all of you who are jumping on the bandwagon saying this org Yaffed is doing a good thing I would urge you to take a look who and what kind of a person/persons is heading it. These are the same people running around all over the net bashing and defaming orthodox jewery.

3

 Jul 27, 2015 at 09:13 PM Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

4

 Jul 27, 2015 at 09:22 PM Anonymous Says:

The rabbonim, askanim and parents who deny these children a basic secular education and providing them with the skills necessary to function in society and earn a parnassah are mamash engaged in a form of child abuse and should be held accountable. A generation of dysfunctional graduates from these yeshivos whose families have to be for public and private welfare to survive a living proof of this abuse.

5

 Jul 27, 2015 at 09:36 PM kolemes Says:

This is old news the almost exact letter was written to Kaiser Franz Yosef in the 1800s by the maskilem and it was bitterly fought by all the Rabonim of the day including the Chsav Sofer.They are walking in the "Footsteps" of Moshe Mendelssohn and his ilk.
Lets hope these modern day Maskilem have the same downfall as there forefathers.

6

 Jul 27, 2015 at 10:11 PM TexasJew Says:

This should have been done 50 years ago. Sure parents have a choice where to send their children but they have an obligation to ensure employment for them in the future.
Wake up.

7

 Jul 27, 2015 at 10:27 PM Anonymous Says:

No English, math, science, history, geography are taught in New Square. How will these kids survive? My nephew is in 5th grade and can't read simple sentences.

8

 Jul 27, 2015 at 10:44 PM Anonymous Says:

I hope Ms. Farina does not get involved in this private school matter. Parents are responsible for their children's education. Keep church and state separate!!

9

 Jul 27, 2015 at 11:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Finally AlterG can learn to write English !

10

 Jul 27, 2015 at 11:34 PM ShlomoH Says:

The cause that Yaffed allegedly espouses, upon its own merits may be noble, if the intentions were pure; And that alone is debatable - by bigger and better people than us commentators on VIN. However, unfortunately the people behind Yaffed are entirely self serving, and that is a beef they have personally with the ultra-orthodox community. These are OTD rabble rousers and are just looking to give our Yeshivos and Mosdos a bad rap as well as stir up some trouble for their former co-religionists. There is no nobility in this whatsoever. I encourage readers to research the people behind Yaffed and see what their true agenda is. It is sad that the Orthodox community has failed these precious souls and perhaps that is something we need to look into in greater depth, but that is a different discussion. It is not always the message ONLY that needs to be looked at. The messenger plays a big role. And we need to be careful as to who we support. Easy to cast blame on a whole society. Anyone that feels they lacked proper education, and didn't see the value and values in their religious education, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and hit the books. It is never too late. I had 60-70 year old classmates in my college classes. Time to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for your life. Proceed with caution. Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah.

11

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:54 AM Anonymous Says:

The Holocaust happened because of the Maskilim YM'S starting with Moshe Mendelsohn. It's proven fact. Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent. Yaffed's supporters will go the same way.

12

 Jul 28, 2015 at 01:10 AM REALIST Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Finally AlterG can learn to write English !

Don't count on it!

13

 Jul 28, 2015 at 01:38 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

All this shows is a complete lack of understanding of statistics on your part.

14

 Jul 28, 2015 at 02:21 AM Anonymous Says:

I for one believe that one should know the language of the country he lives in and I speak to my children in English. Saying that it's obvious this guy has an ulterior motive, He knows good and well that both parents and administrators are not going to change a schedule or curriculum that has been in place for 60-70 years. They will show tens if not hundreds of successful alumni. They will claim church and state. Finally this guy knows that we have a precedence called the Volozhina Yeshiva. If it would ever happen that a court would rule that would force a yeshiva to change their curriculum they would close their doors. This is what he really wants.

15

 Jul 28, 2015 at 03:52 AM BarryLS1 Says:

I do believe that all Yeshiva kids get a decent basic secular education. That being said, the Public School system is hardly one to talk.

16

 Jul 28, 2015 at 06:14 AM FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

17

 Jul 28, 2015 at 06:17 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

For every success story, there are hundreds of people who barely make a living because of their lack of education.

18

 Jul 28, 2015 at 06:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

Not to take away from him, but there are people in the secular world who can do the same thing without secular studies or a college education. But this man obviously spent many, many hours on a computer, which is banned in the Chareidi world and even if he did it in the privacy of his home still did "secular studies" so that he could make the $ 50 million. You can't say that a person can create the things he did while just learning Torah. It's impossible because of all the time you have to put into in order to learn what to do to create such a thing. So it's important to remember and acknowledge that this man was engaged in secular studies for many hours. of his day.
The high tech world hires people who know about technology. As in any industry, if they see someone who is ultra-talented they will take them even if they are ultra-orthodox.
The real problem is that Chareidi and Yeshivish families just do not believe in a secular education. When they see that someone gets rich from something like this, they think it comes out of thin air. They don't acknowledge that this person must have done secular learning in order to succeed. Continued in next post.

19

 Jul 28, 2015 at 06:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

Real estate people learn about real estate instead of learning Torah and then they can get rich. Technology people learn technology and then they can get rich. Finance people learn finance and then they can get rich. But it all comes from some kind of learning that is not sitting and learning Torah. The learning might not be in a conventional college, but it is still secular learning.
So people who don't believe in secular learning have to admit that if they want their children to make a living, they have to do something other than learn Torah all day. We can admire the man from Monroe, but at the same time realize that he did not sit and learn all day.

20

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:01 AM Anonymous Says:

This is plain anti frum nonsense. I grew up going to a school that does not teach English. I have classmates who, after getting married, decided to get professional degrees. Some are now very successful doctors, lawyers, and accountants. The fact that they didn't spend half their childhood learning limudei chol never stopped them from doing what they wanted or needed when it was the right time.

21

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
kolemes Says:

This is old news the almost exact letter was written to Kaiser Franz Yosef in the 1800s by the maskilem and it was bitterly fought by all the Rabonim of the day including the Chsav Sofer.They are walking in the "Footsteps" of Moshe Mendelssohn and his ilk.
Lets hope these modern day Maskilem have the same downfall as there forefathers.

And that's why since the 1800's there are thousands that cannot obtain financial independence. Who said it was a good thing?

22

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:48 AM Numbers? Says:

Reply to #16  
FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

What about the other 15 boys in your class? How many are using food stamps, HUD, Medicaid, etc. to live?
Look at Kiryas Yoel where there is little or no secular education. The poorest place in the USA!

It would seem like the right thing is to support this group fighting for better education, but who wants to get into bed with bedbugs?

23

 Jul 28, 2015 at 09:26 AM Anominous Says:

Three of my relatives were either survivors of the holocaust of children of them, and they are all very, very wealthy, in the mega millions. And the same happened to many holocaust survivors or their decedents. Despite lack of education, Hashem gave them bracha and they are extremely successful. Many others went to college and are now earnings meager salaries, or unemployed. Yes, college can help and many are making a nice parnassah. But TO EACH HIS OWN. Respect each others ways!

24

 Jul 28, 2015 at 09:40 AM Anonymous Says:

I'm not sure what the last two letters of TAFFED stand for, but for sure the one who is operating it has a mind and soul dysfunction.

25

 Jul 28, 2015 at 10:13 AM yochy Says:

Reply to #16  
FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

the fact you made it despite being abused has no impact on the probably 8 out of 10 in your boat that don't.

26

 Jul 28, 2015 at 10:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Secular knowledge you can obtain while reading in the bathroom while Secular education is crap with salad dressing.

27

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:04 AM Ex Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

Noone says its impossoible to make it with no secular education. But for your typical joe shmo who is not a big entrepeanour, he needs to be able to walk into PWC and get a salaried accounting job.

28

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
ShlomoH Says:

The cause that Yaffed allegedly espouses, upon its own merits may be noble, if the intentions were pure; And that alone is debatable - by bigger and better people than us commentators on VIN. However, unfortunately the people behind Yaffed are entirely self serving, and that is a beef they have personally with the ultra-orthodox community. These are OTD rabble rousers and are just looking to give our Yeshivos and Mosdos a bad rap as well as stir up some trouble for their former co-religionists. There is no nobility in this whatsoever. I encourage readers to research the people behind Yaffed and see what their true agenda is. It is sad that the Orthodox community has failed these precious souls and perhaps that is something we need to look into in greater depth, but that is a different discussion. It is not always the message ONLY that needs to be looked at. The messenger plays a big role. And we need to be careful as to who we support. Easy to cast blame on a whole society. Anyone that feels they lacked proper education, and didn't see the value and values in their religious education, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and hit the books. It is never too late. I had 60-70 year old classmates in my college classes. Time to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for your life. Proceed with caution. Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah.

Unfortunatley yes its only the OTD guys that can do our dirty work. If I as a frum jew, were to make noise about this my children would be thrown out of schools. I would be ex-communicated. Basiclly I'd be bullied into keeping my mouth closed.
As far as "Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah. ” Why is that? Are they all so ultrastic? What about when mosdos take in the rich connected guys over the poor guys? What makes them so holy?

29

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:11 AM EX Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #14  
Anonymous Says:

I for one believe that one should know the language of the country he lives in and I speak to my children in English. Saying that it's obvious this guy has an ulterior motive, He knows good and well that both parents and administrators are not going to change a schedule or curriculum that has been in place for 60-70 years. They will show tens if not hundreds of successful alumni. They will claim church and state. Finally this guy knows that we have a precedence called the Volozhina Yeshiva. If it would ever happen that a court would rule that would force a yeshiva to change their curriculum they would close their doors. This is what he really wants.

Volozin never shut down due to secular education. Its a myth that yeshivas like saying. Research its history.
1) There was lots of in house fighting prior to its shutting down
2) They agreed and did have secular studies. But teh government wanted that to be the primary study of the day with learing gemara only late in the afternoon. At that point why have a yeshiva so they shut down. It wasn't secular studies per say.

30

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM Ex Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #16  
FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

Say you are not the type of guy who has the know how or personality to open youw own firm. Many of us are straight gruda mechels. We need to work and get our salaries every other week and finshed. Those people which I think are the majorty need a secular education.

31

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:15 AM Esther Says:

Reply to #22  
Numbers? Says:

What about the other 15 boys in your class? How many are using food stamps, HUD, Medicaid, etc. to live?
Look at Kiryas Yoel where there is little or no secular education. The poorest place in the USA!

It would seem like the right thing is to support this group fighting for better education, but who wants to get into bed with bedbugs?

Do you really think KJ is the poorest place in the US or are they just extremely well connected and savvy at working the system?

32

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:19 AM Ex Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #16  
FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

Another issue not being addressed is are these children learing instead? How many 14 yr old ninth graders can sit & learn a whole day. How many get burnt because of it? Rabbiem have to shlep out the day just to keep the kids entertained.
What do we gain from depriving the kids of secular education? And are those who didn't have a secular education any greater talmidi chachhmim than those who did? I think by enlarge you'll find that perhaps thsoe who had english and a structured day are even greater talmdi chachimim.

33

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:20 AM Ex Kollel GUY Says:

Reply to #16  
FALLSBURGER Says:

Baloney!!!
I am a proud alumni of SATMAR, where I only attended English classes until age 13.
I now own my own firm, employing 28 people including 9 who are college graduates.
Yes, 9 college graduates work for me, not the other way around......

Out of my cheder class of 26 boys, 11 are multi millionaires.

This organization was founded by a bunch of lying losers !! Trying to blame their failures on someone else.
The fact is that in our great country America, if you are willing to work hard you can succeed regardless of the level of you elementary education.

Why is this only a USA problem. When will we fight the system in EY that produces poverty? Lets "adopt college programs" in EY. Adopting kollels won't alliveate poverty.

34

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:01 PM AnonoY Says:

Hey fellers.
I'm one of the "fifty-two signatures" on the Yaffed letter. I'm not commenting here to get into a debate, and I won't waste my time arguing with people who reply to this because they're bored, but I do want to explain the rationale behind it.
I signed the paper for one reason, and one reason only. My "high school" gave me no secular education whatsoever. The sciences history and geography aside, I wasn't even taught English or math. I didn't sign it because I'm antagonistic towards the heimeshe world or because I think that it's impossible to make a living without having received an education. Rather I signed it because I believe that everyone should get an education.
Sure finances come into play, and although some people will be successful without an education most won't. However the fact that there can only be so many grocery stores opened up in Brooklyn pales next to the fact that there will be generation after generation of adults who can't even formulate a sentence in the language of the country that they live in.
Hope this clarifies some.
-An adult who spent a lot of time catching up

35

 Jul 28, 2015 at 10:41 AM BigBoich Says:

the person behind the org is nick moster who is from footsteps!!!!
he doesn't care about our community one iota!!!
he has done nothing accept make problems!!!
why the unidentified signatures??????!!
the standard will be lower because English is not our primary language in the chassidishe circles. however he should be doing something productive rather then masser!!
what a loser don't be fooled by his fake sympathy!! he is a ex chassid seeking revenge in the guise of education. just as a side note I am a math teacher for ten years. I have taught in chassisidshe /yshivishe yeshivas my entire carrer. parents work hard and most kids get up to par if they work!!! btw the public schools are failing big time more than us how about calling an investigation mr moster so tony or albero will be matzliach!!

36

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:35 PM commonsense99 Says:

this is the biggest crock around, i went to chasider schools, i decided i wanted a college education so I went to school, [a Catholic college] and i had no problem keeping up and spend most of my professional life working for none Jewish places with a beard and payis

37

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:42 PM simcha47 Says:

Reply to #10  
ShlomoH Says:

The cause that Yaffed allegedly espouses, upon its own merits may be noble, if the intentions were pure; And that alone is debatable - by bigger and better people than us commentators on VIN. However, unfortunately the people behind Yaffed are entirely self serving, and that is a beef they have personally with the ultra-orthodox community. These are OTD rabble rousers and are just looking to give our Yeshivos and Mosdos a bad rap as well as stir up some trouble for their former co-religionists. There is no nobility in this whatsoever. I encourage readers to research the people behind Yaffed and see what their true agenda is. It is sad that the Orthodox community has failed these precious souls and perhaps that is something we need to look into in greater depth, but that is a different discussion. It is not always the message ONLY that needs to be looked at. The messenger plays a big role. And we need to be careful as to who we support. Easy to cast blame on a whole society. Anyone that feels they lacked proper education, and didn't see the value and values in their religious education, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and hit the books. It is never too late. I had 60-70 year old classmates in my college classes. Time to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for your life. Proceed with caution. Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah.

A+ for that comment. It's not the message which is the issue here but the messengers. I know some of them very well and their intentions are not pure. On the surface it seems that they would like education reform in the Yeshiva school system however most of its members are filled with deep enmity towards the community and feel that they have a score to settle. The main goal is to destroy the Yeshivas and mosdos. Do I believe in secular education? The answer is yes. However, when you force it upon Yeshivas it ends up backfiring. Don't throw your support behind this group so fast. Look at who the people are first and what their intentions are. I know some of them feel that they were wrongfully ostracized and abandoned by the community. However, that does does not grant one a free pass to try and destroy our community.

38

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:43 PM Anominous Says:

I went to a famous Yeshiva known for teaching secular studies. The problem is that some of the kids, from rich parents, in the class did not allow the teacher to teach. I wanted to learn math, English and Chemistry, but there was one particular boy who made a big joke in the class, refused to leave and because of him I couldn't learn. I resent that guy up to today, some 20 years later.

When teaching secular studies, Yeshivas should treat them seriously, and if bochurim disrupt the class, they should be expelled just like they would if they were a disruption for ruchnius studies. Otherwise, the secular studies are not going to be taken seriously and it will be just bitul Torah, as nothing is gained.

39

 Jul 28, 2015 at 12:49 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

Do you use one of his internet filters ?

also, why are you even on the inernet and not studying at the yeshiva ?

40

 Jul 28, 2015 at 01:30 PM simcha47 Says:

Reply to #29  
EX Kollel Guy Says:

Volozin never shut down due to secular education. Its a myth that yeshivas like saying. Research its history.
1) There was lots of in house fighting prior to its shutting down
2) They agreed and did have secular studies. But teh government wanted that to be the primary study of the day with learing gemara only late in the afternoon. At that point why have a yeshiva so they shut down. It wasn't secular studies per say.

Your statements are correct however it was the Maskilim who pressured the government to enforce a system on the Yeshiva which only allowed Gemara study late in the afternoon and that ultimately made it impossible to continue. Again, I agree with your previous posts but look at the people behind every movement before supporting it. I think this movement will cause more harm than benefit.

41

 Jul 28, 2015 at 01:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #26  
Anonymous Says:

Secular knowledge you can obtain while reading in the bathroom while Secular education is crap with salad dressing.

Oh yes try obtaining math knowledge while in the john big talker. It was my high school education that enabled and trained me to earn the living I earn.

42

 Jul 28, 2015 at 02:49 PM abuezri Says:

Reply to #3  
Anonymous Says:

I see the guy in Monroe, was able to make $50 million without secular studies. As was reported, the company’s founder, president and CTO Shloma Baum is a Satmar chasid, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from the town of Kiryat Joel, New York. As such, he is part of a growing movement of charedi startup entrepreneurs in both Israel and the diaspora. Ultra-Orthodox Jews are underrepresented in the hi-tech community, partially because they do not always receive a rigorous math and science education and in part because the hi-tech world likes to hire people in its own image: young, male, privileged graduates of elite army units in Israel or prestigious colleges in the U.S. Baum has also developed a filter for haredi Internet users to help them avoid looking at sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate sites.

What guy do you see in Mondrow?

43

 Jul 28, 2015 at 02:49 PM Anonymous Says:

So foolish to think secular studies diminish Torah studies rather than enhance. In this modern world, the last thing I want is a scientifically-ignorant Rav making halachic rulings about medical treatment, for example. We need scientific knowledge to understand the nuances of kashrut as applied to today's genetically-modified plants and animals. We need history,geography and archaeology to improve our understanding of the context of the Torah- if you don't know where the peoples and places of the Torah are, or anything about their customs, how can you best understand the references? Physics and math explain the world around us. We have a long tradition of trying to understand creation and the universe through mystical texts. What is wrong with understanding this through provable science? If the intent behind excluding meaningful secular education is not to create dependency, then precisely what is the intent? If your faith is threatened by Algebra, then it is not much of a faith....

44

 Jul 28, 2015 at 02:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The Holocaust happened because of the Maskilim YM'S starting with Moshe Mendelsohn. It's proven fact. Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent. Yaffed's supporters will go the same way.

I thought the Holocaust happened because of the Zionim. Or because someone didn't lay Rabeinu Tam tfillin. Or because of....

45

 Jul 28, 2015 at 03:45 PM charliehall Says:

Reply to #5  
kolemes Says:

This is old news the almost exact letter was written to Kaiser Franz Yosef in the 1800s by the maskilem and it was bitterly fought by all the Rabonim of the day including the Chsav Sofer.They are walking in the "Footsteps" of Moshe Mendelssohn and his ilk.
Lets hope these modern day Maskilem have the same downfall as there forefathers.

The Chatam Sofer died almost a decade before Franz Josef became Emperor.

46

 Jul 28, 2015 at 03:46 PM Mightysmart Says:

Reply to #10  
ShlomoH Says:

The cause that Yaffed allegedly espouses, upon its own merits may be noble, if the intentions were pure; And that alone is debatable - by bigger and better people than us commentators on VIN. However, unfortunately the people behind Yaffed are entirely self serving, and that is a beef they have personally with the ultra-orthodox community. These are OTD rabble rousers and are just looking to give our Yeshivos and Mosdos a bad rap as well as stir up some trouble for their former co-religionists. There is no nobility in this whatsoever. I encourage readers to research the people behind Yaffed and see what their true agenda is. It is sad that the Orthodox community has failed these precious souls and perhaps that is something we need to look into in greater depth, but that is a different discussion. It is not always the message ONLY that needs to be looked at. The messenger plays a big role. And we need to be careful as to who we support. Easy to cast blame on a whole society. Anyone that feels they lacked proper education, and didn't see the value and values in their religious education, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and hit the books. It is never too late. I had 60-70 year old classmates in my college classes. Time to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for your life. Proceed with caution. Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah.

You are right on the button!

47

 Jul 28, 2015 at 02:10 PM PMOinFL Says:

Yes. SOME of the people involved in this have less-than-honorable intentions in reporting this to the state. However, if everything were truly on the up-and-up we wouldn't be worried about it. The reasons the yeshivos panic is because they are not reporting truthfully to the state and we all know it. For every "millionaire" you find there are THOUSANDS living off the backs of their neighbors because they don't have the education to get a proper job and provide for their families. They have created a "lifestyle" out of abusing the welfare systems which are meant to provide temporary relief to keep people afloat. I cannot tell you how many frum yidden I've interviewed at our hospitals for entry-level positions and they can barely write a cohesive sentence in English.

I'm not saying this to jump on the basher bandwagon. Those people are bigots who do nothing to solve the problem. I'm saying this because there is a undeniable truth here. We are raising new generations of thieves who learn to scam the system to get the government to forcibly take from the fruits of their neighbor's hard work and give it to them. If only they worked as hard at getting an education.

48

 Jul 28, 2015 at 03:35 PM sechelyoshor Says:

To #11 who wrote " Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent."

That is fiction. There are descendants of his alive today and living in E"Y. I have been told they are frum.

And by the way, for those who say that Volozhin was closed because the Roshei Yeshiva refused to allow any secular studies there, that too is a lie. Read the book My Uncle the Netziv which has the daily seder hayom and you'll see they did study language and math. They closed up when the gov't demanded the entire day be secular subjects and only night seder for Torah. And even night seder could only be subjects approved by the gov't.
But the kanoim love to twist history to "prove" their point.

49

 Jul 28, 2015 at 03:51 PM Ex -Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #40  
simcha47 Says:

Your statements are correct however it was the Maskilim who pressured the government to enforce a system on the Yeshiva which only allowed Gemara study late in the afternoon and that ultimately made it impossible to continue. Again, I agree with your previous posts but look at the people behind every movement before supporting it. I think this movement will cause more harm than benefit.

1) True it was the maskilim. But had they only pushed the government to enforce some limited secular education Voluzin would still be opened. Thats all todays maskilim are trying to do.
2) Re the people behind this, True those behind this are rotten. But at the end of the day no charedi can push for secular education lest he get ex-communicated. Nebach the only guys left is the OTD crowd. Thats doesn't make it an unnoble cause depite alterior motives.

50

 Jul 28, 2015 at 04:15 PM ShlomoH Says:

Reply to #37  
simcha47 Says:

A+ for that comment. It's not the message which is the issue here but the messengers. I know some of them very well and their intentions are not pure. On the surface it seems that they would like education reform in the Yeshiva school system however most of its members are filled with deep enmity towards the community and feel that they have a score to settle. The main goal is to destroy the Yeshivas and mosdos. Do I believe in secular education? The answer is yes. However, when you force it upon Yeshivas it ends up backfiring. Don't throw your support behind this group so fast. Look at who the people are first and what their intentions are. I know some of them feel that they were wrongfully ostracized and abandoned by the community. However, that does does not grant one a free pass to try and destroy our community.

My words exactly!!

51

 Jul 28, 2015 at 04:44 PM Rafuel Says:

Reply to #45  
charliehall Says:

The Chatam Sofer died almost a decade before Franz Josef became Emperor.

He is not talking about Chasam Sofer, he is talking about his son, Ksav Sofer. Not that the man who goes by the name Avi or his talmidim would know the difference.

52

 Jul 28, 2015 at 04:52 PM skirt Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The Holocaust happened because of the Maskilim YM'S starting with Moshe Mendelsohn. It's proven fact. Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent. Yaffed's supporters will go the same way.

so god called you on his little phone and told you why the holocaust happened ?

53

 Jul 28, 2015 at 04:52 PM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The Holocaust happened because of the Maskilim YM'S starting with Moshe Mendelsohn. It's proven fact. Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent. Yaffed's supporters will go the same way.

We must have very different definitions of the words "proof" and "fact"

54

 Jul 28, 2015 at 05:17 PM Moish Says:

Reply to #36  
commonsense99 Says:

this is the biggest crock around, i went to chasider schools, i decided i wanted a college education so I went to school, [a Catholic college] and i had no problem keeping up and spend most of my professional life working for none Jewish places with a beard and payis

Your grammar level speaks for itself. It clearly shows that you have a problem keeping up to par in the business world.

55

 Jul 28, 2015 at 05:51 PM kolemes Says:

Reply to #45  
charliehall Says:

The Chatam Sofer died almost a decade before Franz Josef became Emperor.

Read again I wrote Chsav Sofer the Chasam Sofers son

56

 Jul 28, 2015 at 05:54 PM simcha47 Says:

Reply to #45  
charliehall Says:

The Chatam Sofer died almost a decade before Franz Josef became Emperor.

Charlie you are correct. Unless comment #5 was referring to the Ksav Sofer, the Chsam Sofer's son who indeed had a very close relationship with the emperor Franz Josef. What's also inaccurate is that people are referring to Moses Mendelsohn as a maskil. Mendelsohn was and Orthodox Jew revered by most of the Rabbis of the time. It was his successors (Geiger and Weiss) that misinterpreted his ideas which ultimately let to the Reform movement.

57

 Jul 28, 2015 at 05:00 PM skirt Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The Holocaust happened because of the Maskilim YM'S starting with Moshe Mendelsohn. It's proven fact. Anyone out there a descendent of Moshe Mendelsohn? Don't even try because he has not even one Jewish descendent. Yaffed's supporters will go the same way.

Pains me to see, the ignorance of some of the people here, the name calling the bashing the entitlement and the hypocrisy .
Every OTD person was frumm once , and something or other happend to make said person leave, that does not mean they are scum and dont deserve to be treated as such, and to be spoken about in such derogatory manner, these are humans that were obviously hurt by our corrupted system, and thats why they are acting out, at times, I personally know the person behind Yaffed and he is definitely not a low life and definitely does not deserve to be called the names you , fellow jews are calling him, I can elaborate in depth but have only 542 characters remaining so will get to the point, no one can deny that our sons especially are not gettig the right education to enable them to self support themself when they get married at 19 and average have 8 children by the time they are 40, heck my 15 year old genius of a son knows why the cow and the ox should be slaughtered a certain way but cant even spell the animal ! it is a dire situation and has to be fixed, yes some of us succeed, including myself, with the limited education but the majority is on FS, MEDICAID ETC

58

 Jul 28, 2015 at 07:15 PM ShlomoH Says:

Reply to #57  
skirt Says:

Pains me to see, the ignorance of some of the people here, the name calling the bashing the entitlement and the hypocrisy .
Every OTD person was frumm once , and something or other happend to make said person leave, that does not mean they are scum and dont deserve to be treated as such, and to be spoken about in such derogatory manner, these are humans that were obviously hurt by our corrupted system, and thats why they are acting out, at times, I personally know the person behind Yaffed and he is definitely not a low life and definitely does not deserve to be called the names you , fellow jews are calling him, I can elaborate in depth but have only 542 characters remaining so will get to the point, no one can deny that our sons especially are not gettig the right education to enable them to self support themself when they get married at 19 and average have 8 children by the time they are 40, heck my 15 year old genius of a son knows why the cow and the ox should be slaughtered a certain way but cant even spell the animal ! it is a dire situation and has to be fixed, yes some of us succeed, including myself, with the limited education but the majority is on FS, MEDICAID ETC

Clearly a wolf in sheep's clothing.

59

 Jul 28, 2015 at 07:57 PM Rafuel Says:

Reply to #57  
skirt Says:

Pains me to see, the ignorance of some of the people here, the name calling the bashing the entitlement and the hypocrisy .
Every OTD person was frumm once , and something or other happend to make said person leave, that does not mean they are scum and dont deserve to be treated as such, and to be spoken about in such derogatory manner, these are humans that were obviously hurt by our corrupted system, and thats why they are acting out, at times, I personally know the person behind Yaffed and he is definitely not a low life and definitely does not deserve to be called the names you , fellow jews are calling him, I can elaborate in depth but have only 542 characters remaining so will get to the point, no one can deny that our sons especially are not gettig the right education to enable them to self support themself when they get married at 19 and average have 8 children by the time they are 40, heck my 15 year old genius of a son knows why the cow and the ox should be slaughtered a certain way but cant even spell the animal ! it is a dire situation and has to be fixed, yes some of us succeed, including myself, with the limited education but the majority is on FS, MEDICAID ETC

Education begins at home. If your son is indeed as poor a speller as you describe and you want to blame somebody - look in the mirror. You spell atrociously (although, much to your credit, you do know how to spell "scum") and you couldn't use punctuation marks to save your life.

60

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:32 PM skirt Says:

yes, jump on the grammar, english is my 4th language as I grew up in Israel, and I am very proud of my english !

61

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:34 PM skirt Says:

Reply to #58  
ShlomoH Says:

Clearly a wolf in sheep's clothing.

why ? cause I said something that did not fit into your neat box ? in the box that I was raised in , as well

62

 Jul 28, 2015 at 08:37 PM skirt Says:

Reply to #59  
Rafuel Says:

Education begins at home. If your son is indeed as poor a speller as you describe and you want to blame somebody - look in the mirror. You spell atrociously (although, much to your credit, you do know how to spell "scum") and you couldn't use punctuation marks to save your life.

I can use punctuation marks, but chose not to, this is not a college paper this is a blog/news web, who cares about periods when there are way important things on the table, my spelling is pretty good, under the circumstances, and seriously thats all you have to say, how can I teach my son how to spell when he is in yeshivah most of his waking hours, my brother thats a very chusivah magid shiur in a very prominent chasidishe yeshivah admitted that this can no longer go on like this, what worked 40 years ago does not work anymore, so yes we definitely
need to add way more secular studies for the boys and use teachers that actually speak english and know what they are talking about

63

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:54 PM ShlomoH Says:

Reply to #61  
skirt Says:

why ? cause I said something that did not fit into your neat box ? in the box that I was raised in , as well

Now you're a seer too. How would you even fathom how I was raised?

64

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:54 PM ShlomoH Says:

Reply to #57  
skirt Says:

Pains me to see, the ignorance of some of the people here, the name calling the bashing the entitlement and the hypocrisy .
Every OTD person was frumm once , and something or other happend to make said person leave, that does not mean they are scum and dont deserve to be treated as such, and to be spoken about in such derogatory manner, these are humans that were obviously hurt by our corrupted system, and thats why they are acting out, at times, I personally know the person behind Yaffed and he is definitely not a low life and definitely does not deserve to be called the names you , fellow jews are calling him, I can elaborate in depth but have only 542 characters remaining so will get to the point, no one can deny that our sons especially are not gettig the right education to enable them to self support themself when they get married at 19 and average have 8 children by the time they are 40, heck my 15 year old genius of a son knows why the cow and the ox should be slaughtered a certain way but cant even spell the animal ! it is a dire situation and has to be fixed, yes some of us succeed, including myself, with the limited education but the majority is on FS, MEDICAID ETC

Clearly a wolf in sheep's clothing.

65

 Jul 28, 2015 at 11:54 PM ShlomoH Says:

The cause that Yaffed allegedly espouses, upon its own merits may be noble, if the intentions were pure; And that alone is debatable - by bigger and better people than us commentators on VIN. However, unfortunately the people behind Yaffed are entirely self serving, and that is a beef they have personally with the ultra-orthodox community. These are OTD rabble rousers and are just looking to give our Yeshivos and Mosdos a bad rap as well as stir up some trouble for their former co-religionists. There is no nobility in this whatsoever. I encourage readers to research the people behind Yaffed and see what their true agenda is. It is sad that the Orthodox community has failed these precious souls and perhaps that is something we need to look into in greater depth, but that is a different discussion. It is not always the message ONLY that needs to be looked at. The messenger plays a big role. And we need to be careful as to who we support. Easy to cast blame on a whole society. Anyone that feels they lacked proper education, and didn't see the value and values in their religious education, pick yourselves up by your bootstraps and hit the books. It is never too late. I had 60-70 year old classmates in my college classes. Time to stop pointing fingers and take responsibility for your life. Proceed with caution. Never a good thing to start up with Mosdos HaTorah.

66

 Jul 29, 2015 at 12:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
kolemes Says:

This is old news the almost exact letter was written to Kaiser Franz Yosef in the 1800s by the maskilem and it was bitterly fought by all the Rabonim of the day including the Chsav Sofer.They are walking in the "Footsteps" of Moshe Mendelssohn and his ilk.
Lets hope these modern day Maskilem have the same downfall as there forefathers.

Those who wish to draw a comparison to the agitation of the maskilim to get secular studies into the Yeshivos are missing some crucial information regarding that era that leads to crucial distinctions between that period and this situation: 1. The Yeshivos were for the elite of the chadorim to eventually become our rabbinic leaders. Everyone else needed to learn a trade. Yeshivos today are for everybody, the majority of whom need to learn a way to make a parnassa; 2. The maskilim were out to deconstruct our mesora and poison the well. These people in NY are legitimately upset about a very real problem regarding the education of young men and the law may very well a. Be on their side and b. Be the only way to get these Yeshivos to comply. ; and 3. Back then a trade was usually a handicraft learned in an apprenticeship or a simple sales business. Nowadays, with corporate retailers and foreign manufacturers dominating the handicrafts and other trades that were traditionally learned, the ONLY option for the majority of young men (aside from welfare programs) is to attain a degree and specialized training that can only be achieved with a decent high school education.

67

 Jul 29, 2015 at 12:24 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
kolemes Says:

This is old news the almost exact letter was written to Kaiser Franz Yosef in the 1800s by the maskilem and it was bitterly fought by all the Rabonim of the day including the Chsav Sofer.They are walking in the "Footsteps" of Moshe Mendelssohn and his ilk.
Lets hope these modern day Maskilem have the same downfall as there forefathers.

Even if a young man wants to go into business, there are many regulations and other requirements that must be complied with that require some decent English and math skills. Without those, he can land himself in jail: statutory fraud in many instances does not require a mens rea. You can be completely unknowing, yet be guilty because you should have checked. But without a high school education how is one even to know that such things exist? The bottom line is that it is in the best interests of these schools to get themselves aligned with the legal educational requirements. Silly comparisons to the haskala and the Yeshivos of Eastern Europe are not constructive and are delusional. No one is out to shove perceived kefira down talmidim's throats. They just want their kids to be able to deal with reality as it is. The state does not require those subjects to be taught. This letter just asks the state to enforce its laws as they stand.

68

 Jul 29, 2015 at 11:14 AM Tea Party/ Ex Kollel Guy Says:

Reply to #59  
Rafuel Says:

Education begins at home. If your son is indeed as poor a speller as you describe and you want to blame somebody - look in the mirror. You spell atrociously (although, much to your credit, you do know how to spell "scum") and you couldn't use punctuation marks to save your life.

Rafuel.
I know you like picking on the small issues rather than the broader debate. But as a side note to rafuel and many other commenters; Spelling and grammer is becoming less of an important issue in todays modern society. My supervisor prefers text style e-mails where I get to the point in two sentences rather than proper grammer or spelling. While it is nice to have proper grammer it far from a hinderence. One can succeed in a corporation without it . Tech skills are a most though.
And a lack of education is still a very big probelm both here in the USA and in EY. In fact that its the ultimate cause of poverty in EY. As long as we "adopt kollels" not careers we will get nowhere on the war on poverty within our hiemisha societty.

I did not turn on my spell check for these comments. Sorry for the typos guys.

69

 Jul 29, 2015 at 03:06 PM Moishell Says:

The Rambam says: "One who makes up his mind to involve himself with Torah and not to work, and to support himself from charity, has profaned God’s Name and brought the Torah into contempt, extinguished the light of religion, brought evil upon himself, and has taken away his life from the World-to-Come..." (Hilchos Talmud Torah 3:10).

70

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