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Kiryas Joel, NY - A Key Figure In The State Education Debate, Satmar Rebbe Heaps Praise On Felder For Standing Tall (audio)

Published on: April 9, 2018 10:47 AM
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FILE - Senator Simcha Felder seen with Satmar Rebbe Rabbi Aron TeitelbaumFILE - Senator Simcha Felder seen with Satmar Rebbe Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum

Kiryas Joel, NY - Just days after New York State narrowly made its annual fiscal deadline, approving a $168 billion budget that included modifications acknowledging the academic standards of the yeshiva system, the Satmar Rebbe Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum lauded Senator Simcha Felder for his diligent efforts on behalf of yeshiva children statewide.

Speaking to his followers Chol Hamoed last week, the Satmar Rebbe said that he has been growing increasingly concerned about the efforts of a group of people who are products of the yeshiva system and have chosen to blame their personal failures on their education.  Without identifying any person or organization by name, the Satmar Rebbe described the group’s members as embittered and angry individuals, categorizing them as “low lives,” “mosrim” and “sore losers.”

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Entire audio speech of the Satmar Rebbe below:

The Satmar Rebbe praised the education provided by yeshivas, noting that while this unnamed group has spent years convincing elected officials from NYC to Albany, that yeshivas offer students sub-par schooling, leaving them ignorant and ill-equipped to deal with life, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Local law enforcement can verify the low crime rate in Charedi communities, said the Satmar Rebbe, which have few of the problems that plague the secular world with its supposedly superior education.

Hoping to avoid the aforementioned group’s agenda of mandating greater government oversight on yeshiva curricula that could require schools to teach topics that run contrary to Orthodox Judaism, something he described as catastrophic, the Satmar Rebbe reached out to numerous individuals several months ago including Felder, who represents Borough Park and large parts of Flatbush in what was dubbed the “Super Jewish District” when it was created several years ago. 

A Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans, giving them the majority in the Senate, Felder has been staunchly unapologetic about advocating for his constituents, an extremely large number of whom send their children to Charedi yeshivas, including thousands who are followers of the Satmar Rebbe.

In a phone interview with VIN News, Felder described the Satmar Rebbe as “the driving force” behind the effort to ensure that “all kids, including yeshiva kids, receive a proper education without government interference.”

“The conversation started around Chanukah time,” Felder told VIN News.  “The Satmar Rebbe told me it was a life or death situation, that nothing could be more important than preventing government from interfering with religious freedoms, particularly a religious education.  He made it very clear to me that nothing was more important than this crisis that was facing yeshiva parents.”

The Satmar Rebbe was one of several high ranking religious leaders who were involved in ensuring that New York’s education law would take into account the academic demands of a yeshiva education which includes high level analytical skills taught during a school day whose length is often more than double that of public school.

Also stepping into the picture was Governor Andrew Cuomo who called the Satmar Rebbe last Thursday night, urging him to intervene with Felder who refused to back down from requested modifications to the proposed education law in an attempt to pass the stalled budget.  Saying that the spiritual well being and religious freedoms of thousands of Jewish schoolchildren were at stake, the Satmar Rebbe declined the governor’s request.

The budget bill that passed the Senate, S. 7509, requires non-profit elementary and middle private schools with dual curricula, whose extended hours meet certain guidelines, to teach literature, writing skills, math, history, social studies, civics and critical thinking skills.

Those that do could be considered by the state education commissioner to be meeting the state standard of providing a “substantially equivalent” education. High school students who have graduated from a school providing the aforementioned education, who are in a bilingual program that runs until at least 6 PM on most days and are engaged in an academically rigorous curriculum that develops critical thinking could also be considered to have received an education that is substantially equivalent to that being taught in public schools.

Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America which advocates strongly for the needs of the Orthodox Jewish community, has also been in contact with numerous individuals, including Felder and the Satmar Rebbe, to protect the educational standards of yeshivas.  Rabbi Zwiebel noted that the Satmar Rebbe is the leader of the largest single yeshiva community whose followers would be most impacted by any state laws that attempt to regulate private school education.

“I personally feel that we are better off today than we were a week and a half ago,” said Rabbi Zwiebel.  “The final version acknowledges the academic rigor and critical thinking skills of the yeshiva learning experience, several points that were not apparent under the old law.”

The movement to defend yeshivas against regulatory oversight was never intended to be a complete exemption from state law that requires private schools to meet mandated educational criteria, explained Rabbi Zwiebel.

“We acknowledge that government has the right to ensure that children in all schools, including ours, receive a sound basic education that prepares them to function as productive citizens,” noted Rabbi Zwiebel.  “What we take issue with is excessive government regulation or oversight that would require yeshivas to conform to the same curricular requirements as those used in public schools.

Our position is that yeshivas, in order to carry out the fundamental religious mission for which they were created, need to be given great latitude in designing a rigorous academic program that may differ from that offered in the public schools but nonetheless gives students the skills they need to be productive members of society.  We believe that the Felder bill strikes an appropriate balance along those lines.”

Felder has been hammered mercilessly by the media over the past week, accused of holding the state budget hostage to his demands and introducing legislation that would keep yeshiva children uneducated.  For his part, the state senator seems unfazed by his critics and said he hopes to continue advocating for his constituents and their preference to limit government oversight of religious schools.

“Anyone who really cares about yeshiva kids getting a good foundation should be very happy,” said Felder, who spent the days prior to Pesach in Albany advocating for yeshivas, arriving home with just moments to spare before the onset of the holiday.  “I will say publicly that we got about 50 percent of what we wanted here and I am going to keep the pressure on to get more.”

Continuing his remarks to his followers, the Satmar Rebbe said that he was grateful to have been able to play a part in averting an educational catastrophe and that his followers should have extra conviction when they say Hallel on Pesach to thank G-d for the positive results achieved.

The Satmar Rebbe spent several minutes praising Felder, showering him and his family with blessings, calling him a savior for more than 100,000 Jewish children who live in New York State.

“There are those who acquire their place in the world to come in just a single moment,” said the Satmar Rebbe. “In the name of all of the holy kehillos in all of the State of New York … everyone should say ‘yasher koyach Reb Simcha.’”



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Read Comments (37)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Apr 09, 2018 at 10:57 AM triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Aguda and Satmar on one side and logic on the other, gee this is an easy side to see who is wrong.

2

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:10 AM Disgruntled yeshiva student Says:

This is the same Felder who urged me 20 years ago, go to college get educated? Wow politics has changed him. I remember telling him at the time that I was having a hard time with the basics like the entry exam for college etc. Part of the lack of education growing up in the yeshiva system. He told me the yeshiva system is failing the community by not teaching secular education. Simcha Felder you are one person I admired over the years but this is a turning point for you. You are ruining 1000s of kids lives by allowing zealots like aguda and satmar dictate education for 1000s of children. Shame on you

3

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:20 AM Disgruntled yeshiva student Says:

I might add that Simcha Felder was once a finance professor at touro college. He should know how important education in the first 18 years of your life is important.

4

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:29 AM ALTERG4 Says:

Wow... the night we all set by the seider with the famlys this miracle happens,
Satmar rabba the successor of bal divrei Yoel z"l made a wonderfull great job,
Tnx mr' felder & mr' zwiebel hashem will pay you back what you all did for klal yisrol,
(Jews always survived mosrim & haters since world creation, & there is a reason we have so much successful rich people by jews, take a look b&h camera store, & this loser moster has no job, no collage degree, no money, so he is trying now to blame others instead of building himself up)

5

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:34 AM Maven Says:

Felder did an awesome job in having a hand saving the community.

Credit should also be given to ALL real Askonim (activists) who worked tirelessly on behalf of the community without any agendas or SELF INTERESTS. To those individuals who really mean to do good as senator Felder.
Not ONE rebbe or Rav worked on this issue. Numerous worked hard and still do without proclaiming " I" did this and "i"did that. "I" "I" and "I".

6

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:38 AM Maven Says:

These low life's who are taunting the community as if we are uneducated behave like the lowest. They are harassing, taunting and defaming every single politician who wont listen to them. We cant ignore them but we should not be scared of them.
They are nothing but lowlifes and highly illiterate unsuccessful blaming everything on everyone.

7

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:41 AM Conservative Carl Says:

My bro Munch says the Satmar Rebbe was niftar quite a while ago, leaving no son worthy of succeeding him.

8

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:44 AM Educated Archy Says:

Here is the big question that I have still not received a response for.

We agree that govt regulation of yeshiva's education is dangerous. They can force yeshivas to teach LGBT education etc... So a no govt regulation policy is vital.

But why don't schools teach a kosher secular edcuation that's vetted by frum ehriclha staff? What's wrong with teaching secular education in a kosher manner?

I have yet to see why not?? Is it bitul torah? (are 9th graders really learning in that time) What's hashkofically wrong with it?

And this is also not a debate on how much employment it brings. I am simply asking why not teach 9th grade males whats taught to 9th grade females? What's the difference? why not?

9

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:46 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Disgruntled yeshiva student Says:

I might add that Simcha Felder was once a finance professor at touro college. He should know how important education in the first 18 years of your life is important.

why? All you need for Touro is a GED which you can daven up in two months.

10

 Apr 09, 2018 at 11:52 AM kehati Says:

Yasher koach Reb Simcha - you've ensured that generations of our people will remain FRUM - Food stamps, Relief, Unemployment compensation, Medicaid!

11

 Apr 09, 2018 at 12:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Maven Says:

These low life's who are taunting the community as if we are uneducated behave like the lowest. They are harassing, taunting and defaming every single politician who wont listen to them. We cant ignore them but we should not be scared of them.
They are nothing but lowlifes and highly illiterate unsuccessful blaming everything on everyone.

The poor spelling in your comment is an illustration of the fact that children are not receiving an adequate education.

12

 Apr 09, 2018 at 12:04 PM verminsupremeforpresident Says:

"My child, my choice" schmeckt fin "My body, my choice".

13

 Apr 09, 2018 at 01:10 PM Worzel Says:

Reply to #8  
Educated Archy Says:

Here is the big question that I have still not received a response for.

We agree that govt regulation of yeshiva's education is dangerous. They can force yeshivas to teach LGBT education etc... So a no govt regulation policy is vital.

But why don't schools teach a kosher secular edcuation that's vetted by frum ehriclha staff? What's wrong with teaching secular education in a kosher manner?

I have yet to see why not?? Is it bitul torah? (are 9th graders really learning in that time) What's hashkofically wrong with it?

And this is also not a debate on how much employment it brings. I am simply asking why not teach 9th grade males whats taught to 9th grade females? What's the difference? why not?

I’m not really sure why you think 9th graders don’t learn in that time. When I was in 9th grade we learned for nine hours a day. Add in time for mikvah, tefillos, meals, and a little bit of time for breaks, and our day was over 14 hours long. When would we have had time for secular studies?

14

 Apr 09, 2018 at 01:16 PM apdsvys Says:

Reply to #2  
Disgruntled yeshiva student Says:

This is the same Felder who urged me 20 years ago, go to college get educated? Wow politics has changed him. I remember telling him at the time that I was having a hard time with the basics like the entry exam for college etc. Part of the lack of education growing up in the yeshiva system. He told me the yeshiva system is failing the community by not teaching secular education. Simcha Felder you are one person I admired over the years but this is a turning point for you. You are ruining 1000s of kids lives by allowing zealots like aguda and satmar dictate education for 1000s of children. Shame on you

and SHAME ON YOU!
DON"T BLAME YOUR FAILURE on Yeshivah education...

15

 Apr 09, 2018 at 01:20 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The poor spelling in your comment is an illustration of the fact that children are not receiving an adequate education.

I am pro education however your critique re poor spelling is antiquated.

Nowadays, with spell check and grammar check its less needed.

Most of my business correspondence is via e-mail. My supervisors prefer text like short one sentence e-mails to well written emails. As long as the numbers work my supervisors are content.

PS sorry I don't use spell check for VIN.

16

 Apr 09, 2018 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Anonymous Says:

The poor spelling in your comment is an illustration of the fact that children are not receiving an adequate education.

Has anyone ever heard of the story of the shammias in the pickle factory?

I am just waiting for all the comments re how rich one can be w/o a degree. It reminds me of that story.

The goysha version of it is entitled "the verger"

Go google it

17

 Apr 09, 2018 at 01:40 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Aguda and Satmar on one side and logic on the other, gee this is an easy side to see who is wrong.

And your on the side of logic? Lmao

18

 Apr 09, 2018 at 02:08 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Worzel Says:

I’m not really sure why you think 9th graders don’t learn in that time. When I was in 9th grade we learned for nine hours a day. Add in time for mikvah, tefillos, meals, and a little bit of time for breaks, and our day was over 14 hours long. When would we have had time for secular studies?

You really had zits fliesh to learn torah for 9 hours?

My hat goes off to you.

19

 Apr 09, 2018 at 02:19 PM yaakov doe Says:

Simcha, who is a real mentsch, was not advocating that our children be uneducated but rather that government should not intrude into our yeshivos. That organization that called for an investigation got the opposite of the result they wanted. Parents are free to choose the level of education that they want for their children from hundreds of yeshivos without government intrusion.

20

 Apr 09, 2018 at 02:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
ALTERG4 Says:

Wow... the night we all set by the seider with the famlys this miracle happens,
Satmar rabba the successor of bal divrei Yoel z"l made a wonderfull great job,
Tnx mr' felder & mr' zwiebel hashem will pay you back what you all did for klal yisrol,
(Jews always survived mosrim & haters since world creation, & there is a reason we have so much successful rich people by jews, take a look b&h camera store, & this loser moster has no job, no collage degree, no money, so he is trying now to blame others instead of building himself up)

Sorry to burst ur bubble. Hes not a successor of the “Bal diveei Yoel”. His father barely was. The holy Rebbe did not leave any succesor due to the obvious.

21

 Apr 09, 2018 at 03:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Conservative Carl Says:

My bro Munch says the Satmar Rebbe was niftar quite a while ago, leaving no son worthy of succeeding him.

100% right

22

 Apr 09, 2018 at 03:16 PM Bezalel Says:

Reply to #19  
yaakov doe Says:

Simcha, who is a real mentsch, was not advocating that our children be uneducated but rather that government should not intrude into our yeshivos. That organization that called for an investigation got the opposite of the result they wanted. Parents are free to choose the level of education that they want for their children from hundreds of yeshivos without government intrusion.

I believe that people, including children, should be allowed to choose education for themselves. Why should parents get to choose more than the children themselves? It's the children's lives, not theirs. Parents get too much credit. Any two idiots can pop out a baby.

23

 Apr 09, 2018 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
triumphinwhitehouse Says:

Aguda and Satmar on one side and logic on the other, gee this is an easy side to see who is wrong.

from a kefiradik out look your right.. from a torah haskafa your wrong. the netziv closed the yshivah as not to be under chukas hagoy.

24

 Apr 09, 2018 at 04:03 PM ercsd Says:

If you don't want government to "intrude into our yeshivos" than you shouldn't receive government money.

25

 Apr 09, 2018 at 04:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
yaakov doe Says:

Simcha, who is a real mentsch, was not advocating that our children be uneducated but rather that government should not intrude into our yeshivos. That organization that called for an investigation got the opposite of the result they wanted. Parents are free to choose the level of education that they want for their children from hundreds of yeshivos without government intrusion.

OK fair enough but then don't dare ask the govt for a dime. If satmar wants no govt intrusion then they need to survive like in Israel without taking any money from the medina. No school lunch programs,title 1, busing , security or any other perks they get from the govt should be allowed.

26

 Apr 09, 2018 at 04:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Maven Says:

Felder did an awesome job in having a hand saving the community.

Credit should also be given to ALL real Askonim (activists) who worked tirelessly on behalf of the community without any agendas or SELF INTERESTS. To those individuals who really mean to do good as senator Felder.
Not ONE rebbe or Rav worked on this issue. Numerous worked hard and still do without proclaiming " I" did this and "i"did that. "I" "I" and "I".

You sick Zaloini, see your doctor urgently

27

 Apr 09, 2018 at 05:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
Anonymous Says:

from a kefiradik out look your right.. from a torah haskafa your wrong. the netziv closed the yshivah as not to be under chukas hagoy.

That's a myth preparatrated by Brisk and the yeshiva system.

The netziv's yeshiva did in fact cave in and offer a secular education. It was only when the govt said that they needed to teach secular studies full time and only learn at night, that the issue arose. And there was also politics including a din torah with the Mir.

Read up on the true history of voluzhin.

28

 Apr 09, 2018 at 05:35 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #22  
Bezalel Says:

I believe that people, including children, should be allowed to choose education for themselves. Why should parents get to choose more than the children themselves? It's the children's lives, not theirs. Parents get too much credit. Any two idiots can pop out a baby.

That's a dangerous arguement. HS kids are babies and have no sechel. You can't really expect them to make smart choices.

29

 Apr 09, 2018 at 10:09 PM AmYisroel Says:

Reply to #25  
Anonymous Says:

OK fair enough but then don't dare ask the govt for a dime. If satmar wants no govt intrusion then they need to survive like in Israel without taking any money from the medina. No school lunch programs,title 1, busing , security or any other perks they get from the govt should be allowed.

So anyone on government assistance can be forced to do what the government wants them to?

30

 Apr 09, 2018 at 10:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #29  
AmYisroel Says:

So anyone on government assistance can be forced to do what the government wants them to?

No, but they can be given the choice to either do what the government wants or get off programs.

31

 Apr 10, 2018 at 07:53 AM favish Says:

Reply to #24  
ercsd Says:

If you don't want government to "intrude into our yeshivos" than you shouldn't receive government money.

shoite, so if govt decides that pork is very healthy and should be part of lunch program we should eat it,heh?

32

 Apr 10, 2018 at 10:32 AM ercsd Says:

Reply to #31  
favish Says:

shoite, so if govt decides that pork is very healthy and should be part of lunch program we should eat it,heh?

You are rationalizing. I work in Rockland and see the quality of education these students get all the time. They can't spell the street that they live on or the town which they reside. It's pathetic. Keep rationalizing that's your only defense.

33

 Apr 10, 2018 at 12:20 PM cyrano Says:

Reply to #8  
Educated Archy Says:

Here is the big question that I have still not received a response for.

We agree that govt regulation of yeshiva's education is dangerous. They can force yeshivas to teach LGBT education etc... So a no govt regulation policy is vital.

But why don't schools teach a kosher secular edcuation that's vetted by frum ehriclha staff? What's wrong with teaching secular education in a kosher manner?

I have yet to see why not?? Is it bitul torah? (are 9th graders really learning in that time) What's hashkofically wrong with it?

And this is also not a debate on how much employment it brings. I am simply asking why not teach 9th grade males whats taught to 9th grade females? What's the difference? why not?

I have seen you raise this question before and it is an excellent one. However, in my opinion the answer is rather complex, and I don't know if I could do it justice due to the 1200 character limitation.

In the first half of the 20th century, the secular environment was relatively benign, and the danger of exposing our youth to its influences were rather insignificant. What could we fear, that a child would visit a neighbor to watch a baseball game on TV? Big deal. Therefore, the advantages of providing a basic secular education far outweighed the risks.

In these times, however providing our youth with even the most basic education
would be giving the children access to world values that are antithetical to our own. Even listening to a radio station can be a corruptive influence. It is therefore the decison of the parents, not the yeshiva faculity, to defer secular education until the child is mature enough to handle the disparity. There is plenty of time to play "catch up".

Let me stress that I personally do not concur with the above for reasons that are too lengthy to discuss here. Nonetheless, I believe that the argument can be made in favor of the current yeshiva system.

34

 Apr 11, 2018 at 04:03 PM favish Says:

Reply to #32  
ercsd Says:

You are rationalizing. I work in Rockland and see the quality of education these students get all the time. They can't spell the street that they live on or the town which they reside. It's pathetic. Keep rationalizing that's your only defense.

i learned in these yeshivas and nothing is hindering me ....again, you didnt answer....

35

 Apr 11, 2018 at 04:04 PM take Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

That's a myth preparatrated by Brisk and the yeshiva system.

The netziv's yeshiva did in fact cave in and offer a secular education. It was only when the govt said that they needed to teach secular studies full time and only learn at night, that the issue arose. And there was also politics including a din torah with the Mir.

Read up on the true history of voluzhin.

thats your own history

36

 Apr 11, 2018 at 04:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Bezalel Says:

I believe that people, including children, should be allowed to choose education for themselves. Why should parents get to choose more than the children themselves? It's the children's lives, not theirs. Parents get too much credit. Any two idiots can pop out a baby.

what makes you, mr nivel peh, think that the children are not idiots?and what is a goyishe idot kop doing here?

37

 Apr 12, 2018 at 12:11 AM MrGold Says:

Reply to #4  
ALTERG4 Says:

Wow... the night we all set by the seider with the famlys this miracle happens,
Satmar rabba the successor of bal divrei Yoel z"l made a wonderfull great job,
Tnx mr' felder & mr' zwiebel hashem will pay you back what you all did for klal yisrol,
(Jews always survived mosrim & haters since world creation, & there is a reason we have so much successful rich people by jews, take a look b&h camera store, & this loser moster has no job, no collage degree, no money, so he is trying now to blame others instead of building himself up)

ALTERG4, Mr. Moster does, in fact, have a degree and managed to build an organization that is gaining more and more power and influence by the day. He is not trying to blame others, he is trying to help students who would thrive with the extra arithmetic and language knowledge. What is wrong with allowing the boys to receive the same level of secular education as the girls do?

And by the way, it's *college* not collage.

38

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