Reuven Blau reports in the New York Post: A Brooklyn yeshiva wants parents and pupils to abide by an 11th Commandment — thou shalt not surf the Web inappropriately. Tiferes Yisroel, a popular all-boys Jewish school on East 35th Street in Flatbush, has demanded parents buy ‘Net-nanny software to monitor their households’ online activity.
Parents then have to assign a chaver, or friend, to get detailed Web-browsing histories automatically e-mailed to them by a $5-per-month monitoring service called WebChaver.
Administrators at the 763-student Orthodox elementary and high school say the system is necessary to prevent online experiences that just are not kosher.
“We are following the dictates of our [rabbis] — that as human beings, we cannot trust ourselves. This is proper education,” said a letter from school officials mailed to parents this month.
Some parents scoffed at the Big Brother edict.
“Of course I’m not signing up. They really just want to monitor the parents,” fumed one father, who noted that his two young children are not even allowed to use the home computer.
“I’m not paying $60 a year so they can monitor me. I don’t go to that school — my kids do.”
While other Jewish schools have suggested parents use the spy system, Tiferes Yisroel is the first local one to actually demand that they do.
Only about 20 parents have agreed, a source said.
Rabbis at the school urged parents choose an eagle-eyed, and preferably female, chaver.
“It is our strong recommendation that our chaver should be outside the immediate family — certainly not a male member of our immediate family,” the letter said.
WebChaver, run by a New Jersey-based nonprofit, will give school officials a list of the parents who sign up and their chavers.
Administrators at the school did not return calls seeking comment.