American Gedolei Roshei Yeshivos Call for “Smartphone-Free Schools”

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A new letter signed by Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, Chacham Yosef Harari Raful, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, and Rav Malkiel Kotler calls for yeshivos and schools to maintain a smartphone-free environment.

The letter was released in Lashon Hakodesh and English.

“It is well known that the most effective method of influencing the next generation is the example set by mechanchim and mechanchos,” states the English letter. “As the Chazon Ish writes (Emunah U’bitachon 4:16): A talmid imitates his rebbi always, and he learns from his actions more than from his lectures. The possession of a smartphone in the hands of roshei mosdos, mechanchim, and mechanchos is something that misleads innocent talmidim and talmidos who cannot distinguish between one smartphone and another, introducing an air of permissibility into their hearts which are struggling with the test of our generation. It is obvious that we are obligated to demonstrate for the next generation what the true image of a ben Torah is, and how to deal with matters of technology in a holy manner.”

The letter continues: “Therefore, let us come together and strengthen ourselves to prohibit the entry of any smartphone in all places of chinuch, and also to strongly caution all mechanchim and mechanchos not to show anything at all on this device even outside of school locations and hours.

“Although the possession of this device can be very beneficial for a school’s needs, and it can seem to be for the purpose of a mitzvah, nevertheless, the benefit is outweighed by the loss in regards to the chinuch of the next generation in holiness and purity.”

Further, the letter states that “There are already more than thirty chinuch institutions that have succeeded to run their mosdos ‘smartphone free.’ Anything that is done to strengthen the holiness and purity of talmidim and talmidos, even if it is not easy, receives great Siyata Dishmaya. In this merit, may you be blessed with all that is good.”


    • Actually, the Vikings settled in the Americas before Columbus was born. We have no idea how many peoples crossed seas or land bridges. Who discovered America has nothing to do with phones (none of which are smarter than a rock).

  1. Upon learning of the new letter calling on Roshei Mosdos to refrain from bringing smart phones to their mosdos, one Rosh Mosod was heard muttering to himself: “Great! So now I’m going to have to schlep my mini tablet to school?!”

  2. I’m not sure why they think that Roshe Mosdos have something to do with chinuch. They are regular baalei batim, at best askonim. Does the rest of their behavior resemble someone our children are supposed to look up to?

    • Um yea. The amount of judgement is great.
      They’re human just like you. So they work. I’m glad they do most likely your sons will too after a couple years or less.
      That being said creating a false reality to shelter kids usually back fires and one size fits all just doesn’t fit all at all.


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