THEY PICKED THE WRONG ONE: Yeshiva Depicted as ‘Subpar’ by New York Times Is Harvard Feeder

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By Ira Stoll

The head of a Jewish school in Queens is faulting The New York Times for illustrating an article about “subpar education” at Jewish schools with a photo of his institution, which he says has sent six of its alumni to Harvard Law School in the past decade.

The statement from the Rabbi Yaakov Bender of Yeshiva Darchei Torah is as follows:

The New York Times has an article online suggesting that yeshiva students receive a subpar education. It is a horribly unfair attack on our entire yeshiva system. Incredibly, the Times article is illustrated with a photo of our yeshiva, Darchei Torah.

Subpar? Our students regularly outperform students in New York City’s public schools.

Students who want to avoid a subpar education should leave the public schools and enroll in a Yeshiva such as ours.

We take the most pride in fulfilling our primary mission of teaching Torah and imparting Torah values. But we also outperform the public schools academically at every level. Our performance on State tests far surpasses theirs, we offer numerous Advanced Placement courses, and our graduates achieve great success in their chosen professions. Six of our alumni have attended Harvard Law School over the past decade!

We also do far better than the public schools in other important ways: we are free of drugs, crime and the disrespect that plagues New York youth. Our Yeshivos certainly do not need the advice of our local school boards.

They surely should be interested in observing us, not to evaluate our performance but to learn how to emulate our success.

The New York Times has no business disparaging our yeshiva system. Their criticism of yeshivas was as off-base as their choice of a photo of Darchei Torah to accompany their article.

The federal education secretary, Betsy DeVos, visited the school earlier this year.

On the Times website, the headline, “Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out,” appears directly over a photo of Darchei Torah, with the Times photo cutline, “A group of graduates from ultra-Orthodox Jewish private schools in New York claim that some yeshiva students are never taught secular lessons, like science or history.”

The Times has been waging a “war against Yeshivas,” as The Algemeiner has pointed out in the past.

(c) The Algemeiner Journal



  1. The Times chose to put a picture first of Yeshiva Darchai Torah and then replaced it with a picture of yeshiva of Flatbush. This only reinforces what Rabi Bender says. The DOE is not only after Satmar and chasidishe schools. They are after all orthodox schools from Ramaz to Satmar and all types of yeshivos in between. Their goal is obvious, to get us to teach evolution, learn about other cultures and religions and of course alternative lifestyles l”a.
    I was wondering did anyone inspect the dozens of public school systems in New York State to see if they are doing these mandated hours of curriculum .I have a feeling many are not. In addition are the students passing

    • Sadly this off-base and completely devoid of fact comment makes it to the public eye. Public schools are regularly reporting attendance and adherence to curriculum standards. Public schools are measured through national and local tests as well as regents and graduation rates. Schools that underperform, see the Bloomberg era, were closed, reorganized and reopened as smaller schools with specialties. Look up Beach Channel High School, Far Rockaway High School, Junior and senior high school across the city. They are now housing 4 to 5 schools per building in order to increase graduation rates.
      The goal is obvious, report the truth. That little word truth would remove the $$$ only hanhalahs and obliterate the dynastic schools. Oh gee whiz, what a shame that would be.
      I went through the public school system, it was better in the 1960’s and 1970’s as we only worried about knives, bad cafeteria food, and tyrannical teachers who should have worked in Rikers or the Tombs. Our principal raised money, for school equipment and functions – not his pocket. Unions and self-interests ripped apart NYC schools. Self-interests are ripping apart mosdos schools.

  2. Naftuli Moster is a RASHA. He represents the misyavnim of todays generation. The tzaros he is causing Torah Yidden is unfathomable. He is playing with the Aibishter’s fire.

  3. To Boruch. Read my comment again I wasn’t stating a fact I said I was wondering. In any case I have been a tutor in many different yeshivos. In the 1.5 – 2hrs of instruction the children learn a lot. Most kids are on grade levrl in math. Language will always be a problem no matter what Moster or the DOE does. How can a child learn English if 22 out of 24 hours he is talking Yiddish.


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