By the Kalover Rebbe
Among the tens of thousands of letters recently received by the Board of Regents of New York State regarding the new proposed regulations on Private Schools, they just got a very influential letter from The Kalover Rebbe Shlita, who wrote from his personal experience.
The Kalover Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Moshe Taub, was born in 1938 in Romania. After surviving the Holocaust under the terror of the Nazis, his family continued to live in Romania, and he learned in a local Yeshiva.
After a short era, the Russian Communist regime who occupied and dominated Romania, started to close the Yeshivas, according to their Anti-Religion agenda, and their Communist view that the choice of children’s education belongs to the government. Like many other Orthodox Jews, the Rebbes family then escaped to the free New York, were the Rebbe was able to continue to learn in a Yeshiva.
After his marriage in London he taught in Torah institutions for some two decades. Upon his father’s Petirah in 1978, he assumed the position of Kalever Rebbe, and since then he took his time and energy, and the money he earned from good business deals, and he dedicated it with the utmost self-sacrifice and tireless devotion, to visit and travel all over the globe, where there are Jewish communities and high schools, to strengthen them on a communal and individual basis.
The Rebbe is putting special efforts to help and encourage the Jewish education. During the decades of his holy work, he helped many children to switch from public schools to Yeshivas, thousands of them in New York. Recently the Rebbe launched major campaigns to establish the “French children Fund” and the “Vaad Hatzolas Doros Bukharia” which are helping thousands of Jewish children to get Jewish education. With the help of nearly 100 Gabbaim, stationed in a few offices, the Rebbe makes sure to follow up on every single one of them to find out how they’re doing. The Rebbe became the best witness on the good results of the Yeshiva educational system, both spiritually and materially.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, illness has steadily ravaged and taken over the body of the Rebbe. It has curtailed any movement and even his speech. Even so, through his indomitable spirit to serve his Creator and his people, the Rebbe still communicates dynamically and powerfully, but now it is through his penetrating eyes. Eye-tracking technology enables ALS patients to communicate, and the Rebbe utilizes it to continue his holy work.
Now, after The State Education Department has proposed new regulations for the private schools, which are against Educational and Religious Liberty, the Rebbe took his time and energy to write with his eyes the following letter, which carries a very powerful message:
Dear Members of The Board of Regents,
As I have ALS, I am limited to writing to you with my eyes. However, please know that my words are coming from the depths of my heart.
After surviving the Holocaust, my parents and I lived in Romania. As an Orthodox Jew, I was placed in a Jewish school. When Romania came under Russian dominion, the Communist regime terminated our rights to choose religious education.
Jewish education is central to our lives, so we immigrated to New York, a state characterized by liberty and religious freedom.
Over the past seventy years, I have witnessed the growth and success of students enrolled in private Jewish schools in New York. Thanks to American democratic values, thousands of students transferred from public schools to the Yeshiva educational system where they flourished academically and morally.
Therefore, I am shocked that the New York State Department of Education has proposed new regulations, which display disrespect and intolerance for our belief and culture, and attempt to compromise our religious standards and practice.
We escaped from Russia to USA with a dream to raise our children in accordance with our sacred tradition without any disturbance. Let us keep on the realization of OUR American Dream.
May G-d bless you,