The Matzav Shmoooze: Why Do We Team Up With Mosdos That Don’t Take English Seriously?

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Dear Editor,

I am worried about the proposed NY State regulations that could impact yeshivos, which I have been reading about for the past half year on Matzav.com.

However, there is a question that people have been asking that no one seems to be answering:

Many, if not most, yeshivos in New York State – the ones that Matzav.com readers in New York send their children to – provide an excellent general studies education. In fact, sources have told me that if the schools in question were only these yeshivos, then, because of the existing robust English programs that they already have, chances are that the State wouldn’t even be where it is today, trying to ram regulations down our throat.

So who is at fault?

It hurts to say, but there are mosdos in certain segments of the community, predominantly chassidishe ones, where the English programs are poor or non-existent. It is hard to understand why the decision has been made to jeopardize an entire yeshiva system in New York by aligning with these educational institutions that insist on having weak or non-existent English departments.

It is time that we say in a clear voice that our mainstream mosdos DO have solid English departments and that we do NOT align ourselves with those mosdos that do not.

Enough is enough.

A Worried Yid

Flatbush, Brooklyn

42 COMMENTS

  1. In fact, sources have told me that if the schools in question were only these yeshivos, then, because of the existing robust English programs that they already have, chances are that the State wouldn’t even be where it is today, trying to ram regulations down our throat.

    Who are your “sources”?

    Why doesn’t the state on its own only go after “those yeshivos”?

    Rav Yisroel Reisman and Rav Elyah Brudny very clearly told the state commissioner that their Yeshivos (Torah Vodaas and Mir) give a very good secular education before she issued the guidelines.

    How did that help them?

    etc?

  2. So how do you propose that state should differentiate between these types of schools?
    Wasnt the point of regent’s exams for this reason?

    • I think we can be open minded and caring enough not to throw chassidim under the bus. Would you like the modern orthodox to recommend our schools be shut down because the have more hours than us? And the Catholic schools should turn against the mo because they have a system mor similar to public school.

  3. the point is not the quality of the secular education but rather their involvement in our schools. look at England to understand what can happen. the English oversight wants the schools to teach our innocent children different cultures etc which are definitely against our values. under the communist regimes, we were unable to educate our children with our values. this is what can and will chas vsholom happen,

  4. This letter writer can’t be serious.
    Because it’s not about how much or how little secular education is taught. It’s about a menuval using the government to attack our chinuch system. Said menuval is just using the “secular education” excuse to undermine “veshinantem levanecha”.
    If there were no chassidisha system where boys learned the bare minimum, YU would have no limudei kodesh department. As with everything, all frumkeit and Torah has a trickle down effect.

    • Absolutely agree. It’s wrong and it’s also terribly shortsighted to think that they won’t eventually come after “our” schools, which is exactly what has already been done.

  5. There is no one there at the other end to talk to. They couldn’t care less if your Yeshiva has the highest sores in the nation on the Regents test, or the highest acceptance rate to the most prestigious goyishe institutions.
    The Jewish Press published documentation that they forced out of the hands of the State, showing that the Yeshivis score significantly higher on the regents exams than the public schools

    This is not a genuine attempt by the State to rectify or improve the secular education of our Yeshivos. This is a brazen attempt to destroy our education system and replace it with their own secularized system. You need to believe Rabbi Reisman when he tells you that there was no interest whatsoever on the part of the NYSED in discussion with him and Rabbi Brudny.

    If you followed the sequence of events from the beginning as I did, you would realize this. See the sequence of events as laid out recently on yeshivos.org or the Agudah website.

    This is unfortunately a state of war. And, by the way, it is inexcusable that the Board of Regents has not received 100,000 complaints, about this cynical attempt to wrest control of our Yeshivos away from us, from our community. We are all Aasid Litein Es Hadin-for sleeping through this, and enjoying our summer and doing nothing , while they tear down our yeshivos and destroy the chinuch of our kinderlach and einiklach.

    Yidden, WAKE UP! Complain! Let them at least hear our voice!

    AND DAVEN!

    • Thank you. You hit the nail on the head.
      This hit piece was probably written and submitted to Matzav by Moster (Yaffed) in a sneaky devious way. Matzav.com should have the maturity to follow daas torah, and remove this article.

    • Asid liten es hadin?!
      And you my friend, might have to asid liten es hadin for not being dan lekaf zechus.
      Here is my thought. For decades, we had organizations claiming to represent klal yisroel. I would see pictures in the chareidi tzaitungen of major askanim rubbing shoulders with the highest level of government.
      Where are these askanim?
      How come NOT ONE of these high government officials that we were told to vote for have come out to defend us?!
      Perhaps, Mr. wake up, we, the frum ppl have been duped and are jaded at having been told for decades that the askanim know what they are doing and then to have these terrible gezeiros happen under their noses.
      The eitzah? tefilah.

  6. your comments of = ” It hurts to say, but there are mosdos in certain segments of the community, predominantly chassidishe ones, where the English programs are poor or non-existen” is NOT TRUE !!!!

    I am a graduate of a CHASSIDISHE YESHIVA, took NYS Regents exams, graduated High School, had great jobs in big Wall Street firms for almost 40 years as Directors, Vice Presidents of some firms and all thanx to these CHASSIDISHE YESHIVA HIGH SCHOOLS.

    So STOP YOUR LOSHON HORAH against Chassidishe Yeshivos

    • There is a wide range of diversity among Hasidic institutions. In Bklyn for example, Hasidic schools like Bobov, Gur and Stolin (Veretzky in Midwood too I think is an example) have historically had decent or even good secular studies programs. On the other hand, other Hasidic schools had much less, if any such things.

      Ferfel evidently went to one of the BGS (Bobov, Gur, Stolin) type schools years ago. That is not relevant to the other type of Hasidic schools now.

      Ferfel, if you are so well educated, you should have some aptitude in the area of reading comprehension, and should be able to see that the writer didn’t say that all Hasidic yeshivas are deficient in the area of secular education as the schools under discussion. So stop libeling them.

  7. Dear writer I don’t know which community you belong to, but you don’t know what you’re talking about. One of the proofs that Mr. Moster has a vendetta particularly against the chasidisishe mosdos is exactly you’re argument. Moster speaks about the lack of English language skills. Moster grew up in this community he knows that the lack of English language skills has nothing, that’s right ZERO to do with the school. These children talk only Yiddish at home, to their friends, and in yeshiva except for the few hours of secular studies. Getting the state education involved will not change this. While on this subject It must be mentioned again and again that our school from the most Chasidish to the most modern have produced many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. Do you know why? It’s because of our Lemudai Kodesh curriculum. Let’s look at the core subjects, math, science, history, language arts. Each subject is very different, but there is an underlining commonality in all subjects. You need reading skills, reasoning skills, writing skills, critical thinking and so on. Children in yeshivos get all this and more when they learn to read and write in Hebrew, learn chumash with Rashi, and Gemara with their commentaries. As they advance to post-high school every yeshiva student is encouraged to write well thought out scholarly articles which are often published in journals. Any child that goes through our system has all the skills he needs to build a successful future. In fact, it is clear to me that the skills learned during the Hebrew program buttresses the skills learned in the secular department. This is why we find many successful entrepreneurs and businessmen in our community.

  8. Re who is at fault, you are correct. Thanks for speaking out!

    Re what to do now, now that the mess that came from those other institutions exists, is a second question. They tried to pull us into it and are trying to get us to save them. I say to them however, clean up the mess you created!

  9. The answer is so simple Parents don’t want to pay more tuition so the yeshiva
    can’t higher quality teachers that why
    Yeshiva tuition is compared to other
    secular private schools a bargain

  10. If you’d know some Jewish history you would understand that the Chasidim have a mesorah not to include secular studies in their yeshivos. One of the main reasons why the Minchas Elozor resisted joining the Agudah was do to their having a mesivta in Warsaw that included limudei chol. The Agudah was banned from being accepted in Hungary by the Minchas Elozor & never took root there.
    At this point in galus there are different mesora’s regarding teaching limudei chol & each group should follow their rebbeim.

    • “If you’d know some Jewish history you would understand that the Chasidim have a mesorah not to include secular studies in their yeshivos.”

      Is that really so?? What is your source for that contention?

      In reality there is a diversity of opinion among Chasidim in this area (as there is regarding other issues as well). Chasidim are not monolithic.

      For example, see the book “The Satmar Rebbe and His English Principal” by Hertz Frankel. He describes there how the late Satmar Rebbe, R. Joel Teitelbaum, supported proper English education in Satmar boys schools decades ago!

  11. This letter is Rishus.

    IF the author does not secretly identify with Yaffed and isn’t a troll then he is one the guys you meet who love to sound off without knowing what they are talking about to show how smart they are.

    Even the Catholic schools and the independent private schools who won’t have to make any change to their curriculums in order to comply with this regulation see them as a major threat and aren’t saying “blame the Jews/Hassidim”. How can someone who is ostensibly a member of Klal Yisroel talk that way R’L?

  12. And pray tell why the Catholic and Christian school systems have also joined this fight against the DOE? Because they too feel that the DOE has no right to interfere in their education. They are surely not in the fight to protect the Chassidishe schools.
    It has nothing to do with the level of our English departments. They want to destroy our chinuch, make all schools equal to the public school system, and for that we must fight – all together

    • Why do we not hear of any Muslim schools joining this fight? Because no one believes that the state will start up with them; madrasas are in no danger of inspection.

  13. This letter writer is so short- sighted. Doesn’t he realize that things like this come from the Ribbono Shel Olam, and that the solution will come from Him too? The more Yidden this affects, the greater the siyata dShmaya.

  14. Have you ever heard the expression about the tail wagging the dog? Well, that’s what has happened here.

    The Hasidim have driven the Chareidi agenda (at least to a great extent).

  15. The Department of Education;s new regulations would force MAJOR changes to the secular curriculum of the LITVISH yeshivos with excellent English Departments. The regulations would require them to double the number of hours the Litvish yeshivos give, thereby reducing the time available for Torah study, and increase our children’s already long school day into a much longer school day. Additionally, the regulations would force the Litvish yeshivos to start teaching secular subjects that are foreign to us, apikorsus and unneeded.

  16. I reread this article and I’m even more disgusted at what this writer writes. Did he ever enter a chasidisha english department? On what is he basing his facts? I do substituting, and have substituted in many litvishe yeshiva english departments and in almost every chasdishe mossad in Boro Park. As in any business, the leader of the team sets the tone for the company. In schools, the principal sets the tone for the school and the teacher sets the tone for the class. I can say it again with confidence, that there is much learning going on in the chasidishe English departments. How dare this writer malign an entire community. The only real difference between the litvishe mossad and chasidishe mossad is: in livisher yeshivos they teach science and history as a subject, while many chasidisher yeshivas do science and history as projects. Language arts and math are exactly the same.
    When Mr. Moster began his campaign against yeshivas there were some well-meaning people that said, “If the English teachers would talk more English during English time this would solve the language problem. This is what is called a red herring, for two reasons. One, If you have a child who speaks Yiddish 24/7, is discouraged from speaking English, and after his bar mitzva doesn’t speak a word of English until perhaps he gets married and goes to work, Speaking English 6-8 hours a week in elementary school is not helping much. Chasidesher children who speak a good English is usually because they have a friend or relative they talk to in English. Second, now that the SED is involved their agenda is to get ALL yeshivos to teach their progressive agenda.

  17. The letter writer is a known ausvorf from a chareidi mosdos and keeps trying to inculcate hatred towards G-d and the Torah to other chareidi yeshivos.

  18. The issue at hand is fundamental one, about the rights of parents to educate them in the manner that they see fit, and the level of interference government should be allowed, if any.

    For decades now, due to an alleged conflict with separation of church and state, NY State found itself unwilling and unable to fund yeshivas. All the more so, the state should respect this sacrosanct separation, with regard to the independence and autonomy of yeshivas.

  19. The fault of all this, lies with those Yeshivos that never had an English department. It had nothing to do with Frumkeit. They did not want to spend the extra funds to build up a decent secular department.
    Right now the State legislatures have clear statistics of how many of our people didn’t take English courses and what a high percentage of our people get government financial aid.
    Yes there are wealthy business men among us, but they never bail out the non-business people from having to accept food stamps.

    • Right now the State legislatures have clear statistics of how many of our people didn’t take English courses and what a high percentage of our people get government financial aid.

      This is pure baloney.

      Who complied those clear statistics? Where can I see them?

      Since when did the NYS legislature care or try to lower the number of people on government financial aid?

    • The fault of all this, lies with those Yeshivos that never had an English department.
      You sound so foolish. Can you tell me one Chasidisher yeshiva that doesn’t have an English Dept. There isn’t. As I wrote in my post above The litvisher yeshivas may have an extra hour for limuday chol, but they learn science and history in that extra hour. Math and English are the same in all yeshivos.

    • You also mention financial aid. This too has nothing to do with education. First of all many non-jews get Govt. assistance and they went to public school. Second, Most of our young men choose to learn in kollel for a year or two after getting married. When they join the work force many chasidisher woman stop working. Most households with one income will qualify for govt. assistance. This has zero to do with education.

  20. “Yes there are wealthy business men among us, but they never bail out the non-business people from having to accept food stamps.”

    There are wealthy businessmen among us, who never had an English education, who bail out and support many non-buisness people. There are also people who got an english education, who are on food stamps.

    Parnosa comes from HKB”H. Please don’t cloud the issue of the government meddling in education, with food stamps.

  21. “Since when did the NYS legislature care or try to lower the number of people on government financial aid?”

    Making people more self sufficient and reducing the amount of people on government assistance is a long term goal of governments.

    • Making people more self-sufficient is totally NOT a current agenda of NYS legislature.

      Can you give me a link to even one news article about the current NYS legislature meeting for the specific purpose of trying to lower the number of welfare recipients in NYS?

      • “Making people more self-sufficient is totally NOT a current agenda of NYS legislature.

        Can you give me a link to even one news article about the current NYS legislature meeting for the specific purpose of trying to lower the number of welfare recipients in NYS?”

        Currently the NYS legislature has been taken over by extreme leftists, so that is not on the top of their agenda of course…

        The question is if it is a chillul Hashem, having so many Yidden on gvt. assistance…….there is grounds for such a point of view.

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