Why the ashkenazi schools don't accept sefardi children

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  • #618038

    Rabbi of Crawley
    Participant

    People assume it is baseless hatred or racism, unfortunately that is often the case

    However many times and I believe, in the majority of cases, it is because of the following two reasons;

    1) The Sefardi children are brought up at home in a different way than the Ashkenazi kids, therefore it will be difficult to integrate them into the school environment as they have a different way of expressing themselves academically and socially

    2) The Ashkenazi school systems are based on the eastern european model – beis yakov, cheder, yiddish, etc which is very different from the old sefardic schooling system

    So really it is not “baseless hatred” or racism it is becasue the governors and the staff believe it is not in the sefardi communities interest to integrate their children into these schools.

    #1164074

    It’s actually A bit of both.

    #1164075

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Where are these yeshivos that you find this phenomenon?

    #1164076

    MDG
    Participant

    Let’s apply what I call the “Black people test” and see how it comes out. Replace whatever group you are talking about with Blacks and see if you could be accused of racism.

    1) Black children are brought up at home in a different way than white kids, therefore it will be difficult to integrate them into the school environment as they have a different way of expressing themselves academically and socially

    2) The White school systems are based on the European model – which is very different from the old Black system

    Sounds potentially racist.

    #1164077

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    MDG

    The difference is a nuber of facts

    1) Blacks and whites in America now are basically trying to learn the same stuff with the same goals even if surface level vocabulary is different.

    2) Ashkenazin amd Sephardim have different minhagim and they pasken differently.

    A true Sephardi has completely and totally different halachos in primary ways that make it very difficult to teach children, ideally ateacher should be able to teach a class.

    1) Without having to explain on Pesach what Ashkenazim hold is chametz the Sephardim hold is Matza and rice.

    2) Our Sefer TOrah looks and is held completely differently then theirs.

    3) Hald the class pronounces the taamim one way the other a different way.

    Along with many other very real differences.

    And I write this as someone who counts a proud sefardi as one of his best friends.

    #1164078

    rwndk1
    Member

    The main question is why do Sephardim want to be in Ashkenazi schools that don’t want them.

    #1164079

    yungerman123
    Participant

    you mean “some of my best friends are sefardi?” Let’s apply above stated “black test”

    #1164080

    Yes, but I go to school with girls who are chassidish and NOT litvish. Heck, there are some chabadniks too. We have some sefardi in my schools, let’s just let down the barrier. We are ALL Jews!!!

    The racism must stop! One of my good friends is sefardi and was rejected from a top seminary because of this. Itis not fair. They don’t know or care that she gets straifght A’s, is in charge of Chesed, has the biggest heart, perfect BY girl, and they didn’t even CHECK who her friends are! Because they accepted EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER BEST FRIENDS ECEPT HER.

    Why? Because they saw her last name and said “nope”

    I am so done and disgusted by the way Jews can act. It’swrong, it’s NOT TORAH! THIS IS NOT EMES!

    It’s not “they are different” it’s pure racism. People stereotype them and say automatically think BY sefardi girls are crazy party animals just because a percentage of sefardi girls are that way. But it’s not the majority. It’s not fair to put them down or shame them.

    In halacha class we all right on top of our papers if we are sefardi, ashkenazi, and so on so we are graded fairly. Some teachers make us learn both halachas because “you never know who you marry”

    It’s the 3 weeks. Share the ahava and stop the hate

    #1164081

    I llive in Israel where I see firsthand that it is no less than racism. People avoid sefardim, etheopians. Feel uncomfortable around them, don’t want to be neighbors, send their kids to the same nursery. NURSERY.

    #1164082

    akuperma
    Participant

    From press accounts, the “all” Ashkenazi school do include some Sefardim. It appears that the issue is that some Sefardim wo are on the frum side of religious zionism value the higher quality education in the hareidi schools, even though their lifestyle is closer to the religious zionists. Needless to say, non-hareidi Ashkenazim are also included from such schools. The analogy to American racial biases is clearly without basis since intermarriage between Ashkenazi and Sefardi families is common. The men’s school tend to be more open to those with lower religious standards (perhaps feeling they can raise their standards) whereas it appears that girls’ school are more defensive (focused on avoiding less religious influences). It does appear that those critical of the schools in question tend to be opponents of the hareidi style education, and this ulterior motive i why their criticism should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

    #1164083

    simcha613
    Participant

    Ben LEvi- your comment is an affront to our Mesorah. Sure there are different minhagim between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, and sometimes psak din is a bit different…. but it’s the same Torah Shebichsav and the same Torah Sheba’al Peh. Other than maybe having a separate minyan and a separate halacha seder which is such a small portion of the day, there is no reason they can’t learn the same Torah together in the same schools.

    #1164084

    Joseph
    Participant

    Wouldn’t separate minyanim be racist?

    #1164085

    Avi K
    Participant

    Crawley,

    1. People from different backgrounds in general express themselves differently. In fact,no two people express themselves the same way.Thus no two nevi’im prophesied in the same style.

    2. Today only Chasidic schools teach in Yiddish. Moreover, Yiddish also has different dialects which are not necessarily mutually intelligible. In fact, Rav Arye Levine zatzal re-tested a boy from a Hungarian background because he thought that maybe he did not understand his Lithuanian pronunciation. According to your line of reasoning there should be separate schools for each ethnic group.

    3. Why can’t they teach both sets of minhagim? In fact, it would be good for kids to know this. It wouldenrich their knowledge of Judaism.

    #1164086

    Joseph
    Participant

    All Yiddish dialects among frum communities are mutually intelligible.

    #1164087

    yehudayona
    Participant

    Ben Levi, by your reckoning, Ashkenazim should have different schools for gebrokts eaters and those who don’t eat gebrokts. After all, to a little kid whose family doesn’t eat gebrokts, it’s chometz, just as rice and beans are chometz to a little kid who’s an Ashkenazi. One would hope that when they get a little older, they understand that these are minhagim, and alternative minhagim are just as valid.

    #1164088

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Actually there are separate schools for Litvaks and Chassidim and most people would look at a litvishe boy trying to go to a Satmar or Gerrer school as weird and the same vice versa.

    #1164089

    Separate minyanim would not be racist at all.

    The only reason for separate minyanim is that you can’t have more than one nusach simultaneously in the same minyan. So it wouldn’t be “the minyan for Sephardim” and “the minyan for Ashkenazim,” it would be “the Nusach Ashkenaz minyan” and “the Nusach Edot HaMizrach minyan” (throw in “the Nusach Sphard minyan” too, if you like).

    Anybody would be free to daven at whichever minyan they want, no questions asked. Not racism, just plain utilitarianism.

    #1164090

    Avi K
    Participant

    Joseph, If the Americans and English are two peoples separated by a common language how much more so Yiddish speakers. When a Galitzianer says ‘Elokeini” a Litzvak thinks that he is saying “My Gd”. For that matter, Yiddish has many loan words from whatever is the local language. In fact, Ruchama Shain commented in “All for the Boss” that when she returned to NY form mir her relatives did not understand her son’s Polish Yiddish as they spoke American Yiddish.

    Ben Levi, Ponevich has many Chassidic talmidim and even waives the no beards rule for Chassidic bachurim (Litvaks consider it haughty for a bachur to have a beard). Rav Schach was very much opposed to ethnic discrimination.

    JF, there are many mixed minyanim. In fact, my weekday Shacharit minyan goes according whatever the Shatz davens. If there is a pinch hitter in the middle it switches.

    #1164091

    Correct– but the Shatz can only daven one nusach at a time, and there are many people who are particular to daven a certain nusach only.

    #1164093

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Avi K

    I am not sure what your point is,

    Yes Ponovich has Chassidish bochrim who wish to learn in a Litvish Yeshiva to get the Litvishe “derech halimu”, Ponovich also has Sefardi talmidim who come for the same reason.

    Most yeshivos in E”Y have that, however they all have a cap on how many they will take since they wish for it to remain a “Litvishe” Yeshivah and the same vice versa.

    As fro R’ Shach being oppose, that’s actually not entirely accurate, Rav Shach was opposed as long as there was not any “top Sefardi” Yeshivos, he was actually very for Sefardim establishing “top sefardi yeshivos so the Sephardi Mesorah would not be lost.

    There are many letters in Michtavim U”mamorim about this you can look there.

    #1164094

    Abba_S
    Participant

    A year or two ago there was a case in Israel with kindergarden or first grade girls and they went to court (secular). The Yeshiva was ordered to admit the sefardi girls. They appealed and lost and it was Puruim time. All the ashginazi parents wouldn’t let their children go to school. The Court then ordered the parent to send their children to school. When they refused they were found in contempt and sent to jail. Finally to government agree to build a separate ashginazi school if the parents would send their kid to school. The last 2 days all the children were in school playing together and the government had to build a new girl school for the ashganazi.

    #1164095

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wouldn’t separate minyanim be racist?

    If they are separated by force (as is the case with schools), perhaps.

    The Wolf

    #1164096

    brisker26
    Participant

    People here seem to be afraid of racism as if it’s kefirah. Anything that smacks even a bit; if it can somehow be understood to be the american anathema of ‘racism’, it is wrong, evil, etc..

    Judaism is racist. just look at the maharal’s sefer gevuros hashem, the netziv in emek davar about the 70 umos; chazal often talk about traits of nationalities – yishmaelim are perverse, eisav ae killers; they’re talking about intrinsic characteristics. avrohom unabashedly told eliezer that since he was from canaan, he was arur(cursed); today he would be called a racist.

    However, if we(frum people) say something the least bit ‘extreme’, that we are worried about setting precedents for laxity in faith, practice, or anything else to do with yiddishkeit…we are fanatics. People here are angered by those who practice higher levels of tznius, and much more angry at those that enforce them.

    Where are your priorities?

    “Let’s apply what I call the “Black people test” and see how it comes out. Replace whatever group you are talking about with Blacks and see if you could be accused of racism.”

    “Wouldn’t separate minyanim be racist?”

    We’re avoiding something that is considered terrible by goyishe standards like the plague – tell me, do you avoid ever coming close to the boundaries of what constitutes kefirah? when you make jokes about kolel men being supported, or make fun of their bitachon, are you not at the very least close to laitzanus? When you walk in the street, and perhaps do a double-take when seeing an untznius woman, do you avoid that like the plague?

    I am so grateful to hashem for having been spared these diseases. I am racist in the torah’s way, and proud of it.

    edited

    #1164097

    brisker26
    Participant

    Of course, baselss hatred because someone happens to be sefadi is something that is decried for generations by the gedolim – the chazon ish and the steipler both have letters saying chalilla vechas to reject a boy because he is sefardi..please do not interpret the above to mean that treating a group of klal yisroel bad is ok – it is terrible, sinas chinom, and it is without an excuse.

    as a matter of fact, the chazon ish had many reasons for allowing the speaking of ivrit (all the modernishe will say ‘whats the shailoh??’), but chief among them was that if we all speak yiddish, we will lose the sefardim, who at that time had no infrastructure.

    it is true though that what may be perceived as racism, might amount to simply not admitting a child from a family with sub-par religious standards, who just happens to be sefardi..every case needs to be individually examined.

    sinas chinom applies equaly to all jews; there is no specific prohibition on generalizing them – on the contrary, ive heard many stories about gedolim referring to the differences between the poilish, galitziana, litvish people; their maalos and chisronos…that is not sinas chinom, and if it’s racist, well, let it be; the torah say nowhere that one should not be racist.

    #1164098

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    ROC

    as a matter of fact, the chazon ish had many reasons for allowing the speaking of ivrit (all the modernishe will say ‘whats the shailoh??’), but chief among them was that if we all speak yiddish, we will lose the sefardim, who at that time had no infrastructure

    Sephardim have their own version of “Yiddish” Its called Ladino

    #1164099

    besalel
    Participant

    Ben levy and Yehuda yona,

    You may have been oiver some serious lavim your entire lives. Unlike sfardim we don’t eat kitniyos but we don’t hold them to be chumeitz. Believing them to be chumeitz is just plain wrong. Maybe some of the separation is based on ignorance not hate. But back to the topic at hand, why won’t sfardim in Israel, who have the choice, want to send to their own bais yaakovs? I’m not saying it justifies the racism but I just don’t get it.

    #1164100

    smerel
    Participant

    This is an issue that causes a lot of pain to people on both sides.

    The pain by those who are rejected is probably so intense that I don’t know how objective they are but at the end of the day IF a school feels it will be negatively impacted by accepting too many people from a certain group it is wrong to insist they accept them anyway.

    Of note (1)the Sephardic elite for the most part doesn’t send their children to schools that don’t have quotas. Why not?(2) People I know who very strongly condemn Israeli schools for not accepting too many Sephardim send their (American) children to very picky and rejecting schools

    #1164101

    baruchderrin
    Participant

    You complain about the sinas chinam in one paragraph, and then say hateful things to a poster in the next…

    #1164102

    Racism doesn’t have to be OK, just because goyim run from it. Goyim also believe that murder and rape are wrong, for instance.

    It happens to be that racism is intrinsically wrong. I sincerely hope that I don’t have to explain further…

    #1164103

    Rabbi of Crawley
    Participant

    avi k you are right indeed – yes , there are many middos everyone wants to acquire- the point is on our level to “aspire even though we may not acquire”

    #1164104

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Abba S.

    Actually in that case half the parents who refused to send their children to school were sefardi, a point that for some reason was overlooked by the secular media.

    #1164105

    cherrybim
    Participant

    It has nothing to do with racism or minhagim on the school’s part, the reason for rejecting S’fardim, Russian or anyone with a funny sounding last name is basically business, like most school decisions. If the schools were to accept children with these backgrounds, they would lose considerably more students and funding.

    #1164106

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Sephardim have their own version of “Yiddish” Its called Ladino”

    1) But it’s not Yiddish. How does this conflict with the poster’s statement. If you just want to tell us about Ladino, the overwhelming majority of people here know that as well as you.

    2) Ladino is hardly used now as opposed to Yiddish which is thriving in many places.

    #1164107

    MDG
    Participant

    “Sephardim have their own version of “Yiddish” Its called Ladino”

    Just those who came from the Spainish expulsion, which does Not include Syrains, Yemenite, Bavli, Persians, and many from North African. And even those from the Spainish expulsion, they rarely speak it today.

    But if you want to stereotype with what little knowledge you have of Sepharadim, I won’t stop you.

    #1164108

    Joseph
    Participant

    Most Syrian Jews descend from Spanish Jewry.

    #1164109

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One way you know you have really made it, that no matter what you post on, in hundreds of comments, that someone values your comments so much that they stalk you and only comment on what you say.

    I truly feel priviledged that someone values my comments so much that they stalk my every comment, Its nice to be appreciated and admired Even from a FORBIDDEN person

    #1164110

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Jews from Syria, Iraq, iran etc are not really Sephardim, they are Eduth HaMizrach even though for the most part they follow Sephardic customs.

    Sepharad means Spain and true Sephardic jews are decended from the jews of Spain

    #1164111

    MDG
    Participant

    “1) Blacks and whites in America now are basically trying to learn the same stuff with the same goals even if surface level vocabulary is different.”

    Same with Askenazim and Sephradim – same Torah

    “2) Ashkenazin amd Sephardim have different minhagim and they pasken differently.”

    So should you separate Ashkenazim that pasken by the Taz vs Shach vs M”A OR separate by modern poskim?

    “1) Without having to explain on Pesach what Ashkenazim hold is chametz the Sephardim hold is Matza and rice.”

    Total am-haartzus. Rice is not Chametz. The Rema says that the Ashkenazic minhag is not to eat rice, but one can own it and benefit from it. In fact the Rema says that if a little falls into a pot of food, the food is mutar on Pesah, unlike chametz.

    I think that most kids can respectfully see other minhagim while keeping their own.

    “2) Our Sefer TOrah looks and is held completely differently then theirs.”

    Same Torah inside. Beside which, some Sephardim use Sefrei Torah in cloth covers.

    “3) Hald the class pronounces the taamim one way the other a different way.”

    News flash. The Sephardic way is correct, at least according to an Ashkenazic Rebbe I had, who was a baal dikduk. According to that Rebbe, missing the accent could change the meaning. For example vi-A-hav-TA is the proper accent and not vi-a-HAV-ta (see the taamim). That mispronunciation changes the meaning from future to past, and a person may not be yotzei K’riat Sh’ma.

    Actually Ashkenazim used to do it correctly until the Haskala.

    #1164112

    For all practical purposes, Edot HaMizrach and Sepharadim from Spain get lumped together in one category of “dark, exotic non-Ashkenazim”.

    Not saying it’s right or wrong, but that’s the reality.

    #1164113

    cherrybim: That IS racism, though. The school is condoning racism if they have no qualms about bowing to the racist tendencies of their students’ families and their donors.

    #1164114

    MDG
    Participant

    “Most Syrian Jews descend from Spanish Jewry.”

    Because of intermingling over the generations, that’s true, but the majority of their Yichus is not Spanish. That’s why they don’t do Ladino. The Spanish Jews that went to Syria comprised only a minority at that time.

    #1164116

    i love coffe
    Participant

    “For all practical purposes, Edot HaMizrach and Sepharadim from Spain get lumped together in one category of “dark, exotic non-Ashkenazim”.

    Not saying it’s right or wrong, but that’s the reality.”

    Not the reality. Sephardim from Spain are actually very pale with dark hair.

    #1164117

    i love coffe
    Participant

    Generally speaking.

    #1164118

    It doesn’t matter what they actually do or don’t look like, that’s how people think of them. I mean that’s the reality of societal perception, not the reality of their actual historical genealogy.

    #1164119

    Let me just say that I am a sphardi. I moved to Israel and was told by my rabbis to change my name if I do make the move. I did it. I now pray with ashkenazim and see the world from their side. My rov is ashkenazi he changed his nusach to sphardi. We have to understand he told me, “WE NEED EACH OTHER.” There are middos that are stressed in sphardim from the galus. There are middos that are stressed in Ashkenazim from the galus. Good Or Bad they are part of us. The only way for us to complete ourselves just like husband and wife, we must learn from each other deal with each other and live with each other. We complete each other. I feel very lucky to have a true understanding of the maalot of both. To incorporate both into our lives is a major advantage. Ashkenazim are very suspicious in nature from Europe. Sphardim are very inclusive by nature from galus of yshmoel. This is all played out in our daily lives and our education system. Through understanding the approach one can integrate whether into ashkenazi education system or to sphardi education system.

    We should know everything to know about each other it will make us better people and better jews and we will then be complete and hashem will love us even more.

    #1164120

    cherrybim
    Participant

    jewishfeminist02 – “That IS racism, though.”

    It’s not racism since the applicants are accepted by the school if they have large bank accounts.

    #1164121

    No, it’s still racism. The schools accept Ashkenazim no matter how much money they have, but by Sephardim you have to be a millionaire. Just because they accept SOME Sephardim doesn’t make that not a racist policy.

    #1164122

    I think he was being sarcastic

    #1164123

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    The benefits of living OOT.

    All frum Jews send their kids to the one orthodox day school. Chances are it is run by Chabad and full of Litvish, Syrian, Israeli, EuroTraditional MO, and the children of the Lubavitchers running the place.

    The kids daven at school from Tehillat HaSem, and follow the Chabad luach. They go home and follow their family traditions and attend different shuls with different nusashim. BUT the community all works together to ensure there will be a vibrant school to serve all who want to attend. and they will be supported by non-frum members of the community and Federation as well.

    #1164124

    I live in such a community, except that the school is not run by Chabad. My husband would never, ever agree to send our children to a Chabad school.

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