Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel DECLARES WAR Against NYS Education Department [FULL AUDIO CLIP]

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The Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel delivered a fiery speech last night, during which he effectively declared war against the NYS Education Department. The speech was delivered at the 74th annual “Chuf Alef Kislev” event, the day Hagaon HaRav Yoel Teitelbaum ZATZAL, the founder of Satmar Chassidus in America, escaped from the Nazis during the Holocaust in 1944.

The gathering was held at a massive warehouse in Williamsburg, with thousands of Chassidim in attendance.

The highlight of the annual Yom Hatzoloh event is the speech by the Rebbe, using the forum to address some of the burning issues on the agenda, both in Eretz Yisrael and primarily, outside of Israel.

As YWN has been reporting, New York State is taking steps towards stricter enforcement of its education requirements on yeshiva elementary schools. In line with recently released NYS Education Department guidelines, all yeshiva elementary schools must teach a ‘substantially equivalent education’ to public schools, with a minimum of six hours of secular studies daily. The new regulations leave little flexibility for what yeshiva elementary schools may teach.

This is cause for serious concern to many, and this year, the Satmar Rebbe dedicated his annual speech to addressing this new Gezeira, vowing a tenacious fight in what it sees as state intervention in the education of the tenokos shel beis raban, an unacceptable situation to put it mildly.

The Rebbe gave clear instructions to his followers to defy the Education Department’s new orders, noting that the yeshiva system’s successes far outweigh those of the alternative, public schools, which he blasted as needing far more reform than yeshivos.

In his approximately 60 minute long address, the Rebbe first addressed the situation surrounding a new IDF draft law in Israel, which may be legislated in the near future, vowing to fight “that not a single bochur will fall to the Zionists R”L”. The Rebbe then addressed the harsh Gezeira being faced by yeshivos in New York State as a result of the new state educational guidelines mentioned above.

The Rebbe then slammed New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia, “who conspired with traitors and the wicked to persecute chareidi Yiddishkeit in New York, which only wants to educate its children in accordance to Torah and tradition as has been from generation to generation, in talmidei torah, in yeshivos ketanos, and in girls schools” cried the Rebbe.

[SHOCK: New NYS Guidelines Require Yeshiva Elementary Schools to Teach AT LEAST 6 HOURS A DAY of Secular Studies]

The Rebbe continued: “She wants to change Klal Yisrael and remove us from our religion exactly as the Greeks wanted in their time, to destroy the education institutions, a decree of extermination (shmad). Who would have thought that here, in the greatest democracy in the world, a time would come when a decree on education would become reality?”

“I hereby declare that Klal Yisroel will not bow down or surrender to the wicked, not even before the Commissioner of Education, and with great devotion we will be able to educate our children in Torah education. We have had many situations in the past demanding mesirus nefesh for the Torah HaKadosha, and also today, we will launch a major war against the Commissioner of Education in any way [necessary] without compromises and agreements.”

“In a democratic country there is freedom of religion and they have no right to interfere in our religion, and if the Commissioner of Education wants to improve education in the State of New York, please ask the public schools to correct their education curriculum. We have been living in New York for 70 years, which is already a number of generations, and one can already see the fruit of our education as compared to the public-school education. In our schools they do not murder, there is no violence, no drug sales and no thieves. Even percentage wise, we are more successful than the public school graduates,” the rebbe continued.

[TROUBLE FOR NY YESHIVAS: Schools Could Face Pressure Under New Rules]

The massive crowd at the Asifa on Wednesday night

The Rebbe continued to attack the commissioner and the poor education of the non-Jews in New York. “We see the percentage of graduates of their (public school) education, and the graduates of the Jewish education system; who fills the prisons and who fills the large commercial houses and factories here in New York?

Percentage wise, we contribute more to the economy with the graduates of our institutions than the graduates of their institutions. Therefore, the government has turned a blind eye to this day and they realized that even though they invest $25,000 per student in government schools, compared with a few tens of dollars per student in transportation and other budgets, they benefit a great deal more from the students of the Jewish education versus their graduates.”

“Therefore,” the Rebbe concluded, “we will not sit idly by but we will fight a fierce battle over our right to live in our religion, and B’ezras Hashem, we will cancel this terrible gezeira and will not obey the Education Commissioner in any way. Of course, it will only happen if there is achdus. We must put all the petty politics aside and to seriously unite all the communities and unite all of the chareidi Jews, to exploit the ties with the leaders of state, to the federal court, and B’Shem Hashem, Na’ase V’Natzliach!”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




36 COMMENTS

  1. nonsense , i was there , the rebbe explained in detail the facts & history leading up to the current administrations request. this headline is totally misleading as if its dovid and goliaths … the rebbe stressed that there are ramifications and serious consequences and lastly you can listen he said ” it needs a level headed & united approach ( in yiddish dan zein bekovod rosh u beachdus fun ale kreizin)

  2. The Rav proudly proclaims: ” We have been living in New York for 70 years, which is already a number of generations, and one can already see the fruit of our education as compared to the public-school education”….

    Yes, we can certainly see the fruit of Satmar education or should he more accurately say the rotting fruit of non-education and functional illiteracy for generations of their graduates most of whom appear unable to secure a job that allows them to earn a sufficient parnassah and support their families. Based on U.S. government census data, NONE of the nation’s 3,700 villages, towns or cities with population greater than than 10,000 people has a higher proportion of its population living in abject poverty and receiving welfare payments from the state and federal governments than KJ. NONE. Not a town in West Virginia or Mississippi….only KJ in suburban New York. Kol hakovod to the Satmar school administrators. What a record to be proud of!!!!

  3. even the lubavitcher rebbe had secular education and look how great he became. IN ENGLAND MOST JEWISH SCHOLLS HAVE SECULAR EDUCATION AND THE BOCHURIM GROW UP WELL. WHY SHOULD WE PANIC SO MUCH. HASHEM WILL HELP US AND EVEN WITH SECULAR EDUCATION WE WILL GROW UP AS YIREI SHOMAYIM

  4. Godolhadorah You don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m a tutor for NYC I have been around to many chasidishe and litvche schools It’s true some kids can get a little rowdy by the time they start English, but as a whole in the hour and a half to two and a half hours they have English they accomplish much learning. Most students do pretty well in math. In addition think skills are a big part of learning gemara. The main problem is the language barrier, but this is not going to change since the kids are talking in Yiddish 22 out of 24 hours a day. As far as the poverty level this has ZERO yes ZERO to do with the education. Most of the young adults go to kollel when they get married and once they have two three children the wife stops working. Any family earning a minimum wage will qualify for government programs regardless of their education.

  5. Let’s remember: These new guidelines – which is a blatant infringement on our religious freedoms – affect Ramaz as much as they do Satmar.

    We all – chasidim, yeshivish, MO, sephardi and ashkenazi – have to unite against this decree and take this up to the Supreme Court. Either fund the secular education at yeshivas or butt out!

  6. Gadol Hatorah,

    Educated people look at more than poverty levels. Which village in the United States (with an average rate of 1.9 children per family) has so many children in each household?

    The average Satmar yungerman (whose wife tends to her children) earns more than $60K – which is the median household income on the US (with two wage earners). They definitely earn more than $35K – the median income for a single breadwinner.

  7. This idea of very minimal secular ed during elementary school is a made up phenomenon by the american chassidim and copied by the litvisher velt.
    Its pure poison .
    Just look at history back way back and u will find secular as accepted by all.
    And for the satmar rebbe to compare his chassidim to public school grads was a very bad move.

    Its an open shut case of who is more successful.

  8. @Gadolhadorah
    As someone who is not a member of the Satmar Community (nor any Chassidus for that matter), but has an inside view of the community by being employed and working closely with members of the community, I would like to respond to your comment.
    While it is true that a fair percentage of the community may not be literate to the accepted standards, never the less they are extremely educated. By educated I mean in a sense that matters; they know their field of expertise 1000%. Whether it’s in IT, Construction, Software, Marketing, Import/Export, Real Estate etc.
    My employer for instance has a hard time with spelling and even elementary math (this is probably due more to his ADD than Chassidish education as other members of his family are well educated), yet he is with ease a 1%. He is very well respected in his industry by CEO’s across the country. As is well known – this is not an isolated case.
    With the above said it is clear that education and earning – as far as their community is concerned – has no correlation.
    Now to address the poverty level and statistics you mentioned:
    The average salary in the US WITH A DEGREE (after a quick google search) is about $50k.
    The average STARTING salary for a “chasiddish yungerman” is between $40 & $50K.
    After being in your job or in a field for about 3 yrs. they are earning about $80K.
    Depending on position and a number of factors from that point on it varies.
    My point being that; in comparison to the average American salary they are earning way above average. (seems like they are better off without education after all)
    So why the abject poverty?! The answer is simple; they have large families (if you want to attack them on that- that’s a religious matter I won’t get into.)
    -Tuition
    -Yom Tov
    -Simchos
    Etc.
    Of course I agree that there should be more of an emphasis on their education, but to use income as a barometer for success is unjustified.

  9. We normal Jewish people, can escape to Medinas Yisroel, but I surmise that this escape valve is not an option, for this rabid anti-Zionist, so he rather wage war [which he’ll loose in the supreme court], than show gratitude to the Medinah who welcomes all Jews with open hands.

  10. The point is simple, if you choose to have large families, make sure you have done all you can to provide those children, both boys and girls, with the educational skills they will need to earn a sufficient income to support those families rather than demanding the public taxpayers provide welfare for their housing, food, healthcare etc. The same applies to goyim. The LDS in Utah, Idaho etc also have large families but for some reason, they are not nearly as welfare-dependent as the Satmar. To take pride in the ability of their educational systems to continue cranking out graduates who are barely able earn a minimum wage and simultaneously becoming the most welfare-dependent community in America is truly awesome. While NYS typically over-reaches in its mandated standard, there is certainly much more that needs to be done to provide greater secular educational opportunities. Throughout our history, some of our greatest rabbonim and talmeidei chachamim have also been leading scholars in secular fields of specialization. To passionately defend their right to deny such opportunities to their children is both mindless and irresponsible.

  11. The Satmar war against education is an old story.

    They are worried that if their followers ever do get an education they will be left without followers and the Rebbe and his minions may have to actually work for a living.

    The greatest tragedy is that the Satmar people actually believe that what they are practicing is real authentic Judaism (it is’ in fact’ a grand costume carnival and doesn’t even resemble authentic Judaism!), so when they leave they leave it all.

    Rahmanut!!

  12. I think the Rebbe with all his chassidim should all make aliya to Israel before it’s too late and they change the curriculum of education in NY for him

  13. although I do NOT share the Satmar rebbe’s view on Israel, on this he is correct! Jewish education is much better for making a kid into a person than is the secular education. The less secular stuff a kid learns the better person he will be.

  14. If you have real private schools and dont take any money from the gov, not for books and not for programs then the gov will not intefere in our chinuch. Like the Amish for example

  15. Dave: there are no new regulations. These requirements have been on the books for decades and ramaz and satmar has been complying for decades with these rules. The only new part is the enforcement part.

    The satmar of kj Rav does make a valid point about the education department needing to focus on larger problems first.

    On the other hand it is unfair to compare willys uta of 30 years ago to what the kj satmar system offers today.

  16. This is not only their problem- any Jewish school will not be able to comply with the six hour guidelines. My school has an excellent English education but even so they don’t have more than 3 hours of secular studies a day and are in school for more hours than public school students. If kids are in school from 9-4 that is 7 hours!!! Minus recess and lunch… and what you have is 6 hours of a purely secular education if the government has their way.

  17. Dave Hirsch:
    You correctly note that this directive is NOT focused on Satmar but applies to Ramaz, and a number of other MO yeshivos throughout New York. As I noted above, the state directive is clearly over-reaching at 6 hours/day of secular instruction and a less prescriptive and outcome-based standard would be more appropriate. However, “declaring war” on New York educational bureaucrats and insisting the status quo is just fine is equally inappropriate. What is good for Ramaz is obviously not going to work for a Chareidi yeshiva or vice versa.

  18. Great points by some people. 1) The average yeshiva graduate earns more then the median income. They have allot of children and they are willing to struggle for that. 2) The average US resident gets between 15,000 and 25,000 dollars per child towards education which we can’t take advantage of due to supposed separation laws (although no reason they should not be subsidizing secular education). What then is the argument against us getting at least some limited available subsidies that we are eligible for? I personally am not on any programs, and I think that may be a better setup, but who can blame those that have alternate setups.

  19. Tango:
    “My point being that; in comparison to the average American salary they [Satmar] are earning way above average. (seems like they are better off without education after all)

    Not certain what your source information is for the average (or median) household earnings of families in KJ but it doesn’t reflect census data (unless there has been massive increase in KJ family earnings in the past several years). As to any segment of the Tzibur being “better off w/o education”, I won’t even begin to respond to such an assertion….”ignorance is bliss”,
    The point made here over and over is that the debate is not about a binary choice between limud torah or minimal secular educational opportunity: NYS standards already in place but not consistently enforced (aka 6 hours/day of secular for yeshivos) are unrealistic but so too is the status quo in many Chareidi yeshivos. There is a middle ground, but just like the IDF draft debate in EY, everything is polarized and no compromise ever seems within reach.

  20. Declaring “war” means a battle. Does he REALLY think OPENLY declaring:

    “I hereby declare that Klal Yisroel will not bow down or surrender to the wicked, not even before the Commissioner of Education, and with great devotion we will be able to educate our children in Torah education. We have had many situations in the past demanding mesirus nefesh for the Torah HaKadosha, and also today, we will launch a major war against the Commissioner of Education in any way [necessary] without compromises and agreements.”

    will not be without consequences from the State of NY?

    Do we really want to declare openly to the State of NY that they are “wicked” and “we will launch a major war against the Commissioner of Education in any way [necessary] without compromises and agreements” ‘???????????

    The state of NY employees are not Hamans or communists or labor zionists but they are elected officials that can be dealt with. Making open enemies of them and declaring war on them will cause catastrophic consequences not only for the public perception of the frum community, it might even lead to state sanction on the frum community. Worst case scenario it might lead to lead to public violence against the frum community.

    Our ancestors dealt with gezeros quietly and tactfully. We are very removed from what our ancestors dealt with on a daily basis dealing with a hostile malchus. Nothing has really changed with perception of the nations however we think they have changed. That is a VERY dangerous conclusion to make.

  21. im new here so let me get this straight. are there actually a bunch of losers (gadolhadora,takes22tango) who spend there entire lives on yeshiva world typing up multiple comments on every article or is it a bunch of people on the same accounts who are just being funny. if the former, please go get a life. i can assure you that you arent convincing anyone here of anything.

  22. It is surprising these narrow minded and hateful comments here especially by the GH.

    1) This is very much about separation between state and religion, and the same constitution that demands to keep out religion from government, equally demands that the government should stay away from religion.
    So i guess some here didn’t get well educated in critical thinking, and so therefore get easily confused about the subject matter.

    2) It is well known, and their actions indicate so, that the DOE very much conferred with the Yaffed organization, which wants to destroy, and their intentions are clearly so, to attack our dear religion.
    And at the same time abandoned negotiations with Rabunim and Askunim, as well as respected politicians who represent the subject matter – the Chareidy Yesihvos.
    And according to the legal counsel the Commissioner of Education intentionally misinterpreted the law to attack our way of life.
    3) It is an accepted within our own community, and upon by a lot of open minded professionals, that if the dedicated Hour to Hour and half time would be fulfilled as needed, it would suffice to provide a basic education. But there is an issue that the dedicated time for secular studies gets interrupted by trouble makers who later become part of the Yaffed Organization.
    And the Yeshivas have recently made statements about committing themselves to enforce the Secular studies that all of its students conform as needed.
    4) The Satmar Rebbe himself is well educated in English, and even in legal jargon, so he doesn’t oppose the idea of educating the students. The main issue which is a clear transgression of separation between state and religion, is the Yeshiva Ketaanos which we were advised by our late and current great rabbes that we don’t teach any secular studies, and the mandated 6-hours.

    5) Diverting the debate on increasing the amount of secular limudim, just because you believes so, is not a good basis for hijacking someone else’s religion, and forcing your opinion on someone that believes otherwise, and especially when this was their position for decades centuries. Isn’t this what freedom of religion is.
    So GH what good did your education do, if you can’t obey these basics

    And lastly your attack on poverty level of KJ is just out of viciousness, and has nothing to do with the actual facts. If you would have gotten a real Talmudical education you would have known better on how to get to the real facts, and would’ve known better on how to weigh values.

    A git Shaabos
    A UTA graduate

  23. Gadolhadorah, it is quite apparent that you waste hours and hours a day on this site as well as other sites which indicates that you yourself are not the most productive member of society. Whereas there are thousands of chasidic people who hold steady jobs and bring home a respectable income
    If you are brazen enough to ridicule that whole community and criticize their choice of education you should either get a full time job and practice what you preach or shut up and stop wasting hours and hours a day on these blogs

  24. gadolhdore, once again making hir grand appearance, spouting anti semitism and twisted logic on everything us yidden hold dear. Is there one thing you are on the right side of the aisle by?????

  25. biggest hypocrite
    screams all day that the israelis are hisgarus beumois
    he is the biggest misgayr beumois
    takes millions from the govt and declares war
    he is in galus even in kj

  26. Bottom line:
    You reap what you sow!

    You guys wouldnt be dealing with these new rules from the ed. dept if you weren’t slacking off all these years.
    Its obvious that this hit the fan for one reason only . And that is because as people grew up realizing that they cant make ends meet because that have zero background in whats needed to make a decent living.