READ THIS: HaRav Yaakov Bender Slams NY Times Over Anti-Yeshiva Article Following New NYS Education Policy


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On Monday morning, the New York Times posted an article with the headline “Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas?”

Among their most urgent criticisms, highlighted in the first paragraph, was that there are Yeshiva students who “have not been taught that dinosaurs once roamed Earth.”

The article was another grossly unfair Times attack on Yeshivas and the Frum way of life. (On Sunday, in honor of Chanukah the Times ran an op-ed with the title The Hypocrisy of Hanukkah!)

But in this instance the Times was even worse than usual, because it chose to illustrate its article on subpar yeshiva education with a photograph of Yeshiva Darchei Torah.

That prompted this strongly worded response from Rabbi Yaakov Bender, the Rosh Hayeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah, who stood up not only for his yeshiva but for our yeshiva system.

Here is Rabbi Bender’s statement:

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.

Rabbi Yaakov Bender

YWN notes that the Honorable Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education of the United States, toured the Yeshiva Darchei Torah campus in May of this year.

DeVos also visited Manhattan High School for Girls, spending more than three hours sitting in on classes and meeting with students, faculty and board members.

Both of these impeccable education institutions are being affected by the new NY State Education policy.

YWN also notes that the photo used by the NY Times was taken by a Getty Images photographer – during the visit by the US Secretary. Nothing about how impressed DeVos was with the yeshiva education was mentioned in the NY Times hit piece.



  1. I’m happy the Times chose to put a picture of Yeshiva Darkai Torah. I’m also happy they chose to show what really irks them it’s not the dinosaurs per se’ its what the dinosaurs represent and that is the teaching of evolution. Of course, their main goal is to teach nivala. This should be a strong rebuke to all those who criticized the Satmar Rebbe for declaring war on the state education dept. The Times represents the liberal thinkers in new york. These liberals want to destroy orthodox judisiam in all it’s forms. To them there is no difference between Ramaz, Mir, Chaim Berlin, Derech HaTorah, darchai Torah, and all other yeshivos. Some yeshivos teach more English some less but none of the above yeshivos want to teach nevala or evolution.
    On a personal note, I’m a tutor in a number of yeshivos The problem is not the education, the yeshivos cover a lot in the 1.5 – 2 hours of instruction. The problem is the language. When a child speaks only Yiddish for 22 out of 24 hours it’s hard to learn English. This problem is not changing no matter what the state does.

  2. The very same NY Slimes who refuses to call out the ignorance of the newly elected Leftists, who lack basic education in Gov civics.

    There are many students coming out of Yeshiva who are more educated and capable than the very genious you supported to elect.

  3. As I hold darchei is a great school where I send my sons to and Rabbi Bender is a superb menahel I couldn’t help but comment on this line

    “Six of our alumni have attended Harvard Law School over the past decade!“

    In a school that thousands go through the door every day 6 in the past decade is laughable to the goyishe velt (I know the reason it’s so low is because most go to Yeshiva)

  4. Why don’t we send them a list of all the professionals that have a business degree & are proud graduates of the Yeshiva system. For example, I am a CPA & also have additional professional credentials & I am a proud graduate of our Yeshiva system.

  5. as a person with both a secular and yeshiva education I will state clearly that the yeshiva education is better in two ways:

    1. secular education is based on memory of facts; yeshiva education is based on anylazation.

    2. yeshiva builds moral people; secular does not deal with morals….

  6. And then they say we control all the money…So apparently we know how to run businesses even with fewer hours of education. At least according to their own claims…

  7. Look what happened in the UK: The government school inspectorate prohibits teaching Maasey Breishis as a fact…, boys and girls must mix…, young children must be taught that a lifestyle of the Dor Hamabul… is perfectly ok, children must be shown the validity of other religions… – Are they any different from the Yevonim who forbid Shabbos, Miloh and instructed to write “Ein Lonu chelek…”?
    They plain simply want to destroy Judaism and sadly are being encouraged by our enemies from our own people.

    May Hashem have rachmonus on klal Yisroel and bring the geuloh bimhero byomeinu.

  8. Just look at the regents as one example. The curves are based off the public schoools not the yeshivas. If they would base it of the yeshivas the curve would be much lower/higher depending how you view the curves.

  9. It’s funny, but how many chareidi yeshivas emulate what is probably Rabbi Bender’s greatest achievement.
    He recognized that, in the same way that not every student is good in math or the sciences, not every boy is cut out for kolel. So , Rabbi Bender created a vocational school for these boys . Instead of sitting unproductively in kolel, or leaving Darchei altogether, they learn a trade , and then support both a family and and Darchei

  10. as a person with both a secular and yeshiva education I will state clearly that the yeshiva education is better in two ways:

    1. secular education is based on memory of facts; yeshiva education is based on anylazation
    I guess your “anylazation” of spelling served you well in yeshiva.

  11. Once again (like in the 6hours a day limudei chol piece) YWN fonents panic before really reading the source.

    The NY Times piece on the hypocrisy of Chanukah isabout non-observant Jews making a big deal about a holiday that is at its root about resisting assimilation. a pro-Yiddishkeit piece, not anti!

  12. While it was a mistake to use a picture of darchei, pretending that all, or even most, yeshivas offer anything close to what darchei offers is just as dishonest. The lack of basic reading and writing skills found in many yeshiva students is appalling.

  13. The fact that they chose a photo of Darchei was a mistake. They happen to be an exemplary Yashiva. lets look at the full picture. This movement was started by a former Yeshiva student that went to a Cheider and came out saying he knows nothing. He since sued NYC for not enforcing the rules. Darchei is 1 out of many that is really good, but you have to admit there are a number of Brooklyn and other Yeshivas that leave a lot to be desired. People just send because that’s their community and that’s their mahalach, but they do come out knowing nearly nothing to help them be successful in the world. That is why I moved to the fivetowns, to be near Yeshivas where my children can get the best of both worlds and the tools they need to succeed in life.

  14. bk613 & fivetownsfather; while it’s quite ok for you to seek the kind of education for your children you believe is best, that doesn’t mean the others are failing. It’s not for us to decide for others how much chol should be taught and to what level, fact is that even from those yeshivas “that leave a lot to be desired” many highly successful business people have come out who are lacking nothing in adult/business live.
    Full time Torah learning also gives the students plenty for future live whatever direction they are taking.

  15. Fivetownsfather, yes the yeshiva system needs an upgrade but Moster is not the one to call them out on it! He was a mischievous child and most times did not conform. He was regularly sent out of class because he incessantly disturbed . That’s why he failed the system – he was a non conformist! He can’t be the poster child for a failed system. He failed the system and he failed the Torah by being a ‘moser’.

  16. “fact is that even from those yeshivas “that leave a lot to be desired” many highly successful business people have come out”

    False. Those who are successful are the minorty and not the majority.

    I never said Moster is or isn’t the one who should be leading this crusade, or that I agree with the new government rules, only that change is needed.

  17. bk613 and fivetownsfather are of course correct. The facts is Moster shined the light on the system. Then the government looks a little closer and notices how many people are on section 8, wic and food stamps. Then they see some truths to Moster points. If the community (Lakewood, Monsey and Brooklyn) would not so be relying on government services then I would agree why have the government tell us what to do. But the facts are so many frum community members are on government services which does show somwhwhat a lack of education.

    Yes of course there are exception to the rule as we all know MANY Chassdish/Frum memebers who are doing VERY well. However I believe they are in the minority.

    As others have pointed out if the schools would have given a somewhat normal education (through a real 8th grade level) I do not think we would have these issues. This is all the fault of the Rebee’s and the Rabbonim who allowed this to happen. We should be blaming THEM!! They are the problem. NOT Moster.

    Rabbonim and politicians Calling for war in public has got to be the stupidest thing they could have done. I can only imagine now what the government will find and will do. Good luck as they are going to need it.