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.
PHOTOS BELOW ARE FROM THOSE VISITS: