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Kiryas Joel School District SLAMS New York Times After Yet Another Biased Hit Piece

The Kiryas Joel School District ripped into reporting from the New York Times on Monday, in which the outlet wrote up a hit piece spinning the town’s school officials as being corrupt and improperly funneling taxpayer money to their preferred schools.

Interestingly, the story was published by the Times on Monday. The day prior, community activist Rabbi Yisroel Kahan predicted it.

“It’s been a while since @NYTimes last hit piece targeting the #Orthodox community. What are the odds that they drop another one tomorrow, given that it’s a legal holiday???” he wrote on Twitter.

Moshe Gluck replied, saying, “Very good odds…” to which Agudath Israel’s Chaskel Bennett wrote, “Take the bet. It’s pretty much a guaranteed hit piece.”

Apparently, the odds were indeed high.

The Kiryas Joel School District’s statement reads:

The story published today by the New York Times about the Kiryas Joel Union Free School District’s support of the village’s private yeshivas with public monies is colored and spun unfairly to convey a false narrative of a school board ignoring purported conflicts of interest and inappropriately funneling taxpayer money to religious organizations. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The District and its board of education work tirelessly to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in all facets of its operations – programmatic, fiscal, and governance and passes rigorous state and federal audits each year that substantiate these efforts.

The long-term leases the Times attacks in its article are for buildings solely used for our special needs students, and the leases were approved by the voters of Kiryas Joel and the Commissioner of Education. What’s more, the school district obtained independent appraisals as part of its process, and the facilities were leased at below market costs. Any improvements that we make to these facilities are approved by the State and they will benefit our students, and not our landlord.

Furthermore, the Times writes that millions of dollars flow into the religious schools, but ignores the fact that we – like all school districts are required to equitably provide these funds for services to the at-risk nonpublic school students within our borders. We have no discretion to keep this money for our public school students and every federal dollar spent is approved by the NY State Education Department.

We explained all of this to the Times and spent countless hours educating its reporter about district operations and expenditures to provide it with a deeper understanding of our community, our legal obligations to the nonpublic schools located within the school district, and proper context for our leases. Unfortunately, this was ignored in favor of a story that is inaccurate, misleading, and we think dangerous, as it comes at a time when antisemitism and attacks on the Jewish community are at their highest level in decades.

The New York Times chose to malign our dedicated Board members, our experienced staff and our professional services. The public would have been better served by a story that helps it understand this unique and truly special school district and community, and celebrates the remarkable work being done here.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

10 Responses

  1. Hopefully physical attacks targeting Haredim stop, but if not, the next case, NYT should be sued when a link to its “info” can be shown.

    Besides the general hate atmosphere it has beern contributing in a targeted campaign for long. That in court, a direct link to attacks is hard to prove – as far as court evidence is concerned.

  2. what do kiryas yoel the new york times and the palestinian authority have in common , i will give you one hint. so now what goes around comes aound the haters of israel turn on each other

  3. How about launching a boycott effort of the NYT advertisers. Can’t we publish the names if the corporations that advertise in the NYT rag and let them feel it. It mayvtake some time but if we could succeed, it would be wonderful.

  4. it is completely 100% false, the Satmar community does so much chesed for all of klal Yisroel and work in shtadlanus to help all of klal yisroel.

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