UNPRECEDENTED: HaRav Elya Brudny & HaRav Yisroel Reisman Write Joint Op-Ed In WSJ About New Yeshiva Curriculum Guidelines

30
HaRav Elya Brudny (R) and HaRav Yisroel Reisman (L)

In a sign of the historic challenge confronting the yeshiva community, the Roshei Yeshiva reached out to the mainstream media to raise the alarm about the new curriculum guidelines.

Together the two of us have 70 years of experience in Jewish education. Yet nothing could have prepared us for what the New York State Education Department did last month. On Nov. 20, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued guidance empowering local school boards to evaluate private schools and to vote on our right to continue educating our students.

The state government now requires private schools to offer a specific set of classes more comprehensive than what students in public schools must learn. Our schools must offer 11 courses to students in grades 5 through 8, for a total of seven hours of daily instruction. Public schools have less than six hours a day of prescribed instruction. Private-school teachers will also be required to submit to evaluation by school districts.

At a press conference announcing the new guidelines, a reporter asked Ms. Elia what would happen if a yeshiva didn’t alter its Jewish-studies emphasis to conform to her mandate. She responded that parents “would be notified they need to transfer students” in as little as six weeks. And if they didn’t? “They’d be considered truant, and that’s another whole process that gets triggered.”

READ THE FULL OP-ED AT THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

PREVIOUS YWN ARTICLES ABOUT THIS TOPIC:

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

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

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

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

YWN Speaks Up, The New York Times Backs Down – But Look What They Did Instead

HOW NYS BLATANTLY LIED: New York State Promised Yeshivas STEM Funding, Instead They Gave Them Regulations

WATCH: Member Of Moetzes, HaRav Elya Brudny Describes Threat To Chinuch With NYS Education Policy

WATCH: HaRav Yisroel Reisman Describes Threat To NYS Chinuch As DRACONIAN, OUTRAGEOUS, & IMMEDIATE

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




30 COMMENTS

  1. Without subscribing to the WSJ you can’t read the whole article on the link given. Does anyone know of a way to read it other than signing up?

  2. This is what lack of Freedom looks like.

    Freedom, as in the core of American values.

    Think people will start to wake up and realize that the democrats and the progressive-Left (but i repeat myself) want to take away your basic freedoms?? Think jews will start to realize this when they vote??

    Probably not. We have entire communities that block-vote for Hillary… Queen of the Left.

  3. One has to have an account to WSJ to read entire article.
    Even if copyrighted now, can’t you get Ravs Brudny and Reisman to submit a summary for your readers?
    In general it is not right to “tease” people to click on a hyperlink if special access is needed. In your defense maybe YWN did not realize that special access is required. Thank you.

  4. Together the two of us have 70 years of experience in Jewish education. Yet nothing could have prepared us for what the New York State Education Department did last month. On Nov. 20, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued guidance empowering local school boards to evaluate private schools and to vote on our right to continue educating our students.

    The state government now requires private schools to offer a specific set of classes more comprehensive than what students in public schools must learn. Our schools must offer 11 courses to students in grades 5 through 8, for a total of seven hours of daily instruction. Public schools have less than six hours a day of prescribed instruction. Private-school teachers will also be required to submit to evaluation by school districts.

    At a press conference announcing the new guidelines, a reporter asked Ms. Elia what would happen if a yeshiva didn’t alter its Jewish-studies emphasis to conform to her mandate. She responded that parents “would be notified they need to transfer students” in as little as six weeks. And if they didn’t? “They’d be considered truant, and that’s another whole process that gets triggered.”

    Government may have an interest in ensuring that every child receives a sound basic education, but it has no right to commandeer our schools’ curricula. Parents who want to send their children to a school offering a course list devised by the state enroll their children in the local public school. But parents who choose religious education want their children to have a specific moral, ethical and religious framework for life. Parents who choose a yeshiva want their children’s education to emphasize Jewish texts, history and culture.

    The new guidance should offend people of all faiths, and others are speaking out. The New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents recently told Ms. Elia that they reject the guidance and are “directing all diocesan Catholic schools not to participate in any review carried out by local public school officials.” We expect others will join them.

    While these new guidelines affect all religious schools, we know they were directed at the yeshiva system in particular. In recent years, a small number of vocal critics have complained that a handful of yeshivas emphasize Jewish studies at the expense of secular studies. They ignore the parental and religious rights of those who choose yeshiva education, are naive about the pitfalls of putting state bureaucrats in charge of religious schools, and appear more interested in undermining parental control of yeshivas than in enhancing their secular studies.

    There are more than 440 yeshivas in New York state, educating 165,000 students. There will always be schools that need to improve and students who can be better served. But underperforming schools are the outliers, and they don’t define the yeshiva system. Imagine if the state launched a broadside against the New York City public-school system because many of its students are failing.

    The new curriculum demands so much time that it crowds out Torah study, our sacred mission. We also are troubled by guidelines that focus entirely on inputs. The lesson plan is all that matters to the state. Yet experience has taught us that what truly matters is what kind of adults our students become. Despite the uncertainty created by this “guidance,” we are sure that yeshivas across New York won’t allow the state to alter their emphasis on the Torah.

    In Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Oregon couldn’t force all students to attend public schools. It offered this stinging rebuke: “A child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Ms. Elia and her colleagues would do well to absorb that message so that we can fulfill our “high duty,” our life’s work, of providing a well-rounded Jewish education.

    Messrs. Brudny and Reisman are rabbis and deans of Brooklyn yeshivas, Mir and Torah Vodaas.

    Appeared in the December 14, 2018, print edition.

  5. How about their writing a Write Joint Op-Ed with the archdioceses? The state is going to have a much harder time fighting the archdioceses and the pope head on.
    Once this goes to court, with state requiring 7 hours a day but only 5 hours a day in public school quite likely, their draconian edict falls apart.
    As for transferring students in as little as 6 weeks:- Bottom line is that public schools could never absorb such an influx, neither financially nor space-wise nor staff-wise.

  6. Their OP-ED is very well done and if you don’t already subscribe to the WSJ online, its worthy of consideration While the issue of assuring minimal levels of secular education in yeshivot warrants consideration, New York regulators and educational bureaucrats have no clue that their actions have brought together all segments of the Tzibur in opposition to their proposed regulations. Nothing brings more achdus than government intervention in religious education, regardless of whether the underlying objectives may have some merit.

  7. The problem with signing all the children up into the public school system is that the State will call it a victory and those who will be hurt the most are the children. The holy trinity of home, school and shul are so intertwined and part of one another in life and values outlook that to remove one, the school, would be to severely undermine and weaken the structure within which you strive to see your children grow and thrive.

    What do the laws of a parent’s right to home school look like? What type of support does the State provide to parents and families who find the public system of education untenable? This may be the direction you must go if the State persists with its’ unreasonable demands.

    Or…

    Call their bluff. Keep your children in Yeshiva. Keep your children in Yeshiva even after it’s been ordered closed. Stand up loud, proud and strong in your parental rights to see your children educated in the ways and methods of your choosing. Don’t allow yourself to be threatened or intimidated by government blowhards huffing and puffing Truancy Laws in your direction. Stand up. Stand strong. Stand together and say, “NO !!! ‘We do not accept this’.” And then, stand back and let the chips fall where they may.

  8. where are all our politicians that represent us. Governor C, Senator “Shomeir Yisroel” etc etc. Perhaps a few hundred thousand signatures might send them a message that they must back off or else loose support from us.

  9. Why couldn’t they add Rabbi before Elya Brudney and Yisroel Reisman’s name? Arent they entitled to they’re title? It’s no different then Dr etc.

  10. Do they really think that publishing this in mainstream media will elicit support from the non Jewish world ?? On the contrary. The only way to fight it is by suing the board of education and bringing it to the Supreme court if necessary.
    Other than that I suggest moving to Israel because NY is just the beginning.

  11. For those of you that cannot open link:
    New York State Targets Jewish Schools
    Albany bureaucrats want to commandeer our curriculum. We won’t have it.
    23 Comments
    By Elya Brudny and Yisroel Reisman
    Dec. 13, 2018 7:00 p.m. ET
    A Jewish boy walks to a yeshiva in New York City, April 26.
    A Jewish boy walks to a yeshiva in New York City, April 26. PHOTO: MARK LENNIHAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Together the two of us have 70 years of experience in Jewish education. Yet nothing could have prepared us for what the New York State Education Department did last month. On Nov. 20, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia issued guidance empowering local school boards to evaluate private schools and to vote on our right to continue educating our students.

    The state government now requires private schools to offer a specific set of classes more comprehensive than what students in public schools must learn. Our schools must offer 11 courses to students in grades 5 through 8, for a total of seven hours of daily instruction. Public schools have less than six hours a day of prescribed instruction. Private-school teachers will also be required to submit to evaluation by school districts.

    At a press conference announcing the new guidelines, a reporter asked Ms. Elia what would happen if a yeshiva didn’t alter its Jewish-studies emphasis to conform to her mandate. She responded that parents “would be notified they need to transfer students” in as little as six weeks. And if they didn’t? “They’d be considered truant, and that’s another whole process that gets triggered.”

    Government may have an interest in ensuring that every child receives a sound basic education, but it has no right to commandeer our schools’ curricula. Parents who want to send their children to a school offering a course list devised by the state enroll their children in the local public school. But parents who choose religious education want their children to have a specific moral, ethical and religious framework for life. Parents who choose a yeshiva want their children’s education to emphasize Jewish texts, history and culture.

    The new guidance should offend people of all faiths, and others are speaking out. The New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents recently told Ms. Elia that they reject the guidance and are “directing all diocesan Catholic schools not to participate in any review carried out by local public school officials.” We expect others will join them.

    While these new guidelines affect all religious schools, we know they were directed at the yeshiva system in particular. In recent years, a small number of vocal critics have complained that a handful of yeshivas emphasize Jewish studies at the expense of secular studies. They ignore the parental and religious rights of those who choose yeshiva education, are naive about the pitfalls of putting state bureaucrats in charge of religious schools, and appear more interested in undermining parental control of yeshivas than in enhancing their secular studies.

    There are more than 440 yeshivas in New York state, educating 165,000 students. There will always be schools that need to improve and students who can be better served. But underperforming schools are the outliers, and they don’t define the yeshiva system. Imagine if the state launched a broadside against the New York City public-school system because many of its students are failing.

    The new curriculum demands so much time that it crowds out Torah study, our sacred mission. We also are troubled by guidelines that focus entirely on inputs. The lesson plan is all that matters to the state. Yet experience has taught us that what truly matters is what kind of adults our students become. Despite the uncertainty created by this “guidance,” we are sure that yeshivas across New York won’t allow the state to alter their emphasis on the Torah.

    In Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Oregon couldn’t force all students to attend public schools. It offered this stinging rebuke: “A child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Ms. Elia and her colleagues would do well to absorb that message so that we can fulfill our “high duty,” our life’s work, of providing a well-rounded Jewish education.

    Messrs. Brudny and Reisman are rabbis and deans of Brooklyn yeshivas, Mir and Torah Vodaas.

  12. Education is very important in helping us determine and shape our future and is complimentary for one’s knowledge and wisdom.
    However, it is not the only way that a person gains knowledge and wisdom.
    People gain knowledge through experience as well, therefore, uneducated people too possess valuable knowledge which they have acquired through experience.

    There is no difference between educated and uneducated people when it comes to humanity. There are instances where educated people get inspired by uneducated people who influence them with a great sense of humanity. For example, an educated individual might have a Master’s degree however it was his mother who has never attended school who influenced his academic accomplishments. She taught her son important lessons by setting examples herself. Her son grew up and observed his mother working very hard to achieve simple goals and he followed her work hard ethics until he reached his goals in life.

    Millions around the world are deprived of an education and forced to find a way to survive through basic, hard labour and still achieve success in life! Through education one learns about theoretical concepts but what is important is how education provides ideas, boosts creativity and talent allowing one to apply the skills learnt correctly to their life leading to success.
    Commissioner, If your real intentions is to apply education so that ONE achieves success in Life, he or she become productive citizens to Society, allow the Yeshiva system to continue doing what they have been doing for decades. The Yeshiva system Educates and produces law abiding graduates that end up leading both successful and productive Lifestyles! We do not need to fix what ain’t broken!!

  13. The tzaddikim say “we have to do our hishtadlus and do teshuva etc…”

    So when will we finally start listening to our Leaders and do Teshuva as a loving nation together? Shouldn’t we be shaken up by the time we are in of non-stop horrific tragedies-coming directly from Hashem-striking klal Yisroel these days?

    It pains me that my own loving brothers, we have stooped so low and are living in denial thinking we can fool Hashem that we don’t get his wake-up message for teshuva and instead remain living at a time where we avoid facing reality and seeing the problems that are striking us R”L
    1)klal Yisroel worldwide hit with Measles outbreak and resulting in non-stop sinas chinam instead of loving each other and working together
    2)Israeli learning Torah Draft in IDF
    3)Klal Yisroel most valuable product-the torah-at risk of trying to be taken away and make our days secular C”V
    4)anti-semitism getting really bad and dangerous wordwide even in the USA.
    5)Etc….. Many other tragedies that occurred already R”L

    Please I beg you my loving brethren. Lets come together and wake up to do something as one loving nation to stop this time of non stop tzaros striking klal Yisroel worldwide

  14. Should mass rally maybe also with catholic and moslems be in manhatten and albany? Also press conferences with the chasidic lady judge, lawyers doctors professors cpas senator lieberman showing claim is a lie. Maybe call in feds as in 1960s south as this is a freedom of religoun issue. Maybe tap jared kushner and ivanka reminding them of queen esther story

  15. If you google “Reisman WSJ” you get a link to the article that lets you read the entire thing – that’s what I did.

    To the crux of the matter – there is definitely overreach on the part of NYS, but the authors – and the community – would do well to also acknowledge that there most certainly ARE issues with certain Yeshivas, and at least some of those fighting for minimal standards in Yeshivas were directly harmed by this. This is glossed over/ignored in the article; the relevant paragraphs read:

    “While these new guidelines affect all religious schools, we know they were directed at the yeshiva system in particular. In recent years, a small number of vocal critics have complained that a handful of yeshivas emphasize Jewish studies at the expense of secular studies. They ignore the parental and religious rights of those who choose yeshiva education, are naive about the pitfalls of putting state bureaucrats in charge of religious schools, and appear more interested in undermining parental control of yeshivas than in enhancing their secular studies.

    “There are more than 440 yeshivas in New York state, educating 165,000 students. There will always be schools that need to improve and students who can be better served. But underperforming schools are the outliers, and they don’t define the yeshiva system. Imagine if the state launched a broadside against the New York City public-school system because many of its students are failing.”

    The Rambam discusses the concept of “קבל את האמת ממי שאמרה” – and based on that, the ta’anos of those pushing for reasonable secular education should be listened to and not just dismissed based on the person involved no longer being as Frum as he once was. There is truth to his argument, and engaging in dialogue, rather than trying to use power politics (which backfired spectacularly in this case), would have been wiser.

    With respect to the second paragraph quoted – yes, there will always be underperforming schools, whether they are Yeshivos or, lehavdil, public schools. The difference in the current situation, though, is that the Yeshivos in question are not trying to provide an adequate secular education but failing – they are philosophically opposed to providing such education, and deliberately do not do so. This is this issue – it’s not the Torah Voda’as, Mir, or Chaim Berlin student who spends 3.5-4.5 hours per day on Limudei Chol and graduates with a Regents diploma that they’re going after – it’s the Chasidish Yeshiva that has only one hour of Limudei Chol in elementary school, and not at all in high school, that is the issue. By conflating the two situation, the Yeshivish Frum community in general, and the two respected Rabbonim in particular (and I truly do respect the two Rabbonim in question – I had a close relationship to Rabbi Reisman when I was in Torah Vodaas), do themselves and their Mosdos no favors.

    I understand that not everyone will agree with me, and respect that. I only request that if you choose to respond to this comment, please do so civilly and without name-calling.

    A Gut Shabbos to all,

    an Israeli Yid

  16. The Brisker Rav, ztl, wrote that whenever there are gezeiros against us it’s because we’re weak in that area and we won’t be able to fix the gezeira until we get on top of that weakness. This suggests (and it’s certainly for bigger people than me to decide but I can at least suggest) that min haShamayim they’re telling us that there’s something about chinuch that needs to be improved. BTW, the school that Rav Shimshon Refael Hirsch, ztl, ran in Frankfurt was subject to very close supervision from the authorities over how much time they were allowed to devote to Kodesh and chol and it was a constant ongoing struggle for him to get permission to teach even a few hours of Kodesh a week, see the ArtScroll biog, and Germany at the time was considered the most enlightened place for a Jew to live. We should be warned.

  17. I apologize, the above link did not work as I intended. However, when I searched it on my own I was able to access the entire article. So I guess that’s what needs to be done. Simply input “New York State Targets Jewish Schools” into the Google search box and you should have full access to the article. Hope this helps.

  18. With all due respect to the Roshei Yeshiva and other members of the Orthodox community that are so negatively affected by this Gezaira Ra, I would like to suggest the following. The best way to combat this is by mobilizing 50,000 Yeshiva students and registering them in Public School. Since the commissioner is suggesting that everybody should go to public school, let’s take her up on it and see how they will collapse.

  19. The Satmar Rebbe screamed “ITS WAR” and what did he do about this?

    Yea ok. Nothing at all.

    This is after he caused this entire issue to begin with. Facts are facts. One day it will all get out. He and the Simcha Felder screwup with Cuomo.

    Thanks Rebbe.

    Oh… The Rebbe ius fighting the war now by partying away in England sitting at grand tishim and wearing silver Bekeshes.

    Meanwhile, Rav Brudny and rav Reisman actually travelled to Albany, met with the commissioner. WAIt – would the Rebbe be able to meet with her? She is a female? You mean Rav Brudny looked at a woman? OMG! This is a Churban.

    Next Rav Brudny and Rav Reisman made videos explaining the severity of the issue in normal sensible english, without calling “WAR”.

    They penned letters from Torah Umesorah and Agudah RESPECTFULLY to the State.

    They lobbied the Catholics (FIVE HUNDRED SCHOOL!!!!!) to join forces (and won!).

    The penned a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed together.

    Remind us again. What did Satmar do?

    Nothing. Just scream and ready to take the credit.