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INCREDIBLE: Nobel Prize Winner & Yeshiva Graduate To NYS Education Dept: “Talmud Torah Knegged Kulam!”

YWN has exclusively obtained an affidavit submitted by Nobel Prize winner and yeshiva graduate Professor Robert (Yisrael) Aumann in the lawsuit challenging the State Education Department’s new curriculum regulations.

The affidavit, and Professor Aumann, are a Kiddush Hashem. In his affidavit, Professor Aumann writes beautifully about his yeshiva experience, the impact his Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Warshavchik, had on him, his decision to go to yeshiva high school after his first day at Stuyvesant High School, his belief in Talmud Torah Knegged Kulam, and how a yeshiva education teaches a way of life and made him the person he is.

Below is an excerpt.

Click here to read the entire affidavit  

  1.  I am a Mathematics Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a recipient of the 2005 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel (popularly known as the “Nobel Prize in Economics”), and a graduate of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School(“RJJ”) when it was located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
  2. I submit this declaration to advise the Court of the excellent education that I received at RJJ, and the exceptionally positive impact my experience with RJJ’s dual curriculum has had on my life.
  3. In my experience, the religious study portion of the dual-curriculum program offered at schools such as RJJ is essential to the continuity of the Jewish people.
  4. People who do not experience the intense, immersive experience of religious studies during their school years are far less likely to remain religiously observant or committed, and they or their families are far more likely to abandon religious practice entirely.
  5. If I were asked today to advise Jewish fourteen-year-olds who have been admitted to both Stuyvesant High School and a yeshiva high school about which school to attend, I would absolutely recommend that they attend a dual-curriculum yeshiva such as RJJ.
  6. I would counsel them that a yeshiva education would help make them different, better people. It would provide a depth of experience in a religious way of life that, if they are lucky, would remain with them for their entire lives. It would be a transformative experience that is different from what they would experience elsewhere.
  7. Finally, I would tell them that had I stayed in Stuyvesant and not gone to RJJ, I still might have pursued a career in mathematics and won a Nobel Prize. But had I stayed in Stuyvesant and not gone to RJJ, I would have been a very different person than the one I became. I am forever grateful for the Jewish educational experience I enjoyed at RJJ.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

10 Responses

  1. sadly, the current incarnation of RJJ in Edison provides minimal secular education. the boys who go there rarely ever attend a university. I have heard of no professors or medical doctors who have graduated in recent history. the world that prof. aumann recalls is irrelevant to today’s reality

  2. DrYidd – The goal of Yeshivos – primary, secondary, and tertiary – remains the continuity of Klall Yisroel. The goal of Yeshivos was never integration of cultures regardless of how minimul. Contributing to society at large is a natural outcome of that education.

  3. DrYidd – It remains a statistical truth (oxymoron as that may be) that there is no educational system that produces a greater percentage of its graduates as professionals and other high-income producing individuals as does the Yeshiva system. Their criminal record is the lowest. Their achievement test/standardized test scores the highest.

  4. shuali, i am describing reality as it was and as it is today. someone who thinks that statistical truth may be an oxymoron is likely innumerate and illiterate. much of what you write confounds occasional occurrence with normal outcome.

  5. DrYidd – While working on my MS degree in Biology and Secondary Education, the statistics professor stood up in front of the classroom and explained to us, I am quite certain on more than one occasion, not only that statisticians can and do make statistics prove whatever is necessary, but even how to do it; by manipulating, not chas v’shalom the data, but rather by using different margins of error and degrees of variance applied to the data to show/prove relationships and, on occasion, causation. I am a product of the Yeshiva system, and the only one of my family (none of whom are fully committed to a Torah life) with an advanced degree. While in college, I did. genetic research and was asked to present my findings to the state’s board of scientists, researchers or something to that effect. So I submit to you that I am neither innumerate nor illiterate. And even if what I have seen coming out of the Yeshivah system in my over forty years of teaching both formally and informally, in both public and private educational systems, is “an occasional occurrence” I am of the opinion that “statistics” will show that per-capita our schools are performing much better than the vast majority of those in the public sector and that such outcome can be expected and considered normative.

  6. So let me get this straight:
    You are using a person who became world famous by going to college to justify educating your children so that they will cannot go to college. Does anyone else see the irony here?

  7. @evbazarov – No irony at all. He is saying similar to what Rabbi Akiva Tatz writes in his first book; Anatomy of a Search. There Rabbi Tatz, himself a licensed physician, tells of the mother of a baal teshuvah who was complaining to her son’s Rosh Yeshivah, that her wayward son was on the way to becoming a nuclear physicist when he entered the sea of Talmud. Now what will become of him?

    The Rosh Yeshivah answered her and comforted her by assuring the distraught parent that she need not worry. If her son fails at Talmud he could still become a successful physicist.

    In other words, Dr. Auman is saying, and he does so eloquently I believe, that his Yeshiva education prepared him well for the future he chose. In fact, he says, better than Stuyvesant.
    So no irony here at all.

    On a related note. Our sages tell us of 1,000 who enter the halls of (re)search, only one leaves being prepared to be a leader of Klall Yisroel being proficient enough in halachah to offer authoritative opinions and decisions. It is highly unlikely that we are smarter today than were the sages of the Mishnah and Gemora. In other words, no Rosh Yeshivah believes everyone is going to be the next Gadol HaDor. But they all know that there is no better place to prepare oneself for this world and the next than from within the walls of the Beis Medrash.

  8. the issue is not with yeshiva high schools, why are we trying to protect the schools that teach none or almost no “english” studies by the lie look what this person accomplished when he went to a yeshiva that gave an “english” education

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