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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)