Think Again: Whatever happened to the future?

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6 Responses

  1. Ben-David says:

    It’s incredibly ironic to read R. Rosenblum – one of the the haredi world’s foremost apologists – decrying the “brain drain” in Israel.

    It’s even more ironic that this article appears just days after haredi politicians (working the corrupt system of patronage Rosenblum describes) passed a law that locks the children of the burgeoning haredi sector out of academia – and leaves them unqualified for most productive work.

    The law cements government funding for a haredi school system that refuses to teach its students the basics of science and technology.

    But Rosenblum cries that there aren’t even Israeli academics. Maybe the haredi community should do its part to stop the “brain drain” – they could start by preparing their own children to support themselves, giving them the skills that would allow them to take their place in Israel’s technology-driven economy.

  2. Charles B. Hall says:

    Lots of professors like myself would love to make aliyah, but the jobs are lacking — at any salary. The combined research budgets of every Israeli university put together are about equal to that of a single medium sized university in the United States. My own institution has many Israeli researchers who are quite successful here; given this picture I can’t blame them for making yeridah.

  3. Ori says:

    Ben-David, Jonathan Rosenblum bemoaned on this very blog the lack of secular studies in Israeli Charedi society. Those segments of Israeli Charedi society that do not teach secular subjects to the point where their young adults can get good job and decide to rely on charity and the government for a living are incredibly short sighted. I’m pretty sure Jonathan Rosenblum says so in the proper forums.

    However, that does not mean that the Israeli government does not suffer from the same malady, or that it is not proper for an Israeli citizen to criticize it for that.

  4. Barry Simon says:

    As someone who has been spending 2-3 months each year as an academic visitor to Israel, I can confirm the crisis. Quite simply, the government which supports higher education has decimated the budget and is not fixing the problem. There were months long strikes both last year (by students) and this year (by faculty) and the solutions were cosmetic and did not truly address the problems which continue to fester.

    As a sign of the quality of Israeli minds, I note that every four years, the European Math Society awards ten prizes to truly outstanding European mathematicians under the age of 35. European means born or currently working there and for these purposes Israel is considered a European country (go figure). This year two of the ten were given to Israeli born and educated mathematicians – both of them currently in the USA (as a sign that Israel is not alone in having problems, two others of the ten are also working in the US!). Of the last batch of prizes, one went to an Israeli also now in the US.

    Barry Simon, Caltech

  5. Ori says:

    What expenses would you cut from the Israeli government’s budget to finance additional university spending? Israel is already taxing its productive citizens enough to drive many of its best milk cows to live under cheaper governments.

  6. Barzilai says:

    Who is on the horizon in the Israeli political scene, who is has a chance to introduce principled and disciplined and informed political leadership? I wonder where we could find someone with a broad education, but with a sensitivity to religious belief; someone with a good understanding of the Israeli and the world political reality, but who wouldn’t lead by popularity poll; someone whose powers of persuasion would teach the citizenry to do the right thing, easy or not; someone that doesn’t scare either the right or the left, whether in the political or the religious arena. And most important, someone that is a true outsider, with no obligations or debts that can be brought to bear.

    Hmmm, I’m not thinking about Dallas, why do the initials JR seem to mean something here?

    Seriously: the most qualified candidates instinctively recoil from the dirty world of political reality, and it is just that revulsion which ought to be the primary qualification for running for office.

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