When New York State Last Tried to Shut Yeshivos

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59 Responses

  1. Steve Brizel says:

    It bears repeating that bureaucrats have an agenda that is only hinted st in their regulations and who seek more rather than less regulations in their fiefdoms . If anyone thinks that the DOE is only interested a few Charedi schools and that other schools won’t be pressured to legitimize the Progresive agenda that is political naïveté at best

  2. Joel Rich says:

    Question: Does the state have an interest (and legal right) in ensuring minimum educational standards in all primary schools within its boundaries?
    KT

    • mycroft says:

      Joel Rich
      August 15, 2019 at 3:21 pm
      Question: Does the state have an interest (and legal right) in ensuring minimum educational standards in all primary schools within its boundaries?
      KT

      If a state can mandate children attend school, they can mandate what is taught in school

    • Yes – and maybe. But likely not.

      Yes – it has a legitimate interest, which would hold up in court. Decades of history on that.

      Legitimate interest, however, does not suffice to create a legal right insofar as “standards,” at least when there is some conflict with the free exercise of religion.In the classic case regarding the Amish, the government did not try to push its case (as you yourself hinted by speaking about “primary” schools) past elementary school, even though they could certainly have shown a legitimate interest in secondary ed as well. This is even more true today after RFRA, which imposes a strict standard on government to show why its plan does not place too onerous a burden on the practice of religion. No guarantees, of course, but it is very unlikely that today’s Supreme Court would find the NY ed commissioner’s diktat a fair burden. The vast majority of schools (other than a minority -albeit a large one – of chassidishe ones) would be able to demonstrate that they are doing at least as good a job in satisfying the State’s interest as the public schools.The proposed rules are far too intrusive and burdensome to satisfy the requirements of existing case law.

      • Joel Rich says:

        ok-so perhaps the next step would be to negotiate a fair burdwn
        kt

      • It would be. The commissioner was approached by reasonable and qualified people, but stonewalled any negotiations

      • mycroft says:

        at least when there is some conflict with the free exercise of religion

        How do hours of education required conflict with free exercise of religion? Day schools both Chareidi and MO in my neighborhood start their school year later and end earlier than public schools. I am not aware of the religious requirement to have midwinter breaks, Chanukah recesses, vacation many days before Yom Tov. The same way that many schools have limudei kodesh on Sundays, nothing prevents them from having secular studies on Sunday. IIRC when I attended MTA we had secular studies until 340PM on Sunday after limudei kodesh.

      • Charlie Hall says:

        “Decades of history on that. ”

        Not decades, centuries. New York State has strictly regulated private educational institutions since 1784. This includes those run by religious institutions. Basically every educational program and every educational institution need to be approved by the state. Donald Trump paid a $25 million fine for not following those rules. The state clearly has the law and the history on its side here.

        I am unaware of any other US state that has such regulations.

        It should be noted that in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act unconstitutional in its application to the states. The case was one in which a church was denied a zoning permit to expand.

  3. mycroft says:

    I first became aware of the agreement a couple of decades ago when I first realized MO schools had school for only about 162 days a year, unlike public school mandate of minimum of 180 days. I asked a MO principal how that occurs, he told me they aren’t bound by essentially any requirements. Obviously, hours per day spent on secular subjects must less too.
    To those who believe that all students must receive an education mandated by the state the lack of hours of instruction in education that American secular world deems important is troubling to them.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The question and issue at hand is the quality and religious autonomy of yeshivos , not whether they slavishly follow and ape the secular schools calendar . IMO, the issue is simple -bureaucrats in any agency sustain themselves by expanding not contracting the scope of a regulation even and after the same is challenged in court. . The fact that some very Charedi yeshivos might be found wanting is a pretext for the NYSE to impose regulations as to complying with the progressive agenda in all yeshivos and day schools ranging from Charedi to MO. First the NYSED will RL begin with the Charedi outlyers, precede to yeshivos that have Recents and AP curriculums and then to MO. No yeshiva worthy of the name should accept a regulation that dictates that their students must be taught that Heather has two mommies or daddies., or unconstitutionally questions the raison de etre of yeshiva education being chosen by parents as in the best interests of their children

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The real issue is two fold:

      1the Longevity of a school calendar has almost nothing to with the quality of education in a particular school and the education and values imparted therein I suspect that if you compare Regents AP and Sat scores that yeshiva student do better than the average public school student.

      2) An “education mandated by the state ” should not include anything remotely challenging to the cultural and religious autonomy of a yeshiva . To be as intellectually honest, no yeshiva should be forced by bureaucratic edict to teach that Heather has two mommies and to bow to the demands of the progressive agenda and its comrade in arms, the LGBT movement. When an attorney states that “rules were imposed for the “voiceless child who can be conscripted at their parents will” to attend a private school”, that iIMO the tip of the iceberg that is hiding a far left political agenda to be implemented by bureaucrats who view their job as imposing more rather than less regulatory hurdles which mask the political and ideological agenda

  4. mycroft says:

    1the Longevity of a school calendar has almost nothing to with the quality of education in a particular school and the education and values imparted therein I suspect that if you compare Regents AP and Sat scores that yeshiva student do better than the average public school student

    If longevity of a school calendar and length of time spent has nothing to do with quality of education, then why spend so much time on limudei kodesh-obviously time spent is corelated positively with achievement.
    Comparing SAT and Regents scores is meaningless unless you compare those with similar socioeconomic characteristic, remember day schools don’t admit everyone public schools do. Of interest is about two decades ago when the first NYS 3-8 tests were released, they released private school results-in my area the day schools did not do better than those of public school students living in same school districts as day school students.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      This is what the teachers unions have been saying for years in their incessant campaigns against yeshivos parochial schools and charter schools . The bottom line RS that yeshivas also have a goal beyond merely high test scores and allowing the inmates known as students and teachers to run the asylums known as public schools and that parents seek a yeshiva educacation for their children because the yeshivos and summer programs in camps aid parents tremendously in transmission of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation notwithstanding your well documented gripes complaints and sour grapes about the yeshiva system and its necessity as opposed to being a luxury . There are options within the yeshiva system for those who need such options for their children but parents have to realize that such options should CLE a priority over hashkafic purity in such s choice

      • mycroft says:

        “This is what the teachers unions have been saying for years in their incessant campaigns against yeshivos parochial schools and charter schools . ”

        Anyone who has seen my comments on teaching profession and their standardized test scores, and their earning per hour would know that I am not a flack for the teachers union.

        “The bottom line RS that yeshivas also have a goal beyond merely high test scores and allowing the inmates known as students and teachers to run the asylums known as public schools and that parents seek a yeshiva educacation for their children because the yeshivos and summer programs in camps aid parents tremendously in transmission of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation”

        I pray that the mosdos will succeed in doing their job. Do you have data showing that they are doing it with what success rate? Do you have data of those who entered day schools between 30-70 years ago about their frumkeit today? If there are any objective studies please let me know.

        ” notwithstanding your well documented gripes complaints and sour grapes about the yeshiva system and its necessity as opposed to being a luxury . ”
        I am obviously not trying to defend establishment at all costs. I do not attack actions and change my opinions about the actions depending who is behind the action.
        At times I am attacked ad hominem because my positions are not popular among those who love the status quo, but I have rarely seen even an attempt to engage me with contrary data.

        “There are options within the yeshiva system for those who need such options for their children but parents have to realize that such options should CLE a priority over hashkafic purity in such s choice”

        Ezu chacham haroeh et hanolad, a parent should try and think what would be best for his child thirty, forty years hence, not what is easiest in facing social pressure .

      • Charlie Hall says:

        This isn’t entirely accurate. Almost all Catholic schools in the New York area are unionized.

        Maybe we should welcome unions into our schools and get them on our side. All the Jewish hospitals in NYC are fully unionized and I heard the CEO of one of them describe the unions as their greatest allies.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      Test scores from two decades are irrelevant when compared to the test scores today and the values taught by yeshivos . Legitimate constructive criticism of yeshivos is welcomed but a long history of negative comments about yeshivos mchannchim RY and the so called move to the right IMO re see your comments problematic to say the least

      • mycroft says:

        “Test scores from two decades are irrelevant when compared to the test scores today and the values taught by yeshivos ”
        I have to quote those figures, because day schools have since successfully lobbied to state that many private school scorers should not be released. Even those schools taking tests can arrange for weaker students to get a day off etc. Once schools know scores would be released sadly there are reasons to doubt the accuracy of scores.

        . Legitimate constructive criticism of yeshivos is welcomed but a long history of negative comments about yeshivos mchannchim RY and the so called move to the right IMO re see your comments problematic to say the least

    • Inner city charter schools also don’t admit everybody and do better on tests and are sought by inner city parents who know that they provide a better education and values than the awful public schools in the City of New York

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Time spent on Limudei Kodesh especially Gemara is time intensive and longer because as Chazal tell us one gains the ability to swim in the sea of the Talmudwhivh is and will always be the key to transmission of the covenant that we live by today after the episode of the Golden Cslf is only acquired only by the amount t of effort put in as opposed to using a review course or a Barron’s or the equivalent to pass a Regents or an AP test it is qualitatively different and that is what the Department of Education refuses to understand as a valid difference and basis for discussion

      • mycroft says:

        The Department of Education is not proposing anything as to what limudei kodesh are taught, their proposed rules deal with secular education. Obviously state has no interest in what and how religious studies are taught. No one is claiming they are relevant to the states interest.

        Gemara is time intensive and longer because as Chazal tell us one gains the ability to swim in the sea of the Talmud.
        Many people have come to Yeshiva with little or no day school education and have accomplished a lot. Including some becoming among Yeshivas top students.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Mycroft wrote in relevant part, which warranted the following responses :

      1)Anyone who has seen my comments on teaching profession and their standardized test scores, and their earning per hour would know that I am not a flack for the teachers union

      Not responsive-your comments can be fairly interpreted as very similar to hat the head of the UFT and NEA have been saying about any alternatives to the very sorry public schools in this country.

      2)I pray that the mosdos will succeed in doing their job. Do you have data showing that they are doing it with what success rate? Do you have data of those who entered day schools between 30-70 years ago about their frumkeit today? If there are any objective studies please let me know.

      Take a look at today;s MO and Charedi communities in the US- Yes, there are problems, but the numbers of committed educated families and enrollment K-kollel far exceeds what is present pre WW2.
      3)I am obviously not trying to defend establishment at all costs. I do not attack actions and change my opinions about the actions depending who is behind the action.

      Take a look at your frequent comments about Chinuch, and your advocacy as Talmud Torah as a viable option tday merely it was economically feasible although hardly religiosly desirable at any time.
      At times I am attacked ad hominem because my positions are not popular among those who love the status quo, but I have rarely seen even an attempt to engage me with contrary data.
      4)Ezu chacham haroeh et hanolad, a parent should try and think what would be best for his child thirty, forty years hence, not what is easiest in facing social pressure

      Enrolling a child in day school is a religious necessity-not a a response to “facing social pressure.” Enrollling a child in a public school, who can be educated in a day school even with tutors if necessary, cannot be viewed as an example of haroeh et hanolad among the average family faced with a choice today, as opposed to decisions faced in the 1940s.

      • mycroft says:

        Take a look at today;s MO and Charedi communities in the US- Yes, there are problems, but the numbers of committed educated families and enrollment K-kollel far exceeds what is present pre WW2

        Depends on measure-kosher food consumption and those attending schul on Shabbos way down. Day schools can’t take credit for different population. Immigrants from 1933 forward had a much higher religious proportion than those when bulk of Jewish immigration was from 1881-1910

    • Steve Brizel says:

      Mycroft wrote in part:

      “Comparing SAT and Regents scores is meaningless unless you compare those with similar socioeconomic characteristic, remember day schools don’t admit everyone public schools do.”

      IMO, this comparison cannot and should not be made The overwhelming majority of day school and yeshiva high school parents of both genders do not engage in wondering whether the level of education even remotely approximately Bronx Science of Stuyvesant. They view the day school and camp as the best means of reinforcing Torah values and tradition and obtaining a secular education to the extent that they view the same necessary and not a challenge to their transmitting Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim to the next generation. Most parents are far motivated in that regard than in having their kids exposed to au courant far left education graduates and their brainwashing at secular universities

      • mycroft says:

        Irrelevant what parents want. State requires mandatory education, mandatory vaccinations etc. State has a right to demand certain education. If there is a true conflict with religion then law has various balancing tests. IMO there is no conflict with religion demanding attendance at school includes whatever state demands in secular subjects. Conflict of time is a fake-want more limudei kodesh start by cutting out some of the extensive vacations. Offer summer shiur YU in my day did.

  5. dr. bill says:

    the potential of a slippery slope has to be judged against the reality of current conditions; in my mind, the issue is not even close. when my alma mater, TV, asks children if their grandparents have a TV, I fear te slide in the other direction.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      Look at the TV Listings and ask yourself what you would or should watch let alone your grandchildren in prime time television outside of news and sports

    • mycroft says:

      Obviously TV has changed. Founded to imitate Rabbi Reines’ Yeshiva. Rabbi Zev Gold a founder of TV later would later become big in Mizrachi and sign Israels declaration of independence. Institution certainly began to change even before you went.

      • emet le'amito says:

        obviously TV attended Dr. Revel ztl’s levayah en masse, had a name stating clearly a torah +_ daat philosophy, had zionist leanings and is reliably rumored to have had mixed dancing at some /few fundraising dinners.

        listen carefully to the speakers at their recent dinner and you will hear from TWO speakers to what Daat really refers. 🙂 a A for creativity an F for honesty.

  6. Bob Miller says:

    Today, in this matter, is the OU a full team player, a silent partner, or unconcerned?

  7. Avraham says:

    Here is the letter I sent in:

    Dear Sirs – As a yeshiva graduate formerly of NYC, I am writing to respectfully register my opinion concerning the regulations proposed by the State Education Department.

    The yeshiva education I received may not have conformed to the rigid dictates the State Education Department is attempting to impose in the proposed regulations. My school blended a traditional Jewish and high level secular education in a way that was different than what was offered at NYC public schools. I consider myself fortunate to have received that blend of education. The yeshiva education I received provided me with the opportunity and foundation for a successful and productive personal and professional life after school.

    The proposed regulations require a long list of required classes for the elementary school grades, and require that they be taught for 17.5 hours each week. My school didn’t teach all the classes these regulations require, nor did they teach them for the length of time mandated by the regulations.
    But my education was superb, and I would not have traded it for one that rigidly conformed to the public school curriculum, as the regulations require. My education afforded me a unique skill set, Jewish identity, knowledge base, and moral compass that I could not get anywhere else.

    At the time of my yeshiva high school graduation I was one of two students in a graduating class of approximately 30 who received one of 1,000 Empire State scholarships awarded to NYS high school graduates that year. Since leaving high school I have studied at university, completed intensive training programs at a leading NYC bank, finished law school in Israel, and am now a licensed practicing attorney in the State of Israel.
    My peers may have had educations with different emphases, but they were not necessarily better prepared for success. I have no doubt that the intensive, dual curriculum education that I received in yeshiva has been key to my successes.
    However, in the intervening decades since the time I completed my yeshiva education in NYC, much of the leadership and administration of most ultra-orthodox yeshiva educational institutions in NYS have completely eviscerated the serious high level dual curriculum which existed at the time I went to school.
    The general studies curricula in most institutions has been so watered down that they completely undermine the ability of the yeshivas – including the one I attended – to provide current and future generations of students with the excellent education I was fortunate to receive.
    I urge you to respect the independence and autonomy of yeshivas, and to acknowledge the success of countless yeshiva graduates such as myself. However, I do suggest that you consider requiring all parochial educational institutions in NYS to provide their students with a robust academic program in general studies, including sufficient instruction in advanced classical mathematics, natural sciences, English language and composition, civics and government, world history, modern legal systems, economics and finance, and languages – including mandating the offering of advanced placement and college level classes to those of exceptional ability.
    This set of requirements should mirror what was typical of the robust NYS regents requirements offered in most yeshiva high schools between 1950 and 1980.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Sincerely,

    • mycroft says:

      At the time of my yeshiva high school graduation I was one of two students in a graduating class of approximately 30 who received one of 1,000 Empire State scholarships awarded to NYS high school graduates that year.
      You are very smart. No relevance to setting policy.
      Similarly, one can have no day school education, or very limited day school education and do as well as top students from k-12 day schools in Jewish higher education.

    • MK says:

      I think Avraham has presented the most accurate picture of the issue.
      A strong case can be made that, in principle, the State can not be allowed to set broad standards for Yeshivos. And a case can be made, perhaps, that the secular studies in most Yeshivos is adequate.
      However, all the talk about graduates of Yeshivos going on the excel in various professions, and letters from health care professional about how well they were prepared by their Yeshiva education, is simply dishonest!
      Anyone familiar with the current trend in Mesivtas knows that very few, if any today can produce such professionals, nor are they interested in doing so!
      … I have a simple suggestion. 🙂
      Let’s find out what the daily schedule was when Rav Aharon Shechter, Rav Yaakov Perlow, Rav Dovid Feinstein and Rav Aharon Feldman went to high school. That system, obviously produced Gedolim!
      So let’s just make that the “red line”. We will let that be the standard and will not agree to add any more hours of secular studies than they had!

  8. Steve Brizel says:

    No yeshiva should be forced to those many aspects of the progressive agenda that are a clear and present danger to the transmission of Torah Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim and which are geared against the conventional family structure

    • dr. bill says:

      i can assure you that schools like DRS do not teach anything like what you fear. it is disingenuous in the extreme to conflate teaching basic language, mathematics, etc. with the study of human sexuality. Those standing tall for continuing the current lack of secular studies in boys elementary and HS schools, MbP, the right not to vaccinate, etc. etc. will, in my biased opinion, will have to, after 120, account for their behavior before the Heavenly tribunal.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        The decision for all yeshivas is whether Kiddushin Ksubos and the views of Chazal on the family marriage and child rearing and mitzvos is to be taught under the same roof as Heather as two mommies. I would never underestimate what a bureaucrat advancing an agenda views as proper progressive curriculum. Read Ruth Wisses memoirs on line about her years at Harvard if you need confirmation that qwsgould fight anything and everything that is advanced in the name of PC . I reject the notion that what you quaintly call human sexuality as opposed to what is meant to build a Bayis Newman BYisrael should be taught in a classroom

      • Steven Brizel says:

        Bureaucrats get paid to expand not shrink their realm of control by promulgating more regulations not less. No yeshiva ranging from Satmar to Tamar should be forced by the state to determine what is the degree of either secular studies or the amount of time spent on Limudei Kodesh .a very strong argument can be made that what you quaintly call “human sexuality” has many elements and assumptions that can be reconciled with building Bayis Newman BYisrael and the views is Chazal and Rishonim in the primacy of marriage and marriage as the means for emotional and physical intimacy

      • Steve Brizel says:

        No yeshiva should be forced under state compulsion to teach beyond what it perceives as necessary to comply with the need to provide a secular education and certainly should not be forced to engage in the current Zeitgeist’s definition of what Dr Bill quaintly referred to “the study of human sexuality”, which it can be argued would impede on he right of free exercise of religion.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        In the UK it is well documented that the state authorities objects to gender separation and traditional views of marriage as taught in Charedi schools. PC and the secular cultural Zeitgesit have a way of becoming au courant in Europe and then migrating across the pond to America. It is extraordinarily naive wrong to assume that a state educational bureaucrat whose training is far left in nature will not attack traditional Jewish teachings on the importance of the family and marriage.

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    The issue remains that regulations always mask an ideological political agenda First you regulate the time required and then you demand the contents of the curriculum to suit the Zeitgeist of the times .That remains the agenda of those who seek to impose the regulations regardless of the hashkafa of the yeshiva in question

  10. Bob Miller says:

    Our Jewish schools in the US have two missions:

    1. To give Jewish students as citizens a grounding in all the skills needed to be productive and advance the general good.

    2. To teach Jewish students Torah in theory and practice so they can be close to HaShem in all the ways He intends, and distant from sin.

    Any government agency or general society dedicated to promoting sin as virtue would have real trouble with our Mission 2. Increasingly, we face exactly that. The inversion of morality in many urban and suburban areas outside our enclaves is staggering. Many fools with power judge our way to be both wrong and criminal!

  11. Shades of Gray says:

    Menachem Wecker wrote a recent article in “Education Next”, a magazine of the Harvard Kennedey School, titled “New York State Cracks Down on Jewish Schools: Senator Simcha Felder and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel meet the long shadow of Joseph Hodges Choate” (available online).

    Wecker traces the historic background for the current controversy, which although “is to some degree an intra-Jewish dispute, it’s being fought against the backdrop of education law that was largely shaped by a conflict between Catholics and Protestants in the second half of the 19th century—a battle over control of tax dollars for education.”

    He concludes that “If the state does revisit its education laws, maybe it should consider reversing them—requiring the public schools to be substantially equivalent to the religious ones rather than the other way around”.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The SCOTUS has granted certiorari to a case from Montana that challenges the constitutionality of a state statute which also is on the books of many other states that bans state aid to parochial schools. It will be interesting to see how the shifting majority on the SCOTUS, which is more impressed with threats to the free exercise of religion and similar issues and not impressed by cases that purport to set forth Establishment clause issues ,will decide the case.

      • Charlie Hall says:

        The Blaine Amendments you are referring to, which exist in 38 states, are state constitutional provisions that prohibit state support to religious institutions. It was the product of late 19th century bigotry against Roman Catholics led by the prominent corrupt Republican politicians James G. Blaine, who lost the 1884 Presidential election to Grover Cleveland. (I think the one in Massachusetts is predated Blaine and may have served as the model.) They need to go the way of Jim Crow laws.

        But it is remarkable how popular they are. Every attempt to repeal a Blaine Amendment has failed in the needed referendum, usually by landslide margins. New York tried in 1967 (the effort was led by Democrats aligned with Sen. Robert Kennedy) and the constitutional revision lost in all 62 counties.

        And even in states such as Maryland and New Jersey which do not have Blaine Amendments, efforts to provide direct support have failed. Back in the early 1970s, the overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland legislature enacted what would today be called a voucher system, and it was signed by the Jewish Democratic governor, Marvin Mandel. The law was petitioned to referendum and it lost 22 of 23 counties.

        We aren’t fighting the leftists of today we are fighting the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

        This despite the fact that in much of Canada and in much of Europe, religious schools get generous support from the government in exchange for government control of their secular curricula. I would support that kind of system but there seems to be little interest in this.

  12. Shades of Gray says:

    Below are two items of historic interest showing the 1945-1947 communications between the NYS Board of Regents and the aborted “American Hebrew Theological University”, which was going to be a joint college of Torah Vodaath and Chaim Berlin. As with Dr. Schick’s reference of the 1939-1942 incident, the 1945 filings show the relevance of yeshivos to society.

    The documents include financial statements of the yeshivos to be merged and are signed by the various rabbonim who were to be trustees, such as “Isaac Hutner” and “Paul Mendlowitz”, better known as R. Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz.

    https://failedmessiah.typepad.com/files/ny-board-of-regents.pdf

    https://failedmessiah.typepad.com/files/ny-board-of-regents-2.pdf

    The “Petition for a Charter” section describes the institution’s purpose against the backdrop of the Holocaust and the Atomic Age, and includes a quote from Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man”(see pgs. 7-8 of the first item):

    “With the destruction of the great centers of Jewish Talmudic learning in Europe, it becomes necessary for the Jewish people to establish centers in the United States so that the great chain of Talmudic scholarship may not be broken.”

    “The proper study of “Mankind” is Man”, said Pope. Much has been done to improve the world man lives in; little has been done to improve man. In the chaotic present, when nation does not get along with nation and man fails to understand his fellow man, there is greater necessity than ever before for man to return to religion for guidance in social intercourse. Only religious leadership, sufficient and trained, can instill in man the selflessness and sympathy necessary for the understanding of his fellow man. No material good, no matter how perfect, can supersede the value of the good man. It is more important to “build Adam than to split atoms”.

    There are differences about the reason for the creation of this joint university, as discussed in Rabbi J.J. Schachter ‘s “Facing the Truths of History”(available online) and Dr. William B. Helmreich’s “The World of the Yeshiva”. Dr. Marvin Schick wrote a response to R. Schachter’s article in a 1999 Jewish Press article, also available online (” ‘Facing the Truths of History’ revisited”, On the Mainline, June, 06. R. Simcha Krauss responded in a subsequent Jewish Press issue, and there was a rejoinder there by Dr. Schick. R. Elya Svei spoke as well at the Agudah convention about his view of the reason for the joint university).

    • dr. bill says:

      what we lack still is the perspective on history that time will provide. in my opinion, the impact of the Hazon Ish ztl in Israel and RAK ztl in the US and the resulting developments that they may or may not have intended will be seen as definitive. (it was RAK who quashed the attempt at a college; in my time at TV 15 years later a RY there told me is still might happen.) it is amazing to see the impact they and 2 others, the Rav in Israel ztl and the Rav in the US ztl, had. 4 individuals who set an agenda for centuries to come. kach nireh li. btw, all 4 have been broadly interpreted and misinterpreted. ironically, not those 4 but 2 others are more often quoted in sifrei halakha. i will not live to see how this plays out; perhaps my grandchildren

      • Steve Brizel says:

        How ironic that a grandson of RYBS is a recently installed RY sat TVD as opposed to either RIETS or Gush

      • Shades of Gray says:

        “How ironic that a grandson of RYBS is a recently installed RY sat TVD as opposed to either RIETS or Gush”

        I linked on an earlier thread(“Response to Rabbi Adam Starr and Young Israel of Toco Hills”), the video of R. Yitzchok Lichtenstein speaking at the Torah Vodaath Centennial Dinner (1:36:00 in video) where he begins by mentioning the zechus avos and the dedication of his rebbeim, namely, his father, grandfather(“der Zeida, Rav Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik zt’l), and father in law, among his various rebbeim. R. Lichtenstein left the dinner together with his mother; the yeshiva gave her, as well as the women family members of the other honorees, a bouquet of flowers.

        At the inaugural shuir kloli given at YTV, R. Lichtenstein pointed to ” the zechus of his fathers and grandfathers, illustrious gedolim and leaders of the dor”, according to Matzav and Yeshivah World.

        To be sure, Torah Vodaas is not changing its ideology — although the name Torah Vodaath originated with R. Zev Gold who studied in R. Reines’ yeshiva in Lida, which combined Torah and secular studies(his son, R. Moshe Gold, was also an early YTV student, according to the recent Jewish Action article, “Remembering the 1929 Hebron Massacre”). However, I think its fair to say in a sense about R. Lichtenstein’s family and YTV that “sheli v’shelachem shelahem”; similarly, Torah Vodaas was influenced by Torah Vodaas–the one in Europe. For that matter, R. Norman Lamm was presumably influenced by the American Torah Vodaath, even if he left it after high school, and didn’t represent its hashkafah.

    • Shades of Gray says:

      “in my time at TV 15 years later a RY there told me is still might happen.”

      Dr. Bill,

      Are you able to indicate which RY this was, and what his opinion was on attending college in general?

      It’s interesting to note the difference in the initial Trustees listed in the December, 1945 letter to NYS Education Department(1st page of first link), versus those on the later Petition for a Charter dated March of 1946(pgs. 10-11 of same link). The trustees on the first page are from the Chaim Berlin hanhala as well as organizational-affiliated rabbis such as Rabbis Chavel, Herbert Goldstein, Leo Jung, and Mordecai Stern(of the RCA). These community rabbis are not trustees on the later document, and instead, the YTV rabbonim are added: Rabbis Paul Mendlowitz, Gedalia Schorr, Samuel Qinn(Rav Nesanel ?), and Isaac Schneider(who I don’t recognize).

      I wonder if this difference would explain why there is confusion regarding the extent of R. Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz’s involvement in the joint venture, and thus the different understandings of R. J.J. Schacter and Dr. Schick.

      • dr. bill says:

        The RY in question, Rav Yosef Levitan, ztl was very ill throughout my years at TV. he was my rebbe in the 9th grade and as is said today we bonded. i would walk from Williamsburg to his house in crown heights where Lubavitch had not yet taken over the entire neighborhood. he died after my junior year; i was informed by a slightly older Rav Dovid Bender ztl, who died the next summer, also at a very young age.

        our conversations were wide-ranging; I do not have the absolute clarity to write all that i absorbed. however, a remember conversations about college, something he knew i would attend. whether said junior college or 4 year college is murky. he encouraged me to attend the Rav ztl’s tuesday night shiurim at Moriah in I believe my junior year. i had 2 other incredible rabbeim atTV, one decidedly not in their league.

        in the then bitter fights between the leaders, he remained friendly with both RYK ztl and RGS ztl as i remember. given his illness, his last job was bochain in the BM.

        he is buried in Woodbridge NJ, a short distance from where I live for a short part of the year. i suspect a few others have non-artscrolled memories of a man with a truly great influence on my early teenage years.

  13. DF says:

    “Many of our readers…believed that the only real targets would be a minority of Chassidic schools.”

    That’s exactly right. Naiveté on a scale not seen since the belief that the “Peace Process” and Gaza Expulsion would lead to harmony. How sad. You’d think with a history like hours, with numerous examples of directly-on-point precedent, that we would have know better (and many of us did.) כיון שניתן רשות להשחית, שוב אינו מבחין בין טוב לרע

    • Bob Miller says:

      Some Jews really think that “their” schools are immune because “their” schools can adapt to any government demand. They don’t realize that an unleashed government can and will demand things they never dreamed of. But even if they really were immune, that is not reason to stand aside and let other Jews get pushed around.

  14. Steve Brizel says:

    The aforementioned Wecker article is a must read especially for anyone who thinks that students in a Charedi school in the heart of a Charedi neighborhood are shortchanged with respect to their secular education,

  15. Steve Brizel says:

    /www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/espinoza-v-montana-department-of-revenue/

    For those interested , this is the case pending before the SCOTUS, with other links accessible re parties and amici curai who filed briefs

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    No yeshiva should be compelled by any state authority under the guise of improving a secular education to make sure that its graduates are “woke”, or are taught in a manner that creates the perfect storm of Marcusian views of free speech, Zinn’s views on American history or the views that there are merely competing narratives as opposed to truth in the sciences. culture and politics

  17. StevevBrizel says:

    Mycroft -IMO the SCOTUS in two separate cSes involving the Amish ruled that the state cannot impose its notions of a secular educational curriculum and values on Amish schools and. Jewels the same as a clear violation of the free e etc use clause Imposing time and curriculum requirements neither of which are value free on yeshivos IMO clearly would violate the free exercise clause. Summer school works at best for those need it but in our community camps work and your all too predictable reference to who is eating kosher food today ignores the vitality of the committed MO Charedi snd Chasidishe communities whose demographics alone warrant the opening of new yeshivas and multiple grade levels in existing schools every year . One should e plies the facts on the ground before comparing today’s world with what is purportedly studied by those committed to the big tent vision of American Jewry

    One can maintain that CI RYBS CI and RMMS all played critical roles in saving preserving and reviving Torah Judaism each in their own way after the Shoah

  18. Shades of Gray says:

    In a 2015 Jewish Press article, “Going To College: A Personal Reminiscence”, Dr. Schick gave the following perspective about yeshiva students attending college in the 1950s :

    “There were many Orthodox Jewish students, mostly male, who went to RJJ or Torah Vodaath or Chaim Berlin during the day. It is not an excess of religious Jewish pride or chauvinism to note that Orthodox students routinely were at the top of the class…

    The phenomenon of combining Torah study with a college education is nearly entirely gone with the wind and it is certainly not now viewed as an acceptable approach in the yeshiva world. Yet in the 1950s it was routine and my college classmates included individuals who are now recognized as outstanding roshei yeshiva and rabbis. A substantial portion of the yeshiva students at Brooklyn during this period continued on to graduate or professional schools.

    There are good reasons why the combination of significant Torah study and a college education has now vanished almost entirely, the primary one being the emphasis on total immersion in Torah study. But as welcome as this development is, it needs to be underscored that there is no reason to apologize for a pattern that existed in a previous generation and it is necessary to emphasize that the pattern yielded enormous benefits to our community”

    • Bob Miller says:

      “…the emphasis on total immersion in Torah study….”

      Today’s leading colleges and universities foster a whole other kind of immersion—whether on the campus grounds, in classes, or in living groups. It’s immersion in the immoral leftist fantasy world. Not a haphazard encounter, not one option among many, but the very focus.

    • MK says:

      It is also worth underscoring that at the time that it was common for many boys to attend college at night in Yeshivas like Chaim Berlin, we produced more Gedolim than we are producing today.
      That included some Moetzes members who attended college.

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