November 2017 Church & State - November 2016

NYC Accused Of Ignoring Educational Shortfalls At Private Jewish Schools

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An advocacy group dedicated to improving the educational quality at ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools recently criticized New York City’s oversight of these institutions.

An analysis by Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED) found yeshiva students are exposed most­ly to intense religious instruction and often are deficient in math, English, science and social studies. Although they are private schools, the yeshivas receive taxpayer funding for meals, textbooks and tutoring for low-income children and are required to provide an appropriate education in core secular subjects.

YAFFED founder Naftuli Moster in September accused New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña of negligence, reported the New York Post.

“This appears, to me, as one of the biggest scandals in this city – tens of thousands of children being denied education, and the mayor and the chancellor turning a blind eye,” Moster said.

Moster pointed to the lack of information about an ongoing probe of the yeshivas launched by the city’s Department of Education two years ago. He indicated the officials are balking on taking action to avoid antagonizing the Orthodox Jewish community’s powerful voting bloc.

YAFFED argues that the education offered at some yeshivas is so slanted toward religious studies that it leaves young people unprepared to enter the workforce.

“The average young Hasidic man leaves the yeshiva system completely unprepared to work in – or interact with – the world outside his community,” YAFFED asserted in an analysis.

Rabbi Yoel Loeb told The Post that Moster was leading children astray from their religious duties and origins.


Americans United & the National Women’s Law Center file suit to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans.

Abortion bans violate the separation of church and state. Americans United and the National Women’s Law Center—the leading experts in religious freedom and gender justice—have joined forces with thirteen clergy from six faith traditions to challenge Missouri’s abortion bans as unconstitutionally imposing one narrow religious doctrine on everyone.

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