Brooklyn Jewish School Broke Law, Failed to Give Sufficient Education – NBC New York

A Brooklyn yeshiva is accused of breaking the law by failing to provide its students with a sufficient secular education — as a mother said the school didn’t teach her son even some of the most basic subjects, which has kept him behind.

That mother, who first raised concerns about her son’s education at the Brooklyn yeshiva, is cautiously celebrating.

“It’s very welcome. We weren’t sure if they would step up and do right by these children,” said Beatrice Weber. “This victory is great. It’s wonderful but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to make sure every child in New York City receives the education they deserve.”

In a ruling obtained by NBC New York on Wednesday, New York State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa concluded the Hasidic school is violating state education law by failing to provide a basic education. The department cited issues with instruction in math, science, English and social studies .

Rose wrote in her ruling that the school Rosa writing the school “has not sufficiently demonstrated that the instruction it provides is substantially equivalent to the instruction given to minors of like age and attainment in public elementary schools.”

Weber, who has since left the Hasidic community, filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging a lack of secular education at Yeshiva Mesivta Arugath Habosem.

“When I filed this, my son was 6, almost 7. Now he is 10. At that point he wasn’t that far behind — now he’s far behind,” she told NBC New York.

The education commissioner is ordering New York City to work with the Brooklyn yeshiva, and it could bring stricter oversight at other Hasidic Jewish schools.

“It’s the civil rights issue for our day and the way I view it: Beatrice Weber is the Jewish Rosa Parks,” said attorney David Shapiro.

Not all agree.

“To me, it’s a total clown show,” said Yossi Gestetner, the co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council. He said parents have the right to send their children to programs consistent with their beliefs and traditions.

“When you come with a complete disregard of the value of the education that we give and that we have, and say ‘You need to change’ — I think they’re just building barriers,” Gestetner said. “They need to give credence to the value of the education that we give to our children. They need to respect the value it brings.

In September, members of the Hasidic community protested in Albany, but the state ended up approving guidelines to make sure instruction at private and religious schools are equivalent to public schools.

“Today and tomorrow and next week, there are tens of thousands of children in New York City and New York State going to school for long days, 10 hour days, 12 hour days. And not being taught anything,” said Weber.

The yeshiva has 60 days to come up with a plan. NYC Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *