New York, NY – CB 10 Rejects Hebrew School in Harlem


    New York, NY – A presentation to put a Hebrew language charter school in Harlem was met with fierce resistance from local officials and residents, who want the school to move elsewhere.

    Harlem Hebrew, modeled after Brooklyn’s Hebrew Language Academy Charter School, would serve the upper West Side and a portion of Harlem.

    It would be open to all students in Community School District 3.

    However, Community Board 10 members fired back at the idea following a presentation by school officials Wednesday night.

    “It’s an abomination. It’s an insult,” said Board 10 member Isis Ausar.

    “To be perfectly honest, I don’t think it should be in Central Harlem. I think they should find another location.”

    Ausar suggested maybe a largely Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn.

    “I could not go over there and propose a school and say it’s an African language school…,” Ausar said. “I have no problems with another language, but they want modern Hebrew and that’s not going to help our children in any way.”

    Dan Gerstein, a spokesman for the Midwood school, said naysayers are not giving it a chance.

    “[The school is] focused on breaking down barriers and understanding across cultures,” he said.

    Read more in NY Daily News

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    1. Who said these people have an opinion. The law doesn’t discriminate. If it’s legal then greenlights. Free country. . .what?
      They forget who marched arm in arm in the 60’s. They forget how beautiful Harlem once was. Disgrace.

    2. African Americans cannot be racists, by definition. So Ausur and other of his (her?) ilk are not spewing racism and ignorance. Maybe you are the racist.

    3. So much for equal rights for all. I’m sorry to say it but when the shoe is on the other foot it hurts. The NY Daily News ran a story several weeks ago about how the black residents of Harlem resent their new white neighbors. But when blacks moved into mostly white areas and there were problems that was the top news for weeks. #1 is correct is was the Jews who stood with the blacks during the civil rights movement…memories are short and so is gratitude.

    4. Actually, they are right in that modern Hebrew is not an important world language. Even in E”Y hi-tech business is conducted in English.

      On the other hand, I am sure they would be very happy to force an Ebonics/Nation of Islam charter school on Midwood if they could.

      • Who is THEY? You do realize that a community board is made up of at least 50 individuals who live, work or have a special interest in the communities represented by each particular board? You do realize that they take a vote, that sometimes these votes are not unanimous. Of course as the whole charter school agenda advances so does the lack of accountability advance. It becomes easier to blur the lines of separation of church and state. That said, I think Isis’s comment is
        an abomination. It’s very disheartening when there is racism. This reminds me of the last community board 12 meeting; that meeting was a travesty. I think it will take a long time for CB 12 and the community to heal. Community board members volunteer to serve ALL of the communities within their particular community board, people who are unable to do this, should not be on the board.

    5. the area is central with easy transportation from the heights upper west and east side as well as the bronx. their attitude is interesting this is the city not black nyc or italian or jewish if the location is right then build it i dont seem to see the same opposition to the touro schools that are there

    6. The “Hebrew Charter School” in Midwood is a joke.
      Come pass by during dismissal times and you will see it is about 80% black!
      Almost no Jews go there- and there is nothing Jewish about the school.
      Just shut it down. Certainly no need for another one.

    7. Modern Hebrew is a made up language and there is no reason to promote it, it is not really Jewish”. Loshon Hakodesh on the other hand is a heilige language and shouldn’t be used for everyday speech, thats why Jews always spoke their own language whether it was Aramaic. ladino or Yiddish. I don’t see any reason to teach modern Hebrew to blacks in Harlem or anyone any where.

      • Actually modern Hebrew is almost identical to traditional Hebrew. Its grammatical binyanim structure is the same. There are certainly words and idioms that are new. But new words and idioms were constantly introduced into Hebrew over the last 2000 years. All languages evolve. The Hebrew of the Rambam differs from the Hebrew of Tanach by as much as modern Hebrew differs from Rambam’s Hebrew. This is exactly the reason that learning modern Hebrew is the BEST way of learning Loshon Hakodesh. Just look at the typical yeshiva students who cant read Tanach, say Job, in original Hebrew if their life depended on it. The typical Israeli who hasn’t spent a day in Yeshiva can do a much better job. This is why every frum person should know Hebrew and should be taught it as a second language from the earliest age possible.

      • Aramaic is the language of Syria and Mesopotania and is still spoken by many Christians there.

        Ladino is almost identical to late medieval Spanish.

        Yiddish is very similar to some medieval German dialects.

        The only true Jewish language is Hebrew.

    8. Does anyone know the reason for making a “Jewish” / Hebrew school in Harlem? I still dont understand from this article the reason why. If the locals dont want it, then whats the point of it?! Who is trying to promote it and why?


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