London – Stamford Hill Charedi School Ordered Shut Down For Failing To Meet ‘Minimum’ DOE Standards


    FILE - Police officers patrol in a Jewish neighbourhood in north London January 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth  London – The Department of Education (DOE) has ordered that the Charedi Talmud Torah Tashbar school in Stamford Hill must close its doors after three separate Ofsted reports gave it a failing grade in meeting the “minimum” teaching standards required by law. ( reports that the school, which has been operating illegally for 40 years, teaches its students no English at all and its Hebrew-only curriculum has been designated by Ofsted inspectors as encouraging “cultural and ethnic insularity because it is so narrow and almost exclusively rooted in the study of the Torah.”

    Despite a statement last month by Chief Inspector Schools, Sir Michael Winslow, that the government was considering prosecuting illegal “faith” school that “promote intolerance,” no official action has been taken and the school remains open.

    A DOE spokes man said, “It is a criminal offence to operate an unregistered independent school. This school’s application for registration has been rejected and on 30 December it was informed of this decision. It has been told to close by 12 February.”

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    1. Lets hope the USA does the same to bith the yeshivish and chasidsh schools that have adopted the same stupidity.

      And for all the naysayers, please answer the following, what are our bouchrim doing in lieu of secular studies? How are they occupying their time? Is a 9th grader really cut out to learn gemara a whole day? Are our high school boys really shtieging or are they just growing up to be a bunch of hockers and batlanim??

      • you sound like 1 of those losers who actually earn between $9.50 and $9.75/hr
        we grew up this way for the past 2,000 years and will continue to learn Torah just the same way, and no municipality or government will succeed in forcing on us anything else!

        and you go back do what you do best continue flipping burgers at the check out counter make sure they are well done and don’t lecture us

        • Firstly, I am not a wealthy man but I do hold a job that requires a degree and I do earn a very reasonable salary BH.
          Secondly, for the past 200 years including the famed yeshiva volozin there was a secular education. And until very recently both chasidish and yeshvish had a secular education (albeit the chasidim a little less). its a new mishagas not to have any secular studies
          Thirdly, I specifically did not want to get into the argument whether one needs a secular education or not. But noone has yet to address my simple question. What are our boys doing instead of a secular education? Can you honestly answer that they are learning? If they are not learning then why not teach secular studies? In fact what often happens is that since there is no structure these kids end up growing up with a lack of value for time.
          By the way I mentored lots of these boys so i saw first hand
          Now please answer my question are these chasidish/ yeshvish boys really learning a whole day???? Its a simple yes or no. (attacking me won’t answer the question.)

    2. Kok hakovod to the Brits for having the courage to shut down “schools” that consistently crank out dysfunctional students with no job skills or basic ability to function in modern society. Halevei that public officials in EY an the U.S. would have the same courage since the same problems existing among some but not all chareidi schools everywhere. There is no reason that a Chareidi school cannot provide minimal instruction in reading schools, math, science and civic affairs. There are many schools that already do so while training some of the best kollel yungerliet and young rabbunim who will be gadolei hador in the next several decades.

    3. If that happened to one or to yeshivas in the Monsey/Brooklyn/Lakewood/Baltimore corridor…the others might be motivated to get their acts together, Hip hip hurray for the Brits.

      • Sorry – for a change, you’re just engaging in shtus! If your underlying concept were true, why do New Square and Kiryas Yoel have the highest percent of any New York communities of welfare/food stamps/ Section 8 recipients! Further a recent study on Jews and income found that the group with the highest per capita income was NOT Chareidim, Reform, or Conservative. It was the Modern Orthodox who teach both Torah AND secular studies in a serious way

    4. There is actually something phenomenal and commendable about these Chadorim that should be celebrated rather than cause for persecution.

      The reality is that with all of the secular worlds advancements, there is most often no coherent center that the knowledge they disseminate engenders. That is to say that as Jews we recognize that all of reality is a manifestation of the divine, to be used for a divine purpose. The problem is that those who study secular knowledge are very often tempted to divorce G-d from our reality. Empirical evidence is regarded as supreme, and the word of G-d is secondary. Science states that “Man is the measure of all things,” which means that the human, not G-d, gets to determine fact, and ultimately morality and values.

      By providing young children with the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in Torah study until they are halachically required to seek out a living, these children are being provided with an unadulterated G-dly perspective of reality which they will later utilize during their lifetime to accomplish the divine purpose of creation, rather than a life focused on selfish achievements with little regard for G-d and His Torah.

      • Well said providing they “completely” immerse themselves in torah. Most 9th graders besides for a few elite mitzionim don’t have zits fliesh to learn all day. They end up being hockers. Chasdim are busy hocking about every reba and the yeshvish about rosh yeshivas. Both about shtosim a whole day. That is not conducive to judiasm.

      • How would someone who is completely illiterate in the English language, has the math skills of a secular 6 year old, no instruction in any form of science or geography or history be able to support his family? I would say ditch digging, but they lack the ability to understand and complete the job application not to mention the ability to lift a shovel. They will accomplish the purpose of living, along with their families, in abject poverty and poor health. What a ridiculous set of meaningless statements to support a ridiculous position.

        • I encourage you to get the facts.

          “The [U.S.] government says that currently there are 6 million more people with bachelor’s degrees than jobs available for them. So college today clearly isn’t the inexorable path to a good job that it once was.” (

          So getting the education you described is not, by any stretch, a guarantee to a livelihood. Same with the Yeshivah system. There are no guarantees; when a child reaches the age of marriage (or one year prior), that is the time to teach him a trade, NOT before.

          As a people, we have outlived all the nations who have championed all of these academic and technological advances;by clinging to the Torah and the guidance of its teachers, we are living testimony to the truth of the Torah’s directives.

          The law is that a child must be submerged in Torah study the entire day (“ומלמדין אותם כל היום כולו”). This is the clearly stated law in Rambam, Shulchan Aruch and all later decisors.

          Although certain Rabbis condoned secular studies, this by no means can subvert the essential ideal: total immersion in Torah study.

    5. “faith” school that “promote intolerance,” – this bothers me. How, in teaching our religion, does that promote intolerance? All this PC stuff is nonsense.

      I would suggest these pathetic schools call in my sister (who was given her first job at Yesodei Hatorah school many years ago, based on who our zaidie was!) She is now retired but consults for schools and Yeshivot as she is an amazing educator and administrator. If anyone can drag this school into the 21st century, she could. But they will just go to another location & carry on in the same manner.

    6. I actually learned in this cheder tashbar and I still have enough money (I’m not the type of guy who likes to talk like this but I earn way more then a lot of writers here) and I definitely think you can see a difference on the kids from this school to other kids that they have a bigger hasoge in Yiddishkeit and there more understanding to what’s Yiddishkeit

      • Just curious so would you say most guys really “learn” a whole day? Like do most 9th graders in this school have zits fliesh to learn? If yes whats their secret because I have not seen too many 9th graders that really learn all day. Generally the rabbiem in these yeshivas struggle how to keep their boys occupied all day.

        • So let’s get this straight. You assume that most ‘9th graders’ don’t have ‘zits fleish’ to learn but they would have ‘zits fleish’ for secular studies? So they would need ‘zits fleish’ regardless. So what’s your point in regard to secular studies???

          • Yes thats my point. Most 9th graders have zits fliesh for secular studies which is not as intense and is different than learning gemara. Its a different kind of zits fliesh. Just as an example afte rlearning for 5/6 hours gemara you now teach them some computer skills. Most kids would find that more interesting verse gemara after a long day..And when there is no secular studies kids end up being batlonim and hockers.

            • Because the public schools with their great variety don’t produce ‘batlunim’…
              Of course learning ‘Gemara’ for 5 to 6 could be exhaustive. How about a break? Besides, there is a variety of Yiddish subjects, such as Halacha (which could be learned in multiple formats), Muser and/or Chassidus, Mikra, Mishna, Jewish History/Nach, etc. against is no one’s business what a school teaches – if you don’t like it don’t send there. Again your issue is with the subject matter being Gemara – you obviously have a strong animosity to sitting and learning Gemara (is it possible because you don’t understand it…), and thus your point isn’t for secular studies as much as against Gemara… which signifies on which side of the fence you are.

            • Firstly,the public school argument is a flawed argument. One must take into account a child sociological background when measuring success or lack thereof. You can’t compare yeshiva boys with stable solid upbringings against public school boys who are often immigrants , raised by single moms and reside in crime ridden projects. If you would like you can compare it to an upper class white neighborhood .
              Secondly, i am not against learning gemara. In fact I believe that most men in kollel just waste the day and batul. I believe most mature men don’t saty in kollel past two years if they are not serious. And a kollel man is surely capable of learning all day. And so I am very machshuv torah and gemara.
              Thirdly, yes the rebbaim try killing the day via learning light topics. But its still not as light as secular studies. And the boys realize that its just something to kill the day and don’t take it seriously. Some secular studies departments have the same problem and I would voice the same concern. However, many have a rigorous secular studies department.
              I mentored both kind of boys. And I saw first hand which boys have more of an appreciation for time.

            • Sorry that was a very bad typo. I wrote,
              ” I am not against learning gemara. In fact I believe that most men in kollel just waste the day and batul.”

              It should have said,
              i am not against learning gemara. In fact I DON’T believe that most men in kollel just waste the day and batul.

    7. Oh my, they will shutter Hogwarts! They have no English Education and teach “intolerance” (by focusing on what they believe is necessary to their students, namely magic).
      YA fiction aside, this shouldn’t be a discussion of wether secular studies and to what extend are necessary. Each parent could have his or her opinion on this and they should send their child to the school that best matches their outlook. What boggles my mind is the government interference in this issue. A parent should have full discretion to decide on what is an ‘important education’ for ones child.
      If a parent decides that all his/her child should know is art – well you may disagree, but that is a parents right to choose. You could argue that it is crucial that a child should receive an education as much as food, but it is not the governments place to decide what consists as ‘education’ that should be left to the parent.

    8. #10 makes some good points. With that said I don’t like when any government dictates private education let alone closes a school. It’s clear community members realize there is an issue. Any positive solution won’t come from the government but within the community. I hope the community can work toward a sustainable solution.

      • The problem is that the yeshivas are cult like,
        1) Parents who question the yeshivas are considered going against das torah
        2) Brisk won’t take boys from Lakewood who attend a secular studies high school.
        So yeshivas will never change from within

        • Sure, change from outside has ALWAYS worked for us… just like Tzadok & Bayous, Yoshke, the Noitzrim, Medelshon and his followers etc. have envisioned.
          Again if you don’t like it send somewhere else, why bring down Eisov to dictate how we should carry out our matters?! You know, you are cult-like in your dislike and constant smearing of Yeshivas and all they represent with derogatory terms such as ‘cult like’.

    9. If they are really learning Torah all day from 8.30 am until 4pm (or later), from age 11(?) until 18/20/30(?), then why dont we see huge Gedolei Hador come from these chadorim (in the UK, US, or EY)?
      Yes you can not create illuyim, but it doesnt add up to me how there can be 1000s of bochrim all over, who are learning only Torah all day, go to yeshiva and sit in kollel for years, and yet we dont see the Torah giants coming out of these institutions. Something is definitely lacking in this system.

      Who are the best Rabbeim? Which Rabbonim lead successful shuls and communities? Who are the great Torah lecturers & orators of our generation? Who are the ones who are in demand and who people will pay high fees for them to speak to audiences around the globe?
      The best ones are those who can give over what they have learnt. Who are inspiring and have powerful and meaningful drosho.
      99% of these people have a secular education (some more, some less). Who have a full breadth of Shas and Chazal, but have ability to apply it to the world around us and give it over to the masses.

      The system also needs to be sustainable. It cant just be money in, Torah out, or visa versa.


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