Brooklyn, NY – Yeshiva Parents Speak Out Against Yaffed


    Licensed social worker Levi Oberland at the podiumBrooklyn, NY – Dozens of yeshiva graduates and parents of yeshiva students gathered outside of the Satmar Girls School in Williamsburg today to speak out against the unrelenting attacks against their schools by anti-yeshiva activists and declare their right to choose the best education for their children.

    “We have made the choice to send our children to yeshivas and value the education they receive. We refuse to be intimidated by a small group of graduates who want to deny us that right. Enough is enough. This misinformation campaign must stop once and for all,” said Levi Oberland, a licensed social worker, yeshiva graduate, and parent.

    “For nearly two years, we have watched a small group of disgruntled ex-students wage a public campaign of misinformation about yeshivas. They claim that the education yeshivas provide is inferior to that of public schools, and that our students are unprepared for success. These claims are outrageous,” added Oberlander.

    “We’re tired of being harassed by critics who don’t understand what takes place in our classrooms and who refuse to respect the choices that generations of parents have made — and continue to make. We are concerned that the continued disparagement of our schools will poison public perception of these extraordinary institutions,” said Ari Greenberg, a parent, yeshiva graduate, former web designer at B&H Photo and manager of a workforce development program at the United Jewish Organizations.

    The press conference was held in response to a continuing campaign of attacks by YAFFED, a group calling for intensified government intervention into yeshivas, which serve tens of thousands of children every year.
    Yaffed held a protest today Photo: Mo Gelber

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      • It doesn’t matter how much u learn in school. I work in an upscale real estate office with many “non educated” yingeleit shooting as the highest and most brilliant developers. Anytime more than the “well educated” goyim gracing my place.
        Our chevra have what it takes and are extremely succesful with or without the education they were or wernt denied. They cut to the chase and are huge developers.
        There will always be disgruntled unsuccessful students wanting to blame their poor performance on the schools. It has nothing w it. Im all for a learning what needs to be learned to give them a heads up in life but real education doesnt make u successful. No data to show for it.

        • There is plenty of data to show high school dropouts make less than high school graduates and college graduates make more than high school graduates and people with advanced degrees make even more. With this one exception, I don’t know of any parents in the civilized world that doesn’t want their child to get the best education possible.

          • The satmar argument is that the data is somewhat flawed . That data is based on kids who ” dropout ” and never learn critical thinking skills , ethics and responsibility. This little subgroup of chasidish and yeshvish non educated still do learn important skills even if not secular .

            You may be correct but you really have no data to prove it

          • A high school dropout, is not the same as someone educated with a different and more intense high school curriculum.

            Typical non-college graduates, will generally mean people who are not capable of attending college, not capable people who are willing to pursue other types of careers.

        • Narishkietin

          Of course there are always successful businessmen but the average joe shmo without the brightest street Smart head ( like me ) needs an education so that they can become a simple honest accountant

          Did you ever hear the story about the shamas in the pickle factory ? Read up about that story .
          Your comment reminds me of that

        • If this is true, why, according to United States census figures, does Kiryas Joel have the lowest median family income of any community in New York State, with HALF OF ALL FAMILIES in Kiryas Joel having an income (family, not individual) of LESS than $18,500?

            • Correct and thats the point people miss. We live in a stupid country. Why work as an accoutant and starve vs remaining poor and obtaining more money via social programs?

        • That may be the case and yes higher education is not a guarantee of success but the statistics speak for themselves. KJ and parts of Willi have the highest poverty rates and welfare recipients and college graduates have the higher salaries than HS dropouts. There’s a reason why those neighborhoods mentioned vote Democratic and I for one don’t want to have to pay for it so please stop telling us hard working “modern” people that you can be successful without an education!

          • Honestly I am all for secular education. In fact I have yet to hear what’s wrong wjth teaching a little math in hs ? We keep on debating whether it’s needed and whether a secular govt should enforce it . But no one has explained why not ? What do you lose from teaching it ? Is it against Judaism ? Is it bitul Torah ? Are 9th graders really learning anyhow ?

            All that being said I don’t see why it would be optimal for most chasidiam to become an accountant even if they had an education If you have a large family you are better off financially being poor and under the poverty line then working as an accountant. The reason for their poverty is not necessarily due to a lack in education. ( many can get a ged and take a two yr accounting course . It’s not soo difficult even with no hs education) Many chose to stay poor bec it’s better to be poor and get programs vs middle class . We have a very stupid stupid govt

          • “those neighborhoods mentioned vote Democratic” FYI Its a well proven statistic that the Highest Educated vote Democratic and the lowest are Republicans.
            Hillary won 78% of the vote with a Master’s or PhD’s. Trump had all the white trash and uneducated neo-nazis. You are Fake News and pure propaganda.

          • Sorry but the opposite is true. Lakewood and BP voted for Trump .
            The Home states of Harvard, Yale, John Hopkins etc all voted for Hillary. Louisiana, Nebraska, Wyoming and the rest of backward looking states voted for Trump. If you must insult the religious population you need to find a different Trump Up charge. Don’t worry we survived 2000 years of persecution. This is gurnischt to us.

            • Umm lets debunk the myth that in 2016 Hillary got the more educated votes.

              In reality,

              Trump won over educated white men and lost sligtly among whtie edcuated women
              Of the non educated whites Trump got like 72%.
              But who got the non edcuated Blacks and Latino vote

              Over the entire population did the uneducated vote repulican? I don’t think so

            • Fake News (like always) “Debunk the myth” “Trump won over white educated men…”
              Entire population:
              College Graduate Trump 45% Hillary 53%
              Post Graduate Trump 37% Hillary 61%
              Huuuuuge difference, you very likely know this, just continue to post your fake news (in these case is just your lies, Fake news when its real but you dont like it)

            • other polls have it at 49/45 much closer and within margin of error

              Furthermore, you count the post graduates but convinetaly leave out the some college number which I consider education too. (an associate degree etc.) That was 52/43 Trump.

              You are the fake news like always

            • Ok I hope you will feel better. Trump won NY,NJ,California,Massachusets etc where all the Major Colleges are and Hillary won No Dakota,Louisiana,Wyoming,So Carolina, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and all those States where the “Deplorable” “Forward Looking” Educated Neo Nazis live. Now that you “debunked the myth” I hope you can sleep better. A Gite Nacht.

            • Just because you preface your comment with “debunk the myth” doesn’t mean you did so. Making stuff up doesn’t debunk a damn thing.

            • My data was from CNN yes the CNN that you love. I did not pull those numbers out of the hat. So sometimes you need yo shut your mouth and stop annoying everyone.

      • I have gone to CHASIDISH cheder, and after that to a LITVISH YESHIVAH. I will admit that when I came out to the outer world, I thought that I was missing education. But after a while, I realized that CHEDER, and YESHIVAH has taught me something that secular education can never, and will never show you.

    1. I grew up in the satmar Williamsburg yeshiva system and I don’t feel that education failed me. That system is strong enough for anyone to succeed and if needed many still complete schooling later on. The bigger problem i feel is them not addressing the sexual abuse and drug issues. That is the problem that leaves so many of us crippled for life

    2. As long as the boys can get a proper religious education there is no impediment to their rights. But the state is right to insist that children learn to be employable with at least basic skills. These schools seem to be in need of reform.

    3. It’s true that there are many young kids today coming out of chassidish schools without being able to find a job that will support btheor families but it doesn’t have to be that way and not much has to change to solve the problem.

      For those that don’t end up in business or in a good job the problem is compounded by getting married and starting families young. Having the financial burden of a family limits the ability for someone to take the time necessary to learn a profitable trade at that point.

      I went to a chassidish yeshiva in Boro Park. It didn’t hold me back nor the other successful businessmen that I went to school with.

      It may have held back some others to some extent.

      The way I see it, our education guided those of us that had the “spark” into business vs working for someone else. It guided others into non-professional jobs. Most did well for themselves.

      For those that didn’t have the spark some got pushed into business as well but others may have been held back by the limited secular education.

      Looking back at all my classmates, over all they have been quite successful.

      Some are not big earners but support their families, some are uber-successful, most are somewhere in the middle. I don’t know of any of my classmates being unable to support their families.

      A great solution to help make our children and the students of our yeahivas workforce ready would be, to have vocational training brought right into our schools, starting at 7th grade.

      By the time our students graduate, they will be ready to support their families. They can still sit and learn at first, if that is what they want. When they are ready they can either work part time at first and work their way into the workforce or go straight to working full time or a variation of the above.

      Kimcha D’pischa campaigns are a beautiful display of the amazing kindness our community is made up of, but let’s lower the percentage of our community that needs to rely on handouts, even for the yomim-tovim.

      A gitten Zimmer and good luck working off those extra few pounds.

      Note this message was Posted Motzei Shabbos/Pesach from Eretz Yisroel, so that is why the time stamp shows it was posted on Acharon Shel Pesach in the US. Now I gotta go get ready for my flight home.

      • Well written but let’s face it without govt and social programs all those “middle class ” chasidim with large families wouldn’t survive . Only the ” unber sucessful” would survive .

        The question becomes should being on govt programs lchatchila as a way of life be part and parcel of the chasidish way of life .

        I really don’t know the alternative solution . Even with college degrees and being an accountant with 12 kids you can’t survive on a meager 100k gross salary . Thus you are better off only earning 50k gross but on all programs . But something doesn’t sit right with me that the optimal way of life is to be on programs

    4. I’m may not comfortable with Yaffed but the fact is that no one from within the community is advocating for our children. If we don’t take the initiative and provide our kids with a kosher, basic education, we’re gonna end up being forced to give them a treif education.

      • Well said and in fact no one from our own would stand up against the fake frum establishment that fabricated our Torah values and reinterpreted it to extremism which even the holy reb Yoel zya never intended for ( they had secular ed in satmar hs yrs ago)

        On the other hand it’s sad that this messanger seems to be pushing more than math or science . He should be more careful to ensure that only the strictest secular material that does not taint Judaism be taught . And if naftali won’t ensure that , then it can get really dangerous and slippery

    5. #3, if you are writing about the importance of a basic education and you say that is what you received going through the Yeshivah system,, it would be better if what you wrote was understandable without a mistake on every line. Also, if what you are saying is that you are property developers, did you achieve that with no outside financial help? Not everyone is suited to be a teacher, and those will be moving boxes in a factory without an education.

    6. I have yet to hear a reason what’s wrong with a secular education? Why won’t Satmar or the yeshvish offer it ? Years ago even satmar head ?

      Can someone enlighten me as to what’s wrong ??

      • what goes along with it today. Must teach sex education from 4 years, must teach marriage can be between men and men and women and women. No morals today. Everything is arbitrary in today’s work to a secular education. THAT IS WHY MY GRANDCHILDEN WILL NOT HAVE A SECULAR EDUCATION

        • But that’s not what goes along with it in frum jewish schools that offer a secular education.

          I agree with you that there is a risk if you allow the govt to mandate a secular education that you may be forced to teach sex ed too. I am asking you what is wrong with teaching children a secular education via ehrlicha frum people vetting the material first. (As they do in Novominsk for example)

    7. Many commentators will respond, we have so many yingerleit who are succeeding in real estate and other businesses. Which brings me to ask, what about the 1000s that aren’t successful and are struggling? What if they would of received a full secular education and that would of given them other opportunities like becoming accountants, Drs, lawyers and or other jobs that require an education. Stop knocking education and the chassidish yeshiva system does not teach enough secular education to give opportunities to the majority of those who are struggling. Playing with fire while claiming its gods will is plain wrong. Your playing with people’s lives. Doesn’t it say you must teach your children a trade? That means education is of utmost importance.

    8. Yaffed is just a bunch of losers and they all know it!! No one stopped them from paying attention in school but did they?? No one stopped them from continuing their education after Yeshiva but did they?? There is a vast array of courses being given for men who choose to further their education in a Jewish orthodox environment. Stop pushing the blame on everyone else for your failures!

    9. I taught English at Beis Ruchel & I can honestly say teaching there was a pleasure. Yes, I had some unruly students & many didn’t want to learn, but overall it was the best school I ever taught at. The staff is amazing & the girls get an excellent education: the secular department is very strong on English, Math, science & current issues. The Yiddish dept teaches according to Satmar mesorah (I am not Satmar) and they are extremely bright & capable.

      As for bochurim… have you detractors seen how these “uneducated” men have huge, successful businesses? How many people they employ? Many work in hi-tech & hold great jobs. What’s more, they give millions in tzedaka every year. My sons only went to Yeshiva… all have semicha, one has a BA & they all have excellent jobs.

      Why does it bother you so much that they don’t get degrees or even high school diplomas? You think they are all leeching off you? If someone is determined to succeed, he/she will find a way. I know 2 brothers, both only had Yeshiva educations, who are top notch lawyers. Nobody is forcing you to send your children to such a Yeshiva. Mind your own business, & stop interfering in a way of life that you don’t like.

    10. I leaned in public school and got a college degree and I learned afterwards in yeshiva. I saw that yeshiva learning is much deeper. Public school you memorize what the teacher says and write it on the test. Yeshiva teaches you to analyze and think on your own.

      I sent my kids to a frum cheder and yeshiva; no secular learning. They knew English from the house and each decided to go into a different venue: one into computers, one into electrical repair and the other into finances. They are successful with out going to public school and they lead a much finer life than those in public schools.

      • “they lead a much finer life than those in public schools”

        But the topic is not about “public schools”. The topic is about the nature of education in certain specific yeshivah. I went to yehsivah (not Hasidish) and we did the last year of high school and the equivalent of first of university in science (math and biology) with only short afternoon periods. Some of my classmates from then are today the lead Rabbi for rather large segments of the population (one the lead Rabbi for the entire Sephard community).

    11. The Mishnah in Kidddushin obligates every father to teach his child an Omnus – a trade or an education. The Gemorrah suggests that who doesn’t so teach his son, is as if he taught him highway robbery. Now really, are Satmar Chassidim thieves? Furthermore, if they can read and write, how will Satmar retain its control of them?

      • You bring up an interesting point.

        So what if the omnus brings in less money annually than those with no education? is a father obligated to ensure his child has an honest way to obtain money to put food on the table or does that gemara mean a father needs to teach his child a respectable way to out money on the table?

        The differnce is todays society.

        We have a stupid govt. Today, a low income worker with large family earns more via earning a low wage and being on programs then via an accountant. I contend most are not “stealing” rather they are “gaming” the system. Is “gaming” the system bad if its the only way to survive?

    12. This article focuses on Satmar, the venue of this event. The activities of YAFFED expend over the spectrum of the frum schools. While the motives of YAFFED and its thugs are filled with hate and revenge, there is a silver lining that needs to be hijacked away from these goons and implemented. The chassidishe education is sorely deficient in many aspects. But there is a bigger problem.

      No individual, institution, or organization is perfect. But it is a grave sin to believe that my flaws in matters that I can control are holy or G-d’s choice. No. I was just given a challenge to overcome. To claim that there is holiness in insuring that our children emerge from their education years, which get extended by seminaries for girls and kollel for boys, with zero preparation for employment is absurd.

      Not everyone is cut out for advanced college study, and not everyone belongs in kollel. Stop blaming G-d for this. It is a human foible, and the culture has a serious deficiency here.

      No, YAFFED is not the way to go. But we do need to implement proper, needed education to all, al taharas hakodesh.

      Sure, there are talented people with no schooling, but that’s not reliable.


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