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  |  October 22, 2023

Analyzing the New York Times’ Biased Attack on Yeshiva Education

Op-Ed by Rabbi Yair Hoffman: The New York Times has written a one-sided attack against the Yeshiva and Torah community that is so filled with inaccuracies and half-stories that it is reminiscent of Tsarist-era attack on the Yeshivos...the article would have been more aptly titled, “How do I hate thee? Let Me Count the Ways..” Full Story

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Your Vote Matters
September 11, 2022 4:56 pm

Keep voting for Democrats if you want more of this nonsense!


Don’t get sucked down to their level
September 11, 2022 4:57 pm

I understand the temptation to try and refute this line by line, but it’s dangerous. Nobody behind this has the best interest of the community at heart, even if they claim to, and they won’t be happy until everybody is a raging leftist activist. We have to resist on religious freedom grounds, not try to argue each point on the merits.

Reply to  Don’t get sucked down to their level
September 11, 2022 8:20 pm

The NYT writes: But in 2019, the school, the Central United Talmudical Academy, agreed to give state standardized tests in reading and math to more than 1,000 students. Every one of them failed.

 This Content Was Published at https://collive.com/analyzing-the-new-york-times-biased-attack-on-yeshiva-education/

Reply to  david,davidlipske@gmail
September 12, 2022 12:09 pm

The Central United Talmudical Academy is the Satmar network of schools. They offer no English whatsoever, of course the kids failed. The New York Times fail to differentiate between the different Hassidic sects.

September 11, 2022 5:08 pm

What else is to be expected?

People who still fall for the NYT’s version of “news” wouldn’t consider an opposing viewpoint anyhow.

What IS of concern is that so many Government officials rely on such news sources. C.f. the “Russia Collusion” story. Officials leaked fake news to the press; the press ran with the story essentially artificially creating news. The government officials cited said “news” reports as the basis for warrants, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat…you have the FAKE NEWS cycle!

Not a refutation
September 11, 2022 5:24 pm

This article doesn’t refute a single point raised by the NYT article. All it does is deflect and attack public schools.

If you want to have mesiras nefesh for chinuch al taharas hakodesh, then do that, but don’t take public funds at the same time. It opens us up to a lot of unwanted scrutiny.

On the Money
Reply to  Not a refutation
September 11, 2022 6:07 pm

If anything, this article by Hoffman only confirms the NYTIMES many allegations. His inability to head-on refute even a single line says it all. Wake up people. Rabbi Hoffman’s attempt to deflect, obfuscate, and obscure the issue is not a winning argument.

public funds
Reply to  Not a refutation
September 11, 2022 8:30 pm

What are the public funds quoted in the piece used for?

*lunch, breakfast and snack
*secular textbooks
*title one funding to pay the teachers who teach english and math

Whats wrong with any of that?

Our taxes
Reply to  Not a refutation
September 13, 2022 5:49 am

Jews pay taxes too.

Why here?
September 11, 2022 5:59 pm

A well written reply to the NYT would be more productive.

Yah but...
Reply to  Why here?
September 11, 2022 9:30 pm

No one who wants to attempt to reply knows how to write something well written.

The irony.

Reply to  Yah but...
September 14, 2022 1:34 pm

Yup, Jews don’t know how to write… Why don’t you go offer to grade some writing tests at your local public school. The standard of education is just phenomenal. Lol

Hold up
September 11, 2022 6:16 pm

Before anyone responds to this COL article, please read the actual NYT article first so that you know what it is you’re responding to. If you have read the NYT article, you’ll read first hand accounts from former teachers, parents and students who went to our schools and were cheated out of a full education. You can’t blame the author of the article for writing the truth. If you want to attack these former teachers, parents and students from our own community, fellow Jews, and you want to call them all liars, then by all means go ahead, just be… Read more »

Reply to  Hold up
September 11, 2022 8:27 pm

The article conflated many different types of schools. Whatever goes on in UTA has nothing to do with what happens in OT.

Good point
Reply to  our?
September 11, 2022 9:23 pm

Every school must be evaluated individually. But there is also no denying that the boys in our Crown Heights schools are academically behind, as well as an unfortunate number of girls.

September 11, 2022 6:20 pm

sad this is the front page for 9/11. the left wants kids to learn about 6 genders from age 6, and then to add a gender for each year the child gets older (they don’t go down in tumah). no surprise they hate religion. their arrow was already fired, now they painted the target around it in this hit-piece

Even sadder
Reply to  sad
September 11, 2022 7:26 pm

What’s even sadder is your narrow mindedness. I pray Hashem doesn’t give you children who require a fully loving and accepting parent, because clearly you’re not up to that blessing.

Saddest of all
Reply to  Even sadder
September 12, 2022 6:56 pm

is that you think the way to help a child is to give in to his or her delusions, rather than helping them overcome them and be a well-adjusted adult. If we did that with other things in life, there’d be a lot of people imagining themselves as firefighters or cowboys or superheroes.

September 11, 2022 6:24 pm

This article is all over twitter, ranked 5th globally… Your qarticle is nice, but it’s not us Chassidism that need to hear this…

First impression
September 11, 2022 6:49 pm

Unfortunately for many people this is the only version of the yeshiva system they read about, and so they end up with a one sided twisted impression of what’s really going on, someone needs to properly defend and deconstruct this slanderous article, written clearly for political and targeted purposes

Reply to  First impression
September 11, 2022 9:20 pm

The article was also written in Yiddish in order that these very communities can engage with and understand the facts.

This article is in no way slanderous or targeted. Its purpose is to provide much needed help for our children.

I’m grateful to those Jews who spoke out and agreed to be interviewed by the Times, they’re guiding all of us.

Reply to  Actually
September 11, 2022 11:09 pm

He’s talking about the average American. The fact that they translated it into Yiddish is actually disgusting.
And the fact you think this is helpful, makes me question your sanity

Written in Yiddish?
Reply to  Actually
September 12, 2022 9:53 am

So was the Yevsektzia newspaper “Der Emes.” The “emes” it contained was about on par with the so-called “facts”in this article.

Do something
September 11, 2022 7:43 pm

If you read the article on the nyt it asks people who went to yeshiva to say their story if enough people send their stories they might see that yeshivas are a good place

Not surprising
September 11, 2022 8:25 pm

The boys/men in our communities are completely uneducated.

You’ve got girls with masters degrees going out with boys who can’t read a menu, and when they get married she’s just stuck with a man-child to raise along with all the other kids.

Is this a guess or a fact?
Reply to  Not surprising
September 12, 2022 2:51 am

I haven’t met these men. 99% of the Lubavitch men I know know how to read English. Stop spreading false rumors.

So not true
Reply to  Not surprising
September 12, 2022 8:06 am

There is always situations like that in every society. I come from a large family with brothers that are successful in every field – and they went to OT. We have Educaters, Real Estate, computer Scientist, Rabbis, Business Entrepreneurs….each one quite successful. And it’s not just my family- all my friends brothers as well. Will you have people in a community going through hard times? Always!! and thats where the mitzvah of Tzedokah come in. I currently live out of town and I see children and teens stuck in a terrible public school system. When they end college they are… Read more »

Reply to  So not true
September 12, 2022 10:58 pm

I can double what you wrote with my siblings, cousins and classmates.
There are always individuals who sadly aren’t very successful in every culture. Correlation isn’t causation. the same percentage (or more) of Oholei Torah alumni, are on their feet doing fine as much as the percentage of public school alumni. The same percentage of those struggling are both from private and public schools.

Reply to  Not surprising
September 13, 2022 9:37 pm

Would be pretty hard to make it through all the chidon tests if you can’t read English…they figure out how to read on their own.

chabad yeshiva graduate
September 11, 2022 9:05 pm

I graduated from chabad yeshivos. And was denied a working “secular” education. Please do better with the next generation.

if you graduated Chabad Yeshivos
Reply to  chabad yeshiva graduate
September 12, 2022 2:53 am

that should have earned you a BA in Talmudic studies. Contact your Yeshiva to get it if you haven’t.

Reply to  chabad yeshiva graduate
September 12, 2022 11:05 pm

Are you referring to the lack lack of college recognized points? Or the lack of a trade skill? You don’t need to study Limmudei Chol for 20 years to have a profitable skill. The actual skill can be often learned on your own, or in a trade school in 3 months. that’s a lame excuse for teaching calculus and trigonometry (let alone evolution). Source: Myself and all(?) of my Oholei Torah almuni classmates are all working at jobs and doing well. Examples include: real estate, insurance, managers, marketing, web developers (would they even have gotten any of these skills in… Read more »

It’s all true
September 11, 2022 9:09 pm

You can oppose the regulations, I probably do too, but the abuse and lack of education is there, if we don’t have a rebuttal let’s not resort to slander, our time and money is better spent lobbying…

Sunday 15 Elul 5697 is
September 11, 2022 9:12 pm

The founding of tomchei temimim, the very same day the NYT and the modern day yevesektzia -YAFED, published this crazy article. What clearer sign do you have that they will fail and they are going against the Rebbeim and Di Eibeshter!

September 11, 2022 9:48 pm

Without taking a position on the underlying debate, I do want to say that this response is actually, tragically laughable.

Why not a compromise?
September 11, 2022 10:00 pm

The Amish teach their children a marketable skill. Why not turn the period dedicated to “English” into early vocational training? Even one hour a day. What boy wouldn’t want to use power tools and work with his hands? It will be something to put in job/shidduch resumes and even improve their future Shalom Bayis, when they don’t have to pay for repairmen. They could even turn it into a job, which in this economy is necessary. Everyone wins, everyone is happy.

You're absolutely right!
Reply to  Why not a compromise?
September 12, 2022 10:55 am

But he has to know how to read the instructions for the tools he loves to use!

That could be part of the skill building
Reply to  You're absolutely right!
September 12, 2022 6:41 pm

We’ll say 5 hours a week (Sunday-Thursday) for about 35 weeks is 175 hours, it’s enough time to learn basic reading comprehension and a skill. You don’t need to make them proficient in English, just enough to read instructions and the signs around them.

Stop side tracking
September 11, 2022 10:02 pm

Why not seek to change the law versus continuing to break it?
Why don’t Yeshivos keep the law and truly teach appropriately filtered standardized education alongside Judiac education?
Why doesn’t Tomchei Tmimim follow the law and teach secular alongside judaic subjects, and excel in both – just as outside-NY Tomcehi or Achei Tmimim schools do and have done since the freidiker rebbe times and through the rebbe’s times?

right back at you
September 11, 2022 10:03 pm

With doubt this will be posted – Hoffman’s point by point rebuttal is filled with inaccuracies. Pointing out problems in the public school system doesn’t make the issues at hand with Hasidic schools, to be an inaccuracy. 1.      Fact: The vast majority of NY hasidic schools do indeed share the resistance of outside scrutiny. 2.      Fact: Every CUTA Hasidic student failed the standardized test. 3.      Fact: Hasidic schools fail, by design, such tests. They say the subjects are treif or don’t belong. 4.      Fact: Hasidic teachers have in fact historically systemically hit, and sometimes even beaten, students. (Things have improved somewhat recently). 5.      Fact: Hasidic… Read more »

Your "facts" are so generalized, sheesh!
Reply to  right back at you
September 12, 2022 2:55 am

Most of your “facts” don’t apply to many or most Yeshivos, even if they do apply to some.

Reply to  right back at you
September 12, 2022 11:25 am

Do a linkedin search United Talmudical Academy if you know how. See how many “unprepared” CEOs , COOs, Princpals of businesses, professionals and qualified
workers show up. It’s true they never learned the value of reading the New York Times. It’s true they never learned about genders. It’s true they never learned that people of a particular race can’t be blamed for attacking them in the street.

Have a sweet and good New Year

Reply to  right back at you
September 15, 2022 3:53 pm

Quite impressive. You should definitely apply for a job at New York Times. And if the yevesektzia if still putting out a paper, I’m sure you’ll be their first choice

Frum boys learn to have a Gemara Kup...
September 11, 2022 11:42 pm


The public schools no longer teach critical thinking skills: that works against their woke, conformist agenda!

What is our Rebbeim's educational model?
September 11, 2022 11:50 pm

Do we now no longer follow our Rebbe’s model of education for our children?

(I believe few if any other comments here even mention our Rebbe! Why? B/c many would rather believe in the NY Times’s ignorant “analysis” than our Rebbe’s?)

It is time for all Lubavitchers to go back and relearn what our Rebbes suffered torture to preserve: the precious gift of Chinuch al taharas hakodesh! I am stunned that no one has advocated for this yet!

What about Muslim Schools ("Madrasas")?
September 11, 2022 11:55 pm

Are the NY Board of Regents and the NY Times going on the offensive against them?

I think we all know the answer.

That alone makes this whole sudden about-face regs-change and hit piece suspect!!!

What are you even talking about
Reply to  What about Muslim Schools ("Madrasas")?
September 13, 2022 1:58 pm

I’m not sure what imaginary line you’re drawing from this topic to Islamic education.

Maybe Muslim schools aren’t being called out because they’re actually educating their children?

Don't let Hochul and the NY Times Divide & Conquer
September 12, 2022 12:01 am

They are trying to divide us!

Wake up, Yidden! If we don’t stand for our Rebbes’ formula for chinuch, we’ll fall for anything!

"Public Money"??
September 12, 2022 3:00 am

The parents of private schools pay their property taxes every year which go towards the tuitions of public school children, and on top of that they have to pay the tuition of their own children.
So in reality, the private school communities are funding the public school communities, not the other way around.

Good point
Reply to  "Public Money"??
September 12, 2022 11:10 pm

The “public” that is paying for schools IS the very homeowners of that district. They make it sound as if the public school parents pay for the private school education. No, ALL homeowners (including private school parents pay the SAME property taxes which go primarily towards public school

They can’t stand our success
September 12, 2022 4:17 am

They would do anything to try to stop our children from growing up as healthy human beings with purpose. They would rather have them be slaves to social media, confused about their life, indoctrinated in school to believe nonsense about their race and religion, lacking even the freedom to think independently, believe they evolved from monkeys, and instead of being lights to the world to be dependent on politicians for their safety their money and even their thoughts. No thanks.

September 12, 2022 5:50 am

Regarding yeshivos creating dependancy: Is withholding a “workable” secular education done because the benefits of learning only kodesh are so great, because secular subjects are being looked at as shtus, or to keep these boys in a sheltered and dependant state? Does the reality match the goal? To me, it’s clear that for the vast majority of boys, providing them with the basis to function well (math, reading- required all day long as an adult) as well as to not have huge obstacles in pursuing an honest livelihood to support their family as well as utilize the talents and intelligence… Read more »

Midvar sheker tircha
September 12, 2022 4:42 pm

1) The author of this piece has failed to correctly understand the sentence he quoted. The sentence is referring to a specific school, which is named in the next sentence (Central United Talmudical Academy). 2) This is a whataboutism. The fact remains that the schools had not produced a single student who could pass the standardised test. That’s the issue. 3) The NYT has written about public school test results (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/nyregion/new-york-city-school-test-scores.html) 4) Corporal punishment is not rare in Chassidishe schools. To say so is a blatant lie. Maybe it’s rare in Chabad schools, but Chabad is a tiny sliver of… Read more »

You make it sound like our boys know nothing, yet.
Reply to  Midvar sheker tircha
September 12, 2022 7:52 pm

There’s no way a City public school student could ever pass a yeshiva farher, either!

Even a public high school student would not be able to answer a Pre-1A yingele’s Shabbos-table parshah questions, even if the questions were asked in English!!!!

To "Right Back At You"
September 12, 2022 7:52 pm

The New York Times has nothing to be ashamed of? One thing’s for sure: You know less about journalism than Yeshiva kids know about reading English.

September 13, 2022 5:52 am

Children are not sent to yeshiva to learn English, math, science, history, and gym. They are sent to yeshiva to learn Torah subjects. Why? Becausr the Torah is the heritage of the Jewish people and children are the guarantors of the Torah. ” Through the mouths of children and babes You have shown Your power to the oppressors, bringing an end to a vengeful enemy” (Tehilim 8:3).”. Children are not sent to yeshiva to prepare for a career. They are sent to yeshiva to learn Hashem’s Torah, to learn to daven to Hashem, and to learn to do Hashem’s mitzvos.

Yud Shevat 5737
September 13, 2022 6:29 am

“We must take a lesson from the Frierdiker Rebbe: He literally risked his life, and sent others to risk their lives, to establish chadorim for Jewish children, where they would study al taharas hakodesh, only limudei kodesh, without changing any of the educational standards that Yidden have used throughout the generations.

“How much more so in our days, and in our country—where there is no physical danger, chas veshalom: The greatest effort must be invested that the children’s education should be purely limudei kodesh, without any limudei chol…”

Bottom line
September 13, 2022 8:56 am

I don’t want my tax dollars going to private schools, regardless of religion.

Private schools can raise their own money if they choose. My tax dollars should be going to help public school children who actually need and want an education, not towards a private school where the kids clearly aren’t learning anything anyway.

Separation of church and state. My money shouldn’t be funding any religious agenda.

Religious agenda’s
Reply to  Bottom line
September 13, 2022 12:25 pm

The amount of money coming in from the Hasidic community’s property taxes is far above the amount they receive for school lunches!!
So don’t worry, the money the government steals from us to pay for the worst socialist government policy ever enacted in United States history, AKA public school, is only funding one religion. The religion of wokeism and the moral degradation of our society!!

Works both ways
Reply to  Bottom line
September 13, 2022 9:42 pm

Why should we be paying for public school for upper and middle class people? It should be reserved for the people who truly can’t afford to pay for an education

Welfare, failed scores, subsidized meals
September 13, 2022 9:49 am

Studying history, science , literature-look what it produced here-the author of this defamatory vicious lying attack on Yeshivas. Sounds like an oped from Der Sturmer the “newspaper of the “most cultured” society of its time. ALL low income and illegal immigrants get fully funded 3-4 school meals a day-this is not stated in the article. Check out Bensonhurst. Majority of parents-single mothers, living on welfare. The article does not report the dismal fail rates of other neighboring communities and the extreme numbers of students who do not graduate high school and Certainly do not attend higher education. And the article… Read more »

Reply to  Welfare, failed scores, subsidized meals
September 13, 2022 10:54 am

It’s so crazy how uneducated you sound while preaching about the delusional pros of maintaining a lack of education. You probably don’t even comprehend that. Wow!

Not delusional
Reply to  Woah
September 13, 2022 2:31 pm

Torah is our education.

True education
September 13, 2022 1:13 pm

From personal experience working with middle school, public school children. I saw firsthand the education or lack thereof, both in basic knowledge (for example, they would not be able to read this comment) and basic morality (for example, the language and violence they used). Ultimately the question is not what school you go to, rather how much education as a whole is valued in your family and society. The Jewish community as a whole values education over everything, to the point that they’re willing to pay exorbitant sums for it (though it may not be the same style, as the… Read more »