Friday, 25 Sivan, 5782
  |  June 24, 2022

Debunking Misconceptions About Yeshivas and the Frum Community

Over the years, a lot of misinformation has been spread regarding the frum community and its educational system. More recently, bad actors have capitalized on these falsehoods in a calculated attempt to impose fundamental changes in how our yeshivas educate. ProtectChinuch.com clarifies important facts and address a few of the more prevalent misconceptions. Full Story

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May 24, 2022 5:53 pm

So many half-truths and cherry picked facts here. For example, they focus on salary over 150k but conveniently ignore the proportion earning less than 50k. It’ s a fact that Chassidic areas are some of the poorest in the country and most reliant on benefits.

If you want to make the argument for chinuch al taharos hakodesh, make that argument honestly. Stop pretending that depriving boys of a secular education doesn’t have a major impact on their parnoso, because that isn’t true.

Read the Study
Reply to  Embarrassing
May 24, 2022 6:17 pm

The fact is that Charedim are less likely to earn less than 50k than the US general public. If you want honesty, you need to be honest.

It’s also true that Charedim are younger than the general population and younger people tend to earn less than older people. These are documented facts for anybody who’s looking for the truth.

The fact is that there is no evidence that chinuch al taharas hakodesh minimizes one’s ability to earn a normal income.

Reply to  Read the Study
May 25, 2022 10:03 am


And just how many yeshiva graduates working full-time earn less than 50 k annually?

Reply to  Embarrassing
May 24, 2022 9:17 pm

I wonder at your comment. Have you ever looked at the chart that outlines the income brackets to be eligible for benefits? Higher income families are still eligible for benefits when they have many children at home since the bracket changes depending how many people live in the household. Families earning under 50k are definitely not the regular – though i can’t say how rare because i haven’t checked. Unless you are including the young couples who are in kollel or joined the workforce a year or two ago.. I still argue that the chinuch al taharas hakodesh does not… Read more »

Reply to  Embarrassing
May 31, 2022 4:52 pm

Dear Mr. Embarrasing, While you do make a good point, the rotten stench of hidden falsehood slithers just beneath the surface of your words. The statistics underlying your arguments, are indicative of a population with a high birth rate and a young average age. Everyone struggles. We live in a world where Phds regularly flip burgers at McDonalds. The wheel of economic fortune revolves as ever. The Chasidic community is young. Younger than almost any other group in America. If you account for this fact, we earn roughly on par with the national average. It should also be noted that… Read more »

May 24, 2022 6:00 pm

Who needs an education when you have Medicaid, food stops section8 and WIC?

Some History
Reply to  Wellfare
May 24, 2022 7:30 pm

The fact is that the Jewish community would likely be able to thrive without any welfare programs if they weren’t taxed for them. The Jewish community always helped each other. If we weren’t taxed as much as we are, we would be able to take care of our own without any help from public welfare programs. Anybody who knows anything about history knows that Jews cared for their own even when they were terribly poor and persecuted. Today, Jews are much better off and have many programs to help those in need. Get rid of the tax and we don’t… Read more »

Precocious Youth
Reply to  Wellfare
May 31, 2022 4:39 pm

Dear Mr. Wellfare The education you purport to endorse was designed by a Prussian militarist for the sole purpose of inculcating conformity and obedience into the youth. Today’s educational regulations merely tweak the straight-jacket to produce the preferred type of model system. The factory workers may have benefited from this ‘education’ of yours, but its use is past us. Forward thinking people the world over are seeing that the traditional educational system, as formulated in the American public school system for instance, is of little to no help in the development of a young mind. It is only good for… Read more »

May 24, 2022 6:46 pm

unfortunately this education arguments blurs things. not gonna cherry pick every side or every part of this, but I challenge anyone who defends the chasidic educational system, particularly the one in Brooklyn, that can justify not teaching a person a language – one language, any language, in a structured thorough way, from grade one thru adulthood. sentence structure, expression, thought structure, writing, vocabulary, comprehension…, . Schools that worship the notion that “english” is treif, don’t teach hebrew or yiddish as a language, so therefore teach no language. And no, the way schools teach reading hebrew for davening, and loshon koidesh… Read more »

Reply to  grays
May 24, 2022 7:26 pm

Most students in yeshiva can converse in three languages, that is an easily demonstrable fact. The vast majority of boys can learn Chumash by themselves and a large majority can learn gemara on their own, though it is an extremely difficult discipline to master. It is true that many boys fall through the cracks, but that is the exception, not the rule, and that is true about every single educational system. Do the yeshivas need to try to do better, of course, nobody is arguing otherwise. But this notion that it is the gov’t that should get involved, when they… Read more »

Reply to  Nonsense
May 24, 2022 8:53 pm

You would get an F on the two paragraphs you wrote because of the number of errors. It would be nice if our mosdos taught us how to write

Not in the slightest
Reply to  Hmm
May 25, 2022 7:57 am

“The number of errors”? A couple of comma splices, that’s all. Methinks you’re letting your prejudices show.

Precocious Youth
Reply to  Hmm
May 31, 2022 4:25 pm

Dear Mr. Hmm
You seem to have neglected to use a period. Periods are typically found on most keyboards, and belong at the end of every sentence without exception. I do not know why you did not put a period at the end of your sentence, but it is a basic feature of English composition. I am afraid your sentence too, no less than Mr. Nonsense is soundly deserving of an F tier grade.

Good day sir.

Reply to  Nonsense
May 24, 2022 10:35 pm

“Grays” didn’t speak about conversational skill, but rather of teaching, learning and knowing a language fundamentally robustly and structurally, the acquiring of which shapes the mind and its ability to formulate and present thoughts a certain way. It also can help reading comprehension. Case in point, this exchange – your calling his point nonsense while apparently not fully understanding it.

Where did you hear such things?
Reply to  converse?
May 25, 2022 2:50 am

Where did you get the idea that acquiring knowledge of the structure of a language “shapes the mind, and its ability to formulate thoughts”?

Why would external form have anything to do with inner content??

Public schools???!!??
Reply to  converse?
May 25, 2022 1:52 pm

Kids in brooklyn ps our own neighborhoods know less than we do and are less capable…FACT
So what do we need government involvement for???

That's not the point
Reply to  Nonsense
May 24, 2022 11:06 pm

So they can read Chumash, or a gemara….but a ten year old kid who hasn’t had any English tutoring cannot open any book to read just for fun! They can’t easily read a Yiddish novel, or Hebrew novel….any of the novels written for kids, in any language, are not available to kids who didn’t get English lessons. The level of Yiddish or Hebrew does NOT allow for recreational reading – they don’t have that skill – or pleasure – in ANY language. Essentially, yeshiva boys are illiterate in three languages!

Reply to  That's not the point
May 25, 2022 7:59 am

Do you have any kids in the system? Because what you’re describing bears very little resemblance to anything in reality.

This is just false
Reply to  That's not the point
May 25, 2022 12:58 pm

9 our of 10 Ohlei Torah kids can read any English book.

Their illiteracy is limited to their inability to write, not read.

Oy Vey
Reply to  grays
May 24, 2022 8:21 pm

Your comment includes too many grammatical errors. I’ll take one sentence of yours as an example: “Schools that worship the notion that ‘English’ is treif, don’t teach Hebrew or Yiddish as a language, so therefore teach no language.” In this sentence alone, you added two unnecessary commas. You put a comma after “treif,” although it’s unnecessary: we don’t place commas after a sentence’s subject. And before “so,” you put a comma—although “so therefore teach no language” is a compound predicate and therefore requires no comma. My point is only that even you, who presumably received a “quality education” in language,… Read more »

Reply to  Oy Vey
May 24, 2022 10:44 pm

I’ll bet you did get taught English with its grammatical and punctuation rules. If yes, do you think you are better or worse off having done so? Do you have children? Will you see to it they get taught a language as you did? But perhaps you didn’t get taught when young, or at all. Because you start your point by saying Grays has too many *grammatical* errors, and then illustrate by identifying what you consider *punctuation* errors, (which, I’d argue aren’t errors either but rather a writing style for a blog post for readers who might benefit from extra… Read more »

Reply to  Oy Vey
May 26, 2022 5:52 pm

This is comments section, not an edited essay. People type on their phones quickly and move on with their lives. Gosh.

To "grays"
Reply to  grays
May 26, 2022 5:24 pm

When was the last time you had a conversation, in English, with a local public school student? They are certainly proficient in the use of curse words, but their grammar, syntax, sentence structure etc. isn’t better than the average yeshiva student’s. Yes, there are a number of glaring language related mistakes that our students often make, but they can be corrected by Mom at home; they certainly don’t require cancelling our entire chinuch system.

Precocious Youth
Reply to  grays
May 31, 2022 4:33 pm

Dearest Mr. Grays, I do believe that your indictment is less an indictment of ‘Al Taharas HaKodesh’ and more an indictment of systemic dysfunction. Noted hero of the American Right, Tomas Sowel, is reported to have said, “People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” I offer you the proposition that you will not find a greater collection of meeting-lovers than the employees of this city’s government. For all the dysfunction which currently wracks our educational institutions, dropping three thousand more pages of red tape and paperwork on our schools will only exacerbate the problems you pretend… Read more »

Harold Stevenson
May 24, 2022 8:03 pm

I’m torn by this article. I’m not sure who it’s trying to convince and of what, and I almost feel slightly manipulated by it. First, the only issue to consider is the quality of our education. The “functionality” of our community and whether or not we pose a burden to American taxpayers is irrelevant to the question of whether the State should impose its educational standards on our schools. Though the article does argue in favor of the quality of our education, it is presented as one of many points, which it isn’t—it’s the only relevant point. It almost seems… Read more »

Obviously "yes"?
Reply to  Harold Stevenson
May 24, 2022 9:07 pm

My friend, your argument here is extremely weak, if it can be called an argument at all. First off, you make an assumption about the author of this article, whom you don’t know at all, and then call it telling. What if I told you I know the author and he most certainly did go through the yeshiva system, and for that reason feels passionately enough about it to write this article? So I’m not sure who that is telling what. Second, you determine that the yeshiva system harms its graduates… because you know some people who find their jobs… Read more »

Definition of education
Reply to  Harold Stevenson
May 24, 2022 9:20 pm

That’s definitely the crux of the issue at hand. Americans may consider reading writing and basic math and science an education. And so they have turned out millions of people who can read and write (and sometimes not even that) but lack morals, strength of character, and direction in life. The results of thus are a tremendous mental health crisis, protesting over pronouns, and soaring suicide rates. Is that what we need for our community too? In our view, an education includes reading and writing, but also and more importantly, teaches proper character, morals, and our deep and precious tradition… Read more »

to Harold
Reply to  Harold Stevenson
May 24, 2022 9:40 pm

The Rebbe was asked the question you ask here- and the Rebbe’s response was (not exact wording) When there will not be enough doctors and other proffesionals, we’ll produce them. For now its unnecessary. I’m not sure that- or rather im sure that not- this article is coming to say the current system is perfect. The point is that the picture being painted about the yeshiva system is incorrect. And most importantly we do not want the governments’ involvement on any level. I’m sorry that the guys you are around are often complaining about this- i guess it depends where… Read more »

how dare you
Reply to  Harold Stevenson
May 26, 2022 6:34 pm

It is a FACT that Charaidim score higher grades than PS students on state exams.

govt assistance?!
May 24, 2022 9:10 pm

Regarding the need for goverment assistance – if the members of our community were not spendinng between 3-$15,000 PER CHILD per year in tuition costs, most would not be using goverment assistance.

We pay the tax used to fund public schools, but pay for our schools ourselves. So the couple hundred dollars in assistance of various forms? It offsets tuition by a little. The whole notion is ridiculous.

And if someone chooses to spend their money this way- and they are still ‘costing’ the goverment less than others- leave them be.

Burning question:
May 24, 2022 9:26 pm

I wonder how many of these comments are written by Yaffet reps, or by some ppl having fun who don’t represent our communities… [we will never know, but talking to people in the street, that’s not what I’m hearing] its quite hard for me to fathom that some of the words written above are by chassidim living in the Rebbe’s community. Alternatively, maybe they don’t know the sweat and blood the Rebbe and previous Rabbeyim poured into defending and keeping our chinuch system pure of foreign hand. …the Rebbe entrusted the chinuch system in the hands of school hanhalas, and… Read more »

That's not the point
Reply to  Burning question:
May 24, 2022 11:10 pm

IN fact these comments are written by parents and graduates of our yeshivos!!
There is no justification whatsoever for a child leaving high school without proficiency in his native language! Let it be Yiddish! Let it be Hebrew! Let it be ZULU, for heaven’s sake…but have at least ONE language in which you can read and write above the most basic level!

Reply to  That's not the point
May 25, 2022 2:01 pm

Why do u think the government involvement would change that?
Agree improvement is needed but what does the government getting involved have to do with it???

They do!!
Reply to  That's not the point
May 26, 2022 6:39 pm

Fact is all my class mates can read and write in at least one language

a parent
Reply to  Burning question:
May 25, 2022 8:09 am

I’m a parent whose son has gotten a subpar secular education which has not prepared him enough for his future which does not include shlichus. And this is going to yeshivas that even included secular education. I can’t imagine what its like to not have anything at all.

And then I see a petition asking me to sign so yeshivas can continue to not educate their students properly and people expect me to happily sign their petition?

A Parent responds
Reply to  a parent
May 25, 2022 10:25 am

Sorry to hear your pain!

it’s not easy to feel that your child is not prepared enough for life. or struggling with Parnasah.

while the schools are always easy targets, and if only they were perfect…

I am all for parents getting involved to improve the schools – I am all for parents having choices and options which school to trust with the Chinuch of their Child

Government interference and the public school super intendant are not the answer or solution to your pain!

Just choice
Reply to  a parent
May 25, 2022 1:18 pm

The petition is to allow you to choose where to send your children and how to educate your children. That’s all. You don’t have to send them to yeshiva.

Reply to  a parent
May 25, 2022 2:03 pm

U think if u would send him to a ps he would be any better off?
Those are government run schools…and they produce students with subpar education

May 24, 2022 10:24 pm

The only reason this “decree” from above is plaguing us now is because of many of the secular opinions on display In these very comments. These things happen to wake us all up. If we aren’t proud of our greatest gift “chinuch Al taharas hakodesh” and we don’t make sure our more modern friends and neighbors understand why this was a life and death issue for our Rebbeim – the guilt lies with us. Teach your more secular minded friends.

Reply to  Sad
May 25, 2022 5:55 pm

Respectfully, I think you need to learn some Chassidus. Blaming the actions of the government on the secular thinking of Jewish people is not only ignorant, but extremely insensitive.

When Jewish people are faced with an issue, we know better than to point fingers. We choose to support each other, stick together.

Make the choice to help the situation instead of giving reasons for why the situation exists. If you would like to make sure nothing bad ever happens again, feel free to take on an extra Hachlata. I’m sure it’ll bring Moshiach closer.

May 25, 2022 8:13 am

It’s not debunking if you just respond with claims that for the most part aren’t substantiated.

Honest question
May 25, 2022 9:44 am

The Rebbe wrote that the Freirdiker Rebbe established TTL in America with limudei chol because that was the law of the land. Presumably, it is the “substantial equivalent” law that is only starting to be enforced now. When I ask myself the question of “what would the Rebbe do?”, I am concluding the Rebbe would not mish in to this machlokes as the Rebbe rarely went along with the Aguda or Torah Umasoro. I also see that by Hashgocho Protis, the two main schools of the Rebbe, TTL and BR, both have NY accredited high schools so this enforcement discussion… Read more »

Nothing to do with agudah
Reply to  Honest question
May 25, 2022 10:18 am

The Frierdiker Rebbe included English in Tomchei Tmimim clearly saying that the parents (in those times) would never send their child to “Yeshiva” if it did not also provide a comprehensive secular studies program The Rebbe rarely changed anything from the structure set up by the Frierdiker Rebbe – yet when it came to Chinuch the rebbe personally started AND FUNDED Oholei Torah to offer A second option in the community of complete and uncompromised Chinuch Al Taharas Hakodehsh! The Rebbe did not wish to close down English offered at TTL – or in any other school… the rebbe wanted… Read more »

Honest question
Reply to  Nothing to do with agudah
May 25, 2022 11:55 am

This doesn’t make sense according to what the Rebbe wrote about why TTL has english. Also, the Frierdiker Rebbe established Achei Tmimim davka for the parents (in those times) that would never send their child to “Yeshiva” if it did not also provide a comprehensive secular studies program

The Rebbe was clear
Reply to  Honest question
May 25, 2022 10:21 am

OT was opened based on the Rebbe’s clear instructions. There are numerous sichas where the Rebbe discusses chinuch al taharas hakodesh.

Honest question
Reply to  The Rebbe was clear
May 25, 2022 11:49 am

I thought it was the other way around that parents went to the Rebbe asking to set up a yeshiva that does not have limudei chol and the Rebbe gave a brocho for them to establish OT. Also, is Beis Rivkah’s chinuch not al taharas hakodesh? I still don’t understand how people think the Rebbe would be for this attack line we are taking.

Reply to  Honest question
May 27, 2022 6:08 pm

The Rebbe wanted a mosed that does not teach other stuff

Ideology above all else
May 25, 2022 2:44 pm

We must defend our ideology even if it means destroying a few (or lots) of individuals. I look at my past classmates from Lubavitch. As we approach 50, many are still struggling each month to make ends meet (and to master a blatt gemara). I now have two options available: 1) Defend the ideology – insist our chinuch system is great and blame the (many) struggling individuals as “exceptions”, “falling through the cracks” and just “nebbachdik” etc. 2) Acknowledge the Lubavitch chinuch system needs a major overhaul if it wishes to churn out knowledgeable graduates able to live gainfully and… Read more »

Testimony requires a name
Reply to  Ideology above all else
May 25, 2022 3:59 pm

You clearly are not who you profess to be and your claim is not believable. (If you want to give believable testimony, you should give your name. You’re clearly a fraud.) Most Lubavitchers in their 40s and 50s have large and wonderful families and would not give them up for anything. They also recognize that the community as it is – with the large and close-knit families – is only possible due to the nature of our educational system. The evidence is clear, most Lubavitchers are very happy with the education they received and therefore continue to send their children… Read more »

Very informative
May 25, 2022 7:05 pm

I think this article has very important points and people should be aware of this.

Public Schools are All the Evidence We Need
May 26, 2022 5:30 pm

This is such a stupid argument on the part of those arguing for more government control of our education. Really? Have you looked at the literacy rates of the local public schools? Or the earning brackets of their graduates? Those schools are fully controlled by the government and no one in good conscience can say that they aren’t abject failures. For that matter if you’re so concerned about what you view as a subpar education from our local moisdos, what’s stopping you from placing your kids in public school? If secular education is that much of a priority, the obvious… Read more »

May 26, 2022 11:01 pm

I’m sitting here enjoying a good chuckle. All of a sudden commenters on both sides of this issue are oh, so carefully triple checking their grammar and punctuation before sending off their comments. Relax folks! The reality is that except for the upper crust students who attend/ed private schools or the best rated public schools in the nation, the majority of Americans need a Grammarly type program to pen some flawlessly punctuated remarks. You can disagree all you like, but that, my fellow commenters, is the truth. P.S, No, I didn’t check this for errors. so enjoy them when you… Read more »

Another Myth
May 27, 2022 3:31 pm

I would add another myth to this list and that is that the people who want these rules to pass are doing it for the ‘good’ of the community. These people are malicious and they want to destroy yiddishkeit and they want the government to help them do it, just like in the past.

This is a shaas hashmad. We need to stand up and protest this in the strongest terms.

Either Or?
May 27, 2022 5:25 pm

Can’t curriculum be both Chumash and English Literacy? An “either or” mentality can be a symptom on dysfunctional thinking! It’s not a competition. Please include both….for the sake of our children. Why not, if I may ask.

The truth
May 30, 2022 7:43 pm

Unfortunately I studied in Yeshiva, so I have to take up arguments about statistics at your word. I don’t know if this way is better or not. I wish I was taught enough so I could make decisions and think for myself. Maybe that’s just me.