Dozens of Chassidic Jewish schools in Brooklyn are facing an investigation over the education they have been providing for decades.
New York City officials have confirmed they are reviewing a complaint alleging that 39 Yeshivas are are violating state law by giving students a subpar education in English, math and other secular subjects, the New York Jewish Week reported.
The complaint was sent by an organization called Yaffed which stands for Young Advocates for Fair Education. Founded by Naftuli Moster, a Borough Park native who is a senior at the College of Staten Island, it advocates for secular curriculum at chassidic schools.
Citing New York State Education Department guidelines requiring that private schools provide an education “substantially equivalent” to that of public schools, their letter calls for the investigation of secular instruction at 38 schools in Brooklyn and one in Queens.
“We take seriously our responsibility to ensure that all students in New York receive an appropriate education, and we will investigate all allegations that are brought to our attention,” Harry Hartfield, a spokesman for New York City Department of Education (DOE), wrote to the Jewish Week.
If city or state officials fail to crack down on yeshivas with poor secular education, Yaffed plans to go to court.
However that would require parents of current students to sign on publicly as plaintiffs, a tall order in the insular charedi communities of Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Borough Park, the newspaper noted.
Yaffed stresses that a lawsuit would be against city and state officials for not enforcing the law, not against yeshiva leadership. For this reason, they asked the Department of Education to keep the names of the schools private.