New York State vs. the Yeshivas

Those who defend ḥasidic yeshivas against increasing state regulation have conjured up an unrecognizable fairy-tale world. But the arguments of the state’s defenders are even worse.

October 25, 2021 | Eli Spitzer
About the author: Eli Spitzer is a Mosaic columnist and the headmaster of a hasidic boys’ school in London. He blogs and hosts a podcast at

Yeshiva students in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.

In recent years, New York State has become the scene of an increasingly fierce battle over the provision of secular education in ḥasidic boys’ schools (yeshivas), a battle that brings to the surface many of the latent contradictions in liberal society. These contradictions, because of the ḥasidic community’s relentless growth, will soon enough have to be arbitrated one way or another both in New York and wherever else ḥasidic Jews can be found.

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