New York City Renews Its Battle on Hasidic Education

For the past few years, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has been pursuing an investigation into several ḥaredi yeshivas suspected of failing to meet the minimum educational standards required of private schools. On June 30, media outlets reported that the DOE had concluded its investigation. Melissa Langsam Braunstein describes how authorities are continuing to mishandle the situation:

According to last year’s revisions to state regulations, reviews should be “informed by and respectful of the cultural and religious beliefs and educational philosophy . . . in nonpublic schools.” Additionally, “instructional programs in nonpublic schools need not demonstrate perfect congruence between public and nonpublic school instruction.” DOE’s reviews convey neither respect nor an understanding of yeshiva education. Rather, they highlight that yeshivas fail at being public schools.

The letters to four yeshivas deemed not to be providing substantially equivalent instruction say they did “not satisfy the requirements of any of the [substantial equivalency] pathways.” Neither DOE nor the New York State Education Department (NYSED) explained whether the yeshivas were asked to identify preferred pathways, but last September, NYSED officially granted schools until December 2023 to specify them.

If ḥasidic parents wanted their children in New York City public schools, where a majority of students can’t read proficiently, ḥasidic children would be there. They are not.

Yeshiva parents know they face hostile forces, eager to overhaul their way of life. But other Americans with unfashionable values should consider this campaign against yeshivas a warning. Empowering the government to micromanage religious and other nonpublic education would homogenize all schools, and there would be no escaping the dominant educational culture.

Read more at National Review

More about: American Jewry, Hasidism, Jewish education, New York City

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security