Monday, September 12, 2022

Agudath Israel Statement on New York Times’ Attack on Hasidic Community

Agudath Israel of America decries today’s one-sided New York Times hit piece on New York State’s Hasidic community and its educational institutions.

The article is riddled with bias, ignoring the vast majority of Hasidic parents – those who cherish their yeshivas – instead citing a minority of people who have rejected the community’s values, and passing them off as representative of the whole. The true viewpoint of the tens of thousands of parents who send their children to Hasidic schools is represented, in part, by the recent historic 350,000 letters during the state’s public comment period, the vast majority of which pleading for no interference with the yeshiva educational system for which they pay and value. Could the New York Times not speak to one of those parents?


  1. "Hasidic communities are models of safety...with low crime...."

    Would the kids allegedly getting hit in the classrooms agree it is a safe environment?

  2. This is the same organization that fought tooth and nail against extending the statute of limitations in New York for sexual abuse but simultaneously claimed that there is none in the community.

  3. Same organization that wrote up a dismissive obituary for rav Soloveitchik ztl, who was the greatest Gadol b Torah in USA and maybe the world in the 1990s.

  4. “Agudath Israel Statement” Bravo Joe Orlow: Hasidic communities are models of safety...with low crime...

    Torah thought this week’s parsha כי תבוא
    (Deuteronomy 26:3) “You shall go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him ואמרת אליו: ‘I acknowledge הגדתי this day before the LORD your God that I have entered the land that the Lord swore to our fathers to assign us.”

    דברים פרשת כי תבוא פרק כו פסוק ג
    וּבָאתָ אֶל הַכֹּהֵן אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו הִגַּדְתִּי הַיּוֹם לַיקֹוָק אֱלֹהֶיךָ כִּי בָאתִי אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְקֹוָק לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ לָתֶת לָנוּ:
    רש"י דברים פרשת כי תבוא פרק כו פסוק ג
    אשר יהיה בימים ההם - אין לך אלא כהן שבימיך, כמו שהוא:
    ואמרת אליו - שאינךו כפוי טובה:
    הגדתי היום - פעם אחת בשנה ולא שתי פעמים:

    Kiddushin 66b
    “ And how do we know that the service of the son of a divorced woman or a haluzah is [retrospectively] fit? Said Rab Judah in Samuel's name, Because Scripture saith, and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, [the covenant of an everlasting priesthood] [Num. XXV, 13]: this applies to both fit and unfit seed [but nevertheless, only if the service has already been performed]. Samuel's father said, [It is deduced] from the following: Bless, Lord, his substance [חילו], and accept the work of his hands [Deut. XXXIII, 11]: accept even the profaned [hullin] in his midst. R. Jannai said, [It is deduced] from this: And thou shalt come unto the priest that shall be in those days: now, could you then imagine that a man should go to a priest who was not of his days? But this [must refer to one who] was [originally assumed to be] fit, and then became profane [I.e., was proved to be such, The verse intimates that until he is proved profane, the going to him for service, etc. is valid.].”

    The Kohen in charge in Jerusalem has authority until proof otherwise.

    מלבי"ם דברים פרשת כי תבוא פרק כו פסוק ג
    ואמרת אליו. האמירה הקצרה הזאת הוא מאמר אל הכהן קודם הנחת הביכורים ע"י הכהן, והאמירה הארוכה שאחר ההנחה היא אמירה לפני ה', ומה שצוה להקדים אמירה להכהן קודם מלפני ה', מפני שבמאמרו אל הכהן יאמר ענין הבאת הביכורים שאם לא ידע המביא כוונת המצוה יהיה ענין הבאתה בלתי משובח ונראה ככפוי טובה, שעל החסד הגדול שעשה ה' לכלל האומה והחסד הפרטי שעשה להמביא אשר נתן לו נחלה אדמת זבת חלב ודבש מביא דורון לבית ה' מעט פרי האדמה,

    The Malbim explains that the saying in verse 3 is to the Kohen and the saying later in verse 5 is before God. One must show respect and gratitude to the religious leader as a preliminary to respect and gratitude to God. This is Malbim’s opinion. This is necessary to perform the ceremony and mitzvah properly. Beautiful.

  5. typical ad hominem attack - nothing about the issues!

  6. The first comment also.

  7. There is no federal law addressing corporal punishment in public or private schools.

    In 1977, the Supreme Court ruling in Ingraham v. Wright held that the Eighth Amendment clause prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishments" did not apply to school students, and that teachers could punish children without parental permission.

    As of 2018, corporal punishment was still legal in private schools in every U.S. state except New Jersey and Iowa, legal in public schools in 19 states, and practiced in 15 states.

  8. Please allow me to expound on the point I made.

    The following is from a HAMODIA article linked to in another post on this blog [emphasis added]:


    But in the letter Thursday, Conolly warns the Times against publishing an article with “false and defamatory statements and implications.” The letter, published below in full, disputes the Times’ allegations, arguing that “Hasidic schools teach a variety of secular subjects,” that “all teachers are qualified, background checked, and vetted,” and that “there is an unequivocal policy in these schools that corporal punishment will not be tolerated and any teachers who use corporal punishment will be fired.”


    Yet, the Times' article says some parents engage in "tipping", meaning paying off some teacher or teachers, in order that their children not be hit by the teacher.

    If the policy is as Mr. Conolly says, why wouldn't it be sufficient for the parents to simply notify the principal, headmaster, or whatever staff runs the school that their children are being struck? I really don't know if the Times article is right. But if it is, we are led to conclude that kids are getting hit with the school administration going along with it and the parents feel helpess to stop it in some cases short of paying off the teacher.

    Something seems out of order here. If the hitting is to advance the education of the child, why should the parent complain? If the teacher is willing to stop the hitting for money, why is he not willing to stop by merely being told to stop? Where is the staff?

    Kids are possibly being terrorized on a daily basis during the school year. Proof that it's legal doesn't make it consistent with the Torah.

  9. > arguing that “Hasidic schools teach a variety of secular subjects,” that “all teachers are qualified, background checked, and vetted,” and that “there is an unequivocal policy in these schools that corporal punishment will not be tolerated and any teachers who use corporal punishment will be fired.”

    So the "Torah only, secular: feh!" is easily confirmed. Too many stories about child abuse in the schools to be ignored. In short, they're lying because they're Torah jews.


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