Forward 7/11/16: Hasidic Students Need Enforced Secular Education

 My Hasidic Students Need You To Support Enforced Secular Education

As a sixth-grade teacher of math and literacy at a Hasidic school in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, I am extremely disappointed by the silence of mainstream Jewish organizations regarding a secular education bill moving through the New York State Legislature. The bill in question, introduced by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, would enforce a law passed in 1928 that requires private schools to provide an education that is “substantially equivalent” to the instruction provided in public schools.

While some have pointed out legal justifications for remaining silent on the proposed legislation, my day-to-day experiences in the classroom lead me to believe that the status quo is more intolerable and unsustainable than may be perceived. As a matter of conscience, and for the sake of the children involved, the situation calls for a far more vocal response from the Jewish institutional world.

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