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Wednesday, October 05, 2022 

NYT deliberately omitted information in hit piece against Hasidic Judaists' schools

It turns out a Breitbart investigation's revealed the repellent NY Times distorted information from a pseudo-expose on poor education in Haredi schools in the USA:
The New York Times published a report in late September targeting Hasidic Yeshivas — alleging students “[know] nothing” and grow up “barely [able] to support their own families” — coinciding with a Board of Regents vote to regulate their religious education. However, Breitbart News has learned that the Times omitted relevant information, shunned sources directly involved with the schools, and declined to publish pertinent on-the-record statements, in pursuing the story — resulting in a funhouse mirror hit piece, pressuring the board’s unanimous vote to force state edicts on the religious schools.

Breitbart News has learned the Times did not establish communication relevant to reporting with at least two schools the story is based on — titled, “In Hasidic Enclaves, Failing Private Schools Flush With Public Money” — until days before publication, with request for comment on the final product. Breitbart has identified two instances of relevant sources to the story speaking to the Times and having their statements disregarded. Breitbart has also learned of one instance where the Times accused two schools of the same claim of corporal punishment, and two instances where request for comment was responded to but never published.

Breitbart has reviewed correspondence between the Times and teachers and administrators from various Hasidic Yeshivas from different sects, reviewed class work from a Hasidic Yeshiva, a breakdown of public funding for a Hasidic Yeshiva, and public data, showing the Times obfuscated information to produce a broad story with little bearing on the complex facts of what it is talking about.

Most of the sources who spoke with Breitbart requested their names and identities be concealed.

The New York Times “Investigation”

The Times “investigation” hinges its headline on a case where a school administered a Regents exam in 2019, which students failed. The Times then makes the false claim that the Satmar-sect Hasidic school that took the exam, United Talmudic Academy (UTA), “helps set the tone for other schools in the community, including those run by Bobov, Skver, and Viznitz groups.”
While Satmar are a bad lot, very anti-Zionist and hostile to Israel, of course their MO doesn't set the tone for literally all other Haredi clans. I just hope nobody's letting Satmar off the hook here, because they're still more than fully capable of being a thorn in the side of everyone with better perspectives than they have.

They also note the following about Yaffed manager Naftali Moster, whose views of Zionism are questionable:
Yaffed describes itself as being “committed to improving secular education in Haredi & Hasidic schools & Yeshivas — because every child has a right to learn.”

Yaffed’s website claims, “a basic general education should consist of English, Math, Science, Social Studies, and other required subjects,” adding, “we want children to receive a minimum standard of education in the schools they currently attend.”

But a clip posted on Twitter from a May 24 panel called “Let My People Learn,” hosted by Yaffed, shows a stretched definition of “minimum standard of education” — to include “a sound sex education and knowledge of diversity.”

“Part of a well-rounded education includes understanding diversity, understanding different people’s experiences, being able to cope in the world and engage with people of all kinds of experiences, including yourself, your siblings, your children — I think a sound sex education and knowledge of diversity, its part and parcel of a wholesome education. I think the Hasidic community doesn’t get to say that their children are above that, or don’t need access to that,” panelist Chavie Weisberger says, as Moster nods along.

Reached by Breitbart, asking whether Yaffed believes a standard education ought to include “a sound sex education and knowledge of diversity,” Moster distanced himself from Weisberger’s comments — claiming Yaffed did not host the panel, despite a flyer posted on Yaffed’s Facebook page clearly stating it hosted the panel — and reiterated that Yaffed doesn’t “advocate for teaching anything that is explicitly objectionable to Orthodox Judaism,” but supports whatever the law mandates children learn.

Asked if Yaffed supports a strictly classical education to be introduced in Yeshivas, Moster replied without directly addressing the question, saying that Hasidic boys “have never heard the word ‘literature’,” and in another email a few minutes later, insisted they are “intentionally destined to live in poverty and dependence on government assistance.”

Asked whether Yaffed denounces the comments made by Weisberger during the panel he hosted, Moster refused to respond.
The part about diversity is suspicious, because it suggests they believe LGBT ideology is throughly acceptable, and Moster's refusal to elucidate only damages his platform. Breitbart also interviewed a Hasidic mother, although she was a Satmar member, so this'll have to be taken with a grain of salt:
“There are so many skills that go into the type of learning we do that, you know, when girls or boys start in the work field they’re definitely at an advantage when it comes to analytical skills,” Malky, a Satmar mother with three sons at a UTA-affiliated school, told Breitbart News. “I have no desire for my kids to learn less Torah.”

Parents in these communities, by and large, see public school curricula as less rigorous than what their children are currently learning, and, in many cases, a clash with their values — especially the “diversity, equity and inclusion” curriculum currently being implemented in many schools, public and private.

“If you look at the curriculum, it’s full of values that we don’t hold by — whether it’s LGBTQ or, you know, talking about sex and sex education in a way that is foreign and frowned upon in our culture,” Malky said in an interview with Breitbart. “Torah is what makes us who we are — it’s a living and breathing text — it’s not something that we’re just studying for the academic factor, you know, it’s who we are,” Malky said.

She emphasized that outside forces attempting to alter or transform religious education, which Jews have been practicing for millennia, will not be accepted by a community with hundreds of thousands of members who reject that change.

“If the government will work with us, we will work with them,” Malky told Breitbart News of reform in Yeshivas. “But the real issue that we have is, this is a nefarious way to input and to softly put on values that we don’t hold by, and we’re going to do everything in our power, whether it means losing billions in government funding, whatever it is, we’re going to do everything in our power to prevent that from infiltrating our community.”

“They may think that they can outsmart us,” she went on, referring to efforts to insert lessons that undermine religious values into Yeshivas. “We have thousands of years of different countries, different governments trying to do that. It’s not going to happen, and the more they push, the more pushback there is.”

“I don’t believe that the government has any place, or say [in Yeshiva education], I think all they’re doing is they’re making [Hasidic] people more committed. Fighting about the issue, and trying to impose education values that are so far removed from everything that we believe in, everything we stand for … these articles, and laws, and trying to force change, it’s literally just going to have the opposite effect,” Malky told Breitbart.

Breitbart met with administrators at a Hasidic Yeshiva in Borough Park, Brooklyn, who provided access to students’ work in “secular” studies. Despite claims by the Times that children in this school are “denied basic education,” Breitbart reviewed reams of assignments and exams showing otherwise.
Obviously, there are clans who do provide their subjects with education like mathematics, in example, and that's good. And it'll be even better if they provide them with science-based facts, unlike some liberal-run schools who're doing their damndest to destroy even that much. But while there is validity to some of the arguments laid across by the Satmar mother, the clan she sticks with is still a very bad one that's done what they could in the past to harm Israel, and has even abused its own subjects in various ways, so again, coming from her as this does, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. The most valid objection is to LGBT ideology, but depending what customs the Satmar go by, they themselves unintentionally made a lot of their subjects potentially homosexual, and have to take accountability for that.

I suppose what I'm saying is that, while non-Haredi religious lifestyles aren't perfect either, they could be a better way for Satmar members, if anyone, to lead their lives, and thus be more informed on the pluses and minuses of various issues in the real world. And, to be able to relate to the opposite sex far better than what the insular Haredi world Satmar's part of is going by now.

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