As New York Once Again Targets Religious Schools, a History Lesson in Communal Resistance

by Marvin Schick

Published in Tablet Magazine

“Next month, the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School in New York will begin its 121st year educating Jewish children. It will also be my 46th year serving as its president. When I accepted the position, I understood that I would confront some of the same challenges that my predecessors faced: demographic shifts, communal apathy, and fundraising difficulties.

“This year, however, I and other yeshiva leaders are facing an additional and significant challenge, an attempt by New York State to impose a rigid set of rules that would alter the essential character of private schools, parochial and independent alike,  where parents and educators work together to instill their values and strengthen their communities.”

This article, by the president of the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School in New York, gives a historic backdrop to the proposed SED regulations for nonpublic schools and shows that years ago, yeshivos faced a similar challenge that also threatened the quality, character, and existence of the yeshiva system.

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