Haredim & Higher Education

letter-447577_1280

Haredi demonstration that the Post used to illustrate oped on haredim in the workplace

At first I wanted to blame the Jerusalem Post. The Post attached a pretty nefarious photo to David Newman’s oped “The yeshiva and the workplace” (October 26). The Post illustrated this upbeat article on increased academic and vocational education in the haredi sector, with a photo of hundreds of black-hatted (hated?) haredim at a demonstration.

Why didn’t they illustrate the article with a photo of one of the many new places for academic and vocational studies in the haredi sector that Ben-Gurion University Professor Newman praises in his essay? For example, he writes that “the most notable institution is the Haredi College in Jerusalem which was set up and headed by the daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef” for academic studies by haredi men and women.

A photograph of that College would have been more appropriate than the protest demonstration photo-op, a picture that has become a cliche.

Then I realized I should blame myself. Perhaps the Jerusalem Post photo archives does not have photos of haredim studying in the many new colleges. Therefore, I am sending the Post a collection of photos illustrating the eager and serious students at their academic studies in the aforementioned Haredi College.

The Haredi College,Jerualem, studying for B.Sc. and B.A. degrees

Shira Schmidt

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya. She is on the board of the Charedi College of Jerusalem. She co-authored, with Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffmann, Old Wine New Flasks. She has co-translated from Hebrew to English (with Jessica Setbon) From the Depths (the autobiography of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau); The Forgotten Memoirs (memoirs of Rabbis who survved the Shoah, edited by Esther Farbstein); and Rest of the Dove (Parashat Hashavua by Rabbi Haim Sabato). She s available to lecture in Israel and in the US.

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40 Responses

  1. Dov says:

    BenShaul, your analogy to the U.S. is backwards. We’re talking here about private schools, by design and intent. There are religious public schools, in fact there are several “levels” of religious public schools, from basic religous to “Torani” religious to “very Torani” religious, and anyone who wants to go can go. The schools in question here are deliberately outside of that system, hence the name “chinuch atzma’i” which means independent education. Israel does what the U.S. doesn’t do, namely to pay private schools for core education costs of students attending private schools. This is exactly what the U.S. does not do.

    The only issue at hand now is whether WHEN the government pays for core education costs of students at private schools, do the schools in question have to give the students what the government considers minimal core education. THIS is the question – can the schools in question take money meant to be providing core education, and then not give the core education that the government wants to get in return for that money.

  2. dovid 2 says:

    Jlmgrandma writes that due to “serious cutbacks over the past 18 months” Jerusalem Post didn’t have available workforce to find a more appropriate photo to go with the article “The yeshiva and the workplace”. She asks forgiveness for similar slip-ups going forward as well.

    Jlmgrandma, how do you explain Jerusalem Post placing ads featuring scantily clad women next to Yonathan Rosenblum’s articles with a consistency that suggests to me that notwithstanding its “serious cutbacks”, the Post will always have a fistful of sh’kalim to spare to make the Charedim look bad? If Jerusalem Post would really like to save a money (and also mezake es harabim), it should terminate Larry Derfner.

  3. Jlmgrandma says:

    Wow, does anyone even remember how this thread started? Because I do, which is why I checked out the comments in the first place.

    Since I actually work at The Jerusalem Post, I’d like to thank Shira Schmidt for being dan le’kaf zechus. The Post has undergone serious cutbacks over the past 18 months, and even if they did have a picture of a haredi college somewhere in their archives, there may not have been anyone available on that particular day to do a proper search for it, nor a supervising editor with enough time to read the piece and thus realize that the picture was inappropriate.

    We’re a mess there, and it doesn’t seem likely to change soon. Forgive us in advance.

  4. Benshaul says:

    E. Frank
    I am not sure how things are done there in terms of money vs. control, but the simple point is that the ministry wants CONTROL of charedi education; and it is that they are fighting. Its not the suggestion but the insistence on being the decision maker by the ministry that is being fought. Perhaps one option is to refuse any funding for that – i am sure that is on the table, but remember, media bias not-withstanding, charedim PAY taxes and are entitled under the current system to funding of the independent tracks. I can’t state for a certainty, but i am pretty sure they get a reduced subsidy i.e. less than regular schools due to that status. unlike the USA -under the quasi socialist Israeli system, ALL public education is funded by the government by law and right.

    I will use this comment to add a thought. I, like many who follow cross-currents share the frustration and concern of the direction of charedi education and other issues. And yes the chinuch in eretz yisroel is very different than what a charedi/yeshivish child would get in America. But i admit to being at a loss to holding the answers of where it should go and how it should be run. In that i will leave it to the “Gedolim” to decide. over the last 2000 years we have done pretty well for ourselves doing that and one tampers with that at a very high risk. I also think its quite foolish to think they are unaware of the problems and issues, and that they aren’t looking for solutions.

  5. E. Frank says:

    BenShaul: The same holds true here –as one of the participants at that meeting said “if they tell us which masechtas to learn we would have to refuse to do so”. Am I the only one who sees the danger in allowing an outside power the right to make decisions in our educational mosdos –all the more so for the situation in Israel. Perhaps-and in all likelihood – their objection had nothing to do with the specifics of the issue but it was the principle of the matter at hand.

    My apologies in advance if I am out of line or misunderstood what you were saying.

    What benefit does automatically rejecting an outside suggestion, simply because it is an outside suggestion, confer? Wouldn’t some form of discussion or attempt at understanding why the suggestion is being made be of benefit for both sides? If halacha follows Beit Hillel (in part) because of quoting and disseminating the opposing argument first, why is even basic courtesy (that of trying to at least understand) the other side not being extended? I am fully aware that this analogy is not good. Perhaps a better analogy would be Issachar and Zebulun; did Zebulun suggest to Issachar at least some of what to study, so that Issachar could act as posekim for matters pertaining to the life of the partner?

    If such study is being subsidised by the people as a whole, do the people have a right to ask for certain particulars to be studied? On what basis is automatic refusal beneficial to anyone?

  6. Benshaul says:

    As one who started some of this thread Vis-a-Vis Rabbi Landesman, I feel the need to interject again with a few thoughts, in no particular order, and somewhat briefly as I don’t type well nor is this a forum for a good exchange of this type.
    Lets start with the comment against the “leaders ‘of charedi jewry.

    As one who is quite familiar and even a part of the charedi world albeit in my own little corner of America, I find the assumptions made somewhat astounding. I don’t know any world where gedolim are listened to blindly and seen as infallible. halevai they would be listened to so blindly –then much of the problems that we all comment on could be taken care of – what do I mean ? Reb Aaron Leib Steinmen for example took a lot of heat for his initial backing of nachal charedi BECAUSE he saw it as a necessary step and option for the charedi world AGAINST much of the kanoim. There is a video clip, and it was widely reported on, where he is seen telling a menahel of a school that only wants to take the elite –that it is wrong to do so and only a result of gaavah to do so.
    There are today hundreds of belz, ger and other charedi jews participating in working in frum divisions of the army etc and it is being done with the support and approval of those gedolim.

    Furthermore –why is so difficult to understand the reluctance and the refusal to allow any interference from that great “friend of torah and supporter of frum yidden” the Israeli ministry of education. Rabbi Landesman –your rosh yeshiva Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky was the one who had to explain to golda meir (I believe it was her) the charedi refusal to allow sherut leumi, even thought there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it .and I assume you are familiar with what he told her.[printed in his bio]

    The same holds true here –as one of the participants at that meeting said “if they tell us which masechtas to learn we would have to refuse to do so”. Am I the only one who sees the danger in allowing an outside power the right to make decisions in our educational mosdos –all the more so for the situation in Israel. Perhaps-and in all likelihood – their objection had nothing to do with the specifics of the issue but it was the principle of the matter at hand.

    additionally what many people who are commenting on this thread don’t seem to realize is that the “gedolim” have unfortunately and sadly a far better picture of the problems of charedi jewry than even we do, because all the korbonos of the system end up at their door. And they would love to wave a magic wand and make it better. Sadly they aren’t listened to. Many a godol has bemoaned the fact that they are only listened to for chumros, or kanous. They wish they had that blind fealty you accuse us charedim of having. How many parents are guilty of forcing schools to refuse acceptance of kids with the threat that they will boycott the schools if so and so is accepted. And I know this for a fact. And the rabonim and others are not in favor of this –but no one is listening to them.

    Finally –there is the issue of your comment itself –I always have seen myself as pretty broad minded, which is why I enjoyed your posts and comments. But YES there is this thing called kovod hatorah and emunas chachomim. So if you tell me ailu va-ailu, ok you can follow the other opinion. But to take ALL of charedi leadership –which that meeting pretty much represented and to make a comment like that is IMHO over the line. And I have to echo dovid 2 –it is because of the respect that we have/had for you that your comments are so disturbing.

    There is a lot more to say –I wish I could carry this conversation in person. But I will end with a quote from Reb Yakov Weinberg z’tl. It is known that he had many disagreements with Reb Elya Svei zt’l on many issues. And even though he held himself a bar plugta of reb elya at the least; he said that reb elya was the recognized godol , and said that klal yisroel gets the gedolim it deserves.
    How cynically he meant it I leave for you to judge –but for us -if you truly believe that the gedolim are lacking in being up to the challenges of our generation –we have ourselves to blame for that.

    Btw –whose picture you hang on your wall is nice –but as shmuel bloom wrote in his weekly column in yated- quoting dead rabbeim is a weak and wrong response for a torah jew. And I challenge you to imagine whose side of this debate your Rosh Yeshiva Reb Yaakov or Reb Moshe would have been on.
    Nuff said –

  7. dovid 2 says:

    Rabbi Landesman, your silence is eloquent. I suspect there are more than a few who feel you let them down.

  8. dovid 2 says:

    L. Oberstein writes: “True Yiras Shamayim does not require deification of fallible human beings.”

    Will L. Oberstein give examples of “deification of fallible human beings” in this thread, this blog, or within the Orthodox Jewish communities at large? I don’t see any. Please, don’t mention the Meshichists. They are a small group with little following.

  9. Bob Miller says:

    I second Dovid 2’s comment of October 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Rabbi Landesman has a path which he left unclear in a key aspect. If he believes it’s a true path, and one for others to follow, we need more details, not a defensive reaction.

  10. dovid 2 says:

    Rabbi Landesman:”… my comments disturb and they find it easier to dismiss them as da’at hedyot rather than considering whether or not they might have a kernel of truth.”

    Rabbi Landesman, your comments did disturb. We wish we could dismiss them as daas hedyot. But those who have read your write-ups on this blog, even w/o the benefit of knowing you personally, are certain you aren’t a hedyot. And this makes your comments more disturbing. If you were a hedyot, few would care to know what’s in your mind. Precisely because you aren’t a hedyot, and because of the sincere respect you have engendered up to this moment, and because you made the statements that you made, we do beg you to spill your guts and share with us the “kernel of truth” in your possession, as well as whom you consult in such matters. Make no mistake, no one is attacking you, as has been previously alleged, at least not on this thread. But your statements have been provocative enough to call for clarifications.

  11. dovid landesman says:

    I never knew that one has a public duty to reveal your gadol [wouldn’t that make a fantasttic reality or game show on Bnei Brak television]. I feel no obligation to share this information with either JR or Mr. Miller. I would assume that my comments disturb and they find it easier to dismiss them as da’at hedyot rather than considering whether or not they might have a kernel of truth.
    If it will reassure them let me state for the public record that I have the same pictures of gedolim hanging in my dining room as did the Chazon Ish and R. Yaakov Kaminetski [alas, that’s about the only characteristic that I share with these gedolim].

  12. dovid 2 says:

    L. Oberstein: “Those nasty ad hominem attacks on Rabbi Landesman …”

    Can you name one attack, nasty or otherwise, on R. Landesman on this blog? I don’t see any.

  13. L. Oberstein says:

    “including my son’s Charedi ganenet who wears denim skirts and a too-long sheitl but was shocked that I didn’t vote according to daas Torah” Miriam’s comment just makes me want to add the following:
    If we keep emphasizing the style of dresses and the length of sheitels, we will continue to lose our daughters. I don’t know about Israel, but here in my daughter’s school , there is a growing rebelliousness against stupid rules that have nothing to do with true Yiras Shamayim. I am distressed at how unable our present day mechanchim are to deal with the substance of Judaism and devote their energies to externals. If our leaders don’t wake up and take stock of what is really going on , they have a lot to answer for the World of Truth.

  14. L. Oberstein says:

    There is a major divide that I discern in the comments. There is a major krumkeit that is a falsification of our mesorah that is being perpetuated on the masses . The great Litvishe talmdei chachomim of the previous generations , Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky, Rav Yaakov Ruderman, Rav Moshe Feinstein did not ever set themselves up as infalible , all knowing, seers whose every idea was Halacha L’Moshe Misinai. Even those of today, when one speaks to them directly do not claim that they speak “ex cathedra” and must be obeyed. This perversion is being perpetrated by handlers , askanim, who crowd out other views and keep control over how issues are presented and how answers are disseminated. Haven’t we all heard that Rav Elyashiv himself said that there must be another person with his name because he doesn’t recognize all the decrees he is supposed to have issued on wall placards.

    Chasidim have a different tradition, that a rebbe can heal , can guide one in every life decision, has some para normal ability to know the inner workings of Hashem’s world. That is not the mesora of the yeshiva world.

    Those nasty ad hominem attacks on Rabbi Landesman are the problem , not the emes, the absolute truth that he conveyed. What ever happened to “these and those”, when did one size have to fit all. I am absolutely sure that Rav Chaim Ozer who was head and shoulders above any of today’s sages, would not have stood for the demigogery that has corrupted the Litvishe world. he never had the control over Vilna that the coterie around Rav Elyashiv have over Israel today.

    There is too much falsification and corruption in the system and those on the inside know it and openly are disgusted by it. True Yiras Shamayim does not require deification of fallible human beings.

  15. dovid 2 says:

    Dr. Bill: “why we have not produced the quality is a more important question!”

    A maggid shiur told me his father took him before his Bar Mitzva to Rabbi Shimon Schwab for a brocha. During the conversation, Rabbi Schwab asked your question: Why is it that our yeshivos don’t produce the g’dolim of yesteryear? (Rabbi Schwab learned in the original Telshe and Mir yeshivos in Europe where he met several of the pre-WWII g’dolim, the Chafetz Chaim, Reb Yerucham, and Reb Chaim Shmulewitz included.) He said that the avreichim in Lakewood and elsewhere are as big masmidim and baalei kishronos (gifted) as those before the war. He answered: because of treife geld, because treife geld penetrated and funds the yeshiva system.

  16. Miriam says:

    “Who’s your Charedi Gadol?” What an odd question.
    “Who’s your personal Charedi Rav?” You obviously don’t know each other personally so I’m not sure the point of the question.

    The fact that there is a Charedi political machine which doesn’t represent the full gamut of Charedi religiosity should be no surprise to any Charedi living in Israel (including my son’s Charedi ganenet who wears denim skirts and a too-long sheitl but was shocked that I didn’t vote according to daas Torah – some Charedim just try not to think about it). And just because the Charedi religious leaders give their haskamos to the Charedi political process does not equate the two.

    Whether it’s a kol-koreh or some other publicized statement with the names of this generation’s Charedi Rabbanim, it’s up to each individual to confer with his own Rav regarding how to apply it to his own life and the lives of his children. So long as the discussion is with an air of respect toward all opinions I don’t see the conflict.

  17. L. Oberstein says:

    I have a warm spot in my heart for meshsulachim, being as they are kindred spirits. However, there is a difference between those helping to support a legitimate institution and those who are collecting for themselves because they have no other means of support. The culture of the “Old Yishuv” that one goes to Israel to die and meanwhile learns and davens has morphed into a major culture affecting tens of thousands of men and the women and children who depend on them. Since much of Klal Yisrael is marrying out and assimilating, we need the religious ,but is this the most productive use of our tzedaka dollars, to support a system that has no checks and balances, that condemns those who aren’t masmidim to a life of guilt and shame (like the person who went to Yediot). I wonder if the gedolim all think that this is the way it should be or if they are also intimidated by handlers.
    Someone at shul told me a variation on the very old book title “Europe on $5 a Day”,
    “Shomrei Emunah on $ 5 a day”. Sometimes there are more than five men , many of them young and healthy looking collecting for themselves. I would rather give $100 to a legitimate institution than 100 one dollar bills to men who have no careeer but traveling the world asking for personal handouts. Rabbi Heinemann has personally told me that he often tries to engage these supposed Kollel students in a learned discussion asking what they are actually learning and more often than not ,they say they are too busy collecting dollar bills that they are no longer holding in any sugya . They are victims and we need to help them out of this cycle.

  18. dr. bill says:

    Dovid 2: Historians trace chareidi origns to the generation AFTER the chatam sofer, 80 years before the Shoah. Note both the ketav sofer and maharam shick were opposed to many of the chareidi initiatives.

    It is only the Israeli government’s unprecedented subsidies for learning that came as a result of the Shoah.

    in quantity we have exceeded pre-war european kollelim by more than an order of magnitude. why we have not produced the quality is a more important question!

  19. Bob Miller says:

    In my comment of October 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm,

    I meant “the latter group” to signify the unadvertised group of chachamim.

  20. Bob Miller says:

    Dr E wrote, “Just because a Talmid Chacham does not appear in a photo op with Askanim on glossy brochures, Matzav.com, or in the weekly Yated picture spread, that does not make them any less capable of weighing in on these matters. Trust us, they exist and have successful Talmidim.”

    I agree. I asked Rabbi Landesman to say which member(s) of the latter group he uses as a guide.

  21. dovid 2 says:

    Dr. Bill: “deviation from our Mesorah that chareidim have engaged in over the past century and one half.”

    Dr. Bill, it appears to me that the departure from the Mesorah you were alluding to has been taking place in response to the devastation inflicted on the Torah world by WWII, i.e., for the past 65 yrs.

  22. Dr. E says:

    Bob Miller:

    Just because a Talmid Chacham does not appear in a photo op with Askanim on glossy brochures, Matzav.com, or in the weekly Yated picture spread, that does not make them any less capable of weighing in on these matters. Trust us, they exist and have successful Talmidim.

    If you look around at the (unprecedented) ubiquitous foot traffic of Meshulachim in our shul, the desperate and embarrassing fundraising appeals, with no system correction in sight, how can anyone reasonable conclude that this is merely “a nisayon” and not destruction?

  23. joel rich says:

    R”Bob and Bill,
    R’DL’s position is clear :R. Joel
    Perhaps your definition of being a chareidih is to defer to the the gedolim you cited. My definition has to do with standards of tzniut, kashrut et al. If that is not sufficient, pray tell me where I can return my club card.

    KT

  24. dr. bill says:

    Bob Miller, “Emunas chachamim has always been a hallmark of genuine Judaism.”

    What you state categorically, is much more carefully delineated within its historic parameters by prof. katz ztl. Aseh lekha Rav is very good advice (actually given not just to the Tzibbur, but according to some mephorshim, directed to Rabbis) that should never equate to “blind faith” in all matters.

  25. dr. bill says:

    BenShaul, I am not suprised by R. Landesman’s measured tone. Dr. E. correctly reflects the unquestioned deviation from our Mesorah that chareidim have engaged in over the past century and one half. Prof. Katz ztl has written about this topic with precision and more than adequate proof. Why this shift? A response to modernity; a modernity that is viewed (in part correctly) as hostile to Torah life. The only escape is the Beit Midrash. As the reform, who also responded to modernity with yet more radical solutions, are either fading or slowly transforming, so too at the opposite extreme will chareidim move towards the shvil ha’ahav.

    If R. Landesman is not a sufficient wake up call, listen to a heartfelt lecture, with insightful advice for all streams of orthodoxy, from Rabbi Barry Freundel. It is on his shul’s website – Kesher Israel – in commemeration of their centennial.

  26. Bob Miller says:

    Rabbi Landesman,

    Emunas chachamim has always been a hallmark of genuine Judaism. If you do not believe in or follow the set of chachamim you criticized here, which other chacham(im) do you believe in and follow? Or are you completely on your own now?

  27. Dr. E says:

    BenShaul

    “Long reaching vision”?! What I see is just constant ad hoc reactivity to the perceived intrusion by outsiders into Chinuch and a way of life. Intolerance and unwillingness to compromise when a system is clearly not working (no pun intended), while at the same time remain dependent on the government and gvirim from abroad is hardly visionary. You might want to take note that the trend of self-inflicted dependence characterizing these past two generations is clearly a departure from what has been normative throughout Jewish history. And the emerging generation is starting to figure this out, with or without the Internet.

    So, I’m with Rabbi Landesman.

  28. BenShaul says:

    i have always enjoyed reading david landesman’s posts, but after reading his most recent where he takes the cream of charedi jewry and is willing to publicly state ” who are leading the community to destruction” i have to sadly say that i can no longer take anything he says at face value. . perhaps rabbi landesman, they have a longer reaching vision then you and see/ fear that opening the door to state control is a slippery slope that can lead to who knows where. especially in israel where the anti-charedi attitude among the left has real implications

  29. Dr. E says:

    …students ignore the teachers and the reverence that a former generation had for its role models is lacking for today’s substitutes. He gave me several answers, … Secondly , the teaches don’t know the answers to the girls questions and are afraid to open a “Pandora’s Box’ by discussing what is really on the girls minds.

    Rabbi Oberstein:

    I think you hit one nail on the head. That is given the large student population, the number of qualified and talented teachers is limited. To say that a woman, after 12 years of a BY (memorization) education and one year of a Seminary in is Israel is now qualified to teach is quite ambitious. And it shows. Chumash and Navi classes are peppered with digressions about things like: Kollel is the only way; more tzniyus is needed; or reflections on the latest letters in Mishpacha/Yated which they use as opportunities to communicate to the students that their homes are krum. Yes, there are some teachers who are good and are sophisticated enough to intelligently address valid questions. But, they are becoming in the minority.

  30. Dr. E says:

    Unfortunately, when Chareidim disagree with something which they deem cotroversial, they take their protest to the streets. This has created a growing archive of pictures like these. Less protesting and more tolerance, might lead the secular press to seek out the photos along the lines that you prefer.

  31. dovid 2 says:

    Mrs. Schmidt,

    Why don’t you comment on the content of the article which raises core issues related to our community? Even though it contains inaccuracies inherent to a secular author, Mr. Newman succeeded in writing with honesty and objectivity on a subject that many Charedim would rather sweep under the rug. You criticize the photo placed next to the article. I think that’s gravy? Did you read the article? Do you have an opinion about the issues raised? Do you care to share it with us?

  32. joel rich says:

    R’DL,
    Thanks for the clarification.
    KT

  33. L. Oberstein says:

    I had a long talk with the President of a local mosad hachinuch in Baltimore about the reality that many students are not inspired or interested in what their role models are modeling. There is an increase in chutzpah as students ignore the teachers and the reverence that a former generation had for its role models is lacking for today’s substitutes. He gave me several answers, One is that the school is pressured by the rabbonim to raise the bar religiously and that this carries more weight then the parents who think that more buttons closed does not equal yiras shamayim. Secondly , the teaches don’t know the answers to the girls questions and are afraid to open a “Pandora’s Box’ by discussing what is really on the girls minds.Third, they are bewildered by this generation and don’t have a clue what to do. Instead of getting mad, I felt sorry for this poor layman who is in a no win situation, defending a failure because the pressure is too great to do what a more objective analysis would should needs to be done. It is not our children who are off the derech, I think much of today’s derech is off the derech.

  34. dovid landesman says:

    R. Joel
    Perhaps your definition of being a chareidih is to defer to the the gedolim you cited. My definition has to do with standards of tzniut, kashrut et al. If that is not sufficient, pray tell me where I can return my club card.

  35. joel rich says:

    R’DL,
    Perhaps you could clarify something for me, and I mean no disrespect. The meeting you refer to was attended (per Deah V’dibbur) by a stellar representation of chareidi torah leadership (Dozens of heads of talmudei Torah and exempt institutions gathered Sunday night in the home of HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman shlita for an emergency meeting to discuss their concerns regarding a serious breach in the autonomy of Torah-true educational institutions for yaldei Yisroel. The meeting, led by the Rosh Yeshiva, was also attended by HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky, HaRav Shmuel Auerbach, HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, the Admor of Belz, the Admor of Tzanz, and HaRav Yisroel Hager of Vishnitz shlita.) AIUI the general definiton of chareidi includes deference to daas torah as represented by the gedolim (the aforementined group seems to fit that category)

    Question: what does it mean to be “a proud chareidi by virtue of my lifestyle” yet state that “that does not include blind fealty to a number of people who are leading the community to destruction” when those “people” include the aforementioned gedolim to whom a chareidi (aiui) defers to on public policy matters?
    KT

  36. dr. bill says:

    I am happy to agree with R. Landesman whole-heartedly. One minor point concerns R. Chaim Volozhin. There is one scientific fact (about zemanim) that I cannot for the life of me figure out how he might have known; perhaps he had a halakhic source. I believe he was more accurate on this item than the Gaon. I doubt he would endorse the secular education attitude attributed to the chareidi gedolim.

    Despite possible bias, the picture does paint a “numerical” image. I wonder if despite the many positive developments, the image of “the facts on the ground” is not accurate.

  37. dovid landesman says:

    Ms. Schmidt
    If the editor of the JP really wanted to reflect what is going on in the chareidi world, he would have published the article with a picture of last week’s meeting in Bnei Brak where it was decided to categorically reject the suggestion that it might be necessary to adjust the curriculum of the mosdot hachinuch to include a core of general studies which would allow talmidim an option of professional training at some point in their careers. Not one speaker at that meeting gave any praise to the michlalot chareidiot, to Rabbanit Bar Shalom, or to those who made the arrangements for the IDF’s technological units for chareidim.

    These are all seen as b’dieved d’bdieved and if anything, the Bnei Brak conference has made the walls higher. No instructions were issued to negotiate with misrad ha-chinuch as to the content of the curriculum – simply outright rejection.

    I am a proud chareidi by virtue of my lifestyle but that does not include blind fealty to a number of people who are leading the community to destruction. There is a revolution going on in the community; it is sad that, in my mind, the target will be the leadership rather than having the leaders stand at its head.

    I would suggest that you read the article in last week’s Mishpacha about the numbers of bnei and bnot Torah who are empty shells. Is it not possible that the curriculums of our mosdot chinuch – developed back in the days of R. Chaim Volozhin – are not relevant any longer and do not meet the needs of the tzibbur?

  38. Eli says:

    Sorry Mrs., but just a few searches on the internet came up with loads and loads of pictures of charedim learning in classrooms, which could just as well have been used to portray the image that Prof. Newman intended. While it certainly is admirable to alway turn inward and do some soul-searching before blaming others, here the blame is certainly in order. When looked at from the perspective of the Post’s past record of printing plenty of articles dripping with vindictiveness and spite for the charedi world, I believe there’s nothing less than an obligation to be “dan lekaf chov.”

  39. joel rich says:

    Does the Israeli chareidi torah leadership (moetzet…) have an official position on these academic studies? are they coordinated with yeshiva learning programs?
    KT