September 20, 2015 An untold number of private religious schools under the district's jurisdiction are failing to offer sufficient secular studies, according to parents, former students and education officials. Yeshivas run by insular Hasidic Jewish sects have raised the most concern. Critics of the system say yeshivas' deficiencies relegate many to lives of poverty and public assistance. Hasidic young men, who often marry in their late teens, realize the gaps in their education just as they face the pressures of supporting their families, said Deen, whose pursuit of a more secular life eventually led to his expulsion from New Square's Hasidic fold.

"I know many, many adult Hasidic men who are very angry. They have two, three, four children. They can't read, they can't write," he said. "Many of them were struggling because they had no idea how to type up a basic email without a million spelling mistakes."

A 2011 report by the UJA-Federation of New York revealed that 45 percent of Hasidic households in the New York metro region were living in poverty. Sixty-four percent of households with six or more people were considered impoverished.

Though most households had at least one person working outside the home, the study said, breadwinners "are seriously constrained by low levels of secular education." Read the complete article on LoHud here.

Tales of a crippling education: Shulem Deen

September 20, 2015 Though Shulem Deen spent most of his young life studying from sunrise to sundown in a New Square yeshiva, he was wholly unprepared to make a living when he finished school. He spoke halting English, knew only basic math and possessed few useful skills.

In fact, Deen, 41, didn't even realize that he would need to support a family until he already had one.

Married at 18, he quickly had five children and no real means to support them. Like just about everyone he knew, Deen believed that his close-knit Skverer community  and public assistance  would support him. As soon as he became determined to work to care for his growing clan, he ran into the limits of his education. Read complete Journal Story here.


Journal News Editorial:
Questionable education quality in East Ramapo

September 20, 2015 Two reports, in two days, make clear that many children of East Ramapo, no matter what community they come from, no matter where they go to school, are in jeopardy from a substandard education that could rob them of a fruitful future. Read the full editorial here.