Parents of Jewish ancestry who enroll their kids in religious schools: Are they breaking the law? Or do they adhere to their right to do so, even though their values are inconsistent with those of contemporary Americans?”
So queries William McGurn, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, in a published op-ed.
The article stands up for Orthodox Jews, who have frequently been attacked in The New York Times and are the subject of a state education department inquiry.
A more than 125-year-old state legislation with anti-Catholic roots that mandates that private school instruction be “substantially equivalent” to public schools is in dispute.
The Times has narrowed its focus to about 50,000 Chassidic children in a city and state with a sizable student population.
According to McGurn, Chassidic institutions “are succeeding at something else: providing an advanced education in Jewish texts and law in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic,” in contrast to public schools, where children frequently perform poorly on math and science exams.
“Yeshivas aim for something different: Jewish life in service to God and the community. It’s just not the education the state wants.”