According to a directive from New York State’s commissioner of education, the city must collaborate with a Williamsburg yeshiva on a plan to enhance its secular education.
Beatrice Webber, a former Hasidic mother of 10 who now leads Yaffed, the primary advocacy group pushing for changes in secular learning at haredi Orthodox private schools, filed the complaint that resulted in commissioner Betty Rosa’s ruling, which was released last week.
The New York Times broke the news of Rosa’s decision first, noting that it “may be a portent of much harsher regulation of Hasidic schools” and that it is “the first time that the state has taken action against a Hasidic boys’ school.”
Rosa claimed that the Yeshiva Mesivta Arugath Habosem school in Brooklyn had repeatedly refused to follow state education law requiring that it provide instruction in math, English, and other subjects that were “substantially equivalent” to that provided in public schools, and Mayor Eric Adams’ education department had failed to enforce it.
Webber applauded the decision.
She told the Times, “The state did right.” “Hopefully, things will start to change now.”
A representative of a group that stands out for yeshivas on the grounds of religious freedom defended Yeshiva Mesivta Arugath Habosem and referred to the decision as “disappointing.”