Sunday, July 11, 2010

English, Mathematic and Science for Haredi Schools

Today's article in "Yediot Acharonot"

Photo: Miriam Woelke

A new law forces all haredi school financially supported by the State of Israel, such as SHASS schools or those from the Agudat Israel / Yahadut HaTorah to teach their students English, mathematics and science. Secular Knesset politicians want Haredim to join the work forces instaed of studying Torah the whole day. On the other hand, many Haredim are willing to work or have already been working.

As I have mentioned many times before, the knowledge of Israeli Talmud Torah students is rather poor. No science at all, no English for male students and hardly any maths. Usually male students study Torah and Talmud but no science or basic worldly knowledge. Thus they are mostly unable to find a job. Agudah - girls, on the other hand, study English and computers in order to find a job and support their husband once they are married. 

Of course, the Agudah and SHASS society is not too excited but the Israeli government wants to send out people to check on those schools. Schools belonging to Chassidut Toldot Aharon, Dushinsky, Satmar or Toldot Avraham Yitzchak do not accept government money and are therefore not bound to the new law. 

My personal opinion is that the Rambam would be ashamed today if he saw all those young Yeshiva students who have no clue about physics, medicine or any deeper knowledge about G - d's great creation. 

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