150+ Rabbis and Jewish Leaders Speak Out On Education in Haredi Yeshivas

We are right now in a critical period as the longstanding fight to ensure educational equality in non-public schools, including Haredi Yeshivas, hits a defining moment. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recently released new regulations that aim to enforce the Substantial Equivalency education law. The public comment period, a window of time designated to us providing feedback on these regulations, is open until May 31st. It is gratifying to see that rabbis and leaders across the Jewish community are speaking up on this issue, and encouraging their fellow Jews to do so, as well.

More than 150 rabbis and Jewish leaders have signed a letter urging NYSED to enforce minimum education standards. In the letter, the rabbinic and communal leaders express their strong support for regulations in Yeshivas, where tens of thousands of Hasidic school children are currently being denied access to a basic secular education. Their resounding message is this: It is upon state officials to act decisively on this issue, to ensure that all students under their jurisdiction are provided with the basic education the law expects.

If you are a rabbi or Jewish leader who would like to add your name to this important letter, please click here.

We, the undersigned, are Jewish leaders and rabbis from across the New York Jewish community, who share deep concern about the lack of secular education in many Haredi yeshivas across New York State.

At this very moment, in violation of state law, tens of thousands of children who attend these yeshivas are being denied even a rudimentary English, math, science, and social studies education. Without instruction in these foundational areas of study, Haredi students are ill-equipped to secure a well-paying job when they enter adulthood. It also severely restricts their personal freedoms and autonomy. This often leads many of these yeshiva graduates to be steeped in poverty, forced to depend on government assistance to make ends meet.

Judaic studies alone is not enough. While our Torah and traditions are enriching, they are not a substitute for formal education in English, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Our speaking out about this injustice is an act of love and fellowship, both a moral and religious obligation. Advocating for Haredi children and their futures is more than just another noble cause deserving of widespread recognition and attention; it is sacred work that we must all take part in in fulfillment of our responsibility as Klal Yisrael, members of the Jewish People.

This is hardly a parochial issue. As Jews, this issue belongs to all of us, regardless of denomination, practice or observance. Indeed, the responsibility lies with us to fervently commit to improving the overall lives and futures of the tens of thousands of Haredi yeshiva students.

Together we call on the New York State Education Department to enforce education standards in Haredi yeshivas. Basic literacy is a basic right. This is the only way to ensure that our Jewish brothers and sisters are granted the opportunity they deserve to gain essential skills to support their growth into the next generation of the Jewish people, upon whom our future depends.


RabbiAbby Stein
Ms.Abigail S. Moore
Alan Divack
Ms.Aliza Mazor
Mrs. Allyne SchwartzAllyne Schwartz
Ms.Andrea Salwen Kopel
Andrew Epstein
RabbiAndy Bachman
Anita Altman
Ms.Arlene Geiger
Audrey Sasson
RabbiAvram Mlotek
RabbiAyelet S. Cohen
MrBarak Epstein
Rabbi, Dr.Barat Ellman
Dr.Barbara S. Kane
RabbiBenjamin Sharff
RabbiBrian Denker
RabbiBurton Visotzky
Carinne Luck
RabbiCharles P Rabinowitz
Charles Rosen
MSClaire Altman
Courtney Walsh
RabbiDaniel Geffen
Mr.Daniel Millstone
RabbiDavid Adelson
RabbiDavid Gedzelman
RabbiDavid L Kline
Debra Kalmuss
RabbiDeena Gottlieb
Dina Charnin
E.Y. Zipris
Prof.Elaine C Klein
RabbiElchanan Weinbach
CantorElizabeth Goldmann
Ms.Elizabeth Mandel
DrEllen Landsberger
RabbiEllen Lippmann
Ellyn Amron Austin
Ms.Erin Greenbaum
Ernest Rubenstein
Eve Landau
Ms.Evelyn Roth
RabbiFelicia Sol
Dr.Frank Schneiger
Gary Dreiblatt
ProfessorGena Raps
Mr.Gilbert Kulick
Gili Getz
RabbiGordon Tucker
RabbiGuy Austrian
RabbiHalina Rubinstein
RabbiHeidi Hoover
Artistic DirectorHeidi Latsky
Helen Rubel
Ms.Hesther Weisberger
RabbiIrving yitz greenberg
RabbiIsmar Schorsch
Dr.Jacqueline Gutwirth
Jamie Allen Black
RabbiJay Michaelson
Ms.Jennifer Bleyer
RabbiJeremy Kalmanofsky
RabbiJessica Goldberg
Dr.Jessica R. Brown
RabbiJill Jacobs
Rabbi Dr.Jo David
RabbiJoel Mosbacher
RabbiJonah Geffen
RabbiJonathan Blake
RabbiJonathan Kligler
Mr.Jonathan Kopp
RabbiJoshua Stanton
RabbiJoshua Strom
Joyce Miller
Rabbi Dr.Judith Edelstein
Dr.Judith Plaskow
RabbiJudy Cohen-Rosenberg
msjudy wood
Dr.Julie Ratner
Karen Bassuk
Ms.Karen Gilden
Karen R. Adler
Karyn Grossman Gershon
kathleen peratis
Lani Santo
RabbiLauren Grabelle Herrmann
Leo Ferguson
Leora Bersohn
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Lisa Gerstel
RabbiLisa Izes
MsLorraine Altman
RabbiMarc Margolius
RabbiMargo Hughes-Robinson
RabbiMarla J. Feldman
Dr,Martha Ackelsberg
Mr.Matt Nosanchuk
Merav Fine Braun
RabbiMichael Strassfeld
MsMichal Bowen
RabbiMike Moskowitz
RabbiMiriam Van Raalte
Mirm Kriegel
Ms.Nancy K Kaufman
RabbiNicole Auerbach
Nigel Savage
Patricia Goldman
Ms.Patricia Kenner
RabboPaul F Resnick
Paul Golin
Pepper Alison
Mr.Peter A Geffen
MrPeter Frey
Phyllis Teicher Goldman
Mr.Pinchas Berger
Rachael Bernstein
RabbiRachel Goldenberg
RabbiRachel Grant Meyer
Political DirectorRachel McCullough
Rachel Spear
RabbiRachel Timoner
Randi Weingarten
RabbiRebecca Weintraub
MrsRikki Kaplan
Mr.Robert Berman
Roberta Abrams
RabbiRoly Matalon
ronnie eldridge
Dr.Roy Levit
ms.ruth messinger
Sally Gottesman
RabbiSara Rich
RabbiSarah Freidson
CantorSarah Myerson
RabbiSarah Reines
RabbiSharon Kleinbaum
RabbiSharon Litwin
MsSheila Chazin
Ms.Sheila Rogers
Shelley Horwitz
RabbiShelley Kovar Becker
DrShlomo Noskow
RabbiSteve Gutow
RabbiSue Oren
RabbiSusan Falk
Mrs.Susan Rizzo
Susan Thal
Ms.Terry Rosenberg
RabbiThomas Gardner
CantorTodd Kipnis
Yael Jacobson-Zieff
RabbiYsoscher Katz

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