Bill de Blasio

On NYC Yeshiva Probe, DOE Still A Closed Book

Six months after promising an investigation, city remains mum, leaving advocates wondering how serious it will be.

02/16/2016 - 15:19
Deputy Managing Editor

Mum’s still the word at City Hall, six months after the Department of Education vowed to probe charges of substandard secular education for boys at some Brooklyn yeshivas.

And advocates are getting increasingly frustrated.

A complaint by dozens of ex-students, says boys leave yeshiva fluent in multiple languages, but not English. Michael Datikash/JW

100 Jewish Schools To Receive Free Security

City Council set to pass bill that will pay for private guards at private schools of a certain size.

11/29/2015 - 19:00
Deputy Managing Editor

The City Council is set to pass a bill that will require the city to pay for private security guards at roughly 350 private schools across the city, including about 100 Jewish schools.

Councilman David Greenfield speaks at a rally in support of the bill. Courtesy of Councilman Greenfield

Online, Pols Battle It Out Over Rock-Throwing Photo

Twitterstorm leads to calls for Arab-American Association to lose council funding.

10/14/2015 - 20:00
Deputy Managing Director

A Jewish councilman and a prominent Arab-American activist got into a Twitter war over a tweet she posted commending a child’s “courage” for throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. 

A young boy toddles toward Israeli soldiers, rock in hand. Via

Don't Know Much About History

Inside the battle to improve chasidic education.

09/07/2015 - 20:00

When Moshe graduated from his chasidic yeshiva in Borough Park two decades ago, he thought getting a job would be easy. After all, growing up, he was always told by his teachers that chasidic people are the most “desirable to hire.”

Visit any chasidic preschool in Brooklyn and you probably won't hear a single child speaking English. The Jewish Week

Concessions On Both Sides In City’s New Bris Policy

De Blasio drops consent form, Orthodox leaders agree to DNA testing for mohels suspected of giving babies herpes.

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The de Blasio administration and a coalition of rabbinical leaders have seemingly met in the middle over the controversial circumcision ritual of metzitzah b’peh.

Each side has made concessions in the agreement, reached Tuesday, with the city dropping the parental consent form requirement and rabbinical leaders agreeing to ask mohels suspected of infecting infants with herpes following the ritual to undergo DNA testing that could lead to them being banned for life from the practice.

More than 100,000 chasidic and black hat Jews in Brooklyn believe a bris isn’t kosher without metzitzah b’peh. Getty Images

Pre-K On Sunday? Orthodox Groups Divided On New UPK Options

Changes like allowing schools to open six days a week called a good first step by some, unreasonable by others.

02/18/2015 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The de Blasio administration announced rule changes aimed at making it easier for Jewish schools to participate in its signature free universal preschool program. But Jewish organizations are divided on just how helpful these changes will be.

While Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella organization for chasidic and black-hat Orthodox groups, said the new rules represent “meaningful changes,” the Orthodox Union called the changes “cosmetic.” 

The city's new rules will allow preschools to operate six days a week. But would they want to? Michael Datikash/JW

When Universal Pre-K Is Not Universal

02/11/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“We will offer every child, from every borough of this city, truly universal, full-day Pre-K.”

That was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to the children of New York City one year ago in his inaugural State of the City address. The Mayor's pledge of a free pre-K program available to every four-year-old in New York City — regardless of background, religion, or socio-economic status — signaled an exciting and visionary approach to early childhood education for all New York preschoolers.

Jewish Winners, Losers In New Pre-K

DOE rules favor schools on far left and far right.

09/08/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

More than 50,000 4-year-olds headed off to the city’s expanded free preschool program last week. But for Jewish preschools, the new program has only benefitted those at the ends of the religious spectrum, leaving schools in the middle shut out.

Mazel Day School in Brighton Beach, above, is not participating in New York City's pre-K program. Amy Sara Clark/JW

Beyond 'The Hats': Appreciating The Diversity Of Chasidic New York

02/11/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The horrific murder last month of developer Menachem Stark and uproar over the callous media coverage of his life and death has put New York’s chasidic communities again at the center of attention. Whatever the facts established around Mr. Stark’s violent end and business dealings, and apart from the variety of opinions around headlines and protests – and there are sure to be more headlines, there is now a moment to plainly discuss our Hasidic neighbors and their increasingly prominent place in our shared civic life.

Michael Tobman

Left, Right Spar Over De Blasio’s Speech

Open invitation for AIPAC to City Hall riles liberal Jews, spurs debate.

02/04/2014 - 19:00
Assistant Managing Editor

It was supposed to be a routine stop on the busy schedule of a new mayor. In and out, no one gets hurt. A pro-Israel speech at the Hilton, then back to Gracie Mansion.

DeBlasio: Steps into Israel quagmire. Getty Images
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