The Journal News has a long article on modesty and anti-technology bans and rules in the Skvere hasidic village of New Square, New York, among them its ban on women driving, a ban that forbids all women from owning a smartphone, even if one is necessary for employment, a ban that forbids men and women to walk on the same side of the street and, well, more and more other bans.
Almost all of this has been reported by FailedMessiah.com previously. But in this long, comprehensive and important Journal News article is a sentence that shocked me:
"Agudath Israel's [Rabbi Avi] Shafran said residents who leave the [New Square] community face significant challenges because of their lack of secular education and unfamiliarity with the outside world."
For the haredi umbrella organization Agudath Israel of America to admit New Square's education is that deficient – something most of us have known for years – is significant. Many non-hasidic haredi boys yeshivas do and adequate job of providing secular education to their students. It isn't necessarily as good as an average good public school, but at least the kids learn something.
On the other hand, in the vast majority of hasidic boys yeshivas the students literally learn almost no math or civic or history or geography or humanities, and they especially do not learn science.
New York State, where New Square is located, and New York City ignore this clear violation of education law in favor of support from the hasidic bloc vote. Hasidic rebbe win in the short term while hasidic kids and the rest of us lose. In the long term, there are no winners, there are just more people on welfare and other government support programs, more suffering, and more darkness in the world.
One can only hope Agudath Israel of America is really moving towards openly admitting this.