By Rav Elya Brudny, Rav Yaakov Bender and Rav Yisroel Reisman
We are grateful for the outcry of Klal Yisroel, protesting the new State guidelines. It is your chorus of concern that has brought the issue prominence. We must keep the pressure up. Your interest is what will bring hatzlachah in this battle for the heart and soul of our yeshivos.
You have protested specific aspects of the guidelines that would set the curriculum at our yeshivos and mandate long hours of secular study. They want to evaluate which of our teachers are worthy of the job.
We are delighted that the NYS Education Department heard your protests and has taken back its demand for 7 hours per day of secular studies. We are certain that the community pressure and extraordinary siyata diShmaya are the sole reason for this retraction.
Much more work remains to be done. SED is still demanding 17.5 hours a week of secular studies for the upper elementary school grades. SED is still making unreasonable demands, including 17.5 hours a week of secular studies for the upper elementary school grades and is trying to undermine the independence of our yeshivos.
We want to impress upon you that this is all part of a bigger picture. What is at stake is the autonomy of our yeshivos.
Are decisions about yeshiva curriculum, schedule, educational emphasis and hiring to remain in the hands of the menahalim, roshei yeshiva and Vaad Hachinuch, or will they be dictated by the State Education Department and local school districts?
This is the issue.
Never in our long history in this medinah shel chessed have we experienced such an attempted intrusion into the independence of our yeshivos.
With your continued help, Klal Yisroel will be zocheh to the protection and preservation of the autonomy of our mosdos haTorah.