April 15, 2024
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Uri L’Tzedek Asks for State Oversight in Ramapo

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz  and Rabbi Ari Hart of Uri L’Tzedek have joined Rockland Clergy for Social Justice to protest “the brewing crisis” in the East Ramapo school district, where anti-Semitism is up since the district budgets have been cut by $11 million. Many blame the school board, where a majority of the members are haredi. Others blame the federal and state government for cuts. Other Jewish communities are carefully watching this situation. This district has 20,000 yeshiva students and 9,000 public school students. This week the rabbis circulated a petition to N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo, asking him to step in and take a good hard look at what is going on. In part the petition reads:

The Talmud teaches that “The world endures only for the sake of the breath of school children.” It is in that spirit that the Jewish people have valued education so highly for thousands of years…. That is why it is so upsetting to hear about the disruption of educational services to children in East Ramapo public schools. …Whatever the underlying issues, it has become clear that the current structure is not serving the needs of Rockland County’s children. We are concerned that the civil right to an equal and proper education is possibly being denied to some of our fellow Americans. Concurrently, an equally alarming trend is brewing. We are alarmed at rising rates of anti-Semitic incidents and sentiment in Rockland County. We believe that these incidents are stemming from misunderstanding and anger at the situation, primarily in the schools. As Jews, we cannot stand idly by while children suffer and while anti-Semitic tensions rise. Especially when our Jewish community, with a supermajority of the school board, is so deeply involved in this matter. We are deeply troubled by this whole situation, and believe the immediate state oversight is required to preserve the peace in Rockland County and to provide a fair education for the children in East Ramapo Central School district.”

 

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