Wednesday, September 14, 2022


Ben Shapiro thinks assimilation is very important.

Shapiro is pro-assimilation, except at times when defending the refusal to assimilate enables him to accuse his enemies of bigotry. Then lack of assimilation is just fine:

"The media's new war on Hasidic Jewry" is one story in The New York Times -- a long, thorough, and well-reported story on the failings of ultra-Orthodox private schools in New York State, which receive a substantial amount of public funding and mostly fail to provide the education in basic subjects that the funding is supposed to guarantee. There isn't a word in the story about "Left-wing pseudo-morality," unless Shapiro considers it "woke" or "politically correct" to want students in American schools to know English, math, and science.

From the story:
The leaders of New York’s Hasidic community have built scores of private schools to educate children in Jewish law, prayer and tradition — and to wall them off from the secular world. Offering little English and math, and virtually no science or history, they drill students relentlessly, sometimes brutally, during hours of religious lessons conducted in Yiddish.

The result, a New York Times investigation has found, is that generations of children have been systematically denied a basic education, trapping many of them in a cycle of joblessness and dependency....

The schools appear to be operating in violation of state laws that guarantee children an adequate education. Even so, The Times found, the Hasidic boys’ schools have found ways of tapping into enormous sums of government money, collecting more than $1 billion in the past four years alone....

The students in the boys' schools are not simply falling behind. They are suffering from levels of educational deprivation not seen anywhere else in New York, The Times found. Only nine schools in the state had less than 1 percent of students testing at grade level in 2019, the last year for which full data was available. All of them were Hasidic boys’ schools.

Girls receive more secular education because they study fewer religious texts. But they, too, are struggling: About 80 percent of the girls who took standardized tests last year failed.

The boys’ schools cram in secular studies only after a full day of religious lessons. Most offer reading and math just four days a week, often for 90 minutes a day, and only for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Some discourage further secular study at home. “No English books whatsoever,” one school’s rule book warns.
This is what Shapiro and every other right-wing demagogue will tell you is taking place in communities of Hispanics and Muslims: a rejection of assimilation, a refusal to abandon ancestral languages for English, the construction of a culture that isn't American in the midst of America. But accusing his enemies of religious bigotry is Shapiro's go-to move, so Shapiro thinks this rejection of assimilation is just fine.

Many of the students emerge unable to function in English, and therefore unable to hold jobs.
Chaim Fishman, 24, who attended Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov in Williamsburg, said that when he asked English teachers the meaning of words, they often said they did not know them....

Like others in the community, Mr. Fishman tried to learn English on his own, in part by secretly listening to the radio. After managing to leave his yeshiva, he enrolled in public school and was embarrassed at how little he knew.

“I’m the third generation born and raised in New York City,” he said, “and, still, when I was 15, I could barely speak English.”

... Soon after turning 17 in Kiryas Joel, in Orange County, [Joseph] Kraus decided to run away....

Over the next 18 months, he enrolled in remote public school classes but was barely able to use a computer or understand his teachers....

For much of this year, he shared a subsidized room with another homeless man in a Knights Inn on the edge of Liberty, a Catskills town dotted with boarded-up storefronts just an hour from his childhood home.

He spent his days walking the 30 minutes to and from the local library, where he searched for jobs without much success. He said he was recently fired from a diner because he could not write down orders. He lives off food stamps but skips many meals....

Mendy Pape said he left a Hasidic neighborhood in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for Montreal in 2010. He got a job at a bagel factory, but, unable to afford an apartment, he slept on park benches. Despairing, he tried to take his own life.

After six months in a psychiatric hospital, Mr. Pape said he recovered enough to find work and an apartment. A neighbor started to teach him English in her spare time, he said, and gave him his first secular book: “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. He was 28.

Now a nursing school graduate, Mr. Pape said he believes his Hasidic education was designed to keep him from leaving the community.

“I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a bank account, I didn’t have references. I didn’t have any of that because I didn’t even know what any of that was,” he said. “I had no knowledge really of how to speak to people. I thought I was all on my own. That’s the idea I was given in school.”
If these were madrassahs, Ben Shapiro would make it his life's work to denounce them. But defining his enemies as hatemongers is Shapiro's happy place. So reporting on these schools -- whose victims are Jews, and whose enablers include liberals like former New York City mayor Bill de Blasio -- is, in Shapiro's eyes, the real crime.

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