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New Org. Fights for Religious Liberty in Education

A coalition of families, teachers, and leaders uniting Jewish communities and organizations across Brooklyn announced today the founding of Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools, or PEARLS, a non-profit organization created to educate New Yorkers about the extraordinary importance of the yeshiva school system, and to protect the right of parents to choose a religious education for their children.

The organization is dedicated to continuing to improve the yeshiva curriculum while protecting the fundamental bedrock principal of religious learning.

“Yeshivas are more than just religious schools – they form the backbone that holds entire communities together,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel, founding member. “We are coming together for the first time to help people better understand why these institutions are so vitally important, not just to a religious child’s development, but to the continued vitality of entire Jewish communities. This organization aims to tell our story, and to ensure our schools continue to provide safe, positive learning environments that prepare students for success.”

“One of the bedrocks of our culture is learning and always continuing the quest for knowledge. We take the importance of educating every student and giving him or her the foundation for success as a solemn responsibility. Like parents who prefer their children receive a public or private school education, parents of yeshiva students choose these schools precisely because of the specific instruction offered, and because they are central to their family’s identity and heritage,” said founding member Rabbi David Niederman. “We are proud of the yeshiva education system in New York City that for the last 60 years has produced outstanding and prospering student alumni who have a deep sense of their community and family values because of their education. Our curriculum is constantly evolving to provide the best possible education for our children, while adhering to our culture and beliefs. Every single school in New York City can be improved. We continually strive to provide students with the tools they need to become productive citizens that contribute to society. Therefore, our community leaders have engaged independent academic experts to review the curriculum and make recommendations.”

More than 90,000 students in New York attend yeshivas, bedrock institutions of Jewish learning that teach young men and women how to be thriving, upstanding citizens of their communities. A number of alumni serve as rabbis, teachers and other religious functionaries. Others lead successful careers in business, law, finance, science and technology, while maintaining a strong commitment to the religious and cultural values and traditions that define them as Jews. Instruction at yeshivas emphasize strong analytical and critical thinking skills along with values that instill high ethical and moral character in their students. Parents pay tuition to cover school costs.

For more information about the organization please visit:

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  • 2. What???? wrote:

    I understand this is a press release but it’s extremely vague and altogether confusing.

  • 3. freedom wrote:

    It’s a free country. Let every parent choose how to teach their children. In Soviet Russia they would dictate what children be taught. But this is America! We have religious freedom!

  • 4. irrational? wrote:

    It’s the same as not teaching a child to swim-teaching nothing in secular so that they are not ready to go out and earn a living.More like a sin.

  • 5. Xalum wrote:

    Some of the yeshivas don’t teach English but they don’t teach Jewish studies well either. Boys yeshivas put too much emphasis on gemara. How much of chumash is taught, or Nach? How well are students taught to write, or even read? Do they know Hebrew or Yiddish well? How much practical halacha, like Shabbos dinim or laws of bein adam l’chaveiro are emphasized.? Are they taught to see the G-dliness in and appreciate Hashem’s creations? Are students given an apprecation of Jewish hostory?

  • 6. not everyone wants wrote:

    his child to learn english in the younger grades, we did’t teach our son son english till he was 12 years old, yes l know it’s around for younger children, the rebbe hold not before 9, what we did was get a tutor for after yeshiva, he’s now in columbia universty, the foundation is fear of heaven first
    serel maness we are quite proud of him, k’ah his and ka ol is in the right place

  • 8. sin?irrational? wrote:

    so..u have the choice to send your kid elsewhere…but every parent should have the right to choose the education they deem best for their child…and the awareness that parnassa is in G-ds hands helps too…plz the most successful businessmen here are israelis who not only never learned engish but can still hardly speak it….no need to look too far but those boys that got the real jewish ed have way more sharpened brains than others,,,they can learn what takes 12 yrs of school in about a month..whenever they choose. but dont argue against the Rebbes will not to teach secular at young ages


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