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: www.pearlsny.org.