The Problem With Haredi Education

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz writes:

… I think that this analogy of bicycle riding and training wheels carries profound lessons for us as we chart a course for the chinuch of our precious children in these challenging times. If one takes a few steps back and surveys the overall landscape of how we impart Torah teaching to children and adults, one might be struck by a puzzling dichotomy. We seem to be offering our children a significant array of learning assistance and support after some form of educational failure has occurred. However, very few of these tools are offered to children who are in the critical ‘training-wheels’ phase of their learning experience.

Going back to the bicycle analogy; that would seem to be like having our children start riding their bicycles without the benefit of training wheels, and only providing them to those who severely injure themselves by falling off their bicycles repeatedly.…

This is about as spot on as it gets, I think.

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4 Comments

Filed under Haredim

4 responses to “The Problem With Haredi Education

  1. chief doofis

    Effectively, a ten year old in a Haredi school is expected to be learning material at the same level of difficulty as that studied at Harvard Law school. Additionally, he has to learn at least two foreign languages in order to do so. Failure or lack of interest leaves him with no options. There is no equivalent of Harvard Business school or Med school. If you aren’t good at Gemara, you may just as well vanish in the Haredi (and not so Haredi world)

  2. Yochanan Lavie

    “If you aren’t good at Gemara, you may just as well vanish in the Haredi (and not so Haredi world”

    I have heard that. Meanwhile, the only thing Jews know about tanach is the parshah and the megillot. It is apalling to me that Christians are more biblically literate (even in the Hebrew Bible) than Jews.

  3. chief doofis

    Most Christians don’t even know the New Testament. We are bad, but we aren’t the worst. Ask your Gentile neighbors to name the books of the New Testament, most cannot (unless they are fundamentalists).

    Tragically, orthodox Jewry is very negligent in the study of Tanach (even the “T” in Tanach) What little is taught (mainly to girls) is clouded by overly relying upon a mass of (often conflicting) commentators, rather than upon the text or the literalist commentators (Metsudot, Ibn Ezra, Radak,etc)

    Additionally, Halacha is also ignored. Kids will learn all about oxen. vows, and conditions of servitude, but will learn nothing about KASHRUT until they are in their late teens. Hilchot Nidda, so vital to Jewish life, is never taught at all. You learn it from a private guy after you are engaged!!

  4. thebeacon

    This blog is pretty cool. Just wanted to say hi!

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