Yaffed Responds to Measles Public Health Emergency in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN (04/09/2019) (readMedia)-- In response to breaking news that Mayor de Blasio has issued a measles public health emergency in Brooklyn, Yaffed Executive Director, Naftuli Moster, released the following statement:

"For over six months, Mayor de Blasio did nothing as hundreds of Jewish children became infected with measles. And for over three years and counting, he has done nothing as tens of thousands of Jewish children are denied a sound education daily. Mayor de Blasio is finally acting tough on measles because it's become politically toxic to ignore. If he wants to show he's brave -- and not beholden to Hasidic leaders -- he needs to do the right thing for our children and not play politics with their lives."

The end of March was the deadline for New York City yeshivas to submit to inspection by the New York City Department of Education, according to Mayor de Blasio. At least six yeshivas have been uncooperative, and a group representing them recently filed a lawsuit against the New York State Education Department, resisting new, reasonable guidelines for all non-public schools. A judge will hear oral arguments on Monday in Albany to consider granting a preliminary injunction against the state from enforcing its guidelines.

Yaffed has long advocated for greater oversight of Yeshivas, which have repeatedly failed to meet minimum educational standards. Such oversight could also lead to the prevention or reduction in public health emergencies.

Yeshivas receive millions in state funding, but for years have eschewed the statutory requirement to provide a substantially equivalent education, leaving graduates woefully unprepared to succeed in secular society. Currently, students receive only 90 minutes of secular education in Hasidic boys' elementary schools, and none in high school.