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Intentional Neglect

Intentional Neglect

I am thrilled to see Shulem Deen publicizing the intentional neglect of basic
education in the chasidic world and implying there appears to be a still
darker (illegal) side (“Chasidic Schools Ensure Ignorance And Poverty,” Opinion, Sept. 18).

During my chasidic years, we were enjoined to send our many children away to
yeshivas when they were teens. Although the students were high-school age, 
many of the Lubavitch yeshivas had obtained college accreditation as offering
courses in “philosophy,” “Hebrew language,” etc. Each time my son or daughter
entered, we were asked to sign a blank application for a federal student
grant and told (by the administrators) that they “would fill it in.” We refused, but we were baal
teshuva [returnees to the faith] and college graduates and understood that this [may have constituted] fraud. Most of the
other parents trusted, or accepted, the process. Besides, when someone
refused, they were charged “full” tuition, which was painfully high.

The writer is author of “Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home.”


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