Who Should Pay for Jewish Education?
I am in full accord with WJW`s June 1 editorial disagreeing with the budget recently adopted by the Knesset (“Budgeting for Haredi Isolation”. This budget provides an inordinate amount of stipends and grants to the haredi community. This money allows the haredim the ability to pursue their own agenda without any benefit to the Israeli economy. These supports include money flowing to religious schools primarily teaching subjects that would not give the students the requisite tools to be gainfully employed after graduation. The subsidies would also flow to haredi men for full-time religious studies instead of full-time employment. While I certainly applaud people pursuing their education, their education should not be compensated with taxpayer money, without any benefit to the people.
I fondly recall sitting at my grandfather`s knees at his small Bronx shul on Shabbat afternoons in the early 1950s, while he and his cronies would debate the meaning of the week`s Torah portion or the Mishnah. Although the discussion was in Yiddish, a language I did not understand, their joy in discussing the Talmud was palpable. The majority of these men were workers in the garment industry. While these men were quite learned, none of them asked for, nor would they expect, government compensation for their studies. ■
Mitchell Wasson, Olney