Brooklyn: Elana Sigall’s op-ed (“How to Solve the Yeshiva Problem,” Sept. 18) is significant for its omissions. His assurance that “the state (of New York) will ultimately bear the burden of an undereducated population” is continually proven by the status of undereducated children graduating from New York’s vaunted public schools.
His statement that “poverty in some Hasidic communities is at the highest level of any group in New York State” implies the unstated fact that the Hasidic welfare rate is as high as the highest level. high of all groups in New York State. Is it deplorable that certain groups prefer to do without certain luxuries rather than ask for social assistance and the demoralization it entails for the family? It would seem so, according to the author. The poverty of Hasidic school children could be made up of depriving themselves of certain essential elements of modern life: no television, no cable network, no smartphone, no internet, sale of illicit drugs, excessive promiscuity and divorce, and births out of wedlock.
Hasidic children are raised in the modern world (electricity, indoor plumbing, sanitation, HVAC, banking, transportation) but without being exposed to its excesses. Children should be judged appropriately based on their cultural heritage rather than at intervals that are knowingly inappropriate on the face of Hasidic culture. Does literacy in a language and an alphabet that are not of Roman or Latin origin have no value? Try saying this to Chinese, Arabic, Indian, Turkish or Persian-speaking children. Is Ms. Sigall not familiar with the bar mitzvah ceremony where publicly demonstrated literacy is the mark of maturity into adulthood? It happens at age 13, not in fourth, sixth or eighth grade. It’s the result of years of preparation, not a one-year course. Elliot Neustadter
Cranbury, NJ: In response to letter from Voicer Kenneth Gelnick: I can give the reasons for low public school test rates and why he found that private schools “do a much better job.” The answer to the latter is the parents. Often, parents who can afford private schools for their children are themselves well educated and/or knowingly participate in their children’s schoolwork. Simply throwing money willy-nilly at your public schools does not improve anything. Extra books, equipment – extra stuff doesn’t translate to a good education. Inspired teaching, smaller class sizes to allow for more individual attention, and informed, engaged, and caring parents make for better-educated children. These three things are (obviously) invaluable but fundamental. That’s what you’re missing and that’s why the test scores are low. Anne Solomon
Howard Beach: Attention all baseball players: are you trying to put our barbers and hair salons out of business? Why not go to your local store and get your hair cut? An added bonus would be getting rid of beards so we can see your beautiful faces better! John Novak
Whitsett, North Carolina: America needs another Ellis Island to help better treat immigrants to our country. America was built to be great with the help of immigrants, and so we still need immigrants who want to be American as our population ages and so much infrastructure is needed. Republicans are ferrying migrants to places with no good plan that really protects Americans or migrants. When we had Ellis Island, we were better organized for this kind of process. Let our leaders come together and agree to help solve our immigration problems. Deonia Nephew
Massapequa, LI: A month ago I wrote about seizing Texas buses for security checks, but my letter never made it to print. Now they are coming, many in a day. We must make it more expensive to send migrants here. Impound the buses and planes sent here by Governor Greg Abbott of Texas and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida. Keep them for two months for security checks. Bus owners won’t want their equipment tied up because they can’t make money doing nothing. Ron Boehning
Spring Valley, NY: To Voicer John Woodmaska: I agree with you 100%. Everyone who likes to shoot them, let’s send them to a state that loves guns. Better yet, let’s reduce the amount of aid New Yorkers give to these welfare states. Democrats need to get out there and stop tiptoeing! Dolores McDonald
Utica, NY: Say it’s not! Are you telling us that a totally inexperienced Federalist Society judge, someone recommended by Marco Rubio and handpicked by Donald Trump in a last-minute frenzy to pile up the court system after losing the election, would ignore any law and common sense just for her could allow Trump in his endless quest to delay justice and squirm from the consequences of his treasonous and mercenary activities!? No, we just can’t believe it! Not in our ‘Murica! Jeff and Joan Ganelles
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Garden City, LI: QAnon supports Donald Trump’s return to power by all means, including trying his opponents and publicly executing them. Do you remember Mike Pence? Donald Trump supports QAnon. Much of the GOP backs Donald Trump. Remember this! Paul Falabella
Mamaroneck, NY: Good thing Donald Trump was never good enough to be a professional athlete. After each match, he would say, “We won. His fans would repeat it. Everyone else would vomit. The sport would suck. Paul Matthew
Manhattan: I must respond to the ignorant and bigoted letter in the voice of Ruth Graves criticizing Queen Elizabeth’s German heritage (“Germans always try to rule countries”). It is true that the good Englishman Benjamin Franklin opposed German immigration to America. They spoke no English, had too many descendants and, according to Franklin, would never assimilate. Two generations later, enough German-Americans volunteered to fight the Southern right to own slaves to form an entire corps (the Eleventh) in the Union Army. Two generations later, German-Americans represented the largest ethnic group in the US military during World War II, from privates to distinguished commanders such as Chester Nimitz, Robert Eichelberger and Dwight Eisenhower. The last one, I believe, also made a very good president, although I suppose that in a way he “led” his country. Michael Barhart
Staten Island: To The Voicer Timothy Collins: I agree with your opinion on the King of England and the problems of crime and inflation. You or I, in my opinion, will not be able to resolve any of the aforementioned issues by complaining about them. One day, hopefully, New York will be great again. Jeffrey Van Pelt
Old Bridge, NJ: To Voicer Frank Brady, the Etymologist: I’m refined, so I chose not to use “jackass” (which is synonymous with “donkey”) to make my point, but you brought up the question. If you notice, Jesus may have rode the donkey like a beast of burden, but he didn’t ask him to be one of his apostles. Janet Cecin
Brooklyn: To The Voicer Thomas Sarc: As for the boring Shriners Hospitals for Children commercials with those boring kids Alec and Kaleb, I hope all the kids in your life are happy and healthy. I think you need a trip to the wizard to get yourself a heart. Eileen McIntyre Hughes
Manhattan: Like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis throwing immigrants on the bus and using them as political pawns, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and Mayor Adams throw retirees under the bus stripping them of their traditional Medicare/Medigap medical coverage and replacing it with a private “Advantage” plan that pays for a few standard procedures but is otherwise rife with pre-authorizations and denials while offering Silver Sneakers as bait. Once covered by this “disadvantage” of Medicare, it is very difficult and takes years to return to traditional Medicare. NYC employees like me who retired during COVID-19 could never imagine that our promised lifetime health care would be played like political football because the UFT and the mayor in 2014 raided the Fund health stabilization fund that pays for retiree health care to fund staff increases and union votes. Suzy Sandor