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April 6, 2016


Why Tennessee should love the Bible


You know what else they possess? Staggering quantities of public assistance. Take the overwhelmingly Hasidic Kiryas Joel, the poorest place in America. As the Times reported last year, “half of [its] residents receive food stamps, and one third receive Medicaid benefits and rely on federal vouchers to help pay their housing costs.” And boy, do they have children: The median household in Kiryas Joel has six people, and the median age is twelve. Many of its men learn Torah full-time instead of working, and the community’s low high-school graduation rate would be even lower if its religious schools had real academic standards. These kids are hardly being “socialized to the world of work.” And it’s not just Kiryas Joel: back in 1996, at the heart of “welfare reform,” a full third of Williamsburg’s Hasidim received public assistance.
Welfare is, and has been for some time, a crucial ingredient in these communities. While Hasidim take care of their own, they also get taxpayers to take care of them. Like Israeli Haredim, Kiryas Joel’s Hasidim vote together to secure, for instance, a “luxurious 60-bed postnatal maternal care center… built with $10 million in state and federal grants.” Off the record, New York City officials admit that Williamsburg’s Hasidim “work the system,” and experts who don’t have to be reelected come out and just admit there’s widespread fraud. As Shmarya Rosenberg has argued, the Haredi birthrate, to be sustainable, requires large and consistent infusions of cash from outside. In Williamsburg, welfare really is a lifestyle.
What’s amazing is that these are, detail for detail, the exact welfare ghosts of Commentary’s past. Public subsidies incentivize industrial birthing. Welfare discourages remunerative work. A parallel, insular society evolves, dependent on the outside world and contemptuous of its values. It’s wrong for Commentary to valorize an Orthodox demographic boom that depends heavily on the welfare state, given that for decades they have attacked those very institutions for promoting those very trends among the poor. But then again, Haredi children are the key to “Jewish continuity”… so yea, Commentary will be coming to the bris.


Bill to make Bible official state book goes to Tenn. governor


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  1. opheliart permalink

    yoh April 6, 2016 at 10:03 am
    “As if people in Tennessee didn’t find enough reasons to engage in incestuous relations. Now they can claim its not only biblical but officially endorsed by the state government.”


    why is it we never see the secularists addressing these other mandates? are they afraid of being called anti-semitic? but saying those of TENNESSEE are of incest in their relationships is okay?

    wow … just wow … might the atheist be blind and dangerously rude? what is his intent?

    *and btw, YOH is a new yorker

  2. opheliart permalink

    maybe they fear the YOHs of the nation are trying to turn the US into an HASIDIC- MUSLIM state? perhaps a crislam (roman catholic christianity and islam) in honor of the current roman pontiff?

  3. opheliart permalink

    you never know what arrogant elitist ___ hater will be their professor 😦

    • opheliart permalink

      definitely worth a read

      In the past few weeks, anxious high school seniors across the country have received admissions decisions from colleges. Some might feel like they’ve won the lottery; others have dashed hopes and diminished confidence. Few in either category realize how little these outcomes matter in the long run; that, as Frank Bruni puts it, “where you go is not who you’ll be.”

      Regardless of where the cards fall, a growing number of educational experts and thought leaders have some counterintuitive advice: don’t send your kids to college . . . at least not yet.

      Our conveyor belt to college has striking costs. Nationally, one-third of college freshmen don’t return for a second year. Kids take about six years to complete a degree, and only 9 percent of students from low-income backgrounds will have a degree by the time they turn 24. Beyond this, stress among college students is alarmingly high and rising each year with the majority of students feeling consistently anxious, overwhelmed or hopeless. These concerning trends are playing out from community college to the Ivy League.

      The outlook for those who graduate is not what it once was: students are saddled by unprecedented levels of debt and few leave campus with the skills employers value most. One recent study showed that while 96 percent of college administrators think their graduates are ready for the work force, just 11 percent of employers agree.

      The current system is failing our kids, country and economy. How will we fix it? We need to get back to basics and ask: “What do today’s kids most need to learn, and how do we re-design the system around that?”

      A growing number of colleges have begun to embrace a novel solution: change the outcomes of college by changing the inputs. What if college freshmen arrived on campus not burnt out from having been “excellent sheep” in high school, but instead refreshed, focused and prepared to take full advantage of the rich resources and opportunities colleges have to offer?

      The “gap year,” a common practice across Europe and Australia, has yet to take root in the United States. A primary barrier is the stigma we associate with the term – it conveys privilege and frivolity and is often viewed either as a luxury for a select few, or remediation for kids who didn’t get into the college of their choice.

      And yet, the research shows undeniable, positive impacts in terms of increased maturity, confidence and achievement. A recent Middlebury study showed that students who take a year off before arriving outperform their peers in their academic and extracurricular engagement on campus. And the American Gap Association reports that students who take a year before college are 75 percent more likely to be “happy” or “extremely satisfied” with their careers post-college.

      Given its known benefits, it’s time to rebrand the “gap year” as anything but a “gap.” When used intentionally, the year before college can be a bridge, a launch pad and a new rite of passage. It’s the students who find the courage to step off the treadmill – replacing textbooks with experience and achievement with exploration – who are best prepared for life after high school. And a growing number of colleges are taking notice.

      Bill Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s undergraduate admissions dean, wrote a manifesto about the need for students to take time off before college. Rick Shaw, Stanford’s undergraduate admissions dean, now speaks about the value of non-linear paths and the learning and growth that come from risk taking and failure, as opposed to perfect records. Princeton, Tufts and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have recently developed “bridge year” programs that encourage – and pay for – students to spend a year immersed in the world before arriving on campus.

      Growing evidence also shows that a structured “bridge year” can be a game-changer for low-income students by helping them develop the growth mindset and grit associated with college persistence and completion. Reflecting this, scholarships for students who have historically not had these opportunities are growing as well. For example, at Global Citizen Year, the organization I founded and lead, our goal is to find the highest potential students we can, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Since 2010 we have disbursed over $6 million in financial aid with 80 percent of each year’s class receiving need-based financial aid.

      Admissions criteria are changing to give preference to students with real world experience. In January, Harvard and more than 80 other colleges released Turning the Tide, a blueprint for de-escalating the admissions arms race by focusing less on personal achievement and more on values, integrity and commitment to others. One proposed pathway is to give an admissions boost to students who take a service year before arrival.

      As it becomes increasingly evident that our educational system is failing so many, it’s time to demand a stronger foundation for kids from all backgrounds.

      Whether celebration or disappointment characterize admissions season for your family, one thing is clear: regardless of which school your child chooses, you would be wise not to send your kid to college . . . at least not yet.

  4. opheliart permalink


    North Carolina enacted a law prohibiting local LGBT protections, including allowing access to public bathrooms based on gender identity. As a result, there has been a backlash including New York and Connecticut have cut off state-funded travel to North Carolina and PayPal halting their new headquarters in Charlotte. – See more at:

    let’s get this straight …

    they host (at the expense of TAXPAYER dollars) a man who is CLEARLY HEAD OF THIS LAW BY WAY OF HIS DOCTRINE… to its city … NEW YORK-NEW YORK … give him the royal treatment (he even met with THE kim davis, at one point somewhere during his visit,telling her to keep up the good work)


    gee, look at what we did to kim davis and now north carolina, but WOULD NOT DO TO THE POPE OF A RELIGION COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY AGAINST SSM and much more regarding LGBT!

    WOW … JUST WOW … such fricking HYPOCRITES!

  5. opheliart permalink

    wonder how many of those nc bashers and tn bashers are anti-israel … you know, the ones pro-palestine

    wouldn’t that just take the cake

    it makes no sense to be a supporter of palestine’s sharia law while bashing …

  6. opheliart permalink

    seems garson and salkin have a debt to pay …

    how much is it worth to them?

  7. opheliart permalink

    I wash my hands of this. if israel gets bombed … it gets bombed.

  8. opheliart permalink

    RICHARD MCNEIL Apr 6, 2016 at 8:13 pm
    So that makes it accurate or acceptable? There are absolutely ignorant individuals who call themselves by Christ’s name yet act in a way that proves they are not his. Hypocrisy is hardly endemic only to religions. The larger point is that to Christians, the expression “The Bible” connotes the message about the first and second coming of our Lord Jesus the anointed. The parts of the OT (Tanakh for our Jewish readers) that specifically deal with Israel’s history and struggles with disobedience cannot be used to indict modern Christians who truly attempt to be followers of Christ in word AND deed. Those who cast such aspersions on the faith are either ignorant of the true meaning of the scriptures or are willfully biased against them.

    – See more at:

    • opheliart permalink

      i no longer have use for the OT … and the torah? what has this business to do with ME?

  9. opheliart permalink

    Rich April 6, 2016 at 7:44 pm
    Now show us the Bible verse where it says to worship Jesus Christ, instead of God.

    show the world in the bible where it says to follow a pope of the roman catholic church, its doctrine or any of its bishops?

    can’t hear you JOHN FEA. did you say something about your religious gods?

    didn’t think so because you never quite get around to admitting the truth about your holy father, but others will do it for you …

    that, dear sir, you can count on

    and won’t you be running

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