Legendary Party Sunday (Not Saturday!); Pressure Mounts for Equivalent Education

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Legendary Party Sunday (Not Saturday!)
2. Pressure Mounts for Equivalent Education

1) Legendary Party Sunday (Not Saturday!)

I don’t want you to miss this Party! It will be LEGENDARY!!!

That’s why I am publishing this important CORRECTION: The MLK Center Summer Sand and Soul Party will be SUNDAY (Not Saturday as incorrectly reported in the last edition).

Full Details: http://mlkmpc.org/2016/06/28/summer-sand-soul-a-day-party-with-a-purpose-fundraiser/

2) Pressure Mounts for Equivalent Education

The movement to ensure equivalent education in New York is gaining momentum. The YAFFED petition now has over 1,400 signers! Have you signed yet? Please sign and share!

Also, several important articles on this subject have been published recently:

Haaretz: Bill De Blasio Must Not Let ultra-Orthodox Jewish Votes Override His Duty to the Law

City Limits: Ultra-Orthodox Yeshivas Need to Meet Their Educational Obligations

The Forward: My Hasidic Students Need You To Support Enforced Secular Education

The Forward: The Flawed Legal Reasoning That Says We Shouldn’t Force Secular Studies on Hasidic Jews

The Journal News: E. Ramapo schools improve, private schools’ ills linger

The Journal News: Hasidic teen risks shunning for schooling

The Journal News: Some E. Ramapo yeshivas fail to prepare pupils in secular studies


Why I Care

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Why I Care (Petition!)
2. Life is Not All Hard Work (Party!)

1) Why I Care

Our human family has been through a lot. Not so long ago we hadn’t figured out how to harness electricity. The smallest thing we knew of was the smallest thing you could see with your naked eye. No one knew how far away the sun or the stars were. Diseases were mysterious; there was no way of knowing anything as tiny as a microbe existed, or that it could kill you.

All of the knowledge and technology that we use and take for granted everyday was obtained through magnificent effort, by men and women who spent their lives increasing the library of human knowledge and achievement. They did this often in the most difficult of circumstances, overcoming war and oppression and ignorance.

This body of work has allowed us to travel, to communicate, and to fend off disease. The legacy belongs equally to all human beings. It is just as wrong to deny a child the light of knowledge as it is to deny a lifesaving medicine derived from that knowledge. One of the greatest contributions of science is the knowledge that we are all one family, linked by our 23 pairs of DNA.

This great storehouse of knowledge is an even more essential inheritance than any notarized will. Every one of us shares in the duty of executor of this greatest inheritance. This is why public education cannot be some line item on anyone’s balance sheet.

This is why ALL schools need to be safe, inviting, hospitable centers of learning and inquiry. This is why the state has a ethical duty, and in NY a constitutional obligation, to ensure that every child receives this inheritance, whether the child is in a public or non-public educational institution or in the home.

Not every child is receiving a quality education. The reason for this embarrassment is lack of political will. There are still too many people who don’t see all children as OUR children, and say “why should I pay for someone else’s child?”

There are even people who oppose education (but who hypocritically use all the technologies that are generated by it).

Malala was shot in the face for going to school. There is a group called Boko Haram in Nigeria whose name actually means “Western education is forbidden”. Here in NY the Grand Rabbi of the Kiryas Joel Satmar recently characterized subjects taught in public school as “disgusting”. He said he is glad that NY State has “turned a blind eye” to children in yeshivas who aren’t learning “general studies” (the subjects most people call English, Math, Science, and History).

There are many organizations advocating for better education. Malala survived the attempt on her life and has gone on to help educate many girls in her home country and around the world, including victims of Boko Haram. YAFFED is an organization in NY holding officials accountable for their duties under NY law.

Power of Ten has consistently advocated for the whole community to step up to our joint responsibility to the children enrolled in public education. This includes not only exposing the abuses of the East Ramapo School Board, but also supporting supplemental programs offered by organizations such as the Martin Luther King Center in Spring Valley.

Power of Ten has also asked readers to support Malala in her quest to provide education to every girl, and now to support YAFFED in its work to bring quality education to NY yeshivas. This is why I am making this personal appeal to you right now, to sign the YAFFED petition.

Please sign today: http://yaffed.nationbuilder.com/petition

2) Life is Not All Hard Work

It’s a fact. You have to take some time out to relax. Here is a chance to enjoy some great music, food, and company, and at the same time support supplemental education at the MLK Center!

It’s happening THIS SUNDAY, so get your tickets NOW: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-sand-soul-a-day-party-with-a-purpose-tickets-26080370089


YAFFED Education Petition on Fire; MLK Party Will Be Legendary!

The Power of Ten

Extra Edition!

In the last issue, I brought to your attention two very important items. In the past three days, the response has been amazing:

1) The petition for equivalent education for yeshiva students already has over 800 signers!!!

If you have not yet signed, please do so now at http://yaffed.nationbuilder.com/sign_the_petition

2) The Kurz Family Foundation has generously created a matching sponsor donation for the Martin Luther King Center Summer Sand and Soul Party in Piermont. That means 100% of your ticket price goes to provide services for children at the Center!!! This is not some rubber chicken event, this is a real blast featuring legendary DJ Ruben (the Bull) Toro!!!

Get your tickets now at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/summer-sand-soul-a-day-party-with-a-purpose-tickets-26080370089

NY Intervenes for Public Students; Non-public Students Still Waiting

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Oversight is Law
2. Petition: All Children Deserve an Education
3. Summer, Sand & Soul – A Day Party With a Purpose

1) Oversight is Law

Governor Cuomo has signed the East Ramapo oversight bill, affirming that the district indeed merits special attention to ensure all students receive the education they deserve.

The law authorizes the State Commissioner of Education to oversee the upcoming district budget to meet students’ needs. In addition, the Commissioner can either approve or deny the sales of public assets, capital contracts over $100,000 and reductions in restored programs.

The district will also be eligible for three million dollars in aid for the 2016-17 school year. Here’s what will happen, according to the law:

— “In order to receive such funds, the school district in consultation with the monitor or monitors shall develop a long term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan within 6 months from the enactment of this act.” This step is already underway.

— “Such plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval.”

— “The board of education of the East Ramapo central school district must conduct a public hearing on the expenditure plan and shall consider the input of the community before adopting such plan.”

— “The commissioner shall disburse the funds after receiving satisfactory evidence from the East Ramapo central school district that the district has complied with the approved comprehensive expenditure plan and spent such funds pursuant to the approved expenditure plan.”

More to come, but the acknowledgement from the Legislature and the Governor that East Ramapo needs state intervention to oversee its budget is an important part of rebuilding trust in our public institutions. While we will need to advocate for continued oversight and additional funds in the years to come (so these e-mail updates are far from over!), fixing the leaky pipe — even for one year, as a start — has been a critical priority in this journey to justice. Thank you to the lawmakers and advocates who made this milestone possible.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through our advocacy, it’s that democracy is slow and hard. I cannot reiterate enough that we are not satisfied and we are not done. But I hope you’ll enjoy your fireworks a little bit more this time around. 

– Andrew Mandel

(editor’s note: this article was written by Mr. Mandel right before the 4th of July; the lateness is my fault, not his. If you are looking for a great way to celebrate, see the party invite below!)

2) Petition: All Children Deserve an Education

In less than two months, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox and Hasidic boys will be returning to their Yeshivas where they will continue to be denied a basic education in English, math, sciences, and social studies


the NYC and NYS Departments of Education act quickly and begin enforcing the laws already in place that require non-public schools to provide an education that is “substantially equivalent” to that of public schools.

Will you speak out on behalf of those helpless children — who are about to be harmed for life — and demand that the city and state take quick action?

You can help make a difference by signing this petition and it only takes two minutes!

Sign the Petition Now

3) Summer, Sand & Soul – A Day Party With a Purpose

Join us for a fun summer day party benefiting critical Children’s Programs at the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, serving children attending schools in the troubled school district of East Ramapo, NY. Our venue, Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar in Piermont, NY, has the largest waterfront deck in the region and its own private beach.

WHEN: Sunday, July 31, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: Pier 701 Restaurant & Bar – 701 Piermont Avenue, Piermont, NY 10968

We are excited to feature legendary DJ Ruben (“the Bull”) Toro. Ruben was a fixture at the famous Club Shelter, and host of #1 rated Kiss Club Classics (Saturday night 98.7FM) and WBLS-FM. Expect a hot summer vibe, with classic soul, funk, house, old & new school favorites, and more.

Tickets will include a buffet-style meal with summer favorites. Feature drink specials will help make this soulful Sunday overlooking the water an event you won’t want to miss! Proceeds from this event will go directly to support the Center’s Children’s Programs.

Click Here to Purchase Your Tickets Today