In an exclusive story this week, The Jewish Week reports on haredi schools in New York State pulling in millions of dollars in federal money earmarked for Internet and telecommunications use – even though many in the ultra-Orthodox community are deeply concerned about the perceived social threat posed by modern technology. The investigation documents that while Jewish schools enroll approximately 4 percent of the state’s K-12 students, they were awarded 22 percent of the state’s total allocations for the federal E-rate program:
“At Yeshivat Avir Yakov, an all-boys school in the chasidic enclave of New Square in New York’s Rockland County, students spend the vast majority of their long school days studying religious texts in spartan classrooms furnished only with battered wooden benches and desks. Unlike their counterparts in public or private schools outside the chasidic community, the boys at Avir Yakov do not have access to the Internet or computers in their school because chasidic leaders view the Internet as a corrupting force capable of undermining their way of life…
So it comes as a surprise that the approximately 3,000-student school has, since 1998, been allotted more than $3.3 million in government funds earmarked for Internet and other telecommunications technology.”
Here is the complete article, Internet-Averse Haredi Schools Reaping Millions In Federal Tech Funds.