Brooklyn, NY – In an effort to raise awareness for the need to provide yeshiva students with a proper secular education, a Brooklyn based organization is spreading its message in a very public forum – a billboard placed on the Prospect Expressway.
The billboard, which proclaims the obligation of parents to provide their sons with a trade, bears the words “It’s your mitzvah. It’s the law,” referencing the Department of Education requirement for private schools to supply students with an education that is “substantially equivalent” to that offered by the public schools. Located on the Prospect Expressway near 4th Avenue, the billboard was paid for by YAFFED, Young Advocates For Fair Education.
“From the age of fourteen, many yeshiva students are cut off completely from any form of secular education,” Naftuli Moster, founded of YAFFED, told VIN News. “Regardless of how you want to teach it, English, science, math, geography and physical education are all things that need to be taught.”
Moster, a 27 year old Brooklyn resident who attended the local Belzer high school, found himself woefully unprepared when he enrolled in college.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” recalled Moster who eventually went to Touro University’s Machon L’Parnassa and just graduated from college with a degree in Psychology. Moster hopes to pursue a masters degree in social work and dreams of becoming a psychologist and serving both members and former members of the chasidic community. He admits that he never envisioned himself as the founder of an organization.
“Imagine if thirty years ago someone had stood up and taken a stand on this issue,” said Moster. “People like me wouldn’t be facing this struggle and hopefully thirty years from now the problem of young men being completely unprepared to support their families will no longer exist.”