Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Declare That Women Must Not Be Educated At Universities

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis in the Satmar sect have banned women from going to university as a “dangerous” threat to their faith. A decree has been issued against what is described as what “has lately become the new trend that girls and married women are pursuing degrees in special education. Some attend classes and others online. And so we’d like to let their parents know that it is against the Torah.”

With their decree, the rabbis put themselves in the same company of the most extreme Islamic clerics. The rabbis pledge that

“We will be very strict about this. No girls attending our school are allowed to study and get a degree. It is dangerous. Girls who will not abide will be forced to leave our school. Also, we will not give any jobs or teaching position in the school to girls who’ve been to college or have a degree. We have to keep our school safe and we can’t allow any secular influences in our holy environment. It is against the base upon which our Mosed was built.”

The rabbis are described as “pre-enlightenment” in their religious interpretations. They dress in 19th century Eastern European dress including long black coats and black hats. Women must cover their hair and wear modest dress.

We have previously discussed how ultra-orthodox rabbis have banned girls over five from riding bikes as “provocative.’

So morality demands that women not be educated, ride bikes, or enjoy equality with men. “Pre-enlightment” seems too generous a description for such views.

43 thoughts on “Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Declare That Women Must Not Be Educated At Universities”

  1. @paul

    well, there are other mitigating factors. Unfortunately my niece has one of those “bully me” signs on her. She has been bullied since kindergarten so I think taking her out of the mileau and allowing her to focus on working with the dogs which has increased her confidence so much is key. This child is working with “yuuge” animals – wearing work gloves and withstanding being bitten. Screw high school and all that bs is what I am thinking in her case.

  2. @Paul

    my niece lives in Vegas – part of the Clark County school district. She is currently in a vocational high school but locked in to a track. I think she should devote herself full time to dog training and get her hs diploma online.

    1. Autumn – if she is really bright she will not get the same quality education online that she would get in a classroom. However, if she is bright she can get through the computer classes pretty fast.

  3. @Paul

    My niece just turned 16 this year – she is very bright – a wonderful artist and avid reader – who excels at math too (!!) and is SO bored with high school. She’s currently doing an internship with a man who trains dogs – both those who sniff out drugs/explosives as well as training the ultra riches’ pooches. I keep telling my sister THIS is her ticket to success.

    1. Autumn – some school districts allow their brighter students to take community college courses at about her age.

  4. @Paul

    Are you familiar with John Taylor Gatto? I think he was a good critic of the US educational system. Personally, I think college for all is overrated. Many of my friends in Switzerland and Germany have kids who went the vocational route rather than pre-university. They left school at 16 and entered into internships – which were paid for by the state btw. After an intensive work/academic track in their respective fields at 18 they are “para professionals” – my god daughter is a pharmacy tech – making good money and living a dolce vita. Compare that to here where kids must complete the trek through high school and then go to a community/technical college – which they must pay for and much of the curriculum focuses on all the things they should have already learned – math, science, liberal arts…

    1. Autumn – I do not believe that college is for everyone. I don’t believe high school is for everyone.

  5. Bam Bam – great post.

    This article reminded me a lot of the Amish, who are only permitted an 8th grade education, at most, and the women are especially sheltered.

    I do not agree with it (and such a prohibition brings to mind that part in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast about Gaston’s idea of a woman’s place, which is not “thinking.”) I think it’s an absurd, restrictive rule that targets women.

    My greatest question is do they force women to remain in the ultra orthodox society? Do they beat them and physically prevent them from leaving? Or is it like the Amish? You don’t like it? Then leave at 18 after having a great time on rumrspringa. (Which is a bit late for the Amish since they only get educated until the 8th grade and then have to get a GED.)

    I do not find the Amish or the Ultra Orthodox Jews to be morally equivalent with extremist Muslims, because they do not mutilate girls, nor do they (to the best of my knowledge) beat or murder people who go against their religious prohibitions. They also do not try to force the entire world to join their own extremist version of the religion, such as certain terrorist organizations seek to do. BUT, if ultra orthodox Jews engage in violence to keep women subjugated and never allow them to leave the faith, then that is utterly and completely wrong.

    1. Karen S – if all you are going to do is farm and build furniture an 8th grade education is all you need. After that you are over-educated.

      1. Depends on what you learned to age 13. The schools waste gobs time on non-academic mush, they run 8 months of the year as if the harvest were due even though 1.2% of the value added in this country is attributable to agriculture (and most farm households have other income sources), they cannot set priorities, introduce general science instruction the kids will forget when the kids haven’t mastered algebra or English grammar, and do not drill the young in history or geography or civics, favoring shizzy ‘social studies’ classes. At the secondary level, the bulk of the manpower deployed is so for half-assed liberal education rather than vocational instruction (the town I grew up in had a VoTech high school which enrolled about 20% of the secondary students in the district; the share enrolled in the co-operative VoTech schools in the suburbs was lower).

        1. You are right about junior and high school just wasting huge amounts of students’ time. In many places, Grades K-12 are about the equivalent of the old Bedlam, where patients were chained to walls and put in strait jackets, etc. – – NOT because it helped the patients, but because it made things easier on the people who worked at Bedlam.

          It is also why the Democrats and teachers’ unions are so against school vouchers and charter schools. They tend to work better than traditional Public Schools.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

      2. Paul Shulte, actually there is nothing wrong with farming and building furniture, one difference between Ultra Orthodox Jews and the Amish is that the Amish refuse Welfare Payments where several million Orthodox Jews in NY and NJ and Israel depend on it.

        1. Kurt J – as I has said, I do not believe high school is for everyone and I don’t believe college is for everyone.

    2. Karen S

      To answer your question, there is no compulsion to remain within one of these religious communities. Doors are not locked and people are not denied the freedom to come and go as they choose. If, however, the question is whether there are there societal pressures and/or social restraints with regard to a decision to leave and/or abandon your community, along with its rules and traditions, my answer would be a resounding yes. Probably. It takes a strong person, of any religion or faith, to break, completely, from that religious society and/or community when that kind of a sheltered society and/or community is the only life that one has known. The pressure to remain within that community and to continue upholding its laws is vastly different, however, from having your life threatened or your physical safety placed in jeopardy. Islamic extremists, to which JT so glibly compared these Jewish individuals, have no such concept of according individuals the freedom to remain or not remain within their religion. Anyone with the audacity to dare to convert to another faith has a target on his back. That person is not safe, and his family–who may be unrelated to his decision–also faces a threat to its safety.

      I find it astonishing–quite literally–that JT would mock and denigrate others with an assertion that THEY DRESS IN 19TH CENTURY EASTERN EUROPEAN DRESS, INCLUDING LONG BLACK COATS AND BLACK HATS. WOMEN MUST COVER THEIR HAIR AND WEAR MODEST DRESS.

      Tell me, does JT also mock and ridicule, those of his own faith, such as nuns, who still wear habits, down to the floor and where only their hands and face are allowed to be revealed? Hmmm? Perhaps my memory fails me, but I do not recall ever reading even one article denigrating the manner in which many nuns, of specific orders around the globe, still dress to this day. One need not be Catholic–and I am not Catholic–to admire the devotion, as evidenced through the manner of dress, displayed via the way in which these devoted and religious individuals choose to continue clothe themselves. Rather than a point of derision, it is a testament to their quest to maintain tradition and to uphold a certain level of modesty. It’s unfortunate that JT, a purportedly educated person, is incapable of grasping the irony of mocking one group, with which he does not identify, and at the same time respect and revere those of his own religion acting in exactly the same way. Learn some respect, JT.

      While you’re at it, just L-E-A-R-N. Despite your broad and uneducated announcement, women in these ultra-Orthodox communities are NOT required to cover their hair. Simple as that. Among the ultra-Orthodox, ONLY women who are married are expected to cover their heads. Again, it’s a modesty thing. Again, how does that impact your life? If you have an issue with it, and, you obviously do, please write an article on the funny and outrageous manner in which the Amish and the Mennonite women wish to dress and cover their heads. I dare you. While you are at it, please write a detailed essay about the idiocy of nuns and priests wearing the strange clothing that they do, as well. I will microwave some popcorn for this one.

      You may also wish to use some of that curiosity to actually learn why some of these rabbis, in these ultra religious communities, viewed the riding of bikes, by girls over a certain age, as provocative. While I am no expert, a quick study of these societies would reveal that since girls and women in the community are not allowed to wear trousers or pants–it is considered to be the wearing of male clothing–the girls and women are always dressed in skirts and would, by necessity, be riding bikes in skirts, which would be immodest. Not such a difficult concept to grasp. Please tell me, again, how any of this is your concern?

  6. Well put bam bam. When ever I read/hear a hit piece like this I always wonder, what is the rape, murder or crime rate of these Orthodox, Amish or Mennonite communities? Something tells me they are lower than our progressive enlightened society. And yet, we judge them.

    1. You seem to have a Hollywood interpretation of Mennonites, they do not have a distinctive dress or appearance, they do not have restriction on technology. Mennonites, like the Amish, are Pacifists and share a German/Swiss heritage, but there are more differences than similarities. We have a Mennonite High School in my area which is popular with non-Mennonites and I can’t remember ever reading a negative article about Mennonites. Greenwood, Delaware area is there general location, you can search for a negative article about them.

  7. @jischinger

    re: “Cut US tax payer funding to Israel – they are not a democratic nation – and I bet you they would do what the Saudis do.”

    I agree – 10.5 million of our monies go to Israel DAILY! Meanwhile, here in the US we have crumbling infrastructure, under funded public defenders, firefighters, schools without heat / AC, ever increasing student debt, 0 access to medical care for millions, etc.


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