Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Betsy DeVos Visits 2 Orthodox Schools In New York — And No Public Ones

(JTA) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited two yeshiva high schools in New York this week, amid allegations that such schools fail to provide an appropriate secular education.

“Secretary DeVos made these historic visits to better understand Jewish education, a unique and time-honored tradition, within the diversity of the American educational tapestry,” said Rabbi Abba Cohen of the ultra-Orthodox organization Agudath Israel of America, which pressed for the visits.

“In these schools, she saw commitment, innovation, inclusion, and values. Hopefully, also, the Secretary has gained a greater appreciation of why Jewish education means nothing less than ‘continuity and survival’ to us… and why we sacrifice so much to provide it to our children.” Cohen said Thursday in an email to JTA.

DeVos visited the Manhattan School for Girls on Tuesday and on Wednesday visited Yeshiva Darchei Torah, a preschool through high school yeshiva with divisions for boys and girls.

The secretary’s visit comes as New York City’s Department of Edcuation investigates whether Hasidic schools provide an adequate secular education to its students. The investigation was launched in, response to allegations by former students of such schools that the city and state failed them and that they were not prepared for life or employment in the outside world. The two schools that DeVos visited do have tracks that prepare students for higher education. Their students also take the state Regents exam, which measures their readiness for higher education.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.