New York State is bankrupt, so let’s add $18 million for Orthodox Jews to study the Talmud

That would be up to $15,000 each for 3,600 students. Hmm. Understand that these students don’t study anything other than the Talmud – no math, for instance – and are thus incapable of working for a living. If their community wants to support them for the rest of their lives, it’s none of my business, but if secular taxpayers are compelled to contribute, that sucks.

ALBANY — What chutzpah!

An $18 million tuition subsidy devised by Gov. Paterson as a political gift to the city’s Orthodox Jewish community has emerged as an 11th-hour sticking point in budget talks, The Post has learned.

The unprecedented expansion of the state’s Tuition Assistance Program – derisively dubbed “Rabbi TAP” by frustrated budget negotiators — guarantees grants of up to $5,000 a year to at least 3,660 students at a few dozen rabbinical schools in the city and suburbs.

Paterson slipped the program into his 2010-11 spending plan while he was planning to run for election and desperately courting political support from the Orthodox. The controversy comes at a time when he’s demanding massive cuts to public colleges and universities.

In Israel, non-ultra-orthodox Jews are fed up with supporting 10% of the adult male population, but not Governor Patterson – it’s not his money.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “New York State is bankrupt, so let’s add $18 million for Orthodox Jews to study the Talmud

  1. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, all taxpayers involuntarily subsidize all manner of religions, charities for “needy”, disease “research”, etc as nonprofits are mysterious entities which often play on guilt and peer pressure/politics

  2. Anonymous

    Seems to me that liberals should be more upset about this than conservatives, considering that taxpayer-funded vouchers to parochial schools have been a part of the Republican Party’s platform for some time now. Meanwhile, dirty old libs like myself don’t much like the idea of taxpayer dollars subsidizing religious education. And math classes are good, if only to help you figure out that $18 million for 3,600 students works out to $5,000 per student, not $15,000.

    Interesting note: I don’t doubt that the numbers here were chosen quite deliberately, as 18 retains special meaning in Hebrew because it’s the numerical value of the word “life,” so Jews often use it for significance (i.e. many Jewish charities solicit donations in factors of $18 — $1,800, $3,600, etc.) — $18 million for 3,600 students. Interesting! Whoever wrote this earmark in new a little bit about what they were doing.

  3. Anonymous

    and all this will continue until the fed. gov’t makes it clear that the feds will not bail out the states. that will have, as its critical result, making the states live with a budget that a sensible banker [are there any?] would be willing to help finance. then we’ll get the needed budgetary discipline. but, the feds under obama are not going to do this, because one of the sensible moves would be to rein in the biggest cost in any state budget — the salaries and benefits of state and local workers — who are big big supporters of the democrats. it’s an ugly problem with no prospect of solution as we follow the path of greece, with no germany to pay our bills.

  4. Priapus

    Dear anonymous math major, I hope you “new” your English too. Oy.