No Education Too?
I have to say, my most persistent thought on the matter is that I just don't get it. I don't understand why women should be barred from continuing education classes, especially ones specifically designed for these religious women. I don't comprehend why anyone would not want to encourage teachers from being educated. I can not fathom why leaders of the communities would put so many roadblocks in the way of families being able to support themselves. There are so many problems with this proclamation that I barely know where to start.
The adherents of Ultra-Orthodox factions in Israel are trying so hard to do the right thing and to follow their leaders. But, as Krum facetiously pointed out, the leaders' decrees seem almost specifically to cause people to want to leave the religion. Could they possibly make things any more difficult for their followers? I feel as if everything they are encouraging is antithetical to anyone being able to succeed in life.
For example, all men are being encouraged to learn full-time. Which they get paid extremely little for. So, who's supposed to earn a living? Their wives. But of course these livings should only be specifically approved and those professions that are approved are, of course, not ones in which someone is going to earn a decent salary. Then, the families are encouraged to have many children, as many as possible. But the husbands are learning full-time, which means the wives have to work, which means there is no one at home with all those children. But now, if a woman should want to advance her career with continuing education, so that maybe she can work a limited number of hours but earn a higher salary for doing so, she isn't allowed. And many of these women were going to continuing education courses to improve their teaching skills. Now that they are barred from doing so, guess what's going to happen to the education system? The next generation of students, being educated by uneducated teachers is going to suffer, and in the generation after that there is going to be little hope. A self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and ignorance. Great, I'm sure that's the point of men learning Torah full-time.
This paragraph just stood out because it makes no sense to me whatsoever:
The new directives completely cancel the programs equivalent to B.A. studies, as well as the programs for education consultants and didactic diagnosticians, who trace learning impairments. Graduates of teacher seminaries will be able to apply for teaching certificates only after a hiatus of at least one year - to enable them to get married.
Put aside the fact that now women can't, once married, have the equivalent of Bachelor's degrees in order to possibly know what they are talking about. But instead of working for a living to possibly help out their, most likely, overburdened families, or to maybe save a little money before marriage in order that they start out married life not in abject poverty before having as many children as possible in the same number of years, now they can NOT work. Instead, they should date. Great idea.
I could probably go on and on about how this reeks of the subjugation of women and and how it binds so many from success, putting unnecessary burden where it doesn't have to be, and how these kinds of decisions make me mad and sad and make Ultra-Orthodox Judaism seem more and more like a cult, with its fear of having educated women who might actually think for themselves. But I'll finish here with this - I have, in the past, been afraid to proclaim myself a feminist. But when these kind of announcements are made, I am proudly one - meaning I am all for educated women being able to make their own decisions and choose their own paths, not a world in which women's options are obliterated. And if that means I'm a bad Jew, and don't give proper respect to our so-called leaders who apparently don't really want anyone to succeed and be happy, so be it.