Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Deborah Feldman's Non-Satmar Upbringing Take Two

OK, a lot of people, including myself, had it wrong. Deborah Feldman didn't go to public school for a significant amount of time. (Some more information was completely deleted, because it might hurt an innocent person not directly involved in the story -- RS)

Sury or Surala Berkowitz AKA Deborah Feldman went to Vien school in Williamsburg which was originally created as a non-Hasidic school (although today it's Hasidic-esque). Numerous witnesses confirmed to us that her name spelled trouble. The school couldn't handle her. Surprisingly, her biggest offense was her potty mouth. Her teachers and school staff became alarmed and disturbed when little Surala spoke to other little kids about intercourse, sex etc. (using much stronger and offensive words). She even explained to them what a "vagina" is and what purpose it serves. (No, I'm not making this up. We heard this information from many  reliable sources.) At that time her mother was pregnant with her little sister and someone was clearly teaching this little girl some very inappropriate stuff, even for a secular environment.

And so, this is how Surala managed to get thrown out of school at such a young age. Her mother couldn't find a school for her, and seriously considered sending her to public school. (According to some sources she actually went to public school for a while, although I can't confirm this with certainty.) Eventually some good hearted Jews found a Jewish school that agreed taking her in. This was the Bais Yakov of Lower East Side, which was obviously far far from a Hasidic school. Still, she was kicked out a couple of times until they finally kicked her out for good at the 7th grade. "She was extremely defiant, with a terrible attitude of understanding better than everyone and not listening to any of her teachers," according to one source.

Now this unfortunate girl was out on the street again.

From numerous schools availabe in Williamsburg, Boro Park and Flatbush, no Hasidic, Litvish or modern school wanted to accept her due to her terrible reputation. The only school that took pity on her and accepted her is the same Satmar school she bashes. Guess why they did it: "Aunt Chaya" whom she calls in her book, strict and cold, among other "compliments", was the one who pulled all the strings to get her in.

Her teacher in Satmar was a loving, caring woman by the name RLS. Her heart went out for this teenager and she invited her over to her house many times and gave her gifts and did everything she could to make her happy.

So, Surala spent four years at Satmar and then this aforementioned aunt lobbied hard to get her a teaching job in Satmar. She kept her teaching job for a while. Deborah mentions this fact in her book, but does not mention that after her wedding she got another job as a teacher in Kiryas Joel. She was obviously very comfortable with the Satmar education system and way of life.

So this is her "thank you" for an institution that was nice to her when others threw her out on the street...

Moreover, when she came into Satmar she already had a seventh grade education... (although frankly, we never saw her grades.) But, in her defense, she actually spent only four years in Satmar. So this might be what she was referring to in her "fourth grade education" accusation.

Much more to come...

Update: A staff member from Bais Yaakov of the East Side sent us this email. Thank you very much:

I knew sarale berkovic when she was in bais yaakov of the east side aka BYLES.
Her grandparents paid tuition for her schooling, she never went to ps.
She went to byles from grades 4-7. Then she was asked to leave cuz she talked too much about christianity and sex.
She lied a lot, told her mom she's travelling to and from williamsburg with a teacher and she told the teacher that she is allowed to take the B39 by herself.
She grew up going to the brooklyn public library on division and marcy ave by herself borrowing whichever book she wanted to totally without parental supervision. Thus the vast knowledge of christianity and sex.
Her grandmother was very good to her, attended all the assemblies and performances. Mother hardly ever showed up. Father would come to PTA. Mother was at that time attending Touro college, she was majoring in psyche. While in college, mrs berkovic published an article in the touro times bashig chassidim and the dating system. She blamed the chassidim for her misery etc.
Sarale got this anti-judaism from her mom from a very young age, prior to her coming to byles.
She spent a beautiful 4 years in byles, but sadly, to protect the rest of our childrens yiddishkeit, we felt she had to leave!


  1. This is called being respectful ?

    And your story doesn't add up BYLES threw her out to protect there children's yiddishkiet but satmer took her in and made her for a teacher for there own kids

    Either the staff memebr at BYLES is lieing or satmer hired a real troubled kid as there theacher

    1. Y can't satmar have troubled souls as preschool teacher???? Satmar rebbi yoel had a policy never to reject a jewish child and deprive them of frum schooling, no matter their level. Today that doesn't happen, if you misbehave byebye. I was kicked out of satmar (!nd today am mature enough to say it was for good reason) but they do hire preschool teachers a bit as chessed. (I'm btw not at all pro. Satmar)

    2. A 8th grade teacher is not a preschool teacher

      she may have gotten the job with protectzia but I question the BYLES part off the story