Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato Admonishes Yaffed During State Hearing

Queens, NY – New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato questioned the anti-Yeshiva group, Yaffed, during a New York State hearing on education. Pheffer Amato, who is one of the senior members of the New York State Assembly Committee on Education, is known as a leading advocate for nonpublic schools. The Assemblywoman has been responsible for securing funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), along with increasing security grants available to nonpublic schools.

During the hearing, Pheffer Amato, who was the only Jewish Assemblymember present, challenged Yaffed’s executive director regarding the group's sincerity and pointed out the inaccuracies in her statements. “Your rhetoric appears to imply that all Yeshivas fail, that Jewish schools are failures, but in my district the Yeshivas thrive. So why do you paint with such a broad stroke?” asked the Assemblywoman.

Yaffed Executive Director Beatrice Weber responded that their goal was to advocate for the students of failing schools, while specifically praising the schools in the Assemblywoman’s district. However, the Assemblywoman believes that the rhetoric and methods of spreading this message are Antisemitic. “I think your [Yaffed] rhetoric promotes Antisemitism because you’re not giving the full picture that Jewish schools are [predominantly] achieving, while yes some do fail. However, we know that there are public schools in New York City that are failing, so let’s paint a correct picture,” said Pheffer Amato.

The Assemblywoman later stated that “If a school needs help I absolutely want to do everything I can to ensure children get the best education, yet we cannot demonize all Yeshivas and make the world think that Jewish families who send their child to Yeshivas are bad. This type of narrative doesn’t help anyone, but rather only fuels Jewish hate,” said Pheffer Amato.

Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato is currently working on the State budget to provide increased funding for STEM and security opportunities for nonpublic schools.