January 24, 2013

"Hebrew-English charter school" - Can anybody decipher this for me?

Dual-language French-English immersion public schools have been popular with Canadian elites ever since Pierre Trudeau instituted affirmative action for bilingual Canadians (such as, to pick a random example, Pierre Trudeau). They've proven effective at keeping out the riff-raff, especially less verbally gifted boys.

Here in the U.S., Mandarin immersion schools have become popular as a way to keep out undesirables. For example, remember when Davis Guggenheim drives his kids past three "bad" schools in the beach town of Venice in Waiting for Superman? One of those school has switched over to dual Mandarin-English immersion, and its demographics have switched from 96% Non-Asian Minorities to virtually no NAMs. (See "Waiting for Supermandarin.") 

But a lot of white people seem to actually believe in Mandarin-English programs not just as NAM-repellent, but that their kids will actually learn to speak Mandarin, which would then let them someday announce, "And I, for one, welcome our new Asiatic overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a fellow Mandarin-speaker, I could be useful ..." And that the Chinese will like you for being able to eavesdrop on them. (Do Chinese like white people who speak perfect Chinese? The Japanese, I've heard, are creeped out by the tiny number of whites who speak Japanese without an accent. The Japanese tend to assume that speaking Japanese is a racial characteristic of the Japanese, and thus Japanese-speaking whites are some kind of hellborn mutant.)

A distant in-law of mine in Washington D.C. has put his kids into a dual-language Spanish-English immersion public school. The original plan said it was to have half American kids, half kids of poor Mexican illegal immigrants. But, somehow or other, there was a slip-up and all the Spanish-speaking kids have turned out to be the children of the cultural attaches at the Ecuadorian embassy or of Argentine economists at the World Bank. They intend to get around to fixing that problem, one of these years. 

From the L.A. Daily News:
Hebrew-English charter school in Van Nuys approved by LAUSD 
By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer 
A proposed Hebrew-English charter school in Van Nuys won the approval Tuesday of the LAUSD board ... 
Lashon Academy plans to open in July near Vanowen Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue, operating a dual-immersion program in English and Hebrew. It initially expects to enroll about 290 students in grades K-2, with a target of 660 youngsters in grades K-6 by the end of the five year charter. 
The charter was approved 6-0, with board member Richard Vladovic absent, despite concerns raised by Tamar Galatzan about opening a language-based school. 
"I'm generally supportive of choice," said Galatzan, who represents the Van Nuys area. "This is a choice that parents should make, and it's called private school." 
Superintendent John Deasy pointed out there are several dual-immersion programs operating in Los Angeles Unified to cater to its diverse population. 
"I'm interested to find out who would attend a Hebrew-English program in Van Nuys," Galatzan said, repeating her worries about "private schools masquerading as public schools."

Like Tamar Galatzan, I'm interested to find out who would attend a Hebrew-English program in Van Nuys.

(By the way, my wife's friends who send their kids to Riverside Elementary School with Tamar Galatzan's kids complain that she acts snooty toward them at parent functions, but then she would be a good bet for someday becoming the first Jewish woman mayor of Los Angeles [assuming that 2013 frontrunner Wendy Greuel doesn't convert to her husband's religion between now and election day]. After a stint with the Anti-Defamation League, she's now both on the Board of Education and is a district attorney. Prosecutor is traditional crimefighting stepping stone job on the way to the mayor's office. She seems to be of the Bloomberg/Emmanuel  centrist Jewish anti-teacher's union wing that has been doing well at winning big city elections recently.)

One initial theory was that the Hebrew-English school would be for Jewish parents who want to skimp on paying for their kids' bar/bat mitzvah tutoring. But the school's lengthy application for charter status emphasizes that it will teach Modern Hebrew. Is that used in bar mitzvahs?

Another idea would be that it's being organized by Ultraorthodox black hatters, who are growing rapidly in numbers in Valley Village just south of Van Nuys. In New York state, as in Israel, it's common for the Ultraorthodox to find ways to get the taxpayers to support them. On the other hand, while it's hard to find pictures of the organizers, they don't appear to be black hatters. Many of the individuals listed in the plan for the school are women, some of them businesswomen, and they don't seem to wear headcovering (although maybe they are wearing those Dolly Parton-like wigs that some sects favor - who knows? This stuff is complicated.)

The term "black hatter" comes Michael Chabon's detective novel The Yiddish Policeman's Union, where the Ultraorthodox are the bad guys.

A third idea is that it's intended to benefit Israelis. The application says that Southern California is the second largest home outside of Israel to speakers of Modern Hebrew (after New York). If you are an Israeli immigrant in L.A., it would be nice to have the taxpayers subsidize your kids keeping up their Hebrew so they can go back and forth and be affluent binationals. Los Angeles and Tel Aviv are similar cities in many ways, with similar real estate prices.

A fourth theory is that it's being organized by strongly Zionist American Jews who want to strengthen ties between America and Israel. An article in the New York Jewish Week reports:
Two more Hebrew charter schools recently won approval to open in the United States. 
This week the Los Angeles Unified School District Board formally approved Lashon Academy Charter School, which will be located in Van Nuys. The school plans to launch with 290 students in grades K-2 and eventually expand through sixth grade; organizers have not yet decided whether to open this year or in 2014. 
Lashon, Hebrew for “tongue” or “language” is one of six approved schools backed by the Hebrew Charter School Center (HCSC), a group funded by a partnership of Jewish philanthropists that includes Michael Steinhardt and Harold Grinspoon. 
Two HCSC schools — Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in Brooklyn and Hatikvah International Academy Charter School in East Brunswick, N.J. — are already in operation, collectively enrolling approximately 500 children. Three more will open this fall, in Manhattan, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. ... 
Hebrew charter schools are tuition-free, publicly funded (but privately supplemented) schools that teach Hebrew; most also teach about Israeli culture and some secular aspects of Jewish culture. By law, they are open to children of all backgrounds and are prohibited from teaching or promoting religion.

Philanthropist Michael Steinhardt is an interesting guy. He's a legend in the hedge fund business, founding his first fund in 1967. According to his autobiography No Bull, his father, Sol Frank Steinhardt (a.k.a., Red McGee) was a mobster affiliated with Meyer Lansky. Steinhardt the elder was the top fence for stolen jewelry in the New York area. But, kind of like Michael Corleone, the son was sent to Wharton to learn a more respectable way of making money. He is a co-founder of Birthright Israel, which sends Jewish youths in America to Israel.

In an interview with Jewish Philanthropy, Steinhardt, an atheist, offers his views on Jewish education:
Michael Steinhardt: Non-Orthodox Jewish Education is a Shandah
Posted on JANUARY 8, 2010 Written by EJP

In a rare personal television interview, Michael Steinhardt, one of world Jewry’s most philanthropic benefactors and a co-founder of Birthright Israel, expresses scathing criticism of non-Orthodox Jewish life in the Diaspora (though Steinhardt sees himself as anything but an Orthodox Jew). 
In conversation with Mark S. Golub, president and executive producer of Shalom TV, Steinhardt expresses his deep disappointment with the traditional Hebrew School system (“can there be a worse term in the American Jewish lexicon than ‘Hebrew School’ – there were six kids in the 20th Century who liked it!”) and characterizes many of the young people he has met through Birthright Israel as “Jewish barbarians” who have never experienced a Shabbat dinner. 
Steinhardt expresses his anger with those described as “wonderful educators” in the Reform and Conservative movements for having done “such a poor job under-educating our next generations” by failing to distinguish Jewish values from Christian values. To Steinhardt, it is virtually impossible now to identify a non-Orthodox Jewish student at any secular university from a non-Jewish student. 
“I think that many of the trends that we have seen – such as the fact that 55-60% of non-Orthodox Jews are marrying ‘out,’ such as the fact that only 15% of total philanthropy of Jews goes to Jewish causes – are reflective of that fact that non-Orthodox Jewish education in America has been, and continues to be, a shandah – an abysmal failure.” 
Steinhardt also has some damning things to say about Jewish leadership in America, feeling that there has been much too much emphasis on the Holocaust – “an event of extraordinary enormity” – and misplaced fears about anti-Semitism in America. 
“Anti-Semitism has always been far more mythical than real in America; it’s as if organizations have to create the bogeyman of anti-Semitism in order to raise money.” As long as the Jewish community is obsessed with the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, these concerns detract “from our ability to think about the Jewish future – because it’s hard to be focused intensively on the Holocaust and, at the same time, to think about what we want to accomplish and what we want to be in the 21st Century.” 
Steinhardt offers his assessment of Diaspora Jewry: “It is a moribund Jewish world, continuously losing its young people, whose tz’daka has dramatically changed where only a small fraction of total philanthropy is going to Jewish causes; interest in Israel is declining; the number of American Jews going to Israel is not growing; where the culmination of Jewish life seems to be (for the young person) the bar mitzvah – and from there it is all downhill.” 
For Steinhardt, the most effective tool in instilling a sense of Jewish identity in young people is for them to visit Israel. “They grow up there. They feel more Jewish there.” 
This is not to say that Steinhardt is without criticism of Israel. “Its politicians are, writ large, awful; its businessmen are of less than glorious quality; and when you walk down Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv and you look around at these people and you say, ‘This is who you admire?’ I often say it’s easier to be a Zionist in Manhattan than it is in Tel Aviv.” 
But for Steinhardt, Israel has always been his great love – and his “substitute for religion.” 
“While the religion of Judaism is so deeply disappointing – its practice, its verbiage, its inability to reflect realistically upon our lives; I could forgive almost anything vis-à-vis Israel. Israel was and still is my Jewish miracle!”

America really needs a Jewish college football team for guys like Steinhardt to root for instead of a foreign country.

Anyway, this got me thinking about the common assumption that Mandarin and English will be the dominant languages of business activity in the 21st Century. Why count out Hebrew?

83 comments:

AMac said...

> And I, for one, welcome our new Asiatic overlords.

That quip certainly calls for a tip of the hat to Deep Space Homer, as well as a link to a YouTube clip of that doughty newsman, Kent Brockman.

alonzo portfolio said...

She acts snooty because she went to a law school (Hastings) that's barely ranked in the top 50. In other words, she's suffered the same snootiness from Stanford, Boalt, UCLA, and Davis grads for a long time now, so she's got to pass it on somehow. Since the late '80's, Hastings has been California's AA dumping ground. It specializes in kooky Crit professors.

AMac said...

> A distant in-law of mine in Washington D.C. has put his kids into a dual-language Spanish-English immersion public school. The original plan said it was to have half American kids, half kids of poor Mexican illegal immigrants. But, somehow or other, there was a slip-up and all the Spanish-speaking kids have turned out to be the children of the cultural attaches at the Ecuadorian embassy or of Argentine economists at the World Bank.

It's simply awful when the best-laid plans go astray. We can only extend condolences to the SWPL-American parents whose offspring have been so cruelly swindled out of their hard-earned illegal-immigrant diversity points. Somehow, perhaps, some benefits might trickle across the aether from the tykes of Conquistador-Americans (hey - some are Conquistador-Latin-Americans!).

Still, it's a heart-wrenching development.

el supremo said...

There is a Hebrew charter school in Brooklyn whose students are a bizarre mix of orthodox Jews and industrious Caribbean migrants who want to keep their kids away from ghetto blacks. Having them learn Hebrew despite having no connection was a small price to pay for a self selecting school with an emphasis on academics and good behavior

http://www.theworld.org/2011/09/hebrew-immersion-charter-school-in-new-york/

DaveinHackensack said...

Steinhardt has a point about Judaism as a religion -- the fasting, the paucity of happy holidays, the Hebrew, etc., limit its appeal to Americans, including American Jews. But I wonder if he has considered the consequences of changing the practice of the religion to make it more attractive. There seem to be two completely different ways of making it more attractive: emphasize the Old Testament rigor of it -- and allow proselytizing -- and Judaism might attract the same sort of third worlders who are drawn to Islam, which offers some order and meaning in their shambolic lands.

Or sand down the rough edges of Reform Judaism even more, add some Jewish marketing expertise, and turn it into something similar to the Evangelical Protestant sects that fill megachurches.

I can't imagine Steinhardt would be happy with either outcome, if his real issue is the assimilation of ethnic Jews, because any change to Judaism that makes it more attractive to currently non-religious Jews will also make it attractive to non-Jews. Other than geographic separation (Israel) or discrimination that isolates Jews (pretty much nonexistent in first world countries), what else would prevent assimilation?

Anonymous said...

Steve,

That link to the photo of Tamar Galatzan is weird. Is that photo real, or has it been altered? Her hands seem huge, as though she could palm a basketball.

DaveinHackensack said...

By the way, if Bloomberg and Emmanuel are similar ideologically, what's your take on why NYC is run more effectively than Chicago?

blondie said...

Mandarin is the language of right now. Obviously by the time everyone catches on, it's time to discern what's on the horizon so you can benefit by being one of the few who has learned the language of the emerging market and/or majored in the pertinent area studies.

Didn't you learn anything when the housing bubble burst?

DYork said...

"For Steinhardt, the most effective tool in instilling a sense of Jewish identity in young people is for them to visit Israel. “They grow up there. They feel more Jewish there.”"

Anonymous said...

Could someone similarly start, say, a German-English charter school as a cover for a WASP only school?

Anonymous said...

"By the way, if Bloomberg and Emmanuel are similar ideologically, what's your take on why NYC is run more effectively than Chicago?"

NYC is more attractive to upscale people than Chicago. So, tautologically speaking, it has attracted more of them. Lots of good things have flowed from there.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to find out who would attend a Hebrew-English program in Van Nuys.


Is this a trick question? Ninety-nine percent of them will be Jews.

My brother lives in increasingly "vibrant" Dublin, Ireland. He and his wife send their children to Gaelic schools, where there is a heavy emphasis on teaching in Gaelic. A big part of the reason for their decision is that they do NOT want to send their children to the "vibrant" public schools.

Anonymous said...

what's your take on why NYC is run more effectively than Chicago?


Different demographics in the two cities. Make that very different demographics.

Anonymous said...

“Anti-Semitism has always been far more mythical than real in America; it’s as if organizations have to create the bogeyman of anti-Semitism in order to raise money.”


Pretty damning words, coming from an avowed Jewish supremacist.

jay c said...

I would seriously consider sending my son to a Hebrew immersion school. A few reasons:

1. The average IQ would be much higher than in most other schools, including other charter schools. Maybe he wouldn't be so full of himself if he wasn't the smartest kid in every class.
2. Hebrew is a great language to learn for gaining a better study of the Bible. Even modern Hebrew.
3. Better academics.
4. It sounds cool.

One possible drawback:

We are Messianic believers, which means we study and keep Torah and observe many customs very similar to those of the Jews, but we believe Jesus is the Messiah. I expect there would be a lot of Jewish kids in the school, and my son's acceptance of Jesus could be a serious hindrance to social acceptance.

International Jew said...

The clientele for this Hebrew/English charter school has to be non-orthodox Israeli emigres. For orthodox Jews, the (legally-mandated) avoidance of teaching religion would be a nonstarter. For non-orthodox American-born Jews, the problem would be the heavy emphasis on Hebrew; one hour a day would about max out their kids' motivation.

All in all, an interesting post. I'm impressed, iSteve, with how much you know about us Jews. I sense some of that comes from some genuine sympathy -- an arms-length welcome-to-my-country kind of sympathy, but usually a fair-minded one.

The "distance" between modern and Biblical Hebrew is about like that between our English and Shakespeare's. Attending a 50-50 English-Hebrew school (if that's how this will turn out) would be terrific Bar Mitzvah preparation, but way more than necessary.

Anonymous said...

Ultraorthodox are the modern day Levite priests living from the temple sacrifices.

Anonymous said...

A friend tells me that in Portland, which I gather is a bit vibrant, that there are many dual language schools; English with either Mandarin, Japanese, German, French and some others. These may have the same motivation.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, this got me thinking about the common assumption that Mandarin and English will be the dominant languages of business activity in the 21st Century. Why count out Hebrew?"

I doubt that even Mandarin will be dominant. For Chinese people, the past couple of decades have been the era of The Great Western Information Download, necessary for their meteoric economic rise. China's cognitive elite are being educated in the English speaking West, where they are learning how to participate successfully in the global free market. They also look to their brethren in Hong Kong and Singapore and admire their enormous business success in Asia as primary English speakers.

Time spent by youths learning Hebrew, Spanish, and Mandarin is time not spent learning English vocabulary for the SAT. French is the second most important language to learn in the world given its widespread use by diplomats and European businessmen.

Anonymous said...

French is the second most important language to learn in the world given its widespread use by diplomats and European businessmen.

Not really. Diplomats and virtually all Europeans speak English now.

mel belli said...

they do NOT want to send their children to the "vibrant" public schools.

In the absence of a 14th Amendment, we assume this doesn't require many contortions.

Truth said...

"French is the second most important language to learn in the world given its widespread use by diplomats and European businessmen."

"Mon Homme, je sais que il n'y a pas vrai y et tres fou y je suis mort!"

-Alexis de Tocqueville

International Jew said...

By the way, notice Tamar Galatzan's (a pretty obviously Jewish name) role in this as the voice *against* setting up a Hebrew-English school. That, in a nutshell, summarizes a lot about American Jews' politics. Can you imagine for one moment, if the issue were a Spanish-English school, reporters finding a "Latino leader" to take the anti position?

Anonymous said...

One theory on charter schools is they are organized by real estate interests that own the building being used, or at least manage it. Finding teachers who would rather be in a Hebrew school than an inner city basketball school would not be hard. Hebrew is a good hook to get parents to send their kids. So everything is in place except the financing, which with the charter system is risk free taxpayer money.

In doubt orthodox Jews would send their kids to a school outside their specific sect.

Anonymous said...

I went to Hastings in the late 90s/early 00s. There was, I think, 1 African American. Since this was post-prop 209, the composition of the law school was roughly 1/3 white, 1/3 Asian, and 1/3 Jewish.

It is true the school has a feeling of inferiority towards Boalt (Hastings did, after all, precede Boalt by several decades and was the University of California's first law school). But Davis? You must be joking. Nobody with real options in life wants to be a legislative analyst in Sacramento or assistant DA of Stanislaus County. Come on.

dearieme said...

As I've told you before, the same trick works in Wales: teaching Welsh identifies the sort of English-speaking immigrants you are happy for your children to be at school with. No doubt Latin and Greek could do the same - probably they once did.

anony-mouse said...

Why, other than demographics, is Chicago more crime-ridden than NYC?

1/ Chicago has always been more working class than NYC, and NYC's working class made women's clothing while Chicago's worked in slaughter houses. Its one step from butchering hogs to...

2/ Islands are easier to police-it reduces the number of escape routes.

3/ Chicago has always extolled its criminals more than NYC. No NY gangster ran NY the way Capone ran Chicago. And NYC never had an event like the St Valentine's day massacre.

Anonymous said...

".. it will teach Modern Hebrew. Is that used in bar mitzvahs?"

Is learning to read Modern English useful for reading Shakespeare?

Really all you need for a bar mitzvah is the ability to read the Hebrew alphabet - you don't even need to know what the words you are pronouncing mean. A lot of kids just memorize a tape if they can't even decode fluently.


Anonymous said...

My own kids attend the afore-mentioned Mandarin Immersion school. A few points: It is not an NAM-free zone, but the Chinese (language) kids have next to no contact with the (English only) kids.

The great scores that the school boasts are the product of neighborhood kids; the MI kids are only now in the second grade and required/eligible for the tests. The Taiwanese immigrant principal really turned the school around before it hosted the MI program. She would be a great principal for any school.

The MI program has outgrown the campus and will relocate to the campus of a middle school, taking the portion of the campus that is now home to Goethe Charter. That school teaches German( I don't think it is actually an immersion program) and to the above commenter: yes it is mostly white.

No, I do not welcome a day when we will have Chinese overlords.

Venice dad

Anonymous said...

My own kids attend the afore-mentioned Mandarin Immersion school. A few points: It is not an NAM-free zone, but the Chinese (language) kids have next to no contact with the (English only) kids.

The great scores that the school boasts are the product of neighborhood kids; the MI kids are only now in the second grade and required/eligible for the tests. The Taiwanese immigrant principal really turned the school around before it hosted the MI program. She would be a great principal for any school.

The MI program has outgrown the campus and will relocate to the campus of a middle school, taking the portion of the campus that is now home to Goethe Charter. That school teaches German( I don't think it is actually an immersion program) and to the above commenter: yes it is mostly white. It is moving to the campus of another mostly empty west side middle school in a whiter part of Mar Vista/Venice.

No, I do not welcome a day when we will have Chinese overlords.

Venice dad

Anonymous said...

NYC's police force is a lot larger, better organized, and more sophisticated than what you have in Chicago. NYC has also super gentrified, in parts, because of all the money Wall Street brings in. Then there's also the issue of immigrants, who are not crime-prone and tend to push poor blacks out of the city. NYC is a city of docile immigrants, hipsters, money chasers, and a mean army of supercops.

It's still a bad place to live unless you happen to be really wealthy (like over $500K/yr in income) or have somebody supporting you. For most New Yorkers, life is a struggle - super expensive living, generally bad public schools, crowding, traffic, lack of community, fast paced life, stress, crazy work hours. This is why regular Americans (not including hipsters, trust funders, and supercompetitive careerists) just don't go to New York.

Harry Baldwin said...

Wouldn't it solve several problems if they opened a few Ebonics-English charter schools in most major cities?

blondie said...

"Wouldn't it solve several problems if they opened a few Ebonics-English charter schools in most major cities?"

I'm pretty sure this has already been done.

Anonymous said...

Nj has a bunch of these that were pushed by "modern orthodox" Jews (think very small yarmulka, if at all), trying to avoid paying sky high yeshiva tuition. At least this way these parents can diffuse their more observant parents' anger by explaining there will be some Hebrew/bible/culture classes at these schools, so the grand kids won't be complete goyim.

Anonymous said...

Could someone similarly start, say, a German-English charter school as a cover for a WASP only school?

Here's one:
http://www.goethecharterschool.org/

And another:
http://www.aeacs.org/Home/about-us

And yet another:
http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_14845774

I'm sure Steve Sailer will be along to tell them to start a football team instead any minute now.

SFG said...

"The MI program has outgrown the campus and will relocate to the campus of a middle school, taking the portion of the campus that is now home to Goethe Charter. That school teaches German( I don't think it is actually an immersion program) and to the above commenter: yes it is mostly white. It is moving to the campus of another mostly empty west side middle school in a whiter part of Mar Vista/Venice."

I'm curious: any wacky Jews there dreaming of restarting German-Jewish culture? They had a couple of these guys back in NYC. But, well, it was NYC.

Anonymous said...

Ordinary USAmericans need to speakthe language of the ruling class.

Anonymous said...

In terms of demographics and governance, Chicago is located mid-way between NYC and Detroit.

(Which is not to say that NYC is the acme of city government)

ATBOTL said...

"A friend tells me that in Portland, which I gather is a bit vibrant..."

Portland is the only large city in America that's public school enrollment is majority white. All that wicked socialism and all...

ben tillman said...

By the way, notice Tamar Galatzan's (a pretty obviously Jewish name) role in this as the voice *against* setting up a Hebrew-English school. That, in a nutshell, summarizes a lot about American Jews' politics. Can you imagine for one moment, if the issue were a Spanish-English school, reporters finding a "Latino leader" to take the anti position?

Yet she voted in favor of the Hebrew school.

Anonymous said...

A Zionist is a New Yorker who pays someone else to live in Israel.

Salamanca said...

Check out map of LA public schools language immersion programs.

http://projects.scpr.org/static/maps/bilingual-immersion-programs/

Chris Anderson said...

My 85% Jewish high school hired an Isreali teacher to teach modern Hebrew around 1981 or so. There was the same question as to "why"? No black hats, no Israelis in the student body. My friends had Torah Hebrew at various Temples and Hebrew schools. Moreover, there was an Orthodox day school nearby. My gentile parents thought it was...interesting...that the school was spending tax dollars to teach kids a language only useful in Israel but saw no upside in complaining

Kibernetika said...

My evil plans for the kids in my extended family include the following languages, ordered da capo:

1) English

2) Mandarin

3) Russian

4) German

5) Portugues (do Brasil)

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Japanese being unsettled/creeped out by foreigners speaking native-level Japanese is a bit of a thing of the past.

That is not to say that this is out there, but there are daily examples on television of mixed and and completely non-ethnic Japanese individuals speaking perfect Japanese.

20 years ago, yeah, speaking native level Japanese was practically reason alone to get you your own tv show, but not these days.

Anonymous said...

"French is the second most important language to learn in the world given its widespread use by diplomats and European businessmen."

You sound like a shill for the Canadian federal government. French is not even in the same league as English is and is losing ground rapidly in Europe.

As a Canadian I must caution Americans, who I believe are quite naive on matters of language, that this whole "immersion-bilingualism" thing is a very bad thing. A slippery slope or even worse, a Trojan horse.

Anonymous said...

"that the school was spending tax dollars to teach kids a language only useful in Israel but saw no upside in complaining"

Many of these kids get AP credit for these Hebrew courses which universities recognize, and then get a couple slots higher in their HS class rank because of it, and with it a couple college credits.

spandrell said...

"Do Chinese like white people who speak perfect Chinese? The Japanese, I've heard, are creeped out by the tiny number of whites who speak Japanese without an accent. The Japanese tend to assume that speaking Japanese is a racial characteristic of the Japanese, and thus Japanese-speaking whites are some kind of hellborn mutant"

That's not true, the Japanese do appreciate an interest in their language. They find it hard to believe but they aren't creeped out in the least.

The Chinese also appreciate it. Thing is knowing Mandarin doesn't allow you to eavesdrop much. China has an never-ending stock of country dialects they can resort to if they don't want to be understood. I guess if you were able to understand, say, Wenzhouese, they might be creeped out indeed.

Anonymous said...

My sister was in Japan for thirty years and found that the key to maximum acceptance (that is, maximum acceptance achievable for a gaijin) was to speak Japanese ALMOST perfectly. The Japanese take offense at bad Japanese and find perfection in Japanese by outsiders as weird and unsettling.

Anonymous said...

@DaveinHackensack:

[A]llow proselytizing -- and Judaism might attract the same sort of third worlders who are drawn to Islam.

You are under the misapprehension that Judaism is a religion.

Anonymous said...

Judaism is a religion in the same way that the PICK database program is an operating system. It boots up and offers the same functionality as, say, MS-DOS or OS-8 (not Mac OS 8) but it is actually a database written to run on the raw hardware with a boot loader and all the tools an OS has. Its operatingsystemmness is an aspect of it, but is not its main purpose.

Put another way, Judaism-the-religion is a valid religion, but is only one aspect of Jewishness, and never its most senior one. The Jews are a race, a religion, and many more things, yet not like other races or religions in all ways.

These facts caused me to get heavily into General Semantics many years ago. GS asks the Clintonian question-what is the meaning of is?-and I still haven't figured it out all the way.

Put another way:

1 A car is a method of transportation.
2. A race car is a car.
3. A race car is not a method of transportation.

Each of these is true, (although street legal race cars do exist, most are not, and most can not even be driven on regular roads anymore even aside from legality) yet the contradiction is obvious.

Discuss.....

Matthew said...

"such as the fact that only 15% of total philanthropy of Jews goes to Jewish causes"

Sounds pretty impressive, if you're asking me (though nobody is). What fraction of WASP philanthropy goes to WASP causes? I'd wager it's something along the order of -25%. Yes, that would be negative twenty-five percent, for all the money they give that isn't just non-WASP. but actively anti-WASP, like all those shitty WASP schools that teach Howard Effing Zinn, may he burn in hell, as gospel.

Anonymous said...

Judaism is not a religion because whether someone is a Jew is not generally determined by his or her belief in particular propositions. In other words, one is not a Jew on the basis of his or her belief in something. Belief in X does not make one a Jew; and failure to believe X does not prevent one from being a Jew.

Belief then is neither sufficient nor--incredibly--is it even necessary to be a Jew.

According to Judaism and most Jews, it is biology, in the main, that defines who is a Jew. Of course, like all natural world categories, there is blurriness at the edges.

Essentially, Judaism is a tribal resource-competition strategy with a religious mask.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that would be negative twenty-five percent, for all the money they give that isn't just non-WASP. but actively anti-WASP

The Southern Poverty Law Center is happy for their donations.

Spike Gomes said...

Some older folks in Japan might be weirded out by gaijin speaking flawless Standard Japanese, but for anyone under 40, or with abroad working experience, it's no big thing. Now speaking flawless Japanese in a regional dialect will get you some attention. That brings out the whole "How did this person learn our language?!?" thing. Note, that this can even be the case for Japanese not from the region. Southern Kyushu dialect for example is near impenetrable to most Japanese, and where I was, workers from that area would switch to it when they wanted to say things that they didn't want people to catch on to. They didn't take it too well when one of the Aichi folk figured out what they were saying.

Dahlia said...

"You sound like a shill for the Canadian federal government. French is not even in the same league as English is and is losing ground rapidly in Europe.

As a Canadian I must caution Americans, who I believe are quite naive on matters of language, that this whole "immersion-bilingualism" thing is a very bad thing. A slippery slope or even worse, a Trojan horse."

Comment of the thread... thanks for the laughs.

BTW, how much longer can France put up with the multi-culti before breaking out the guillotines?
They do love themselves and their culture and heritage as our dear English Canadian friend can attest along with every non-French speaking tourist who has ever visited France.
I'd say, not for too much longer.

I once told a German friend, who hates the French with a fury that rivals that of nerds for jocks, that their intolerance and aggression is what has preserved them and their culture. He changed his opinion quite a bit of them as he is saddened by what has been happening in Germany and sees everyone as mostly rolling over.

Anonymous said...

Steinhardt mentions a 55-60% outmarriage rate. The normal number given is 50% (oft quoted by Whiskey). Since a headcount of a certain minority seems almost forbidden, where do these figures originate from?

Anonymous said...

By the way, notice Tamar Galatzan's (a pretty obviously Jewish name)

I checked her photo, a pretty obvious jewish face to go with the name. Is that bad of me to notice?

Anonymous said...

Essentially, Judaism is a tribal resource-competition strategy with a religious mask.

I think that Judaism is a religious mask competition resource with a tribal strategy.

Essentially.

Anonymous said...

They do love themselves and their culture and heritage as our dear English Canadian friend can attest along with every non-French speaking tourist who has ever visited France.

With the French the love of self seems to be more based on culture, custom, and language, not ethnicity. Am I wrong?

Peter the Shark said...

"I once told a German friend, who hates the French with a fury that rivals that of nerds for jocks, that their intolerance and aggression is what has preserved them and their culture. He changed his opinion quite a bit of them as he is saddened by what has been happening in Germany and sees everyone as mostly rolling over."

It's a great point. That is also why I admire French Canadians. That a small population of settlers has been able to survive centuries of onslaughts from the dominant Anglo Protestant culture all around them, yet refuse to give up their language, religion, traditions and culture despite being almost the same people ethnically is pretty remarkable. Unfortunately "multi-culti" Canada seems to be succeeding in slowly destroying even this island of traditional European culture. It is ironic (or maybe not) that multiculturalism seems to be far more destructive and intolerant of unique cultures than "racism" and "nationalism" were.

Peter the Shark said...

Do Chinese like white people who speak perfect Chinese? The Japanese, I've heard, are creeped out by the tiny number of whites who speak Japanese without an accent.

The dirty secret of Chinese is that the "Mandarin" you learn in school is an artificial second language for most Chinese. Almost all Chinese people grow up speaking either a non-standard dialect of Mandarin or what is really a different language entirely (Cantonese, Wu, Taiwanese, etc.) My experience is that Chinese people are usually very happy to speak Mandarin to foreigners, Japanese not so much.

With the Japanese reticence to speak Japanese to foreigners is not always racial. Japanese are trained not to embarass people, and are very sensitive to the awkwardness of others. If you make lots of mistakes speaking Japanese to a Japanese person whom you don't know well then you are putting that person in an awkward position. If he corrects you or admits he can't understand you, he has now shamed you. I think many Japanese feel it's more polite for them to speak bad English and take the shame on themselves. Or better still, just avoid the foreigner entirely.

Anonymous said...

"He and his wife send their children to Gaelic schools, where there is a heavy emphasis on teaching in Gaelic... they do NOT want to send their children to the "vibrant" public schools."

I had heard the Gaelscoileanna were doing well for this very reason, thereby restoring the language in the places one would have least expected it (Dublin, for example, has been a primarily Anglophone city for centuries).

Apparently, a lot of the Catholic schools in France are full as well, even though the Church there is practically moribund (outside of the dogged minority of traditionalists, who make up in enthusiasm what they sorely lack in numbers). Interestingly, though apparently a lot of secularized French parents send their children to Catholic schools to get them away from the vibrant diversity of the public schools, about 10% of students in France's Catholic schools are Muslims, whose conscientious, striving parents want to get them away from the social anarchy and moral chaos of the public school system.


It's more confirmation of the effect that has been noted by Steve before- that ethnic diversity increases tribalism and decreases ideological diversity. This isn't necessarily all bad- it's easy for Westerners to hate their own culture, religion, and history when there are no really credible external threats, but plant something alien and hostile on their front doors- Nigerian gangsters or militant preachers of Jihad- and they develop ethnic and religious loyalty really fast. In that sense, the prospects for Western civilization are less grim than some of us like to think. Unfortunately, though, this process tends to get very, very ugly in its later stages. It'd be better if countries like France could maintain their identity and culture without going through a whole generation of pogroms, riots, and violence, but the politicians don't seem to care about the coming train wreck, which could make the Wars of Religion and the Albigensian Crusade look like walks in the park. (Of course, I hope I am wrong here.)

Cornelius said...

I will echo what Peter the Shark wrote. I've met a few white Americans and Israelis who could speak Mandarin perfectly and they generally had good responses from the Chinese. This may be because most Chinese don't feel as much affection for Mandarin as they do for their native language.

Even the bit of Mandarin I speak has been well received by Chinese people. The only thing that they find weird is that I speak with a Beijing accent.

Nick B Steves said...

Do Chinese like white people who speak perfect Chinese?

My test Chinese co-worker says it does seem very weird and unnatural. He relates his experience in Australia with young (white) Mormon missionaries who spoke Mandarin without flaw or Western accent. "Dislike" may be a strong term, but "taken aback" at least.

alonzo portfolio said...

@Hastings guy early 00's:
Check this out:

http://www.gibsondunn.com/lawyers/dacussen

Ray Sawhill said...

Re France ... The country didn't begin to make sense to me until I woke up to the fact that it isn't one nail-downable thing. It's better understood (or so I found) as two different things, sometimes coexisting and sometimes clashing with each other.

1) Paris, and all that that "Paris" implies -- centralization, abstract principles, empire, vanity, pride, high French culture, revolution, etc.

2) The regions. It's really striking how distinctive the regions are in France -- the Vendée, Brittany, Provence, Alsace, etc. They have very different characteristics (and to some extent different ethnic-y sorts of identities). They're often earthy, particular, "racist," smaller-is-beautiful, and reactionary ... The Vendée, in fact, rebelled against the French Revolution (and was ruthlessly crushed for its efforts in what's sometimes claimed to be the first great modern genocide. It's a fascinating episode to learn about.) I was also struck by how much the regions often resent -- and war and feud with -- Paris. It's often called "la France profonde" -- "deep France."

That whole mixture -- the centralizing ambitions and energies of the "Paris" thing vs the regional pride and decentralizing energies of the regions -- is really what "France" is. Once I grokked that, the whole place came into much better focus for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, is "Melgen" a Sephardic name?

Dude was in the news, back in 2005 - don't ask me how he got his hands on $20 MILLION [unless maybe cocaine and/or money laundering was involved] - I mean, surgeons make a good living, but they ain't THAT wealthy:

Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes
1:52 AM 01/25/2013
dailycaller.com

Documents published online for the first time Thursday indicate that the FBI opened an inquiry into New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez on August 1, 2012, focusing on repeated trips he took to the Dominican Republic with longtime campaign contributor and Miami eye doctor Salomon Melgen. TheDC reported in November that Menendez purchased the service of prostitutes in that Caribbean nation at a series of alcohol-fueled sex parties...

Paradise and Money Lost
By JULIE CRESWELL
Published: August 14, 2005
nytimes.com

...Two days earlier, Securities and Exchange Commission officials had unexpectedly visited KL's offices, demanding to see documents. Now some employees were reporting that Mr. Lee was missing - along with nearly all the money in the firm's accounts...

Fearing that investors would redeem more money from the funds - money the funds may not have had, according to investigators - the firm's principals raced to stop the outflows. One of their biggest investors who was ready to bolt late last year was a local eye surgeon, Dr. Salomon E. Melgen.

By last fall, Dr. Melgen intended to withdraw some of the $12.3 million investment that he and a holding company he controlled had already given to John Kim to manage, according to a lawsuit he filed against the advisory firm and its principals. (Mr. Melgen's lawyer said he would not comment for this article.) Instead, in October, John Kim and Mr. Lee signed a document that guaranteed that Dr. Melgen's $12.3 million would be repaid at the end of January 2005, according to the document. The money was to be set aside in a separate account and traded only by John Kim.

Dr. Melgen had invested an additional $7 million in one of KL's funds and put $1 million in a separate account under an agreement that would allow Mr. Kim to use an airplane owned by Dr. Melgen. Within four months of Dr. Melgen's receiving the signed guarantee, his $20 million investment had disappeared, according to the lawsuit...

Foseti said...

I've had a chance to work with some high-level people from the Bank of Canada and their main financial regulator (OSFI).

Anyone above a certain level there has to pass regular fluency tests in French.

Even the Head of the Bank of Canada (who was just poached by the Bank of England, by the way) had to pass the tests.

Cental banks like to hire lots of econ PHDs to do economic research, but Canada has trouble because those guys (most of whom have English as a second language) don't want to learn a useless third language.

As far as I know, none of them have any employees who only speak French.

Paul Rain said...

Another interesting question.. how closely do the interaction effects of sex (to hell with 'gender') with intermarriage for American Jews track with other American Whites? One suspects that the patterns are more similar to those of the true WASPs than the average American punter.. plenty of male Jews marrying Oriental women, not so many women with a touch as in the white lower classes.

Unsure of any data source which could be analysed to get an idea of the workings of these trends.

Paul Rain said...

Re Matthew.. this is a very good point.

Though of course one must remember that nowadays, sadly, charity by the rich serves a purpose beyond the preservation of people they are kin to. If they don't give generously, it is just as likely that people who would kill them as soon as look at them will vote for someone who will steal from them anyway. As counterproductive as most charity by such persons may be, the consequences of the persons who their charity benefits actually being motivated to participate in the mob rule ruin of the American Republic are likely far worse.

Whiskey said...

Hebrew is a poor bet because change and power comes from technology. While Israel is a player, not as much as say Japan or even Switzerland and certainly Germany.

Re Zionism: Americans, Germans (now), the Europeans are no threat at all to Jews; while the Muslim world is (basically shame at being outclassed by survivors of the Holocaust). A rational appreciation would have arms against Muslims and realize SWPL people might not like Israel (same for Blacks/Hispanics) but as much as they talk about invading to set up Hamas won't do much about it; while most Middle America likes Israel because they see the same WWII-era valor in them.

Israel certainly has a lot of problems, but they're the "normal" problems of a modern industrial country: a corrupt elite, which is also incompetent, influence groups, etc. They're not batshit insane like most Egyptians.

But learning Hebrew is IMHO a poor bet; better to learn say German (Switzerland and Germany still make stuff) or Japanese. Both Germany and Japan after WWII had their elites pretty well decimated and are more healthy because of it.

Mark said...

"15% of total philanthropy of Jews goes to Jewish causes"

I wish my people could legally donate to their causes as ramification-free as this poor (and doubtless undercounted) 15% is able to.

Anonymous said...

The labor of American serfs already funds the largest teacher of modern Hebrew, they may as well keep it up closer to home.

common noun said...

"Since this was post-prop 209, the composition of the law school was roughly 1/3 white, 1/3 Asian, and 1/3 Jewish."

Ah, the joy for Steve's European-American readers to be called a lower-case color as their ethnic identifier. It's like in my second grader's English papers:

Which doesn't belong here:

A) white
B) Asian
c) Jewish

Anonymous said...

"though apparently a lot of secularized French parents send their children to Catholic schools to get them away from the vibrant diversity of the public schools, about 10% of students in France's Catholic schools are Muslims, whose conscientious, striving parents want to get them away from the social anarchy and moral chaos of the public school system"

That's the same in the UK, although the Muslim kids tend to be lower-achievers with (at my kid's school) a perceptible number of thug males, who get given huge leeway by teachers terrified of being called racist (there are also some Muslim geeks who hang with the white geeks). But Muslim parents love Catholic schools, because they know their daughters won't be unrolling condoms onto bananas in 'sex-ed' class.

Anonymous said...

My brother lives in increasingly "vibrant" Dublin, Ireland. He and his wife send their children to Gaelic schools, where there is a heavy emphasis on teaching in Gaelic. A big part of the reason for their decision is that they do NOT want to send their children to the "vibrant" public schools.

My understanding was that all children in Ireland have to learn some Gaelic. Of course for most of them its in one ear and out the other, they wont use it in real life. Unless. . . they want to work in the civil service, then they need it.

Im assuming thats a bit of an IQ bottleneck a bit like latin used to be for the British civil service. These days it keeps out the undesirables and foreigners. Only the 'right' sort of people get their children taught to the required standard plus a few bright ones from lower down the ranks.

Corn said...

I'm a little late to this thread, but this comment struck a chord with me:
"As a Canadian I must caution Americans, who I believe are quite naive on matters of language, that this whole "immersion-bilingualism" thing is a very bad thing. A slippery slope or even worse, a Trojan horse."

I can't help but wonder if this is right. There was a period of time it seemed when whenever someone criticized bilingual education some do-gooder would retort, "Well, at this or that school they've started a bilingual-immersion class so both the immigrant kids AND the native kids can learn a new language."
I also remember during the 2008 campaign when, during a talk on immigration, Obama said, "ALL the kids should learn another language, not just the Spanish speaking ones."
Not that there is anything wrong with speaking multiple languages...... but the cultural traitors never outright say the new Americans should learn English.... they always just changed the subject to bilingual immersion.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Is Israel really all that important anymore to American Jews?
The most anti Israel president since Eisenhwer stillgot over 70% of the Jewish vote.
Most American Jews support a Palestinian state of some sort of another.

Steve, perhaps American Jews DONT WANT a football team to root for.They would rather be geeks and live vicariously through and cheer for the macho Israelis in its various wars against their Semitic cousins.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


With the French the love of self seems to be more based on culture, custom, and language, not ethnicity. Am I wrong?"

Technically no as that is what the French CLAIM at least since the days of Napolean and the Republic where he proclaimed a universal citizenship of sorts modelled not so much after Caesar but Alexander(who to the horror of some HBDers encouraged mass weddings between Persians and Greeks and one of his top generals offered his daughter in marriage to an Indian emperor)

In practice however,the discrimination of non French ethnicities particularly Arabs is obvious and rampant.

Mind you I am not letting these maghrebin youth off the hook for their loathesome behavior but French society does share some culpability by importing these people and never really gave them a chance to assimilate by barring them from the top schools and jobs in both the private and public sector.



1/24/13, 10:49 PM
Peter the Shark said...
"I once told a German friend, who hates the French with a fury that rivals that of nerds for jocks, that their intolerance and aggression is what has preserved them and their culture. He changed his opinion quite a bit of them as he is saddened by what has been happening in Germany and sees everyone as mostly rolling over."

I admire the French as culturally they have greater resolve at preserving their heritage than their Anglo American counterparts.
They take no shit from Muslims and wholeheartedly indulge in blasphemy against Islam while British and American politicians grovel and supplicate toward their Muslim subjects.
And their military is not bad these days either.And dont forget they are the only continental power with a nuclear weapon.


It's a great point. That is also why I admire French Canadians. That a small population of settlers has been able to survive centuries of onslaughts from the dominant Anglo Protestant culture all around them, yet refuse to give up their language, religion, traditions and culture despite being almost the same people ethnically is pretty remarkable. Unfortunately "multi-culti" Canada seems to be succeeding in slowly destroying even this island of traditional European culture. It is ironic (or maybe not) that multiculturalism seems to be far more destructive and intolerant of unique cultures than "racism" and "nationalism" were."


Ironically the presence and difficulty in dealing with French Canadians by the Anglos(descedents of Americans loyalists circa 1788) is the genesis of Canadian multiculturism which may yet undermine French Canadian culture or if the crafty French have their way use the minorities to take over the levers of power in Canada for posterity.

1/25/13, 3:02 AM

Alan said...

the concern for about tax-dollars paying for Hebrew instruction ==would be== legitimate if the same concern was being voiced about tax-dollars being used to teach Latin. Only Roman Catholic priests speak Latin.

Hebrew instruction is not religious instruction. The Hebrew Kingdoms were run by secular Royal Families. The Aaronite Priesthood was only in charge of the Temple rituals.

By the way, (real) Chinese students are recently filling up seats in Israeli colleges and universities. They know a value proposition when they see it.

Anonymous said...

There was a period of time it seemed when whenever someone criticized bilingual education some do-gooder would retort, "Well, at this or that school they've started a bilingual-immersion class so both the immigrant kids AND the native kids can learn a new language."

Just for information, the French-immersion programs in English Canada are typically not for kids from Francophone minorities. They have their own schools. Apparently, though, a lot kids in the Francophone schools start out with very little French, sometimes little more than a French surname.

Cennbeorc

bill said...

@Alan

"The concern for about tax-dollars paying for Hebrew instruction ==would be== legitimate if the same concern was being voiced about tax-dollars being used to teach Latin. Only Roman Catholic priests speak Latin."

Latin is the foundation for Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Rumanian, and French, and so opens up a good portion of the world for those who study it. Its cognates include all western, and some eastern, tongues. English vocabulary consists of 60% Latin derivations.

"Hebrew instruction is not religious instruction."

I think Steve's readers get that.