Functionally illiterate Chasidim
This weeks Hamodia had a very sad letter from a Chassidishe housewife living in Boro Park. It seems that her husband who was born in NY cannot speak English. He is completely dependent on her for any interaction outside of the Chasidic community. From her letter it is clear that this is not an isolated incident but is a normal phenomenon in many Chasidic groups in NY.
My wonderful capable husband is completely handicapped. He can't call the telephone company without me. Any questions on our credit card bill must be resolved through me.
Yet, if my husband must venture out into the world, even simply via a telephone call he is at a complete disadvantage due to the inadequate command of the English language.
my husband went to take his road test. When he arrived home, I asked him how it went and he sheepishly handed me the paper the instructor had given him. He hadn't been able to figure out whether he had passed or failed.
my husband is a native New Yorker, born and raised. He is also quite intelligent. Yet, when I walked in he was at a complete loss and the nurses were gaping at him in disbelief not comprehending how an American adult could not respond to such elementary questions about his own child without assistance.
This is very sad and is spreading to the non-Chasidic community. I can identify a Yeshivish kid right away by the way they speak Yinglish instead of English. English today is the language of the world and for people living in America not to learn it is a terrible shame.