At Moms for Liberty, a rabbi’s Jewish message


Moms for Liberty made headlines last month when an Indiana chapter published in its newsletter a quote widely attributed to Adolf Hitler: “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future.” By the time Moms convened its national summit last week in Philadelphia, the parental-rights organization had been labeled as an antisemitic hate group that extols Hitler. Among the speakers in Philadelphia were former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley — and Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values.

Here’s what Rabbi Menken told the group:

Sometimes a hat is a certificate of authenticity. … But for those who didn’t catch that, I am Jewish. And because I worship Judaism, I do not worship “wokeism.” And for nearly 250 years in this country, nobody tried to coerce us otherwise.

Because I worship Judaism, I believe there are two genders — “Male and female He created them.” No one can tell me there are 20, or the catechism, the woke credo, that a boy can be born in a girl’s body. Follow the science.

I also believe that men do not belong in women’s private spaces. … And I believe the parents, not teachers, control a child’s education. And that’s because, in a prayer I say two times each and every day, it says “veshinantam levanecha (and you shall teach it to your children).” What is it you have to teach? Judaism. Values. That’s what you have to convey to your kids.

So let me address the elephant in the room: But rabbi, how is it that all the Jews are progressive left? How do the Jews favor the redefinition of marriage, didn’t they give us the first one?…

Today people claim that because they are Jewish, they can speak for Judaism, Jewish values, and Jewish knowledge. It’s kind of like claiming to be an astronaut because grandpa bought you a telescope for your fifth birthday.

But there is hope. An hour and 15 minutes northeast from here is a town called Lakewood, New Jersey. There are more current rabbinical students in that institution than there are left wing Jewish clergy in the whole country. Just Lakewood. Just the student body.

And that city overall gave Trump in 2016 the largest Trump majority of any sizable town in the entire state of New Jersey. It was three to one. In 2020, it wasn’t just that it was four to one, it was nearly five to one. And that wasn’t about his politics, but about his values and what he promoted. And what he did to the Supreme Court, by the way, as we just saw last week. The observant Jewish community is as un-woke as it gets.

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You know, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther King Jr. all said that the primary goal of education isn’t just to impart knowledge and teach the multiplication tables, but to teach character and values. It’s not enough that the schools have abdicated on that, now they’re actively working against it. What you call values, they don’t. What they call values, you don’t. And they want to teach that to your kids.

The New York Times on Friday and the AP yesterday had articles about how New York City officials say that yeshivos, run by the Hasidic Jewish community, fail to teach students in core subjects. Notice that this is in New York City, where three-fourths of eighth-graders are not proficient in math, where the system was a disaster before Covid, all the more so after Covid, and [yet] they have to correct the Hasidic schools based on their own self-defined technical checklist.

Out of hundreds of schools, 18 [Hasidic schools] they determined are failing.

New York State’s most law-abiding demographic is the Hasidic community. Hasidic school alumni are not in bars, on street corners, or participating in smash-and-grab robberies. They are homeowners, they are taxpayers, they build stable families and their income exceeds the American median by a third. So what exactly is the problem with their educational system?

The rates of drug and alcohol addiction are the lowest in the city. They don’t have large-screen TVs, they have bookcases in the living room. So what’s the problem?

They don’t memorize the 50-state capitals. But that’s not the problem.

They don’t learn Algebra II in high school. But that’s not the problem.

They don’t learn wokeism — and that is the problem.

We are Orthodox Jews. … We have 3,300 years of experience with governments telling us that our values are wrong and trying to interfere with the education of our kids.

Seriously, I have to commend you for voluntarily getting in the line of fire. … Southern Poverty Law Center just nicknamed your group a hate group. They also go after Family Research Council because it supports family values. They also go after Act for America because it’s against radical Islamic terrorism.

I am very offended. Coalition for Jewish Values is also in favor of parental rights, family values, and fighting terrorism. So why won’t SPLC list us as a hate group? I’m telling you it’s antisemitic. Because the SPLS is an actual antisemitic hate group. It really is.

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And speaking of bogus accusations, we can also discuss why I’m here, that famous quote. [Illinois Rep.] Mary Miller in 2021 was giving a talk, and she said, “You know what Adolf Hitler said? He got one thing right.”

When you know a guy got one thing right, it means he got everything else wrong, right?

And she said, “He who controls the youth controls the future.”

Learn from the master of charisma and indoctrination himself how dangerous indoctrination really is. That is what Mary Miller wanted to do.

Predictably, the left went after her — and by the way, [a politician] from Illinois who went after her is also the one who just recently congratulated the Biden Administration for whitewashing anti-Israel antisemitism in its definition of antisemitism. So which one is our ally and which one is not? I am glad to cast my lot with Mary Miller.

Which takes us to Paige Miller [the head of a new chapter of Moms for Liberty in Indiana, who had put the same quote in its first newsletter] who also said, “‘whoever owns the youth owns the future’ is what Hitler said.” …

It was a very good line. It was a very appropriate line.

Okay, only Jews get to quote Hitler … only the Black community, only rappers, get to say a certain word that the rest of us cannot use, right? Works the same way — [you] just can’t quote Hitler; let us [Jews] do it. By the way, Hitler said, whoever owns the youth owns the future. …