Kiryas Joel's Biggest Industry: Education
Torah education, which is based upon the laws and commandments handed down to the Jews at Mount Sinai more than 3,000 years ago, is a focal point of life at Kiryas Joel. Even adults participate in regular Torah study just as they do in thrice daily prayer services. While only a small minority of the Village’s inhabitants are college educated in the classical sense, virtually all benefit from an intense religious education, the equivalency of a post-graduate degree.
A typical day for a Kiryas Joel youngster begins as early as 6 AM with morning prayers and does not end until late at night. Young men continue their studies until they marry, and for many it continues for several years after marriage. Kiryas Joel’s private school network must raise funds for its budget from a means based tuition (many of the poor receive scholarships) and from private sources. The schools can only access government services for school lunch, bus transportation, and remedial education programs.
In its efforts to prepare students for jobs, a workforce development center was established for such programs as vocational education, adult education, computer, bookkeeping and office skills training.