Hasidic tech college

Hasidic tech college

While the zealots of Hasidic Williamsburg are holding smartphone-smashing festivals with bad graphics and good wine, the progressive population of the community quietly rolls on. They innovate, they push boundaries, they find new ways to make a buck, and they embrace new technologies and education models. And they wear Apple watches!

This is an advertisement on a bus stop shelter on Lee Avenue. It’s a big ad behind a thick plastic, and the reflection was bad. But notice how stylish the model is; not only does he wear an Apple watch: His front shirt button is open. My, I could faint!

Here’s what this poster advertises:

It was something that he always loved

If you always felt that technology and electronics are something that speak to you, then you can actually be beautifully successful in the field of IT.

Learn how to build and fix computers; set up networks; set up protected computer systems; and everything else around IT, at the courses set up by Viewpoint Academy. Taught in the most professional way by teachers from the community. Become a legitimate IT technician. Earn a nice income from something that you always loved to do.

  • In-house training
  • Homework assignments
  • Compus + online participation

This is an interesting program not only because it is innovative about tech, but also because it is innovative about education. It is presumably a kosher college, filling the enormous educational gaps in the community. I think it’s extremely relevant to emphasize that all these innovations, like a local “academy,” are only possible because the Hasidic community does not consider outside offerings kosher. The restrictions are the impetus for the local economy, which I explored in much greater detail by visiting the local shops in this video.

In the fine print, on the bottom of the poster, we get a brief blurb on Viewpoint:

Viewpoint is a professional academy founded by local people from the community for local people from the community, with the goal of assisting toward a good and easy career in the field of high tech. This will god-willing bring financial success in life and the ability to god-willing support oneself in a comfortable manner.

This company, like other kosher technologies, is one of the many ways in which the Hasidic community embraces technology. I believe that, contrary to being anti-technology, the Hasidic community is actually incredibly pro-tech. In future years, it will probably give birth to the kinds of hi-tech industries we’ve seen in Israel. The intense efforts to make technology kosher show how eager this community is to embrace all sorts of technical innovations.


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