Thank you Esther for sending me this YIVO article on “Beys Yankev”, apparently translated rather roughly from Yiddish.
My favorite paragraph, which puts a different angle on what we’ve learned:
The main objective of the Beys Yankev schools was to strengthen students’ commitment to halakhah(Jewish law) and to Jewish traditions by providing a wide base of knowledge. Accordingly, against the advice of Yisra’el Me’ir ha-Kohen (Ḥafets Ḥayim), the curriculum was not limited to scripture, ethics, and prayer but also included halakhah, Jewish history, and Jewish philosophy, while emphasizing the writings of Samson Raphael Hirsch and Yitsḥak Breuer. The study of general subjects was believed to advance the objectives of the Beys Yankev schools if ethical and religious aspects were stressed: thus the sciences were invoked to prove the greatness of God, while humanistic studies were presented as beneficial in the acquisition of virtues.