May 23, 2013
The 'Nevel' That I Know
Illustration Photo: - not related to the article

From the COLlive inbox: A girl responds to the out-of-town girl living in Crown Heights who complained about the lack of sensitivity by locals.

To my fellow out-of-towner,
I am also an out-of-towner. A real, hardcore out-of-towner. As in, I don't go home every other Shabbos, and my family life is a solid 4 hour plane ride away (excluding taxi time and airport security). When I get homesick, I don't book my next train ride home but rather dial my mother's cell, let it all out, and then suck it right back in.

I have learned to be content with meeting my baby sister two months after she was born, and watching the little ones in my family give me nothing more than a shy smile upon my arrival home. And to the travel time and the homesickness, to the urgent need to grow up, to the obligation to always be in a good mood, to be thankful, to be nice, to be polite. To the laundry, the babysitting to buy shampoo and toothpaste, the constant presence of those you are not comfortable around; to these I can relate. After all, I live out of town, and such are my realities.

But after reading your article "In Town, Out of Touch" stating the lack of sensitivity projected towards us children, I felt compelled to write. After all, I've also had dealings with Nevel.
Nevel; a community of incredible people who host an endless amount of seminary, yeshiva, and overseas guests. Families who open up their homes time and time again for strangers, and people in need. But you should know Nevel--the people you invest the most quiet effort in, are the people who appreciate you the most...

...When you invite me time and time again, despite my constant embarrassed no thank you's.

...When my meal is canceled three hours before Shabbos and you respond to my timid text of, "is my invitation still open?" with a thrilled "of course!!", as if you wanted nothing better from your day than to hear such good news.

...When you constantly make sure that I am happy with my morning class and am getting enough sleep.

...When you find out I have nowhere to eat this week, and you remind me that I have rejected your invite way too many times and "no questions asked!" was expected tonight. When my mother is phoned to be made aware of my setbacks, my progress, and my potential.

...When I show up without invitation and you assume that my invite had simply slipped your mind. When you stretch yourself way beyond your limit, mentally and physically.
To you, Nevel, I say thank you. I say thank you for providing me with warmth, I say thank you for providing me a place to call home in these four years that will shape me to who I will become, for unconditionally opening up your homes and hearts to me.
And each time I return home, it is not with horror stories of my time in Nevel, but rather with stories of endless kindnesses and hachnasas orchim, urging my family to learn from this one's gigantic dining room table, and another's quiet sensitivity to a failing student. I return boasting about the community, my special teachers, and about the few blocks that are, for the time being, my life.
And to my school, I say: thank you. Thank you for caring, thank you for allowing me to extend my plane ticket until after Shabbos, thank you for organizing countless programs to ease my adjustment into this new world.
And to my teachers, I say: thank you. Thank you for remaining with me after school to make up what I missed upon my returning home, thank you for taking the time to phone my mother on my progress she is so proud to hear of, thank you for allowing me to retake the test I was absent for in the privacy of your own home.
And to my friends' parents, I say: thank you. Thank you for urging your daughter to invite her out of town friends for a Shabbos meal, for stopping them in the store to find out how their trip home was, for inquiring which of them need a place for Yom Tov.
How lucky I feel to have Nevel in my life. A place outstanding in its commitment to nurturing chassidus, a place bursting with families who constantly go out of their way for us children, for the 'insignificant out-of-towners.' The ones you will not receive public credit for, and the ones who might eventually forget you. Thank you.

And to you, my fellow out of towner, I say: I'm sorry. I'm sorry you had such an experience, I am sorry that you were forced to deal with the minority of people here who just don't care, and I'm sorry you have not been privileged to recognize the greatness of this place called Nevel - the place I proudly recognize as family.


Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
True and not True
See when it comes to a shidduch if they will be mishadach with you.
(5/24/2013 12:16:42 AM)
As a fellow out a towner who has been living in crown heights for a few years i also wanna say a huge thank you to all the wonderful crown heightzers who have graciously opened their arms to us oots!
(5/24/2013 12:33:59 AM)
Bh for you but that doesn't change how the original author feels
(5/24/2013 12:36:36 AM)
and if nevel is melbourne...
then the countless streets that the first girl stayed on with different families, reflects just how many families are willing to have boarders in their homes! (in a community that is not used to the OOT phenomenon)
(5/24/2013 12:38:09 AM)
this shouldnt cancel out the fact that many of the out of towners dont have places to eat ect.. you happened to be lucky
(5/24/2013 12:48:17 AM)
Here you have two out of towners, living in the same place for a couple years, yet each from a different angle. If only the first girl wouldn't seen the same Nevel as this author...
(5/24/2013 1:05:52 AM)
Self-righteous article
Wow, what a self-righteous "response". The original writer of the article felt very lonely and mistreated. Not everybody is as popular as you, miss; or, lucky. “Al tadin es chavercha ad she’tagia limkomo” Do not judge your fellow until you have reached his place.” (Pirkei Avos 2:4)
(5/24/2013 1:21:29 AM)
Just because you, little-miss-perfect, had it all doesn't change the reality of the first girl. Why did you write this? To stuff it in her face? If you want to thank ppl, THANK them. This doesn't count.
(5/24/2013 3:39:00 AM)
To 6
This girl is NOT from the same place. And if you would have read the first article properly, you would have read the respect that the first author had for HER 'Nevel' she knew it was a great place, but shame that the children who need it most don't feel it.

The frist article was written voicing ALL the out of towners of that city. They all know each other and are siblings and friends. They bonded out of necessity. The first girl wrote her article on behalf of her fellow out-of-towners and not just about herself. She took experiences from all of those children and not just herself. How could she be a girl and boy at the same time?
She also did write that there were many out of towners that she had met after school had experiences the opposite to hers.

Properly understand what you read please, before you comment. The first author tried very hard to be understanding - it was a message, not an attack.
(5/24/2013 3:49:30 AM)

and what about
(5/24/2013 4:18:53 AM)
beautifully written- Kol hakavod!
(5/24/2013 4:45:37 AM)
I'm an out of towner, lived in crown heights for high school, I would like to thank all crown heights families for always having door open and make me feel comfortable!
It made such a differance to my life there and ch is for sure my 2nd home!
(5/24/2013 5:03:50 AM)
I saw half of Nevel :)
THe hachnosas orchim was UNBELIEVABLE. Nowhere else can compare. I had 4 standing invitations and many more periodic ones. I saw a great number of beautiful Shabbos tables.


The principal who ignored me until my mother initiated an appointment to talk about the problems I was having, then proceeded to lambast my mother about how terrible I was, leaving her in tears, then tell me to go get my bags IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, as I was now being switched to another class...

That part of Nevel I don't miss.
(5/24/2013 5:40:47 AM)
attention #6
they are not living in the same place, the first girl was talking about melbourne and this girl is referring to C.H;
very nice to hear this girls positive experiences, but, I do want to make readers aware of MANY MANY out of town singles, that live in C.H usually for shidduch purposes, and are often very alone.
Eating carrots and hummus in your basement or apartement on shabbos just makes the already difficult shidduch scene experience that much worse.
Those who have single girls or boy relatives that eat by you, INSIST that they bring friends who may not be so well connected, and if you work with an out of towner etc, please invite them!!
(5/24/2013 5:55:03 AM)
Your parents brought you up well
A classic case of seeing the glass half full. Kol Hakavod to you. You can ALWAYS find good and bad in a situation. You make the right choice.
(5/24/2013 7:15:11 AM)
Very well written!!
Is a huge quality to see things that are not always good in a positive way!!
Hatzloche Raba!!
(5/24/2013 7:43:56 AM)
I didn't read the first article
I'm guessing it was full of complaints about how selfish and hardhearted we are & how we don't take care of OOT students.

Just to put some perspective based on THIS article - if a family has older boys, they don't (shouldn't) invite girls. We don't. we have lots of single bochurim coming over. There are times when I find strangers sleeping in my spare room. One came for one night, he ended up staying over a week,. we fed him, he borrowed our car & he did his laundry here (I drew the line at doing it for him) We have had people show up unexpectedly half an hour before Shabbos.

There was one young lady who had an after school job. Every week I sent my daughter with a full chicken dinner to where she worked (inc. hot soup in the winter) because that was her late night. I didn't have to do that, but if it was MY daughter I would have wanted someone to do the same.

Here's the thing. When our "regulars" get married, it would be nice if we got an invitation. An invitation to your simcha is a way of acknowledging our hospitality and remembering us. Most of the time it's like we don't exist any more, we aren't "useful" any more. OOT might want to think about that. My husband tries to go to the l'chaims of our "regulars" some cases we tried to make Shidduchim for them. Send us an invitation, even if it's an OOT wedding. We still can shep nachas from you!

I think this article is very nice. It's good to know there are people who understand that some of us go above & beyond, or even just open our homes, kitchens & hearts to OOT students.
(5/24/2013 7:47:17 AM)
re #4
how is melbourne not used to OOT? what about OC and YG? what about the shluchim kids?
(5/24/2013 7:59:28 AM)
Maybe COL can make a "shidduch" with the two authors
How about connecting them? It would be such a mitzvah for the 2nd author to introduce some of her wonderful families to the first author.
Ahavas Yisrael is all about helping each other, as a community and as individuals.
(5/24/2013 8:03:10 AM)
there should be an Ahavas Yisroel shabbos a few times a year on auspicious chabad dates for out of towners to be "spoiled" and "pampered" and made to feel that Kahn tziva Hashem es Habracha.
a Shlucha
(5/24/2013 8:03:50 AM)
schools in c.h.
although schools are busy with their students day to day, based on the needs of so many of our own out of towners, it may be worthwhile to have someone in charge/hired to arrange a support group/infrastructure that will give the oots the sense of family they need and deserve.
(5/24/2013 8:13:33 AM)
To number 1 and the writer
To No. 1 you are wrong.
At a first glance with out knowing the writer I would grab this Positive girl for my son. This is a girl who is going places. The first writer will have it more difficult. "Azeh who Ushir Hasamaach B'chelko". A four hour plane trip will not add or take away in my Decision making. I have married off more then one child and I am still in the process of marring off other children.

To the writer. I envy you. You are a true Chossid of the Rebbe. Crown hights is one of the best places 2nd to Yerushalyim. There is no place in the world that has so many Guests per capita. Unfortunately some guests do get missed. But I can tell you when I lived in Crown Hights, I will never forget On Tishrai 1988 After davening I was walking out of 770 when a Bocher around 14 years old came to me and said he needs a place to eat (he was told by a sheliach from his neighborhood dont worry just go. You will have a place to eat and sleep some one will always invite you). I felt bad and said OK. He asked If I could take his brother who is also looking for a place and is standing by the other entrance. I said no problem. By every other Yom Tov meal I was introduced to another friend of theirs and by the time it was Simchas Torah, I had over 20 bochrim (friends of the first two).

I still remember that beautiful meal we had. Until today some of these boys are friends of mine or my children. True not always do I say yes when some one calls or asks me me, as there was always guests in this beautiful neighborhood and Me or my wife was not always in the mood. But I could tell you for sure when my children were in school in Australia, England, Israel, California, Florida etc. They also had more then one Shabbos where I felt terrible as my child was stuck with no place to go. And I was very active by calling friends and friends of my children to try and organize things. But some times there was just no place to go.

To Anash from everywhere. This is one of our greatest Malos we have. That we almost always have a chance to have a guest. We just have to look for them. And to the people that cant find a place. Dont be scared to ask (as I could tell you for sure you are not the only one who needs a place to eat). One thing for sure, there is no one out there who is successful that tried and always got what he tried for. Keep on trying not always will you get a place. But you have a much better chance.

To COL Thanks for posting this beautiful letter from this True Chossed. We should learn from this girl to be more positive as it says in Hayom Yom when it comes to Gashmius look at some one who has less then you. You are sure to be a much happier person.

Good Shabbos to you all.
(5/24/2013 8:45:57 AM)
You don't have to be an out of towner
To be ignored by the town....... My family is from the original nevel situation and grew up abused and ignored by our own relatives who were much more comfortable than my parents, and because we were very poor and probably had slight learning disabilities, our hanhala added to the abuse. Many years later, some of us still suffer with shudduchim etc....but as a mature adult, I learned that G-D Helps those who help themselves. And just because you are on shlichus, don't think the whole world will start raising your kids... ...Everyone carries their own peckel, and can't necessarily also carry yours......
(5/24/2013 9:43:14 AM)
Proud Cher
I am proud to say that I have boarders....sleepover guests....anytime guests that come in to eat, for support yet the only people that complain are the boarders, they constantly complain to their parents that supper was macaroni and cheese and they're forced to buy food etc....alot of people who come to Nevel think that everything is owed to them, they need to be treated like gold and we need to have space, give time to our growing families, have jobs, lots of $ to accomodate all this and just keep on giving....put yourself in our hurts to hear complaints!!! trust me its not easy but we love giving but please be mentchlich
(5/24/2013 9:59:31 AM)
shabbos meals-to the original poster
please remember
unless there is someone who arranges it,
there is no way that I can invite a bochur or a girl if I don't even know about them
people need to be very careful before they accuse
there are b"h guests non-stop in crown heights
thousands, blia yin hara, that are absorbed with room and board for free, into the homes in CH
if I don't have kids in your age group then the only way for me to have you over is if someone asks
It can be a student organization or school organization, but before you talk think of how exactly what you write about should happen
(5/24/2013 10:00:58 AM)
can someone explain exactly what you are referring to as "Nevel". although i know of the original Nevel, but seems like i am missing something, please explain the connection?
(5/24/2013 10:28:33 AM)
Crown Heights High school Girl
We try to have as many guests as we can but sometimes I resent coming home from school helping, cleaning and cooking and the out of towners come back to crown heights after shopping in Manhattan to a delicious meal served to them , Just a thought.
(5/24/2013 10:39:30 AM)
To those of us not from the holy city of Melbourne ,What is OOt??
(5/24/2013 10:45:01 AM)
I wish I knew who you were! This article an everything written is incredible. Every point is more and more true. I am also an out of towner and truly appreciate all those "open homes"
Thank you for responding the truth
(5/24/2013 10:47:06 AM)
don't attack her
She's trying to defend the community and show that not everyone is uninviting. She's trying to point out there is hospitality and it's not all glum. This doesn't discount the original author's feelings but just shows another perspective.

Hatzlacha to both of you!
(5/24/2013 10:58:29 AM)
I think
If you don't like nevel try klimovich
(5/24/2013 11:34:40 AM)
CHers are amazing!
I, OOTer was in Yeshiva for over 4 years in CH and I say,
I wouldn't wirte names, because i'm afraid to forget some of them. but even after coming back to my home town, CH remain my 1st home.

L.Y.G. - France
(5/24/2013 12:50:26 PM)
what you fail to realize is that this is so overly positive that it loses any reality to it!Read again. The first one may be the other extreme. There is truth depending on the person and the community and probably changes over time and reality lies in the middle. But to read two extreme cases and then decide oh this is the real thing, is just as immature and silly as the response.
(5/24/2013 1:35:06 PM)
always bothered me
what exactly do the words "married off" mean? To me the connotation is "got rid of".Just how it strikes me and I could be wrong.I get the impression there are challenges to have big families and then finding mates,etc.I get that. It is just the few words that give me a negative feel. Anyone else feel this way?
(5/24/2013 1:38:18 PM)
I am sorry you feel this way. I will not comment if this is overly positive or a little exaggerated....

No one decided what is real or not.

Even though I personally love C.H., the people who are their and most of the guests who come. One thing for sure if you know how to make the best of things (as we are in Gules), you will be much happier more fun to be around and most likely more successful.

Wishing you a good Shabbos.

To COL Thanks again
(5/24/2013 2:16:49 PM)
just bc u hav connections doesnt mean everybody does!
(5/24/2013 3:38:33 PM)
Thank you very much
To all those people in ch who make it a point to host out of towners and care so much. It really is appreciated
(5/24/2013 3:38:45 PM)
to everyone
crown heights is not the only place with out of towners...
(5/24/2013 3:44:44 PM)
Wow this girl is an amazing optimist!
She's finding the good in all situations. The first girl should take a lesson instead of complaining!
(5/24/2013 3:58:57 PM)
great PR
Its always easier to be optimistic when your glass is half full !
Ever hear the saying :that you can't understand someone till you walk in theri shoes- " (at #39 ??)
(5/24/2013 4:43:28 PM)
To #26
Wow good point. Thanks you I think that Melbourne should be more welcoming to the people who come to visit and those who are in yg. I think it's a great idea that yeshivas shouldn't serve us really bad chicken on shabbos. It's a holy day and we can't celebrate it the right way with out a place to eat. Thank you Melbourne for all the great work you do!!!
(5/24/2013 5:31:04 PM)
Wow thank you. Very true, it's not right how ch yeshivas have really bad food on shabbos
(5/24/2013 6:07:38 PM)
The first author was experiencing obvious pain. you dont have to agree with her or even like her but I believe one of the qualities in a chassid is the ability to be empathic. Yes the second author was positive but as a response to the first author it seemed to be just a little bit of a slap in the face for the experiences she went through
(5/24/2013 7:09:58 PM)
to #35
I apologize. I think u have every right to feel that way based on your experience. I shouldn't have been that harsh without knowing or respecting your opinion. I am truly sorry and take back what I wrote in #33. Please forgive me.
(5/24/2013 7:13:01 PM)
to #27
Good suggestion for guests to offer to help with Shabbos/Yom
Tov preparations if possible. Some hosts would really
appreciate it and take you up on it.
(5/24/2013 8:00:09 PM)
I hate to sound dumb, but what is Nevel?
(5/24/2013 8:05:46 PM)
If only you learn to understand what you read
If those of you who responded so negatively to the first writer would comprehend what you read, you would not be so quick to see her as "negative".
She writes she is grateful to those that opened their homes and hearts.
She understands not everyone is in a position to have an open house.
She writes she has nothing to gain as she has finished the system.
She simply is highlighting the need for schools from the hanhola , staff and the parent body to open their eyes and be sensative and empathetic to the YOUNG out of town students.
Young as in those who really should be able to remain at home for the duration of their formative years of education but due to no fault of their own they have to live away from home, where they face challenges of independence usually coming to students many years their senior.
She is not insinuating that it is Crown Heights so don't jump up and down, READ and comprehend!
As the school year is ending in some parts f the world it is an opportune time for schools to re asses their care to the needs of out of town students. You can read an article and be defensive or better yet put some positive action into where opinion really counts!

(5/25/2013 4:41:45 AM)
Response to article re:Nevel"
After reading both articles and the ensuing responses, I feel I need to comment. I married an Australian and have lived in Melbourne for over 25 years. I came here and had NO family. The community was lovely and embraced me with open arms. My children have grown up and married and are now on shlichus all over the world. As someone in the "shidduchim stage", I can tell you that "Nevel" does not have an "open sesame" to all "gheze and Lubavitch families. Our wonderful children who have grown up far away from their families and Rebbe, are many times shunned when it comes to shidduchim! "oh, Australia! Forget it! It's too far, we won't even hear about it!" So, if we want to have a chip on our shoulder, we definitely could have an axe to grind as well. I will not however, publicly name or allude to any cities or people as this is not our way. If you have a gripe, don't "allude" to "sunburnt countries"... You obviously have some serious issues, and I hope you get the help you so obviously need. But in the process, do not "bashmutz" a whole wonderful community!

(5/25/2013 5:54:01 AM)
you realise the original aritcle was abt melbourne and not crown heights yeh?
(5/25/2013 7:38:36 AM)
optimisim can create a false reality
Just because this author is so optimistic it doesnt make her right, to the contrary it causes a false peace of mind in the readers that they are such tzadikim, although it may be true that many families have opend their homes in various communities it DOES NOT NEGATE what the first author said in any way shape or form, I can bear testimony to that...
(5/25/2013 9:46:28 AM)
It's not CH...
CH is an amazing place, noone I know is denying it.

There's just a teensy weensy problem, and that's that the first girl wasn't talking abt CH bichlal...COL please don't give misleading impressions with your opening lines!
(5/25/2013 3:59:49 PM)
It is CH, you got it all wrong the first girl was speaking about the ch comunity in general. The second girl was speaking about Melbourne.
(5/25/2013 10:29:41 PM)
to 48
I think as a "mature" adult you perhaps have a long way to maturing.Telling a girl who is highlighting the need for people such as yourself ,to open your eyes to the very current situation and see what needs to be done for these students is not a need for getting self help!
What did the Baal shem tov say something along the lines of looking at the mirror and identifying the problem you see in others as YOUR own.
(5/25/2013 11:35:01 PM)
48 raw nerve
Did the author of the first article hit a raw nerve perhaps.
(5/25/2013 11:37:32 PM)
48 bashmutz
I do not think the writer was in anyway "bashmutzing" an entire community!
Making people aware of an important issue that is prevalent in many communities, not just your Nebvel/Melbourne, does not mean the writer has major issues that need attention.
Feel free to label and name call as you please ( it shows little about the niceties of ones character) but please comprehend what you read before taking it so personally.
Or is there perhaps a reason you took it so personally?

(5/26/2013 12:07:06 AM)
To #s 53,54, and 55
yes, it did hit a raw nerve. Many people are now talking about Melbourne and this issue. It is a raw nerve just as those who think the article was written about C.H. are upset by it. If it's a general issue, then just write write the article without "alluding" to or casting aspersions on any specific city or community. . I did not say this person has "major" issues, I said she seems to have serious issues. She seems shy and as she said "somewhat socially inept". I did not label or call anyone "mature or immature". I said I think this is a serious issue that could have been handled in a more sensitive manner without casting aspersions. It is obvious that 2 people in the same situation had a totally different perception of the same place. Such is life. When we have issues, we must deal with them in a "bakovedike way". The Melbourne community at large does not have to be painted with the same brush as certain specific people. The whole world, as well as life can be perceived differently by different people. But when we point these things out, we don't have to point fingers so specifically, yet not so specifically. Did this girl or her parents ever write letters to the specific people involved in this situation? And if they were too shy to do this, do they really think that this was the correct forum to do so? There is a lot of angst and even anger in that letter and some of the responses . People have been specifically described and the Melbourne community (yes, most of them) as well. Who is labelling and name calling? This is not our derech. To be so "subtle" yet so obvious. These are not the Midos we are brought up with . If people have issues with a certain community, then those should be addressed with the aforementioned "specific" people, why on COL? So people can talk about and tear apart a community that is in the most part a wonderful, warm and welcoming community, which does NOT host MANY "younger out of towners" ( of primary, and H.S. ages), and so perhaps, has a way to go to learn how to do so properly. I hope all readers can comprehend what is being said here, and not take it "too personally" Or did I hit a raw nerve, perhaps???....
(5/26/2013 1:40:36 AM)
sorry to burst your bubble
But the first writer could be talking about crown heights. There are nine year old oot in ch- here to get a chassidic chinuch in the Rebbe's daled Amos - who are living in rented rooms and being parented by phone - we need a dorm for oot girls
(5/26/2013 7:43:55 AM)
seems like you have duplicated what was said ! Just in a longer format.
(5/26/2013 8:40:11 AM)
to 56
Perhaps your too small minded to see the bigger picture. If the first girl was infact talking about Melbourne I wouldnt be surprised. There is indeed a warm community but it does not take away from the fact that they seem completely oblivious of reality, as you so clearly point out...
(5/26/2013 11:38:03 AM)
i agree with number 8
this artical is just plain mean and nasty! how dare you!
and i have lived away from home for 6 years it is an 18 hr plane ride with out taxis and airports. and crown heights is not always so easy but so to nowhere is easy at first!
(5/26/2013 6:26:10 PM)
to 28
oot=out of town
(5/26/2013 8:16:25 PM)
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