By COLlive reporter
The Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn was famously described by the Rebbe as the place where blessings reside. But with the high costs of living, many are finding it difficult to make ends meet and are opting to settle elsewhere.
That challenge is especially true with regards to teachers and educators. Working long and tedious hours and coming home to face New York’s high tax bracket and sky rocketing home prices, the field of Chinuch is viewed as a last resort for employment.
A group of caring people are working to change that, based on conversations with COLlive.com.
In recent months, private discussions were held between activists, businessmen, school administrators and married kollel members who are considering their future about elevating the status of Chinuch.
“Kollel yungeleit first think of Shlichus. Chinuch isn’t the first choice and it shouldn’t be so,” one person involved in the initiative said. “And even if they are looking into chinuch, it’s not in the shechuna but elsewhere.”
Advancing a new initiative are the Board of Directors of Oholei Torah, along with educator Rabbi Mendy Wolf and Zaki Tamir, an attorney and the Chairman of Vaad Hakohol of Crown Heights.
The board of directors of Educational Institute Oholei Torah, the all-inclusive center of Jewish education for over 1,850 students of all ages, has been working towards this initiative after meeting with a prominent local property owner.
The groundbreaking initiative will offer teachers with at least a 3 year proven success record, and who commit to a 15 year contract, a one-time gift for them to put a downpayment on a house in the neighborhood.
The property owner offered $500,000 and Oholei Torah matched it with another $500,000 for this to be offered to 10 members of their educational staff who will “raise the bar for Chinuch in the neighborhood,” a source said.
The qualifications, still being finalized, are that select teachers who has have taught in Oholei Torah for at least 3 years, and are committing to a 15-year contract, will receive $150,000 in cash to purchase a house, condo or apartment in the area.
“This would be a game changer and keep them here,” one source said. “We need to raise more and already have another philanthropist who offered $50,000. So either we reach a million and a half or the downpayment will be $100,000. Either way, there is a lot of excitement about this changing the perception of working in Chinuch and in Crown Heights,” the source said.
The person said that they hope that following Oholei Torah, additional Crown Heights schools will be joining as well to attract and retain high caliber teachers.
“Our message to teachers is that we want you to stay and if you can’t afford it, we will help you.”
Amazing. But a home in ch is minimum $1.6 million plus renovations compared to our of town homes where you can find for 300k-600k in many yiddish communities and get something nice..condos are not ideal for large families with 10 children. It’s definitely a great start and idea. But I would think they need to offer a teacher 800k for a down-payment to make it more realistic for a teacher to purchase a home. Even theoretically turning a 1.6 million dollar home into a 800k home would still make the ch home more expensive than the the out of town… Read more »
There is such a thing as buying small and selling. So a young teacher with a small family buys a smaller condo/house, maybe even somewhere on the outskirts of CH. Then after 10 years, they can sell it and put it towards a down payment on a bigger house.
The Kingston PA community is a beautiful place to raise a Chabad family. The homes are very affordable and large. The community grew by over twenty families this summer.
It’s time more people start viewing Chinuch in ch for our Lubavitcher children- the next generation as a shlichus!!
When local teachers are allowed to attend Kinus Hashluchim as shluchim, only then they will be considered shluchim. Till then, they will seek teaching out-of-town as a shlichus.
I like the direction and spirit of this effort – which seems to be: Make teaching in Crown Heights an economically feasible option. But the details don’t add up. Do ALL the math. How much is a teacher’s salary? How much is a mortgage payment? How much are realistic and reasonable expenses. Does total income = total expense? So if you want to make teaching in Crown Heights attractive or even doable, salaries have to increase into a whole other league. Of course, how is a school able to do that? Hike tuition? that well’s already dry. THAT’s where a… Read more »
If it’s a house, potentially rent out a floor and that should cover most if not all of the mortgage. If it’s a condo, the mortgage may still potentially be around the same as rent of a smaller apt
With a down payment of about 150-200k was able to purchase home, rent out a floor, and live on another floor and basement. 7 years later still working out!
I agree that the housing prices in Crown Heights have become unattainable to many, prices have gone through the roof. However, I want to shed some light to something that is overlooked by many, who don’t know what they are overlooking.
East Flatbush has many nice blocks that are still “affordable” i.e., they are priced at 50 percent lower than Crown Heights. Now when you look in East Flatbush, look for a nice block, a residential feel and make sure to look at the size, and compare the sizes when doing the house shopping.
It’s so far from CH schools, older kids that have their own afternoon/yeshivah erev /etc – it’s very hard to send them alone so far …
And also very expensive for such type of housing… u can buy 5towns /out of CH bigger lots and quite /nice /clean neighborhood
Can we also work on something for those that taught for 10 years and are barely getting by?
Or 20 🙂
There is East Flatbush for $750,000
You don’t need everything In crown heights
Wow. I am so proud to be a Lubabitcher and a resident of Crown heights. You guys (the initiators of this project, and anyone who contributed to this idea) REALLY CARE ABOUT CHINUCH!!! Moshiach is around the corner. You’re really investing in the best most important thing to make our final moments in galus more meaningful with more successful chinuch!!!
In crown heights
100 k or 150 k is not enough for a Down payment to retain a good teacher
I think that 250 k. Plus a fund that cover their monthly house expenses ( HOA etc) would be very nice
Sadly but lots of young families left to other communities just because the rent is unfortunately too high to raise a family.
Good idea to build condos for your own community for less like in Williamsburg but maybe too late with prices around and who is willing to sell it affordable to CH families? ….
Amazing venture where everyone gains!
May it be with much Hatzlacha!
We also put our heart and soul into our students.
Female teachers should be offered the same financial incentives.
At last check, Oholei Torah is predominantly staffed with male teachers. This is an OT initiative, other schools should take it on
This is an OT initiative. There’s nothing stopping girls schools from doing the same thing.
If the husband is NOT working in Chinuch, making a full salary elsewhere, and his wife’s teaching is a SECOND income, then I don’t see this incentive to be a fair use of Tzedaka money.
If you are referring to single moms, chinuch is their income, then I agree.
In many families the wife is the breadwinner. Also, nowadays, families require both the husband and wife to be earning substantial incomes to get by. See above comments.
The main point is to sustain teachers, not to provide tzedaka funds to those who are most needy. And bottom line is, even with two working salaries, it is almost impossible to buy a solid home
And are the breadwinners of the family
So sad that so many of our best had to leave since it’s not livable here raising a big family with a modest income.
Helping teachers financially is a great project,
But what is the core issue?
Are our own following the Rebbe’s directives with the housing situation?
As long as that continues, a little help may not really solve the issue.
As a community, we need to crack down on the corruption going on in the real estate department. Too many families are not managing this way.
How about making it more attractive to all families? The #1 priority should be the children, correct? The Rebbe would scream at farbrengens that tuition should be CHEAP so that parents don’t feel pressured when bringing up kids. The last thing a couple should stress about, is how are they paying for tuition!
This is a very nice initiative, however, making tuition affordable to the community at large as well as melamdim is not less important!!
100 % Tuition has gone through the roof and the new “appointed” school boards are not here to help. In the days of old, an individual who contributed large sums of money to an institution, was honored by offering him a seat at the table sp he can see where and how his money is being spent. In today’s school system, each institution “installed” their own people to make decisions for the masses, yet they don’t contribute a nickel to the school. Why the need for such people on a committee? We need the “givers” on the boards, not people… Read more »
There is another issue that’ has to be addressed in keeping teachers. The administration needs to treat teachers with respect, not like property to do with as they please.
Come visit Yeshiva, talk to teachers. Try to understand what is happening. All people see are the beautiful pictures. See what is going on inside.
What about the women teachers? Why are they always left out?
This is a project of Oholei Torah. Ask yourself: how many women teachers do they have? Rather than complaining about being “left out,” you could try spearheading a similar project for the girls’ schools.
It seems impossible for anyone to live here
Always innovating and tirelessly fundraising for the good of the Shchuna. Hashem bentch you and yours b’Tov HaNireh v’HaNigleh.
Thank you Zaki Tamir!
A better idea would be for OT to develop a Condo building just for teachers and sell condo to teachers at cost or below cost.
What an amazing initiative
Thank you Zaki
always looking out for our Shchuna !