Thursday, 3 Iyyar, 5781
  |  April 15, 2021


4 Profiles of Tuition Payers

Op-ed: 3 parents show their tax returns to the school administrator. They declare poverty and pay lowered tuition. But there's more to know about them (and even a 4th type of parent). Full Story

L’Chaim: Kesselman – Block

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Some Chutzpa Goes a Long Way

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Have a plan before you have a kids
June 23, 2013 11:24 pm

Of course Hashem decides in the end, but couples should have at least a vague plan of how they intend to afford tuition before they start having children.

If they have no job, no education, and no prospects, WAIT before having kids! If you don’t, the LEAST you can do is avoid complaining that the school is asking for too much information, when you went about your life pretty much counting on the school giving you a free ride.

June 3, 2013 5:38 pm

While its a great article and people have been other similar ones elsewhere, I feel that there are major points that most people commenting here have missed. 1) There are more kids / schools to support than before, so while in previous years/generations while fundraising money given to schools covered 100 kids in a community, now it needs to cover 1000. 2) There are more people that arent earning enough to pay for a jewish education. Example, before it may have been 10% kollel, 10% poor/not earning enough, 10% too lazy; now its 25% in kollel, 25% poor/ not earning… Read more »

this is so trueeeeee
May 28, 2013 4:57 pm

you made my day !!!! it is 100 percent correct

well said. but who will see this?
May 17, 2013 3:32 am

I wonder how many of the school administrators/business office people in yeshivos/girls schools will get t see this article. The fact that people from the second and third categories or even first or fourth categories will read this article is not going to help change the system.
If we all could print it out and hand deliver it to our children’s school principals – that might help. But who will do that? How many of us will actually bother?

May 14, 2013 5:14 pm

That in itself is cheating. So now hard working people like me pay for your food and medical bills. Government uses my tax dollars to subsidize your life. If I knew who you were I would never support your business.

#141 can't afford reading glasses
May 14, 2013 12:28 pm

after paying tuition!

"Payer" not "Prayer"
May 14, 2013 11:19 am

#141 needs reading glasses.

4 Profiles of Tuition Prayers
May 13, 2013 11:13 pm

Each profile comes with a different prayer. One davens for mazel, another for safety from the IRS, to each player his own prayer. But all they all payers?

May 13, 2013 7:14 pm

great article but i think parents should use they’re maaser for tuition and not give it to other mosdos

To the author
May 13, 2013 4:50 pm

You write well, but to summarize your op-ed, you are basically stating that the tuition bargaining system is unfair. Listen to yourself and to the 138 supporting comments. All up in arms about how “unfair” it is that some people are cheating and therefore getting a better bargain. The problem, dear author, is not about getting a bargain. The problem is that people in this community are not earning enough money to support their families. For years and years, this problem has been a bubbling pot waiting for the cover to be blown off, and now it finally has blown… Read more »

May 13, 2013 4:18 pm

we recently opened our own business and as we were figuring out how much salary to take per month, we took into account the maximum we can make legally on the books to still qualify for government aid. we make $5 less than the max now. everything is legal and on the books, but if we were making $5 more we would not be able to afford health insurance, and even food would be a challenge. so now we get medicaid, and food stamps. we are doing nothing under the table, everything is up front, we just did it smartly… Read more »

May 13, 2013 11:48 am

“True, it’s not going to solve the whole problem, but some people who spend on all the above still feel ENTITLED to FREE education and FREE tuition! ”

And why not on the smart phones…The other three get for free including the principal and how to stay in touch with them? No hard copy mailing of tuition statements this year.

Cable TV is an issue doraisa….

But you need two cars if you both work in different cities.

Kudos to #132 but I regtret my choices now.

this is why i homeschool...
May 12, 2013 10:44 pm

a sustainable and logical chinuch alternative.


Teachers pay their 20-30%, already
May 12, 2013 12:35 pm

If there are families who are concerned that the 6, 7, 8, children, ka”h, of each of the teachers that are being educated by the school — then please understand that the school has already deducted the same 20-30% from their salaries to pay for tuition.

Just like that’s the formula for the 2 parents working families, the teachers have the same concept done in advance.
No, the other middle income parents are NOT paying for their tuition.
In addition, these same teachers have $12,000 – $18,000 Yeshivos and Seminary bills, as well — No discounts!

iPhones or Tuition?
May 12, 2013 12:11 pm

When there are families who have 2 able-bodies parents, own 4+ bedroom homes, have 1-2 cars, 1-2 iPhones (date plans are $150+ per month) Cable TV subscription, spend money on music, art, and baseball (all of which are important) lessons for their children, YET do not spend that EQUAL total amount on tuition for the year, then we have a HUGE problem. True, it’s not going to solve the whole problem, but some people who spend on all the above still feel ENTITLED to FREE education and FREE tuition! 2nd car – $200/mo 2 iPhones – $150 mo. Extracurric. (music/sports/art)… Read more »

well said
May 12, 2013 11:36 am

straight to the point especially in this economy crisis, nobody has a job let alone afford to pay tuition

Nosson Nebach
May 12, 2013 9:48 am

We are #1, the nebachs, and after years of effort, schooling, job searching, etc, we hope to soon move into category 4 (“gvir”). I have long ago come to terms with the fact that even with a well-paying job we will not have substantially more income than we have now. We will not be able to move into a bigger apartment, or afford nicer clothes or food. If anything, there are things we can afford now that we will be able to afford even less. So why did I invest so much time and effort (and money) in getting a… Read more »

Transparency? It will never happen
May 12, 2013 3:01 am

A few years ago one of the schools was approached by a gvir who was ready to take care of all the teachers’ paychecks and their backpay, all he asked for was to see the books. Guess what, he was turned down, even after almost two years of trying (the gvir got involved and helped the school for almost two years regardless), one of the administrators (who coincidentally has first and second homes for all his children) refused adamantly to open his books, and the gvir finally gave up. Some of the administrators have too much to lose by opening… Read more »

May 12, 2013 1:30 am

I just overheard in shul today that ULY and BR will be cancelling the 3rd site for this year pending further discussions on the topic.

Can anyone confirm this?

May 12, 2013 12:46 am

Well written!!!

Brilliant Article! What will be its impact?
May 12, 2013 12:25 am

Nu, so did the administrators thing this topic over shabbos? Any ACTUAL change? HAs the third party process been eradicated?

If not, this is all talk and no action. And we NEED action!

Let’s get back to face to face honest meetings!

To #126
May 12, 2013 12:13 am

$4,500 in Ohio.

How much does the school get from a VOUCHER?
May 11, 2013 10:47 pm

Does the school prefer $3,000 annually per kid or a voucher?

There are many to blame
May 11, 2013 8:21 pm

This is why the welfare state is so bad, hogging the benefits will not put your kids in yeshiva.

The only solution is a transparent committee that will A) oversee the yeshiva’s expenses and oversight.

B) deal with donors
C) deal with parents that want tuition breaks

Out of Town
May 10, 2013 7:09 pm

Ohio has tuition vouchers. A frum family in Cincinnati can make $60,000 per year and pay no tuition.

May 10, 2013 5:44 pm

Blaming Obama. Really? Smh. People make choices to work hard or be lazy.

To #71
May 10, 2013 5:31 pm

71, you are spot on. This is as much the parents fault as the schools. When the ganiv is shunned, we will know the community lives by its values. Until then I see sheep following sad people for role models. If shiduchim are turned down because parents see ganovim and batlonim down the road instead of turning down a shidduch because of a shirt color/hat/jacket, the education system will re-align to produce ehrlicheh, yirou shimayem’dike hard working chasidim. The Frierdikeh Rebbe put himself and his chasidim in danger for chinuch. The Rebbe suffered greatly and some of his chasidim perished… Read more »

To 46
May 10, 2013 5:18 pm

The public school idea could only work for one year. They can set things up for the next year, and then what will you do? The real solution is vouchers. All the communities should work together for this.

dont judge
May 10, 2013 5:12 pm

while there are true points, calling people lazy, cheaters, liars etc. is the opposite of everything the torah stands for you never know what goes on behind closed doors and really don’t want to know why someone can’t hold a job etc. there are always people who scam the system, but putting others down is not a solution to any problem just be happy with your lot and be thankful for the good you have in your life 🙂 it doesn’t matter what others do or how they do it, that is their business the way you judge others is… Read more »

To #101
May 10, 2013 4:46 pm

The $21,000 difference actually does become negligible once several omitted living expenses are factored in, such as clothing, child care, transit, toiletries, utilities etc.

the 4 sons
May 10, 2013 4:38 pm

Knedeg arboh bonim dibrah hatorah, chachom, (Scammer) roshe (ultra Scammer) aino yodea leishoel (lazy half scammer) tom (a rich poor looser).

Other Factors
May 10, 2013 4:29 pm

Another factor can be things like people being home for yomtov or not. I stay home for every yomtov including Pesach, I do get food from places that give out, it covers only a portion of the whole bill. I know many people don’t make their own yomtov, The difference can be very big…

Some people have cars because of different circumstances that warrant it.

Tuition to schools for children that can’t be in the local schools for varying reasons…

AWESOME ARTICLE!!! WOW! Let's not forget that Hashem has a cheshbon for everything. Please learn the maamor MAYIM RABIM and really apply it to your life. We are not the only ones who know our own personal efforts.
May 10, 2013 2:27 pm

Hashem is not a Baal-Chov.

May 10, 2013 2:17 pm

Unfortunately, those with tay’nas are all wasting your time. There is no responsibility to a BIG BOSS anymore. And the administrators are not politically elected. So they don’t have to answer to anyone nor do they need to try and help anyone because it’s not as if they need your vote. The schools have become a business. And like another commenter noted are you going to ask the phone company for a break? So don’t waste your time protesting or printing this article and giving it to your school. It’s each man for himself and survival of the one that… Read more »

To: Math is wrong
May 10, 2013 2:07 pm

You are right. Now take that 21K and help me figure out how to split between 5 school and camp tuition’s. Or is camp considered a luxury like a vacation or summer home? I forgot…

Mission Impossible
May 10, 2013 2:03 pm

Great article even if the numbers were off. My takeaways from the article and comments: 1) Organizing everybody to got to the BOE will never happen in this so called community. More likely is that people will either home school or limit their families to 2 or 3 kids. 2) While I do agree that schools need to fund raise I have learned to feel (by the school admins) that I have no right to have more kids and depend on others to subsidize their tuition. I don’t plan on having any more kids until G-D provides me the ability… Read more »

At least say thank you
May 10, 2013 1:35 pm

This article applies all across America, not just CH. we are in the case of Gavriel. I just want to say to the schools that when they do have a full tuition paying family, say Thank you. Do not think its easy. Instead of trying to squeeze more and more money out of us, show appreciation for what we do. We’ve made many sacrifices to pay our full share so the burden wouldn’t fall on others. The Rebbes and shluchim should educate themselves as to what is entailed to make a good living. We sat down with one such who… Read more »

May 10, 2013 1:32 pm

Tehillim, tehillim, and more tehillim is the only answer.

Public School
May 10, 2013 1:16 pm

If someone arranges that a group of parents will register our children to public school I would do it as well.
The system needs to change

Send our kids to Public School
May 10, 2013 1:12 pm

I agree with 42
I looked up how to register a child into public school.
My child can read Hebrew The rest is gravy Sunday school will be enough time to catch up all that was missed all week in school

May 10, 2013 1:01 pm

As a member of group #4 we only have 1 person to Thank – President Obama….. When the govenrment makes it so easy and so worth it to be poor, be lazy and sit back and do nothing who wouldnt want a piece of it. I work hard, pay huge taxes, get no benefits and still have to pay full tuition, insurance and rent but I sleep well at night! You cant blame people for taking advantage of a messed up system but that doesnt mean its right or ok – stealing, cheating and playing games doesnt make it right… Read more »

to # 60
May 10, 2013 12:30 pm

You are making calculations for people with lots of assumptions! Maybe the family that has one child, whom you are suggesting should pay full tuition, because they only have one to pay for, is actually shelling out lots of money in infertility treatments so that they can have other children!! Don’t assume for other people!!

To Mr Know it All who penned this article
May 10, 2013 11:15 am

You articulated very well the four tuition payers but you left out the fifth son. The one who is the administrator. He neither pays tuition nor is he the hard working middle class father juggling 3 jobs. He is the one who is quietly making a killing from “earned” money working as an administrator. This is what he does. He places a call to an annual donor who has been giving $100,000.00 every year to his Yeshiva for the past 20 years. A feew days before his donation is due he calls him up and asks him if his annual… Read more »

There is only ONE correct judge
May 10, 2013 10:55 am

Unfortunately this can not be seen down below. Hashem knows best. The question is how these people will answer after 120. If we wish our children to act according to Torah and the ways of Chassidus, it’s time we act that way first!

In order to make something actually happen;
May 10, 2013 10:47 am

1. People need to realize that tuition in CH is lower than anywhere else, and teacher get paid little, and it is a parent’s responsibility to pay for their children’s chinuch. 2. Open the books or at least hire someone to get the schools’ finances in order and then open the books at least partially so that there is some type of accountability 3.Parents get involved in fundraising! In any and all ways, contributing hours even answering the phone saves a salary! 4. For those people cheating- how some sort of person to deal with that if there is evidence… Read more »

to number 98
May 10, 2013 10:36 am

and who will pay the principal and the cleaners and the electricity and heat of the school? and hte food… and so many other things?

May 10, 2013 10:34 am

Best article ever written on COL LIVE

Math is wrong
May 10, 2013 10:16 am

Don’t mean to nitpick, but your math is way off.

Assuming Gavriel Ha’Gvir lives in NYC, has 3 children and does not have a mortgage, the couple would actually pay an effective tax rate of 21.4% ($6500 Federal, $4815 State, $2450 City, and $7650 FICA), leaving them with $78,600, not the $57,350 that the author claims. If they have sizable mortgage interest, charitable deductions, and education expenses, their effective tax rate would be even lower.

The $21,000 difference is not negligible.

Wasteful thinking
May 10, 2013 10:14 am

this article is a waste of time. Nothing will change. In the end every person, every family, every mosid is out for themselves.
Welcome to reality. Welcome to our little corner of the world.

I just dropped this off at my school's office
May 10, 2013 10:12 am


I printed this article and gave it to the school secretary and i noticed a few more copies already on her desk . Hopefuly it will be passed on the to the administrator.

Everyone rise to the task and let’s get this done once and for all. enough is enough!

to #93
May 10, 2013 10:05 am

instead of paying the schools tuition everyone should pay it straight to the teachers and a small percent to the school

Spread the Word!!
May 10, 2013 9:58 am

I think this post needs to be spread like wildfire. Everyone use social media to spread the word! Post it on Facebook, Twitter etc. Let this become the topic of the day. Cause change now!

well said. but who will see this?
May 10, 2013 9:42 am

I wonder how many of the school administrators/business office people in yeshivos/girls schools will get t see this article. The fact that people from the second and third categories or even first or fourth categories will read this article is not going to help change the system.
If we all could print it out and hand deliver it to our children’s school principals – that might help. But who will do that? How many of us will actually bother?

To #58
May 10, 2013 9:25 am

No way. I am the loser
Our school’s Baruch has a pool, no worries, always smiles and flies on vacations, dresses his kinderlach in fancy clothes and has happy children unlike mine who grump at me all day.

May 10, 2013 9:25 am

What I fail to understand is how the administrators continue to not have to open the books. I get a break but pay way ore than I can really afford, but I know that chinuch is top priority. I just have a hard time seeing administrators of a community moisad (not their own private school) living very very grandly…… We need to demand to see books…
I think parents who feel everyone is being treated equally like a mentch will pay what they need to pay happily even when it’s tough.

Ever ponder?
May 10, 2013 9:11 am

With tuition so high these days, why are our dedicated teachers so many months behind in pay?

How are we to expect these teachers, to give their all into the job, when they are worrying about how they’re going to pay loans (or interest on the loans) they need to take because they are so many months behind?

Remember they work full time. We don’t WANT them finding second jobs (late PM or early AM), because then they won’t be able to dedicate themselves to the chinuch of OUR CHILDREN.

Where’s all the tuition money going?

May 10, 2013 9:04 am

Chinuch al Taharas Hakodesh should be at the top of our financial priorities.
Teaching to live honestly, respecting the laws of Torah and the medina should be at the top of our priorities.
You don’t want to pay taxes to the safest country that lets you live freely as a Jew? Where is the midah of hakares hatov?
Why doesn’t everyone go beg their banks, landlords, etc. to pay rent/mortgages that are reasonable? Why not fight all the utitlity companies to stop making huge profits off of you?
Why is tuition considered an evil expense?

May 10, 2013 8:54 am

You are right. Honesty is the best policy.

Amazing Article! TO THE POINT!!!
May 10, 2013 8:24 am

This article is exactly what I’ve been trying to say! BUT: 1) do you think the school admins will even read this? 2) even if/when the schools go back to the way they did until now, they pick and choose who to give the break to. They don’t always go according to the expressions on the face. and many of those really destitute are too embarrassed to beg for the help. Meanwhile, those with homes, vacations, cars, and belong to #2 & #3 slip a “dinner for 2 at Abigaels” under the table – a mere $150 and get a… Read more »

May 10, 2013 8:11 am

Wow, just wow! There is no better way to have described the situation! I think everyone in CH is secrectly thinking which of the 4 profiles they are and everyone just gave themself a new name! What a fresh and original presentation!! CHANOCH, WE WANT TO SEE MORE!! Chevra, just reading this article will accomplish nothing practical. Please, everyone needs to print this and drop it off in their school office. Put it in an envelope with or without your name. Askanim: Now that this issue has finally been brought out in the open, PLEASE do what you can to… Read more »

Chanoch Ha'Chochom
May 10, 2013 8:05 am
May 10, 2013 7:39 am

You are right on. I am in a situation now where I don’t know where to turn. What about those of us who make an honest living, but significantly less than mentioned above, but just too much to qualify for any government help, yet have to squeeze out a few hundred every month for tuition. From where? At the point of barely being able to put food on the table.

To #83
May 10, 2013 7:32 am

On the topic of people hogging section 8, I agree with you, but before newly married couples these apartments should be going to people in our community in unfortunate situations. It is shameful that Crown Heights has NO support system for people who are widowed, divorced for non-trivial reasons, ill or generally fallen on hard times. The least we can do is kick out those section 8 tenants who are working OFF the books and prioritize “the list” to help those of us who are TRULY in need. If anyone reading this is the 1% and wants to know what… Read more »

tax hunter
May 10, 2013 5:32 am

how long do you think you can getaway wit all these shtik?

May 10, 2013 5:30 am

is the point of the article about being honest or getting away with as much as you can

what if 10,000...
May 10, 2013 2:45 am

… parents go to the local public school late in August to register their children? BOE MUST accept every single child in their zone, and where would they put all the kids? If every single CH parent went along with this, I bet you that the BOE will figure out a way to pay for secular studies in the Jewish schools, and that will cut operating costs by 1/2. Better yet, lets just do “shluchim school” for all our kids. They seem to be getting a better education anyway, and there is no building, lunch or other costs that need… Read more »

Shalom Magazine
May 10, 2013 2:19 am

Great article. I cannot believe I was just writing an article for my Shalom Magazine about Jewish parents that make a lot of money but still cannot afford to pay tuition and send kids to Jewish camp when I saw this article on facebook.

Back at ya 70
May 10, 2013 2:03 am

You are absolutely right. Better not have bold career dreams and just do a continuous series of part-time minimum wage jobs than make 175k and pay 40k in taxes. I would always rather take home 15k and use the government than take pride in actually making a living for myself and yes, paying taxes. because you assume that the guy who picks up your trash, the roads that are paved, maintaining police, fire stations, ambulances…well that’s all free. And I rather walk into the schools and beg to not pay than have a decent job where I actually have something… Read more »

Tired Administrator
May 10, 2013 1:34 am

I have dealt with all of you.Running a school is more than payroll -utilities insurance janitors etc. Yeshivas cost more than tuition could ever bring in. Where is this money coming from? Try living out of town. No vouchers and everyone gets paid on the books and pays tuition. NY is corrupt and it will get us someday. I always dealt with parents with kindness and compassion and still got cursed at. Even though this was the minority it still surprised me.The money pays their kids devoted teachers. WAKE UP.This is life.

to #51
May 10, 2013 1:31 am


Write for me please!
May 10, 2013 1:16 am

Chanoch Ha’Chochom, I am blown away by your clear and enjoyable style of writing! How could I contact you? I would love to meet with you about some articles that need to be written. Thanks!

Poverty rocks!!
May 10, 2013 12:44 am

Middle class gets screwed. You make more not working. Unless you are making at least $250k, you’re better off unemployed.

Well written and thorough, but
May 10, 2013 12:41 am

the punchline is weak.

Schools must
a. Create a lower tuition rate (e.g. 5000)
b. fund raise and not depend on tuition to balance books.
b. have transparent books – being officially non-profit

Parents must all pay the same, regardless of income. Those more affluent can donate (from school fund raisers). There’s no negotiating with vendors of things people consider required and for which they somehow come up with the money. School should be at the top of that list.

Excellent writer, great piece! Now let's talk about Binyomin Ba'al Esek
May 10, 2013 12:35 am

Kudos on the best op-ed I’ve seen in years. Let me add another a 5th parent to the story, and excuse me for being several steps down from the quality of your writing: Binyomin Ba’al Esek: Is self-employed or owns his own business. He is one of the luckiest people in our community, as he get the zchus to see daily with his own eyes where his Parnossa is really coming from. For a while he was doing good, slightly better than Gavriel G’vir, and while not paying full tuition, was able AND HAPPY to pay above average tuition (he… Read more »

yossi A
May 10, 2013 12:29 am

Sad but true. BTW if you have 4 kids you get approx. $600 per month food stamps

On another note...
May 10, 2013 12:26 am

It is time for another op-ed. Dear author, you write well, please take on this topic……. Are you aware that teacher’s salaries are pitiful? My son just got married, he is in kollel, his wife teaches in a local school and gets paid a typical teachers’ salary which is very little. How are they supposed to manage? I don’t want my other children to teach. Let them go to college and become professionals. Why is the system encouraging them to go into chinuch without paying them well enough so that they can at least SURVIVE? Teachers don’t get well paid… Read more »

May 10, 2013 12:15 am

Administrators of schools: Get out of your office and collect money for the school, and make sure to pay your teachers with that, you will see that there will be plenty of money left over.
It is unheard of for schools to manage just with tuitions.

Kalman Ha'Ganif
May 10, 2013 12:09 am

“Kalman Ha’Ksil” should actually be called Kalman Ha’Ganif.

Grossly underreporting income in order to mooch off of the welfare system is called fraud — which is just a fancy technical term for theft.

I find it ironic that people who are pleading poverty in order to give their children a cheaper “Jewish education” are stealing in order to do so. What a terrible lesson to be teaching your children.

To 64
May 9, 2013 11:26 pm

Being a Doctor just means paying a lot more taxes and leads the school to think that you are a cash cow who can pay exuberant amounts in tuition.

To # 46
May 9, 2013 11:24 pm

Tried suggesting it many years ago. Did not get a single family willing to join, while they were all in agreement that “we” should do it! Maybe one day…

May 9, 2013 11:05 pm

Now this is a good op ed
A pleasure to read this thought-out article and the point it raises

May 9, 2013 10:49 pm

If only our kids would receive a “proper” education, it might be worth all the stress of working as many hours as you can fit in the week. But honestly I am really not impressed with the education here in CH. Having over 20 little kids in a class with one Rabbi, it is just not possible for him to actually make sure all the kids are learning anything. with all the tuition they are asking in the yeshivas, they can’t even give our kids a proper gym, some art classes etc..what exactly is it that we are paying for?… Read more »

May 9, 2013 10:42 pm

Then they try to squeeze more money out of us by using knasim as a punishment!

May 9, 2013 10:38 pm

your federal and state income tax figure is way off because you are ignoring deductions and exemptions! otherwise, good points

better careers
May 9, 2013 10:35 pm

maybe we should invest some of our money to getting our kids to be dentists, engineers, lawyers/judges, IT managers, doctors, pilots, professors? Those are all 100k+ jobs per year. Instead there’s a large percentage of Crown Heights willing to live on food stamps and section 8 on the tab of everyone who works hard. This story is great, but college grads make an average of 30-40% more than high school grads. That doesn’t mean that they’ll afford everything, but the more education they get, the better jobs they get and the less struggle they will have because you cannot survive… Read more »

Whoever you are who wrote this article- u ttly rock!!!! please write more!!!!!!
May 9, 2013 10:24 pm
Collapsing cycle
May 9, 2013 10:24 pm

The school system we are talking about creates fewer and fewer Gavriel Ha’Gvirs since they refuse to address the future parnasah needs of our kids. The student body keeps growing but as long as the schools do not enable our kids to succeed financially (as well as spiritually), they are just creating the next generation of Boruch Ha’Batlins. At some point we need to stop looking for the next Gvir and work at helping our kids to become one.

TO Gavriel Ha'Gvir
May 9, 2013 10:22 pm


Family Size
May 9, 2013 10:02 pm

I think tuition should be based on family size If you have one
child you pay the most, two children less, three children less
etc. Maybe this would be an incentive to have large family
as was with the previous generation. Nowadays people are
having smaller and smaller families and say that tuition is
the reason I challenge the leaders of our
community to encourage having large familiies by lowering
tuition according to family size

School administartors' Achrayus
May 9, 2013 9:53 pm

I tried to go through all comments, perhaps someone mentioned the following and I missed it. If one assumes a leadership role in a Moissad i.e. administrator, one must do fundraising and as mentioned above hire fundraisers. The Rebbe maintained that there IS enough money out there to educate every Yiddishe child! In fact, why is it that a young couple goes out to nowhere and manages to raise money etc.? I’ll tell you: BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR CAUSE AND DO EVERTHING POSSIBLE to make it happen! Whereas the new age administrator would rather sit in his office and… Read more »

who gets the last laugh?
May 9, 2013 9:46 pm

the gvir of course! He is teaching his children a valuable lesson and raising them to be successful and hard working. The Batlon on the other hand, is teaching his kids to be losers.

May 9, 2013 9:31 pm

Someone needs to start doing the research to see if that’s possible and what the outcome would be I am willing to assist…

great article!
May 9, 2013 8:35 pm

You brought out your point so well.

stupid new system
May 9, 2013 8:23 pm

my husband earns a very nice living bh OFF the books, cash, and no one will ever know; and yes we ( still) cry poverty. we pay minimal tuition simply because when there was a time when we couldn’t the schools were so unbelievably awful to us . we suffered so much from them… we are still hurting. so my advice to all u administrators are – listen and treat us with compassion and respect because people’s mazal change and u might get more out of us if we weren’t so angry!!!

Not so simple
May 9, 2013 8:09 pm

In our city, everyone in every school fills out the same forms to the same outside company, which sends back a tuition determination. The schools can then modify the amount up or down, based on personal knowledge. No one has meetings. One benefit of this, is consistent calculations, so there is no politicking, no special breaks for friends and family. In addition, the committees who decide tuition aren’t bombarded (and I have seen it!) with sob stories day and night- I am not talking about true difficulties, such as a lost job, but just plain complaining and begging. Those same… Read more »

Great piece.
May 9, 2013 7:49 pm

I have never read as good and to the point column on col.
But this is the issue with the entitlement society.
Why work like crazy to end up making about the same as a 50-60 k a year job or more …if with all the benefits u earn the same.Or just about…
But because of this economy and this presidents policies,
People need these things.

#46 - #46 - #46 - #46 - #46 -
May 9, 2013 7:46 pm

IS 100% CORRECT!!!!

I'm Mrs. Ha"Gvir
May 9, 2013 7:44 pm

I HATE having to work so hard. Then I come home to mounds of laundry, homework, supper etc and Gavriel is working every minute so he can’t help with the kids. And meanwhile, this “committee” decides that we are living like Kings. We get the raw end of every deal. I want a divorce. I want to marry Kalman Ha’Ksil. Well, Gavriel and me don’t have any sholom bayis anyway because we worry about money and argue how we should spend the kids’ birthday & chanukah money Bubbie & Zeidie sent. Shoes or coats? Thanks to our schools we are… Read more »

Halachic question
May 9, 2013 7:43 pm

Great article. I see he mentioned maaser. I always had this question. When do you deduct Maaser, before or after taxes? Can you deduct rent, health insurance etc.? What is considered income that you pay maaser on?

to 45 Yossi H
May 9, 2013 7:31 pm

Care to explain?

to 31 - Administration do funraise and keep half but don't want compitition,
May 9, 2013 7:30 pm

Fundraisers are not hiered by schools because the administraitors don’t want them to to get in the way of their funraising since they pocket about half of what they collect!
Notice they and their kids have second homes. If parents would get together and vote …

May 9, 2013 7:27 pm

Funny – no one mentioned that there are 225 out of town Lubavitch girls studying in Israel at $17,000 each, besides tickets and spending cash.
With no tuition brakes !!!!!

In my humble opinion these sems are hurting the local Moisdos

Public School
May 9, 2013 7:12 pm

I have an idea. Our children are entitled to a free (secular) education from the government. We pay school taxes. Since the gov’t won’t let us transfer that money to our private schools, we should all enroll our children in the local public schools. They would be so overwhelmed with the amount of children entering the system, they might be willing to come to some sort of compromise.

Yossy H
May 9, 2013 7:07 pm

This is gonna be the most explosive OP-ED ever based on the talk that’s flying around… Big Win for #Democracy…

to #31 and everyone talking about the "good old days"
May 9, 2013 7:02 pm

“Schools used to have fundraisers The administrators became lazy…” the reality is not so simple. 50 yrs ago, after the war, many refugees emigrated to the USA. they worked hard, built business’s and many were very successful $$$. they didn’t keep the home they grew up in, but had nostalgia for it. the Rashag z”l, and many others were able to tap into this group’s feelings to raise money for yeshivas. this generation is basically passed on. today their kids are either totally removed r”l from yiddishkeit or hopefully BT/frum. The BT/frum ones have their own kids schools to worry… Read more »

May 9, 2013 6:50 pm

Who else feels that the reason that fundraising broke down is because all the out of town g’virim (and even those from in town) are now directing their funds to the multi-million $ Chabad Houses and Mikvaos. To me, that’s the difference between this generation and the previous generation. The money is still there — it’s just not going to the moisdois anymore. And if this is true, the irony is that all the “investment” is now going to “outreach” at the costs of our own. When are people going to wake up to what’s slipping through our fingers right… Read more »

If everyone were to enroll their kids in the local PS....
May 9, 2013 6:44 pm

we’d see how fast we get government funding for our schools!

No more
May 9, 2013 6:41 pm

The problem is everywhere. A disconnect between the schools and the community. I have slowly pulled my kids out. I barely make ends meet and often can’t. But I make all my money on the books where it is out in the open. I also work three jobs by the way and I am not willing to suppor t those who don’t go to work and live off the system. Not when my kids can’t go to camp, not when I can’t afford to call a repair to fix something broken in the house, not when I try to avoid… Read more »

Well written
May 9, 2013 6:39 pm

Chanoch nicely written. And you are 100% right who are we to judge ?? But honesty is the best policy. And bottom line the ppl here in ch aren’t honest. They accept all these government aids when really they should be teaching their children the value of hard work and pride to be able to care for your family. Horrible. All the other communities laugh at us FRUM ppl. C’mon ch. enough. Get a job. Drive a truck. Get a degree. Live. And let the poor nebachs who really just can’t hold on to a job take assistance from the… Read more »

Well written!!!
May 9, 2013 6:39 pm

Finally a nice article!!!!

Please write agin 🙂

May 9, 2013 6:31 pm

People should only have to pay how much it costs for their child to go to school. That means Total expenses of school devided by number of kids. That’s how much it costs per kid finished. There is no chiyuv to pay some one else’s tuition.

I am in the Gavriel Hagvir Category
May 9, 2013 6:16 pm

I urge all those in the gavriel hagvir category, those of us earning a hard earned honest living & putting all that over time with out time to ever be a father to our children. put your foot down and do not fill out this third party information. You will only be feeding the dishonesty of all those friends and neighbors of yours that are working off the books and cheating the whole system. You will be paying thier childrens tution. “so keep working milions on wellfare depend on YOU”!!!!! ( and how many of those on wellfare are just… Read more »

May 9, 2013 5:58 pm

it is a very well written article … and i can add many more cases to it … but you know that the funny thing is that all 4 of the above mentioned parents send kids out of town and to camps etc etc .. hey we live in a “community” and at the end of the day we are all in the same boat (living in one community) and we are responsible for all of them

May 9, 2013 5:54 pm

You are simply wrong. We Yidden are simply poorer. Even our gvirim. Also, whereas after the war non-observant Jews could be approached and counted on support Jewish causes, that is no longer case. But the bottom line is that our needs have out paced the growth of our gvirim.

The schools are pressuring parents, because the schools are broke. They don’t need to be animals about it, which they often are, but they are not doing it because they are ‘lazy’.

What goes around comes around.
May 9, 2013 5:51 pm

It is very important to voice ones opinion, and to express ones inner thoughts. However, this applies when there is someone either listening to give advice, or a friend for comfort. The problem here is not who has money, and who does not have money. Those that want to cheat, and take everything for granted, will always find ways to accomplish that. The one that works hard, will always do his best, and contribute to his ability. The question is, what changed between this and the past generation? Schools never had money, but why now are they bankrupt? Simply put,… Read more »

May 9, 2013 5:49 pm

Yes, we basically agree. What I meant by government aid was that it will difficult to get a class together, because the majority of CH qualifies at least for head start. Also, as it stands, the schools are taking 4,000 grand, and as long as that continues, there won’t be strong enough incentive to break the mold. But alas, B”H are population outpaces the growth of the schools and the time will come that the schools will not take $4,000 because the scarcity of spots can be allocated to higher paying parents, at which point current system will break down.… Read more »

Right on the money!
May 9, 2013 5:43 pm

Kudos to the author. You hit the nail on the head!
The tax paying middle class struggle the most.
Besuros tovos.

Schools used to have fundraisers
May 9, 2013 5:38 pm

The administrators became lazy and have asked that parents assume the financial burden.
Why squeeze already squeezed families?

I suggest that the tuition committees look at the cars, homes and vacations of everyone instead of wasting their time with this third party goyishe company who doesn’t understand the frum economy.

#21 to 28
May 9, 2013 5:34 pm

It’s nice to hear it’s already taking place! I concede my figures may be a bit off, but like i mentioned, and you seem to agree, if you higher newlyweds you could do it for much less, and, if the class sizes are smaller perhaps they can do with fewer hours. Moreover, with close parental oversight, class time could be used more efficiently with less of a need for discipline being that parents would have a much larger role in this case. Once you get to older grades, it does become more complex, but it’s still doable. You’ll just have… Read more »

what ever happened to
May 9, 2013 5:30 pm

the good old days when Rosh Hamoisdois of the schools went out to raise $ from the real Big gevirim.
Its easy to sit by a desk and collect tuition.

May 9, 2013 5:21 pm

That will happen. It is already happening. One of my children is in a 1 class cheder, and I recently saw and ad here for 12 year old girls class. But your numbers are way, way off. A one teacher shop, with no administration, working 6 days a week, cannot gross $30,000 to $45,000. It simply not worth the effort. There is no more intensive job than teaching. Once tuition hits the 5-6,000 range though, which is where this looks to be headed. These types of schools will be commonplace. Another thing to bear in mind is that early education… Read more »

Ja! i got and idea!
May 9, 2013 5:20 pm


this definitively wont work further like this , so.

lets go protest at school, but! off course, if we go as ourselves, we would probably be ashamed to be there because it will show our financial problems, that lav davka everyone wants public, so!

lets all take our masks to cover our identities, and protest in our schools that use 3rd party “assistance”, this will surely make a big enough shturem to get the schools and everyones attention.
what do you say?

oh please
May 9, 2013 5:13 pm

How can a menahl scream at a parent for going to the country or taking the family to Israel while paying 18,000 to one moisad while the people run ning the mosidas are laughing all the way to the bank! The only way it will stop is if we hold nightly protests outside of these peoples homes to open the books and tell us why they don’t have money to pay teachers

in a perfect world
May 9, 2013 5:12 pm

that’s not even mentioning if you have a child/ren with special diets or require medical attention that the insurance does NOT cover. That costs families hundreds of $ more every month. Or the son/daughter of #4 who are struggling to pay rent but need to pay full tuition because of their parents income level. Who says well to do parents are supporting their children?

love all your cute name titles :)
May 9, 2013 5:06 pm

you should write more 😀

Wake Up Call
May 9, 2013 5:06 pm

A guy sitting all day learning torah and section 8 I respect , but a guy “farbrengen all nights” to be late next day and not working is something pretty common. I am not going to chance the system with a personal opinion, but torah needs to go hand in hand with an occupation , havinbg 12, 13, 14 children wanna be rabbis is hurting the lifestyle , because they are not good rabbis and they have no education to survive. Is really tough, the Rebbe is not here and is super difficult getting good advise, but have what you… Read more »

my story
May 9, 2013 4:55 pm

I .have BH a large family At the time my first children were attending school my husband BH had a business and made a fine parnoso…Not rich rich but able to live comfortably.. we did not take vacations or drive a Lexus but were able to pay for all we needed.. At that time we paid full tuition despite the comments we got from friends ” why are you paying so much tuition? whereupon my husband responded : ” these are my children..this is our mosad and if Hashem blessed my that I am able to pay i will pay”… Read more »

An Idea
May 9, 2013 4:55 pm

Perhaps decentralization and cutting overhead could be a solution for some. E.G. 10-15 parents with children of the same age can hire a teacher to teach their kids – kind of like the old days. Let’s say they each pay 3,000 per year. You could hire a full-time teacher, or two half-day teachers for that amount. This could work well until about bar/bas mitzvah age, the reason being you’d probably need to higher younger and less experienced teachers (who can still be great teachers, btw), and that should be fine until those ages as the material isn’t so complex. Who… Read more »

May 9, 2013 4:45 pm

This is so right. I am in that middle class situation and was thinking the exact same thing about the 3rd party screening. Everyone knows it, so why are they doing this???

Wonderfully illustrated!
May 9, 2013 4:36 pm

Son of Gavriel

May 9, 2013 4:36 pm

Gavriel HaGvir needs to hire a new accountant, quickly

Crucial message
May 9, 2013 4:35 pm

A brilliant allegory that should resonate with everyone! Thank you, Chanoch Ha’Chochom– though I think you should reveal your identity and write more on this pressing topic.

Schools need Hours, People's Time
May 9, 2013 4:29 pm

This article is why some schools request hours from parents to assist in Chinuch, fundraising, lunchtime help, etc.

For whatever reason, if parents cannot pay the total financial costs, then there is a lot that parents can do to help to compensate the school and to help the school provide quality education, programs, and class trips.
Even full paying parents can enroll with their school to see how everyone can help out.

May 9, 2013 4:25 pm


Section 8 is dead
May 9, 2013 4:18 pm

There is no Boruch Batlan for the young generation. You can get everything you need but your rent. No company making enough money to pay low level employees enough to pay CH rents is ghetto enough to be paying off the books. The bottom line is that teachers need to make a living and the collective parent body doesn’t make a living. So the education system is simply un-affordable Something will give as this isn’t at all sustainable. More than likely, we will start hearing of parent’s ‘home schooling’ their children. I’m pretty close to that myself… The young generation… Read more »

All 3 parents
May 9, 2013 4:12 pm

…are treated by the Administration as if they were Moe, Curly and Larry (for the younger readers – The Three Stooges). They think we are all a bunch of fools and stooges. I am Nimrod Ha’Nudnick.

Agree 100%!
May 9, 2013 4:06 pm

The honest people get screwed again!

If I honestly file my tax return, and pay the heavy taxes (supporting all those who take ‘advantage’), the school will now raise my tuition (to again support those who ‘cheat’).

It’s just not worth earning money the honest way anymore.

PS. The author doesn’t even mention how demeaning and time-consuming they have recently made the whole process at one particular Yeshiva institution…

A Must Read for Everyone
May 9, 2013 4:05 pm

if only people would realize this…
In america the Middle Class suffers most while the poor benefit… how ironic!!!

to #8
May 9, 2013 4:03 pm

u mean we need a new universe?

local school parent
May 9, 2013 4:03 pm

one local school is causing so many of its parents heartache by telling them there is noone to talk to , you must deal with this third independent party,the vaad hagashmi don’t understand how hard they are coming down on us together with the hanhala, how many of us are comfortable with the idea of disclosing all our private info online, for some of us this is impossible and will cause us trouble, this is causing many parents sleepless nights ,how can you tell your parents we don’t want to talk to you , sorry this is not okay,the vaad… Read more »

We need more
May 9, 2013 3:58 pm

More money, more leadership, more vision. Until we get serious and creative, we’ll be talking about this for decades.

So true!!!
May 9, 2013 3:55 pm

Well worth reading through. This is so very impressively written, must be some quiet but smart guy in our community who is enlightening us with his words. Lets all learn from this post. Thank you Chanoch.

Sharp as a tac.
May 9, 2013 3:52 pm

This could have not been articulated any better…….I am b/h after alot of years and hard work Gavriel Ha’Gvir and being on the UP AND UP is no walk in the park!!! here is no chance I will use that 3rd party web site….I will write my checks like every year and they will be good to cash and everyone will be happy!!

See if I am joking!!!

'honesty' is the key word
May 9, 2013 3:52 pm

Without honesty, these ‘third party’ websites don’t work, but neither do the face to face meetings with the administrators!

In America: better be poor than middle class!
May 9, 2013 3:48 pm

If u had a choice between your family total salary being $75,000 and staying penniless or living off the gov and not being in debt – what would u choose? (It is not a Jewish problem it is a widespread American problem!).

Totally agree
May 9, 2013 3:43 pm

Sick and tired of the guys who get every government assistance in the book and still cant pay tuition…so the burden falls on the rest.

wow, this is really well written!
May 9, 2013 3:40 pm

Finally, someone that really gets it!
from somone who is struggling these days to pay basic necessities, I feel too, that a face to face meeting to explain the situation is what is needed.
I certainly hope the school administrations take this to heart and realize how many people are barely getting by these days.

May 9, 2013 3:36 pm

This is beyond true, being a “#4” and seeing someone actually articulate this “problem” so clearly makes me all the more indignant…