By COLlive reporter
An open letter by a mother of children in a Chabad school sparked a wide discussion about the high costs of enrolling students in the Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos learning competition.
“I don’t think it’s right for kids or parents to “fundraise” for this level of luxury when there are real causes that need fundraising,” Chani S. wrote in an op-ed posted on COLlive.com on Sunday.
Titled “Priceless Chidon Became a Pricey Experience,” the op-ed has some 350 approved comments, and the issue has spilled over to private discussions in schools and family WhatsApp groups.
The following day, some schools were quick to take action and announced to parents that there would be some financial support for the families who couldn’t afford it.
Beis Rivkah girls school in Crown Heights said 42 students have not registered for the Chidon this year. “If you aren’t registering due to a financial hardship, please private message me so I can try to help,” one educator wrote.
A message on the Montreal Chidon parent group asked those who can afford to chip in. “I am raising funds to allow every child the opportunity to register,” one wrote.
At the Bnos Menachem girls school in Crown Heights, they wrote: “Chidon registration is still open! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help in any way (financial or otherwise).
Another message shared with COLlive.com read: “Thank you to a most generous parent who called to sponsor 10 students with $100 each. Please reach out asap if you would like this to go towards your daughter’s trip. First come, first serve!”
Wow what a kiddish Hashem
Bh people stepped up to the plate and helped out those that are need
so now there will be:
a charidy to support our school
a charidy to support tzivois hashem
a charidy to support the school who are paying for tzivois hashem
a charidy to support the parents who is sending their kid to school which signed up for tzivois hashem
So what? Let each person decide where they want their tzedaka to go towards.
Being a nervous wreck and trying to promote your competition page for the past who knows how many hours as your child is told they must make sure they register to select prizes that were selected when they first signed up or they wont get their prize then agonizing and not being able to fall asleep cause the deadline is approaching and you still didn’t sign up as you pray someone who saw your post might be generous enough to give. Sorry but the damage was done already. Ppl are struggling and it’s hard. And it’s even harder when the… Read more »
To the parents and educators stepping in to fundraise I truly hope though that Tzivos Hashem takes this in to consideration and fundraising efforts can be spent on camp and tuition and parang a don’t have to be made out to feel poor or take charity for an overpriced chidon experience
First I want to commend the organizers for the great initiative and hard work of getting the kids to learn the mitzvos,,,but last year they also offered a subsidized price, if parents promised to fundraise a certain amount,, thanks but no thanks,,, people are just asking that you scale back the whole party, and let the community fundraising go for education, not extravagant swag, concerts and trips..
Chidon is an excellent program and it’s great that an effort is being made to lower the costs, but what about restoring the shabbaton and adding more ruchniyus into the reward, rather than having an overpriced waterpark trip be the reward?
It’s so beautiful when an op Ed is not just about a rant, rather taking positive steps to assist the situation. Kol hakavod
250 comments of appreciation for tzivos Hashem, and the schools and parents trying to help. Thank you!
If you like what tzivos hashem does like the above comment
Now we have 17 different mosdos that are collecting money for the same organization
That’s just backwards
So now tuition will go up
But it seems pre mediated (they have history of this) and the comment section boat of the other article has already sailed. It’s unnecessary and wasteful and this funding is a drop in the ocean
Seems like the schools are trying to help people pay. THANK YOU!!
Now can the Chidon themselves also help, by lowering the grandeur of the prizes so it’s not so expensive in the first place, and we can afford it alone without the school’s kind help? Thank you!!
Also, it said, “most parents paid and only a few need help.” But a lot of those parents who paid, did so out of pressure and can’t really afford it.
Is so true!
Thank you Mrs. Esther Wilhelm and sarale golomb for going above and beyond to inspire my girls in learning for Chidon and using their time so productive and helping the girls feel recognized for what they accomplish. We are so touched by all you do in helping us raise the next generation.
Just scale back on the program. Work within a manageable budget! Make it fun with chayus instead of costly over the top trips. Cut out the additional prizes and cut out the swag that we just throw out anyway. Otherwise I think chidon is amazing and my kids learn a lot!!!
It seems as if these schools have completely missed the point.
This requires a reorganization of chidon.
Registration, prizes and all included should be no more than $25 per child. That’s right, you heard me.
Schools should not raise money to cover this organization’s severe mismanagement of funds, they should be issuing an ultimatum: make this program affordable (and not about the gashmius), or we will no longer encourage our student body to enroll.
Hoping for some change
25 dollars doesnt even cover the cost of getting pencils from china never mind the expensive computer system, programers, etc etc
Obviously everyone’s budget is different but if chidon cost $100 per kid that seems reasonable, and if the cost was upfront maybe they could set up a payment plan of $25 per month for 4 months. Part of the craziness was that there was such a tight timeframe to pay in one day and some parent didn’t realize that the trip wasn’t covered in their initial registration fee.
Although, very nice of the organizers trying to help but I feel that not only it would not solve the crying out issue, but rather it would only make it worse.
We are hard working parents and NOT interested in being a hand-out, especially for this project.
Why isn’t the message loud and clear: The Chidon organizers , although very well meaning, went completely on an over kill, both B’Gashmius and B’Ruchnius as it is clearly out lined in the article as well as in the responses.
Please do NOT put a blind eye to this
Subsidizing this trip is just putting on a Band-Aid on the unequities of our society and the great split between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This is the same problem as Mr beast sponsoring the operations for the blind and thereby making us feel like we’re actually doing something major when in fact the issue is a lot bigger than that.
Actually, many schools have been directing their parents to Chidon HQ who are helping parents with subsidies!
where did it say you had to pay $300 not what I saw today
So nice of the sponsors but chidon needs to be both downsized and transparent.
Setting aside Chidon for a second, I’ve learned 2 things. 1. Over the years, “The System” has reduced us to shnorrers. A few generations ago it was unheard for your average baalhabos to accept handouts unless you were CV deeply in trouble financially. The Rambam already decried this mentality and says clearly to do whatever you can not to become a charity case. Today everyone has some moised that they’re collecting for and as a result the truly needy get very little as most tzedoko funds go to swag, a new sefer Torah, a new building campaign, etc. 2. The… Read more »
Of those who have come forward to help. Chidon is so important. Can TH please regroup and discuss to keep it exciting and less gadget ( expensive) oriented. It will keep prices down and manageable. Thank you for hearing us out.
The point was for chidon to scale back. Bow the schools are enabling them, totally missed the point. The goal wasnt to create more shnorrers. Tons of families registered out of pressure. They give you 1 day and after chidon has blasted every prize and reward in every magazine for so many months, its kinda hard to say no. And not all of us send our kids to camp and keep up with the joneses. We live in our means. I can choose not to show the videos but my kids are seeing the magazines, perhaps i should stop letting… Read more »
We already paid, but besides, again its like asking for subsidies, doesn’t feel right, they should just scale back the price for everyone, and continue their great program…
I’m so impressed that so many kids are willing to learn day and night in their free time for much smaller rewards. Fact is , many kids I know, including mine BH, do need these incentives to keep them going day after day for months on end. Lower the incentives and you may actually lose a lot of the kids and that would b very sad. We also love the sweater. The schools let them wear it as part of the uniform so we love it . Thank you to all involved in CHIDON Ps- there’s a way to voice… Read more »
A $300 prize is not something people should be raising tzedokah for. Then we wonder why our children NEED so much for doing so little. Make a normal trip that costs $50 per kid and stop this insanity. I wouldn’t give one penny for this.