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Wednesday, 18 Elul, 5779
  |  September 18, 2019

The 4 Options a School Has When Tuition Isn’t Being Paid

Op-Ed: Rabbi Gil Hami, Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Lev Tmimim Lubavitch in Monsey, on the sad reality parents needs to recognize and rectify. Full Story

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A parent
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A parent

This article does not address the crisis many parents go through trying to pay the very outrageous price of tuition. And the solution is not to keep milking the cow that has no milk left….the solution is to have proper fundraising done by every yeshivah or school. This is something that is overlooked by many. Of course parents need to do their best to pay what they can afford but the Rebbe never said schools should run on tuition mainly. In fact, the Rebbe’s outlook was to take in every child and provide them with Jewish education even if they… Read more »

Rabbi Hami
Guest
Rabbi Hami

You are correct. This article does not address the many parents are going through. That was not the point of the article. Nor did the article in any way shape or form criticize parents. The point of the article was to help parents realize that schools are not able to provide what they dont have. It is not a question of listening to the Rebbe or having the right chinuch attitude. That is why I used the example of a car without gas. Even an ambulance driver intent on saving a life will not be able to drive the car… Read more »

response
Guest
response

Precisely my point. The comments were not meant to be disparaging. I just think that the article is focusing so much on the obligation of parents paying tuition…but if a parent is having a hard time doing so, what is the practical solution? Or even imagine a parent is not so frum yet wants to give their child a Jewish education and yet they do not understand paying high tuition. Should that child be refused? i dont think so. That is what i meant by what the Rebbe would want. I perfectly understand teachers need to be paid, and schools… Read more »

Rabbi Hami
Guest
Rabbi Hami

Unfortunately, it seems that there is major misunderstanding, based on the comments, and it seems it is coming from the title and photo that was chosen for the article. Please change it as soon as possible to avoid more misunderstanding and unnecessary conflict. This was meant to bring clarity (hence the title I originally gave “Let’s get clear”) and help bring awareness. Instead it just comes across as another article that is fanning the tension between parents and school administrations. The title and photo of this article has caused many readers to misunderstand and unfortunately argue back the wrong point.… Read more »

Rabbi Hami
Guest
Rabbi Hami

Unfortunately, it seems that there is major misunderstanding, based on the comments, and it seems it is coming from the title and photo that was chosen for the article. Please change it as soon as possible to avoid more misunderstanding and unnecessary conflict. This was meant to bring clarity (hence the title I originally gave “Let’s get clear”) and help bring awareness. Instead it just comes across as another article that is fanning the tension between parents and school administrations. The title and photo of this article has caused many readers to misunderstand and unfortunately argue back the wrong point.… Read more »

Really?
Guest
Really?

All Chabad Schools must be under one roof, then as one big body you can overcome the crisis. Sure parents are ones who didn’t paid on time, but you can’t run school only on parents $. The bigger crisis is that starting from a daycare parents money toward higher education are draining, I don’t tell we don’t need to pay but to pay reasonable,so if I started from day care toward the Mesivta and up I need to pay and pay and pay at the end amount close to 100K and up per child? So do you think it’s possible?… Read more »

Everything was always expensive
Guest
Everything was always expensive

To live life is expansive, and it always was and always will be. And not one mechanech says that if you have 5 kids in the school you MUST pay full tuition. They offer breaks and scholarships. The problem is that when someone agrees to pay tuition on a heftfy scholarship (50 percent off or more at times) and the Parents cant be bothered to even think about that expense vs. other “non essentials” because “I work hard and I deserve a vacation, or for shalom bayis i need to spend another 5k on a shaitel etc…” you are the… Read more »

vacation&jewelry? check the lines for Pesah food
Guest
vacation&jewelry? check the lines for Pesah food

vacation and jewelry? check the lines for Pesah Chickens, go one day and just stay there and observe….then go to the Mazta distribution….lines of tired from life CH women… sadly the lines are huge and with years new people join those lines…. We all are working, but we are poor working class in CH, that never went to vacations or upstate for Summer, Pesah Hotel? neither have jewelry presents for YomTovs or birthdays… give me a break for your judgmental comment…you live in your LA La land, we are paying high rent, bills and only basic food, means our only… Read more »

Administrator
Guest
Administrator

Finally someone who understands the incredibly hard job we have. I try to do my job with love and compassion. I am blessed to work for a school that always pays on time. I deal everyday with parents who curse me And tell me their entire lives problems.I can’t tell you how many people tell me they can’t put food on the table because of me! Meanwhile out of Brooklyn tuition is 3 or 4 times more. I see more entitlement and I’m sorry blaming everyone else Get a better job,and 2 incomes might help. But don’t blame me for… Read more »

Response
Guest
Response

I have taken offense to your comments. If the parents do truly curse you, it is because you are attempting to take money from a family that simply doesn’t have it. That family presumably does not take vacations, does not have a beautiful dining room set and new car. I feel that administrators and deans of Jewish Schools have abandoned the path of fund raising and instead they are going to the parents for the financial burdens of running the school. The administrator or dean must take the fundraising aspect seriously and use all channels to raise funds for the… Read more »

Administrator
Guest
Administrator

You have no right to judge me. Bloated tuition? Try moving to another state of even Monsey. I and my husband worked like crazy for 50 years to educate my kids and now the next generation. Bh most parents appreciate all i do because bottom line they know I care for their kids. My pay is miniscule Who curses me? Fathers who answer the home phone when I call Be careful who you judge .

2nd response
Guest
2nd response

Administrators must go out and fundraise. Stop gouging parents. Stop forcing parents into going on birth control. Stop forcing parents into debt and eventual bankruptcy.

I’m not judging you, all I’m requesting is for you to have sympathy and stop relying on tuition to fund your school.

You dont get it
Guest
You dont get it

an out of town mesivta is $17,500.00 some even more. That is a hefty sum even for someone that makes a good living. now if you multiply that by 2 or even 4 + girls in seminary and high school (out of CH) and you are talking 70k in tuition. Fundraising for a school is harder than most for this reason. How can you go to the “Gvir” in your city who already pays 70k and ask him for more because the neighbor who agreed to pay only half price – wont do it? Every organization will give a break… Read more »

Bloated
Guest
Bloated

Unfortunately our schools are like government. They like to bloat for no reason.

Berel
Guest
Berel

Every parent is aware of this. Nothing new here, I deal with this every year when I negotiate down the new raise in my tuition obligations. Aside from assuaging guilt pangs, which may indeed be unwarrented, all this and like op-eds serve to do is to demotivate any tzedeaka flows into the moisdois. Once schools claim that they are going concerns, and that you have to pay to play, then gvirim start diverting funds to the bikur choilims and hatzaloahs of the world. There is not a single instance in modern history, were we’ve had universally available education, the financing… Read more »

Why chabad misses struggle
Guest
Why chabad misses struggle

No chaseedisheshe boys Yeshiva or girls schools under pay their staff as chabad mosdos do nor do any of them charge the amount of tuition chabad mosdos go do your homework ask Satmar belz bobov

Communal responsibility
Guest
Communal responsibility

The writers position is unenviable, however it should be noted that this situation is a symptom of a lack of community feeling and responsibility. When those with the means will step up to the plate this issue will cease to exist. In the chassidishe communities this is a non issue precisely because the wealthy have a sense of responsibility and are ashamed not to support their own moisdos. They do not have a tuition crisis. I know this first hand.

Stam a yid
Guest
Stam a yid

The only people who can argue with this op-ed are those who are administraters themselves, and have done it differently and succeeded. Otherwise you have no idea what they put up with. And I am not an administrator

WE NEED TO BE REALISTIC
Guest
WE NEED TO BE REALISTIC

This is a wonderful theory, but min Hatorah you can take twenty children of each class into a shul or house or anywhere with a teacher and tuition costs get reduced in half. Once you have a mosad you need to fundraise to offset the cost, its simply not realistic for parents with large families to pay full tuition for each child K”AH

Feeling for Parents who are squeezed
Guest
Feeling for Parents who are squeezed

Rabbi Ha.mi,

Wit all due respect some of what you write is just factually incorrect.

No the burden of Chinuch is Not 100% on the parents
have a look in Jilchus Talmid Torah of the Alter Rebbe

Community Burden
Guest
Community Burden

There are situations where the community is obligated to care for the education of the children. Not 100% like in this Artie.

Rabbi Hami
Guest
Rabbi Hami

You are correct. Sometimes it is on the community. But it is NOT on the teachers and menahalim. in other words, the administrator of a school has the same responsiblity to machanech a poor child in the comunity as the grocery man, and the bus driver and the accountant.

Berel
Guest
Berel

the administrator of a school has the same responsiblity to machanech a poor child in the comunity as the grocery man, and the bus driver and the accountant. You really believe that. Like for reals? Have you discussed this with the likes of R’ Leibel Groner or others who were close to the Rebbe and have first hand knowledge of how the Rebbe related to the baale moisdois, or are you just making this up. This attitude would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Do all the baalie moisdois think like this? Are all the donors who have pitched… Read more »

Big family
Guest
Big family

In our world, where frum families have many children bh, how can u expect them to cover all tuition costs??? Even if the parents both have decent jobs, Chinuch is expensive! And then if a kid goes to live in a dorm, and airline tickets. Things add up! Frum school should be subsidized , or like public schools, where kids don’t pay to go to school. Frum education in Israel doesn’t cost. Why can schools in America be like that?? The reason secular schools don’t have these issues ( generally) is cuz it’s government funded. We should be working on… Read more »

Finally
Guest
Finally

Finally someone who speaks from the other side. I’ve seen way too many parents who will spend $800 on a designer gown, go away on an expensive vacation, eat out regularly at fancy restaurants, and complain about not being able to pay tuition. I am not an administrator, just a parent who can’t understand why other parents relegate tuition payments to the lowest priority. I am not talking about the ones who genuinely can’t afford tuition, as can be seen in their lifestyle choices. Like it or not, tuition for many is not viewed as a priority, and as you… Read more »

That is not the truth
Guest
That is not the truth

The parents that eat out regularly at fancy restaurants and go on fancy vacations are not the ones that are struggling to pay the outrageous sum demanded by yeshivas. I speak from personal experience.

parent
Guest
parent

i hear you. do you hear me?a school can not exist on tuition alone. if you took the job of menahel, it means you need to raise the funds to keep the school going. if you cant then step away
I have eight children in school. the school is asking for 6,000 each. thAt is almost my entire salary. $48,000. My entire salary is not that much more. we lve very simple AND

parent
Guest
parent

i hear you. do you hear me? a school can not exist on tuition alone. the job of the menahel is to raise funds. if you can not do it step down and let someone else do it I have 8 children inschool. they want $6,00 per child . tht is be$48,000 per year besides camps and registration etc. etc. AND DO NOT TELL

parent
Guest
parent

DO NOT TELL ME AS ONE MENAHEL SAID “SO WHO TOLD YOU TO HAVE SO MANY KIDS”
8 KIDS IN SCHOOL X $6,000 ASKING $48,000 CANT AFFORD IT

Administrator
Guest
Administrator

Not every school is big enough or old enough to raise money. My kids out of state if they can’t pay tuition are told to raise it themselves. We raise for for building expansion and running expenses but tuition has to cover Payroll We do not charge a building fund I’ve heard it all. So many kids, making a bar mitzvah, bought a house(?) lost my job. Etc etc . It’s a thankless job. You want it?

Gvir
Guest
Gvir

B”h I was blessed to inherit a large amount of money from my father a”h. I only give money to schools. This article is why.

Parent who understands schools
Guest
Parent who understands schools

Although I hate to write this, personally I try to pay more tuition and give less other Tzedokah. Aniyei Ircha Kodem is something which is not understood in Chabad. True there are Shluchim and other Mosdos that need our money, but our schools are more important. This applies to the average parent (all the small $10-18 donations add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars we could give our schools), as well as Gvirim who give money to Shluchim and therefore not enough to our own Mosdos. Shluchim definitely need our money, but our own kids are our main Shlichus.… Read more »

Another option
Guest
Another option

Get bochurim teachers so don’t have to pay whole salaries for a whole family. another option Yeshivas should be in areas with relatively cheap real estate. Also I tread of renting borrow $ for down payment and pay the investors back with interest. Also if more bale batim would give donations to Yeshivas and get kavod for it. In chabad we give huge donations to shluchim. Not like they’re not important. But Yeshivas outside Lubavitcher are getting huge donations. No reason ours shouldn’t get the same respect.

Chabad.
Guest
Chabad.

The answer is capable fundraisers. It amazes how somehow 4-5000 shluchim figure it out, while the few schools we have that actually educated them, can’t figure it out…. astonishing!

Stam a side thought to your comment. Not to the ma
Guest
Stam a side thought to your comment. Not to the ma

Most Shluchim do the fundraising by themselves. They don’t really hire people to do it for them. They probably spend the majority of their time fundraising (I’ve heard lots of people say, that fundraising is actually a huge part of the actual Shlichus. Building relationships etc) That isn’t usually the case by Yeshivos (I’m not talking about Chedorim) the Rosh Yeshivah usually is the primary giver of Hashpaah by a lot of Mesiftos. It makes it much more difficult to fundraise. I am in no way trying to say it should be that way (although, perhaps it should) I’m saying… Read more »

Shluchim fundraising
Guest
Shluchim fundraising

Is from a very different clientele. Like from not (yet) Frum Yiddin who tend to have more money. Plus the whole sales pitch is different and easier. No comparision.

Yeshiva/high school thought
Guest
Yeshiva/high school thought

So much money is spent on making sure the Gashmiyus is up to standard of 2019 which helps raise costs and therefore tuition. Maybe if we lower the standard of Gashmiyus intake and teach ourselves and our children to be more Someiach Bechelkoi, we could make a small dent in the costs. Even with all the money being spent, the Bochurim and girls still constantly complain and parents call the administration to back them up. Just the normal decent (not great) food that our kids refuse to eat on a daily basis can feed dozens of families. And then the… Read more »

Agree !!!
Guest
Agree !!!

Right

Ohio
Guest
Ohio

Move to Ohio. School Vouchers in Cincinnati. Chabad Community there. Chabad yeshiva. 2 Orthodox Elementary Schools. Girls high school. Affordable housing, affordable schooling due to school vouchers not based on salary and available for all.

Dear Rabbi Hami
Guest
Dear Rabbi Hami

BH

With respect, you do an mention any Sicha that discusses this issue. Although the situation in very serious in our times, it is by no means a new issue. The Rebbe spoke about this many times, staring in the early years. And the responsibly lies with the Administration to go out and fundraise more. Plain and simple.

Why do you ignore these Sichas?

Rabbi Hami
Guest
Rabbi Hami

With all due respect, do you honestly think that I and every other administrator has not done whatever possible to try and fundraise as much as possible? This comment is extremely short sighted.
My article came to describe the desperate situation for all sides and to help the community understand what happens when there are not enough funds. It was not a criticism of parents. Read the first paragraph please.

Cover up
Guest
Cover up

Do you really expect me to believe that 18k is not enough for a year?? Let me tell you a little something, in Israel, the maximum a high end school or yeshiva will charge is 5,000 USD MAXIMUM. (And they happen to be very well run). The notice. That it’s not enough is simply outrageous and abominable.

you are wrong for 4 reasons
Guest
you are wrong for 4 reasons

Tell me something -how much food do you consume in a year? The answer is it cost a minimum of about 4000.00 to feed a Bochur in the US, it can be brought down if the Yeshiva has a full time kitchen and staff which many do not (smaller yeshivas) and many rely on catering services. 2. Cost of living in israel is alot less – 5k in USD is about 18K in NIS which goes a lot further. 3. Chances are food isn’t really even being paid for (by you) in israel as most (all) yeshivas are subsidised by… Read more »

You have no clue of what reality is
Guest
You have no clue of what reality is

1: it does not nearly cost 4,000 to feed a bochur for a year. 2: MOST yeshivas have a full time kitchen and staff. 3: EVERYTHING in Israel besides for food is way more expensive than in US (real estate, clothing, cars, transportation…) 4: I was in an all-Israeli yeshiva where I was the only American of about 30 Israeli bochurim. It did not have 150 bochurim, and CERTAINLY not 30% American, yet they charged my parents the same exact amount as they charged Israeli parents. 5: if you think the gashmius of yeshivas in America is something to write… Read more »

The real solution.
Guest
The real solution.

Why don’t 150 thousand ny Yeshiva students register in public school. The government will go crazy and give us the funding to stay where we are. Public schools would cost 25 thousand a kid for the state. Yeshivas had they had ten thousand a kid we would cover everything. Stop bugging the rich yidden to support yeshivas when you can easily get the government to pay. Also register to vote and elect normal politicians.

Re: community's responsibility
Guest
Re: community's responsibility

(I acknowledge that this comment is tangential & case specific. I am posting here on behalf of the number of women for whom it applies, as it is such an important issue) I spent a few years in an abusive marriage, literally being prevented from working or going to school.when I finally fled, I faced life as a single Mom & Aguna (BT w/no family support). I turned to many many individuals, askanim rabbanim etc. No one assisted in enforcing the seruv …my husband has been welcomed in many places (i.e. Shuls, assisting certain Shluchim) all the while leaving me… Read more »

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