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Wednesday, 14 Tammuz, 5779
  |  July 17, 2019

    Why Can’t My Son Enter Mesivta?

    From the COLlive inbox: When my husband and I heard at parent/teacher meetings that our son is "sweet," I knew we had a problem. Full Story

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    On the money
    Guest
    On the money

    Offer to pay full tuition- that usually finds a place.

    Yitzchok
    Guest
    Yitzchok

    I think that teachers will be more open to sharing with parents their son’s weaknesses if the parents won’t put any blame on them.
    The teacher is just protecting himself. He needs to hide the negative from the parents in order not to get in trouble. Not all principals back their teachers. If the teachers will be supported by the parents and principals then the weaker boys will be identified and helped.

    Need to Put pressure on the Big Donors
    Guest
    Need to Put pressure on the Big Donors

    Unfortunately this is the only language some of the yeshiva s understand,
    Though this is a truly painfully approach

    What
    Guest
    What

    What is a top tier mesivta and what are the lesser ones? How do you judge such a thing?

    be in tune with your kids
    Guest
    be in tune with your kids

    when my two big boys were younger and I did homework with them I realized that they were struggling so I got them the help they needed. They both struggled in school and I did what I could to help make it easier and I was very open with the teachers about my sons’ needs. ( they are in crown heights yeshivas) When it came time for mesivta I knew my sons could not go to the top mesivtas out of town and so I didn’t even try. You have to be realistic about where your child can go and… Read more »

    Very hurtful and destructive
    Guest
    Very hurtful and destructive

    Sort & Long Term
    Unfortunate many good students went off the Derech
    because of it.
    Big Responsibility

    classy response
    Guest
    classy response

    The premise of parents being more aware and preparing their children- that is great, and practical.

    Still…the schools do need to look at problems like this and take steps to fix this- what does it mean not enough time to prepare for mesivta- what are they preparing for? and how can students be held accountable for something they weren’t really taught? This makes the common core look great…

    Disgusting.
    Guest
    Disgusting.

    My son wasn’t accepted to a mesivta this year,bc they said he won’t have patience to sit through a full day of yeshiva and bc he is to loud for this yeshiva. Pretty rude. Didn’t get a proper review on him from the yeshiva he is in now. Dosent gave the intresting to take in a bochur and give him a chance to develop I to a chadsidishe bochur. Shame on the mesivta

    AL PI DARKO
    Guest
    AL PI DARKO

    You have hit the nail right on the head……The system is broken and the problem lies at the grass roots of our childrens education life. If the schools hire weak teachers and mechanchim who simply do not have a clue what to teach and how to teach the skills needed to help them later, our children are effectively doomed by the time they reach Mesivta if not earlier. The size of the fees being demanded do not match the competence and abilities of most of the schools etc out there. Charging Ivy League fees is one thing, but what precise… Read more »

    same here by this mom
    Guest
    same here by this mom

    I also know someone whom it happened to. And it had nothing to do with money! Or it not being a good school!Their son just didn’t get the skills. Just because some kids need to get things explained more often than others. He also worked with Project Mesivta.com and he got into a good Mesivta. Thanks to a mother for sharing. I’m keeping it in mind for my son.

    Makes no sEnse
    Guest
    Makes no sEnse

    How can mesivta not be a build-up of elementary? Second grade is the next step from first grade so why is there no link between eighth and ninth? Saying there is not enough time is saying that mesivta is taking too big of a jump in one year, which I guess would mean they need to back down a little. Where the fault lies needs to be pinpointed and changed , if this in fact correct…. Funny have boys but sounds strange to me that no proper transition

    Hear oh Israel
    Guest
    Hear oh Israel

    Here is a quality control idea. . Test to see if the Bochum in yeshiva, Mesifta, and Zal can easily translate the whole shma. I bet you won’t like the answer.

    Yitzchok2
    Guest
    Yitzchok2

    If your child is on the fringes, meaning he’s not an excellent learner, do right by him and find an alternative for him, yeshiva will be a waste of time for him and a waste of money for you, and worst of all, he will come out not being able to support himself financially with dignity. My advice is get him an education and send him to learn how to make a living, as for yiddishkeit, you can hire a teacher to teach him Jewish subjects a few hours a week and it will cost you a whole lot less… Read more »

    Where does the money go?
    Guest
    Where does the money go?

    Tuition is exorbitant and teachers get paid peanuts. The accommodations and food are definitely not luxurious, so when does all the money go? So many donations. Prinicpals and administration salaries are over the top, and that’s what is breaking the bank and the system…

    cuts both ways.. love it
    Guest
    cuts both ways.. love it

    This amazing article will be confusing for the haters and automatic commentors out there… Because it brings up both sides of the issues and cuts across in many ways it can’t easily be ‘boxed’ into a single category.
    This should make the comments a great discussion – more thoughtful then the usual, hopefully.

    Also a parent
    Guest
    Also a parent

    The schools unfortunately lost focus instead of focusing on what they exist for the students they are so busy with their so called perception all resources are now directed toward unnecessary things such as Gemara brurah etc. it seems as though they completky forgot that the students are who they are suposed to serve it is project mesivta and the pretense that there is a concept of a top tier misivta exists that is responsible for this destruction schooling is not a privalage the opposite is the case schools have a duty to take and every kid regardless and they… Read more »

    Same poblem
    Guest
    Same poblem

    When i was in yeshivah 80s 90s if u had parents that could help u with ur learning, or u were smart u did well, if not u stayed with ur class & u learned what ever u learnd, but U were in a good invierment with ur friends & u stayed chassidish & frum ! But today with the invention of special schools the regular yeshivas have a poor exuse not 2 keep the weak boys & these special yeshivas which r 4 the most part in my experience a dumping ground 4 ur son 2 go off the… Read more »

    to #11
    Guest
    to #11

    As I mother of a son, I contacted projectmesivta.com and he explained to me something that the author might have been trying to point out but didn’t come out clear. It’s not that no schools prepare the boys but it’s those boys who need to have things explained a little better that get stuck. The ‘higher average ‘ of the class are just fine. A teacher can’t take the time to explain things too many times because then they’ll lose the other boys to boredom. And we can all imagine what they will do next…..😉. It’s also the ‘out of… Read more »

    woohoo!!!
    Guest
    woohoo!!!

    Go rabbi Kovacs!
    He’s my teacher!!!!!!

    He makes learning fun.

    skills skills skills
    Guest
    skills skills skills

    there are more that plenty hours in a day . the answer is not quantity but quality . children spend hours in school repeating words by heart, like passive parrots. their though process are not even activated when they learn. As years go by, noone realizes the terrible damage. Its easy to memorize one or two psukim, when you sing 20 times each one. Later when coming homr with more Chumash, Mishna and Guemara about 5th grade, they start sinking. Because they nrver learned the skills. Some don’t even read fluently, this doesn’t require some brilliant brain, just practice, Go… Read more »

    not enogh schools
    Guest
    not enogh schools

    I think the problem lies in the fact that there are not enough good Yeshivas. The top Yeshivas can take the cream of the crop simply because they have so many aplicants and so many less spaces to accomedate. We need more good schools

    look no more
    Guest
    look no more

    Dear parent, I have sent my son to cincinnati Mesivta. Let me tell you its been amazing. They have such a chassidishe environment. The first thing they told me was, we see that your son is a chassidshe bachur, but behind a little in learning. They told me that they dont mind accepting such bachurim as long as they want to achieve. There are many yeshivas who take bachurim for $$, or because they are very book smart. In cincinnati #1 is his level of chassidishkeit. #2 is how committed is he? is he satisfied where he is? The Menahel… Read more »

    Too little too late
    Guest
    Too little too late

    The reason boys are not prepared for Mesivta is because they were not properly taught in elementary. They are in school from morning till night and they should all be “Illuyim”. Instead they are not fluent in Hebrew, Yiddish ,or English! Is it any wonder why so many are dropping out?

    And girls too!
    Guest
    And girls too!

    So many girls don’t “fit in” a high school – sometimes it’s grades, sometimes it’s other reasons, like a learning disability or even money. If anything, it is worse because there are very few schools geared to HS girls who aren’t accepted in “mainstream” schools. For your daughters, if you consider them going away, there is Machon Menucha in Jerusalem (mmgirls.org.) To this mother: my son was in the same situation: a well-known Yeshiva only wanted metzuyan +++ – that was what I was told directly. I offered full tuition, I asked if midos tovos don’t count for anything…. in… Read more »

    To number 18
    Guest
    To number 18

    Couldn’t have put it better myself

    Number 17
    Guest
    Number 17

    My thoughts exactly!!!
    Will absolutely never ever send my boys to these ‘special’ yeshivas , within a week off comes the beard and crazy hairstyle, seen this happen time and time again! the regular yeshivas now don’t have to actually put any effort into helping the weaker boys , they just throw them out coz now there is an alternative ! Hashem yerachem!

    My boy
    Guest
    My boy

    My boy is a bright and kind boy a creative and esoteric young man. The elite learners are just that. Elite and anything else seems beneath
    He’s s kind and loving young man and chosen a different path now one where he can express himself and not feel less

    Misconception
    Guest
    Misconception

    Perhaps I should pen an Op-ed of my own, but for now I will just leave my thoughts here. Mesivta is not “Middle school” and Zal is not “High school”. Back in the Shtetl, most boys went to cheder, and when they turned 13-14 they helped their father milk the cows and feed the chickens. Sometimes they managed the kretchme. Only the top-tier boys went to learn in a Yeshiva. Tomchei Temimim was initially a small Yeshiva, established for the best and the brightest Bochurim. It was a top-tier Yeshiva for top-tier Bochurim. All the other boys of similar age… Read more »

    The Dugma Chaya
    Guest
    The Dugma Chaya

    #12 Spot on. And here is another shocking statistic, many with semicha can’t learn properly a blatt gemoro rashi tosfois, Chumash Rashi. how many can adequately translate parshas ha”azinu, or tell you teitch of tefillah. Yes it’s shocking alright. You can even put a broom in our system and it will come out with semicha
    And it also doesn’t inspire much confidence either when you see the Menahel of a mechina leyeshiva having to use an English Artscroll to prepare his shiur!

    It blows me away
    Guest
    It blows me away

    that schools don’t think it’s their job to be sure everyone is learning. Even worse they never communicate with parents a reality check about their son’s ability – they just pass the boys along until uh-uh the boys get to mesifta age. Suddenly Administrators tell parents the schools are ‘doing the best they can’ or just out right lie about the boys. Administrators don’t want to hear ANY feedback or suggestions from parents – we’re just idiots in their eyes, even though we’re talking about OUR children. Then, when the boys can’t get in or can’t make it in mesifta,… Read more »

    Volunteers
    Guest
    Volunteers

    Perhaps a system of volunteers (retired people who have spare time) could help augment teaching (one on one) with extra help for those struggling.

    Who says mesivtah is for everyone?
    Guest
    Who says mesivtah is for everyone?

    Must your son grow up to be a rabbi? Can’t he be a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, doctor, lawyer or something else and still be a good chassid? If you send your son to mesivtah, it means you want him to be a rabbi. Not all bochurim are cut out to be rabbis. We need more Chabad yeshivah high schools, where bochurim can both learn Torah and get a high school diploma.

    why would i want to be chasidisch?!
    Guest
    why would i want to be chasidisch?!

    I c 2 directions one type of yeshivah where everybody learns and davens all day and another type of yeshivah where their all on smartphones and trips all day strumming guitars, growing their hair and learning a “trade”, take a guess which one the average teenager would choose, just like it is in israel, (yeshivah or army) so too it should be everywhere else, yeshivah or intense high school, and for all of you that will start screaming the rebbe was against education, i think hed be alot more against whats going on in these facilitating programs!

    Fathers
    Guest
    Fathers

    Fathers have to learn with their kids every day at least 30 minutes and constantly testim them from 1 st grade until mesivta
    Your will have the skills and confidence and most probably will be in the top 25% among learmers in most cases

    Stop complaining start working
    Guest
    Stop complaining start working

    I feel the heartache in many of these posts and some of them seem to be quite legitimate but any system is just that a system. Ie top 10% overachievers brilliant etc. will always succeed…. Bottom 10%… V’dal. But the large majority in the middle requires many things for success… Almost none of which will come from any school. Good old fashioned hard work and determination from father and son: sit down with your son and review with him every night… Many things will happen mainly he will see you really care so often he will, he will understand that… Read more »

    Desire to learn?
    Guest
    Desire to learn?

    Full-time Yeshiva is for those who DESIRE to learn, not for those who need a place to pass their teenage years.

    If your son climbed up to the roof of that Mesivta in freezing cold temperatures to listen to a shiur because they didn’t let him in, then I would personally demand that the Mesivta grant him admission. If this is not the case, then send him to a Yeshiva that is structured for him. Not a “top-tier” Mesivta.

    Cincinnati
    Guest
    Cincinnati

    Yeshivas lubavitch Cincinnati, is a chasidishe warm yeshiva,that i can tell you from experience, gives allot of attention and help to each individual bochur regardless of their learning ability. I personally had an amazing experience as did many other of my friends. And since ive been there its just gotten better

    You are all to blame
    Guest
    You are all to blame

    Parents pay top fees like begging drooling dogs and don’t speak face to face with administration to SOLVE PROBLEMS. Administration doesn’t need to listen to you. They get paid anyway.

    agree to comments however....
    Guest
    agree to comments however....

    Interesting comments. Nice to see everyone venting again. I agree that fathers should learn with their kids. However, what if you have 5 sons, work 2 jobs, and have daughters too? Everyone needs attention and you don’t have 30 minutes per child. And what about this case: parents are Ba’alei Teshuva and never learned Gemarah but their sons have good heads and want to learn. Then what do you do? I actually read that project Mesivta website and it tells you a similar story. Looks like that was their case. Mesivta isn’t only for “Gezha” but for every one who… Read more »

    Citizen Berel
    Guest
    Citizen Berel

    Don’t know the scene but the alternative Yeshivas are like hospitals …. they save some lives but you stay very far away from them if at all possible. It’s news to me that frum boys who are well behaved have trouble getting into mesivta. I will give the benefit of doubt but if indeed frum kids who can pay like the rest are being fed to the wolves because of ‘academic’ issues, then the decision makers have no G-d an no Rebbe and will have to give din and cheshbon. The purpose of a yeshiva education is to be frum,… Read more »

    #39
    Guest
    #39

    #39 bless U ! right on the point !!!

    Lets Offer Suggestions
    Guest
    Lets Offer Suggestions

    To the brave Mom who wrote the article, kudos for stimulating this conversation though I’m sure it was painful for you to write. There are way too many families that share your pain and nothing is more painful than a parent who feels helpless in trying to better the future of their child. While it is true, -that things aren’t right. We all understand that there is an argument to be made by both, the Yeshivos and parents. Never the less I believe that if we focused here on creative suggestions to our Mechanchim something may be achieved, as I’m… Read more »

    What can I do as a parent
    Guest
    What can I do as a parent

    While it’s very easy and natural to throw blame around, however, as a parent here are some pointers what we can do to make that our child should succeed B’ezras Hashem: 1) Apply the words of the Rebbe Rahab – that just like it’s a Mitzvah to put on Tefinnin each and evey day, so too it’s a Chiyuv to think of your child’s chinuch every day. 2) Make sure from when the child begins learning Gemara (in 5th grade) to make sure that he’s being successful, passing his grades, learning with him or arranging a tutor to make sure… Read more »

    TUTOR vs. REMEIDIATION  by RABBI SHAIN
    Guest
    TUTOR vs. REMEIDIATION by RABBI SHAIN

    THE YESHIVAS HAVE TUTORING FOR FOR STUDENTS THAT ARE STRUGGLING. THEY DON’T HAVE REMEDIATION. TUTORING IS SUFFICIENT FOR STUDENTS THAT HAVE THE LEARNING SKILLS, BUT THEY WERE ABSENT,OR THEY NEED SOME MORE ENFORCEMENT. REMEDIATION IS FOR STUDENTS THAT HAVE TO BUILD UP THEIR SKILLS. IF A STUDENT IS IN SECOND GRADE, AND HE IS ON A FIRST GRADE LEVEL, AFTER TUTORING HIM 25 LESSONS, THEN HE SHOULD BE EVALUATED BY A REMEDIATION TEACHER,TO DISCOVER WHAT IS INTERFERING, AND HOW TO REMEDIATE IT. IF THE REMEDIATION IS DONE PROPERLY, THEN IN 20 LESSONS THE STUDENT COULD ADVANCE A GRADE, AND IN… Read more »

    Think out of the BOX
    Guest
    Think out of the BOX

    One solution is.. There are plenty of GOOD Yeshivos / Mesivtah age that will care and take your son under their wings. Your son will build confidence, learn how to learn, and the Rebbes at these Yeshivos will build a strong foundation for him. These Yeshivas will be more than willing to accept your son who is sweet, smart and ready to learn when encouraged. Unfortunately, these Yeshivos are not Chabad. But are you willing to give up your child’s religious future by insisting he needs to be in a system that a) does not want him and b) does… Read more »

    Novel idea
    Guest
    Novel idea

    what if not every child is meant to learn all day wouldnt he be better served going to work earning money feeling accomplished. the child that goes to worl and succeeds will grow up well rounded frum and more chsidish than the kid who fails in yeshiva

    Please try to be opened to understanding....
    Guest
    Please try to be opened to understanding....

    that not all students do their best learning in the same ways! I agree with the person who eluded to the notion that educators are suppose to find ways to teach more effectively. That is their job! The fact is, again, NOT ALL STUDENTS LEARN IN THE SAME WAY! Teachers need to be trained to expand their own teaching skills, rather than accuse students of being lazy, etc. I have never met a lazy student, nor one who didn’t want to learn. However, I have met students who wish someone would just get to understand HOW THEY LEARN! This is… Read more »

    #46
    Guest
    #46

    I agree with you, some kids are just not meant to learn all day long, if they are unhappy they will not learn all day, and then they will get thrown out of the Mesifta and go to another school, where he might just go off the derech, because I seen it happen.

    just pointing out
    Guest
    just pointing out

    The author did acknowledge the fact that her child is not the brightest. Why then, do you want your kid in a school that is more intense than your sons capabilities? All that’ll happen is that your child will not end up learning anything because the school isn’t trained for the unintelligent. If there is one person you can have a complaint to it is hashem, why he gave you a child with challenges. Of course, that’s inappropriate because hashem know what is best. If so, instead of stressing on your childs disadvantaged, focus on what he is good at… Read more »

    Money
    Guest
    Money

    The bottom line is, private education systems are extremely expensive. Just look at what the state pays for one child, and they have economies of scale. Providing for the bright, cookie cutter students is cheaper. Giving the extra support to those who struggle requires expensive trained professional help. The system does not have enough cash so it doesnt happen. A younger generation with no job skill sets is set to make this worse. The only long term solution is to provide post kollel or for those who dont have the head for that, post yeshiva vocational training to ensure our… Read more »

    good advice
    Guest
    good advice

    Thus is very good advice for parents but does not aknowledge how we got here. A few decades ago it was accepted that yeshivas will do what they can to keep our youth in the 4 walls of a yeshiva. No more. Now a rosh yeshiva needs to worry about brand building. That means he cannot take a chance and possibly change a child’s life. Instead he needs to make sure his yeshiva is branded as “the top tier” and only accept students that meet a pre-defined criteria. The criteria is usually limited to top grades and fits the mold… Read more »

    HUH?
    Guest
    HUH?

    You recognize that your son is average intelligence at best, yet you want him in a “Top Tier Mesivta”. If he isn’t on the same level as his peers one of two scenarios will happen. 1) The teacher will teach at your sons pace, causing everyone else to not learn. 2) The teacher will teach at everyone else’s pace, causing your son to waste his time and likely become disillusioned with yeshiva.
    You claim to want the best for your son, but essentially you are ruining him.

    To #51
    Guest
    To #51

    A few decades ago things were different. A few decades ago there was no internet and no Facebook. A few decades ago, even an “F” grade student would push by a Farbrengen, even while discussing the latest Mets score. “F” grade students were mekushar to the Rebbe, and many have become some of the most well known Shluchim around the world today. Very, very few students fell through the cracks and went off the derech. Yiddishkeit felt real, even to the most mischievous students. But, like you said, that was A FEW DECADES AGO. Today we face an epidemic of… Read more »

    Accountability
    Guest
    Accountability

    What’s missing is accountability. Stop the blame game and the victimization. The reason why Most (not all) bochurim cannot learn is because they don’t really care to and they don’t want to really work. Have you ever seen someone really work at the blatt gemarra hour after hour and still have no idea whats going on?! Sorry – not buying it. we are raising a generation of unmotivated undisciplined losers, who simply prefer electronic entertainment over development…. and we as parents are enablers and more likely a true dugma chaya of the same behaviors. Instead of speaking to Shloimeleh telling… Read more »

    You know, not everyone can learn at Harvard.
    Guest
    You know, not everyone can learn at Harvard.

    And not everyone can get into top yeshivot, either. If their learning isn’t up to par, perhaps they belong somewhere else. There is NOTHING wrong with that. The issue is that we, as a society, do not view people who aren’t built to be the next Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, as useful or quality. We only have place for “talmidei chachamim” in our society, and that is the problem. Maybe it’s time to accept that not every child is a future talmid chacham, and that is the way G-d wanted it to be? Maybe we can stop making kids who… Read more »

    skills
    Guest
    skills

    opposite situation. My sons have great heads for learning, understood the content and the Gemara beautifully. However, there’s a gap between the 8th grade learning and the 9th. Suddenly, without training or practice, without Arameik language prep or Gemara terms and phrases, the boys are expected to jump into learning with a chavrusa and succeed! Even bright boys can’t do it. They don’t have the skills. There’s a lot of floundering around, and eventually, the intellectual kids manage, the struggling students sink. There’s got to be a better way, and perhaps those “Gemara programs” that young teachers come up with… Read more »

    to #11
    Guest
    to #11

    Would it be such a bad idea for some of the kids who will be transitioning to mesivta to stay home from camp the summer before entering mesivta and cover some academics that could help them deal with the rough transition? The parents could hire teachers who are known to do well with slower learners to work with their kids. This way the kids could learn in a a less pressured environment and without having to keep up with the regular school curriculum. The transition to mesivta isn’t easy even for an average student, let alone a student whose academic… Read more »

    Is there a reason....
    Guest
    Is there a reason....

    ….that there is a lack of knowledge about teaching a class of students who, by the natural variability of brain neurology, learn best in a differently -presented ways. I have seen such information in Chabad op-eds several times.

    I have that same question.
    Guest
    I have that same question.

    There are great resources available from either individuals, videos, and/or written information initiated by Lubavitch (and sources from other related folks). Why not use them?

    Agree
    Guest
    Agree

    Yeshivahs aren’t public schools

    Only praise
    Guest
    Only praise

    I couldn’t agree more with #22 and #37 after sending 3 boys there. Never have I had a better investment in my children.

    You are your own worst problem
    Guest
    You are your own worst problem

    The whole way you are speaking is the very cause of the problem. You define what is a “top-tier” yeshiva. You define what is an excellent bochor. You define and put pressure on your kids to “make it”, then you let you kids know that they will just have to “settle”. You are not seeing that you are the cause of the problem. Your children are wonderful, and not the problem. The yeshivas they will go to are not “settling”, but rather perfect for them. They are not less for being who they are. If you raise good children with… Read more »

    No, Yeshivas are not public schools,
    Guest
    No, Yeshivas are not public schools,

    but if Yeshiva is the education of choice, then Yeshiva owes our children a quality of excellence by informed professionals. Informed professionals do not teach with the same methods to every student, because they know students learn optimally in varied ways,

    X