Continued from http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/what-is-the-purpose-of-girls-going-to-seminary#post-148165 on WIY's suggestion:
I went to seminary, and frankly it wasn't good for me, and I didn't go to EY either. However I do see why for many girls it can be very positive. Many girls come out of the BY system without a real sense of direction in life and this gives them an extra year to develop in a kadosh environment.
On the other hand, there is a big gap where a seminary for girls in America should be and hopefully someone will step up to fill it. We need a seminary that is academically rigorous so that girls who want to learn will actually learn. We also need a seminary that is practical and has baking, sewing, home ec classes to help girls who want to be prepared better for marriage. There is room for at least two more seminaries in Brooklyn alone.Many girls do not go to sem in the US because none of the choices work for them.
List of Seminaries I Know About:
Machon sem in Brooklyn is good for girls who are going to college and want to do sem at the same time.
BY intensive is good for girls who do not plan on going to college and want the best Israel experience America can offer.
BY half day is good for girls who want to have a job and learn, some classes are better than others.
There's a seminary in Monsey a friend of mine attended - not very academic, but very good for an all around type of girl
There's one in Lakewood that's supposed to be good but very yeshivish.
Belz sem in BP is very chassidish. I don't know anyone who went there but heard it is not very academic.
Yavneh - I know a girl who went and was happy with it. However there are problems, I'm not sure what they are.
All the seminaries suffer from a certain hashkafic inflexibility. They seem to feel that they are supposed to force every girl into the same derech of serving Hashem, whatever theirs is - becoming a teacher, mother, etc. They do not take advantage of America's rabbonim and do not teach achdus with other types of yidden, except maybe in theory.
We can do better.
Posted 6 hours ago #
Paschabchachma, which of them have good supervised dorms?
Posted 5 hours ago #
tzippi -BY intensive, the monsey one, and I think the lakewood one. Yavneh doesn't have a dorm, you live in people's houses, I'm not sure of the exact arrangement. There are also Chabad seminaries whose names I don't know, both for people from frum backgrounds and not, obviously they are not in the same category as the ones YWN readers are interested in but they all have supervised dorms.
I realized I skipped:
Maalot Baltimore: Supposed to be great all around, good teachers, not as against college as the ones in Brooklyn generally are, a little more open minded.
Ateres Naava in Brooklyn by R' Wallerstien is half - day, I have the impression that many different types of girls go there, generally girls who want to grow. Not strictly for girls coming from 12th grade. I think it's also not as against college, but have to check with someone who's attended.
Posted 5 hours ago #
"All the seminaries suffer from a certain hashkafic inflexibility. They seem to feel that they are supposed to force every girl into the same derech of serving Hashem, whatever theirs is - becoming a teacher, mother, etc."
If you found that to be the problem then Yavne would have been the perfect choice. At no point did they preach, or even give over their Hashkafic view points it was strictly learning 24/7.
Posted 3 hours ago #
Sacrilege: Interesting that you say that. I'm sorry and maybe I'm a little cynical based on my experiences but I really have a very hard time believing that. I know the emphasis in Yavne is academics but that doesn't mean that they don't try to make you a "Yavne girl" the way that other seminaries try to churn out a specific "type". Sometimes girls who are compatible with a hashkafah don't realize when their school is pushing it; I have friends who will claim that their seminary is extremely open-minded because the girls look at copies of pages of gemara. Do you have any examples where teachers were accepting of various hashkafos?
Posted 3 hours ago #
I didntclaim that they were open minded nor did I say that they were close minded. They were "a-hashkafic" meaning, you would have to try really hard to dig out the hashkafic view points from the lesson, being that 98% of the classes were text based, to find any hashkafa.
I am out of seminary for a couple of years now, but I cant remember one class where a teacher actually expressed their view on a Hashkafic issue....
Yavne isnt about Hashkafa it is about text, they believe it is the last time you will actually be able to truly open a chumash, navi, tehillim etc and really LEARN it with every meforash. If thats for you, enjoy.
It wasnt for me, and in a lot of ways it was a wasted year.
The community is great, and the family I stayed by is a lesson in Shalom Bayis, and that was what I gained the most out of.
Posted 2 hours ago #
Sacrilege- thank you for sharing that. That was very interesting for me to see. Are all the teachers from the same background, or do they have real variety? (Because otherwise even without direct hashkafah lessons, they are definitely presenting it a certain way.)
I had a teacher who was from Yavne Cleveland once, and while she was very text based she was definitely presenting only her hashkafah as the right one.
I'm sure many girls learn more from living with a family than anything in seminary.
Posted 44 minutes ago #
paschabchochma and sacrilege
Your back and forth is very eye opening. Maybe one of you should start a thread about seminaries and do a breakdown of what each one is all about, the types of girls that attend and all that. I would find it fascinating and I think it would be interesting to other members as well.