Why do Yeshiva not pay their Rabbes and Teachers on time?

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  • #1686024

    Some Common Sense
    Participant

    When you learn Baba Metzia 111 and 112, it is clear that you must pay your workers within a certain amount of time. I have spoken to several Rabbes and teachers that they compliant bitterly that they do not get paid for months and some times years. If it is true that they do not have any money to pay them, do they have money for the rent, food and power bill? Do they have money to pay the administrations staff and themselves?

    How is this clear Issur from the Torah, which continues every single day, allowed to continue to the great pain of some many people?

    #1686033

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    For one, they’re protected by mesirah and they know it. For two, people don’t want to publicly say anything bad about them (see child-abuse threads) on account of societal pressure. Good thing the CR exists for such situations.

    #1686038

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Many times they dont have the money and unfortunatly the mortgage or electrie bill comes first because if you dont pay the mortgage the building can be repossed and if you dont pay the power there is no heat or lights.

    #1686084

    jdb
    Participant

    Yeshivos have every responsibility to pay their staff on time, and the boards and administrators have a responsibility to make sure that enough cash is in the bank.

    That said, there often simply isn’t sufficient funding to go around. This isn’t an excuse, and it isn’t a hetter for delaying payments. There is no easy solution, but a solution must be found. Facing this pressure, some will feel forced to compromise on something – on legalities, on hallacha, on something. The pressure is very real.

    It is unacceptable when our rabbeim or moros are expected to make shabbos and yom tov, to pay tuition and rent, when they are not paid in full and on time. It is our responsibility as a community to make sure that we pay our tuition on time, and that the mosdos chinuch we support are paying their staff on time.

    #1686131

    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Yeshivos are no different from any other business or mosdos. Their good works do not excuse them from both halachic requirements and labor law obligations to pay their employees in full and on a timely basis. In rare circumstances, there might be a situation where meeting a payroll on time is impossible but even then, payment to teachers (and support staff) should be prioritized over other payments and employees should be given advance warning that checks may be a few days late.

    #1686143

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I agree with ZD.

    It’s a horrible thing when hard working rebbeim, moros, teachers, and other staff don’t get paid on time, but if the school doesn’t have the money, they don’t violate the איסור of לא תלין or the עשה of ביומו תתן שכרו.

    #1686145

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    For one, they’re protected by mesirah and they know it. For two, people don’t want to publicly say anything bad about them (see child-abuse threads) on account of societal pressure. Good thing the CR exists for such situations.

    What a horrible thing to say. You make it sound like they don’t pay because they can get away with it.

    When they don’t pay, it’s because they don’t have the money.

    #1686147

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “You make it sound like they don’t pay because they can get away with it.
    When they don’t pay, it’s because they don’t have the money.”
    The two reasons are not mutually exclusive. If it was a mainstream business, not having the money would not be a legitimate reason. They are employing people many of whom would not work at other institutions so they don’t really have to answer to free market capitalism like real businesses. A normal business would lose employees and maybe eventually face legal trouble.

    P.S. for onlookers, see what I mean about societal pressure to never criticize them?

    #1686150

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    If it were a mainstream business it wouldn’t be open because it’s not profitable.

    #1686171

    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    February 27, 2019 10:40 am at 10:40 am
    #1686150
    Reply
    DaasYochid ☕Participant

    If it were a mainstream business it wouldn’t be open because it’s not profitable.
    ——————
    The non for profit schools are the exception not the rule

    #1686185

    The little I know
    Participant

    DY:

    You wrote:

    “but if the school doesn’t have the money, they don’t violate the איסור of לא תלין or the עשה of ביומו תתן שכרו.”

    Can you please provide a citation that this is true. I might understand a dispensation of אונס, but you imply that there is no issur. Please reference.

    Neville:

    You wrote:

    “For one, they’re protected by mesirah and they know it.”

    Not only that, but it is extremely rare to find a beis din that will ever accept a case involving a yeshiva/school. They cannot face a consequence in a secular court (actually the issue might be better termed arka’os – mesira implies a criminal report), nor are they at much risk of a psak beis din against them.

    #1686215

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Can you please provide a citation that this is true. I might understand a dispensation of אונס, but you imply that there is no issur. Please reference.

    שו”ע ח”מ של”ט י

    #1686253

    akuperma
    Participant

    Because they lack money since tuition is kept low compared to private schools where tuition (actually collected, after “scholarships” are figured in) is tpically around $30K per year, and they have a huge number of subjects involving almost twice as much time on instruction than in public schools. From the perspective of economics, out education system is not viable. Fortunately, we work from the perspective to Torah, not economics, and it seems to work out (we are here after several thousands years of ignoring the realities the social sciences scholars claims to preclude our existence),

    #1686248

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “If it were a mainstream business it wouldn’t be open because it’s not profitable.”

    OK. Change my original statement to “mainstream non-profit organization” and it still holds true. If they have employees, they pay them. If the money isn’t there, they go bankrupt.

    #1686252

    Yserbius123
    Participant

    A friend of mine was in a seforim store buying his arba minim. A Rosh Yeshiva of a small local high school walked in behind him and starts hemming and hawing over the lulavim. He was frustrating the moicher, so he starts ribbing him. “Hey, Rabbi Ploni was here yesterday and kvetched that you hadn’t paid him in weeks”. The Rosh Yeshiva mumbled something about bad finances and they went veiter. The moicher then started a new topic “Rabbi, lately I’ve been having a terrible Yeitzer Hora. I have a huge tayva for an aishes ish” The Rosh Yeshiva was shocked and started telling him how terrible it is and he has to keep away at all costs. The moicher then responds “well, you’re being oiver on a d’Oraysa too, so I guess that makes us even”.

    #1686263

    akuperma
    Participant

    Response to “Yeshivos are no different from any other business or mosdos”

    Yeshivos are radically different. If Torah education were a for profit business it would have gone bankrupty millenia ago. The connection of Jews to Torah is not similar to consuming goods, but is more like eating, breathing and reproducing – things you do because it is in your nature regardless of economic theory. Based on the incredible demand for learnign Torah, it should by a hyper-expensive luxury limited to the very rich, yet it is the broad-cased “glue” that holds the Jewish people together regardless of income level. You may disregard Adam Smith or Lord Keynes or Milton Freedman or Alan Greenspan – the real world economics to not apply to learning Torah.

    #1686281

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Is that why some schools seem to be a sinkhole for cash where the teachers don’t get paid, there are no books, and there is very little light and heat?

    #1686295

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    OK. Change my original statement to “mainstream non-profit organization” and it still holds true. If they have employees, they pay them. If the money isn’t there, they go bankrupt.

    That’s not the first time you’ve advocated for closing yeshivas. What’s up with that?

    #1686296

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    “well, you’re being oiver on a d’Oraysa too, so I guess that makes us even”.

    The moicher is an am haaretz.

    #1686304

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    The unpaid staff may not be filing labor department complaints, but in some states, any non-profit that takes any government money (Bus service, food programs, special education, nurses, etc) is subject to audits by all state departments including wage and hour division of labor dept

    #1686305

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    the real world economics to not apply to learning Torah.

    If for some reason a major expense cannot be paid to an outside vendor (Like a bank) then the yeshiva will have to close. I know of at least one shul (not a yeshiva) that was forclosed on and became a church because the bank sold to the highest bidder (Once the bank controls there is nothing you can do about it)

    #1686333

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Akuperma, so it is ok to stiff teachers out of their already pitifully low salaries all in the name of Torah? I don’t think so.
    DY, so , it’s ok for a yeshivas business plan to call for not paying salaries for weeks or months at a time?
    Some may call it mesira but a group of teachers in a girls high school went to court several years ago ( after being not paid for nearly two years ) and got a judgement against the yeshiva and a lien against the property.

    #1686345

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “the real world economics to not apply to learning Torah.”
    Lol nice. We’ll see how that works if teachers/rebbeim tell it to their landlords when they can’t make rent.

    I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to the cool-aid guzzlers for proving my original point over and over again.

    “That’s not the first time you’ve advocated for closing yeshivas. What’s up with that?”
    Yeah, and the other time was just over a little minor thing like child-molestation. I guess I’m a real koifer now.

    #1686347

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I don’t think yeshivas have a “business plan” to delay paying salaries. The plan is to raise money through tuition and fundraising to pay. Sometimes, the plan doesn’t work as hoped.

    #1686353

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    NCB, let’s shut down all yeshivas, we’ll send our kids to public school. That’ll solve the problems.

    #1686351

    Azoiy
    Participant

    Having been in administration and on the Board of certain Mosdos Hachinuch, I would like to respond to this issue.
    It is true that staff has to be paid on time – both legally and halachikly – and should be.
    The schools wish to pay on time as it is important to the chinuch of the children and to the morale of the staff.
    But there is a second side to the coin – the parents !!!
    If parents would only (1) pay tuition that covers the cost of their children, and (2) pay it on time – the schools too would be able to pay their staff on time.
    The schools realize that “1” above is not reality as many parents cannot afford to pay full tuition – but there is not excuse for “2” above. If the school cannot even rely on the contracted amount that has to be paid monthly – how can they cover their expenses and payroll.
    And even if a parent cannot afford the full tuition – does that excuse them from helping the school by raising funds to help cover the expense of their own children’s education?
    Yes – the schools raise funds from donors, but that does not cover all the shortfall.
    So, we agree. Staff should be paid on time. But parents equally share in the cause.
    ZD above is correct – that schools must pay their mortgages and electric bills on time or risk being shut down.
    The parents do the same – they pay their mortgages, electric, food, etc bills before they pay their tuition, for the same reasons.
    So don’t blame the Mosdos – it’s not all their fault.

    #1686389

    akuperma
    Participant

    Our schools have never been solvent and they never will be. Teachers in our community will always be underpaid. The minhag going back millenia is to be inclusive meaning poor kids get an education. We don’t have special schools for the rich kids, unlike the goyim and arguably, the modern Orthodox as well. Given that most frum Jews will be poor relative to the goyim (and to the modern Orthodox), and that we choose not to exclude people from our institutions due to poverty, we will always been in a perpetual “chapter 11” (American reorganization under the bankruptcy law). It’s inevitable. That we survive is a נס.

    #1686735

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    A number of years ago a five towns yeshiva was having money issues and problems paying staff. They hired a collection agency to go after tuition balances that were as old as ten years. It worked. A significant amount of money was recovered and parents got the message ignoring tuition bills also had consequences.

    #1687078

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Some tutition money is uncollectible for various reasons. The most simple reason is the person just doesnt have it

    #1687131

    akuperma
    Participant

    note to “Anonymous Jew” — The “five towns” are one of the richest Jewish community in the world. For most Jewish communities in America, the people who can’t pay are living off food stamps, WIC and section eight.

    #1687150

    Some Common Sense
    Participant

    Azoly,
    In this case, do the administration and Rosh Yeshiva still get paid? If yes, why?

    Also, if this is insufficient money to the teacher, why is the power bill first? When I learned this up, the employees come FIRST then the power bill and mortgage!

    P.S. I always met my commitments for tuition bills even when my wife lost her job. Other parents can do it.

    #1687152

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Also, if this is insufficient money to the teacher, why is the power bill first? When I learned this up, the employees come FIRST then the power bill and mortgage!

    Maybe when the poskim for the schools learned it up, they decided that it’s more important for a school to have a building, with electricity and heat.

    #1687160

    apushatayid
    Participant

    When it comes to the tuition paying parent and their inability (unwillingness?) to pay we call it “a crisis”. Yet, when it comes to the yeshiva administrators who fall behind in salaries, we label them low lifes who flaunt the shulchan aruch.

    How convenient.

    #1687179

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Obviously the teachers need to get paid first, but the reality is if there is no building there is no yeshiva and Rebbes and Morah’s are more forgiving than the Banks or Power Companies.

    Personally I would not take a job that paid me occasioanlly when they had the money

    #1687181

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    “note to “Anonymous Jew” — The “five towns” are one of the richest Jewish community in the world.”
    Yet the yeshivas there still have a reputation of not paying on time. Hmmmmm… It’s almost like there’s something more to the picture than “being inclusive…”

    “Maybe when the poskim for the schools learned it up, they decided that it’s more important for a school to have a building, with electricity and heat.”
    They would find it’s a greater chiyuv to pay the goyish electric company for their services than to pay fellow Jewish teachers? Unfortunately, as messed up as it is, you might not be wrong.

    #1687195

    Azoiy
    Participant

    Common Sense:
    1) When there is insufficient money to release the payroll NOBODY gets paid until ALL get paid. At least that was always our policy. Perhaps there are some that do differently – but that would be the exception and agreeably not fair
    2) The power, mortgage, and other critical payments would come first – else there would be no school
    3) Kol Hakovod. You are the exception then.

    In any case, my point is that there is no argument that payroll must be paid on time – but it is not only the fault of the administration if it is c”v not – the parents too share in the blame.

    #1687199

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Tell it to the Bank or Power Company the yeshiva is a Makom Torahand a holy place and that they should not foreclose or shut off them lights because you are 6 months behind, See what they tell you

    #1687250

    anonymous Jew
    Participant

    Akuperma, as usual, you can’t resist taking a shot at those rich MO jews and their schools.
    For your info I and my sister grew up poor MO and were able to go to 12 years of yeshiva because of scholarships granted by not wealthy Brooklyn MO yeshivas.
    Speaking of stereotypes, not everyone in the five towns is rich and not everyone attending a Brooklyn yeshiva is poor. Many Brooklyn families still go to bungalow colonies. Does paying for the rental come before paying tuition?

    #1687232

    Joseph
    Participant

    “But there is a second side to the coin – the parents !!!
    If parents would only… (2) pay it on time – the schools too would be able to pay their staff on time.
    The schools realize that “1” above is not reality as many parents cannot afford to pay full tuition – but there is not excuse for “2” above. If the school cannot even rely on the contracted amount that has to be paid monthly – how can they cover their expenses and payroll.”

    “P.S. I always met my commitments for tuition bills even when my wife lost her job. Other parents can do it.”

    Azoiy, SCommonS: Some other parents simply cannot pay no matter how much you squeeze them. The money simply does not exist by them. Even the amount in the tuition agreement doesn’t exist.

    #1687277

    The little I know
    Participant

    Azoiy:

    You addressed parents “paying tuition on time”. I do hear you. The yeshiva/school is expected to make weekly or bi-weekly payroll. However, not all the parents you speak of have employment that brings in regular, steady income. There are many whose work has significant seasonal variation, and there are times when the money comes in nicely plus other times when it slows to a trickle. These parents are not withholding. Nor is it fair to accuse them of making other priorities (which is a known problem). I know many such parents, and they never end a school year with an outstanding balance. But their tuition payments cannot follow a schedule to accommodate weekly or biweekly payroll.

    I would expect that there is administration that understands this. It is possible to work with parents whose income is adequate but irregular. Some yeshivos do that. I am aware of a few who make such agreements with the parents that will tolerate this situation, but then renege on that commitment, sending nasty letters, withholding report cards, and other consequences. I agree that parents can be part of the solution, but there are many exceptions. hence, don’t build a solution around the parent factor.

    Common Sense:

    You wrote: “P.S. I always met my commitments for tuition bills even when my wife lost her job. Other parents can do it.” Are you for real? You have no idea who I am, what my employment status is, no clue about my expenses, other earners in my home, but your ability to meet your commitments means that I can do the same? Sorry, but that comment is pure silliness. I do hope your wife found another job, and even that you got a raise in your salary. But your financial status will never translate into that of anyone else. Do you really believe what you said?

    #1687293

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I know many such parents, and they never end a school year with an outstanding balance. But their tuition payments cannot follow a schedule to accommodate weekly or biweekly payroll.

    I would expect that there is administration that understands this.

    It’s not only a matter of the administration understanding, it’s also a matter of being able to make payroll, which is what this thread is discussing.

    Although, if they know a certain percentage of the parents have seasonal income, it might be possible to obtain short term loans from some understanding wealthy supporters.

    #1687295

    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    Any sensible business would figure risks into their balance sheet like missed payments and plan their expenses accordingly. They shouldn’t be able to get around doing this by having the fall-back option of not paying their employees. I think it would solve a lot of problems if they operated under a true free-market capitalist system. I would say that about any business; it’s nothing personal against yeshivas. Contrary to what’s said on other threads, I am not a Communist.

    #1687300

    Joseph
    Participant

    “It is possible to work with parents whose income is adequate but irregular.”

    And what of parents whose income is simply inadequate? They ought to be chucked out?

    #1687308

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Any sensible business would figure risks into their balance sheet like missed payments and plan their expenses accordingly.

    In other words, pay employees less?

    You’re making the same mistake GH made. They’re already trying to run on the tightest budget they can while still offering quality chinuch.

    #1687310

    Joseph
    Participant

    Neville:

    If Yeshivos operated under a true free-market capitalist system, what is your solution for the Jewish children who cannot obtain a slot in any Yeshiva under this true free-market capitalist system?

    Chuck them into free pubic school?

    #1687318

    Fundamentally, a Rebbe should not get paid at all for teaching Torah. The ability to charge for teaching Torah requires a “workaround”, that the Rebbe is getting paid NOT for teaching but for babysitting. Therefore, the focus shifts. Yes, he is a dedicated Rebbe and teaches excellently, but we don’t pay him for that…his entire premise for compensation is his babysitting labor, which we don;t value very much. That puts a Rebbe in a different category then the janitor, electric company or administrator – there we know what we are paying for and we value that work. This becomes magnified when funds are scarce. We pay essential services. Babysitting is not such an essential service.

    #1687319

    not so common sense
    Participant

    if you actualy learnt the gemara in bava metzia you would know its only assur if the person who hires pays the worker himself and most yeshivahs have someone seperate for that

    #1687322

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    We pay essential services. Babysitting is not such an essential service.

    Troll

    #1687336

    Rafe
    Participant

    1. According to rav elyashiv and others, an industry that is known not to pay on time has no issur of bal talin.
    In addition most yeshivas will tell their incoming employees what their financial status is. Nobody is forcing anyone to work in a yeshiva and then not paying them. It is understood that the owners and administrators will do their best based on the realities they live with.
    2. The only reason a sane owner/administrator of a yeshiva would put themselves and their families through this nightmare of a life is because they love hashem,love torah,love chinuch, and love am yisrael. Stop the hate… you dont want to sacrifice what they sacrifice.
    3. They are too nice to parents. Owner/educators buy education for 100 sell for 50 and then have to beg you to buy a 25 dollar raffle ticket to a Chinese auction. Too often a young parent doesnt have the funds gets a huge break for many years but doesnt pay it forward to the yeshiva. They think they “negotiated” a deal and dont owe anything to anybody. Administrators should stop letting parents save face calling these breaks “scholarships” and “discounts” and call it what it is “charity” or a “loan”
    4. Administrators should charge their tuitions and someone who cant pay should go to a community based tuition organization. As communities we cannot impose the communal charity responsibility on the yeshivas. Let them focus on education and not have every mossad make ridiculous efforts to fundraise for charity.

    #1687330

    Rafe
    Participant

    Im on a board as well…

    1. Rav Y.S. Elyashiv, quoted in Halachos Of other people’s Money, pg. 113. See also Avnei Yashfei 2:118
    In an industry that pays late there is no issue of bal talin.

    Generally this industry will fully disclose exactly how behind or not behind they are. If someone is disgruntled after they knew this they dont belong in chinuch. Everyone is entitled to complain, but no one is forcing anyone to be a rebbe.

    2. The real answer is that the owners and administrators are too nice to families who are struggling. They buy education for 100, sell it for 50, and are forced to beg people to give 25 dollars to a chinese auction. The only reason a sane administrator or rosh yeshiva would put himself and his family through this is that they love hashem,Torah and chinuch and am yisrael.

    This reason is the same reason some send to these poorly funded yeshivas. Its because the people who run them have these extremely important values that they want their kids to see and absorb.

    It doesnt have to be this way…especially now that as a whole the frum community in many areas are making more money and leading more extravagant lives than 10-20 years ago and tuitions have not really been raised. Often parents who dont have enough to pay are given huge breaks and later when they make money dont feel they have any responsibility to that yeshiva. They think they”negotiated” a deal. Maybe the yeshiva should stop calling it a “scholarship” or “discount” to help the parents save face and call it what it should be “charity” or a “loan”
    Please stop hating on owners and administrators. You do not want to be in their shoes.

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