Bais Yaakov Yerushalayim Expels Nine Girls for ‘Non-Kosher’ Cell Phones

(Friday, October 29th, 2010)

Nine students from the Beis Yaakov Yerushalayim (BJJ) Jerusalem High School were expelled because they own “non-kosher” cell phones.

The story began in the twelfth grade class this week, when a student suddenly jumped up excitedly and announced that her friend got engaged.

Her teacher realized that she had received the happy information via a text message sent to her cell phone, and immediately called for the school principal.

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The principal demanded that the girl hand over the phone.

Reabbonim in Eretz Yisroel have forbidden the use of “non-kosher” cell phones, which allow SMS text messaging. Since the prohibition is considered very serious, the student was expelled from school.

Yet the principal didn’t stop there. He went through the phone’s directory to see what other girls in the class had “non-kosher” cellphones. Apparently, Kosher cellphones have a similar prefix, so it was easy to spot the “non-kosher” ones.

The principal’s detective work resulted in 8 other girls from the class being called in to be reprimanded for using non-kosher phones, and then they were all expelled as well.

“Many girls at the seminar are stressed out because they have a phone that is not kosher and fear being caught,” said one student.

“There are those who are now trying to get a kosher phone, so they can show that to the principal, if caught. Since we’re dealing with 12th grade, no one wants to get thrown out of school 6 months before they starts going out on shidduch dates”, another student said.

It should be emphasized that this is not the only institution that treats the subject seriously.

In some Charedi institutions, even the parents aren’t allowed to own non-kosher cellphones.

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(Source: The Muqata)

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40 Comments

  1. pinay says:

    In the old days if you believed everything you read you were a fool. Today you are a blogger.

  2. Aishes Chayil says:

    Very inappropriate to post!

    These girls need shidduchim, and eventough their names were not mentioned , it can always be checked out.

    I’m wondering how parents of these girls (who were/are probably top notch) feel

  3. goWTBY says:

    Being the fact that I got kicked out of bais jerusalem because they didn’t like my appearance sympathize with these girls and I think its absurd to ruin these girls lives for a phone.

  4. mark levin says:

    As difficult as it is for some of the lefties here to understand, the school has its rules and the kids know the punishment. They took their chances and lost.

  5. Moq says:

    YWN, you’re being misleading here. If I’m not correct, you’re talking about Bais Yakov HaYashan (the most elite Charedi High School in Eretz Yisrael with thousands of girls) – nothing to do with Rebbetzin David’s BJJ – an American Girl’s Seminary.

    Please clarify, so there isn’t a mass panic.

    And why are reporting this, anyway?

  6. kabobshalom says:

    I hate to tell you this but the reporter muffed this one,
    from the grade to the amount of girls to the punishment, it’s all wrong. Please research the story and reprint it with the right details. A father

  7. YITZCHOKY says:

    I, for business do not have a kosher phone and the truth be told I wish everybody would have a kosher phone. People no longer talk they text or say text me and it takes 2 to 3 times as long to get the necessary info. Why do high school students even need mobile phones. People need to cut down in today’s economy. We are accustomed to a live which we ill can afford

  8. michaelbardaniel says:

    Had that been the Principal’s daughter she wouldn’t have been expelled. To treat another child differently is a clear violation of the mitzva ve’ahavta lere’acha kamocha. Who cares about DeOrayta when you can keep churning out chumras.

  9. potato kugel says:

    There is no BJJ high school. BJJ is a seminary for post-high school (non-Israeli) girls.

    “Many girls at the seminar are stressed out because they have a phone that is not kosher and fear being caught…”

    The word “seminar” in Hebrew refers to a girl’s high school.

  10. cornbeef says:

    This type of Kitzoni behavior may be one of the reasons why so many of our kids go off the derech. The ones that get expelled after doing well in the system for over 15 years, get “rewarded”by being “marked”. This severly impedes their abilty to stay within our community and lead a normal life.

    Imagine hearing that a girl was expelled in the 12th grade. Most people dont want to hear why. They dont care.

    What this policy does is drive these girls “underground”, as the article states “There are those who are now trying to get a kosher phone, so they can show that to the principal, if caught”. They keep both phones.

    We are penalizing and scarring our children and this will surely backfire on us.

    The principal is a misguided fool and he should be expelled.

  11. John Doe says:

    I just don’t get the thought process of potentially destroying a girl’s entire life at this stage of her life. I’m not saying they should allow non-kosher phones and the girls deserve harsh decipline, beginning with confiscating the phone. Now that the girls have been placed on the street, Hashem Yerachem what could happen to them and how it could effect their shidduchim.

  12. michaelbardaniel says:

    To #4: Mark Levin

    So the kids took their chance and lost? What right does the school have to ruin a girl’s life by making rules. They are children for heaven’s sake! Potentially ruin their shidduchim or leave them on the street because of a ridiculous rule of cell phones. The horror! A cell phone that receives SMS!!! A 160 character message!!! If these girls go off the derech EVERYONE involved will have din v’cheshbon to pay. The Chafetz Chaim refused to throw out a boy who smoked on Shabbos in yeshiva! He was mekarev him because he loved him, a true godol. Unlike others who would destroy a holy neshomo for a chumra on a chumra on a chumra. I calculated more than 26 direct DeOrayas being violated in this act. This isn’t Yiddishkeit, Hashem yeracheim.

  13. Aishes Chayil says:

    Mark Levin,

    Liberal lefties??? Have you lost your mind???

    It was a proven fact that the only ‘crime ‘which resulted from possesion of this phone was a text that said a girl got engaged.
    There are loads of Yeshiva Bochurim who are bitul Torah everyday, and they continue to remain in Yeshiva.

    What kind of finaticism is this anyway? They broke the rules, warn them not to do it again at best, and give them a pnealty at worst!

  14. Alizak28 says:

    This is ridiculous. They should not have expelled the girls. They should have confiscated the phones and tell them not to bring it back to school the next day. That’s more normal then expelling them.

  15. bklynmom says:

    This is a perfect example of CHINUCH HABNOS at its worse.

    EXPELL the student, probe her phone for other collaborators and Send them to the trash, is that how broken rules are dealt with?
    Sort of like ‘Beheading’ for inappropriate dating, ‘Cutting off the hands’ for stealing…is the human rights and dignity that you want to be part of?? Aren’t we the AM HA’NIVCHAR? Punishment, of course..yet is this the right way to go. Oy vey for klal yisroael.

  16. aries2756 says:

    #10, Both the teacher and the principal should be expelled. The teacher should have said Mazel Tov on the engagement and leave it at that. She should have played dumb and not have been the CIA. She must be so proud of herself that she ruined the lives of 8 of students.

    I think that all of KLAL Yisroels should take throwing kids out of school as seriously as they take cell phones and there should be a kol koreh about it. What should the punishment be for mechanchim that throw kids to the streets and ruin children’s’ livess or for mechanchim that push and shove children off the derech?

  17. NYJewBoy says:

    i had previously learned in Eretz Yisroel the phone that most heimeshe prople have there (not only the extreimists) is the kosher phone why? because ALL heimeshe rabonim say its assur to have a non-kosher phone and by the way most kosher phones are cheaper to use
    so if a girl in High School is caught with a non-kosher phone and the principle realizes that everyone is ignoring one of the rules its verry normal of her to make a example of her and teach a lesson to the students of her school “we have to listen to our rabbonim & TO ALL THE RULES OF OUR SCHOOL”

  18. MisterG says:

    Although I do not necessarily agree with the punishment dealt out in this case, I have personally observed the extremely destructive behavior for teenaged girls enabled through the SMS text messaging. While on the surface it may not seem like a big issue, it actually is.

  19. tzippi says:

    Kitzoni, requiring these phones is REASONABLE. How it was all handled may not have been BUT we don’t have all the facts and I still can’t figure out why we, the general public need them. My filter would not allow me to see what the source, The Mugata, is, but frum newsblogs have to be very careful about what they choose to share. My only kaf zechus for Yeshivaworld and another fairly reputable one that I check out is that maybe as reported elsewhere it was even worse and a chillul Hashem and it was thought that reporting it here was seen to be damage control.

  20. michaelbardaniel says:

    To #18: NYJewBoy: “we have to listen to our rabbonim & TO ALL THE RULES OF OUR SCHOOL”

    WE HAVE TO LISTEN TO HASHEM! He tells us Ve’Ahavta Le’Reacha Kamocha. If anyone chooses to create rules which negate this mitzva, they are DOING WRONG! They CANNOT make up rules which would result in going against the Will of Hashem. Pretending that a mitzva doesn’t exist it’s as if they worship avoda zara. I very much doubt the rabbonim who instituted this would agree for good Yiddishe kinder to be rejected. People who aren’t careful when dealing with pure children’s lives shouldn’t be trusted to take out the garbage.
    Kol hamerachem al achzarim sofo leachzer al rachmanim. Whoever takes pity on the cruel will eventually be cruel to the compassionate. It would be interesting to see whether this principal has protected reshaim in the past.

  21. A B says:

    The principal (and maybe the overzealous teacher) will ultimately be yored L’gehinomm, and there is no mechila. Unless this story is missing some other facts, I would say that such disciple is totally wrong.

  22. BOND says:

    Rules are rules and the reality is that it has been proven time and time again that text messaging is dangerous. Did we not learn our lesson in the recent story of a girl that just for a second looked at her phone or texted while driving her car and ended up rear ending a scooter where unfortunately that driver was nebach killed. Most phones that have texting and are not of the kosher phone version can probably get on the Internet rachmole’ litzlon and there have been kids from the best homes that have been ruined because of going on the internet on their phones. As well, the language used on a texting phone is all gibberish and kids today do not even know what it means to sit down and write a normal sentence or a letter anymore because everything is in texting form which is really corroding the minds of our children. As far as the principal is concerned and what actions should be taken.. I heard a story that happened in Petach Tikva many years ago and the Rosh Yeshiva of the local yeshiva found out that a student was on line at the local Cinema waiting to see a film. The Rosh Yeshiva went there and didn’t reprimand the student, all he did was take off his overcoat and put it over the student and said ” It’s a little bit chilly and you look a little bit cold”. The Rosh Yeshiva left and about a half an hour later he saw the boy back in the Bais Hamedrash learning and is today one of our great Gedolim. What a story !! It is a lesson that the Principals and Rabbeim and Rosh Yeshiva should just learn from.. since there is no rythme or reason that we have to lose our children to the streets. A child does not have to be kicked out of a yeshiva in most cases…Do you think that solves the problem. It does not !!!
    The parents should take the blame, if a student is not following the rules set by the Hanhalla of the yeshiva. Take away the parenst cell phone for a week as a punishment and see what happens..

  23. Ofcourse says:

    Perhaps its time to look more closely at our schools and Mechanchim. I’ve heard of a renowned Heilig Rov/ principal kicking a student out of school and angrily shouting “You’re a moldy orange, we can’t let you make the other oranges moldy”. It’s time we start treating the OTD kids, and kids of lesser issues, more like we treat the BT’s.

  24. bklynmom says:

    BOND – no connection bt the ability to text and connecting to the internet FYI.
    Tzippi – my secure filter lets me get to ‘muqata’ BTW.

  25. YonasonW says:

    We live in NJ, and our daughter attended a Bais Yaakov in Brooklyn many years ago, one of the schools that has signed on to the cell phone ban. Post 09/11 I insisted that she carry a cell phone – so that we could communicate with her in an emergency – and I would insist on it today. We trusted her then, and I would trust her today; she has developed into the perfect kollel wife and mother.

    The point is, if your daughter is the right kind of young woman, the phone wouldn’t ruin her – throwing her out of BS might.

  26. YonasonW says:

    Oops – Last sentence should read:

    “The point is, if your daughter is the right kind of young woman, the phone wouldn’t ruin her – throwing her out of BY might.”

  27. apushatayid says:

    This is the source for the story?

    “Posted by Jameel @ The Muqata at 10/28/2010 12:26:00 PM”

    YWN cant do any better?

  28. Mister Ploni says:

    These over zealous “mechanichim” are such hippocrates. They follow blindly without any real “machshovo”.

    Do they drive cars with radios? Well isn’t the radio “non-kosher”? Why not make the car with the radio “non-kosher”.
    “Ain l’dovor sof”.

    To EXPEL girls from school!!! Rabbosai some common sense is called for. Yes they broke the rules and they need a punishment but to be expelled?

  29. 2pence says:

    To those worried about shidduchim, I ask you this:

    Why on EARTH would anyone want their daughter to get a shidduch with someone who cares (or whose family cares) so much about such a silly thing that it would cause shidduch problems? Such people are not who I would want for in-laws.

    If you’re just worried about ruining the girls shidduchim, then the more appropriate place to start would be correcting all of the ridiculous things that people care about when setting up shidduchim.

  30. brisker35 says:

    From all the people who wrote comments cursing out the teacher and principle it sounds like u have absolutley no inkling what chinuch is u probably like to justify ur own unfortunate selves and the unfortunate lives ur own childrEn have been leading by easily blaming it on the mechanchim when its ur own destructive self that’s ruined ur life and those of ur children so STOP placing the blame on anyone BUT your OWN unfortunate SELF get ur act together and start applauding the teachers and pricipals who sift out the garbage from their mosdos to ensure the rest of the batch remain pure and remember that just like the mechanchim DON’T get involved in ur buisness DON’T mix in to theirs and worry more about urselves that u aren’t going to be burning in hell for the way U do buisness and maybe then u will be zoicha to at least see the true heroes and marbitzei torah enjoying gan eden lachar meah viesrim kudos to the teacher and principal hopefull u will have continued siyata dishmaya in rooting out the bad and poisonis elements from ur school we mechanchim admire and respect the courageous decision u have thoughtfully and sensitivly taken

  31. Aishes Chayil says:

    29,

    Your right! I would never take a shidduch like that for my daughter.

    However, when a girl gets kicked out of a seminary, no matter how ridiulous the reason, it becomes a stigma right away……

  32. michaelbardaniel says:

    To #30: brisker35

    Please can you explain why you defined a Yiddisher girl who used a cellphone as ‘garbage’.
    Please also explain how someone who has clearly been oiver veahavta lereacha kamocha is a hero who is marbitz torah

  33. daboss says:

    #30, BRISKER: Please do the world at large a favor and go spew your nonsense elsewhere.

    #21, you’re absolutely corect.

    I deal with these poor unfortunate individuals who were singled out and destroyed over rectifiable issues. Let me tell you, they all have the same stories to recount, it’s sad. Then you wonder……

  34. brisker35 says:

    To the poor fellow who requests I spew my nonsense elsewhere I appreciate that u show me that my message really hit home and with a BANG as well sorry to wake you up to the reality and instead of getting anoyed get realistic good luck

  35. m in Israel says:

    It is clear that most of the individuals who posted here do not live in Israel. Although I don’t know anything about this particular case (and I don’t live in Yerushalayim), the Rabbonim here in Israel have spoken out very strongly against what are called here “non-kosher phones”, which in addition to texting have internet capabilities and cameras — which the “kosher phones” do not. To my understanding it is the internet in particular that is of great concern to the gedolim and mechanchim who made these rules — not the texting — here in Israel you cannot turn of the internet capabilities of a regular phone (in the US I was able to call my carrier and request that I do not want internet access on my phone — here if you want to avoid internet you must get a “kosher phone”, which also has no texting or camera). In other words, the problem isn’t that she texted, it’s that the text proved she had a phone that also had other forbidden features. “Kosher phones” are marketed as such, are available from all the cell phone providers here, and are voice only phones, thereby preventing your child (or yourself) from having complete, private, and unlimited internet access from anywhere they go via their phone. (I am talking about the local plans – I don’t know what is available on “tourist” phones or the travel phones American seminary girls get. This story, as mentioned by a previous poster, is not about the BJJ seminary [which previously had classes in the Bais Yaakov building, hence the shared name] but about the Israeli high school Bais Yaakov Hayashan) In any case, there is something strange about this story, as I cannot believe a normal 12th grader in Israel would be so stupid as to accidentally announce in front of a teacher that she received a text. The kosher phone issue is not a minor rule hidden somewhere in a 40 page student handbook! It is very well publicized, which leads you to wonder what the background to this story is. Is this a girl who has a previous history of conflict with the school administration, or a history of flaunting the breaking of school rules? Why do we all assume that the administration and teacher did not think this through, ask appropriate shaalos, etc? Obviously expelling a student is a very serious issue,one which has been referred to by many gedolim as deciding “dinai nefoshes”, but how can everyone decide on the basis of a sketchy news article what the right move is? Particularly people who are not familiar with the system in a different country! And to flippantly say that these mechanchim and mechanchos, who are responsible for educating literally thousands of high school girls (do any of you have a concept of the size of the Bais Yaakov Hayashan?), and who presumably have poskim and rabbanim who they consult with who have all the details of each case, will “go to gehinom” or “deserve to be expelled themselves” or “have clearly been oiver vehavata lereacha kamocha” smacks of arrogance and ignorance. I’m not even quite sure the purpose of such an article. . .

  36. mom in israel says:

    brisker- I sincerely hope your harangue was sarcastic. Even for a Brisker, you went way overboard.
    As a BY girl whose class was called “rotten apples” by the principal of the school, I can testify that this was not the method of chinuch which turned us on to yiddishkeit. When we got out of that school (elementary) and went to a more open-minded (also BY) high school, we were a lot happier and frum-wise healthier. If you are a mechanech as your post implies, please tell me where NOT to send my children as chinuch such as yours does not work!

  37. yitzyy says:

    First of all, as has been pointed out by a number of comments, we do not know the entire story, and/or history that went on here, and with these girls in general, so for all of you people cursing out the mechanchim and mechanchos who enforce the rules in their schools, what happened to YOUR dan lekaf zechus, and ve’ahavta le’reicha kamocha??
    And if the school has a very public and well announced zero tolerance for “non-kosher” cell phones, why can’t they throw out a girl who balatantly and openly disregards a rule that they knew about about?
    We may disagree with the rule, but shouldn’t a school be entitled to make and enforce a rule, even if you don’t like the rule?

    As far as this being what is going to “send people off the derech” I would guess that parents disrespecting the institutions, and their leaders is far more likely to have a deleterious effect on the way students turn out. But I guess the honored commenters on YWN know more than the combined total of all the rabbonim in EY, and only they have the right to decide how the schools should be run, and what rules should be enforced…

  38. Ein.Yerushalayemer says:

    As a past and present LIBERAL parent of girls in the said school I can say this: First of all, anyone who has internet including me, has no business commenting because from the start they disagree with the schools official ideology, and the school has the right to set it’s own agenda. 2. Non Kosher cellphones are VERY destructive and should be rooted out – basically I agree with Brisker35.
    3. HOWEVER, the end does not justify the means, KGB tactics will only turn the girls off. 4. Don’t worry, nobody’s shidduch will be ruined. 5. BEleive me I know first hand. Regardless of this story, the Hanhala of the school DEFINITELY has no clue about what chinuch is. B”H I have great girls not BECAUSE of the school, But DESPITE the school.

  39. brisker35 says:

    I am boruch hashem happy to see finally a normal person write something in” yitzyy” and” m in israel” to the rest of u WAKE UP and mix out of what the mechanchim decide make sure u won’t be burning in hell for ur “lishem shamayim” bein adam lichavero issues especially if I said u are absolutely oblivious and ignoramice concerning chinuch issues usually people like u like to harrass every time a mechanich disciplines a student due to some inner tormoil or frustration over ur obvious depressing childhood hopefully one day u will grow up

  40. bir says:

    this is so not true!!!!!!!!!111 my granddaghter goes to that school – it’s not BJJ and only 2 girls got sent home for a week – if you don’t know alll the details – dont write the story!!!

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