Dear Yeshiva Administrators,
This letter has been long in coming. I have a daughter in one of your schools and I pay full tuition. Paying full tuition doesn’t make me better than parents who may not be able to afford your tuition, but the way I earn the money to pay you may be different. You see, both myself and my wife have full time jobs. I have noticed among my peers that we are the minority. Many of the other mothers stay home to raise their children – and let me tell you, I envy them. I would give anything to have my wife home raising our newborn, but financially we cannot. We need to work two jobs in order to give our children what they need – food, clothing and a Jewish education. In fact, my wife and I work additional jobs to make ends meet.
Here is the straw that broke the camel’s back. On the schedule you sent out this year, you listed October 10th (Isru Chag) as a late start day – fine, I accepted that. Then you had the sheer audacity to send a letter home with my daughter the day before the break stating Isru Chag will now be a day off. Here is the problem. Because we both have to work on Chol Homoed we are forced to pay for babysitting for our kids, which comes to a sizable amount of cash output. Additionally, planning babysitting for these days requires a good amount of time and legwork. So, your “surprise” day off not only completely undermines our plans, but it also requires more money to pay for babysitting.
Let me ask you this question. Why does anyone require late start or days off for Isru Chag anyway? The Chofetz Chaim has ruled that the minhag of Isru Chag is to generally forbid fasting on Isru Chag, except in instances when as a result of great distress the community synagogue decrees it. The Rema has stated in his notes on the Orach Chaim, “And we have the custom to eat and drink a little more on the day after the holiday – and that is the day known as “bind the festival.” I am not a Rabbi so my logic may be flawed here… but with no basis in halacha for any necessity for time off, why do you burden the parents with additional costs? Yom Tov is expensive enough, we don’t need to add to our debt.
With that said, I ask you to realize that the frum family structure has changed over the years; it appears to me that many more families are two earner families. Every time the school is closed, we have to reach deeper and deeper into our pockets for childcare. There is no argument over the fact that most parents have trouble paying the extremely high cost of yeshiva tuition. In fact, I have heard from a number of my friends that they will not be having more than 1-3 children simply because of yeshiva tuition! That’s right, fewer Jewish children will be born because of the price to educate them!
So here I am, paying FULL tuition, literally working night and day to pay the tuition on which you refuse to give me a break. I’ve just emptied my bank account making Yom Tov, and you just gave another day off.
Thanks again for all of your continued help,
A Two Earner Family
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