Budget Crisis! Bais Yaakov of Boro Park Cannot Open Yet This Year

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  • #590195

    yosse
    Participant

    At the moment it looks like Bais Yakov of Boro Park will not be able to open its doors this upcoming school year do to a major deficit . This is the little girls school at 14th avenue and 46 Th street . It has been at that location close to fifty years . It was built as a community school taking in all types of students , no matter from what type of religious home the kids came from , and no matter weather the parents could afford to pay tuition or not . Due to the recent downturn in the economy teachers have not been paid in four to five months and at the moment the schools feels how can it open when there is no money in the bank.

    as a community school what should be done at the moment , so that it could open up on time and educate our precious little girls.

    #657884

    WOW! I went through the Bais Yaakov school system years ago at that time the school was booming! They recently built some new buildings…

    #657885

    mepal
    Member

    Yes, I’ve seen advertisements in the paper. Its a scary situation…

    #657886

    What are we going to be doing about this chevra? We can’t just sit back and shmooze…

    #657887

    mepal
    Member

    send over the spare $$$’s

    #657888

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Perhaps they should charge a minimum tuition?

    It just sounds like a better idea than shutting down.

    #657889

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    MM: If you are offering to give, I will accept for my community schools as well 🙂

    #657890

    ambush
    Participant

    other schools also are on the verge or are closing…

    WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT??

    R’ Krohn said on the video on Tisha B’av, that in his community, they all took it apon themselves to support every mossad, and not ONE closed…

    so what do we do?

    #657891

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant

    This is very serious-

    They owe some teachers over 6 and 7 months in pay…

    They have K”H thousands of talmidos…

    They take all types of kids from all types of homes- almost no restrictions…

    Where would all those kids be placed??? (THOUSANDS)

    What would happen to ALL THOSE JOBLESS staff members…

    This is a school that everyone knows they could rely upon for jobs and chinuch-

    The share enormity and size of the place… it’s a catastrophe

    I just saw Yeruchum Shapiro on shabbos- how does he go on like this? The pressure must be inhumane

    What then? Start collecting door to door?

    #657892

    inspiredteen
    Member

    ambush- I think it was R’ Frand that said that. The community began an initiative to give a certain percentage of the tzedaka they give to the yeshivos.

    #657893

    ambush
    Participant

    inspiredteen- thank you for the correction. You’re right, it was R’ Frand, about Baltimore.

    I was speaking to a friend who is teaching in a school that also accepts all girls from all backgrounds and they make major strides in Yidishkiet and %99 of them go on to build a Bais Neeman B”Yisroel! Amazing! Some of these kids start on such a low and graduate with a husband in KOLEL!!!

    and she hasn’t been paid in… a year.

    yes, some may say it’s her obligation to quit and find a job that will pay her.

    But what about those children?

    their children?

    should they return to where they came from and be lost… forever?

    #657894

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    There are two problems with applying R. Frand’s advice to New York. I may be wrong in my assumptions and, if so, please feel free to correct me:

    1. The Baltimore community is far smaller than the Brooklyn community. There are far fewer institutions to support and maintain.

    2. The Balitmore community is far less fractured than the Brooklyn community. While there will be some cross-communal donations, most people will probably keep most of their money within their own community. The Baltimore community, to my appearance as an occasional visitor, is far more unified and when one person (R. Frand) calls for the entire community to help support a mossad, he will get far better results than if someone in Brooklyn were to issue a similar call.

    Again, I may be wrong, but that’s how it appears to me as a Brooklyn resident and occasional Baltimore visitor.

    The Wolf

    #657896

    Why can’t the community schools make a budget and stick to it? I am just curious about how so many schools can go into debt.

    #657897

    carl1316
    Member

    Am I only the one here that sees “part” of the problem. If parents are supporting their children then they don’t have enough money to support the local yeshivas. Think about it. To support a young family can cost $40000+. Right there that can pay 7-8 tuitions! We have lost our priorities. Of course the financial crisis played a big part into this problem. However I feel that the people who do have the money are simply supporting their children (which is their right). However if it became OK for everyone to go to work and support themselves then there will be money for the yeshivas.

    So here is the million dollar question: If you had a choice to support a kollel or an elementary yeshiva school what would you choose?

    There is an article out today that talks about parents sending their children to Public School. This is what’s going to happen more often is the dollars are not sent to your local yeshivas.

    WAKE UP people we got ourselves a big problem. Only 13 people commented so far to this post. It seems everyone simply wants to ignore this issue. If we don’t wake up soon and change our priorities we will CRASH… Let’s hope Moshiach gets here before this happens….

    #657898

    Jothar
    Member

    ***EDITED***

    the submitted post is already on the MAIN PAGE. YW Moderator-72

    #657899

    tzippi
    Member

    To Carl613: I’ve been saying this myself. It’s a big problem.

    OTOH, the schools are encouraging this too; don’t know how tuition committees respond to, but we have to support or be prepared to support if we want them to get married, as we simply can’t.

    #657900

    Jothar
    Member

    It may get worse.

    People who have been making ends meet by hiding money and not paying taxes are about to get nailed.

    Shulman said the Internal Revenue Service, as a result of the UBS case, is aware of other financial institutions, law firms and other entities that help Americans hide assets offshore.

    #657901

    carl- You put it so well. I would support an elementary school because the parents need to provide their children with a basic frum education and the children do not have the means to do it themselves. Children who do not have a basic education in religion have a much higher chance of not being frum as they grow older. What requirement do parents have to support a married couple? I see no halacha that states that says so. Yes, parents need to provide torah learners, but couldnt that mean the rebbes who teach in cheder? Maybe schools have to be stricter about scholarships. Parents who support married children in kollel should not be allowed to have a tuition break.

    #657902

    ambush
    Participant

    I have just been informed that i have no job for the coming year.

    no, not because i was fired.

    no, not because someone else took my position.

    I am not working in the school anymore

    because it closed down due to lack of funds.

    no, we never thought it would happen to our school. To our children. To our principal.

    But it did.

    B”H Hashem gave me the clarity to understand that this is the BEST for me.

    But what about the school? Where are these children going to go? The teachers? The staff? The parents?- 2 weeks to school and their child has no where to go…

    I don’t have a solution. But maybe some people here have a suggestion. We all went to school, have kids/ grandkids in school.

    What are we doing about it?

    #657903

    stcs
    Member

    You do realize that this situation occurred over a long time. Our lifestyles have changed, thereby changing our economic situation as well. In our grandparent’s generation, true, there were fewer boys learning in yeshiva and kollel, but it was expected that children should be able to support themselves after a certain age. That generation lived through either the first or second world war and understood the importance of independence and imbued this philosophy in their children. But that generation was not threatened as their parents had been, and now they feel that the best thing for their children is to not have to suffer as much as they had as children. Therefore they give as much as they can to their children finantially.

    B”H, this has encouraged many parents to support their children which was unheard of in past generations.

    HOWEVER, by supporting our children to learn in kollel, we tend to forget to support our children in yeshiva ketana so that they will eventually WANT TO go to kollel. The yesod is the MOST important part of a child’s learning! Yes, support kollel, but not at the cost of our children’s education!!!

    #657905

    Jax
    Member

    stcs: HOWEVER, by supporting our children to learn in kollel, we tend to forget to support our children in yeshiva ketana so that they will eventually WANT TO go to kollel.

    brilliant comment!

    on behalf of the CR Board & CR Gang, I welcome you to the Grand CR! join the CR fun! head over to the ”New Members” thread, to get a proper welcome from the CR welcoming committee!

    #657906

    artchill
    Participant

    Succesful investment requires diversification, the same thing is true about non-profit boards and funding. If a school board and supporters are the same group of people whose names are on five other boards, your institution is not likely to survive the down times. The key is fresh blood and appealing to those that are not your base, as well as alumni.

    Therein lies the problem. Many alumni are either being supported by others and therefore cannot give back, or they have less than fond memories of the institution and feel okay with the collapse of their alma mater. That leaves the institutions no choice but rely on new donors. New donors generally want to see openness and accountability from the organization leadership in all areas (fiscal responsibility, board involvement, safety measures, etc.).

    This is a universal problem and is not limited to Boro Park.

    #657907

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I have an idea:

    Way back when, high schools back in the Bronx during the depression had two “sessions”. It allowed children to play outside during half of the day (which they don’t get enough of nowdays as is) and learn the other half. With the exception of Davening (which who cares how large the class size is), this can be a possibility.

    If this is implemented, then the Beis Yaakov can cut infrastructure & employee costs in almost half; by asking the teachers to remain in school from 7 – 6 (Like many other industries) for a higher wage (lets say 33% higher), they can fire close to half the staff and still save 25% of costs. If they expand class sizes then they can cut even more staff.

    I know cutting staff is not a good thing, but its better than not opening!

    #657908

    cherrybim
    Participant
    #657909

    I really think that in order for our Mosdos to continue operating – there has to be some sort of plan for them to invest in outside investments. The Mosdos that have done so are B”H managing in these tough times. It’s very risky, no doubt. But I think it may even be riskier to depend only on tuition & contributions. Before everyone starts screaming “how can we play around with Mamon Hekdesh!!” – please remember that there may be no other choice… Many parents & donors were hit very hard & can’t be counted on to give what they have in the past. I’m sure many of you won’t agree, but just think about it….

    #657910

    Feif Un
    Participant

    stcs: Yes, you are right, our lifestyles have changed. I remember listening to the tape of R’ Gifter called Diversity in Orthodoxy. he speaks about what it was like in yeshiva in Europe. He was called a “rich American boy” because he could afford to drink real coffee! In Europe, people knew what it meant to really be moser nefesh for Torah. What does it mean now? To not be able to drive a brand new car? To not have beef for dinner during the week, and have chicken instead? In Europe, people didn’t know if they’d have anything at all! My brother in Lakewood went on a vacation recently, after the zman had ended. He went away for 5 days! I, who work, haven’t done that since I got married (excluding going to family for the entire Pesach). How did he pay for it? By being supported by his in-laws. Is this what being moser nefesh means now?

    #657911

    Feif Un
    Participant

    I’ve seen some long term plans for mosdos to continue operating. For example, asking parents to take out a small, whole life insurance policy with the yeshiva as the beneficiary. Maybe a $25,000 policy. It will cost maybe $5 per month, and years down the road, the yeshiva will have a flow of money from the policies. I know, it’s morbid, but it will help.

    #657912

    squeak
    Participant

    Sorry, but the key to survival is to control spending and increase operational efficiency – not to raise more and more money. I would think that considering the recent popularity of the conservative (political) movement within the frum community, they should know this on their own.

    #657913

    squeak – the key to survival is to control spending and increase operational efficiency. Have you ever ran a Mosad? Controlled spending and increased operational efficiency won’t cover a Mosad’s expenses. Without outside investments – it’s very difficult, if not impossible. Even if your entire parent body is paying FULL tution & you are making a dinner – you’ll still be short.

    #657915

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    CKK:

    If everyone is paying full tuition and you are still short, then you should either be cutting costs or raising tuition. Planning a deficit is quite short-sighted.

    #657916

    ambush
    Participant

    (sigh) the increased awareness is amazing. It really is so hard to find a solution, because,

    there isn’t ONE solution. How ever, believe me every mossad plans and budgets as best as possible, no one wants to close. Certainly not a school that’s been open for a few decades.

    the scarier thing here is that it was Da’as Torah that told them to close. If the Gadol told them to close, (He had told them to keep open a short while earlier) then even he realized that the money wasn’t going to come…

    #657917

    Helpful
    Member

    How do the chasidishe yeshivas manage to charge so little tuition all these past 60 years and yet remain as vibrant and growing as ever?

    #657918

    areivimzehlazeh
    Participant
    #657920

    artchill
    Participant

    From the information I have gathered, the Bais Yaakov in question was able to break even each year with steady funding from supporters and tuition dollars.

    Then, the school chose to build and relied heavily on dedication pledges of individuals. Those pledges never materialized due to the economic downturn. Pledges are worthless if unpaid, while the mortgage must still be paid. Hence, the problem.

    #657921

    ZachKessin
    Member

    the scarier thing here is that it was Da'as Torah that told them to close. If the Gadol told them to close, (He had told them to keep open a short while earlier) then even he realized that the money wasn't going to come...

    It seems unethical to open the doors if you know in advance that you can’t make your payroll. And while the school may be able to get away without paying people there are other bills that need to be paid. If the mortgage is not paid the bank will come take the building.

    I expect that other schools will go broke this year as well.

    #657922

    Why can’t the schools plan a budget like you and I have to for our own expenses? Dont take the kids on large trips, have fancy bulletin boards (ever seen the price of colored paper?), or lots of projects. Dont tell me that a “rosh chodesh bulletin board” is vital for a child to grow up and be a frum Jew. I know lots of people who’s schools did not have these things and they grew up fine. Does your school give out newsletters every week? The ones with pictures and a fancy cover and all? How about cutting costs and doing a large one only once a month, and a small “parsha questions/what we did this week” and fit it on 2 pages at the most. You dont have to give the whole school the paper that states what “Morah Goldy did this week in Kindergarten A”. Just that class.

    #657923

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Helpful:

    Community support. If the Rebbe says to Rich Man A he needs X for the schools, either Rich Man A gives or he is kicked out. No such thing for non-Chassidish.

    Does anyone have a location where I can read the letter sent?

    #657924

    gavra- is that fair? He might have other organizations that he wants to support. If he doesnt agree with how the money will be spent or what the organization is, what is the problem? He might want to provide for many other institutions that he feels are closer to him. Isnt it his prerogative to donate where he wants?

    Why does the rebbe get so much power?

    doesnt seem like community support, more like redistribution of wealth…

    #657925

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    If the Rebbe says to Rich Man A he needs X for the schools, either Rich Man A gives or he is kicked out.

    Really? I find it hard to believe that Chassidic Rebbes believe the Torah gives them license to extort.

    The Wolf

    There is probably quite a bit you don’t understand, and would find hard to believe, about the relationship between a Chassidic Rebbe and the community which reveres him and whom he loves and has the great burden of responsibility for…80

    #657926

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Wolf:

    Yes, its his Chassidus. That gives him the power. The Rich man has the right to leave, if he feels thats what is best. But the Rebbe has the right to shun him as well.

    #657928

    anon for this
    Participant

    I once lived in an “emerging Jewish community” located in the central US. This community has two day schools. When a local pediatrician enrolled her children in the newer school, the executive director told her that since she was a “rich doctor”, he expected her to work extra shifts so that she could donate money to the school beyond full tuition (and in this school, full tuition exceeded by several thousand dollars the acual cost of educating each child). At the time she was saving up to buy her own practice & was paying back large educational loans while supporting her family (her husband was in chinuch). Soon after, she enrolled her children in the older school. So this problem is not unique to chassidish schools.

    Remember: The other side of the story!…80

    #657930

    anon- that is terrible for someone to expect someone to pay more than the cost? One never knows how wealthy someone is or how much extra beyond maaser they can give. Do you know exactly how much someone makes in profits? And they might have been pledged to give their maaser elsewhere.

    #657931

    Helpful
    Member

    anon for this – you describe it as a “problem”. Yet it works beautifully in the Chasidic communities. The only reason it isn’t more widespread, is because it is impractical to implement and enforce in non-chasidic communities. Otherwise it would (and should) be more widespread. The way the chasidim do it, is the best approach. (And they are suffering the tuition crisis to a smaller extent than others. Yes suffering, but at a lesser extent.)

    #657932

    Helpful- I have some difficulties with what you said. I am not anti-chasidish by the way. I just have a hard time understanding what you said. Please back up what you said through facts, stories or other data. Why is their approach the “best approach” as you call it? Why is it impractical- because maybe it cannot work without the overarching and forceful demands of a Rav? It seems that is the only reason why there is less of a tuition crises (if that is true). They are forced to give more than they want, need to or, perhaps, really able to. If taking your word about there being less of a tuition crises as fact, maybe this occurs because they dont teach to as high of a standard as other schools. Less textbooks, out of date textbooks, unqualified teachers, large class sizes and large student-teacher ratio can also enable tuition costs to go down….

    #657933

    anon for this
    Participant

    Helpful, this was not a chassidish community, but I know that this parent felt that the funding demands made on her were a “problem”. By paying full elementary school tuition, this parent was already subsidizing the education of other students, since in this school full tuition exceeds, by several thousand dollars, the actual cost of educating each child (her children did not require any special services, which the school did not offer in any case). She was able & willing to do this.

    However, the school administrator told her that he expected her to work extra shifts so that she could donate thousands of dollars more to the school. As I mentioned above, this parent had many financial oblgations, including establishing her business & repaying educational loans. Her husband was a limudei kodesh teacher at a local high school, a worthwhile though not particularly well-paying profession. One-third to one-half of the elementary school’s student body paid no tuition at all, because their parents were in kollel or chinuch and were therefore exempt from tuition. This pediatrician was crticized by the school’s administration because she preferred to spend any time she could with her husband and young children, rather than work 12 hour emergency room shifts to pay other students’ tuition.

    This approach definitely did not work “beautifully” for this school’s administrator, because the pediatrician decided to send her children to the older community school. Now, some fifteen years later, she is established in her career, and her children have graduated from the older school. Although she does donated some money to the newer school, she donates much more generously to the school which her children attended & graduated from.

    My own experiences with this school (after I lost my job while pregnant & was unable to pay full tuition, my children were threatened with expulsion mid-year) were not positive either.

    Mod 80, I am not sure what you mean by “the other side of the story”. I am sure that this administrator felt a lot of pressure due to the fact that a significant part of the student body paid no tuition. Objectively speaking, however, his approach was not the best way to build positive long-term relationships with parents.

    #657934

    just me
    Participant

    I heard that BY lost goverment funding they were counting on. I’m surprised that I didn’t hear any geshrei in Brooklyn. “Little” Bais Yaakov has about 6 parallel classes. That will be hard for other schools to absorb. I didnt’ think I was that much out of the loop.

    #657935

    starwolf
    Member

    I am new here, and have been reading many threads to get to know my way around. One of the threads that I read with great interest was the closed “Zionist quote” thread in which several members posted their disgust for the State of Israel and all its institutions.

    In the State of Israel, we have many problems, but we do not have the problem that is the subject of this thread. We solve the problem of Bet Ya’akov tuition by spreading it over the entire tax-paying Israeli population. Most Israelis do not agree with Hareidi education–but support it anyway, via our taxes. Our schools are poor, and education does not have the importance that I personally would prefer, but we will not face this problem. It is a matter of community priority.

    So how do we translate this solution to the problem in the US? There is a more-or-less fixed pool of money available for Hareidi institutions. The Hareidi world is more centralized than any other in the Jewish community, as final authority is invested with the Gdolim. It should not be that difficult to convene a group of Rabbanim selected by those Gdolim whose job it would be to prioritize the funds available for Jewish education. (X amount or percent for elemetary education, Y amount or percent for Yeshiva G’voha, etc)This is clearly a priority for all concerned, and if the leaders of Hareidi Judaism cannot work together to solve it–oi v’avoi lanu.

    #657936

    AZOI.IS
    Participant

    I question how the Brooklyn community filled to the brim with owners of custom estate-like homes, summer homes, winter homes, elegant Simchas arranged by party planners, late model luxury cars, designer dressed population who take luxury vacations, etc. can’t in a unified manner support a Mosad like this Bais Yaakov, one of the best in the world?

    Yes, there are many who have been effected by the financial crisis, but many have not, and are still living the “good life”, chock full of assorted luxuries.

    #657937

    artchill
    Participant

    The reason why people don’t feel the achrayus to their local institution is because of a lack of transparency. When a a donor gives money they want to know what the money was spent on. There are many donors willing to pay scholarship money to help pay tuitions, so teachers will be paid. Many donors feel very simply; a marble Cinderella staircase, while very beautiful is NOT considered worthy enough for tzeddakah money. Without transparency and accountability there is no way a donor can truly know what his/her money was used for.

    It’s very simple, NO OPEN BOOKS, NO OPEN CHECKBOOKS EITHER. If the Bais Yaakov would allow an independent auditor monitor all donations go to the cause earmarked by the donor and have transparency, the school will have all the money they need to make it through the year within three weeks.

    GUARANTEED!

    #657938

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    starwolf:

    Two Jews, Three opinions. Imagine how many opinions there will be with that many “Manhigim” 🙂

    AZOI.IS: There is no reason why someone who planned and has money is Chayiv to give to those who did not plan and are still expecting others to bail them out. P’rikah is only if its “E’mo”.

    A story to illustrate (Because I am upset about this, but mods feel free to delete).

    There is a Blind man who comes to shul every now and then, claiming “he used to work but now can not support his family”. I have seen fewer and fewer people give. When I inquired, I found that his family is all grown and he is collecting to support them in Kollel & Beis Medrish with his collecting, rather than collecting for himself.

    My complaint is less on the father then on the children. How can they ask their blind father to go out and collect for them, rather then they themselves taking a job!?

    It goes back to expecting others to bail them out.

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