Cell Phones For Seminary Girls In Israel

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    We have heard that girls in seminary tend to use a lot of minutes, making Shabbos plans, etc. And extra minutes are expensive on these plans. I am therefore curious what number most people found to be reasonable. I know that it will vary by individual, but there must be an “average” range. My daughter does not sit on the phone and talk all day and uses her cell phone less than an average BY girl her age.

    Many thanks and hatzlocho to all.


    I wouldn’t sit and talk so much on the phone but really, just making shabbos plans and llving day to day life – needing to be in touch and arrange stuff with people, you use minutes.

    Also, when looking at your daughter’s bill (especially for people who do minute by minute), remember that you start off with a whole bunch of fees to begin with-the cell rental, the emergency txt thing, etc. -the bill is starting off with around $15 at best and then she uses minutes-what do you expect it to be? Don’t expect it to be an unreasonable amout on the bill.

    My guess is at least 300 or 400 minutes. Just MHO.


    Doesn’t the Gemorah say women were given 9 out 10 barrels of talk?


    there are lots of sems that have partnered with cell phone rental companies in israel. i am sure that they both make money on the deal. thats fine, but the threats that ‘we cannot accept a girl that does not get a kosher phone on a kosher plan through the sem(of course) is something i dont like.for two reasons- 1)you can buy an older (no internet capabilities)israel capable unlocked cell phone in the states for 20 bucks, AND 2) avoid the CRAZY BILLS she will incur with these companies by using prepaid cards(talkman or bigtalk.)they also have free incoming calls, even from the states.does she really need unlimited calls to her friends on the sem plan? added bonuses: your daughter will learn to limit her time on the phone and use the time to study instead and you will have a few hundred dollars more to help marry her off when she comes back!(of course the sem will try to scare you by saying that they need to know where she is at all times – as if they cant do that if she is on a prepaid system


    I agree with refael613, there are cell phone stores all over Israel that sell plans, phones and minutes. Ask your sons, nephews or neighbors. They all have the scoop on the cell phone industry in Israel. There is “cellcom, Orange and more”. Believe me the boys and young couples know the best plans and the best companies.


    I know there are some seminaries that want everyone on a certain network so in case of an emergency they could send out a text to everyone at once, so before renting anything look into it.



    i talk very little on the phone, and i use around 350 – 400 min average. there are some really good plans out there; you just have to be careful of the fine print. zappo is good, cellcom has some good ones, israelphone is pretty good, talknsave is also. orange is [rettyy good for a family plan, but i don’t know about it otherwise. hatzlacha rabba!


    when I was in seminary, I had a $400 bill the first month. So I went and bought a phone that only works on a pre-paid plan and bought only 200 shekels a month of calling cards. The plan is not as great as not prepaid, but it allows total control. I know that for the last few days of the month I had no minutes, so maybe be a bit more generous- 200 shekels divided by about 3.8 is the rate probably around $60. It really taught me to ‘budget’ my talking. And ignore the school about only having their phone…I still have that phone I bought and lend it out all the time to relatives coming and going and they buy their own minutes, so it’s good for everyone.


    wow ramat eshkolian, thanks for posting that! 400 dollars the first month! you know , it already costs so much to send to sem, the sems should be helping the student save their parents money and recommend the certified kosher prepaid phones. also, the sems should brief the girls (before they arrive)on how much things should cost them starting from the sheirut at the airport , taxis to the kosel and other services they will need during their stay so they wont be taken for a ride during their first days in israel. dont the sems teach that part of spending the year in israel is learning that we can live with less than what we are used to in the states and be very happy? so why the expensive plans?


    refael613: “taxi’s to the kosel”-Why? What is wrong with the bus?

    And, the seminaries do tell the girls but are you really expecting that every girl is mature enough to accept that and follow it?


    “dont the sems teach that part of spending the year in israel is learning that we can live with less than what we are used to in the states and be very happy? so why the expensive plans?”



    farfrumt-2 things. first of all, that depend on where in Yerushalayim the seminary is. second, it depends on whether or not one has a regular bus card or a childrens one.

    refael613 made it sound like it was normal to take taxi’s to the kosel and I don’t think it is.

    Also, how do you plan on fitting more than 4 girls in a taxi? The bigger the taxi the more expensive…


    Some seminaries have started letting girls split an American line/ land line to lessen costs.

    Remember, you still want your daughter to be in touch with you and to be able to reach you if needed so a cell is very useful.

    What the girls who want to save money do is buy calling cards and use a pay phone for most of the calls and then when just use a cell phone as needed.

    A lot of the sems used to text everyone on the same plan but now , whats in is Kosher phones, so they dont text anyway. Most sem’s reccomend a plan but don’t insist on it.

    Even if they strongly reccomend, they have no way of keeping track if ppl have different brands.

    The important thing is to really compare prices and make sure you know and your daughter knows how much everything costs.

    i.e. a 45 conversation can cost you $10. girls need to learn a cell is not for shmoozing with all your friends in America. Also, a lot of companies have hidden charges like charging you $1. to get an informational text and ppl ask for it w/o realizing it.

    There are many different plans and many times you can get cheaper if you go with an Israeli plan i.e. Orange, Cellcom, Pelephone vs. an American/tourist plan i.e. Talk N Save, Zap, Holy Land Phones, etc.

    The thing with an Israeli plan is they might not explain everything to you and might not speak English as far as if you have questions.

    BTW, almost every cell phone plan offers free incoming calls and texts.

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