August 25, 2008 1:15 am at 1:15 am #588070
Is the price of Seminary in Israel worth it? The costs of Seminary are out of control!
A phone (of course in the Seminary’s plan), a trip to Europe, dinner out every night because Seminaries refuse to supply food to our daughters (despite being charged astronomical tuition), gifts for Shabbos, Taxis, the “absolute must have charges” never seem to end.
Maybe its time we start investing in cost efficient Seminaries here in the States where you don’t feel the seminary is out to make a dollar off of you every which way they can.
Agree/Disagree?August 25, 2008 6:30 am at 6:30 am #621017
I think you just answered your own question.August 25, 2008 8:19 am at 8:19 am #621018
mabey we should rethink the whole sem thing,
is it doing more good or bad? are our girls realy better
off now then 15yrs ago? forget the money issue, im talking about
yiddishkiet,hashkafa,ect?August 25, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #621019
I wish there were alternatives in North America too. It’s very tough on out of town parents whose daughters are not academic or Lakewood material.
OTOH, some parents I know have brought the costs down through Federation etc. grants that are only available to Israeli programs. And their kids get real – minimizing phone use, cooking their own meals(BTW, some sems do do 3 squares a day), taking buses and walking whenever possible. Trip to Europe? Not part of our game plan. Neither is coming home for Pesach.
B”H we’ve dealt with three Israeli seminaries that yeah, are businesses in that they’re someone’s parnasa, but who have always telegraphed that their purpose is in educating our daughters and helping them grow. The proof of the pudding is the strong relationships my children still have with some of the staff.August 25, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #621020
When Golda Meir was PM of Israel, she visited America and met with the Moetzes Gedolai Hatorah, at the time consisting of Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky ZTL and Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTL.
She said, I understand why the Rabbonim are opposed to women serving in the army, but why are you opposed to the Sheut Leumi, having the young women provide service to the country. Rav Moshe was going to answer when he was interrupted by Rav Yaakov who said I am older I will answer. He then proceeded to say that the kedusha of am yisroel is based on the father knowing where his daughter is and having control where she is and what she is doing till he walks her down to the chupa. Sherut Leumi takes that control away.
V hameivin Yovin.August 25, 2008 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #621021
Israeli seminaries are not just about learning, they’re out to make money. Not just a decent living – they want to make big bucks.
If you want proof, just think: when was the last time one of these seminaries had a fund-raising event?August 25, 2008 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #621022
The truth is that sherut leumi doesn’t take control away any more than sending a girl to seminary in Israel or out of town. If a girl doesn’t sleep at home every night, there is no control. Any fathers out there who send their daughters away from home and feel totally in control of them? I venture to say that it is difficult enough to be in control when they ARE home, but when they are not? wishful thinking.August 25, 2008 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #621023
The simple and truthful answer is WE DO NOT “NEED” Seminary in Israel. Like all other things in our culture, wants have become needs. We have become obssesed with trends that the frum community begins and folow blindly. For a nation thats supposed to be full of ingeniuty and individual thought brought uopn by the study of our holy Torah, we have become robots who do what everyone else does without putting an ounce of thought into it. Seminaries is a classic example.August 25, 2008 2:17 pm at 2:17 pm #621024
Seminary is a waste of time and money. It’s used as blackmail now because girls can’t get a “good shidduch” if they didn’t go to Seminary and it has to be in Israel. It’s a joke but don’t expect anything to be done about it. That would require the parents to act collectively and simply refuse to send their girls. If 500 or 1000 parents in one year simply refused to send their girls, then maybe something would change. But that won’t happen because we all just go along with the blackmail and have no backbone to stand up to any kind of pressure.August 25, 2008 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #621025
No. Which gadol’s wife went to seminary in Israel? Is there one? 🙂
It is a way to support (very generously) people living in E”Y, but you could plant trees for the difference (in Beitar, where it will also help Torah Yidden) and get the same result. Perhaps your daughter may even be realistic about marriage and life/money if she doesn’t go to Israel, and goes to a Bais Yaakov graduate program instead. ;-August 25, 2008 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #621027
I think its a total misconception that if you go to Israel you get a shidduch faster.
In my grade there is more girls who stayed in the US married/engaged then those who went to Israel.
so dont be fooled.August 25, 2008 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #621028
For some girls, yes, the price of seminary is worth it. For other girls, there actually are sems in America, and there has been an increase in girls staying home and going to these local seminaries, parents just can’t afford it. especially if you have a large family of seven girls, that is $20,000 times seven, and the prices have gone up as the dollar is worth less in Israeli currency, plus air line tickets have really gone up. So don’t send to seminary if you think it’s not worth it, and explore the american options.August 25, 2008 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #621029
Dear lammed hey,
I am very sorry to admit that I am not privy to the personal lives of all the gedolim and their families. And if I did I would not share such intimate information with everyone and anyone. Quite frankly, its not tznius.
But I have a question for you. Which Gedolim use boxers and which use briefs according to your sources?August 25, 2008 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #621030
Dear lammed hey,
I am very sorry to admit that I am not privy to the personal lives of all the gedolim and their families. And if I did I would not share such intimate information with everyone and anyone. quite frankly, its not tznius.
But I have a question for you. Which Gedolim use boxers and which use briefs according to your sources?August 25, 2008 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #621031
I think that I have to agree with just about every single poster on this thread. While I feel that the concept of the seminary is a great thing, the price and stigma has gotten out of control.
When I was in Beis Medrash I wanted to learn in Eretz Yisroel, and my parents didn’t have 2 nickles to rub together at that point. B’H I had little difficulty finding a Yeshiva that provided room and board plus 3 meals a day. All I had to do was find a way to pay for airfare (worked in a store for the summer) and we found some creative ways to offset the tuition. The result was the 2 greatest years of learning and spirituality of my life. I made lifelong connections and got to meet Gedolim in person. The expierence changed me in a way that no Yeshiva/school in America ever could. It is for this reason alone I would venture to say that girls should go (as long it is a well structured and well supervised program). However, I think that the cost is preventing this from becoming a reality.August 25, 2008 5:22 pm at 5:22 pm #621032
I think it’s pretty clear that seminary in EY is really nothing more than a trend that has been fueled by affluence and solidified by peer pressure. On its heels, an entire industry of seminary-related businesses have sprung up and an increasing portion of the frum ecomnomy is being tied this trend. As with so many other economic trends, it is the middle-class that gets crushed to the point where the frum middle-class now has yet another unaffordable “must have” with which it must contend, along with all of the negative things that come along with it (job stress, sholom bayis stress, stress-related health issues, etc.)
…and Shindy, I don’t thnk there has been an increase in the number of girls staying home. I think if you take a casual survey of people you know, you will find that over the last 10 years or so the percentage of girls in a typical northeastern Bais Yaakov type graduating class that go to sem in EY has increased from about 60% to over 90%. The trend is so near-universal at this point, that american seminaries are actually closing down because they simlpy can no longer attract a critical mass of girls with which to run their businesses.August 25, 2008 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #621033
Having just returned from Israel this past year I would say seminary is an essential thing to a Jewish girls life. I am not denying the fact that it is alot of money, but I think every penny my parents spent was worth it. Not even so much which seminary you go to, being in eretz yisroel for a year, the land of keddusha which moshe begged hashemt to please let him into. Our parents did not have this option as kids, but now that we do I think everyone should grab the oppertunity, If you have any further questions please ask.August 25, 2008 5:32 pm at 5:32 pm #621034
I have no doubt that learning in EY is, for many youngsters, an unmathced experience. This is a refrain repeated often by those sending their daughters. For those for whom the money is no object, it helps justify the extravagance. For those who struggle to pay for it, it helps ease the pain. At the end of the day, however, it is an extravagance. Perhaps its an enriching one, but it is just one of many enriching extravagances, that I could imagine in a world of unlimited resources and time. The real question is why did this particular enriching extravagance go from luxury to necessity (There can be little doubt that it is largely because no one wants to be the parent who has to tell his child “Sorry, but we just can’t afford it.) And in doing so, have we done more harm to our community than good. As with so many other frum trends, we really need to ask ourselves if the COMMUNAL price we are paying is worth the benefit derived especially in comparison to the prior generation that seems to have turned out just fine with only a sliver of its consituency having spent the year in EY.August 25, 2008 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #621035
NOW are you happy
Uffen a Shulchan Aruch regarding Garlic.August 25, 2008 6:31 pm at 6:31 pm #621036
The fact is that if nothing else seminaries are a means of stereotyping in today’s information overload crisis mode shiduch market. However, its worth considering if you want to be stereotyped, or if you are connected enough that you don’t need to be.August 25, 2008 7:30 pm at 7:30 pm #621037
your comparison is totally off. When a father sends his daughter to sem or sleep-away camp he is still in control because he chooses which camp or sem to send to and is therefore deciding who will be responsible for his daughter and keep an eye on her. He is delegating that control to someone he trusts. With sherut le’umi you don’t get those choices. A secular (possibly anti-religious) person will be making the decisions of how, where and with whom she spends her day. And there is absolutely nothing the father can do about it.August 25, 2008 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #621038
another point to think about: As the wife of an avreach who lives in EY we host sem girls all the time. they come over erev shabbos and from the minute they walk in the door don’t stop eating (except the anreix ones) till shabbos is over. don’t get me wrong I love having guests it’s a taste of home, but what are their parents paying for? so I have to scrap together money to buy a second loaf of fish? and than they want to use the phone, do laundry sometimes etc. . . these girls are thrown out of thier dorms all the time! not given the services their parents pay for.
I once asked girls from a really frum sem which hechsherim their were told to eat, they told me they which ones. I realized that these girls fathers would not approve of these hechsherim and I don’t belive that the principals of this sem would touch those hechshers with a ten foot pole. to earn a little extra money and buy their kids apartments in j-m they use all kinds of hechsherim for the girls. who supervises the kashrus in these palces? do you know who your daughter’s teachers are? which families they go to for shabbos? what hashkafas they are teaching you daughters. I have heard some crazy things from girls over the years. (usually the same things from the same sem every year)August 25, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #621039
Part of my concern which pushed me over the top prompting us to send our daughter to Seminary was that it seems to be a prerequisite for getting a good shiduich.
I am aware of the programs here in the States but it seems to me, at least at this point in time, that they still aren’t considered to be equal to the Israeli seminaries. Maybe this is changing. I hope it does.
I think you make a great point, I don’t know too many seminaries making dinner.
I agree with you the experience is an important one and the connections with the teachers are very important, but I am hoping the whole experience can be replicated in the States.
I am not sure what Seminary has to do with Sherut Leumi.
One more point also is that part of the Seminary experience is can be a “keeping up with the Joneses” for some of the girls who can’t afford to spend as much the others. Just for pure bein adom lchaviro purposes I think seminaries should figure out a way to cap out of control spending from some of their students. I feel terrible telling my daughter we can’t afford to pay for all the things her friends are doing.August 25, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #621040
As a postsemgirl as you can tell from my name, I agree with bored@work. semtatty- girls in sem do NOT have to eat out every night,parents should not have to dish out so much extra money, girls can take buses, and they do not have to go to europe. The kind of girl you are talking about is a JAP who while in eretz yisroel totaly misses the boat and see’s it as a year to spend her parents money and thinks she is still in america having all the luxeries she is used to. Insead of bad mouthing sem you should think about how the child was brought up! I know these types of kids. they don’t eat any meals in sem thinking they have to go out to eat and they are to chashuv to ride in a bus and must take taxis and they need to talk for hours to their friends back home………………. I can go on an on since I was roomates with two of these types of girls. However you can call up my father who send 4 daughters to sem and ask him if his money was worth it and he will tell you that it was worth every penny. His daughters learned independence and responsibility and gained a chashivus for eretz yisroel. one more thing, it was very sad to see that girls who had count downs the day sem started. it is true that those type of girls should not be in sem and every parent has to decide if his/her daughter should go to sem.August 26, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am #621041
I am heartened to hear that you were not a financial burden to your parents during your time in Seminary.
Your insinuation that my daughter’s parenting or upbring may be to blame (your insult aside) is not the problem.
My response point by point.
girls in sem do NOT have to eat out every night,parents should not have to dish out so much extra money,
I couldn’t agree more. Why though when my son is in Yeshiva will I not have to foot the bill to pay for dinner? Somehow tution covers 3 meals a day? Why won’t seminaries?
girls can take buses
and they do not have to go to europe
Also agree. However you are missing the point, this is not a pleasure trip, The Seminary takes the trip to Poland and 90% of the students are going. Isn’t that a poor reflection of the Seminary? Don’t they have rachmunics on the parents who have difficulty paying?August 26, 2008 2:02 am at 2:02 am #621042
Re semtatty: I would hope my kids would maintain a kesher to mechanchim/mechanchos in American sems too. I was just saying that to illustrate that not all is hopeless.
And as far as feeling bad about our kids not being able to engage in all the activities their friends do: I felt bad when my daughter told me about things she missed out on because she was budgeting, but then I realized how displaced these feelings were. It was a good experience for her and frankly my kids know how much goes into this year and are grateful to be there. They have a much better perspective than other kids. And that’s it as far as our financing their education – they take out student loans. It’ll be interesting when we get to our boys, whose education will be our responsibility for quite a few years longer. Hashem yaazor, iy”H.August 26, 2008 2:05 am at 2:05 am #621043
Postsemgirl,you end off with every parent having to decide if his/her daughter should go to sem. Do you mean bichlal or specifically E”Y? Because I would say that most girls need some structured ongoing learning post high school. The depth and scope of the learning and discussions – I mean practical and hashkafa – is not something that we can or should assume they’ll get in high school. I think it’s much more powerful that they get this at 18 then in 11th or 12th grade. Now if you’re in NY, it is entirely possible to get this in night sem. Halevi we out of towners should have the options New Yorkers do.August 26, 2008 6:57 am at 6:57 am #621044
bored@work and postsemgirl, you are the last people who are able to be objective about this topic. Of course your seminary experience was wonderful. The question was if it is necessary and worth the money. As someone who graduated from seminary about 10 years ago, I can honestly say that at this point, you cannot tell the difference between who went to sem in e”y and who didn’t. Someone I know who didn’t go to sem at all is now living in e”y and supporting her husband in kollel. I didn’t go sem in e”y but I live there now, and people ask me if I would’ve been more prepared to live here had I gone to sem. here and my answer is not at all. Sem. is nice and why not learn when you can, but I don’t think it really is preparation for real life. As far as being in e”y, you can get the same thing out of touring here for a few weeks.
Besides, I think that sem does a disservice by convincing the girls to marry a certain type of boy that there isn’t enough of on the “market”, and that they deserve to be supported by their parents.
Sem Tatty, wait ’til your daughter is looking for a shidduch. 20k will seem like nothing compared to what the boys will ask for. Speaking of shidduchim, I haven’t seen that where a girl went to seminary makes a difference.
My daughter is still a baby, but I do not plan on spending the money to send her to seminary in e”y. I can’t honestly say what I would do if all her friends were going, but I think it’s ridiculous.August 26, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am #621045
semtatty- i’m sorry if i hurt you, i did’t mean it! I am glad to hear that your daughter is not like the girl I described. I don’t know about all sems but mine and those of my high school friends offered three meals a day and did not take us to poland. I don’t know which sem your daghter is planning on going to. But maybe that sem does need to realize that the parent’s pockets are not bottomless. When we had to dish out money certain times during the year wheather it be chanukah or something else, many girls did not pay and were understood. I guess it depends on which sem. I’m sorry if I jumped on you. I don’t want you to get the wrong picture that my parents are drowning in money either. My father is in chinuch supporting four married kollel children. I also agree that sending girls to sem used to be cheaper and the tuition goes up extreeeeeeeeeeeeeemly fast without rachmanus. However,sem is an experience which I think should not be missed. Forget about shidduchim for a second, sem in Eretz Yisroel is like no other experience in a girl’s life. I don’t think that can be explained.
Tzippi- I mean specifically in Eretz Yisroel because every girl needs a sem year to learn more and also certain things that you can only gain in sem. Also the structure and age like you said. It’s amazing how we were so open to hear things that we were not open to hear in high school. Girls really change including myself. There are certain girls that if you give them the free rein of being by themselves in Eretz Yisroel it can be very very very dangerous for them ruchniusly. The hanging out there is horrible. Therefore, every parent needs to know his or her own child. Sem in Eretz Yisroel is definitly not for everyone. I am not one of those girls who came back in the clouds saying that EVERYONE MUST GO TO SEM IN ERETZ YISROEL. Now out of town can be very difficult. I’m not just saying it stam because if my name wouldn’t be postsemgirl it would be proud out of towner!!!!!! I don’t really have an eitza for you maybe go to NY or Cleveland. This is not the only problem. Believe me I know about it. Jus hold your head high because out of towners are the best! (not to insult the in towners)August 26, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm #621046
Rav Kaminetsky zt”l said that sherut le’umi removes the total control that a father has over his daughter. My point was that seminary is no different. As many of these posts have pointed out, seminary girls may go on buses, go to town, eat out, eat at homes where the hechsher isn’t what Tatty demands, visit families where the hashkafa isn’t to Tatty’s liking, talk on the cellphone and text message without Tatty knowing to whom, go touring, and even go to Europe. Total control like Rav Yaakov prescribes? Doesn’t sound like it.August 26, 2008 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm #621047
To Charlie Brown,
Sorry, you have very little knowledge of Sherut Le’umi. Sherut Le’umi girls choose by themselves and their parents from a multitude of programs to do chessed. Many of these programs are under frum supervision, including hospitals (Sha’arei Tzedek, Bikur Cholim, Laniado), ganim for handicapped, autistic, and learning disabled children, and much more. There are frum women counselors who specialize in helping girls pick the right program on an individual basis. If a girl is dissatisfied with a program, she can switch to another or may simply leave. No one is coerced, it is a voluntary program. Many girls sleep at home, and even more are home for shabbos every week.
Is the supervision of a teenage American going to seminary better? Yes, the family has entrusted the girl to an institution the father “trusts”. That’s very nice, you think there’s a mashgiach tmidi following these girls around Geulah, on buses, on their cellphones? If a girl wants to get into trouble, it won’t take a week no matter where she is in school. It boils down to the chinuch she got at home and the type of girl she is, we all know that sometimes the best chinuch isn’t enough. If she’s trustworthy she’ll behave properly, whether it be in seminary, in sherut le’umi, or working as a billing person in a doctor’s office. If she is not trustworthy, the last place you want her is on the other side of the ocean with a credit card. The rosh yeshiva can’t put them all in a cage with a closed circuit surveillance camera. And Daddy has lost control.August 26, 2008 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #621048
“Having just returned from Israel this past year I would say seminary is an essential thing to a Jewish girls life”
This is the kind of statment that truly baffles me. I simply cannot comprehend how any reasonably intelligent person can look at the experience of the last 1 1/2 generations of frum life in America and make a statement like that.
Forgive me if I make any insensitive assumptions about your family but let me ask:
Is your mother over 50? Did she go to seminary in EY? Is she an eishes chayil?
Perhaps the answers are yes, yes, and yes. Fine. But surely the overwhelming majority of frum women you know from the the last generation (those now between 45 and 65) are wonderful jewish wives and mothers, are proud of the American chinuch they received, and somehow managed to become such people without the benefit of a year in EY.
Again, I’m not going to quibble with the question of whether going to sem in EY is a positive experience. I’m sure it is. I simply want to know how so many people can be so (willingly?) blind to the simple reality that our very recent history proves beyond any doubt that it is not “an essential thing to a jewish girl’s life”.
Now of course that is just my Daas BalHabayis. Well, for what its worth, within the last three years, I have personally asked two well-repected New York Rabbonim for the feelings about girls going to EY and both expressed misgivings about whether it was , on the whole, a good thing. But again, just to be clear, let’s assume it IS a good thing, my key point is IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL – IT IS A LUXURY AND SHOULD BE TREATED LIKE OTHER LUXURIES. Which means, first and formeost that I would suggest the following rule of thumb to 12th grade girsl. If at any time in the last 12 months you have heard your parents having a stressful discussion about money, do not ask them to send you to EY. If they offer, fine. But don’t ask.August 26, 2008 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #621049
rebbetzin- “Sem. is nice and why not learn when you can, but I don’t think it really is preparation for real life.”
I don’t think this is a blanket statement for everyone and every sem. Maybe your sem when you went wasn’t but I beg to differ that I really gained a lot from sem and specifically since it was in Eretz Yisroel. Therefore I don’t think it is fair to say this. You can speak to my mother and ask her, she will tell you that she sent a different person than she got back. The one she got back is now ready to face what you call “real life”August 26, 2008 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #621050
I don’t understand the issue:
If money is no object, then who cares.
If money is an object, than your money is better off spent on spending an extra year (maybe two) in Kollel with your husband. (assuming that is what you want by the time you finish high school). 25K can go a long way, even when you are married.
1: where the father wants his daughter to “be brainwashed” (for lack of a better term), where sem MAY accomplish that.
2: Where the child needs to get away from home in a semi-supervised place, such as when she needs to grow up. In those cases, Manchester (or other Sem in Europe) or Baltimore (or any other US seminary)if you don’t live there will do the job. She may even become more into yiddishkeit than if she went to Israel.
If you just want her to have the “Israel experience”, take a vacation with the family (or just her), it will cost less.August 26, 2008 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #621052
postsemgirl, I don’t think you are in the position to tell until you are deep into real life. I would like to hear what you think in a few years.August 26, 2008 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #621053
I do hear what you are all saying, I do not know how you are comparing our generation to ones before us, even our parents, becuase we grew up in different lives and we just cant compare. Our generation is also into making things easy and as simple as possible. Some things u learn in seminary such as independance u can learn in life experince, but if were so into making things as simple as possible, y not in this area as well. But that is not even why I think it is a must. The lessons I have learnt have not only made me make changes in my life, but see life in a totally different way. I do see a difference in everyday things with my friends who did not go to seminary and those who did. You can speak to your daughter and say if she really wants to go, maybe she could help out financially, not paying for seminary, but maybe she can make some extra money, or i have friends who either chipped in on their spending money with their parents, or paid for the food by themselves. Europe is a totally different story, Amazing and should be mandetory for every person. AND NO I AM NOT ON A SEMINARY HIGH!!August 26, 2008 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #621054
postsemgirl, to clarify a little bit more what I meant, I am not saying that you didn’t gain and that you didn’t change.
I will give one small example, and I can probably think of a lot more. Iy”h in a few years, when you’re spending every day of your life trying to get your toddler to stop picking on your baby, do you think your patience level will be different because you went to sem in e”y? If yes, then I say kol hakavod to your seminary.
Another example: I know so many people who would not have opted for a kollel life had they known what it would really entail. They only realize this after they are married for a few years. Which means they are not being prepared for real life.August 26, 2008 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #621055
I am a post seminary girl who attended seminary in the United States. I have a few comments to make in response to what I read on the previous posts. First of all, you cannot compare this generation to the generation that was 50 years ago. Times have changed and most girls graduating high school now are not yet ready to ‘go out into the real world’ yet. The amount of bad influences there are in the world is tremendous and not all 17/18 year-old girls are ready to handle them. Finishing high school is a very crucial time in people’s lives…
That being said, seminary in Eretz Yisroel is definitely a luxury. Observing my friends who have come back from seminary a year ago have made me realize what a world of good seminary in Israel can do, but I still consider it a tremendous luxury. There are seminaries in the US that cost a third of the price of the ones in E”Y.
I attended an out-of-town seminary in the US and gained tremendously from it. I connected with my teachers, who are all Gedolim in Torah or Neshai Chayil that are pillars of their community. Eretz Yisroel is not the only option!August 26, 2008 8:39 pm at 8:39 pm #621056
I was in school in Israel for two years and I always say that if parents knew half of what their child does in Israel they wouldnt sent him/her.
On the other hand, for me Israel was the best thing. I once commented to my father that I felt bad that I cost him so much money by going to Israel. He told me that he felt it was very worth it and he would do it again. I agree that I would not be the person I am today without having gone to Seminary.
However, Seminary is not for everyone- for some it can be a world of growth and for some it can cause tremendous destruction (I’ve seen that too).
Some bloggers brought up attending Sem in america or England- between me my sisters and friends we discovered that because there are scholarships offered to those going to Israel, Israel is actually cheaper for us out of towners, (who dont have a seminary where we live).
In general, every parent must know their child well before sending them off for ten months on their own. Make this disicion wisely and ask sheilos if necessary- don’t just bend to the pressure!August 26, 2008 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #621057
Was it worth one possibly two years of Kollel learning? (the answer may be yes, but please justify). Also please answer why you feel E”Y was better than a more local Sem.
Please don’t answer me that getting married soon is only a shema, and one would have time to save, (or that you don’t need money to stay in kollel) as that would be too depressing.August 26, 2008 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #621058
Rebetzin, not all Israeli seminaries try to convince a girl to marry a certain type of boy (other than a ben Torah in the truest sense of the word, regardless of whether or not he learns full time). And American seminaries can be just as guilty.August 26, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #621059
I am already 5 years out of a seminary in brooklyn. Almost ALL my friends went to Israel. Out of a class of about 100 girls maybe 10-15 stayed and I’m being liberal. For the girls in my class who went to Israel (about 90 girls) there were no radical frumkeit adjustments. If you were really frum to begin with and you went to a really frum school, you stayed that way and if they would have stayed in Brooklyn and gone to a really frum school here they would have turned out the same. And the girls who didn’t care and went to one of the “camp” type seminaries in Israel had a great time, again no change. So no point in going to Israel the serious girls stayed serious and the girls who want to have a good time just spent 20-25k on a wonderful Israel vacation that lasted a year.
My experience in a Brooklyn seminary is that there is almost little or no point in going. They have a lot of text based classes (2 chumashim, 2 nivim, halacha…) Most of the teachers were high school teachers and frankly they weren’t as good as the ones I had in 12th grade. At a time when I was supposed to be done with HS and entering adulthood the seminary treated us like we were in 9th grade again, and it was more than obvious that most of the girls were there just for shidduch purposes. I found that the shiurim I went to at night on my own time were much more interesting and growth inspiring than what we were learning in sem.
All in all I’m against seminary all together. Not that it can’t be a good thing, but most sems in brooklyn aren’t up to par and most of the girls going there are also working and in college and just don’t care about it enough for it to be worth the money it costs.
Now married with a baby, I don’t see how my friends who went to Israel were more prepared than I was to handle “real life.” If anything I went to college and got my degree much faster. I had to juggle work school and sem which teaches you more about real life than any year in Israel could.August 26, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #621060
Oh and I forgot to add that my HS pushed us and the parents to send the girls to Israel. The HS puts the pressure on more than anything. ex:They had 3 seminary advisors and only 1 college advisor and I heard they don’t even have a college advisor anymore. So it’s all about the seminaries.August 27, 2008 2:51 am at 2:51 am #621061
I don’t understand the problem here. There are certain things that people must do in order to accomplish other things. Just like a person has to go to work if he wants to provide for his family, so to a girl has to go to seminary if she wants to get a shidduch. Don’t cry or complain about it. I don’t complain about having to go to work. It doesn’t mean I like it. I t just means that I know what I want And I act accordingly. I believe thats the definition of maturity. You people are a bunch of babies.
So NOW are you happy?August 27, 2008 4:13 am at 4:13 am #621062
Tzippi, I went to Yavne and there was no type of lifestyle pushed on us at all as compared to the other seminaries. We learned tanach inside, the teachers were role models, and the only “hashkafa” class I remember was shaar habitachon. Kollel and similar topics were never discussed.
I don’t know about other seminaries in America. Not that there are too many other ones.August 27, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am #621063
The saddest thing about this discussion is that you are talking about someone davka coming to E”Y for a year or two, instead of a permanent commitment to coming and staying in E”Y.August 27, 2008 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #621064
NOW are you happy:
You sound sad. Any way I can help? 🙁August 27, 2008 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #621065
rebetzin, I was also in Yavne! And I ditto what you just said… There were no ‘hashkafa talks’ or debates… Words like ‘kollel’ or ‘shalom bayis’ never even came up in class… The only hashkafa class we had my year was Igros Mussar. Any other hashkafa I received from my seminary year I pulled out of Chumashim, Neviim, Kesuvim, and Halacha that we learned…August 27, 2008 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #621066
I would like to add my two cents to this discussion for all its worth (probably two cents). My wife went to a seminary and she has nothing but bad memories of the actual seminary. The seminary she went to, and many others (from the discussions she has had with other women, now 5-10 years out of seminary) they try to brainwash you and make you feel guilty if you dont choose the lifestyle they deem to be the right one. One of her rebbeim told a class full of impressionable girls “would you rather your husband come home from a day of working with goyim all day, or would you rather him come home from learning in an out of town kollel”. He said this statement and many worse statements to a group of 30 girls. At no point did he take into consideration that one choice does not apply to all people. All seminary did for my wife, was throw guilt, guilt and more guilt with a little brainwashing on the side. The worst thing is, that after robbing the girls parents of $20,000 for the year, so they can toil in “avodas hakodesh bikdusah vetahara (yea, after stuffing their fat pockets)” they tell all the girls to marry kollel guys (without knowing them, their backgrounds and their abilities to handle that life) and putting the parents further in debt. This issue is a major problem, not only in Seminay but in yeshivas as well. The same seminary rabbi, who tells these girls to live a life of simplicity and hardship turns around an hour later and asks parents for a check of $20,000. Aint that the biggest hypocricy in the world? One of these brainwashing rabbis from my wife’s seminary was in America (not fundraising, as they have endless supply of cash, rather recruiting girls/ATM machines) and my wife and I approached him and confronted him about his approach and his face turned red. He said over the years he has realized his mistake and has stopped saying many of those things, instead talking to each girl specifically about her goals and aspirations. Who do you think is teaching these girls in the seminaries? Gedolim? Rabbonim Chashuvim? They are guys who need money and just two years ago were playing in the Israel Football League and now is a frum kollel yungerliet who is well equipped to give seminary girls life lessons. ITS RIDICULOUS AND NONSENSE. Talk about the worst ROI you could make. My sister was in seminary last year and is going back as a madricha. The only things she has gained are 1.Weight 2.contacts in her cell phone 3. A further amount of cluelessness about the world and being a responsible, good jew 4.an appreciation for every restaurant in Israel and she has generally has had a great time. Wonderful, I am glad my parents wasted $20,000 on that!!! I welcome your responses and know I will get some blasts on this. I stand by my post.August 27, 2008 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #621067
I don’t think we can judge about sem being camp because every sem is different.
Rebbetzin- I did gain a lot in sem and my haskafos were solified maybe when I have a toddler I will have more patients since the lessons I learned will stay with me forever. Every girl is different and eveyone learns in another way. Some go to eretz yisroel and some don’t. I think there is no point in this disscussion because everything is hashgacha and everyone ends up where he or she are suppose to be.
- The topic ‘Do we really need Seminary in Israel?’ is closed to new replies.