Going to Israel for a Yeshiva/Seminary

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  • #600332
    RabbiRabin
    Member

    I am beezras Hashem sending my daughter to Israel to seminary next year and i would love to hear some advice both techinical (what to buy, how to prepare etc) and hashkafah from any one who has gone or is going. I think this could be a good forum to help lots of the students going to israel as well. Any ideas?

    #825448
    Toi
    Participant

    bring your own toiletries for a year.and coffee. and american cheese. anything else youll be fine

    #825449
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    What most people don’t realize is that you really DON’T have to bring so many things. It’s extra baggage, and you really CAN buy most things there.

    What do you mean by “hashkafah”?

    #825450
    old man
    Participant

    We have everything gashmi here. We have the best coffee around. We have steaks and kugels, Sugar Smacks and Frosted Flakes. We have Slurpees and frozen yogurt. We have bagels and lox and sushi. We have every cheese imagineable , all cholov yisroel (we do not need to put plastic between each slice because we have siyata dishmaya). We have enormous fresh salads with craizins and roasted pecans. We have black and whites and Eyer kichel. We have deoderant and shampoo and conditioner and mousse for dry hair, wet hair, curly hair and no hair. We have Herbal Essence and Pantene and Loreal and Estee Lauder, whoever that is. We also have a big stone wall that Jews like to go to and stick little pieces of paper into, seems a bit odd, doesn’t it?

    Just come. Bring clothes and shoes. We have the rest. Even clothes and shoes. This is your real home.

    Brucha Haba’ah and B’hatzlachah.

    #825451
    Nechomah
    Participant

    By hashkafah, I would say that you should prepare her to be homesick and missing you and your family for a while and it does take time to get adjusted to being away from home for an extended period of time. Most girls do get over the hump and are very happy by Channukah. There was a woman who posted on a recent thread about this that she and her husband arranged to go to EY for Succos to help get their daughter over the hump and also deal with all of the YT meals that many girls find themselves having to plan out for themselves, which can be very hard on a girl who may or may not have much family here in EY. That’s a great idea if you can afford it. Maybe provide her with a list of phone numbers of family and friends you have in EY to give her a base for Shabbos/YT planning in advance. It will help ease her mind.

    #825452
    Toi
    Participant

    old man- for hashkafos people are makpid on alot of foods ie sushi are nearly impossible to find. coffee here isnt as good. the deoderant is funny- no old spice- and frosted flakes stink here.

    #825453
    netazar
    Participant

    Old man: Great post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #825454
    2scents
    Participant

    Why would one send a child overseas?

    keep ’em home so that you have an eye on them.

    I was there, and can say that most, not all but most Parents would cry if they know what else their children are doing (besides shtieging..)

    #825455

    I have heard that you should NOT bring your own shampoo and such because the water is dif

    #825456
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Oh, old man reminded me of something: they do NOT have good deodorant! If you need the extra-strength type (like me :)) then you MUST bring it!

    whatelseisleft: Myth. I brought from America (to start off with) and it made absolutely no difference.

    The different water CAN cause stomach issues, though.

    #825457
    bpt
    Participant

    ” Parents would cry ….what …their children are doing “

    I’ll tell you something my kid is NOT doing. He is not eating. At least, he is not eating a normal healthful diet.

    And not because there is no food to be had.

    He is not eating properly, because after a 10-12 hour day, he simply has no strenght or motivation to start shopping and cooking. So he lives from Shabbos to Shabbos, when he gets invited out, or on takeout food.

    I sort of know what he’s going thru, because that’s how I live mid-week in July and Aug, when Mrs is Upstate. If I’m lucky, there are leftovers to take back to the City, so the cooking and takeout venue is kept to a minimum.

    But to live like this for 1/2 a year?

    Oiy Vey 🙁

    #825458
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Besides everything in Israel, there is Ben Yehuda Street and even if your daughter never heard of it now, she WILL find out about it when she gets there

    #825459
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    It’s different for girls, though. Girl’s seminaries usually (some don’t) have cooks. And while the food usually isn’t gourmet, it’s edible.

    And your son needs to take the 101 on 1001 Ways To Cook Eggs (in a sandwich maker. This is a required course for all yeshiva bochurim staying away from home. 😛

    #825460

    OneOfMany

    do you have male hair or female hair?

    #825461
    Nechomah
    Participant

    OOM – Does it say in there that you can take an egg, put it in a plastic bowl, break the yolk, stir it a bit (like scrambled eggs) and stick it in a microwave for a couple of minutes – not too long or it’s cardboard – and voila! Scrambled eggs with no dirty pot/dishes to clean up afterward. I am sure that any bochur around can buy a loaf of bread at a local makolet and eat eggs like this. They even have canned tuna spread, which may be good for some. A bowl of cereal (corn flakes, raisin bran, etc, are available in lots of stores these days) is also quick. I feel bad for your son bpt. I’d love to have him for Shabbos and send a goody bag back for in the week.

    #825462
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    My hair has no gender.

    #825463
    aries2756
    Participant

    Instead of sending shampoo, soap and cereal, I would send foil pans (all sizes) and zip lock bags (all sizes) These are very expensive. Plasticware is also expensive and terrible so if you send a suitcase full of these products that would be very useful to her especially if she won’t be very wasteful with it. Plastic plates and cups can be washed a few times before thrown out as well as foil pans but then they can be tossed and you don’t have to worry about scrubbing burnt food off of them.

    One thing I brought with me on my last visit to Israel was 3 in one Purex laundry sheets. This is the most convenient thing ever. It has the detergent and the dryer sheet in one. It works really well and keeps the kids from shlepping the huge economy size laundry detergent with them to the laundromat. Sometimes the kids have to walk up and down 4 to 8 flights of stairs depending where their apartment is. So I would spoil them that way instead of shampoos and coffee.

    Shoes are another thing to really consider. They walk all over and use up their shoes. So truly consider the effect on their feet. They won’t need high heels at all. Even for Shabbos unless they are in a very fancy Seminary and are in one building. Walking on the streets of Israel in high heels is very difficult to maneuver. So at least two pairs of sneakers and a few pairs of good walking flats that don’t have a very thin sole, as well as crocs or some other kind of water shoes. Rubber soled shoes are also a consideration because when it rains the streets can be very slippery.

    The rules you set up with your kids should be very clear. You should draw up an agreement that you can all live with. Set up a credit card with a low limit so you can keep her on a budget and she can be financially responsible. Sit down and figure out what will be necessary and would be excessive. Discuss this with the seminary to begin with. You can go online and see how she is spending and pay daily, weekly however you want as long as she is being responsible. If you see and feel that she is being irresponsible or you see that she is using the card in areas you told her not to go, then it is time for a phone call and a discussion. Most places do NOT accept American Express as far as I can remember.

    Remind your child that going to Israel is a privilege and should not be taken lightly. It is not camp and they have rules as do you. She might feel homesick and lonely but that is something she will have to work through. She will meet girls from all over the world and learn a lot from them some good things and unfortunately some bad things. She will have to learn how to choose appropriately. She is NOT leaving her family behind nor what she learned behind, she is taking who she is and what she learned with her and she should be proud of who she is and not be afraid to show it and stand by it. She is going because you trust her to be who she is and who you raised. If you didn’t trust her you wouldn’t be sending her, but on the other hand she will be exposed to many things without the safety of the family and the familiarity of her school and mechanchim that she is used to, to protect her from it. She will have to make the appropriate choices on her own even though there will possibly be some pressure on her to make bad choices. That is real life and the real world. It will be up to her to take what she learned and apply it, and remind her that her family is only a phone call away to back her up.

    #825464
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    aries2756: It all depends on the sem. Different ones have different accommodations. There are some that do provide all meals/cutlery/etc. and have laundry services on premises.

    But the footwear is a VERY valid point – the most important thing to bring is a good pair of sneakers! You walk A LOT in Eretz Yisroel (esp. Har Nof) and there are also tiyulim to consider…

    #825465
    Toi
    Participant

    sem is a joke compare to a bochur dira. but ill concede that girls have a hareder time finding seudos for shabbos. no one wants them.

    #825466
    aries2756
    Participant

    Its not true that no one wants them, many young Kolel men are uncomfortable having single girls in their home. They don’t know what to do around them, they don’t know how to conduct themselves around them. They don’t talk to women but they are their orchim so what are they supposed to do? They invite bochurim instead who don’t seem to have a problem talking to their wives! Go figure.

    #825467
    old man
    Participant

    Very sad not to invite seminary girls.

    For the kollel man who doesn’t know “what to do with them”, here is some advice:

    1. You don’t have to do anything with them.

    2. When they arrive, say hello. Ask them if they would like something to eat or drink. Give them something to eat or drink.

    3. At the shabbos table ask them how they like their seminary and what they are learning.

    4. Whatever they answer, say “that’s wonderful, I hope you gain alot this year”.

    5. Sing zmiros

    6. Say a dvar torah

    7. bentch and clean up the table.

    8. Let your wife shmooze with them while you clean up.

    9. Go learn.

    10. Repeat tomorrow.

    N.B. If they want to clean up instead of you, go straight to your learning.

    Now, was thast so difficult?

    #825468
    Astrix
    Participant

    Being here 5 years i can tell u some things.

    If u trust ur kid in the states.Trust him/her to.If she’s normal she wont get into to much trouble.Everything is an experience.Dont be surprised if she gets drunk once.

    U dont need anything American except for clothing and some toiletries.There are many stores in jerusalem that sell all American products but a lil more expensive.

    The main thing is to watch her money.Only give certain amounts.She should take busses and not be scared.The whole Israel is on busses all day.

    Girls eat more than guys becuz their schedules permit it.She”ll learn how to cook a little and she’ll figure out the rest in due time.

    Call her everyday so she doesnt get homesick and dont get nervous when u hear of something bad happening in Israel.Chances are she wasnt close.

    Many times frantic mothers called me looking for their sons…thinking they would be in Tel Aviv at the nearest terror attack rachmana litzlan for no reason at all.

    Hashem watches over Eretz Yisroel.Just chill.

    #825469
    Toi
    Participant

    aries- im shana rishona and was a bochur a few months ago. was in ey for 2 years on both sids of the table. people dont want them so much cuz either the husband has to sing alone and it stinks or give parsha shiur. most bochurim do not talk to wives, usually the ones who dont have the proper regard for tznius like to shmooze, but there are always bad apples.

    #825470
    bp27
    Participant

    “Dont be surprised if she gets drunk once.” – Astrix, thank you for proving the point that so many of us have been saying.

    Keep your daughters home! You’ll save $20,000 and have a better daughter (contrary to the hype).

    #825471
    adams
    Participant

    It’s a wonderful life there, I wish I could go back. Your daughter can get drunk anywhere. Wasn’t there something like that in the Catskills just a couple of years ago, so that they had to start some kind of free evening, bowling was it? i saw ads this whole summer, girls only. Oh so you think that’s it, the problem is solved? you think there are no more drugs and drinking amongst kids from ‘the best families’? it happens in every community, no need to blame Israel.

    heck getting drunk once or twice is not that big a deal. most are sick from it and dont drink again. worse is having only a small amount of alchohol and enjoying it.

    person getting drunk repeatedly has problems that should be addressed so actually their getting drunk there, could be valuable to address their problems.

    #825472
    RabbiRabin
    Member

    bp27- I discussed this issue wih my Rav and he agreed that there is an issue with giving kids too much freedom. However he explained that the dedication to torah life that the teachers in Israel have and the homes she will go to will far outweigh the drawbacks. That was one of the reservations that i myself had.

    #825473
    adams
    Participant

    sorry i should edit that. you can die from too much alchohol. i guess when we say ‘getting drunk’ we mean several drinks not bottles.

    #825474
    2scents
    Participant

    all of you thinking of sending your children to Eretz Yisrael.

    I was there, and saw what i saw, I will Bli Neder not send ANY of my Children there.

    most of the Poeple that went while i was there, were doing things that their parnets would be horrified about. however they managed to have normal lives and move on.

    the few that got hooked and caught on to the bad things over there, have gone of the derech, and are causing their parents much pain.

    I spoke to a Rov about this, he has some knowledge in what is goion on, He told me that i am very right.

    #825475
    cinderella
    Member

    2scents, it all depends on the kid. If your kid is the type to hang out with guys here and get drunk here and do stupid things here then of course you shouldn’t send him/her. But if your kid is responsible and wouldn’t think of breaking curfew or going to ben yehudah or hanging out with guys, why wouldn’t you send him/her? It all boils down to knowing and trusting your child.

    #825476
    m in Israel
    Member

    2scents — Cinderella is right, and it also depends on the seminary. Your statement that “most” kids are involved in these things is just absurd — Ben Yehuda couldn’t hold “most” of the yeshiva and seminary students in this country! I went to a serious B.Y. type seminary in Eretz Yisroel and stayed on a second year as a madricha, and neither year did anyone in my seminary get drunk. Curfew was strictly enforced (the doors locked and you had to sign in in person, even on Motzei Shabbos), and I don’t know of anyone in my sem who hung out on Ben Yehuda. I did have friends from high school in different seminaries who became part of that scene — but these were the same girls who would hang out in America at pizza shops on Motzei Shabbos, etc.

    RabbiRabin — Almost everything can be gotten here for a price (even zip lock bags!) . You just need to determine if you’d prefer to save the money by bringing it or avoid the shlep and spend a bit more.

    I do advise bringing your own deodorant and sunscreen, both of which cost a fortune here and offer you much less of a selection. Also a box or two of really soft tissue for when you get a cold. (Kleenex is available here, but only the basic versions, and noses can get irritated pretty quickly).

    Coming with a list of people she can call for Shabbosim is also helpful — maybe an older friend, neighbor, or relative can give your daughter numbers of people she knows or met who enjoy hosting girls.

    Good Luck!

    #825477
    Astrix
    Participant

    2scents..what did u see exactly?

    I think u r wrong.

    Ive been here for 5 years.

    Please dont speak lashon hara about eretz yisroel.The reason people go a little nuts is because the kedusha is so much stronger here than it is in America.it takes some time to get used to.

    #825478
    kapusta
    Participant

    In my pre-sem year, there was a sem handbook which looked good (from what I saw of it). Some of the local judaica stores may carry it or if you know anyone in seminary this year, they can probably give you their copy (or can get you another one).

    *kapusta*

    #825479
    bpt
    Participant

    ” I’d love to have him for Shabbos “

    Thats very kind of you, Nechomah.

    So far, he has had 4 seudos in as many places (none of which where he knew the host / hostess). When asked how he hooked up with each place, we were told, its so and so’s brother’s in-laws, or its “someone who invites bochurim”, so considering how vastthe network appears to be, its quite possible he WILL be at your place for Shabbos at one time or another.

    #825480
    2scents
    Participant

    I will start with the few common things.

    are you aware of any Dirah or Dorm that goes to sleep before 1 or two AM?

    would you send your child to any yeshiva if that yeshiva also has bad (very bad students) only because there are some good ones too?

    so what if the child is good, this doesnt mean that the child will not get influenced by some friends.

    Astrix, stop with this Kedusha thing, you know that this is not true, no one goes nuts and the kedusha thing is not a factor. its the Hefkeirus!

    i have been to lots of Diras, with Talmidim from famous YEshivos.

    I have gone together with Friends who learned day and night, MOST of the them changed (to the worse)

    you are being naive, this is a fact, I HAVE seen it, there is a huge Hefkeirus.

    #825481
    Astrix
    Participant

    2scents…

    i have also been to many diras and yeshivas.There are always some bad people everywhere.But the good that Eretz Yisroel does is much better than the bad you claim it does.Those people who usually do bad have parents that are to overprotective and so when they get a chance they bust out.Everything starts at home.Im here for 5 years and so far the worst thing i did was get drunk and sleep late.

    Next….as to ur claim of kedusha..

    Please go check wikipidea and type in Jerusalem Syndrome..it is a real thing..real syndrome..read it.Ive seen it happen.

    You shouldnt be naive.U think ur kids will do better in America?

    #825482
    m in Israel
    Member

    2scents — It seems you are more familiar with the boys yeshivos than the girls sems. There is a LOT less hefkeirus among the girls seminaries. Most have dorms with strictly enforced curfews and madrichot living in the dorm and an aim bayit either in or right near the dorm. Attendance is taken at classes, and students who are AWOL one to often are accountable. Meals are generally provided all week, and some Shabbosim, with assistance for girls who need to find places on weeks that the dorm doesn’t provide Shabbos meals.

    Seminaries tend to do VERY thorough checking on their students, so it is unlikely that there will be “very bad students” in a seminary that is catering to “good” students. There are also seminaries who cater to girls who want more freedom, or who are looking for more “fun” then than learning, but if you are going to one of those seminaries you are most likely aware of what you are going for.

    I am not denying that a certain number of young people get involved in inappropriate behavior when living away from home for the first time. But your statements that “MOST” young people learning here change for the worse is just not supported by any facts whatsoever. There are literally thousands of seminary girls and yeshiva guys here from Chutz L’aretz, and a huge percentage of them end up growing tremendously in their avodas Hashem. (I was one of them, and I had many close friends who had similar experiences. I also had a few sisters who came to Eretz Yisroel as well, and my mother is involved in Chinuch Habanos in Chutz L’aretz and has had literally hundreds of students who attended seminaries in E”Y. So although I don’t claim to be an expert, I have enough first hand experience to find your generalizations to be wrong.)

    #825483
    Toi
    Participant

    2scents. your not making 2scents. youve obviously had a bad first hand experience. i know hundreds of bochurim and yungerleit. most kids that come bad get a bit worse and bounce higher. their friends in america whose parents made your cheshbonos stay just as bad, and dont get the bounce. the good chevrah shteig beyond belief and although there is a bad scene in town etc., that is the miyut, as terrible as it is. you need to spend a few years here to chap. dont let your kids miss out cuz of your misinformedness. (yes my rantingness justifies making up words).

    #825484
    RabbiRabin
    Member

    How should i set her up with money. Can i deposit money in an account here to be available for her there, should i give her a credit card, cash?

    #825485
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    2scents: Regardless of whether your generalizations are true or not, as m in Israel has correctly asserted, it is different vis-a-vis girls and seminaries. And that would seem to be the OP’s main focus. Therefore, your experience and beliefs are not applicable and do not belong on this thread.

    #825486
    Nechomah
    Participant

    I would look into opening a bank account with Charles Schwab. They have had in the past fee-free withdrawals at any ATM, so she can take the $ out over here in shekels and not incur any fees. Please verify as my info is more than 1 year old, and while I believe it still exists, banks are changing their policies all the time. Many Israeli banks have online ability to look up where their ATM machines are located to make it easier for her to find such machines in the beginning when she gets here. After awhile, she will be able to find them just by asking around. I think she should start out with a certain amount of cash to begin with just to make sure that she will be able to get herself to her dorm and manage for a week or so before having to go out to get $ right away.

    Also, don’t forget about a cell phone with an Israeli # and something that she can call you also. Everybody lives with their cell phones, but I don’t know if she’ll need 2 phones for this or just 1. Price around. Look in various publications for advertisements about this as I’m sure there are deals being offered.

    Just keep in mind that September 1st this year falls out mid-Elul, so Yomim Tovim will be upon her before she even knows it, so don’t forget that list of people she can go to.

    Just a side note – BPT, I don’t have any brothers-in-law learning anywhere, so I don’t imagine that that would be a way for him to find us. Where’s he learning? – Don’t worry mods, there are probably thousands of people with siblings learning in various yeshivos in EY, the chances of making any connection based on this is very slim.

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