I payed $21,000 for my daughters misery!

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    It is very normal for kids to be homesick. truthfully, how would you feel if she said “I’m doing great, no I don’t miss you guys”. you gotta be strong and tell her she will manage, give it time. by cheshvan time, she should be ok. I think when kids are away for a while, they really mature and grow up.


    MoraRach, there is no point in fretting about the money spent, it will never be returned to you regardless if your daughter chooses to come home or is sent home. The money you send to seminary belongs to them according to your contract and there are no refunds.


    BTW thank ya all for all the advice…just spoke to my daughter after shabbos, still sounds awful, but to all those who are thinking its only my daughter, its really not…look at all the response I got right here…”itll just take till Chanukah”, “she will survive the year”, come on lets make it the in thing to stay local, in a good local seminary, that will give the girls the EY experience right here in NY!!! BTW A gut gebentched yur to all of klal yisrael! This should be are biggest issues…AMEN!


    the vilna gaon gave up the comfort of his home in vilna where everything was hunky dory to travel to eretz yisroel, the ramban gave his life to enter the land, how many great holy members of our lofty history would have given their lives to touch the holy ground of eretz yisoel.

    I think we should stop sending our children to the land where Hashem calls home and he rests in reality so we can spend our 21,000 on a seminary or course in the U.S. why try to fix the corrupt way we have of looking at Eretz Yisroel, rather we should just forget the whole thing. I imagine your daughter also went to summer camp and was also home sick. she got over it quickly and has never sat at home complaining to you about those terrible summers you made her go away as she suffered through the whole thing. perhaps instead of blaming the concept of going to seminary (everyones doing it) maybe check the values that you have instilled into your child. perhaps if she thought that going to israel was like winning the lottery (probably the way you grandparents who never made it there felt)she might have approached the whole situation with a very different attitude. rather she has a parent who wishes she hadn’t gone and scorns the entire concept.


    RR: ? The Gra never went to Eretz Yisrael and the Ramban only did when he had to flee Spain for his life (though both very much wanted to their whole lives).


    It’s interesting that major Rishonim (Rashi in specific) value EY so highly that they say mitzvos preformed outside the land do not even qualify as mitzvos!


    were you correcting something i said?


    Maybe she needs to go away for Shabbos or Yom Tov. Does she want to come to us? We live in Ramot.


    Abelleh, If that is what the Heylega Rashi held, why didn’t he go to Eretz Yisroel? Could your provide the Mekor where he and the other Rishonim say that? Thanks,


    Arig – there is no such thing as having an E”Y experience in NY. E”Y is E”Y and NY is NY. There’s a reason girls frum out so much in seminary – Yerushalayim is special, and it has the ability to bring people to levels they’d never see themselves at before. NY doesn’t have that special power, and therefore no matter how good the school is, it can’t give the girls what they can get if they’d be living in E”Y. It’s just not going to happen.

    And as you admitted yourself – it’s not only your daughter. This process is normal. I think only a select few love it in the beginning. The transition is hard in the beginning and everyone has their issues and their doubts/regrets, but all that’s worth how you feel at the end, after how much you’ve gained from the year. It’s a couple initial months of being unhappy, and then the rest of the time is an uforgettable and life-changing experience. You can only tell her “I told you so” if she still this unhappy at the end. Because honestly she seems right on schedule as of now.


    I want to second what dandelion just said and add that part of the EY experience is exactly why she’s having a hard time – being away from home for an extended period of time, learning to be independent and immersing herself in learning more about Yiddishkeit than she probably learned in 4 years of H.S.

    Rebbetzin Shain wrote in All for the Boss that part of the reason that she and her husband, R’ Moshe, were so close was because they had gone to Poland early in their marriage and had to learn to rely on each other. They developed a special closeness that never dissipated over the years, no matter that they returned to the U.S.

    Your daughter will learn not only Torah, but all the skills that other people mentioned above, including how to make lifelong friends probably on a deeper level than those she had in school simply from proximity to their house/being in elementary and high school together, and the kedusha of EY will give her koach that she didn’t know she had to rise in ma’alos of yiras shomayim and avodas H’ that will carry her to marriage and beyond.

    You all should have a gut gebentsched yahr and H’ should send you parnasa meruba to be able to send your next daughter to EY as well because I have a feeling that after she talks to her older sister a few times once she has adjusted, she will also be begging to go to sem in EY.


    The one thing that your daughter really needs to hear is praise from you for taking this huge step for her neshama. Tell her how lucky she is to daven at the Kosel! She can get a bracha from Reb. Kanievsky! She can visit many of the places in the Tanach that she has learned about! She will meet all types of Jews from all the corners of the earth! Encourage her to go visit the great rabbanim for brachot and to visit the mekomos hakedoshim.

    Herr Himmel

    The girls don’t belong overseas unattended by their parents for a year. For what?


    @farrock- TAG does not have an official alumni association but the alumni girls do often get together. Each year around R’ Weitman’s a”h yahrzeit they have a thing with Morha Heiman/Nadav speaking where all the alumni and sem girls are invited to. Also, the teachers from TAG hs go throughout the year and the girls almost always see them, whether it’s out to eat in a restaurant or in someones apartmen, you can always find girls waiting for the teachers to come. Also, unfortunately when I was in Israel (a coupla years ago) a very well known family lost a daughter. There was a levaya in Israel and many many TAG alumni showed up even if they did not know the girl or family personally… Oh, and also for yomim tovim if a sem girl needs a second day meal they can always count on a Tag girl to either have them for it or help them find one. Once a tag girl, always a tag girl!!


    All begginings are hard. I know from my seminary expirience, that the girls that litrally hated it at the beggining were the most happiest popular successful girls most of the rest of the year…

    the girls who dived right into everything without stepping back & evaluating everything, and didn’t cry on the phone afew times to get the whole emotional thing out of thier system, absolutely hated every other minuite of their seminary expirience…

    It’s only the begining you can’t cast judgement so soon. She will love it in the end and you WILL send your 4 other daughters based on her expirience, when she comes home, she won’t stop talking about it, your other daughters will be compelled to definitely WANT to go!!! Trust me, I’ve been there and done that!!!


    Herr Himmel: i agree with you.

    With finances so hard these days, i think its not necessary to send your daughter overseas for seminary. One is not obligated to send their daughter to Israel just because she wants to. With a son, its a different story, if a boy feels he’ll learn better in Israel, then i remember learning that one is obligated to send him there. There are more than enough seminaries here in the US or overseas that are cheaper than Israel with just as good or better hashkafa than Israeli seminaries.


    One does not have to spend an entire year in E”Y to visit and daven at mekomos hakedoshim, or “experience” eretz yisroel. yes, e”y is special and one can grow just from being there. Conversely, one can sink to great depths. The greater the kedusha, the stronger the corresponding forces of tuma (no, I dont have a source for it, but I hearn R’ Mopdechai Finkelman shlita, say this in the name of chazal, a number of times). Unbridled freedom, thousands of miles away from parents can be a recipe for disaster for many boys, and girls.

    old man

    From many of the posts here, it seems that one can easily find a source (rebbe, teacher, etc…) that one should go to EY or conversely, that one should NOT go to EY.

    I guess I am naive, but I always thought that a Jew can learn from reading the Torah itself. So I suggest that all of the naysayers to EY sit and read the words of the Chumash. If you are capable, read it in the original. It’s pretty straight forward.


    Her Himmel- “For what”? To grow up and mature. The maturity level of the girls that go to Israel and of those that dont is different. These girls need to prepare for life and once married they wont be able to- and definitely shouidnt be- running back to Mommy for everything.


    yungerman: You don’t need to spend in excess of $20,000 for a 9 month overseas excursion to teach independence.


    I did not go to Israel for sem and had the most amazing year of my life. would not change it in for anything in the world. I did get to go to israel for 10 days that winter and see my friends and get the same “israel experience” that they got without all that money and heartache.


    “The maturity level of the girls that go to Israel and of those that dont is different. These girls need to prepare for life and once married they wont be able to- and definitely shouidnt be- running back to Mommy for everything.”

    I never went to Israel and anyone who knows me can tell you that I am more mature than most girls my age, and I’m that last person to go ‘running back to Mommy’ for everything. In fact, I’m so mature that I realize how ridiculous it would of been to ask my parents to spend $20k for a year of sem in Israel when I know they have more important things to do with the money. (Like marry off all of us kids, tuition….)


    shlishi- Agreed. But the girls that dont go are not taught independance. The Israel experience is also amazing.

    Maybe we can start an informal poll:

    Did you or your wife go to Israel for seminary, how do you think it did/did not affect her, and iyho is she too attached to her Mom.

    My wife went to Israel, had a positive experience, is close to her mom, but in no way attached.


    Well thank you all for all the great response. Daughter still hating it. Heard alot about the new seminary opening in brooklyn next year….and all I can say is Kudos to R’ Assaf and Mrs Wienreb…You should have much Hatzlacha, and if all i heard about it turns out true, can my daughter please get in for next year?!?!

    A Gut Gebentched Year to all of Am Yisroel!


    i am extremely close to my mom and family and before sem i had never been away from home alone before. i never even went to camp! i was TERRIFIED for sem!!!!! b”h, i can honestly say that it was the BEST decision i EVER made!!! i loved every second of it. the only time i was homesick was when i came back in middle of the year, and then went back….i will say that each parent has to know their child. israel is NOT for everyone, and there are challanges that come along that are not so easy to pass being that your parents are not there and not seeing what youre doing anyway….i will also say that more then the classes in school, i think personally i learnt the most from just LIVING with other people, seeing how they grew up, helping them through their ups and downs…..my younger sis was also never away from home before, etc. and she is there now, and b”h, shes livin it up!!! its a great year and mostly everyone comes back having LOVED it…dont worry!!!


    ilovetheholyland- Thank you for validating my point of view 🙂


    We have a number of daughters and all have had the Israel seminary experience. A well known posek in Flatbush told me that if I sent one daughter to Israel, then I was m’chuyav to send all who wanted to go.

    One important warning to all of you reading this post: Some seminaries send out professional recruiters and tell each girl what they want to hear. One of my daughters was taken in by such a recruiter and when she arrived at the seminary, it was nothing like the the recruiters’s pitch. My daughter realized that she had made a terrible mistake. In fact, our Rav and her HS principal instructed her to leave immediately. This seminary pulled out the signed contract and refused to refund any of the $8000 down payment even though they had lots of slots still available. I was lucky that I didn’t have the full $22,000 they required before the start of the term.

    Boruch Hashem for Sharfmans, who were understanding of the situation and where my daughter had a wonderful year.


    mytake: well said!

    yungerman1: i’m not arguing your point or disagreeing that girls do get a greater independance by going to E”Y. And I’m sure everyone agrees on that. But it is not a necessity to go to E”Y for sem. Going to a good local (or not so local) seminary helps you grow in other areas. And you know what? there is nothing wrong with calling your mother for a recipe or what to make for supper, or where you can get higher quality for less $$…that’s not called dependance, thats called growing up.


    I went to sem for years, both in eretz YISRAEL and the US.

    There is a lot more adjustment that has to take place going to Eretz YISRAEL: language (learning Chumash is not knowing how to speak ivrit), planning places for shabbos (it can be a hassle and worrisome, not knowing where to go when the dorms are emptying out and you’re not accustomed to calling and asking to be someone’s guest)….

    There might be things that you can do to ease her transition. If you have relatives/cousins in aretz, maybe you can reach out to them to invite her. My parents have tons of cousins there, but I was too uncomfortable asking to be someone’s guest. It’s just not done here, and girls may have a hard time taking your word for it that it’s normal there. I disagree with the whole “cold turkey” concept. Sending a child to eretz YISRAEL does not mean abandoning them and forcing them to learn to make do. We don’t go from zero to 60 in two seconds flat. Give her the tools she needs to manage. Her tears and fears also do not mean you have made a mistake, either. I would not be quick to respond at this point. Wait it out at least till mid winter break. That will give her a chance to try to make friends, go on tiyulim, experience yom tov in aretz (incomparable to anywhere else)…

    Both you and she will always wonder, if you don’t give it enough of a chance.

    I know of someone who’s father paid thousands of dollars for dental school for his son, only to lose it several weeks into first semester when the son dropped out and switched to an actuarial program. That’s part of parenting. We don’t know what investments will bring returns, but we have to try.

    This is the wrong time to expect gratitude from her. She’s busy trying to adjust and tending to her own needs.

    My older sister, a’h, never went to sem in Israel, because my parents thought sending a daughter away inappropriate. They later realized how much she wanted to go and that it was commonly done and sent her for a summer there. It was NOT the same.

    No matter how terrible you feel about her concerns, project a positive attitude. Listen to her, empathize with her, and finally, model a healthier coping attitude that includes delaying decisions, allowing problems a chance to become resolved, and expecting good things to happen.


    In the american way, before you send your child to a College, you usually visit the college before enrolling.

    Why dont people visit the seminary or Yeshiva BEFORE sending your kids there.


    they can barely afford to send their child away for a year how do you expect them to pay for another ticket to israel and check it out? and dont forget they have to take off from work and find a place to stay… and how can a father check out a sem? sit in classes???


    The mother can go, There is no need for both parents to go.

    If you can afford $21K, it makes sense to spend a few thousand and check out the place BEFORE you send your kind (You dont need to go for the next kids).

    For anything in life you would check BEFORE you buy, Would you buy a car sight unseen. It makes total sense to see the sem before spending $21K


    I hear your point but I also think there are a lot of things that can make the daughter unhappy but the parents wont see that if they go before hand. they wont see the roommates and they wont see how the daughter will deal with the teachers…. if the point is to make sure the girls are learning and being taken care of then fine. but thats not the point. you have no clue where shes going to be spending her shabbosim…. maybe she’ll find a great family to do chesed by and the women would take her under her wing and care for her and make all the difference.


    There is lots the parents can do visiting.

    They can make sure the place is safe and the pictures in the brochure are REAL , Make sure the place is in a safe area.

    Maybe they can interview girls who are already there

    They can inquire about Shabbos etc

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