Lakewood School Crisis

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  • #588266

    We all know that the situation with children not being accepted into schools is getting worse and worse each year. I myself know of many children who still are not in schools or were forced to go to school out of town. This is a terrible situation for us as a community and may be a cause of chillul Hashem against Lakewood Ir HaTorah. Some people like to blame the schools or the “system” but the truth is it is really our own faults. I have heard so many times that a reason a child was not accepted to school was because some parents called the schools and said, “If so and so is accepted I don’t want to send to your school.” You would think that parents that are so concerned about the ruchnius of their children would not be so ready to pass judgment and speak loshon horah about other people in their community.In Sefer Chofetz Chaim it states that there are seven very specific conditions that must be met before a person can speak loshon horah l’toeles. If everyone would learn these halochos they would see that what they are doing is against halacha and not based on Torah values. Ultimately their actions may be destroying the neshomo of an innocent child and causing undue harm to an entire family (and the whole community). The schools are then forced to bend to the demands of the people that pay their tuition! I have also heard about good intentioned people who will call a school on behalf of a child and they will hear, “Why should WE be the ones forced to accept this child, let them go elsewhere.” If we would hear our children behaving this way; kvetching, “why should I have to share, or help,” what would tell them? Hopefully we would say, “Our way is to be mevatar, you have a chance to do a mitzvah, you be the big one!” We are all adults, not petty children and Hashem loves each and every one of us. Klal Yisroel is made up of many different types of people and all of our children deserve a chance. We CAN do something about this terrible situation by being more open-minded and non-judgmental, being dan lakaf zchus and having more ahavas chinum. Lets abolish this blatant loshon horah and sinaas chinam and in that zchus may we see Mashiach very soon!

    Mrs. S. Langert

    #622373
    [email protected]
    Participant

    can someone explain to me the whole thing about kids not being accepted. If a kid is applying for high school and is not a good kid i understand, but were also talking about elementary school and really great kids and families. what is it that there is new fad not to accept kids?

    #622374
    shindy
    Member

    Bored at work…

    EVERY kid is really good, just some kids may need extra attention at this juncture of their lives. I really dislike when kids are labeled like apples, good and not good. These are all yiddishe kinder who were born to a mother, we should show some understanding.

    From what I have heard, lakewood wants to accept children into elementary school, but they don’t have room, so there is alot of competition to get into school. I should have become chassidish so I wouldn’t have had this problem!! LOL.

    Mrs. Langert, you have focused on one aspect of a problem, but there is much more to this. The main problem is that the schools don’t have enough money, the parents are giving as much as they can but it’s barely enough. The community Rabbonim have to establish community schools that are supported by rich people in the community. any ideas anybody?

    #622375
    anon for this
    Participant

    Mrs. Langert, you write that people call the schools & say “If you accept so-and-so, I won’t send my daughter to your school.” I’ve never lived in Lakewood, & never would imagine calling up a school & telling them they shouldn’t accept another child. If I would make such a call, I can’t imagine any principal I’ve met saying anything other than, “sorry, we’ll miss teaching your child then.”

    So my question is, on what basis are parents calling schools & telling them not to accept other children? What could possible be wrong with these children? And why would the schools listen to the parents who threaten them?

    #622376
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mrs. Shindy:

    You left the discussion on the other thread hanging, so I will answer both you and Anon here.

    The parents that threaten pay/raise full tuition, and can be counted on paying in 10-15K a year for the next 5-10 years. They also have connections, which causes additional funds to come into the system. The child not allowed in will need a discount and will bring in at most 1-2K, and will add additional children (BE”H) with no additional income to the school, causing further stress on the school’s finances.

    The administrator has to pay the bills, and this works as a good excuse not to argue with someone who helps pay them.

    #622377
    shindy
    Member

    Reb Gavra_at_work, I agree with you. It is very sad that yeshivos are run like businesses. I do not envy these principals and administrators, when they go up to shamayim after 120 they will have to answer to G-d for their actions. I spent two years of my life being angry at one principal until I told myself enough, I don’t have to waste my time on them, let Hashem take care of them. Maybe we should all decide to send our kids to public school and put these reshaim out of business. they will have to BEG on their hands and knees for us to send our kids to them and their wallets will be as empty as ours are after paying them so much in tuition.

    #622378
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mrs. Shindy:

    The pressure on the administrators to pay bills is tremendous, both on the side of salaries to rabbeim and insurance/utilities (among other costs). I feel a little of “Al todin” applies here. I would not want to be in their shoes, and can not judge them on the hard choices they have to make.

    That assumes the admin/principal doesn’t drive a Lexus off his salary.

    #622379
    shindy
    Member

    Sorry, I get a little carried away. I am so happy my kids are almost out of the yeshiva system.

    #622380
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    As far as Ideas are concerned, how about offering to pay full tuition to get your child in? It can’t hurt, and though you may need to cut back elsewhere or raise the money, your child is worth it, isn’t s/he? The administrator who previously said no may not be able to turn away a full-paying parent if the school needs the money.

    #622381
    anon for this
    Participant

    gavra_at_work, now I understand why the school administrators listen to these parents. But I still don’t understand why these parents care whether some other child is attending school with theirs? What is supposed to be wrong with the children they are rejecting? Are they upset because these parents can’t pay full tuition, and they don’t want to subsidize it?

    #622382
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    anon for this:

    Could be anything, such as a hint of a TV (or other “bad influence”), or some small (or large) slight/fight that makes a parent decide that her/his child should have nothing to do with another person’s child. I truthfully don’t know of any specific cases, so I couldn’t tell you. I just see the reasons quoted here.

    I doubt “they are upset because these parents can’t pay full tuition, and they don’t want to subsidize it?”

    We ARE talking about Lakewood.

    #622383
    shindy
    Member

    Reb Gavra…in my case it was not a tuition issue. We have always paid full tuition. Just in these yeshivos alot of kids want to get in, they look for reasons to reject. For example, if they didn’t like your older child they won’t take your younger one. this happened to me. I am still so hurt by this. why not address the older child, don’t take it out on the younger sibling by rejecting them. they look for reasons to reject because they have so many that want to come. it’s a sad situation nowadays.

    #622384
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mrs. Shindy:

    I thought once you have a sibling in a Lakewood school then you are set (and can go work). I guess it is different in other places, and there are exceptions.

    I can only think they thought you would remove your other child if the younger one didn’t get in, and that way they didn’t have to deal with him/her. Note that is still not a good reason to reject a sibling.

    I believe that in this case (Lakewood), it is more of a money issue (either on a specific or aggragate basis), though I am (B”H) not involved.

    #622385
    shindy
    Member

    Well, Reb [email protected], they succeeded. I did end up taking my child out of their school because she felt so horrible for her sibling. She is now OTD and is very turned off to yiddishkiet. It is so sad, she is a really nice and sweet girl, she just didn’t fit their mold. Well, I hope they are happy that my kid eats at McDonalds. The one they rejected? sent her to a different school who wanted her and she got into the seminary of her choice and is the frumest girl. They now know they made a mistake, they are only human but when it is your child it hurts. Hashem should please help me forgive them.

    #622386

    Can someone explain to me why we are dealing with this crisis on “yeshiva word” like a bunch of batlonim, why dont we take action and have the tzibur sit down with the roshei yeshiva and fix the problem once and for all,and get rid of the “troublemakers” (if a puplic ralley is necessary then so be it)its time to take some action, veimloachshuv eimosai!

    #622387
    chaya1
    Participant

    shindy was it bais Fayga that rejected your daughter?

    #622388
    shindy
    Member

    No. I do not live in Lakewood.

    #622389
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    veimloachshuv:

    There is no good solution. The Gedolim (hate to say it) are meshubad to their Rich Askanim. That is why the Takanos for weddings didn’t work, the Roshei Yeshiva had to show up at the rich man’s wedding no matter what.

    As has been stated previously, Talmud Torah is Kneged Kulam. These are the people who are supporting yeshivos and Kollelim. Who are we to say that the Gedolim should lose this money and cause many Kollel Yungelight to go out to work?

    Note to moderator: I understand if this post is rejected.

    #622390
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    In Monsey (where I grew up), everyone was accepted to Bais Yaakov of Monsey, regardless of who you were. Everyone (basically, not 100%) went to Bais Yaakov of Monsey from modern orthodox to chasidish (the extremely chasidish people went to Bais Rochel and the extrememly modern people went to Bat Torah, with a few heading to Bruriah). As the neighborhood school, they felt (and rightly so in my opinion) that they had to accept everyone.

    As more girls started going to other schools, Bais Yaakov felt that they were no longer “the neighborhood school” and again (rightly so in my opinion) began rejecting girls. Girls had other options and were choosing to go elsewhere, so they were no longer obligated to the community. Case in point: my sisters (7 and 5 years older than me) 95% of their graduating elementary school from Yeshiva of Spring Valley went to Bais Yaakov. When I graduated from YSV, only 50% went. The rest scattered to Manhattan High School, Bat Torah, Bruriah, Maayanot and some other schools.

    While I do not condone the schools in Lakewood at all, there are no specific neighborhood schools. I think there needs to be a solution, but schools should have the right to accept/reject people if they arent the only school around. Please note: I am not condoning turning away students from Yeshiva, but perhaps the boards of schools have to get together and discuss their “rejections” so that before they send out rejection letters they make sure every kid has some place to go.

    #622391

    gavra at work

    Perhaps I wasny clear enough, i am all for the rosh yeshiva’s and their supporters, I am saying we need to team up with them to fix the problem of the people in the school system causing all this crisis, because from what I understand their are people giving them a hard time in allowing them to fix the situation.

    #622392
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    veimloachshuv:

    As I have posted on the other Lakewood thread, there is not enough money to go around, even if the entire Hamon Am bands together, without the rich supporters.

    We have gotten ourselves into this tuition/school mess, and, like the financial institutions, must go begging cup in hand to the Gevirim. They have every right to impose what they want, or refuse to give.

    #622393
    Moshejoe
    Member

    In a nutshell, the Yeshiva system is failing us now after a good 3 or 4 decade run simply because the yeshivas are now run by the 2nd generation. When the schools were founded 30 and 50 years ago or more, the founders gave their hearts and souls to the yeshiva. They bent over backwards to parents as their goal was simply to give a torah education to whoever wanted one. Nowadays, the founders are either no longer with us or too old to run the school and the schools are now unfortunately in the hands of their children. These children never had to work a day in their lives. They have always had everything given to them on a silver platter. The goals in yeshivas now are now to keep up the “reputation” of the school, make sure the current administrators have Lexus and fancy summer homes for them and their children.

    #622394
    shindy
    Member

    Those days they used to beg parents to send to yeshiva, now they are turning them away because of the volume. the problem is we have become successful in having more children, boruch Hashem, but not successful in providing enough schools for them. It’s a financial problem.

    #622395
    sharon123
    Member

    The financial aspect is really not what I was referring to in my letter. Yes the schools are run like businesses and that is one aspect of the problem. But the people that call the schools about other children being accepted are worried about the “image” of the school they send their children to. It is a very elitest attitude. Really what makes anybody better than the next? My dissappointment is that we should be better than lowering ourselves to loshon horah and sinaas chinum just because we want to fit into a mold or portray an image. This is not what judaism is about. Every child deserves a chance and some of the people I know who cant get their children into schools have plenty of money to pay full tuition. It is quite shocking that this is going on in the frum world and that is why I feel we need a wake up call. Where are our priorities???? Keeping up with the Joneses in being the “frummest”? Or working on our midos and being dan lakaf zchus and giving every child a fair chance?

    #622396
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mrs. Sharon123:

    “Keeping up with the Joneses in being the “frummest”?” is (and should be) a priority for many people. Part of living in Lakewood is listening to the Gedolim/Roshei Yeshiva, and if they decide what the “Joneses” should do, then you have to listen, or expect to be left out of the greater Lakewood community.

    If you want to follow your own Rav, Lakewood may not be for you.

    P.S. I still suspect that if enough money was offered, the children would have been let in.

    #622397
    SarahB
    Member

    gavra_at_work, “Keeping up with the Joneses in being the “frummest”?” is (and should be) a priority for many people. Part of living in Lakewood is listening to the Gedolim/Roshei Yeshiva, and if they decide what the “Joneses” should do, then you have to listen, or expect to be left out of the greater Lakewood community.If you want to follow your own Rav, Lakewood may not be for you.”

    you have got to be kidding me!

    and suddenly you are in charge of how “frum” someone should be? everyone has their own level of yiddishkeit and they are working on that, they listen to THEIR Rav dont preach where you have no schichus. The gedolim in lakewood do not know everyones story and so everyone has their own rav. who are you to say they are not respectable enough to listen to? Ive seen a number of people ask the same sheila to the same rav and he gave each of them different answers according to their situation. and p.s. i know a very rich family in town who donates a lot of money to yeshivos and shuls and their child was turned down from a lakewood school. what do you say to that? money is not EVERYTHING its something but if a school wants a certain type, then let it be. its their decision when its THEIR school. Should Harvard start letting in people with a not so decent SAT score so they wont hurt peoples feelings?

    #622398
    shindy
    Member

    All people who are thinking of becoming frum should be warned that if and when they have kids they will have to fight to get them into yeshiva. The whole subject turns me off, what our yeshivos, or some of them, have turned into. When my last kid graduated, I am going to throw a big party and say birchas gomel. I have had enough of them and their royal highnesses.

    #622399
    Moshe Pipik
    Member

    Gavra. What are you talking about? The schools themselves have no regard at all for what the rosh yeshivas or the mashgiach say. There is a case that is going on RIGHT NOW where the masgiach told a certain school to take in a certain person and the school flat out said no for the EXACT reason that Mrs Langert referred to in her letter. Not only that, THEY (the people who were told no) offered plenty of money to get in. The Loshon Horah has to stop.

    #622400
    shindy
    Member

    SarahB:

    I wonder if you ever had a child who was rejected from school. In the case of a girl going into high school, she is 13 years old. She is a good girl, in fact a great girl, but “they” have decided not to accept her. She comes to school the next day and everyone is very excited because they all got in…

    I wonder how you can ever compare this to a person who is applying to Harvard. A person who is 18 and is applying to more than one school and has many choices. Is this what our yeshivos have come to, they have become elite schools for the few and elite? I could THROW UP. If sorah shnier would be alive she would be rolling in her grave (chas v’ shalom) to see what became of her bais yaakov system.

    A person doesn’t HAVE to go to Yale, but a kid has to go to yeshiva. What else can they do…go to public school…pack groceries? MY G-D, these kids are babies, our jewels, and they are made to feel like a piece of TRASH. someone will pay dearly for all these neshamos that had to go through so much agmus nefesh.

    #622401
    jphone
    Member

    Who REALLY fosters the elitist attitude? Is it the mechanchim/administration or the parent body (perhaps the powerful minority of the parent body) that sets a standard and then holds the administration responsible for meeting thsoe standards?

    It is very easy to blame Rabbonim, Administrators and the like, I think everyone should make their own chashbon hanefesh prior to pointing fingers.

    My son was turned down for NURSERY (they have a PRE kindergarten class) in a major Brooklyn Yeshiva because someone told the pre-school director that we had a television in the house. Did it matter that I flat out denied having one? Did it matter that I invited the decision makers to come to my apartment, any time of the day or night, unnannounced, to verify the claim against my wife and I? At first it did not, but because we made such a racket (not that we would have sent our son to the yeshiva at that point anyway, it was the principle of the matter at that point) someone actually made an attempt to verify the claim that we had a TV. Turns out that someone who ONCE KNEW US TWO YEARS PRIOR told them we had a TV. Guess what, we DID. We also came to a decision that we did not want one in our home at a later point. This “someone” was a “knacker” in the school who did not want their child in the same class as ours and made this claim despite not knowing whether it was true or not. The administration felt compelled to kowtow to their wishes, despite not knowing if it was true.

    In truth both sides are to blame in my case, but who is setting the standards for the hanhala to uphold, the hanhala or overzealous parents?

    #622402
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Mrs. SarahB:

    It was my understanding that Lakewood Ir HaTorah was run by the Roshei Yeshiva. If not, how did they get the schools to close when not everyone was accepted?

    C”V I am in charge of anyone’s yiddishkeit, I (hope to) never tell anyone how to follow Halacha. I come from a distiguished line of Gavras (before that we were Mar’s).

    Living in Lakewood (used to, I guess) be like being part of a chassidus. Either you listen, or are kicked out. If Moshe Pipik (great name!) and yourself are correct, then it just means Lakewood is not what it used to be, and I stand corrected.

    In that case, it may be time to get out of the Lakewood schtik, just like Brooklyn. Move somewhere where they will be happy to accept your child(ren) as they are.

    Mrs. Shindy:

    I have heard the same said for financial matters.

    #622403
    Moshe Pipik
    Member

    Gavra

    I hate to be the one to break this to you. The Roshei Hayeshivah Shlitah did not close down the schools, it took a psak from BOTH R’ Elyashiv and R’ Shteinman to close them down. Unfortunately for us, there seems to be a lack of kovod for the Roshei Hayeshivah.

    Nonwithstanding that, would everyone here agree to start a machsom lefei with me and in that zchus we should never have this problem again?

    #622404
    af al pi cain
    Participant

    Shindy:

    I hear you and know the situation; I am also trying to nurture a child who was rejected and is now OTD try to pick up the pieces of his life. I have a question for you. You say you are waiting eagerly for the day when you no longer have to deal with yeshivas. What about your future grandchildren? What advice would you give your children if they one day are facing yeshiva with their own children? I have been thinking about this for a while, as I fear I would no longer be able to honestly guide my children to send their children to yeshiva. That doesn’t mean there is anything better out there; maybe just the lesser of bad choices.

    #622405
    shindy
    Member

    I would for SURE want my kids to send their children to yeshiva. No question about it. Do you want your kids to marry a non Jew? cause that is what will happen.. But my kids will be more experienced about this kind of shtick and not be shocked like I was. I think they will start applying for school in the delivery room to beat the competition. hopefully moshiach will come by then!

    All I know was that I was left very angry and bitter by the whole experience, everyone tells me how it was all for the best, yada yada, but it’s my kid who if OTD.

    #622406
    jphone
    Member

    I know this is not an easy thing to do, it will require a lot of planning and arranging and coordinating. If parents are unhappy with the way their yeshivos are educating their children, and by this I am specifically referring to the HASHKAFOS of the yeshiva, which include rejecting prospective students for stupid reasons, or pressure from a few parents, why not take the kids home from school for english classes (of course those yeshivos that dont teach english – and I can tell you what an avla that is as having worked as a guidance counselor for a program offering Associate Degrees to heimishe yidden as a means to earning a parnassha and supporting their families, but that is for a different topic, different subject, different time) for several days. You can be sure the silence in the classrooms will be deafening. You can be sure the administrators of these yeshivos will want to get to the bottom of whatever it is that is bothering the parent body. Yo can be sure the word on the street about that yeshiva (and there will be all sorts of misinformation flowing) will be enough to force the hands of any administrator.

    I think how much time and energy, those who complain about yeshivos and their administration, are willing to commit to resolving these issues will say a lot oabout how much they really care or they are just blowing a lot of hot air.

    #622407
    Moshe Pipik
    Member

    any takers for the machsom lefi?

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