Out Of The Mailbag: (Taking Issue With School Administration)

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    Y.W. Editor

    Dear Yeshiva World,

    I am a parent of two daughters that worked in schools this past year. I would like to share with you the way the heads of the schools of YOUR children deal with their staff.

    Rabbosai, these are the people responsible for molding your children in middos, hashkafos and for life. In whose hands are we placing our children, day in and day out of their school life?

    A concerned parent.


    I don’t believe this is typical behavior in our schools.


    I really feel for your daughters. I’ve unfortunately experienced a BY High School principal in a large frum community that treats the parents and girls with the same level of disrespect, indifference, and condescending attitude. They have no accountability to anyone which is the biggest problem. They should be chased out of chinuch. Let them go into Real Estate instead-they’d make perfect slumlords.


    Can we not get things in writing, as in business. If its not in writing, then there is a lot of room for misunderstanding, on purpose or not


    josephf, unfortunately it is not as uncommon as you would think. A woman I know was fired for not lying to teachers, over the simple matter of when their photocopies would be ready. (The principal and office manager wanted her to tell the teachers it would be ready sooner than it actually would be, so they would feel better.) (This was at the “frummer” school.)


    I Agree… I have worked at 3 different schools and I shiver to think my kids will have to attend one of these schools.

    This past year I worked at a school I had a medical condition that had me bedbound for a few weeks. When I was ready to return to work I was told I could not return until 3 weeks later (after pesach vacation) They told another employee that they did not want me coming back before pesach because they did not want to have to pay me for pesach vacation (this was a salaried position and I was taking off without pay.

    This job also paid off the books ( fact I did not know until after I took it) so I was unable to receive any disability pay for my time bed bound.

    I called a Din Torah and was told I was in the right but it was not worth taking to court for such a “small” sum.

    I did not come back after pesach.


    These type of stories are all too common in our schools. This one is pretty extreme, though. The only way to help it is to speak up. Your letter posted here wont get you anywhere. Take the school administrator to a Yiddishe beis din and demand payment. Maybe they’ll learn their lesson that way. Dont keep this to yourself. Do something. Same to all others working in schools. Speak up!

    This is the reason why teachers come and go each year, and our kids have inexperienced, young, naive teachers. Best as they can be, they dont have the experience needed to be mechanech our children.(most of them are fresh out of school)!Then we wonder why our generation looks so…..

    We need to get schools to treat teachers right, so they’ll want to stay for years. Please SPEAK UP!!


    I’m not saying you don’t have some important points but re your first daughter: some months have more than 4 weeks, but with yom tov and vacations, some have less and it may actually work out to your daughter’s benefit. Am I missing something?

    About the second, and utilities for the lights: that’s absurd. I would think that if the school had such a policy they were obligated to make sure your daughter knew when she asked permission to tutor.

    I hope everything works out well, and thanks for sharing. We have learned from their experiences.

    Feif Un

    Unfortunately, this happens more often than you think.

    My wife got a job at a frum girls’ school. She was told a salary she’d receive, and asked for it in writing. The principal refused – he said “My word is enough for me, and I’m an honest person.”

    When it came time to get paid, my wife received far less than she was supposed to get. She confronted the principal and he told her he would never have agreed to pay her the original amount, as it was too much. My wife told him she wouldn’t have taken the job had she known the salary would be the amount she was paid. He told her it was her problem, and she could leave if she wanted. She told him, :This was why I wanted it in writing. Obviously, your word is not as strong as you claimed.” We contacted a Rav who referred us to a Beis Din. We were told not to go to Beis Din until the school year was finished, so she wouldn’t lose her job over the issue, and we’d be able to get back all the money at the end of the year. For the next few months, the principal made my wife’s life miserable. He treated her terribly, constantly yelled at her, etc. She ended up quitting.


    other side


    and people wonder why we are hated sometimes? goyish bosses would never do this to people. people should not be surprised this is happening.


    To all concerned parents and teachers: Today most New York male and female yeshivas are privately owned businesses and what is being sold is “chinuch” services to its “customers” the paying parents, and yeshiva teachers and staff are the vehicles that deliver services to the customers. Of course there are hashkafa rules based upon what would attract a majority of the customers. Jews with funny sounding last names or Balei tshuva are, therefore, usually rejected by these schools – otherwise, the customers will seek services elsewhere and the school owner’s profits will be affected. There are exceptions to the above description of privately owned yeshivas but, unfortunately, not many. My suggestion to G-d fearing teachers and parents; do your homework and seek out institutions with a reputation for yiruas shamayim and menchlichkeit, otherwise, you will be the next victim and ultimately it’s our children who will be hurt.


    Most schools dont pay their staff on time. Its nothing new.


    And then we wonder why our kids grow up with an attitude, but little education? Look at the role models. Wish there was a way we could bring back the education we got back in the 60s and 70s – with real teachers and a full high school curriculum. But, alas, that cannot happen because then, G-d forbid, the boys will want to go to college and get jobs (and become second class citizens). A friend of mine attended a high school graduation last week at a major Bklyn yeshiva. One of the speakers told the graduates that they should NOT go to college, and another said that it is the parents responsibility to support the kids into their 30s. I can’t comment because it would mean too many four letter words.


    well i belive this one hundred percent


    Hold on a minute here. Are you people telling me that you have a higher moral expectation of a person in chinuch above that of someone in real estate or any other job? That’s ridiculous. What makes anyone think that because someone is working and actually producing the very reveenue stream that the yeshivos rely on – that they are of a lower moral character than someone who works in chinuch? Nonsense. They are amoral rabbis just as there are amoral baalei batim. And on the other side of the spectrum there are wonderful rabbonim and baalei batim. One should not make judgments based on a person’s career choice. Actions are what counts. As for the original poster, what a disgrace – the rabbi involved should find work in construction or another job where no interaction with humans is required.


    if these is true happening, and i am sure it is. then the names of these schools should be posted. people work to hard for there money,


    At a Charedi Yeshiva-Bais Yaakov (separate schools in separate buildings) board meeting, I was shocked to hear that is OK to pay women (Moros and teachers) a fraction of what men (Rabbeim and teachers) earn for the same hours, based on similar qualifications. One executive declared proudly that the Bais Yaakov is a “cash cow” supporting the affiliated Yeshiva.


    This is why you should go into a professional field where things are relatively straight forward and honest. sorry your daughters went through this though it is a good lesson


    Been there done that

    and having a contract doesn’t help. I had one this year, the school owes me $10,000, I took my boss to Bais Din,he didn’t show up till the third time at which he asked the case be momoved to a different BD, bkitzur playing games. I paid my babysitter on time, and it cost me money to get to school and I have a contract, so what should I do?

    I am not teaching there next year, and maybe not at all. I also was once a dedicated teacher of high school students who spent hours of my time taling to them. I asked some parents to help me out, and they tried, but they are afraid of upsetting the princp lest there daughter get kicked out.

    One of the brachos in the shmena eseri is to restore Bais din to what it once was.


    Are these Orthodox schools? I though paying employees the correct wage on time was a Torah requirement.


    Kismich, I think it goes without saying that all people have a din cheshbon regardless of where you work. If a person were to choose a field outside of chinuch world, that should not be put down or looked at in any deragotory way. However, when onr chooses to go into the field of Chinuch there is a higher standard that must follow. I can’t see anyway around it. This is the foundation of education and the representation of what Yiddishkeit means to our children. When children (of all ages) see someone in chinuch doing something wrong, it is associated with how they see the torah. In a kids eyes, if a principal can yell at a morah then it must be that Derech eretz not important. While we can’t expect them to be malachim, they still need to be accountable for their actions or at least have remorse and do their best that the negative are not repeated.

    In this light there are terrible things happening and the end result is that the image of chinuch is devalued in the process. Right now in Lakewood there are girls going into 9th grade that don’t have a school to go to. As the story goes there were too many applicants in one particular school and many girls didn’t put down a second choice. So while this is going on several girls did apply to the other schools and were rejected due to lack of space. However, they just re-opened up the regestration to accoomidate those girls but yet still don’t have a place for those girls who did apply? These girls were highly respected in their classes but since their families are not the typical black hat types they are rejected. What kind of message is that? These girls are willing to live up to the standards that are set by the school system but are not given the chance to even try.

    I’m fortuanate to be able to send my kids to a school that does have moral standings. They make sure that they are honest when dealing with the government (they give an exact count of which kids get lunch from the government and when a kid is apsent they don’t mark him down). They treat they rebbiem and morahs with the highest level of respect and it filters down to the students.

    It is up to us, the parent body to make sure the right image is given. Are we more woried about how many pusikim are covered that year or that derech eratez kodmo l’torah? Instead of worrying about which types of students get in we should be worried of what types of students will come out of our schools.


    I feel for the writer, as well as for the other mistreated mechanchim and mechanchos who posted here.

    I would suggest that these dedicated proffesionals go to an out-of-town school where you will be respected, treated like a mentsch, and make a real difference in Klal Yisrael.


    this is why some of our best teachers go to public school.


    Avrohom, welcome to the real world. Old news that Girl schools are a cash cow.

    Rest of writers; Then we wonder why we have so many NOSHRIM; kids that go off the deerech! Koach Hapoel B’Nifal. Unless someone (or many) will have the guts to take them to Din Tora and if that does not help to COURT (with Din Tora Permission) nothing is gonna change. But then again they will be blacklisted.

    Very sad indeed.


    it is a HUGE problem that many ppl. in our community think that if they are working in a chesed position – tzedaka or klai kodesh type, that it is ok to do whatever works out best for them – not pay bills, abuse their workers ect…as if the ends justify the means….how sad for them, when they will relaize that they would have been better off being an honest buisness person, rather then a cheating osaik betzrchai tzibur….


    My wife worked for a chesed organization when she was single. She didn’t get her paycheck at the end of the month. When she inquired about it, she was told that there was no money available. When she asked when it would be available, she was told that since it’s a tzedakah organization, she should deduct this payment off of her current or future maaser money. Needless to say, she quit right then and there.


    I have to say that I am appalled. By The Yeshivah world Website, and by the posters here. Of course this is a very sad story, and should be addressed, like any other business machlokes.

    BUT, to malign all schools, or even just girls schools is terrible. Do you have any idea what sacrifice the owners and administrators put into these schools to help YOUR children. What a bunch of kafuy Tovah. They practically give up their lives to start and maintain these schools, and the action of a few individuals (of course we never heard their side before judging them) ruins the rest of the bunch.


    Yeshivah World News, what do you think Hashem is thinking right know that you have a hand in maligning (one sided) all the Mosdos that are sacrificing Lisheim Shamayim. Whose side do you want to be on after 120 years, the mosdos, or these people who are completely thankless.

    And one more point, “these mosdos are cash cows”. That is 1. insulting 2. for most girls schools completely not true. 3. is there something wrong for mosdos to be in the black? or do they have a chiyuv to always struggle?

    Obviously, you think that they owe you an free education. let me tell you, unless they charge you exactly what is costs them to educate your child (between 12,000 – 14,000 a year) you had better keep quiet.

    I am ashamed to see that these posters are “frum yidden who are yarei shamayim”

    I am truly ashamed, and am crying for those special individuals that sacrifice so much for these complete ingrates.

    Yeshiva World, consider changing your name, because if THIS represents the Torah world I WANT OUT !!!!


    My wife worked for a chesed organization when she was single. She didn’t get her paycheck at the end of the month. When she inquired about it, she was told that there was no money available. When she asked when it would be available, she was told that since it’s a tzedakah organization, she should deduct this payment off of her current or future maaser money. Needless to say, she quit right then and there.

    That’s outright theft! Not only would I have quit, I would have called them in to a din Torah or to court.

    The Wolf


    Not at all shocking, but if you want out of yiddishkeit because of it you should probably take stock of why you’re frum.


    Let’s not forget R’ Chiya, please. If this is how we’re educating our children, then R”L. Hashem please help us all.


    Hey, yid613, wake up and smell the coffee.

    It’s the teachers and staff that are moser nefesh to teach our children and they are grossly underpaid. It’s the school owners and their heirs who live the comfortable life with the latest leased cars; nicest homes; vacationing and traveling business/first class to Israel and elsewhere.

    You say that you are “ashamed to see that these posters are “frum yidden who are yarei shamayim””. Instead of being ashamed at the victims, you ought to be ashamed at the those who are stealing from our moras and rabbeim.

    You also say that since it costs “between 12,000 – 14,000 a year” to educate a child, “you had better keep quiet”. Do you think the owners take one nickel out of their pockets to educate the students? Didn’t you ever hear of fundraising; dinners; government programs; federation grants; PTA; foundation grants; etc.?

    This is all part of the business of owning a school. Halavai the teachers should be the beneficiaries of some of the grants so they can be paid on time and live somewhat decently.


    I agree with yid613, your letter mirrors my reaction upon reading this.

    I’ve worked in many mosdos and businesses, and have advised many along the way. You have to get a clear contract when you begin work. It also is imperative to know who you are dealing with. How can you begin teaching somewhere without getting references from those who have been there. I have gotten “tricked” a couple of times but it was really my fault. There are 2 perspectives at play and you are bound to have misunderstandings if you are not clear up-front.

    That said, how dare you write this letter and malign Mosdos the world over?!? You felt you had to let out some resentment for what befell your poor daughters, but where is your feeling of culpability? I am not proposing blaming the victim alone, but how can you and the other commenters make such generalizations and stereotypical slander??

    Anecdotal points are sweet, and yes, of course there are problems, issues and crises in the schools, but why are you paskening on everyone? Why be chote umachti es harabim, malshin umikatreig on Klal Yisroel with some drivel? Even in your own cases, there are 2 sides in every Din Torah and you fail to emote another perspective.

    May you live to learn from your mistakes and others and move on in life without remaining with a persecution complex to hamper your life’s purpose here.

    Have much nachas from your entire Mishpacha, and a great Shabbos!


    just to add,

    1. I do feel your pain at the shock and traumatic treatment by someone whom they apparently respected. I’ve been there too and the damage is almost irreparable, but to categorize and say, as one here did, that “They [sic] are amoral rabbis just as there are amoral baalei batim” I think is false. People who devote their lives to Torah learning and dissemination are, in general, affected for the good in moral spheres.

    2. Another point we must bear in mind is that if we lose money or have aggravation, it is not without Hashem’s will. All pain and suffering is dearly counted above, nothing forgotten. This may not diminish you feelings of anger and loss but you should not lose your focus.


    It’s the school owners and their heirs who live the comfortable life with the latest leased cars; nicest homes; vacationing and traveling business/first class to Israel and elsewhere.


    How dare you generalize like that? There are plenty of school owners who work day and night without making much money (if any), and certainly without getting much thanks, and they do it l’shem shomayim for the sake of being mechanech your kids. And yes, I’m even talking about girls schools.


    How very very sad!

    I live in the Holy Land and perhaps I am naive but I think that BH BH BH the situation here is MUCH better. There are various reasons: 1) Most schools take government assistance and then all legal staff have their wages regulated by the Education Ministry. The extra “illegal” limudei kodesh teachers or rebbis usually get paid similar salaries though without the perks of pensions etc. 2) All schools insist on receiving 12 monthly checks (or a signed Direct Debit form) before the beginning of the school year to cover the tuition fees. This usually means that the hanhola know what their budget is for the year and make promises accordingly. 3) In the schools that my kids attend, there is a certain unwritten relationship between all the rebbis or teachers that all the staff would rebel against the hanhola if they would dare to treat one of them so badly. No principal can survive a mutiny from all his teachers and his school will collapse (and his cash-cow would die!). They will back down so quickly when they see 15 rebbis including their prize mechanchim taking a stand and refusing to cooperate with the principal on any matters until this rebbi receives what is due to him. Can this not happen in the USA?


    To the parent of the daughters who were so ill-treated by their school employers: I truly empathize with you. I have watched the virtually identical scenario unfold with my own daughter this year. She worked in a well-known girls’ elementary Yeshivah in the suburbs for eighteen months and was an amazing assistant Morah in both the first and second grades. She was offered a substantially better paying job after the first year of working in this Yeshivah, in a different Yeshivah in the neighborhood, but really loved the job at the first school, its administration, the teacher with whom she was paired, and most of all, the students. Weighing all the pros and cons, she discussed this candidly with the administrator of the first school, who really wanted her back, and was assured that if she stayed, two important conditions would be met: 1) a certain minimal financial increase would be guaranteed, though she really asked for more than that but agreed to settle for a lower amount and 2) she could come in each morning after 9 AM (which was really a crucial factor in her decision), even though the school day started around 8:15. She was not only told that the increase was a done deal, but that the person in charge would even try to get a little more, which would be closer to what she originally requested. She was foregoing several thousand dollars of pay at the other school, because of these assurances.

    She was asked to do the administrator “a favor” and come in at the 8 AM time (amounting to an extra working hour every day for five days each week, for which she had not agreed to work)until after Succos however, because they were short on coverage and did’nt yet have an assistant for that one hour. Needless to say, that one hour each day until after Succos, turned into ” we don’t have anyone yet,” for several months. My daughter felt bad for the adminstrator not having the coverage, as well as for the classroom teacher, so she continued to do this, because she is a responsible and caring, dedicated employee, who wanted things to run smoothly in the class. And it was only going to be for a short while, right?

    Each month, as her paycheck came around, she saw that she was not being paid based on the gross salary to which she had agreed. And no, there was NO written agreement, exactly as described by the original poster. “No one has written contracts, here.” was what was told to her. As she had no problem the first year, she had no reason to expect a problem in the next one. WRONG! She came to speak to the administrator and to the bookkeeper (who had never been informed of the raise, by the way), and was told it would be straightened out. After being given a runaround for several months, and respectfully requesting that the oral contract be honored, she was told that the conversation had never taken place, and she was never told she would be paid what she agreed to be paid. Mind you, she was not even being paid for the extra HOURS each week, even based on a non-raised salary.And she never HAS been paid for those hours.

    The administrator at one point acknowledged that my daughter was correct, but then did a 180 degree turnaround virtually the next day and again denied that she had ever agreed to my daughter’s terms. My daughter is an extremely honorable person (which is why she continued to work under these dishonorable circumstances),and it shook her to the core to see that someone she admired and trusted completely could be so unworthy of that trust. At best, this administrator is an incompetent fool, who cannot keep track of her own conversations (and she kept writing things down on little pieces of paper every time my daughter spoke with her, month after month). At worst, she is an outright liar and guilty of gneivas daas, because she made promises to my daughter which she had no intention of keeping, in order not to lose her as a teacher. As I said, my daughter is an outstanding teacher and beloved by both her students and the teachers whom she assists. She is a consummate pro, and never let her anger and upset prevent her from doing her job and giving it her all each day.

    She eventually became so disillusioned, that after the administrator lied to her for the millionth time, she calmly got up in January and told her, that unless this was immediately straightened out once and for all, she would not be back. I am not sure the administrator believed she would go through with it, but my daughter had had enough. She was immediately snatched up by another school where she has worked until the end of the school season.

    There is so much more to this story, that I cannot even put into words. Frankly I hope this administrator is reading these words and seeing herself in the story. Maybe she will even have charata and do teshuva for the anguish she put my daughter through, with her deceit and procrastination at doing what she promised to do.There is a din v’cheshbon for all of some day after 120 years, and I am sure she will “have some ‘splainin’ to do,” at that time. I urged my daughter to take the school to a Beis Din, but she did not want to bring shame to the school or to its administrator, who is well thought of in our community. Personally, I think that someone this unable to run a school honestly and/or competently should not be in such a position of authority and good standing in a community. But what do I know – I’m just someone’s mother.

    Avrohom Abba

    This problem is easily ignored so I hope the mother of the two daughters will copy all these comments and that she sends them to the tricksters and swindlers and phonies who call themselves “FRUM.”

    They are the same ones who will send a parent away with his son because the father wears a ring and has little money. But they will welcome a child whose parents are obviously not religious, as long as the father agrees never to come in during the school year and pays a large tuition. These are the administrators who very loudly announce to the public, “We only want what is best for the yeshiva.” Having TVs at home is easily forgotten when the school gets high tuition fees. At the same time they will hold back salaries, break promises, cancel vacations earlier agreed upon, change the rules they hired her with, alienate their staff and therefore deeply hurt the quality of what is being taught and HOW it is taught, while they think they are just being strict with the staff.

    Thieves and fakers, they act self righteous as long as they wear the accepted disguise. But guess what? The public is not quite as dumb as they think.


    At a wedding, the Satmer Rav (R. Yoel) gave the badchan permission to imitate the Rebbe. Upon doing so the rebbe began to cry. The Rebbe explained that the badchan was very good at coping the Rebbe. But he said, it made him realize that at times the Rebbe will also imitate himself perfectly.

    Have a good Shabbos.


    I hate to say, but when we give our girls an education that only allows them to work in frum schools, the supply exceeds the demand and administrators that want to cut corners with halacha and derech eretz can find many easy replacements, which means they have no external incentive to change their behaviour.


    While I’m appalled at what happened to your daughters, there is a lot of motzei shem ra on our yeshivos.

    A few years back, while in college, I worked as a teacher assistant in a Brooklyn Girls school and as a teacher in a Brooklyn Boys Yeshiva. I got paid ON TIME and FULLY for what we had made up (verbally) at the beginning of the year. It was a wonderful experience for me and while I would have continued teaching, sadly it doesn’t pay as well as my proffession.

    PLease dont’ generalize and throw all Bais Yaakovs and Yeshivos together.


    For the person who bashed the Cleveland school bosses, the other side of that story is that the amount of scholarships that are given at the Cleveland Schools is AMAZING. One school in particular has a guarantee that no child will be turned away for inability to pay and plenty of kids go there paying virtually no tuition.


    I substituted in several heimishe schools, & 1 of them still owes me money from last year. My friend had told me before that I should know that I’ll be doing it l’shem mitzva, & I should have listened to her.

    (but it really depends on the school, some do pay on time)

    In any case when I realized that I’ll never see the $$ from them, I removed myself from their list!

    gefilta fish

    The first thing I must mention is that according to yidel613’s response it is apparently clear that he is part of administration in such a moised or he is heavily nogea bedovor!!! He’s right that it may not be nice to talk in such a way about yiddishe moisdes – but ppl are crying out – something has to be done!!

    I was a teacher for one year – it is already 2 years since i left and i am still owed my salary for almost half a year – the part that WAS paid, was paid almost a year after I left – now i am BEGGING for my money and am getting different excuses everyday – my boss flys abroad often – as do is children….. i am not telling him how to lead his life – but if he owes teachers money (there are many teachers who havent been paid for years – even the headteacher hasnt been paid for years) maybe he should cut down on personal expenses – even if it rightly his!!!

    this is our children who are being educated in such institutions – something must be done about this!!


    Unfortunately,the letter writer reflects what is happening in the “frum” world too much.It has been kept quiet because people are afraid of ‘loshon horah’

    Trouble is,that those in power take advantage of the good-natured young (and not-so-young) honest workers and use blackmail to harrass those who need a parnosso.These behaviors are not limited to the schools,emploers and private people treat workers like this a lot. Baby sitters don’t get paid,delivery boys are cheated. I know,because I’ve been there.So have my friends and fellow shul-goers. BTW,the word is ‘immoral’,not ‘amoral’.(Amoral means lack of love in a relationship)

    And to those who don’t like it that this topic is being discussed,that;s too bad. The time has come for the sufferers to be heard!


    ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ????


    What we learn from here is:

    1- everyone is Chashud (suspected) for stealing

    2- sometimes we’re too naive and don’t ask for what’s rightfully ours until its too late

    3- torah morals and middot are HARD to come by

    4- teach our kids not to expect anything from anyone—if its yours ASK/DEMAND it

    5- beis dins do exist…. hint hint



    You are right I am in school administration. Words can’t describe the gehinom that I have gone through for you ingrates. I left a comfortable well paying job to help out our community. I don’t pressure those who can’t pay. I have to BEG, sometimes door to door, to be able to pay my teachers on time. I have to place myself in PERSONAL debt for your children. But when I ask you for help, you are all of a sudden not around.

    I really regret being so naive and believing that you need my help. YOU DESERVE TO SEND YOUR KIDS TO PUBLIC SCHOOL.



    By the way, My family has gone through worse gehinom than me. I have had my utilities shut off so many times.

    So I tell you that you are the worst type of person for maligning us like that.


    dagim 41:

    ‘amoral’ does not mean ‘lack of love in a relationship’. It means totally without moral standards, whether good or bad. The prefix ‘a’ indicates the lacking or absence of something, as in ‘atonal’,-in music, lacking a key or tonal center, or ‘asymmetric’-lacking symmetry, ‘asepsis’-absence of the microorganisms that produce sepsis. v’chulu.

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