March 1, 2019 10:25 am at 10:25 am #1687960akupermaParticipant
1. Increase class size. This might mean consolidating schools which wold require people to be more tolerant of other frum Jews (it is really so bad if the children of Hasidim and Litvaks and Sefardim sat next to each other). A wide choice of schools, all of which have small classes is not cost efficient.
2. Use distance education techniques (often exploited by home schoolers) to allow for a higher student-teacher ratio (allowing for better pay for teachers, or lower tuition). The role of a teacher would be similar to that of a teaching assistant in a large university lecture class, with the role of the lecturer coming from centralized source. If someone is needed to “babysit” the students during video presentations, that can be done by a lower paid teaching assistant, or perhaps by the Torah teacher (who is in the school anyways, usually commands enough respect to keep students in line, and could thereby be paid better).
3, Make use of existing shuls and cut back having separate buildings.March 1, 2019 10:41 am at 10:41 am #1688094
#1-2 are frightening. There is no better way to dilute education than to wreck the ratio of student to teacher. For many years, the invisible cap was 25, and that was a challenge. That seems to have become obsolete, at least in the concentrated populations. And there is fallout that is apparent. If solving a financial problem means cutting back on real chinuch, thanks, but no thanks.
This is absurd as suggesting that you save on tissues by using one only every third time you need to wipe your nose. Get real.March 1, 2019 11:14 am at 11:14 am #1688099☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
I agree with TLIK.March 1, 2019 11:16 am at 11:16 am #1688101
Most Orthodox shul do not have the space for classes, Only Conservative and Reform have the space because they are usually bigger buildings and many have classrooms from the days when they had Hebrew SchoolsMarch 1, 2019 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #1688180
Move to a ghost town and start a public school.March 1, 2019 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #1688195
Ghosts don’t go to school.March 2, 2019 9:35 pm at 9:35 pm #1688273CTLAWYERParticipant
OOT Most Orthodox synagogues built after 1950 had school classrooms and many day schools and Yeshivos started in these now empty spaces, paying for utilities but little or no rent.
When I was president of such a shul decades ago, we gladly gladly gave free use of 12 classrooms for a startup Boys High School and Mesifta because it guaranteed we’d have a minyan every weekday.
The Waterbury Yeshiva took over a huge Conservative synagogue building with school wing when the dying congregation merged with a small synagogue in the suburbs.
The Stamford Yeshiva is in the old JCC
I use to teach a class as an adjunct in a law school that operated in one office building in a corporate park. The school occupied two floors and the rent from the third covered the mortgage and insurance. They were able to charge tuition 1/2 the price of university associated law schools that maintained a full campus and amenities.
Yeshivos need professional business management. The Rosh Yeshiva and volunteer boards are generally not equipped to produce a business plan and run the institutions as they should be. The RY and staff should be teaching and tending to the spiritual and educational needs of the students, not spending most of their times trying to raise funds and keep the doors open.March 2, 2019 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #1688279
Joseph, would you rather that they did?March 2, 2019 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #1688282
A Yeshivas goals are not the same as other places. If a yeshiva was properly run, then students who cannot pay would be kicked outMarch 3, 2019 9:56 am at 9:56 am #1688400CTLAWYERParticipant
I do not agree with your premise that if ” a yeshiva was properly run, then students who cannot pay would be kicked out”
A yeshiva with proper business management and a business plan would allocate resources for a projected amount of tuition assistance.
An endowment campaign for both capital items and tuition assistance would be in places. The endowment would be properly invested and the principal not raided. Only the interest would be used for these items.
Too many in the frum world fail to realize that yeshivos are businesses, albeit in the non-profit business of Chinuch. Non-profit does not mean bankrupt or deadbeat. All over America are thousands of non-profit institutions: houses of worship, schools, hospitals, universities with billions of dollars of endowments. They give free tuition, memberships and medical care as needed, but have business plans an management to assure their survival.
For many years I was on the board of a day and high school. It was run by the family of the founding Rabbi/principal. 8 family members had full time jobs and paychecks. The Rabbi died and his son was thrust into the job of Principal/Director. He had no ability besides being a classroom rebbi. His late father had been a master fundraiser, who played on the heartstrings of non-frum Jews in the area to rebuild what the Shoah destroyed (he was a master of guilt). The son could not raise funds or get the bills paid.
The board approached the parent organization in Brooklyn (a Chassidus) out the poor way the school was run (budget woes, declining enrollment, etc.). And was told that since the family was put in place by the previous Rebbe, the son could not be removed.
The school floundered, many MO families who had sent their children there moved them to a competing day school or a Schecter school or moved out of the community. Even the local Orthodox pulpit rabbis pulled their children out.
Today this school no longer has a boys high school and the K-8 and Girls High School are composed of family members and non-frum children.
During the father’s tenure no child was ever kept out due to inability to pay. Now the endowment has been depleted, the school has a bad name in the general Jewish community and its days are numbered.
Had the son been made Menahel upon his father’s death and a professional business manager been put in place this could have been avoided.March 3, 2019 10:04 am at 10:04 am #1688418
Maybe they should auction off slots instead of testing and interviewing.March 3, 2019 11:03 am at 11:03 am #1688454
You wrote: “A Yeshivas goals are not the same as other places. If a yeshiva was properly run, then students who cannot pay would be kicked out”
It would be foolish to ignore the business aspect of a yeshiva. It needs to have a budget, take in money, and pay its expenses. But a yeshiva is more than a business. Just listen to the proclamations made about it at their fundraising events. The speaker typically heralds the public role of the yeshiva, that accounts for its performing a public service. A grocery only receives money from its customers. In the case of yeshivos, the customers are the attending students (with parents paying). I have yet to met a yeshiva that could survive on only tuition. They are nearly all out there (I refer to those “in town”) collecting donations or raising funds in other ways. Watch Purim, where bochurim and young boys are everywhere with their hands out. Why should I donate money to a grocery store where I don’t shop? Reason is, that yeshivos are performing a public service, and must provide education to students who cannot pay. Grab any menahel, and you will hear of incidents where a student without capacity to pay anything was accepted. Yeshivos are community services, not just a private enterprise. That’s why they fund raise.
There is also a reality (deserves its own thread – and there already were several) that many yeshivos throw out students whose parents do not pay. It’s a complex issue, and has been discussed in many parts of the frum media, aside from frequent discussions at Torah Umesorah with Gedolei Yisroel. Of course, we hope that expulsion for financial reasons should not be done, and I am one of those who protests that practice. But the business reality cannot be ignored any more than the community and public service should.March 3, 2019 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #1688476
TLIK: You sound more accepting of a Yeshiva throwing out children who cannot pay than your acceptance level of a Yeshiva throwing out kids who are a negative influence on other Yeshiva kids.
Just saying.March 3, 2019 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1688512
Of course children who cannot pay also deserve an education. But why does the school therefore have to be a charity? Let the school run itself like a business with a set tuition, and for those who can’t pay, donors should help them pay full tuition.March 3, 2019 1:23 pm at 1:23 pm #1688543
Wrong impression. I have zero compassion for any expulsions done for financial reasons. There are a variety of reasons for that. If the parents are deadbeats, the expulsion punishes the wrong person. The child is not responsible. If the parents encountered financial difficulty, they should not be handed an expulsion for their child. That is plain cruelty. The student who is being expelled is a direct responsibility for the yeshiva, and needs to be referred to an alternative placement. The dumping of the kid into the street is unacceptable, and a disgrace to the yeshiva and the hanhalah that does it. I am saying that this is being done for business reasons, and I can at least understand the faulty logic.
The kid that is creating a toxic environment in the yeshiva (which the Gedolei Yisroel convened and stated that this is the only excuse for expulsion) truly needs to have a change. That yeshiva cannot keep him. Still, help in another placement is an obligation. What saddens me is that branding the yeshiva kid as a “rodef” requires substantial investigation and clarity. Yet, it is too often a knee jerk reaction that speaks more to the anger of the hanhalah. I have trouble accepting that. Most often, these behavior problems are the challenges in chinuch, and need to be addressed within the system. Dumping them for someone else is rarely the answer for the kid, and often makes matters worse.
Do not get the idea that I am easy on the expelling issue. I am not.March 3, 2019 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #1688560
And what if the parents cannot find donors to make up the deficit in tuition?March 3, 2019 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #1688573
It’s the same as any other expense.March 3, 2019 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #1688577
With another expense they might go without the meat or without the bicycle or without the car.
Here there’s is no, and should be no, option of going without Yeshiva.March 3, 2019 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1688594funnyboneParticipant
Joseph, how about rent, food, electricity and clothing?March 3, 2019 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #1688595
People who produce food, electricity and water don’t have to be the ones to give it as charity to poor people.March 3, 2019 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #1688632YoavsrParticipant
What if one umbrella organization was tasked with providing health insurance for the rebbeim and teachers for many yeshivos- because of the large number of clients- they would be able to negotiate better prices from insurance companies. Much like the teachers union.
Maybe, this organization, will also be tasked in raising some of the funds needed to support all participating teachers: credit card points going to this organization, or instead of 2 percent back on credit card spending going to individual, it will go to this organization
The idea is that yeshiva budgets will not include providing health insurance for their teachersMarch 3, 2019 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #1688634
funnybone, RY: Section 8, rent-control/subsidized housing, Food Stamps, HEAP, clothing gemachs and Tomchei Shabbos/food pantries are a dime a dozen.
Tuition paying gemachs, barely exist — and good luck trying to find any.
Also, food, electric and clothing can be had on a tightly controlled usage/budget at probably a much lower cost than full non-subsidized (which is what’s being advocated) tuition for seven children.March 3, 2019 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #1688635
If you cant pay food rent or electricity there are government programs for that like Food Stamps, Section 8 or HEAP
There is no such programs for yeshivas, there isnt a donor base big enough to help pay for those who cant payMarch 3, 2019 6:24 pm at 6:24 pm #1688657
Hey, it’s a brand new era in the Coffee Room. ZD is starting to agree with me!
Winning converts one by one. 😁March 3, 2019 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #1688695
Joseph, food stamps is government funded, Tomchei Shabbos is an independent charity, and rent control is awful.March 3, 2019 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #1688705
RY23, you’re correct in your last comment. But it completely fails to address the raised point about kicking Yiddishe kinderlach out of Yeshiva because their parents can neither afford to pay tuition nor find any donors or charity to cover it.March 3, 2019 9:07 pm at 9:07 pm #1688708
At the end of the day, every Yeshiva knows and needs to know that a CODB of operating a Yeshiva is eating the cost of having students with an inability to cover their own costs.
How the Yeshiva covers that cost is ultimately a matter for the Yeshiva to figure out. Kicking out Jewish children from Yeshiva for financial considerations is not an option.March 4, 2019 7:11 am at 7:11 am #1688730
I am a realist and I realize the problem is much greater than people realize and I personally dont think its solveable. Everyone here is coming with “Ideas” and you can poke massive holes in any one of them (unfortunatly)
And even if somehow vouchers becomes legal (probably the best solution and thats where the most money is) the government would then have the right to dictate to a certain extent what is taughMarch 4, 2019 7:11 am at 7:11 am #1688746AvigailParticipant
I believe there would be lower tuition if schools were forced to to review their books with an oversight committee. We need transparency in their bookkeeping, including all staff salaries.March 4, 2019 7:11 am at 7:11 am #1688802anonymous JewParticipant
You’re a yeshiva administrator and parents say they can’t pay. However, they have a child applying for seminary in Israel. Do you let their other children’s tuition go unpaid or demand they be paid, not the seminary?March 4, 2019 7:18 am at 7:18 am #1688824
You’re a yeshiva administrator and parents say they can’t pay. However, they have a child applying for seminary in Israel. Do you let their other children’s tuition go unpaid or demand they be paid, not the seminary?
Bad example as I dont think this is so common, Most people who cant pay really cant pay. If what if the following happens, A Parent says they cant pay and then get a Newer (To them car) does buying a newer car mean you shouldnt pay?
Maybe someone like to eat takeout (Like meal mart) for shabbos, Should Yeshivas tell the parents they need to eat cheaper
And what about if the parents just want to get away for a few days, Should a weekend upstate mean all sholoships be revoked?March 4, 2019 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm #1688925
Joseph, why is kicking out children due to financial considerations worse than kicking out children for other reasons?March 4, 2019 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm #1688918
Anon and ZD:
The scenario described was actually addressed by Gedolei Yisroel several years ago, and perhaps other times after that. At a Torah Umesorah Convention, the question posed to a public forum of Gedolei Yisroel concerned a talmid or talmidoh that was asked not to attend mid-year because the parents had an outstanding balance. There was unanimity that stopping attendance mid-year was unacceptable. One of the Roshei Yeshiva stated that such questions are posed to him often, and he was only agreeable one time to allow a yeshiva to withhold attendance. That instance was family that pleaded poverty regarding tuition, but had taken the family to Eretz Yisroel for Pesach (around 7-8 round trip tickets plus hotel), purchased a new car (new, not a used car old enough to smoke), and were suddenly poor! This Rosh Yeshiva stated that they could refuse registration for the following year, but cannot dismiss mid-year.
I believe that there is a recording of this in the TU archive.
It is ludicrous to expect a yeshiva to audit a family’s budget. And most times, the reports from the parents will be accepted at face value. But there are times when parents run out of funds to pay tuition out of irresponsibility or by prioritizing other expenses before the child’s education. Not an easy situation. I am grateful that i am not in that position.March 4, 2019 1:11 pm at 1:11 pm #1688968blubluhParticipant
For every proposed solution there’s a reflexive rejection. Were the problem as truly intolerable as it sounds, change would take place. But, let’s stop ascribing nefarious intentions to schools or parents.
Both schools and parents agree that teachers need to be adequately compensated and the school operate in a safe building. Few, if any, yeshiva day schools or their staff (teachers) make big money after scholarships and other discounts are factored in. I don’t think there’s room in the budget for pensions, life insurance or – in some cases – even basic health-care insurance.
Both those who manage the school and those who foot the bills (sometimes the very same people) have to decide on what compromises they can make to achieve their goals.
In a town with more than one elementary school, economies of scale could be realized were they run as one institution (even with multiple buildings to accommodate a large student body) instead of as competitors. But, differing – and incompatible – hashkafos make this impractical.
Some parents could alleviate some of the school’s financial pressure by volunteering their expertise (accountants, lawyers, bookkeepers, groundskeepers, handymen, tutoring services, meal preparation, etc.) though obviously not everyone has the skills/time.March 4, 2019 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #1688966
by prioritizing other expenses before the child’s education
There are expenses before tuition, like Housing and Food for exampleMarch 4, 2019 2:39 pm at 2:39 pm #1688993
I assume you grasped my point. It was not about basic living expenses, but the luxuries that most people recognize as such. One might “need” a car, but that doesn’t translate to the latest model with all conceivable perks. Yet, someone whose work involves considerable time driving, this luxury model may have the features needed to fulfill basic work responsibilities. I guess we are addressing the expenditures that are not basic necessities, and there are times when this is a grey area.March 5, 2019 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm #1689407apushatayidParticipant
I would start with requiring that all rebbeim/moros send their own children to the schools they teach in. Either way, they are going to get a reduction, at least, let the school that employs the parent subsidize that childs tuition, as a “perk” not a different one.March 5, 2019 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1689560
Apushatayid, does that really make sense to you, considering that it comes at the cost of sending the child to the school that is best for him/her?March 5, 2019 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm #1689572
I just didnt want to go there, I totally understood
There are advantages to having a late model car. Older cars break down and if there are alot of kids you do worry about safety if the car breaks down where it isnt supposed to.
Most areas are gray areas, there are really very few cut and dry cases. Is eating meat 3 times a week a luxury? How about eating Pizza once a week at the Pizza store so Mom can relax and not cook. I can think of lots of things along those lines.March 5, 2019 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #1689628
Oh please, ZD. Don’t try to excuse or pretend that having a new model car is because of safety or cost. At least admit it is due to taaiva.March 5, 2019 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm #1689637GadolhadorahParticipant
“I would require that all rebbeim/moros send their own children to the schools they teach in…”
Really?? Not sure if you are serious but if so, makes zero sense. First, many very talented rabbonim and women in chinuch are still single or have recently married but for their own reasons have deferred having children. To the extent they have kids, they may not be of school age, have special learning needs, or may not be well-suited for the school that their parents are considering working at. The school has no business telling their professional staff where to send their kids.
“March 5, 2019 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #1689649
Joseph, it is the other way around. People hold on to their old cars that cost a ridiculous amount of money to maintain because they are emotionally attached.March 5, 2019 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm #1689650☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
I would start with requiring that all rebbeim/moros send their own children to the schools they teach in.
I would say parents should send their children to whichever school is best for them.March 5, 2019 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm #1689673RafeParticipant
Very eye opening how everybody here realizes that yeshivas “must” offer scholarships to those who need,but the entire premise of the conversation is not focused on how the community must bind together to support the yeshivas or create tuition gemachs rather how to lower tuition across the board. This is accomplished in various sadistic ways of squeezing administrators,degrading rosh yeshivas or diluting education.
I’ve heard big people in the chinuch world say dont bother opening a yeshiva unless you have big deep pockets. That’s become the situation these days. Either the board has a big donor behind it or the yeshiva has to become a fundraising machine. If either one of those support systems fall the yeshiva goes down the drain.
Then there is another game the yeshivas have to play…they get a big donor and people say…”let him pay for it”…they dont have a big donor…”that’s irresponsible”
Go look for discounts on cellphones,weddings,sheitels,housing,health insurance, braces, summer homes,day camps. Not tuition!!!
Imagine having a similar thread about doctors and healthcare…how to pay that greedy doctor less…as soon as the doctor says something about the ability to perform without proper equipment or support staff we would immediately stop that line of thought. We wouldnt question the doctors ability to manage a budget or his integrity in accounting. If we looked at Torah education as vital as healthcare we would be asking how can we raise tuition or how can we prevent any rosh yeshiva from having to leave the operating room. Immediately all the expenses in the world would seem justifiable. Even creating a beautiful building and fancy lobby. Its kavod hatorah!!! We should all run to our local yeshivas and ask how we could get involved and get others involved. The rosh yeshiva or bochrim shouldnt come to you especially when you demand they serve the community you should go to them. Stop sitting on the sidelines and get involved.March 6, 2019 7:42 am at 7:42 am #1689695
Go try to find a discount in Health care or Housing (Short of moving to a cheaper location , a smaller place or getting health insurance that is less than satisfactory) I know of a few people who tried to “save on insurance” and then something happend and it costed them more
Of course you could save money on going to the bungalos (Ive never gone) but for many families that is their only chance to leave the city and get some fresh air. Save on Camps? What do you want the kids to be around the house all summer long ?March 6, 2019 7:43 am at 7:43 am #1689680Shopping613 🌠Participant
It is really so bad if the children of Hasidim and Litvaks and Sefardim sat next to each other?
It isn’t, but when it comes to education the issue is that the school needs to pick a path of chinuch, their values, and minhagim. It’s complicated when children are smaller.March 6, 2019 10:51 am at 10:51 am #1689832
Having Chassidim, Litvaks, and Sefardim in one class, one beis hamedrash, etc. is actually quite an advantage. That happens to have been my experience, and we are all richer for it. It’s been many years, and many of us are still connected. But there was a factor involved that should be the envy of all. Our Roshei Yeshiva treated each and every talmid as an only child, establishing a bond that continues into the present. There was an open approach where every talmid brought their mesorah from home, and the respect given to it was noteworthy. When each talmid was connected at the top, the achdus was established, and the differences accomplished proving color to the fabric of the yeshiva. The opposite situation, when the achdus is permitted to develop without the common connection, carries a risk. These various heritages become flash points for competition and friction.
The yeshiva’s role is to provide the chinuch, not the minhagim. Values come from הורים and מורים. One should follow the minhagim of their family, and be the link in continuity. I have direct guidance on this from both Chassidishe and Litvishe that directed or modeled the following of family minhagim as essential to one’s obligation in developing their personal derech of Avodas Hashem.March 6, 2019 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1689852MammeleParticipant
TLIK: would you say the same about Pre-school? According to whose minhagim should they teach alef-beis and kriah? Leave it to the parents to teach? Maybe pick the supposedly most mesora based Yemenite version, that’ll satisfy everyone – not…
Shopping613 is right.March 6, 2019 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm #1689853akupermaParticipant
Are the teachers well paid? Are donors or administrators suing the tuition money to live well? Are yeshiva building full of luxuries (and no, working toilets and functioning heating are not luxuries)? Are their lavish programs of non-academics such as well equipped sports teams or expensive music and arts programs?
The answers to the above are obvious for frum schools (though not for non-Jewish private schools, or for some public schools). There is little if any “fat” to cut. So the only way to lower tuition is to get more donations (the goyim have the phrase “blood from a stone”) or to increase class size (which could be painless if we find a way to use distance education techniques effectively).March 6, 2019 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm #1689886
You wrote: “According to whose minhagim should they teach alef-beis and kriah? Leave it to the parents to teach? Maybe pick the supposedly most mesora based Yemenite version, that’ll satisfy everyone – not…”
Schools teach according to the way they read. A different הברה does not make a different Yid. I never once winced when my Rosh Yeshiva spoke with a different הברה than I did, nor did he. Since when does this issue become priority, enough to block one from being a mechanech or talmid? Can you cite a precedent in Shas anywhere? Sorry, but that will not become a barrier for me. You need to find another example.
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