Rejection from yeshivos/school for no tuition

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    The little I know

    The talk in town the past few weeks is about parents struggling to keep their children in yeshivos because of their outstanding balances for tuition. Until a while ago, the public discussions about the “tuition crisis” was the need to charge tuitions that were challenging for many parents. It seems that that the trend has shifted to disallowing registration or admission if there are any outstanding balances from the previous year, as well as some schools increasing tuition contracts by huge sums, out of reach for many. If the parents cannot commit to paying tuitions far greater than their income permits, the children are not being admitted. There are some schools that readily push these rejected students into public schools, as if the money is more important than the saving of the neshamos.

    In one case, the menahel wanted to keep the student whose parent would pay the same as last year, but the administrator overruled it. The parent related that the child is facing admission to public school, with no hope of remaining frum.

    The community is desperate for financial resources to assist such parents. The authority of the administrator over the menahel ruchni is equally as disturbing. Tzedakos for every conceivable cause exist. I have yet to find one that funds tuition for those who cannot afford it.

    I wonder what others think about this crisis.

    Letakein Girl

    Wow, that’s so sad!

    My school would never do that! They just don’t give us our report cards until our tuition is mostly paid, which can be hard, but they would never kick a girl out like that!


    Is this out of town where there are no other choices of yeshiva/bais yaakov or can the child go to a different local yeshiva/bais yaakov?

    Is this a modern or chareidi school? The modern schools are super expensive (possibly because of their expensive academics) and are known to be less willing to accept less than sticker price whereas the chareidi schools tend to be much more negotiable and a much lower sticker price to start off with.


    According to Reb Moshe Feinstein, zt”l once a child has been admitted to a yeshiva/bais yaakov, you are not allowed to throw that child out for not paying tuition.

    It is also very troubling that a mossad or girls school even if they are private institutions to throw a child out. First, that child is prone to go off the derech, which would be the yeshivas fault

    But more important, is that these institutions are not private once they accept donations/charity etc. All of these schools solicit funds from the general public and therefore, have to adhere to a philosophy they they are public institutions and act accordingly, MEANING it is forbidden to throw a yiddisha neshama to the streets because the parents cannot afford the tuition

    Israeli Chareidi

    As one who is owed lots of money by many different yeshivos, I sympathize with the school.

    I’m not saying that zero tolerance is the best policy, but a clear policy should be reached and adhered to with clear input from the rabbinical board. If the menahel is trying to make exceptions then the secular administrator is correct to overrule him. Not paying ones employees on time is a terrible thing to do and is just as important a factor. The fact that an institution accepts charitable donations to keep it going does NOT make it a public institution. No philanthropist ever told R’ Nosson Tzvi, Zt”l how to run the Mir. Anyone who is unhappy with a school’s policy is free to open his own.

    However, ensuring that no child is left to fend for himself is a burden incumbent on the community. Establishing a charity to help pay tuition for those finding it difficult is an excellent idea. Our children are our greatest asset. But the burden should not fall on the shoulders of the rebbeim alone.


    A child most definitely should NOT be accepted to a Yeshiva if his/her parents do not pay tuition!!

    This holds true only if…

    …the Yeshiva is not a community Yeshiva. Out-of-Town Yeshivos and Yeshivos or seminaries in EY have no obligation to accept students that will add an extra financial burden on the school thereby requiring the comunity to extend extra donations on behalf of that student.

    …the parents do not prioritize within their financial capabilities the importance of taking responsibility (paying) for their children’s education. As someone who has served on tuition committees I can recall countless stories of parents who drove luxury cars, took 5 star vacations, excessive home renovations etc. and then had the chutzpa to file for a tuition break. NO BOOSHA. This applies to a community school as well.

    Schools on the other hand aught to have the courtesy of dividing their total budget by the amount of students they have. To cover those who simply cannot pay full tuition, the gap should be fund-raised rather than included in the actual costs of fulfilling ones obligation of educating THEIR child.


    IC: If the net result of expelling the child for lack of payment is that he/she will end up in public school and then possibly become irreligious, that should be allowed to happen if the school bill cannot be paid?

    The little I know

    In several instances, the problem was that the child was of divorced parents, with the custodial mother having paid her percentage of tuition as required, and the deadbeat father leaving the kid stranded. Using rejection as the incentive to force payment is not effective because it punishes the wrong people, i.e., the child and the mother. No problem with reinforcing the issue, but the consequences need to be with the responsible party. The child is never responsible for parents’ failure to pay up.

    All this is with the understanding that funding sources to yeshivos is decreased from their levels of several years ago. Public funds are all but dried up, and even donations have not been up to the past levels. Yeshivos are hurting. Is rejection of neshamos the way to make parents cough it up when they don’t really have? We should all agree that those with the fancy cars, homes, and vacations need to prioritize their expenses to place tuition at the top. But what about the many, many others?


    I have to agree with Chochom. As long as the wife has silver candlesticks amd an engagement ring, she shows her priorities are not to pay tuition. Further, many schools are for-employment of the head’s family, not to service the community. Those schools can not be expected to take a loss by accepting or continuing to service children that don’t pay in full.

    Tlik: Might I recommend that you offer to pay the tuition? That way the yeshiva stays open, the teachers get paid, and the student can stay.

    from Long Island

    I don’t understand parents today for a many reasons. First of all, if 30 parents cannot pay tuition than the teacher/rebbi will not be paid. Their tuition has to cover teachers, utilites, building upkeep etc. WHO is supposed to pay the teacher and who expects a teacher to work for free.

    Secondly, in my childrens’ yeshiva, parents who could not afford full tuition were required to work for the school, either in the evening or weekends. Secretarial work, building maintenance, there were a myriad of jobs that could be done by parents, to free up funds to pay teachers.

    It seems parents cry they cannot afford tuition (and I am sure there are many who truly cannot) BUT they simply cannot afford a free ride – someone has to pay for the faculty, building, insurance. What are they doing to raise funds? How are they suggesting the expenses be met? It is not an OUR problem, it is a THEIR problem.

    FYI, fully 1/3 of my tuition (which I paid in full) when into the tuition assistance program. It angered me that I could not afford to take vacations, fix up my house and buy a new car because I was paying SOMEONE else’ tuition.

    I was giving Tzedaka against my will. IS THAT A FAIR SOLUTION?


    Gavra, silver candlesticks and an engagement ring

    I sincerely hope you’re exaggerating.

    From Long Island, does it bother you that when you buy a pair of shoes, the store owner uses some of the funds to pay tuition?

    If you think education is a commodity like any other, than look at it as a free market place. If you want the product, you need to pay the asking price, which the school has a right to set as high as they want, for whatever reason they want. If you don’t like it, don’t send your children there.

    If you look at education as a mandate for every child, than of course some will bear a bigger burden than others, because some can afford more than others.

    Also, I’ve been told by numerous administrators that tuition generally is just about the cost of running the school divided by the number of students (just as one poster suggested it should be). The shortfall of partial or no tuition is made up through fundraising.

    I think your anger at hardworking people who simply can’t afford the tremendous cost of tuition is misplaced, although I do understand your frustration.


    Parents work hard, but with child labor being illegal, it’s still hard to make ends meet. However, parents should NOT be sending their children to school.


    Gavra: If after selling her ring and candlesticks she can only pay two months tuition for her five children, should they be disenrolled from yeshiva beginning in November?

    The little I know

    I doubt that anyone here would accept a position that a yeshiva is not entitled to cover its expenses. It is nearly universal that our teachers and rebbeiim are underpaid. Poor salaries attract entry level employees, who also have not spent time or money to get training and develop expertise. So we then have much reason to complain about the actual education, the discipline that varies from the cruel to the foolish. So we can all agree that our yeshivos need to funded adequately to be able to function without constant worry about paying their faculty well and on time.

    From where can yeshivos squeeze the money needed when there are parents who cannot afford tuition? This question has been plaguing the frum community for many years. With several funding sources either eliminated or severely diminished, it appears that yeshivos turn to the parents, and the rub is painful. AS it is, many are paying beyond their means. There are those cases of families that splurge on various luxuries while defaulting on their chinuch responsibility, but mostly this is not the case.

    Parents who spend on everything but tuition might justifiably be “punished”, whatever that means. But the child, a precious neshomah is being cast aside, thrown to the street, for something he/she did not do. That child is sentenced to a life without the basics of chinuch, pushed into the waiting and welcoming arms of the street with its decadence. Will this child keep Shabbos, stay off drugs, etc,? I know the yeshivos need leverage, but is this it? I do not have another idea, but I have trouble believing this is it. And Gedolei Yisroel have discussed this subject, frowning strongly at the “discarding” of neshamos to the street as the consequence for the parents’ failure to fulfill their responsibility.


    DY – Should I be? And if I’m not, where do you believe the line should be drawn?

    Lior: There should be a semi-public appeal within the community that Plonis Almanah (whomever the widow is) is in need of money to send her children to yeshiva, and the community should raise it. It would be no different than if she didn’t have money for an apartment, or to buy food, where a specific landlord or grocery owner would not be asked to foot the bill just because they are providing the service.

    Remember, the Gemorah (and Shulchan Aruch) pasken that public shaming of the parents is appropriate. Since we are dealing with an Almanah and Yesomim, my personal opinion is that it should be avoided if at all possible.

    TLIK: Why are parents having children that they are obviously unable to take care of? It is like the old joke goes, that instead of getting a marriage license, couples should be forced to get a “baby” license before having a child. edited

    What the Gemorah Kesubos (49B) says:

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

    B’dieved, I have gotten calls from people who said their relatives would not be allowed into school unless they raise a certain amount for each child. That may be what is required before people take paying for the services provided seriously, instead of feeling “Magiah Li”. End story is, it is the responsibility of the parents, not the school (unless the parents give up the child, which is a completely different issue).

    The little I know


    I am raising awareness of a problem of yechidim. It merits exposure because the number of yechidim has grown significantly, and is no longer something that one can dismiss as “Whoops, lost one.” It is not about whether one has consulted the checkbook before embarking on raising a family. Assume that this has already been done, and the child was born into a financially stable situation. But times have changed. There was an economic earthquake in which many lost their jobs, income, savings, etc. There is a growing rate of divorce, with deadbeat dads defaulting on their responsibilities, as you aptly noted from the Gemora as well as Shulchan Aruch (Even Ho’ezer 71) that admonishes the father who refuses to support his children. Trouble is that the mothers are then held responsible for their ex’s arrears, and this punishes the child, who is innocent. Of course, they have recourse through batei din (the men rarely comply with hazmonos or with piskei din), or with secular court (which takes many months, sometimes years). Your argument is usually not relevant.

    You raised a valid point, about the mothers engaging in some form of service to help the school. This can include raising funds, but can also include other forms of service. Sadly, this is the exception. School offices that get into this pattern of financial bullying will generally want cold, hard cash, not the assignment to coordinate the bake sale or other event. Additionally, the way that the administrators or “tuition committees” approach the challenge tends to be confrontational or oppositional to the mothers who are doing their best. Result is that the mothers have no basis to motivate them to help. I know of cases where mothers have volunteered, only to be rejected and told that they need only cash. Not a bad idea, Gavra, but less useful than it should be.


    TLIK: Divorcees with deadbeat dads should be in the same category as Almanos & Yesomim, as their father has “given them up”. The community to which the children belong should find them (and pay for) a school to go to, perhaps by working out a “bulk discount” for children of this type who need a school (If they have 20-30 children, the community Tzedaka can negotiate a significant discount & send all of those children there).

    In that sort of situation, I would hope people would help. I would also hope divorcees & widows are the exception, not the rule.


    What ever happened to matan b’seser and giving the pauper dignity?


    Its not just widows, divorcees etc.

    If you have say 5 Kids and the tution is $5,000 a kid, thats $25,000 you need Before taxes and any other expensive (Including food and rent/mortgage) You need to make an insane amount of money to be frum nowadays. If your rent/mortgage is $2000 a month thats another $24,000 you need, $49,000 and you didnt buy food , utitities or transportation or pay taxes yet. You easily need to make $100,000 just to get by. $75,000 isnt going to cut it. and $75,000 is a decent salary.

    The little I know


    Another inviting idea, but I fear the thought was wasted. While we can lump these kids together in recognition of their common issue, we cannot make this the identity of the kid to put all into a single or even two schools/yeshivos. Their family backgrounds, locations, and multiple circumstances may well defy efforts to group them. It is like making a sale at the supermarket for those who live elsewhere. Nice invitation, but will never happen. We need to fix a system so that these cases (of which there are many) do not fall out. Presently, the systems allow for the children being discarded, only to be a rachmonus years later when they have been accepted by the cultures of the street and no longer shomrei Shabbos etc.


    Gamanit – Pose that question to Chazal, not me.

    zahavasdad – That is a structural issue. Unfortunately, 75-100K may not be enough to support a Jewish family of 7. What to do about it is really not the decision of the school who can choose to either provide or not provide the service.

    TLIK: Each “community” (ex. Brooklyn, Queeens + Nassau, Jersey near NYC, Rockland Co., Baltimore-Washington, etc.) could have such an arrangement. Yes, it will mean longer commutes, unexact hashkafic matches and possible identification of those on scholarship. As they say, you get what you pay for, and if you get without paying, you don’t get to complain about what you get. Worst case is your Belzer goes to an MO school, or your Yekkie goes to Stolin. Not a big deal.

    Avram in MD


    The community to which the children belong should…

    In that sort of situation, I would hope people would help. I would also hope divorcees & widows are the exception, not the rule

    Should and hope are dangerous words when trying to find solutions to real-world problems. An ideology may please the mind because it presents a nice, neat package, but human beings cannot fit in nice, neat packages without some getting hurt.

    That is a structural issue. Unfortunately, 75-100K may not be enough to support a Jewish family of 7. What to do about it is really not the decision of the school who can choose to either provide or not provide the service.

    It may be a “structural issue”, but you cannot just sweep it under the rug with an unfortunately and a not-the-school’s-problem. Are you really advocating that a married couple who make less than $100,000 per year income should be forbidden from having children?



    Yes, you drew the line way too far. Silver candlesticks and diamond rings are presents given to a couple. You don’t sell presents you just refrain from purchasing them.


    Thats not the issue. I will give as much mattan b’seser as I want but should not be forced. I’m sure any Yeshiva will accept an anonymous check.


    True. Now having said what you said why make it even harder on those who are actually able to just make it, who sacrifice to reach their healthy goal of paying responsibly? Why should their tuition be placed at 10k costing 50k before taxes??

    @The little I know


    Its not clear who first mentioned the ridiculous view of having a separate school. A) No reason to stigmatize B) Face reality Gavra, no Belzer is going to an MO school. Will never happen.

    All children can attend the schools that their parents choose as long as the Yeshivos are willing to accept the financial burden and not lazily pass it on by spreading it throughout the paying parent body.


    gavra: It is outrageous to assert anyone, regardless of income, be limited in having children. If poor families have 12 children it is not only their absolute G-d given right and our obligation to merrily welcome them, but it crosses all boundaries to talk of, even half humorously, baby licenses. Large families are not the exclusive province of the wealthy that is denied to the poor. The question is whether a family limiting themself in this regard is appropriate; not whether third-parties inserting themselves in others lives can even suggest such a sordid idea – that wasn’t even an option through the vast majority of history. Nor do we punish children with many siblings who cannot afford a Torah education.


    At the risk of hijacking the thread:

    The answer is school vouchers. This should be the one single issue that the jewish community of all stripes and colors join together. This should be the only issue in elections, both state and local. This single issue would solve virtually all of the frum communities financial problems.

    I found another interesting idea that advocated for a restructuring of tuition to be based on family income. It is a great article; just google The Moral Costs of Jewish Day School.

    The little I know

    First to clarify – I did NOT suggest anything about a single yeshiva being opened for poor students. I commented on the absurdity of it and how it was certainly unfeasible, though the idea has a ring to it that initially sounds rational. It represents an effort to solve the problem without pushing kids into public school.

    Lior noted quite accurately about the crazy notion of restricting having children because of inability to pay tuitions. Who are we to assume the authority of preventing the birth of a child who could be a Godol be’Yisroel because of a yeshiva invoice?

    As a community, we face a dilemma. Yeshivos have monetary needs, and these are not being met adequately. All are hurting. Many have fared poorly with public funding and charitable contributions over the past several years, and their desperation is real. This is not debatable. The point I wished to raise in this post is that the resolution that many have chosen is to squeeze parents more (actually not completely unreasonable) by holding the future of the child in balance. If money is not fronted, the child is refused entry. I argue that this “punishes” the innocent, and destroys the possibility of the child remaining protected from the dangers of the streets, drugs, chilul Shabbos, and the range of yetzer horah influences that reign there. Even if financial matters get resolved, many of these children will not leave the embrace of the public school environment. And the yeshiva will not want these kids who have had exposure to the world decadence back in their environment. Essentially, the neshamos have been discarded, and I hold yeshiva administrators responsible, even though they have unsatisfied financial needs. There has to be a better way, one that protects children and Torah Yiddishkeit. There have been a few suggestions. Limiting family size is not the answer.



    School Vouchers are almost impossible to get legal in NY, there is something called a Blaine amendment which was written in the late 19th century against catholic schools, They tried to change it in the 1960’s but it proved to be almost impossible to remove.

    And even if somehow vouchers became the norm, by accepting them you would also allow the government to regulate them to an extent like curriculum issues (When you accept the money , you also accept the terms that come with them)

    If the community “taxes itself” does that mean yeshivas would be forced to take all kids no matter what? If a Belz Yeshiva for example takes a “community tax” from more MO people and one of their kids who has a TV in the house and goes to movies (and will not stop) do they have a right to refuse entry to such a kid , especially since they took the parents money. If you are going to take peoples money, you are going to have to take their kids as well


    gavra- Do you really think you understand exactly what chazal said better than these yeshivos do? What’s your opinion on girls tuition- as far as I saw, chazal didn’t discuss that obligation on the father.

    Chochom-ibber- I never said you have to give. I believe the yeshiva has a right to give without having to publicize the list.


    Avram, TLIK: It is no different than the “structural issue” that occurs when someone makes 30K a year with 12 children and can’t afford food. Does that person have the right to go into Yankel’s grocery and demand food (or start taking it from the shelves) without having to pay for it?

    Chochom-ibber: Why should the financial burden be the responsibility of the Yeshivos vs. the parents? Bishlama a “community” school (eg. Hebrew Academy of Cleveland) which has achrayus to the community, but no yeshiva on the east coast (with perhaps 2-3 exceptions) places on itself such an achrayus.

    Also, where would you draw the line? What if the wedding present was a Maserati?

    Lior: That is very nice as a hypothetical. L’maase, teachers need to get paid, and the money has to come from somewhere. Instead of limiting children, parents could always home school their children and not have the “Magiah Li” attitude that they should get a service without having to pay for it. Or perhaps with your line of reasoning, you should give up your house to someone who needs it so that they can continue to have additional children? Who are you to stop anyone from having the space to have more children?

    The little I know – The solution is home schooling. I am personally aware of families that take advantage of home schooling, and their children are no different than anyone else’s. Furthermore, they no longer have to deal with tuition committees, scrounging for cash and all of the other bizyonos and intrusions of privacy that come along with asking for a discount on services provided. Another possible solution that I mentioned earlier is to have the parent collect money for the yeshiva as their tuition.

    P.S. Nebuch on the Yeshiva that won’t accept a Jewish Neshoma just because they went to public school for a year or two. On that I agree with you that the Yeshiva will be held responsible.

    The little I know


    There is a huge difference from your example of Yankel’s grocery. Yankel is in a for profit enterprise. If you want to buy the food, pay for it. You have the option of limiting your food intake/purchase. You do not have a choice of sending a child for just a few classes because of lack of money. While the home schooling option sounds inviting, it is simply not feasible for most parents, especially those who struggle for basics, and are two parent working families. Schools portray themselves as charitable organizations who serve the Klal, not free enterprises that are chasing after profits of the Almighty Dollar. There needs to be some understanding here. Woefully, it is non-existent in many yeshivos.

    Just an additional note about Yankel’s grocery. Yankel has the Torah obligation to give tzedokoh. How that is done is not for us to dictate. It can be with personal or business checks, or he can have deductions made at the counter (just 2 examples) for those who are needy. I know of pizza shops who feed certain customers free of charge because it is their form of tzedokoh. We are addressing the issue, not as much about offering services for free to poor parents, but the Klal responsibility to educate the young and maintain them as part of Klal Yisroel. Again, the yeshiva claims to be doing Avodas Hakodesh and to serve the Klal. There needs to be give somewhere, though it is hard for those outside the system to determine what that give should be. As I have repeated here many times, there are not many good solutions. The one in use too often is to leave the children in the streets or public school (basically the same), and this needs to unacceptable and not tolerated.

    Avram in MD


    It is no different than the “structural issue” that occurs when someone makes 30K a year with 12 children and can’t afford food. Does that person have the right to go into Yankel’s grocery and demand food (or start taking it from the shelves) without having to pay for it?

    An invalid comparison. How about the “structural issue” of a man who has lost his job (or perhaps even the ability to work due to disability) and cannot afford food. Does he deserve to die?

    Food is a necessity. That’s why the Farm Bills include agricultural subsidies that keep the price of staple foods down and encourage farms to produce large crops that otherwise may not make sense economically. That’s why WIC/food stamps exist. That’s why public schools have reduced price/free lunch and breakfast programs. That’s why we have soup kitchens and pantries.

    No, a person does not have the right to go into Yankel’s grocery and demand free food because he cannot afford it. However, due to the way our nation is structured, it is unlikely that a family making $30,000 will starve to death, even with 12 kids.

    At the end of the day, I think that we both would agree that, given a case of hunger, there is an obligation on the community (religious, local government, state, Federal) to provide a means to survive. I think we’d also agree that if a person cannot pay his Verizon bill, then Verizon has no obligation to provide him with free phone/internet service just because it is important for him to have phone and internet service. Where we disagree, perhaps, is how close to the former or latter the idea of a Jewish education falls.

    The little I know – The solution is home schooling.

    I agree strongly with you here. I think a shift towards homeschooling as an option would be ideal. Due to our current societal setup, however, with high housing costs, etc. the limiting factor is that many parents who are in a two-income situation may not be able to homeschool. Also, some parents may feel that they do not have adequate knowledge of some subjects in order to teach them effectively to their children. Perhaps a solution to this could be a co-op network, e.g., rebbes teaching a small group of students in his home, other parents with time perhaps teaching math/other subjects. This would be much less expensive for parents, while still yielding the teachers a decent income.


    I know that this solution wouldn’t help everyone, but maybe the solution for some people is to move from new york. Other places have cheaper tuition (or vouchers) cheaper housing and better jobs.


    Does anyone want what happend to Beis Rivka in Crown Heights which has not opened yet due to financial difficulties?

    Not only those who cant pay get an education, but those who can pay cant get one either


    Yankel is in a for profit enterprise

    So are most Yeshivos. Even if not, they still have a chiyuv to pay bills over accepting every Yankel, Berel, Goldie & Rivkie.

    While the home schooling option sounds inviting, it is simply not feasible for most parents, especially those who struggle for basics, and are two parent working families.

    Who could cut back and only have one worker if they didn’t have to pay tuition!

    Again, the yeshiva claims to be doing Avodas Hakodesh and to serve the Klal.

    So does a doctor, EMT and Askan. They all need to be paid.

    At the end of the day, I think that we both would agree that, given a case of hunger, there is an obligation on the community (religious, local government, state, Federal) to provide a means to survive.

    And if we were dealing with a community school, I would agree. I don’t believe Baltimore has the equivalent of Hebrew Academy, and if it doesn’t, who does that chiyuv fall on? The employees of the school?


    Homeschooling is only an option in limited circumstances. The parent has to be capable of it, and most are not. Also, to be of financial benefit, the money saved must be greater than the income lost during the time the parent is teaching. As this is seldom the case, I think it’s just another example of idealism being substituted for real world solutions.

    Another point: you can’t compare our mosdos hachinuch to Yankel’s grocery for two reasons. One, as TLIK said, is that they fundraise under the assumption that the cost of services provided exceeds the income from those receiving the services. Yankel’s Grocery doesn’t fundraise.

    Also, it costs Yankel a specific amount for any given product, whereas any specific student doesn’t necessarily cost the school a great deal of money. True, if taken to its extreme, nobody would pay any tuition, but my point still has validity insofar as any specific decision to expel a student isn’t necessarily motivated by direct financial loss, as would Yankel’s decision not to provide a family with free food, but rather, as a matter of policy.



    Let them give as much as they want from a donation!! Not from tuition by raising it on everybody! I hope your not taking a tax deduction on your children’s tuition, cause its the cost of education not a chesed.


    I am saying that the Yeshivos (even non-communal) should take responsibility IF THEY accept the parents who don’t pay. That responsibility must be filled via fund raising not by transferring the costs to other parents struggling (or even not struggling) to put together the full tuition. I think we’re playing on the same team in that regard.

    However regarding your exaggerated Maserati scenario, I stand strong, a person should not sell a present. Definitely not without consulting the presentee.


    There is no place outside NY.


    Good argument. You are %100 right.

    I’m sure though that it is just a scare and PR hoax so The Jewish Community at large will cough up more money. The issue will not be solved. They will get back on their feet with the help of our generous hearts, for a while they might even get a little more strict whilst collecting tuition, they will eventually fallback into the same non-sufficient situation they were in years ago.


    CI, do you think the names of parents who receive tuition assistance should be made public? That’s what you seem to be arguing with Gamanit about.


    DaasYochid – Why would our Bais Yaakov & Yeshiva educated parents be unable to teach elementary school topics? Doesn’t that say something about our Mosdos?

    Also, for your hypothetical parent with 5 children (@ 10K each), the parent that makes less would have to be making 80-90K, if not more, for it to be worthwhile to work over homeschooling. Already not most of the Olam.

    To the point regarding fundraising, I agree that the money raised via that method should be segregated and used to pay for those who can not afford it on a needs basis. That means the amount of discount offered varies directly with the funds raised on a year over year basis, is limited, and does not mean that the Yeshiva takes all comers or offers a discount to all those who can not pay in full. That way, bills and employees still get paid.

    As for marginal cost, we have been there, done that. As you point out, taken to its logical conclusion, no one should pay tuition.

    To your point with CI & Gamanit, perhaps the most appropriate would be the opposite, to publicize those who do pay in full as “V’eilu Yaamdu Al HaBracha” (since you don’t want to call anyone a Off Tameh).

    Chochom – fair enough. I don’t think Halacha (regarding what is an Ani) would agree, but there is certainly an emotional argument that can be made for keeping the present.


    This coffee room chat is really hitting home with me. I wasn’t allowed to send my daughter to school until I was paid up in full. I’m earning an ok salary so I don’t qualify for any assistance but tuition’s are sinking me quickly into a dark hole of out of control credit card debt. When I see people go around in shul collecting money I cry on the inside because I should be one of those people but I don’t have guts to do it. Looking for second job but I have no clue on how to get one. Getting very depressed.


    Why would our Bais Yaakov & Yeshiva educated parents be unable to teach elementary school topics? Doesn’t that say something about our Mosdos?

    No, but if did, so what? Again, idealism vs. reality.

    Avram in MD

    Why would our Bais Yaakov & Yeshiva educated parents be unable to teach elementary school topics? Doesn’t that say something about our Mosdos?

    We’re getting pretty far down into the weeds here, but no, it does not.

    1.) Not all parents sending their children to Yeshivos or Bais Yaakov schools themselves went to such schools (e.g., BTs, converts). These parents might have a harder time teaching some limudei kodesh subjects to their children that they want them to learn.

    2.) Even if a parent has great knowledge of the subject material, the ability to effectively impart this knowledge to children (e.g., curriculum development, teaching strategies, etc.) is another skill entirely.

    Also, with terribly inflated housing costs, many families struggle with a single income even when sending no children to private school. Moving to a suburban or rural environment would possibly bring those housing costs down, but would also potentially bring the available income down as well.

    I don’t mean to say with these responses that I disagree with you regarding homeschooling or other alternatives/supplements such as part-time/co-ops, on the contrary, I think it’s a great idea. I just don’t think that, given the current state of affairs, it is feasible to go on a Khmer Rouge style social re-engineering kick by forcing children whose parents cannot pay the full tuition out of the schools. A better infrastructure to support homeschooling needs to be put into place. American culture in general is not geared towards homeschooling (or parental attachment to their children in general), but hopefully as more and more parents home school, there will be some favorable cultural changes (e.g., more flexible work schedules, better part time jobs).


    Gavra, a thought for you:

    How would your analogy go if someone without insurance was brought into an emergency room with a life threatening condition and the hospital administrator refused to treat him? Would you compare him with Yankel the grocer?

    We know that when principals want to expel a student for behavior issues, they are told to dan it as pikuch nefashos. Does it suddenly become less of a pikuach nefesh issue if the reason is financial?



    The problem is Schools do have expenses, Con Ed doesnt want to hear parents didnt pay tuition, They will turn off the light, the Bank who hold the mortgage, they will forclose , Sorry I dont have the money for this months mortgage. And what about those people who work for the yeshiva, they need to get paid. The Rebbe’s Morahs and even the sanitation guy needs to get paid (In fact its against the law not to pay them in a timely matter) You can get into alot of trouble if you dont pay your employees on time (Rebbes and Morahs dont usually complain to the authorities, but they could and certainly the non-jewish workers who could care less about torah, but need a job need to get paid)

    I am not saying its right, I am just stating its not so easy


    DaasYochid – Until the hospital closes and no one gets helped. That is what seems to happen in NYC quite often (LICH, St. Vincents to name a couple recently). It certainly helps to have government backing, but that is not the case for tuition. I can get into a whole discussion/rant regarding COBRA and how Reagan exploded hospital costs in an upward spiral, but that would really be hijacking the thread.

    As per your point, when “they” are told that this is pikuach nefashos, those who are doing the telling should have the decency to put their money where their mouth is and pay for the child as well. Its very easy to spend yenem’s money.

    mythoughts – I wish that I had an answer for you. Perhaps you should try a financial helper type to see where you can cut back. Or maybe try home schooling, even if just for your younger children.

    Avram: There are web-based programs that can certainly help teach the material as needed. Even for Jewish subjects (Aleph Beta comes to mind as an example). Yes, it won’t be the best education, but most Jewish education isn’t Eton, and you get what you pay for.


    ZD and Gavra, I agree that bills need to be paid, the question is only how. All I am saying is that if we view throwing a child out of school as pikuach nefesh, it’s simply not on the table, and solutions must be found elsewhere. It makes no difference who is at fault and who should put their money where their mouth is, it’s a non-starter (to borrow a term from Hakatan. Don’t worry, I’ll give it back by the next Zionism thread πŸ™‚ ).


    DY: Who is “we”? Whoever is the “we” who views this as pikuach nefesh should supply the funding. No different than your medical case if the doctor refuses to operate without getting paid. Whomever views getting that specific doctor as pikuach nefesh should supply the funds, not the doctor who says go somewhere else. Personally, I don’t view Yeshiva as pikuach nefesh as IMHO home schooling is a real and viable option.

    Without a real community school that has a mandate to take everyone, each school owner/administrator can push the child off and claim it is not their problem.



    So what about if you are forced to close the entire school so nobody gets educated. It happend to Beis Rivka on Crown Heights (Its also harder to raise money for girls schools than boys schools)

    What about the Pikuach Nefesh then for an entire school


    Gavra, “we” would be the gedolei Yisroel who tell menahalim that they can’t expel a student for poor behavior; kol shekein for lack of funds. And no, a school cannot expel an existing student and push it off to other schools.

    ZD, conceptually, it doesn’t matter (if the administrator of St. Vincent’s had turned down a patient bleeding to death, he’s a rasha even if the hospital closes) and, tell me please, did those girls end up in public school?


    I don’t believe that any school threw a child out for not paying tuition!

    unless you know it first hand, don’t believe it either.

    Ctrl Alt Del

    Did someone say here that tuition is $5000 a year per kid??? HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! OMG I should be so lucky if it was that!!! I’m shelling out almost 50g’s for 3 kids.

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