Safety at seminary

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    In response to a recent question about a specific seminary (that my daughter went to), I said that while the level of learning was high, there were some serious negatives. Most importantly, the dormitory does not have working smoke detectors. My numerous e-mails to the seminary about this were never even acknowledged.

    Nevertheless, I think it is vital to bring this to attention of parents who will be sending their children to Israel for the year. We are now remembering the devastating fire that killed two boys in Telshe yeshiva in Cleveland fifty years ago. I am told that the 60+ boys were saved because Rav Mottel Katz insisted that the dorm not open until smoke detectors were installed. But still, last year a student died in a yeshiva fire in Israel. And still, a certain seminary refuses to acknowledge the danger of inoperable smoke detectors.


    No question about it, find a new seminary. Or maybe talk to your rav on how to proceed. Its enough that your child is across the ocean, you should at least feel that they are in the safest hands possible.


    Why don’t YOU buy some smoke detectors for the dorm. They’re pretty darn cheap.


    Fire safety is very different in Jerusalem where the buildings are made of stone. The buildings in Telz were wood.

    I’m under the impression that building fires are not considered a threat in Israel the way they are in America.

    Once in yeshiva, there was an electric heater that had a stuck fan and watch “breathing fire” on friday night. So I turned it off. The next day, I asked one of the rebbeim who said I should not have done so. He said that in Israel we should have just let it burn, since the building was stone and concrete and when the heater finished burning, it would just go out.


    My daughter is back and I found a different seminary for my younger daughter. I assumed that a polite e-mail would have solved the problem, but apparently not. However, I feel an obligation to warn people – for example when someone specifically asked about this seminary on this forum yesterday.


    I agree that fire is not as dangerous in a stone building, but it is still a danger – and people die in house fires in Israel all the time. This dorm is crowded with girls and their clothing. There are cooking facilities all over.

    I think that the original problem is that the smoke detectors were installed in places that would go off whenever the girls cooked, so the girls would pull out the batteries. I suggested moving the location of the smoke detectors, and I also suggested a “hush” feature that quiets the smoke detector temporarily.

    So it’s not as simple as buying a smoke detector – the dorm also has multiple floors that need working smoke detectors. It’s really an attitude of not caring. It’s consistent with not having enough food (as mentioned by another poster) and not fixing broken things.


    I know what seminary you are talking about, and I can see from my own experience in the sister school to the one that you mentioned that there are reasons for that empire to be dying off. I feel like if you are supposed to provide someone with a meal, that it needs to be enough to sustain a normal person, when I went on a school shabbaton, I brought extra food, and I ate all of it by the end of the shabbaton.


    KovodHabriyos -“Why don’t YOU buy some smoke detectors for the dorm. They’re pretty darn cheap.”

    I agree. I feel he can even use the tuition money that he’d be giving – for this. But better ask a Rov first.

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