Schools in RBS

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  • #1347725
    assurnet
    Participant

    We’re considering moving from Yerushalayim to RBS and want to get the lowdown on the chedarim and beis yaakovs in the area. Anyone familiar with the schools there and where they are holding and level of limudei kodesh/chol as well as hashkafa and what the general makeup of the student body/their parents is?

    For reference’s sake our daughter is currently in a standard Beis Yaakov and our son is in a Zichru style cheder.

    We’re just starting to look into this so any details would be helpful, thanks.

    #1347846
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    I’m pretty familiar with the schools in RBSA, mostly from word of mouth and investigations.
    For standard Beis Yaakov, students go to the one in their neighborhood- the schools are large, many classes in each grade, with very large class sizes and they won’t take a student from out of the neighborhood. So If you live in the Sorek/Uirah/Kishon/Lachish area you send your daughters to the Mishkenoas Daat BY on Sorek. If you live on the other side of the Ayalon Park, to BY HaRama on Nahal Gilo. If you live in Gimmel, you go to the newly opened BY in Gimmel. There are other BYs as well- Darchei Rochel is private (you pay a nominal tuition), so you can go there no matter where you live. It used to have an advantage of smaller classes, but that is no longer the case. I think it has a reputation of being more chareidi than the standard BY. Then there are the more “American” style BYs- Magen Avot and Bnos Malka.
    As far as chaderim, there are so many- I couldn’t possibly answer all your question for each cheder.
    You have the elitist ones where you need pull to get in (or have a brother already enrolled). There are the more accepting ones that look at building the child as opposed to what the family is like. There are chasidish leaning ones, more Israeli ones, more American ones, some where they take their secular studies seriously, some where it is just a formality or barely given. Some where student body will be mostly from kollel families, others where parents are working, others a mix or don’t care. There are Zichru ones as well.
    Here’s a list of what I can remember:
    Noda Bshearim
    Ateres Shlomo
    Zos L’Yehuda
    Toras Chesed
    Beis Sholom
    Aviezri
    Beis Eliyahu
    Toras Sholom
    TaShBaR
    Toras Eliyahu (Zilberman)
    Toras Moshe
    Magen Avot (boys)
    Darchei Noam
    In general, the more Israeli/exclusive/mainstream chareidi chadarim are towards the top of the list, while towards the bottom, are the more American style ones, with more limudei chol, a bit more out-of-the-box.
    There are also some Sefardi chadarim, although you can find sefardi kids in the other chadarim as well. A few new ones opened in the last year or two in gimmel that I don’t know anything about- some are branches of existing ones in Aleph- and there is an equally long list of chadarim in Bet, mostly chasidish.
    How about if you describe what you want, and then I can try to figure out which will be the good fits. Or you can try speaking to some of the local Rabanim and ask their advice- like R Kornfeld of the GR”A shul (English speaker)l. He is involved in several of the chadarim.

    #1347905
    Shopping613 🌠
    Participant

    Magen Avot boys is more dati leumi, sending afterwards to army and yeshiva together, doing bagruyot, etc.

    I can talk high schools, is that what you want?

    #1347974
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Winnie The Pooh – I think that was very wise that you suggested that he spoke to the local Rabbanim and gave him a specific name to call!

    Assurnet – I’m sure you don’t me to tell you this, but I’m just pointing out that you can get the best information from speaking to live people. For one thing, l”h is less of an issue since it’s l’toeles, so you can find out things that you wouldn’t be able to find out here. For another, you know who you are talking to, so it’s easier to evaluate the perspective they are coming from (as well as the extent to which you can trust them).

    #1347973
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I went into this thread thinking that I could help out, but it looks like WTP did a great job on the elementary schools and like Shopping613 can probably help out better than I can with the high schools.

    I just want to remind anyone who chooses to comment on this thread that they should be very careful not to post any loshon hora (which can be hard to avoid with this type of topic).

    While there are certain things that can be muttar when speaking to an individual since there is “toeles” this is a (very!) public setting, so that wouldn’t be relevant.

    Since it can be difficult to know what’s l”h or not when dealing with such a topic, my recommendation would be to picture the principal of the school standing right next to you as you type. Imagine that she is your best friend, and think, “Would I type this in front of her?”

    #1347991
    anIsraeliYid
    Participant

    Winnie – given that the OP is likely American (this is, after all, an English-language board), the “neighborhood” Beis Ya’akovs could well be not what they’re looking for. As an RBS resident, though, I can agree with most of the rest of what you posted – but there are a few schools on the list that I’d not recommend due to specific incidents that I’m aware. The OP should speak with someone local and knowledgeable in person to get additional details – a public forum such as this is not the place to discuss these (and it would be considered Lashon Harah in any case – while it is definitely l’toeles for the OP).

    Re: calling Rav Kornfeld – he is definitely one of the people to talk to, but I’d recommend speaking with others as well. I have great respect for Rav Kornfeld, but his Shitta is rather rigid – and I know people who have had issues with some of the places he’s recommended on account of the school’s lack of understanding of a more American mentality. Another Rav to speak with is Rabbi Danny Meyers or Menorat HaMaor, or Rav Chaim Soloveichik of Ohr Shalom, both of whom will also give input based on what the individual in question is looking for

    As to Shopping613’s comment on Magen Avot – sorry, but you must be thinking of someplace else. Firstly, Magen Avot is only an elementary school, so there are no Bagruyot, and second, most boys there go to either Yeshivot Ketanot once they finish, or to places like Ma’arava, Nehora, or the Mesivta, all of which are considered Chareidi Yeshivot Tichoniot. The general path after any of the Yeshivos in question is to a Yeshiva Gedola, not the army – though some do, of course, go to the army after some time in Yeshiva.

    Good luck, and remember that it’s more important to get the child into the right school for him or her, rather than the “best” school – after all, Shlomo Hamelech, the wisest of all men, is the one who said “chanoch lana’ar al pi darko”. Don’t make the mistake of trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

    an Israeli Yid

    #1347995
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Shopping – does Magen Avot SEND boys to the army or is that just where they end up going? There is a difference between the two.
    I am pretty sure that the girls’ Magen Avot calls itself a Bais Yaakov, so it is hard for me to imagine that the boys’ school SENDS boys to the army, although they may be from the types of families that send their sons to the army., so that is what they end up doing.

    #1348170
    assurnet
    Participant

    Thanks guys. Does anyone have contact details for any of these rabbanim? (assuming they don’t mind their number blasted out on the internet)

    #1348185
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Assurnet – if you get a hold of a “Shemeshphone” (Ramat Beit Shemesh phonebook), I believe there is a category for neighborhood Rabbanim and their numbers.

    I would also like to mention that I was under the impression that you consider yourself “Chareidi” (although perhaps more on the American/open side). I am not sure if all of the Rabbanim mentioned in above posts are really your hashkafa. I may be wrong about that, but in any case, it would make sense to make sure that the Rav/Rabbanim you speak to are on the same page as you hashkafically.

    #1348188
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Assurnet – Are you looking for a high school or an elementary school for your daughter? If it’s high school, I can also tell you about some of the schools.

    #1348208
    WinnieThePooh
    Participant

    The shemesh phone has an online version -you can find it easily by googling, hint, the website starts with the word shemesh.
    There under the community listing you can find all the local rabbanim and the schools as well.
    I think amYisraelYid’s take on Magen Avot is more close to reality than Shoppings. It is the boy’s version of the Magen Avot girls school, which is definitely a BY. Magen Avot considers themselves a cheder but they give more limudei chol than a typical cheder. Shopping may have been confusing it with Rappaport, which has a HS as well.
    In terms of the Rabbanim, R Meyers and R Soloveitzchik have kehillos that tend to be more on the Dati Leumi side, so I am not sure they will be able to help you find BY and chadarim for your kids. R Meyer is behind Darchei Noam I believe (which is most like an elementary yeshiva in America would be, with limudeu chol on a high academic level), and sends his kids to chareidi schools, so he might know both aspects of the schools in RBS.
    AmYisraelYid- the OP mentioned his kids are in a standard BY and a Zichru cheder, which is why I directed him to the schools I mentioned, and Rav Elimelech Kornfeld, who has first hand knowledge of many of the chadarim and lives locally. There are many other English speaking Rabbanim around, who may also be able to help (e.g. Rav Yaacov Haber of Shivtei Yeshurun, R Chaim Malinowitz of Beis Tefilla, Rav Goldstein of Mishkenos Yaakov area) but I don’t know how involved they are in the schools. Plenty of Americans go to the standard BYs here in RBS- if anything, they are more flexible than a typical BY in Yerushalayim. For more American flavors, there are Magen Avot (girls) and Bnos Malka, as I mentioned. Many chadarim are also around 50% chutznik, some with more Americans, some with less. I agree that an online forum is not the place to discuss the faults and strengths of specific mosdos.

    #1348220
    anIsraeliYid
    Participant

    WtP – I agree that Rabbi Danny Myers and Rav Chaim Soloveichik have Kehilos that are more Dati Leumi, but I’m also familiar with Rabbi Meyer’s involvement with Darkei Noam, which is more Chareidi, and I know Rav Chaim well, and know that he is extremely honest and will give advice based on what the parents are looking for (and he’s very involved in Chinuch too) – which is why I mentioned the two of them. I am also familiar with the other three you mentioned, and would have no hesitation recommending someone consult with Rav Haber either.

    I am aware that a number of Americans go to the standard Beis Yaakovs here in RBS – many of my neighbors do so, and I am in a building complex that is at least 70% “Anglo”. I’m raising the issues I am specifically because of this – I speak regularly with the parents, and my children are friends with their children, and I know that there can be some significant issues. These issues don’t arise for everyone, but occur for enough people that it is important to raise for the OP to consider.

    And thanks for confirming what I said about Magen Avot – I think Rav Simon (whom I know well and respect) would be horrified if he heard someone was describing his school as Dati Leumi :-).

    an Israeli Yid

    #1348453
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    “The shemesh phone has an online version -you can find it easily by googling, hint, the website starts with the word shemesh.”
    Good point – thanks for mentioning. I remembered that after I posted.

    “I think amYisraelYid’s take on Magen Avot is more close to reality than Shoppings.”
    I agree- it also occurred to me that she might confusing it with Rappaport/Ahavat Yisrael. They are both “in-between” types of schools, but I think that one is on one side of the Chareidi/Dati Leumi border and the other is basically on the other (It’s pretty close to impossible in EY to avoid being on one side or the other of the Chareidi/Dati Leumi divide).

    “There are many other English speaking Rabbanim around, who may also be able to help (e.g. Rav Yaacov Haber of Shivtei Yeshurun, R Chaim Malinowitz of Beis Tefilla, Rav Goldstein of Mishkenos Yaakov area) but I don’t know how involved they are in the schools.”

    Ditto. I would think that Rav Malinowitz might be a good Rav for Assurnet to speak to in general, from what Assurnet has mentioned about himself in the past.

    #1348465
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Assurnet – Another important (and related point): In addition to checking out the schools in RBS, you should also check out the neighborhoods before you decide which section/street of RBS to move to.

    There are different neighborhoods in RBS with different hashkafos – some more Chareidi, and some more Dati Leumi, some more “Yeshivish”, and some more “modern”, some more Israeli, and some more American, and some more of a mix. Each RBS is different (Alef, Bet, and Gimmel) and within each one, there are different neighborhoods/streets.

    In addition to other things, this can also be connected to the school that your kids go to. As WTP pointed out, if you send to the regular Bais Yaakov, your kid has to go to a particular one based on where you live, and I think the student body is somewhat different in each.

    The entire neighborhood is wonderful, and you will probably have wonderful neighbors wherever you live, but if you have a choice, there are neighborhoods that might be more “matim” for you than others.

    On the other hand, the specific building may be more important than the particular neighborhood anyhow. I am speaking from experience, having lived in areas that were more my type within buildings that weren’t, and in areas that were less my type but in buildings that were.

    I would recommend checking out Rechov Lachish. I have heard wonderful things about it, I know some wonderful people there, and it seems like a nice chevra there. It is in the middle of Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef, both geographically and hashkafically.

    #1348585
    Joseph
    Participant

    Lilmod: Which neighborhoods are more Chareidi and which are more Yeshivish?

    #1348600
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Joseph – why do you need to know? I deliberately didn’t write that because I wasn’t sure if it was LH or not (and he can easily find out from live people, so if there was any kind of safek about LH, there was no reason to write anything).

    If you’re trying to figure out the difference between Chareidi and Yeshivish, my point was that someone can be Dati Leumi in terms of his hashkafa and be very Frum in his practice, and someone can be “Chareidi” in terms of his hashkafa but be “modern” in terms of his practice.

    In general I hate using labels. One of the main reasons I hate using them is because they can be used in different ways. I myself will use them in different ways depending on the context. But that is how I was using them here.

    My point was NOT to get into a discussion of labels (which I HATE!). I was just trying to point out the factors to consider.

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