Seminary Help!

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    My daughter is having a really hard decision between two seminaries. Her two choices are Darchei Binah and Ateret. She is looking for a place that will help her grow spiritually, however not in a forced way. She does not want to spend her year with “party girls” who spend most their time on Ben Yehudah or hanging out with boys. She is what some people may consider “more modern”, but she has a bais yaakov education and is yearning to grow. We are from an out-of-town city, and from what we hear, Ateret is very homey and friendly, but we are afraid the rules may be a little strict. Please reply and bring your comments as soon as possible!


    Ateres is an officially BY sem, even though it is modern. their not going to be as accepting when it comes to tertiary education. by being BY they are saying we want u to be the perfect BY girl, every BY sem is a cookie cutter.

    Darchei Binah is a lot more guiding rather than strict when it comes to rules. obvously some core ones are set in stone, but they give u the torah and halacha behind it and u choose ur path (obviously they encourage a BY direction).

    I know so many solid good girls from where I live who went to both Ateres and Darchei Binah and have come out amazing.

    I know a few people applying for the coming year who come from solid frum homes and the BY school here (constantly participating in chesed programs, one of them is super brainy and sweet). You can email me if the MODs allo by giving u my email.


    In this thread there are girls talking tons about Ateres. You should read it through and see if it helps answers your questions.


    The best thing that your daughter can do is speak to her friends who went to these seminaries. They can give her the best advice on what she should do.


    Ateres or Ateret? They both exist, and that tuf v. suf makes a big difference…


    I assume you meant AtereS and not AtereT. These are two different seminaries; Ateres is Bais Yaakov and relatively strict (compared to non Bais Yaakovs), and Ateret is completely not Bais Yaakov- the girls who apply there also apply to Sharfmans etc.

    Darchei Binah has great, world renowned teachers, and the girls can get close to them. The girls that go are a mix, there are many really solid, growth oriented girls, and there are some that will party in ben yehuda–but you have that in every seminary, even bais yaakovs.

    the teachers are all encouraging, and really help the girls grow, both in Torah and middos. their philosphy, like zk said, is guiding rather than strict; they dont force things down your throat, but after spending a year with inspiring teachers who have all accomplished a tremendous amount, the girls come out with a new perspective on life.

    darchei binah girls are all sweet, friendly, Real girls (not hiding anything, or pretending to be someone they’re not), who come out of seminary being very comfortable with who they are (great, smart bnos yisroel!)

    any other questions??


    ateres and darchei bina, 2 totally different schools. hard to believe that one girl would be a candidate for both. I would do some research


    If your wrried about Darchei Binah not being friendly, they have a reputation of having a great eim bayit and nice friendly girls from all over the world. they even allow southern hemisphere kids to come, so chances are there are some south africans and australians too.


    I think she’s talking about AtereT- it makes more sense with Darchei Binah, no?


    Are you sure there are really 2 seperate seminaries? I was under the impression that it was called ateret in the past but people started calling it ateres in the past years as it changed over to BY. I really dont think there are 2.

    It sounds crazy for a girl to apply to both darchei binah and ateres, but I feel like it may not be as crazy as everyone thinks. Both seminaries are warm and very growthful. If a girl fits this description, plus is willing to follow the rules of tznius and curfew, ect she will probably be good for ateres. It is a huge mix, and there were girls on all ends of the spectrum, but they did follow all the rules of a BY school.


    Thank you for the correction, it IS AtereS… I did not realize there were two different seminaries with such similar names! Thank you everyone for your input! They both sound like outstanding places. @candy613 and @cmon, my daughter said she has quite a few friends who applied to those two seminaries as well. To sum it all up, Darchei Binah is both “homey” and welcoming, as well as being open minded and guiding, while Ateres is “homey” but more secluded, and has higher expectations?

    , just a few more, please! My daughter was a little worried that the majority of the girls going to DB were extremely similar to those going to, say, Sharfmans (which is definitely not a school she would like to go to. She wants a place where there is a somewhat large mix of girls, who are friendly and not “new yorky” as they call it today, (again, we are from a more “out of town” city). She just wants to spend her year in Israel with down to earth, kind, openminded girls who are looking to be inspired and grow from their year in Seminary.

    Again, we appreciate all of your comments!


    I know the girls who are applying to DB, not jappy and not applying to places like Sharfmans!! however they are quite diverse in personality. some obviously will like to party, same in every place (some more than others), but theyre all serious girls, the most intellectual ones in their school. chances are girls in DB are more open minded and accepting than ateres, however ther should be some diversity in Ateres. chances are ateres is not as accepting if u would like a job outside a jewish only workplace (teacher at a jewish school) and not if would like u to marry a guy that works (becuase he only studied in yeshivah for 3 years and went to uni to support his family)…


    Hm, sounds as if DB is the place. My daughter isn’t an especially amazing student… She is serious about her studies, however she is not as studious as she could be. As DB is academic, would she struggle if she has a hard time with keeping her grades at A, B range?


    The OP sounds like the mother of every single girl who is not going to BJJ, or whatever the elite seminary du jour is. The good news is that it doesn’t matter in the slightest in any practical way.


    “chances are ateres is not as accepting if u would like a job outside a jewish only workplace (teacher at a jewish school) and not if would like u to marry a guy that works (becuase he only studied in yeshivah for 3 years and went to uni to support his family)…”

    Is your information backed up by knowing the facts? I think that statement is not exactly true.


    candy613- Ateres and Ateret are 2 separate places…


    “chances are ateres is not as accepting if u would like a job outside a jewish only workplace (teacher at a jewish school) and not if would like u to marry a guy that works (becuase he only studied in yeshivah for 3 years and went to uni to support his family)…”

    Totally untrue..I met the principals and they are the most accepting people. Here’s the story in Ateres. I think they’re main thing is that everyone is nice. Seriously. Principals, the girls etc. I dont think I met one snob who went or wanted to go there. So thats the first big plus. All the girls are extremely growth oriented. It is an extremely accepting place which understands the problems and the challenges of girls today and dont try to mold you into a specific form. They let you find yourself. It is not considered so yeshivish at all and they would have no issue with the above….I dont know where you go that from. Now they are considered a Bais Yaakov seminary so they do have a dress code, and certain rules about not listening to non jewish music, watching movies in the dorm etc. it could be that holds true in darchei bina as well I dont know..But as for being accepting there is no question. Its supposed to be a great environment but if she is scared the girls will be too frum then maybe it is not for her. But they are definitely all open minded, maybe even more so then other BY seminaries


    No, DB is not at all like Sharfmans, and neither are the girls. There are a few girls that apply to both, but most DB girls also applied to places like Michlalah, Bnos Chava, Meohr and a few others. There are some new york girls, and there are some out of towners. many girls from toronto, LA, baltimore, yes some from australia, england, brazil, chili and other places.

    I like to say that DB is the frummest non-Bais Yaakov seminary, and in some ways is frummer than some of the Bais Yaakov seminaries! Many of my friends from DB dress more tzniusdigly than typical Bais Yaakov girls! But they don’t force you to do things- it comes from the girls themselves.

    As far as academics, they usually only accept girls with good grades, that’s why it has a reputation for being very academic. But the truth is that the girls choose many of their classes, and can choose between hashkafah and text based classes. Yes, we had tests and homework and a few reports, but compared to my friends in Bais Yaakov seminaries, it was nothing! The teachers are smart, the classes are stimulating, but we don’t have “busy work” (memorizing, or parshah tests every week…) it is really very manageable! I spent a lot less time studying than my friends in Bais Yaakov seminaries!


    Thank you again for all the extremely helpful comments!

    , you seem to know lots about DB. What are the girls, as a whole like? Judging from the ideology of a few of the girls we know are going next year, we are still not completely sure that this is these type of girls type of girls who I want my daughter being around next year. Are hose who attend DB motivated to learn and grow? Or do they all keep in mind that it is a “chilled” seminary? My daughter got rid of all the non Jewish music on her iPod earlier this year, and I just want to make sure there wont be any peer pressure to make her take a few steps backwards.


    I know a lot of girls who applied to DB this year (like half my grade). Its a big mix. I know they have the most amazing teachers! They are known for that. Girls come out very much “grown up” than when they went in. About the non-Jewish music, I do know some girls who applied there who don’t listen to it, but most girls (according to who I know applied) do- but that doesn’t mean she has to be influenced by it. A nice number of girls who went in listening to non-Jewish music came out not. And as I said, its a big mix, so I’m sure she could find her crowd and be perfectly fine.


    Yes, I know a lot–I went there =)

    The girls are a mix. About non Jewish music, most girls probably start out with it, and many (like me!) stop listening over the year. There isn’t peer pressure to listen to music; I found that people respected me, after all, seminary is a place to grow! But your daughter will need to be confident in her decision.

    I made sure to find a good group of friends–normal, fun girls who were frum and looking to grow, and grow we did!!

    There is a mix, just as there is in every seminary. Some girls totally “flip out,” and become frummer than BJJ girls, and some girls grow in their own, less obvious way. As long as your daughter finds herself a group of good girls who are not interested in partying, she will stand to gain from the amazing staff (I can’t stress how unbelieveable the teachers rebbeim and mechanchot are!!!) and the wonderful girls that go.

    But your daughter has to decide if she thinks she can be confident in her decision to grow, and if she thinks she can be mature enough to find herself a good group of friends.


    Just to give you an idea of what DB is about, I went into seminary thinking that I won’t change at all–I did not want to give up my ‘beloved’ music, I loved my long, long hair, I was not interested at all in a kollel lifestyle, and, while I dressed pretty tznius, I didn’t understand it at all. Now, I don’t listen to non Jewish music or watch movies, my hair is a regular length, and I am open to the idea of a kollel lifestyle and I think it is a beautiful concept, and I improved my sensitivities to tznius in many ways. This all came about from watching my inspiring teachers, and being with a group of encouraging friends–NOT from any yelling/screaming/threatening on the seminary’s part. They did not force us to act or think in a certain way. I/We learned from example, the best way to learn!


    to lay a couple of things straight regarding ateres;

    1- ateres is not a modern bais yaakov, rather a out of town bais yaakov

    2- ateres is not trying to produce cookie cutter girls they want what is best for every individual girl

    3- ateres is a great school with a mix of girls from all over the place, this year there are about 20 from new york- less then 1/3 of the student body.

    4- ateres does have some strick rules, but only for what is important and what you would want to be reinforced.

    Hatlocha Raba on this hard decision, but don’t worry to much because everybody ends up where it is best for them!

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