October 21, 2015 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #616501
It’s that time of year… Sorry for another sem thread!
My sister is in 12th grade and applying to seminary. She wants a place that’s considered in the “Bais Yaakov” world but more open-minded, not so yeshivish, and not judgmental. She’s creative, fun, and very bright, but also not at all jappy. Her #1 choice right now is Machon Raya.
The thing is, it’s not so easy to get in there, and she needs at least one backup plan. Can anyone think of a seminary that’s similar to Machon Raya, but still in the “Bais Yaakov” range and pretty academic?
Thanks!October 21, 2015 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1120281
Question, what is Machon Raya like?October 21, 2015 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #1120282flatbusherParticipant
My impression is that Machon Raya is a real learning seminary. I am not sure Machon Raya meets her wish list. I am surprised about these questions here. Don’t your schools have a seminary night or adviser?October 21, 2015 7:58 pm at 7:58 pm #1120283
Let me clarify: my sister is top of her class and academic, capable of learning at a high level. She’s looking for a place that’s more openminded, though. Although Machon Raya doesn’t meet everything on her “wish list,” it sounds the closest…
Most schools have advisors, but those advisors are sometimes biased and/or have an inaccurate impression of a particular girl. Where my sister is concerned, both of those are the case.October 21, 2015 8:10 pm at 8:10 pm #1120285
My teacher is israeli and doesn’t know any american sems except for Chedvas and Chana Kitov’s new seminary.October 22, 2015 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #1120286cinderellaParticipant
I went to Machon Raaya. It’s a very frum but not so yeshivish place. My year was 50% out of town and I loved that. It was a ton of work but you only go there if you are willing to push yourself and if you know you’re smart enough. The girls are very open minded and pretty laid back. one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.October 22, 2015 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #1120287
Do you know of any other places that are similar to it? Sounds great for my sister but you never know about getting in…October 22, 2015 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #1120288HashemisreadingParticipant
maybe Meohr? my sister went there..
and fyi I heard Machon Raaaya is Zionist & Feminist. or Femininist.October 22, 2015 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #1120289cinderellaParticipant
I have too much seminary pride to say there’s anything that compares to it 🙂
But I’d say Bnos Sara is similar- definitely much more yeshivish though.October 23, 2015 12:40 am at 12:40 am #1120290Imma613Participant
From what I know of Machon Raya, it sounds like it would be a VERY good fit for your sister. It is a Bais Yaakov sem, very academic, but “open-minded.” The girls are solid girls and someone I know who went there recently grew tremendously there. She would have felt stifled by bnos sarah or any of the other more yeshivish places. Machon Raya gave her the space to grow spiritually at her own pace. Excellent teachers and amazing hashkafa.
And no it is not at all zionist and feminist! Honestly if you don’t know first-hand about a place, don’t write what you “heard.” Total motzie shem ra on a wonderful solid school!
In terms of other seminaries that might be appropriate for your sis – maybe look into Rebbetzin Heller’s new seminary – Bnos Avigayil. It was touted as a very academic B”Y hashkafa place. You should check into it and see what “type” of girls she ended up taking – more like bnos sara or more like machon raya.October 23, 2015 4:24 am at 4:24 am #1120291
Imma613- thank you! That’s what I thought.
I will definitely encourage her to look into Bnos Avigail. I was wondering about it.
Anyone know what type of girls went there this year?October 23, 2015 4:48 am at 4:48 am #1120292
The girls I know that went to Bnos Avigail are very bright, creative girls (2 yeshivish-not extreme, one not so much) who are really nice and got accepted to top seminaries. They all chose to go there precisely because it’s not an in-the-box sem, has brilliant and deep, thought-provoking classes, and also a lot because of Rebbetzin Heller. They say there’s a very nice mix of girls, and from what I understand, is not judgmental at all.
The best thing to do is call girls who are there and ask them to describe what type of girls are there.October 23, 2015 9:12 am at 9:12 am #1120293
Is Bnos Avigail academic?October 23, 2015 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm #1120294
The girls I know who went there got accepted to sems like BJJ and Masores Rochel.October 23, 2015 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #1120295LovelymeMember
Bnos chavaOctober 26, 2015 1:53 am at 1:53 am #1120296
Bnos Chava is not my sister’s type…
Anyone know anything more about Bnos Avigail?October 26, 2015 3:01 am at 3:01 am #1120297bklynmomParticipant
imam 613 – It’s motzei shem rah to call a school “Zionist”?
I’d look into Nachlas, Michlala, & Bnos Avigayil.October 26, 2015 4:12 am at 4:12 am #1120298
Hahaha, as if Machon Raaya was Zionist…
If she’s flexible about being in the Bais Yaakov mold or not, then Michlalah might be a good fit. (It’s an amazing place and I love it so so much.) Michlalah DOES have its Zionist moments, if that matters to you (Yom Haatzmaut tiyul, etc)- I know you’re not the one who brought it up but it’s worth a mention. It really depends what her version of open-minded is- it’s easy to come out of there with Bais Yaakov hashkafos if you want to, but others may not see her that way and it sounds like she wants to be seen that way.
I know people at Bnos Avigayil who seem very happy, but I don’t know anything about the academic level except that the girls I know who are there are very bright.
Machon Raaya sounds like a great place for her! If she’s top of the class and if she has her sem coordinator/principal advocating for her she should have no trouble getting in. Many, many of my friends went there and loved it. It’s tricky to find a runner-up- from some perspectives Michlalah sounds ideal and from others a place like Binas, Nachlas, etc would seem better- I guess you’d have to balance the value of the Bais Yaakov reputation vs the openminded aspect. From how people describe Bnos Avigayil it sounds great, but I just don’t know enough about it to list it.October 26, 2015 4:49 am at 4:49 am #1120299
Bnos Avigail is very much catered for the ‘thinking Bais Yaakov girl.’
It is very, very academic and textual.
Rebbetzin Heller said that the year is divided with three concentrations: bein adam lamakom, lachaveiro, and la’atzmo.
The approach is very much focused on relevance to the girls life, I think also developing your inner self, through the texts.
They also have great extracurricular and tiyulim.
The only sem I can think of that shares the same type of goals/approach is Binas. I know some brilliant girls who went there and loved it- it’s academic, textual and focused on depth and relevance, very warm and is a BY which likes individuality. Their principal taught at Machon Raya for a while and incorporated some of their style into the curriculm.
Nachalas is a great sem, but not as academic. But Tehilas, which opened this year, is their sister school or branch, something like that, and supposed to be very academic. I don’t know about how open-minded they are, but it might be worth checking out.October 26, 2015 4:47 pm at 4:47 pm #1120300
Michlalah sounds like a very solid school for good girls- who come from a Modern Orthodox background. My sister is a Bais Yaakov girl, if not a very conventional one. My cousins go to Michlalah, and they are VERY good girls, but they’re coming from a whole different world.
Binas, Nachlas, and Tehilas are too much in the “typical BY mold” for my sister.
Don’t get me wrong- I went to a very in-the-box seminary and I’m what you would call a more “typical” BY girl. I have nothing against being a regular BY girl! The thing is, I want my sister to find a place where she can grow hashkafically and personally while still feeling comfortable to express her own personality and preferences. Most of those places will stifle her individuality with disapproval.December 1, 2015 4:44 am at 4:44 am #1120301
Does anyone know anything more about Bnos Avigail? My sister tried calling girls who are there, but she couldn’t get through…
Is it considered very yeshivish, or more middle of the road? Is it academic? How strict are the rules there? (That’s one big knock against certain seminaries- their rules are very confining.)December 1, 2015 10:29 am at 10:29 am #1120302GalesParticipant
What about Darchei Binah?
Academics strong, frum but not BY, haskofa is chaareidi
I know many girls who considered Machon Raya but chose Darchei Bina.December 1, 2015 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #1120303
My sister originally thought about Darchei Binah when she was in 11th grade, but has since decided that it’s not for her because of the girls who go there. She is looking for a Bais Yaakov seminary, just a more middle of the road one.December 3, 2015 12:33 am at 12:33 am #1120304youre not aloneMember
Hey so bnos Avigail is very similar to machon raaya its pretty textual and supposedly very hashkafic there are a lot of intense classes the school has around 22 girls and they’re good nice balanced open minded people they don’t have a curfew but are expected to know where not to go and get back at normal hours they have the usual kosher phones and are now located on neve campus
Hope I helpedDecember 3, 2015 3:01 pm at 3:01 pm #1120305
What types of girls are there? Is it very yeshivish? More girls from Flatbush/Lakewood/BP, or out of town?December 4, 2015 6:38 am at 6:38 am #1120306
technical- the thing is, there really aren’t many places like that (I’d say except Machon Raaya, which was attended by many of my quirky friends who loved it). I said Michlalah because many of those quirky friends had it as their second option. I understand if it isn’t the right image (it very probably isn’t) but if in theory she were willing to compromise on image, there are actually amazing BY-type girls and fantastic teachers who she’d love. Class makeup depends on the year but there are usually pretty bug chunks of BY type girls. (A lot of them were my friends.)
I understand the “my cousins went there and if it’s for them, it’s not for me” approach, though- I said the same thing about BJJ and Bnos Sarah :).
Anyway, I wouldn’t dismiss it totally. But you’re right, it doesn’t seem to be off the bat what you’re looking for.
That said, I wouldn’t give up home on Machon Raaya at all.December 8, 2015 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1120308
Let me clarify. My sister has nothing against Michlalah, and wouldn’t hesitate to go there if she thought it was the right place for her. She is the last one to worry about image. However, she’s a Bais Yaakov girl who has gone to right-wing schools her whole life, and in Michlalah, they learn Gemara. It’s a totally different world.
My sister heard some things about different seminaries that made her rethink her choices. As things stand now, she is planning on applying to Machon Raya, Bnos Avigail, and Bnos Sarah.December 31, 2015 1:10 am at 1:10 am #1120309
I know this thread is three weeks old, but I wanted to clarify a misconception. They do not learn gemara at Michlalah. MMY, Shaalvim, but definitely not Michlalah. They’re very adamantly against it.
That doesn’t mean it has to be right for technical20’s sister, but it’s useful info if anyone else is considering it.
Thanks! Have a wonderful night, folks!January 1, 2016 6:24 am at 6:24 am #1120310
Bnos SarahJanuary 1, 2016 6:59 am at 6:59 am #1120311I. M. ShluffinParticipant
I went to Mahcon Raaya. When I read the above post –
“and fyi I heard Machon Raaaya is Zionist & Feminist. or Femininist.”
– I actually burst out laughing.
Farthest from the truth as there could ever be…January 3, 2016 6:12 am at 6:12 am #1120312☢️ Rand0m3x 🎲Participant
Welcome back, I. M.January 3, 2016 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #1120313
writersoul- thank you for the clarification. I guess I made an assumption, since all my cousins who went there have learned gemara before and after they went.
It’s true that the seminary is not for my sister. She is a BY girl, and Michlalah is for MO girls- very good ones, but coming from a whole different world.January 3, 2016 2:24 pm at 2:24 pm #1120314
I went to BYA. It isn’t for my sister- too extreme about certain topics and too strict rules, not academic enough. (I went there for financial reasons.)
BJJ would probably be the best option for her (by default) if not for the financial aspect. My sister will be able to go to seminary only if the school gives her a significant tuition break. BJJ does not do such things.January 3, 2016 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #1120315
oh didnt know about the financial issue but how do all the rabbis send their daughters there if there the ones who say they make the least money? Someone convinced me that their 2 michlalas one for yeshivish and for modern is this true?January 3, 2016 9:14 pm at 9:14 pm #1120316
People who really don’t have money can get grants from Tap, Pell, and FAFSA by doing Touro Israel option. It’s the middle-class people who are in a bind when it comes to affording seminary.
Never heard of that…January 3, 2016 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #1120317CTLAWYERParticipant
From personal experience, I can tell you that our shul rabbi’s contract included tuition to Miclalah for his three daughters. I am one of the baal batim who shouldered the cost of tuition and airfare. Often, the salary of a shul rav is only a small part (taxable) of the total compensation package. Housing, education, travel, clothing are often supplied.January 3, 2016 9:38 pm at 9:38 pm #1120318
My parents would send me if i really wanted to go which i do but at the same time i really want to get married and go to med school and i feel bad for making them spend so much on seminary and med school.January 4, 2016 5:54 pm at 5:54 pm #1120319
My sister had her Machon Raaya interview on Motzaei Shabbos. She thinks it went well. Let’s see what happens…
She’s actually becoming more interested in Bnos Avigail.January 4, 2016 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #1120320
dont go to a new seminary just send her to machon raya. good luck:)January 4, 2016 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm #1120321
Ms Princess and technical20: There is one Michlalah. It has several parts- a charda”l Israeli women’s college, an Anglo seminary, and a French seminary. The French seminary is avowedly Modern Orthodox (or whatever the equivalent is in France). The American one is not. The girls come from all over the place and many different views are represented. While many girls are theologically MO, most are not. I was not, most of my friends who I made there were not, and some of them were- we all loved it.
And, technical20, I feel bad I keep harrassing you- I know you already said it’s not a good fit for your sister and I’m sure you know what you’re talking about :). I just always feel like it’s good to leave a trail of accurate information on sites like these in case someone does a search and wants to know.
Also- BD”E- the founder of Michlalah Yerushalayim, R Yehuda Copperman, was niftar today. He was an amazing person and huge talmid chacham from whom I learned an incredible amount this past year.January 5, 2016 1:42 am at 1:42 am #1120322
writer soul – is it my type?January 5, 2016 2:58 am at 2:58 am #1120323
writersoul- thank you for the info.
BD’EJanuary 5, 2016 6:12 am at 6:12 am #1120324
MsPrincess: Not a clue.
But if you ask me more specific questions, I’d be glad to answer 🙂January 5, 2016 6:18 am at 6:18 am #1120325
writer soul – do they have very religious girls there? are they very into academics? does it have a good name like bjj?January 5, 2016 6:28 am at 6:28 am #1120326
Those questions are, honestly, really vague.
What do you mean by really religious? There will be girls who are striving to grow (most of the girls) as well as the number of girls you’ll find anywhere who are there for the fun (and that’s not always the worst thing). There will be some girls who wear longer skirts than others. There will be some who came from BYs and some who came from coed MO schools and some who came from public school (probably the frummest kid in my year- one of my good friends- came from public school). There will be some girls who watch TV in the dorms and some who learn until late at night. I was friends with girls from all of these types and more, and at the end everyone really bonds. Religiosity is not judged by the length of your skirt but by your personal religious outlook and spirituality.
What does “into academics” mean? Michlalah has excellent classes which, if you so choose, can be intellectually rigorous. (There are many different classes to choose from, depending on how challenging you want and what kinds of classes work best for you.) The workload is not large, though, and I know that to some schools (like MR), this signifies a lack of rigor. I’d definitely disagree.
Good name? Among whom? For academics and learning quality, it has an excellent name. Hashkafically, as it’s so middle-of-the-road, people don’t really know what to think of it. I’m in Stern now, and it’s considered super-frum. (Though I was just hanging out with my Stern friends from MR and Bnos Sara, so… 🙂 ) Some yeshivish people think it’s “too modern.” (This is ridiculous. MANY alumnae are in all sectors of the yeshivish community, if they so choose.) How much this matters to you will depend. It didn’t matter at all to me- I loved that fact.
(BTW- I’ve said a lot of this stuff on other threads- feel free to click on my username and you’ll see all of the sem threads I’ve commented on- they may help.)January 5, 2016 6:38 am at 6:38 am #1120327
writer soul – i go with the yeshivish saying that its “too modern” thats why i dont think it will work.January 5, 2016 6:42 am at 6:42 am #1120328
writersoul- look at the majority, though; do a majority of Michlalah girls belong to the MO community, or to the charedi/yeshivish one?
Second, Stern itself is an MO institution. If there are individual MR or Bnos Sarah girls there, that does NOT represent the mahalach of the school. By contrast, many Michlalah girls go to Stern.January 5, 2016 7:01 am at 7:01 am #1120329
What was I trying to prove about Stern? Of course Stern is MO- I’ve said this myself. (That said, it is very welcoming and accommodating to Jews of all kinds, and there are many people who are not MO who pick it for its academics. I know a BY girl who doesn’t like the atmosphere in the dorms so she commutes from Lakewood every day. But she likes the girls because she feels like it’s a lot more chilled and less jappy and socially pressured than Touro. But that’s her opinion. I know people who say the exact opposite.)
Michlalah girls who go to either Stern or Touro (at least my year) don’t pick based on hashkafos- there may be some more yeshivish girls in Touro who may not have gone to Stern, and some more MO in Stern who wouldn’t consider Touro, but most people I know picked one or the other for purely pragmatic reasons.
The point with Michlalah is that there is no majority- there is perhaps a mean, but there is no majority. Besides, girls don’t always leave the same way they came. The commonality is more in the thoughtfulness and intellectual search of the girls, not in the label.
MsPrincess: That’s a perfectly fair opinion to have, I’m just wondering why you say that. (No pressure to answer, totally not my business to interrogate you 🙂 )January 5, 2016 7:12 am at 7:12 am #1120330
On the other hand, girls from more BY places do generally choose Touro (Flatbush) over Stern because of hashkafos- specifically, that they don’t want to be part of the Stern atmosphere, which is MO. Touro Manhattan is similar.
I will admit that Touro Flatbush is a fashion show and very difficult to deal with if you’re not into those kinds of things.
I’m not denigrating Michlalah girls- I have cousins who went there, and they came out extremely solid and frum, but in an MO way.January 5, 2016 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #1120331
Okay writer soul- who can I contact about Michlala?
And Machon Raaya?
I want to apply! Can some one give me phone numbers…. please?!?!?
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