The Bais Yaakov System

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  • #608265

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    I find it amazing that the BY system transplanted to America, resulted in such a large network of schools with more or less uniform standards. Don’t you?

    How did it happen that someone can say, “I am a Bais Yaakov student” and we know what type of education they got and their hashkafos?

    I wish that someone had written a full and complete history.

    #932283

    morahmom
    Participant

    There should be one comprehensive book written on the subject of the growth of the BY movement here in the US. Meantime, there are several books that deal with the subject, like the biography of the Benders and the lesser known but very excellent publication put out by Bais Yaakov of Baltimore probably about 15 years ago. Don’t remember what it was called, but it was pink…

    #932284

    SaysMe
    Member

    wait, all Bais yaakovs have the same education and hashkafos? Not that i’m aware of. Unless you mean hashkafos in a broaaaaaaaad sense, and education meaning they all learn chumash and halacha and not gemora?

    #932285

    I agree with SaysMe, if you take a look at seminaries, which are mostly catered to American girls, there is a BIG difference between, lets say, Pninim, and Ateres, and even a big difference between Ateres, and Hadar.

    #932286

    Nechomah
    Participant

    I believe the American BY system was started by Reb Viche Kaplan. She was one of the closest of Sara Schnirer’s talmidos. She married R’ Boruch Kaplan (a talmid of R’ Yaakov Yosef Herman of All for the Boss). He learned overseas and eventually a shidduch was made. They came to America and she started a school. A lot of the story is told in one of the books by Rebbetzin Shain, possibly All for the Boss or one of her later ones. The basic BY hashkofo was to adhere to Torah and keep the mitzvos, strengthening a girl’s emuna and bitachon, teaching chumash and novi and even mussar seforim, giving her the tools to build a Jewish home, which the secular world was pulling girls away from right and left. These girls left the BY system understanding the value of a husband who learns Torah.

    I believe the differences in hashkofos only came about after there were enough students for individual groups to open their own schools, such as different chassidim and such. They each added their own flavor to the basic BY hashkofos. Many immigrants came to the US before and then after the war, bringing with them the traditions of their home towns, adding even more spice to the melting pot that was America in those days. The seminaries in EY simply reflect those differences.

    #932287

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Morahmom- I haven’t found it, but read all the biographies.

    Saysme and Snowbunny: Only to an insider. We’re actually pretty similar to an outsider.

    Nechomah: Agreed.

    #932288

    chevron
    Member

    Torah613: To most outsiders (of Orthodoxy), all Orthodox are pretty similar.

    #932289

    SaysMe
    Member

    t613- i ain’t an outsider 🙂

    nechomah- *rebetzin vichne kaplan

    yes, if you’re looking at the basic hashkafos only of shmiras hamitzvos, emunah and bitachon, personal growth, and teaching chumash and mussar, yes then they are the same. But again, that’s in a broad sense.

    #932290

    morahmom
    Participant

    TorahTorah: Oops. The pink book was called Daughters of Destiny but I really can’t recall who published the book. BY Baltimore’s was something called the Legacy of Bais Yaakov.

    There were far less differences at the beginning because in those early years of rebuilding Torah in the US after the Holocaust, there was simply no room for devisivness! Nothing was taken for granted, not in gashmiyus and not in ruchniyus.

    #932291

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Chevron: Correct.

    Saysme: Right, so you can see the differences. To someone outside your group, you look just like every other frum girl. (I once worked with someone who was convinced that I was ‘Hassidic’. I just gave up explaining the, to me, rather large difference between Chassidish and Yeshivish.)

    Thanks Morahmom!

    #932292

    SaysMe
    Member

    ah your saying it that way, sorry i misunderstood. But then what chevron was saying. And from the outside view i’d assume even many non-bais yaakov schools seem the same too

    #932293

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Saysme: Can you name Orthodox non-BY schools that are not Modern Orthodox?

    #932294

    chevron
    Member

    Beis Rochel (Satmar), to name one Orthodox non-BY that isn’t MO.

    #932295

    SaysMe
    Member

    thanks chevron. yes, many chasiddish ones, including the multitude of Lubavitch schools. i can name schools from my city that are not BY and not MO, but i prefer to keep my anonymity.

    #932296

    WIY
    Member

    Torah

    So you are Yeshivish and attend a mixed college? I thought you were more the modern yeshivish type that became yeshivish later.

    #932297

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Saysme, Chevron, exactly! But I have a lot of contacts, and my BY contacts say that BY started frum girl’s schools in America, and pretty much every chassidus insists that they’re the real ones who did. Chabad definitely thinks that. I think BY is more realistic because I’m pretty sure that chronologically BY came before BR.

    WIY: Yes, but you don’t know if that’s undergrad or for graduate school, and likely in a field where there is no decent frum college, and I haven’t posted about my background, but I am happy to announce that I am yeshivish, have always been yeshivish, and have a good yeshivish pedigree.

    #932298

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    there is a BIG difference between, lets say, Pninim, and Ateres, and even a big difference between Ateres, and Hadar.

    What is the tuition in each of those? I thought they all charged about the same.

    JK

    #932299

    SaysMe
    Member

    i dont think most chassidus’s claim to be the first girl’s schools in america… Nonetheless, exactly what? There are school’s right of mo that are not part of the BY ‘family’. Not only chassidish schools either.

    #932300

    goldersgreener
    Participant

    R’ boruch kaplan was sent by rabbi herman to learn in Europe, he was a talmid of the Brisker Rov – R’ Yitzchok Ze’ev solovaitchik.

    Although the Brisker rov was generally opposed to poeple going to the US, he told the kaplans that they could go.

    Rebbetzin Kaplan was a talmida of Soro shenirer.

    The families were eventually meshadech when R’ boruch kaplan’s son r’ nechemya was taken as a son in law by Haga’on R’ dovid soloveitchik, rosh yehsivas brisk.

    #932301

    DaasYochid: I meant hashkafic differences.

    #932302

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Snowbunny, I know, just poking a little fun.

    #932303

    if i was not dealing with a scandal at the moment revolving around money, i would probably think that was funny. Story of my life.

    #932304

    TAG in Far Rockaway is neither BY nor MO.

    #932305

    ThePurpleOne
    Member

    are u serious?? TAG is 100% pure BY!! mayb u just arent aware..

    #932306

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Ms. Purple is correct, TAG is definitely a BY.

    Anyway, thanks for all the interesting insights everyone.

    #932307

    TAG is for sure a Bais Yaakov, but I know girls who went there that were not so BY, one girl I know went because they had really good teachers, but she has an iphone and stuff like that, she also did not cover her legs all the time.

    I have a close friend who went there for a year and then switched to SKA because even though the school is her family’s hashkafa, it was not exactly hers and she needed to be in a warmer environment, Baruch Hashem, she loves SKA, but I still consider her a bais yaakov girl.

    If it was not for their rules about the internet and wearing color, i could see myself having gone there as a student last year.

    #932308

    ThePurpleOne
    Member

    snowbunny-

    there are girls like that in every by skl.. as for having an iphone and showing ur legs- she still keeps the torah 100%.. ppl r just machmir and cover bet ankles and knees.. also ur allowed 2 wear color acc to the torah, just not flashy and red.. 🙂

    #932309

    malks20
    Member

    snowbunny-

    how exactly does having an iphone make someone not bais Yaakov? and just curious what exactly does make someone a bais Yaakov girl?

    #932310

    Snowbunny – what rules about internet?

    #932311

    I never meant that having an iphone makes someone not bais yaakov, I had an android and I consider myself a bais yaakov girl. I know that you are allowed to wear color. I mostly do because even though I prefer black; 1. I am in a very modern seminary 2. Tznius clothes are very expensive and I already have clothes, but when I was starting to wear skirts, my mom would not really let me buy any black clothes, so I had to get colorful stuff (I am not saying that its assur to wear stuff from tj maxx and stuff like that, but the clothes that come there that I bought were the things that fall apart more easily because my mom thought I was going through a phase, so she didn’t want so spend so much money on clothes (plus I was having weight issues…). 3. $50 on skirts are expensive and gemachs don’t typically have the skirts that everyone likes to wear. 4. I have other expenses.

    I feel like there isn’t one clear cut definition of what makes someone a bais yaakov girl.

    In terms of rules about the internet, I don’t feel that I would have been able to give up the internet at that time.

    #932312

    lammed hey
    Member

    TAG is for sure a Bais Yaakov, but I know girls who went there that were not so BY, one girl I know went because they had really good teachers, but she has an iphone and stuff like that, she also did not cover her legs all the time.

    That begs the question. What makes TAG a BY?

    I have a close friend who went there for a year and then switched to SKA because even though the school is her family’s hashkafa, it was not exactly hers and she needed to be in a warmer environment, Baruch Hashem, she loves SKA, but I still consider her a bais yaakov girl.

    If it was not for their rules about the internet and wearing color, i could see myself having gone there as a student last year.

    There are rules in TAG regarding internet and wearing “color”?

    #932313

    lammed hey
    Member

    Ms. Purple is correct, TAG is definitely a BY.

    I have come to the conclusion that TAG is a BY wannabe, but will never get there. The strongest proponent of the BY-like system there is leaving.

    #932315

    Torah613Torah
    Participant

    Basically, a BY is a non-Chassidish frum school that considers Sarah Schenirer a role model.

    But it can also be a Chassidish school.

    And it can also be a modern school that is frummer than the schools around it, as in “BY type”.

    And I’m really frustrated, because I had something in mind, but only later realized I can’t post without naming the school. Oh well.

    #932316

    Yes, there should be a book called “The Bais Yaakov System: The Root of all Evil”. After all, everyone knows that its the systems, particularly the right-wing systems, that cause all of the problems. Heck, we just outlaw any and all systems. That should solve all of our problems.

    #932317

    What makes TAG a BY?

    That is like asking what makes Bais Yaakov of Boro Park, Bais Yaakov of LA, Bais Yaakov of Minneapolis, a bais yaakov.

    The common denominators throughout the bais yaakov system are their rule books and their ideal end products. Uniform, no talking to boys, tznius, good middos, and being taught the majority of your school subjects by Rabbis and rebbitzins.

    #932318

    lammed hey
    Member

    The common denominators throughout the bais yaakov system are their rule books and their ideal end products. Uniform, no talking to boys, tznius, good middos, and being taught the majority of your school subjects by Rabbis and rebbitzins.

    Sounds like any other Catholic school, except that I am decently sure that most, if not all (secular) subjects are taught by MRS’s. The Hebrew principal is a MRS, not a Rebbitzen. I can’t speak for the Hebrew teachers, but I imagine that it is a mix.

    P.S. I assume you are talking about the high school and not the elementry school.

    #932319

    That is why i said the majority. At the bais yaakov I went to, many of the secular studies teachers were rebbitzins.

    #932320

    In TAG, almost all of the secular studies teachers have degrees in the subject that they teach.

    #932321

    it was the same thing at the high school i went to, but they were also rebbitzins, rebbitzins can do whatever career they want provided that it is acceptable within the framework of halacha. They could even be doctors.

    #932322

    FIA
    Member

    ” The common denominators throughout the bais yaakov system are their rule books and their ideal end products. Uniform, no talking to boys, tznius, good middos, and being taught the majority of your school subjects by Rabbis and rebbitzins.”

    Other than uniforms, how is this any different than a MO school?

    ” it was the samething at the high schooli wentto,but they werealso rebbitzins, rebbitzins can do whatever career they wantprovided thatit is acceptable within the frameworkofhalacha.They couldeven be doctors.”

    What, exactly, makes them a “rebbitzen”? Your description makes them a Mrs.

    #932323

    they are married to rabbis.

    #932324

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    The common denominators throughout the bais yaakov system are their rule books and their ideal end products. Uniform, no talking to boys, tznius, good middos, and being taught the majority of your school subjects by Rabbis and rebbitzins.

    Those are common denominators, but I would most emphatically say that they are NOT what makes a school Bais Yaakov. They are the outer trappings of what makes a Bais Yaakov, and can vary from school to school. What unites all Bais Yaakovs is that they have certain hashkafos about Torah and the role Torah should play in your lives that try to imbue their students with. The rest is just commentary.

    Also, I have to say that I went to a pretty mainstream Bais Yaakov high school (there isn’t a single person here who would contest its Bais Yaakov-ness), and the majority of the teachers were NOT rabbonim/rebbetzins (the male contingent was mostly rabbonim, but there were very few of them). And all the female teachers vehemently protested the title (even the ones who probably deserved it).

    #932325

    then perhaps i should have spent my 12th grade year at the mainstream bais yaakov in my community instead?

    #932326

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I don’t get it–can you give me some context?

    #932327

    its a long story… i have had plenty of scandals in my life time…

    #932328

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    Okay…but what does that have to do with what I posted…?

    #932329

    ThePurpleOne
    Member

    what makes TAG a BY school is their hashkafa. they follow the torah in respect to tznius, middos, and they follow the guide of rabbanim…theyr uniform is refined and tznius too.. and btw i dont think all the hebrew teachers are rabbi/rebbetzin.. def not rebbetzin..

    also in my high school, ttly BY, i dont think a single teacher is rebbetzin title.. bt the few men teachers r all def rabbi..

    #932330

    SaysMe
    Member

    so we have 3 different definitions of bais yaakov schools so far. No wonder we all disagree :). For the 4th, i was defining bais yaakov by the schools that call themselves a bais yaakov school

    #932331

    OneOfMany
    Participant

    lol I actually think your definition might be better than mine. 🙂

    #932332

    SaysMe
    Member

    🙂

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