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Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Rejected To Seminary)

yw story logo1.jpgDear Yeshivaworld,

As my husband and I are now in the “Parshah“, we have started receiving responses for my 12 grader; re: acceptance or rejection for the “privilege” to spend $20,000 for seminary in Eretz Yisroel.

I would like to know the following from your readership:

1) Are the seminaries trying to clone an Aryan race by only accepting girls with an over 90 average? Does this average make you a Frummer or better person?

I can understand that they will not accept a failing student, but shouldn’t acceptance be based on the interview – but more likely the report from the teachers and principals regarding etc?

2) Without mentioning the name of the seminary, I think it is disgusting the way they write their rejection letter by saying: “consider this a letter of non acceptance”.

Where are the feelings? Where is the Menschlichkeit?! How can someone who composed such a letter be a Mechanech?


Disgusted mother who will not send her precious daughter to seminary.

179 Responses

  1. i was a victim too. i cried for my daughter. both. but bh you may not realize then, it really is all for the best. my first stayed in america and got married. and my second did go to a` new seminary where she is doing wonderfully. its hard to see the light in the dark, but there is a light.

  2. While I agree that there is a lot to be left desired about seminaries, you’re comment about the Aryan race is completely inappropriate (JDL looking for apologies?). Of course they are money makers, not intended for the higher purpose of educating our daughters. Notice how you never got invited to a seminary’s dinner or chinese auction? The amount of money they charge (and no shabbos meals!) is obscene, especially considering that in today’s shidduch market, the seminary is always the first thing people judge the girl by (after they ask about the family’s yichus going back to Moshe Rabbeinu, of course).
    One of my pet peeves with seminaries, is how they produce so many girls that are proficient in NA”CH, yet don’t know simple halachos about what to do in the kitchen. I don’t think this is what the Chofeitz Chaim endorsed when encouraging Soreh Shneirer (sorry for spelling) to go through with the Beis Yaakov movement.

  3. unlike many yeshivas both in the us and eretz yisroel that struggle monthly to meet their needs, seminarys are a business-out there to make money. There are some people that not only own one seminary but quite a few. Have you ever seen a dinner or fundraiser for a seminary?? The idea whole idea is ludacris, some money, send your daughter to Israel for a month not to seminary.

  4. Dear Mother,
    Do not despair. I was in your daughter’s shoes in this particular case and everything worked out beautifully B”H. I should tell you though that you will find some terrible middos and lack of mentchlechkeit in this arena. Do not be surprised. Hatzlacha.

  5. HERE WE GO!




  6. My Rosh Yeshiva once told me that if I want to be rich I should open up a seminary. He also joked and said that he may one day open up a seminary to support the yeshiva, that way he would not need to fund raise any more.

    The bottom line is these seminaries are a BUSINESS and they are run that way as well. If they let your child attend the precious institution and her grades are lower than their perceived standard, it cheapens their product.

    They prey on the fear of the parents that “if my daughter does not go to seminary she will not get a shidduch, and if she goes to a good seminary she will get a better shidduch.

    I respect the author of this letter for seeing the seminary for what it is! A business and a rude one at that.

    I would have your daughter warn the 11th graders in her school about the business practices of that seminary. The only way the seminary will be humbled is if next year fewer girls apply and the year after that even fewer do. If they treat you like a customer, treat them like a business. If no one buys their product they will have to loose the tude or GO OUT OF BUSINESS for good!!

  7. Something should be done about this waste of precious Yiddisheh resources. What kind of salary does one need to make to send a daughter to seminary for over 20,000 dollars, not including spending money and other needs.

    For those who judge a girl by the seminary she went to, they probably get what they deserve. This is the most irrelevant piece of information.

    Does a seminary make one a better baalas middos?

    Does it counteract all the negative influence a child may have seen in her house?
    What do you think will better serve a spouse in marriage, witnessing proper conduct by her parents and the proper maintenance of an emmese yiddisheh house, or a one year whirlwind trip to Israel with amazing contact with girls whose parents can similarly afford the 20 thousnd dollars.

    Does anyone think that spending 20 thousand dollars on seminary will result in a better return than spending 20 thousand dollars on another year in Kollel?

    Be secure do what you know is right, there is no need to follow the herd.

  8. I fully agree with the writer. The response was cold and unfeeling!Besides, most seminaries judge the girls based on midos and charchter although MARKS are IMPORTANT, usually personality wins them over.

    This seminary is obviously not for you . There are other s out there who base their decision on values!
    I am sure you will find some ting suitable! good luck!

  9. can someone enlighten us..someone opens a business charges certain ammt. of $$, now if one cant afford dont buy ..where is it mentiond in torah you have to sent to seminary to israel..and if not giving a meal at certain time and explicitly stated so whats the complain, and if this business ( EG:senminary) has certain criteria to accept..and one does not meet ..they have right not to if one cant afford a cadillac only olsmobile he is going to comlplain to cadillac why you charge so much? All this has nothing to do with being a fruumer or better person.i assume when one opens a semminary he doesnt open for pleasure,yes, wants to be mechanech but also for business “ma ani b’chinom af ata b’bchinmom” does not pertain to noshim. So you have to be a cry baby because you dont like the wording..maybe a secretary who doesnt have as much middos wrote,or would you like this letter of non acceptance shuld’ve been passed through all menbers of board to review it just in case there might be aword or two that might make somebody feel bad…please there is no end to this crybabing…

  10. And what of the literally hundreds of girls charged an “interview fee” of up to $ 100.- each, when they know very well that they can only acommodate a fraction of those. The fees are nonrefundable, of course.

  11. Though I don’t take offense by the “Aryan race” comment I do agree with a lot of what Krunch stated.

    These “seminaries” are little more then finishing schools and institutions (am I being generous with the term) for brain-washing impressionable young women on how to get married.

    Don’t fret, look for a Yeshiva not a seminary. An institution where your daughter can improve her text skills, learn halacha and grow in midot.

    Don’t let these money grabing clowns get you down, may you have much nachat.

  12. I think the whole seminary situation is outrageous. What started off 20 years ago as a few schools whose purpose was either to train teachers or to strengthen the hashkafos of girls from weaker backgrounds, has now developed into a “mandatory” experience for any girl, from any background, whether or not she wants to be a teacher. So many of the schools out there have no “mission statement”, they are there merely because there are people who are “begging” to shell out major bucks to them.

    I live in E”Y, and I see the seminary girls. How much of them are really maximizing the year that is costing their parents $20K ? I’ve had numerous girls at my Shabbos table, complaining about school; the classes are boring, the food is no good, they can’t wait to go home at the end of the year…

    What started off as a good thing has become a monster….let me ask you why any girl from a good solid home needs a year of seminary, with a hefty price tag, where she will come home little changed.

    Many will say that they want their girls to have the E”Y experience. First of all, MANY seminary girls are “living in America” while in Israel: tons of shopping in Geula, eating pizza, spending Shabbos in the “American” neighborhoods…

    Personally, I think that a well-run summer program can serve as a great opportunity for a girl to have an “EY Experience”- I do not mean a camp; I mean a sort of mini-seminary. Two and a half months of intense classes, shabbatons, tiyulim, etc… I think that is plenty of time to absorb the kedusha of E”Y. Instead of spending close to (or over?) $20,000, you can spend a fraction of that.

    Then, in September, your daugther can start school, working, or whatever she plans on doing one year earlier- so that she can already have a degree/experience before she gets married…which will be VERY helpful if she plans on supporting her husband.
    And she probably won’t end up with 20 pounds to lose before she can start shidduchim.

  13. I don’t believe that girls who didn’t go to seminary in Israel really have a harder time finding a shidduch. I personally wouldn’t send my daughters unless one of them really needed it for some reason. While it’s a great experience, it’s not a necessary experience and I have better things to do with my money. I never regretted for a second that I didn’t go to sem in Israel.

  14. why is your daughter applying to seminary that wants only 90’s students if shes obviously not?! there’s plenty of other ones for all different academic levels. in my class this was the problem- the girls who were rejected were the ones who had their heads in the sand about their own levels and capabilities.

  15. The seminary situation has gotten out of hand. 20 years ago, it was not “mandatory” for a girl to seminary- a girl came to E”Y if she had a weak background in Yiddishkeit and needed strenghthening, or if she truly wanted to be a teacher. If you were from a good home, chances are you stayed home. But now, seminary has become a necessary item on every girl’s shidduch resume- if she didn’t go to seminary, you have to wonder what’s wrong with her!

    While I agree that every girl should have a chance to “experience” E”Y, I don’t think that seminary is the proper venue. I live in E”Y, and I see the American seminary girls… are they ‘experiencing Eretz Yisrael’, or just ‘living in America while in E”Y’? I see these girls, many of them are shopping non-stop, eating out at restaurants, spending Shabbos in the “American” neighborhoods…I’ve had countless girls at my table, complaining that the classes are boring, the food is terrible, and they can’t wait to go home for Pesach because then the year will be almost over when they get back.

    Is that what their parents spent an arm and a leg for????
    Isn’t there a better solution?

    I don’t think a girl needs a whole year to “experience” Eretz Yisrael. Two months during the summer, under the proper leadership, is sufficient. I don’t mean all the camps you see around…I mean a sort of mini-seminary, where the girls attend intense classes, shabbatons, tiyulim, etc…all packed into a two-month program. I think the girls would maximize on their time more, knowing that its short…
    and it would definitely be cheaper…

    Then let your daugther come home and start school/work/whatever she was planning on doing after seminary ONE YEAR EARLIER (and without 20 extra pounds to lose before she can start shidduchim!!!)


  17. I agree with # 12. There are also enough girls who do not go that it is not such a big pressure. Dont send her, and the sems can do what they want in terms of $. If they wanna be rich, then charge $20,000 and only accept rich girls. It’s like trying to buy s/t you can’t afford. So even if your daughter’s hoipes wetre so high… that’s her fault that she tried to get in to a sem that takes 150 girls with 800 applications. Some will not be accepted. Tell her its a message from H’ and all that happens is l’toivah. Maybe you needed this small Klop to your ego too, since you don’t seem to feel that it is bashert!

  18. As a Shadchan, let me say it straight!

    Seminary is a jewish heist! nothing more!

    Somone out there decided to turn “seminary” into a girls shidduch trophy and a must for getting a good guy, and we all went for the bait.

    If she does not need a learning boy , which there are many good working boys out there, she certainly does not need seminary for being in the “parshah”. And if she does need the kollel type, she will do much better staying in this country and getting a head start on a job and have some money put away for married life, rather then to be $20,000 in the red.

    Seminary was orrignaly intended for girls who were becoming teachers, not for every girl. And even for those who need seminary, with todays economy bad enough, tehres no reason we cant have seminarys here in the USA at 1/4 the cost of sending to Israel for the year.

    WE are the creators of our own so called crisis.

  19. Dear Disgusted,

    Don’t you know that ALL Jewish B.Y. girls MUST go to Sem in E.Y. in order for them to be “mitaleh” via a year of very educational tours of the Holyland (including some very fun places), peppered with non-stop brainwashing against “shmutz-laaretz”. Your daughter will also get to shed a lot of her shyness, as she will need to find herself a place to stay, for many a shabbos & yomtov, on her own. You should also know by now that any decent yeshiva bochur will not even consider to look in your daughter’s direction (at the time of shidduchim) if she has not polished herself in those vaunted halls of BJJ, BYA, and the like.
    So you ask: “but what to do if my daughter wasn’t accepted?” Well, I would think that this should be a time of thorouh introspection for your whole family. You will need to dig deep to get at where exactly you’ve gone wrong. Maybe you & your husband failed to associate with the people of the “right” hashkofos? Maybe you haven’t been attending the “right” shuls? Maybe he even needs to change his job or occcupation for a more lucrative one? Maybe you have been giving your daughter too much free TLC, without shouldering her with massive burdens of guilt? Maybe, too, you have been too accepting of your daughter, who may have been performing decently in HS getting above-average marks, but didn’t shine out like a star with exhilirating grades. This is the right time for your whole family to break away with your rather simple past, and embark on “spritiual rebirth” into the new “holier than thou” environment. This will certainly raise the possibilities if your “overhauled” daughter to get accepted to the Sem that will be the gateway for her to build a Torah’dige home in the way that should be expected of every Jewish BY girl.
    And BTW – the $20,000 you mentioned? – you should be honored that Associated Seminaries in the Holyland, Inc. is putting your hard-earned $$$ to good use. If you don’t have the cash available, consider taking a home-equity loan against your home. Or try getting financial aid from some rich relatives – explain to them the worthiness of the cause with real feeling. Somehow you’ll manage, like all the rest of us.
    Good luck.

  20. Thats were the writeris wrong “I can understand that they wont accept a failing” studend is she less of a bas yisroel cuz she failed in school but excells in middos or other things -so if your not a 90 student and that what the sem want then you should not get accepted -(I’M JUST PLAYING AGIANST YOU AND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND YOU JUST DON’T TALK FROM 2 SIDES OF YOUR MOUTH) yes I feel for your Daughter no one should ever have to go threw it but why add about the failing student your daughter is nothing better APPLY TO THE SEM THAT SHE HAS A CHANCE GETTING INTO AND NOT THE ONE YOU THINK WILL SOUND GOOD FOR SHIDUCHIM

  21. Our daughter — who was an “A” student in nearly all her Bais Yaakov high school subjects, Limudei Kodesh and Limudei Chol — was rejected by all three of choices of Yerushalim seminaries, because (1) she is very quiet and shy during interviews, and (2) her high school principal (a wonderful Mechanech) does not have enough Protectzia there. Of course, we were very disappointed.

    Then, her principal and teachers made some phone calls and placed her in a little-known Yerushalaim seminary. It turned out to be the best year of her life so far! The Chinuch, Ruchniis, and even Gashmiis were excellent!

    Our suggestion: Call your daughter’s principal and teachers and ask them to help her find an appropriate seminary.

  22. BTW, seminaries in the US cost too, especially for out of town parents, who just miss qualifying for the PELL grant.
    That said, I do think sem. is necessary for most girls in some form (And this has been the “reid” for MUCH longer than 20 years. The girls who went to E”Y from my class 20+ years ago were among the strongest.)
    P.S. to 5: I will find a way to send my girls to sem. I cannot at this time support in kollel, so I don’t. That is a whole nother letter for the Mailbag that someone (NOT I 😉 may choose to write.

  23. I have a much simpler solution – send your daughter to England!! We have six or seven excellent seminaries around the country to choose from, each with an excellent reputation in their field and none of them are out to MAKE money! No-one from the UK goes to Israel for seminary, it is totally unheard of.

  24. I would love to hear speeches against how we spend so much money on Seminaries unnecesarily, instead of more railing against the Pesach programs, for a change,

  25. Its a total theory if a girl goes to seminary in Israel she gets a shidduch quicker, parents don’t fall for it!!!! rather take the $20.000 and put it aside for your daughter for when she gets married! she’ll thank you a thousand times more! (and it will be much more appreciated!!)

    #-17 when you come down from your pedestal, you might realize that what you are saying is dead-on wrong. We all know girls who were “worthy” of certain seminaries but somehow were not accepted; I am talking about 90+ average etc, but that is not the point.

    As long as people continue to pay these crazy prices for tuition, you cannot blame the owners for pushing it a little further.

    to quote an Adam Gadol; “It’s business, not personal”

    By the time many of you read this post, there will probably be a new Seminary opening up too.

  27. classact

    please, if your a shadchan you should know that the first question the shadchan or the boys side asks is “what seminary did she go to?”. so ya, a girl in this day in age has to attend some type of seminary if she wants a ‘normal’ shidduch!!

  28. Sorry I have no sympathy for you at all. Since when do girls have to attend Seminary. My parents came from europe where there was no schools at all, never mind Seminary, it goes without saying that todays seminary girls will never match up to the standards that my parents have & instilled in us.

    My own children are now married & it never ocurred to me to send them to seminary & B”H the money was a non issue. The issue was what are they going to gain or more importent LOOSE by sending them to Israel without any supervision at all, without a doubt the conclusion was not to send them & all i can say they grew up wonderfull here in this lovely USA with my supervison in place & now they are raising thier own children very nicely without ever attending seminary.

    I have no problem with whatever thier tuition is & may be they should raise it to 30K or Maybe 50K & i am sure as long as we dumb Americans are willing to pay why not let them keep raising it & they see us crying to get into thier seminaries & i am sure they laugh from us.

    Sorry Mom i have no sympathy for you & you should laugh all the way to the bank for keeping your hard earned money.

    All of us out there lets wake up & say NO NO NO to all the seminaries in Isreal & maybe it will stop them from holding thier noses so HIGH.

  29. If Rabbonim can come out with Takkonos about how much $$ to spend on the Chasunah, shouldn’t they be able to also put a cap on the spending for seminary? How about a ban on the question of “which seminary did she go to?” when asking about a shidduch? If people are no longer “allowed” to ask the question, then the “name” seminaries will no longer seem important and you will send to the one which best fits your daughter, instead of worrying about what will look good on her “Shidduch resume.” Just ask IF she went to seminary, and which high school. That should give you enough information to see where the girl is coming from.

    This entire seminary scenario is way out of hand, and if the Rabbonim don’t do something about it NOW, it will only get worse. It has already gotten worse now than it was even 3 years ago, when there were just a handful of choices in Israel, and now that there seems to be a dozen new ones every year(none of them offering discounted rates or anything different – they all want only the Aleph students, although connections and Yichus helps too!), there are just more people overextending themselves into debt to afford something. I really don’t see any difference in spending $$ you don’t have to impress people at a fancy Chasunah or with a fancy house/car, or impressing people (read: prospective bochrim, shadchonim and their families)with a “top” seminary. If you can make takkonos for one, you can make takkonos for the other too.

    Then, if we can just get everyone to KEEP the takkonos …

  30. first of all, to rebitzen, you say that not going to seminary has no bearing on shidduchim. B”h, despite the fact that I TURNED DOWN an acceptance to BJJ to stay here and start school, I found an amazing guy, a masmid, from a top yeshiva, I have to tell you, that is NOT the norm. All that matters is one, but there were literally dozens (no joke), of “no’s” solely because “well she didnt go to seminary. do you have a reason? did she not get in? did she have issues, etc, etc, etc”
    But also, I think jent1150 (post #12) makes a very good point. True, to say to someone “consider this a non-acceptance” is a tad rude, and perhaps their secretaries need to attend some sort of finishing school where they learn basic manners. But what he says about cadillac vs oldsmobile is right. You dont want to pay 20 grand? so send your daughter to BY intensive or some seminary in lakewood! No one “judges” based on a girl not going to Israel. Only not going to seminary period. But dont tell them to “lower prices,” or that its unfair. You dont want to pay? no one asked you to. Do people go to Gucci and say, you charge too much for a pair of shoes? You dont want to pay 500? well guess what, some people do, otherwise theyd be out of business. In the meantime, go to payless and get cheaper shoes.

  31. # 5 1NEFESH RIGHT ON!!!!!!!! RIGHT ON!!!!!!!
    Is this what the torah means by KOL KEVODAH BAS MELECH PENIMAH!!!!!
    The gedolim allowed girls to go to school when Sarah Schnerier came up with the idea only as a last resort. Seminery in EY is definitly not what they had in mind.
    # 12 Jent1150 Unfortunately our sick society looks at which seminary a girl goes to for a shiduch. Also pair pressure adds to the reason why parents feel the need to send their daughter to israel.
    The gedolim should make a TAKONOH and ban overseas seminary. The cost of $20,000.00 especially the year before parents have to make a wedding is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!

  32. I have seen many seminary girls prancing and yapping around Eretz Yisroel being a michshol to the yeshiva boys who come here to get away from gashmius! And what about mastery of basic halachos? They also teach girls too much so they expect their husbands to be the next gadol hador, which is a huge diservice to the general population and shalom bayis. Girls are viewing their responsibility to their husband only if he is learning. They are not taught to support their husband for their husband’s sake, for his own being and avodas Hashem, rather than the fact that he learns. I have heard numerous girls express this misconception.

    People should think out of the box and not feel that they must send their daughter to sem. If that becomes the new trend then the seminary phenomenon will change route.

    I do not know a single kollel couple that can not use another 20,000 dollars to use for buying a living quarter or other living expenses. If the parents reserve that money for the girl’s future life, it will make her husband’s ability to learn that much easier (isn’t that anyway what the sems are teaching- to support torah?!)

    The world is full of sheker that by nature does not make sense.

  33. While I do not own or work for a seminary, I am involved girl’s high school chinuch in America.

    A Few points:

    1. It doesn’t cost $20K in TUITION. That number includes airfare, clothing, gifts, etc.. YES, it IS expensive, but for the sake of honesty, it is NOT $20K. Closer to $15K. If you figure that many high schools in the New York area charge $10K-$12K, this is not outrageous. (It doesn’t cost any less to hire multiple ladies to teach, than it does for one Rebbe for the same amount of time.) Plus the cost of meals, “Aim Bayis, etc…

    2. The seminaries don’t only take 90+ students. That’s ridiculous. Even BJJ, long considered the Harvard of seminaries, has girls on many different academic levels. The seminaries have 7 applications for every slot. They have to pick someone. Unfortunately for your daughter, it wasn’t her. May this be her (and your) biggest dissappointment in life.

    3. Your daughter does not have to go to Eretz Yisroel. More and more girls (and parents, also) are opting NOT to go. This is partially due to the economic factor, and partially, because they just don’t feel the need (for their daughter) to go. Brooklyn ahas several seminaries, as does LAkewood, Denver, Detroit, Montreal, etc… that are very attractive options, with solid hashkafos, in a very warm atmosphere.

    4. Seminary, and girls chinuch in general, is NOT about NACH, Chumash or any other subject they are taught. Girls are taught one subject 95% of the time. HASHKOFO. Nach, Chumash, etc.. are used as a base and a springboard to Hashkafic topics.

  34. I have mentioned to the Hanhallah of the seminary that my 4 daughters attended that I should have a plaque put up in the lobby as a major donor-
    Jokes aside- some girls need the year in Eraetz Yisroel- others do not- of course the fees are way excessive- but remember you are buying a luxury and not a necessity- and the laws of supply and demand determine the price- as long as parents feel their fine daughters need the year- the price will continue to escalate-
    I am now saddled with student loans that I am slowly paying off as we could not have written such large checks- Was it worth it? I cannot really say- Would I do it again? Probably!
    The application process is definitely in need of improvement though-

    In addition- just as a fact- one of the major seminaries that has about 150 American girls a year uses the proceeds to maintain its whole camous of Kiruv Rechokim seminaries which is on the same grounds- no names needed-

  35. and last, but not least….

    Almost every Mosod in America and Eretz Yisroel is a privately owned enterprise. Don’t confuse tax-exempt status with a non-profit company. They all turn a profit. If the Rosh Yeshiva was losing money (after fundraising) they too would shut down.

  36. Dear #22

    You forgot the car. You must have some fancy import like a Lexus sitting in the driveway, and of course you must have a driveway, if you plan on having your daughter hitch upon that shining star.
    No Lexus- I am afraid that the $20,000 investment of the year in E.Y. was just wasted.

  37. statiscally proven that girls who dont go to sem do not have a harder time w shidduchim. that is ridiculous to say! dont go, u wont have a harder time.

  38. we didn’t send our daughter to SEM in yisroel..she’s the most perfect child (so are yours of who didnt send) got a perfect “eidem” (so did you out there that didnt send)..and know of ones that did send and “hashem yismerinu”etc..

  39. Could some families get together and form a 2 months summer program in EY for girls not going to a year of seminary??? Please?

  40. What I’m trying to say is that,on the one hand you’re okay to reject the failing student,who may be the exemplary and true “BAS YISROEL”,but your daughter who is an average student should get accepted.Mrs. x your no better than whom you’re railing against!!!!!In fact,according to your own words,you should apply to a seminary that is geared towards average students like your daughter;in as much as the failing student shouldn’t be accepted to your choice semirary.The above is not necessarily the views of the “Mashgiachruchni”,just the interpetation of the views of the letter writer(hypocritical if i may add).Signed:MASHGIACHRUCHNI.

  41. We have takonos from our gedolim for a lot of issues – some real some? How about a “Cap” on their fees and tuitions ? Or are these “gedolim” nogeia bedovor since their daughters or daughtersin-law are running them and making off with our gelt!!!

    If enough parents raise a cry, (ie: Rabi so-and-so, I can’t give you a denation for your kollel/yeshiva because I have to send my daughter to sem inE”Y that costs over $20000 per year), me thinks that our gedolim will see the light and make and enforce takonos regarding tuitions fees

  42. Would it not be an idea if the heads of the various sems got together to make sure that not all the same girls are excepted to all the sems and likewise that same girls are not rejected from all the sems they apply to. Gateshead has the same problem and many tears are shed when the acceptence letters arrive and girls suddenly face rejection for the first time in their lives.The shidduch parsha as it is makes these girls feel so worthless if they are not accepted into sem.

  43. Yeshivos and Seminaries should be run as public institutions, where everyone is entitled to get in (if they’re reasonably intelligent and normal).

    Go out there and visit the following Kehillos: Satmar, Belz, Vien, Klausenberg, Vishnitz, Lubavitch…GET THE PICTURE?

  44. I hear a lot of complaining here but no ideas on how to combat the problem. My daughter was just accepted to the one “Eletist” seminary she applied to. When she came home and found the good news in the mail, I told her she was not going anyways and not to be excited. She cried all day and night. All of her friends Mothers called my wife and I and called us all kinds of names. They said we were depriving our daughter of her most basic educational needs. Her principal called and said “are you crazy”? My daughter said that if she did not go, she would be the only one in her class that did not go. Of course I had no choice but to write the check for the $1,500.00 deposit. Getting back to the original point, if no one stops and says, “enough is enough” this will go on forever. We must band together and stop the madness and give these schools a taste of what real Yeshivas are going through, trying to make payroll. No Shabbos meals? Are they crazy? No, we are.

  45. Perhaps a “failing student” is rthe one who needs seminary the most. These students are the ones who have been pressured through 12 – 14 years in an environment which was mostly torture for them. They need the year away, under supervision, but in a less pressure way to show and reinforce the beauty of TOrah and Yiddishkeit. Let them have a year to reinforce their hashkafos with positivity and love. They will be better off and KLALL YISROEL will benefit the most.

  46. I am reading all of these posts are tears are nearly welling up in my eyes. At the same time, i burning with anger, getting more and more aggravated as i read through all of these shameless and horrible comments. It breaks my heart to see people relentless and unabashedly put down and mock all of the wonderful institutions. I am saddened that people could be so nasty about something that is such a wonderful thing. I just graduated from one of the top institutions in Yerushalayim. The amount that i gained from being in Eretz Yisroel for one year is indescribable. The opportunity of simply being able to visit the kotel whenever i felt that i needed to pray, or the opportunity that i had to visit my amazing teachers whenever i needed tended loving care or just needed to shmooze to them. I gained so much from Eretz Yisroel. Going to Eretz Yisroel is a big zchus. Its an opportunity that no one should give up . When parents are willing to sacrifice 20000 for their teenage daughter to be able to have an opportunity to be in Eretz Yisorel for a year, i think that they should view it that their daughter is amassing and collecting diamonds. She will enriching herself with values that will help her build a bayis neeman b’yisroel. They should think of it as an investment opportunity that will yeild great return. Their daughter will come back wealthy with mitzvos and yiras shamayim that she has obtained from her wonderful mechanchos. Anyone who didnt go to Eretz Yisroel for seminary or never sent a daughter there has no right to bash seminaries! Its a wonderful thing! Im curios on what others have to say, because i spoke to several teachers about this topic, and they all agreed with me wholeheartedly that seminary should almost be mandatory for bnos yisroel of klal yisroel, since they are the future aim b’yisroel of the next generation. I went to Eretz Yisroel and i feel that so should everyone!!

  47. yes—expensive indeed. Money better spent on an American Seminary with a ling trip there. Save the money for her future husband to learn in Kollel!

  48. Wow, so many comments. Yes, it is a very hot topic.

    My daughter is in a good seminary and she was not a 90 student. We are all happy.

  49. I can sympathize. When I was approaching the time to apply to seminary, I looked at the applications with my father and saw his face drain as he saw the tuition costs. Abba is a social worker for our neighborhood’s Jewish family service center, and is a shamash for the shul. He manages to earn a little bit more by giving bar mitzvah lessons to some of the boys whose parents cannot afford certain of the high-price mechanchim (Abba’s boys do just as well, if not better than the others, and Abba frequently returns half of the fee back to the bar mitzvah as a gift on the condition that boy give ma’aser from the gift immediately).

    Abba’s reaction to the tution was simple; he turned to me and said, “You can spend a year in seminary, but I cannot afford the cost. If you can earn and help pay for the year, we can do this.” This was when I was finishing my junior year of high school. I worked that pesach in the Catskills as a “hostess” in a restaurant; only the boys were waiters, but they needed a girl to circulate through the tables to see if everyone was all right. I worked all summer, too, but how much can a high school girl earn? We made the decision, or rather the decision was made for us, that I could not attend seminary.

    I finished high school and spent a year “local,” and attended college at night to begin a degree in optometry. The next year I attended college in the day and attended every women’s shiur I could during the week – bishul b’shabbos, Navi, Chumash, hilchos yom tov. You get the picture.

    It’s five years later. I didn’t marry a hoity-toity bochur from a fancy neighborhood with a nice car and a big house. My husband is an ehrliche man like my Abba – he is a guidance counseler at a modern orthodox boys high school and tutors on the weekends. A year in a local seminary and three years of night classes with the rabbonim who teach women supplemented my high-school education, and also taught me that it is possible to fit limud Torah into any working schedule. And the summer and school year working made me appreciate the opportunity to have a job and to earn.

    Maybe seminaries are the new Cadillac – if you can afford them, great. But some of us drive Chevies, and you know what – they’ll get you where you need to go as well as the fancy car.

  50. in regards to shidduchim, You don’t want a motherinlaw who is so shallow as to reject your daughter solely on the grounds that she x go to sem in E”Y. I think that it is a perfectly normal response to tell ppl that she didnt get into the sem of her choice. Zehu. Many great girls dont.

    Sem is very valuable to some girls and to some it is an unnecc. luxury. I think e/o should be hobnest with themselves and with their daughter when deciding to send her or not. some girls simply wont enjoy the social roller coasters of sem and will hate it, will hate living with ppl… will not enjoy another yr of school etc. in that case they r tot better off staying at home!

  51. I am quoting KSN from post #39 because I don’t want this very important point to get lost in the shuffle.

    “They also teach girls too much so they expect their husbands to be the next gadol hador, which is a huge diservice to the general population and shalom bayis. Girls are viewing their responsibility to their husband only if he is learning. They are not taught to support their husband for their husband’s sake, for his own being and avodas Hashem, rather than the fact that he learns. ”

    In case you didn’t get it, read it again:

    “They also teach girls too much so they expect their husbands to be the next gadol hador, which is a huge diservice to the general population and shalom bayis. Girls are viewing their responsibility to their husband only if he is learning. They are not taught to support their husband for their husband’s sake, for his own being and avodas Hashem, rather than the fact that he learns. ”

    How many girls are devastated after they got married and they feel like they married the biggest “oisvarf” when their husbands are simply being human. (ex. missing davining with a minyan once in a while).
    The seminaries and high schools should gear the girls to marry the actual boys who are out there rather than this imaginary ideal boy of whom there aren’t too many.

  52. #29 (yeapb): I actually know someone rejected by a prominent English sem because her parents could not pay the full, astronomical tuition.

    Her father was actually reprimanded over the phone by an administrator for daring to apply! [Heard this story from the father]

    While a seminary in our society is definitely entitled to charge whatever they want and reject those who can’t foot the bill, A. What you said is not true, and B. a little derech eretz on their part would be appreciated.

  53. To #40
    First of all, thank you for your involvement in Chinuch-it is mostly thankless job, yet it is so important.
    As a mechanech, do you think girls should be spending so much time on Hashkafa? I don’t know if you’re reffering to a specific seminairy, but the girls I’ve spoken to (I dated a lot) usually spoke of Hashkafa in one of two ways:1) a subject like philosophy 2) ideals that they are not holding by (“I want a learning boy!” “Um, health insurance, rent, groceries cost what? You mean I’ll have to wait 3 years to buy a new pair of shoes?!”) Which they make their shidduch dating all about. Sensing if a guy is combatible with her in more important aspects (warm, caring, giving, responsable) should be her number 1 priorty. Too many times girls (guys too, its just that the girls have it brainwashed into them in sem) think compatible means- “he wants to live for 4.6 years in EY, and after another 2.7 years he wants to be a 2nd year maagid shuir and do kiruv on the side. He wants our kids not to wear denim past the age of 18 months- he’s perfect!”. I think that this isn’t how girls are supposed to prepare for marraige.
    (At least they should live in apartments- I don’t mean to sound condensending, but why is it that when a young couple gets marries the guy knows how to do laundry and cook chulent, and the girl knows a little Michtav M’Eliyahu and a perek or two in Zecharya?)

  54. It is only “us” the consumer to blame. We have created this monster, and keep on feeding it. Is there even one Godol who has given a haskomoh to the ciricullum the girls get in sem? They waste much of their time with subjects that have no relevence to their life, and the important things they will need immediately such as dating, relationships, child rearing etc.. is for the nebs, but nit for the brilliant girls who make it into sem. the more we the people fall for it, the more we are to blame. Nobody else.

  55. MDshweks
    The sem in Detroit tried doing something like that. Eight months in Detroit with a 6-8 week program in Israel. For some reason, it didn’t work. Rabbi Yellin from Detroit (yes, he’s a friend of mine) is a wonderful mechanech who understands that the purpose of sem is to give the girls the tools to be frum, productive neshei chayil and mothers. It’s time to take him – and others just like him – very seriously. They are a real – and a viable, option.

  56. “Their daughter will come back wealthy with mitzvos and yiras shamayim that she has obtained from her wonderful mechanchos.”

    I’m hoping that our wonderful, frum families, full of Yiras Shamayim and actively engaged in Mitzvos, are the true role models for our daughters.

    Seminary can be a wonderful experience for those who choose, but let’s maintain our perspective here.

    For most of our N’shei Chayil, I think the memories of their parents’ home, priorities, and hashkafah have the lasting power and influence that shapes their own home.

    Your sentiments do apply, though, to those who have not had the benefit of such an upbringing. No need to generalize that to all Bnos Yisrael, though.

  57. Frustated Parent of Sem daughter: Please do not give in to resentment and rejection. Think of your
    daughter. There is no comparison to a Sem in Israel graduate and any other girl. If you applied for work at a candy factory and were rejected would you no longer buy any of their candy. How about never buying any candy again. You might not like the cook but you may still eat his food. Especially since the cooks don’t do the teaching. They stay out of it in general and even if they are more involved with the students- the other figres your daughter will meet more than make up for the business man/woman that runs the Sem. Apply to all and any Sem. If you can afford it you owe it to your child. You won’t regret it. As far as the callousness,accept it as a kappara. (He/she should be your kapara) If anyone reads this and can contact the Mother/writer please refer this comment to her. Hatzlacha.

  58. #24 – Avraham – said: “Our daughter — who was an “A” student in nearly all her Bais Yaakov high school subjects, was rejected by all three choices of Yerushalim seminaries… her principal made some phone calls and placed her in a little-known Yerushalaim seminary. It turned out to be the best year of her life!”

    What was the name of that high school? The principal and teachers should be highly commended because guess what? it’s a 2-way problem, and some high schools are as much to blame as are the elitist and obscenely expensive sems. Some high school administrators insist that their product attend specific sems, and frown upon other ideas. Pity the girl who isn’t the best fit for such a sem, for whatever reason. The best sem in the world for that particular talmida may be nixed by the high school administration because of the “we don’t want OUR girls going THERE syndrome.” High schools thrive on the nachas they drink up when their girls are accepted by the “preferred” sems; then, of course, they can be ever more selective with the incoming crop of starry-eyed 8th graders who stream into their high school open houses on cue.

    I wish someone would start a blog or site where parents can post their real-life experiences – good and bad – with yeshivas. If nobody else does, perhaps I shall.

    We have several boys who all spent at least 2 years in yeshivos in E”Y. Without hesitation or reservation, it was the best thing in the world for all of them… and I can’t speak highly enough about the yeshivos they attended; all top notch and worth every penny. B”H our boys are grown and out of the house [2 are married; one married a girl who didn’t go to seminary in E”Y ] We have younger girls, and we’re on the cusp of the sem scene. We just can’t wait. It’s a tough hang. Indeed. Please daven for us, and we’ll do likewise for you!


  59. Seminaries in out of town places are a great idea. Maybe some of the girls will actually settlein these places (Cleveland, Detroit, etc.) and we will not be so New York- Lakewood centric.

  60. #46
    There are summer programs for girls in eretz yisroel, such as Summer Seminary Experience and Yavne Tours, which include shiurim and tiyulim and are geared for girls who most probably wont go to eretz yisroel for sem. (actually Summer Seminary Experience is a TYW sponsor, why not check out the ad?)

  61. #52 hit it on the nose. i am in the parsha now as my daughter got accepted to her first choice. they gave us ten days to come up with a good amount of money. we live “out of town” and there are no options here. every girl goes and if your daughter doesn’t it is a shaila.should the mosdos that educate my younger children and try to keep the mechanchim paid on time give a break so a private enterprise can get 20k from us.i think not. there has to be a better way.

  62. AGREE to MDshweks (#65). Our Rabonim should encourage and promote US semineries, (Yavneh, etc.)- If need be, let the big US mechanchim open up more semineries in the US. with a few weeks program in Israel.

  63. Yeah for comments #40 and 55. Mostly everyone here has been bashing seminaries, but I believe going to sem in E”Y can be a wonderful, life-enhancing experience. I myself had a great, uplifting year, and I wanted my daughter to experience the holiness of the people and the land. I hate to say this, but a shallow girl in America will be a shallow girl in sem in E”Y. If she is incapable of deeper thinking, she will miss out on the powerful lessons taught, and think the only thing that is important is what she is wearing and when she can go to get pizza. Someone who conducted herself loudly and without regard to consideration for others in 12th grade will do the same on Rehov Meah Shearim (yapping and prancing). However, those girls with better middos and deeper regard for Jewish values will reap the most from the year away. I personally feel that learning to make one’s own Shabbos arrangements (within limits of course, not every week) cultivates maturity and appreciation for the home in which she was raised. My daughter told me that for the first time she understood what older singles (who live away from parents) and baalei teshuva go through every week and how hard it it. This is even though our home was always filled with these single friends, yet she lacked that level of appreciation and sensitivity. In my opinion that is a good experience, tho it was difficult at the time. A good girl looking to grow will also grow from difficuty (such as the lower standard of gashmius there–hard to get used to!). I don’t see why people want to shield their children from maturing experiences, esp. when they are 19 and about to be married themselves. I myself did not want my daughter to be a “child bride.” I wanted her to be an “adult bride” at a young age.

    As for the price, I was told the $100 application fee is to subsidize the rabbi’s or rebitizen’s flying in to do the interviews, and flying all over the US to all cities, and to cover any hotel or food expenses while on the road. Anyone think of that? I really don’t think these menahalim or rebitzens are rolling in the dough. If you were to visit their homes you would probably see a lot more modesty that we live in. Remember, a sem needs to pay to run a building, make repairs, buy supplies (like toilet paper etc) hire janitors, buy and prepare daily food, pay mechanchim, and pay for all the tiyulim. Why are we so willing to pay this for our boys in yeshiva, yet when our girls want one year only of after high school learning, suddenly it is outrageous?

    I think I have said enough.

  64. 64- R’ Elya Svei “closed” down a sem run by his niece in Har nof about ten years ago that taught the girls vocational skills like sheitel maching and bookeeping, and specifically told his niece that the girls need the torah study to create a bayis al shem torah…..

  65. This maddness must be stopped. When my daughter was in Grade 12, her Mechanechet met with all the mothers and told them that she does not want to hear the words ‘Israeli Seminary” discussed in her school. She said that it is totally ludicrous the pressure that is now put onthe parents who have large families and who AY”H will soon be looking to marry off a daughter. Instead of being able to put aside money for the chasanas the parents have to go into debt for something that is not necessary, it is only put on the girls via peer and community pressure. She said that there are enough good seminaries in America that the girls can get a wonderful seminary experience and still have a connection to their home, which is very important right before she oges onto the market. It is not only the $20,000 for the seminary itself, there are plane tickets, cell phones, trips, hostess gifts every week as the girls ususally need to find a place to stay every Shabbos. Ludicrous as you never know who they will be going to and what kind of hashpooh they will be having on them. Also, while they are in Israel, they have no income so the parents must provide them with every coke and every tube of toothpaste.

    Besides the cost, I really don’t see it making such a big difference at the end. A good girl is still a good girl. When I asked my daughter, whose friends B”H are getting engaged on a daily basis, does she see her friends who went to seminary in Israel getting engaged any faster and she said no, actually her friends in America are going quicker. Perhaps it is because their parents were able to save for their chasenas as apposed to throwing it away on a year in Israel.

    If the parents want this to end they must take a collective stand and basically say that they have had enough and they can not take anymore and only if everyone acts in unison can something be done with this madness

  66. InShidduchim- of course the girls need it but at what price and then you come home and demand a $50k wedding and at least five years support etc etc.
    say it I AM A SPOILED BRAT and I am willing to take my Fathers blood for my own “experience”

  67. Never understood the concept of “no shabbos meals”. With the amount of money they’re charging, they could afford to feed the girls every meal from Cafe Rimon or whatever restaraunt you like. It’s insane.

    P.S. For all you guys thinking; “Eat on Ben Yehuda street – what a bum”, I meant, have it delivered.

  68. Seminary has become a mishugaas. Simple. A BIG MISHUGAAS.

    In my days if you wanted to be a teacher you went to seminary. Half day, was fine. Then work. Make money. Save money. Have money for husband to stay a little in kollel, before he goes into the working world.

    Today, it is out of hand. Totally. To charge hundreds of girs $100 application fees and know that a seminary will only accept kach v’kach, is pure genaivah. Pure gezeilah. Seminaries: did you ever hear of the work genaivah? Well you are oiver on this aveirah if you KNOW you will only accept 100 girls, but allow thousands o apply.
    Nice way for you to make income. Maybe I should open a seminary too? But I don’t want to be a ganef. My mother (never went to Seminary) said it’s in the aseres hadibros! Lo Signov.

    My friend has an uncle who owns a Seminary. He makes so much money, and laughs all the way to the bank at the silly Americans supporting him. Not only that, but it is such a good business that he encouraged his son to open another one. And now, they are both laughing all the way to the bank!

    My friends ainikle was interviewed for Seminary by a “Mechaneches” owner of Seminary in E.Y. She came bedeked with the thickest pure gold and diamond necklace and bracelet to match. (Yes, it WAS real.) The ainikle nearly “breched”. Is this who she is supposed to take lessons from? From the owner who is able to buy all this jewelry, because the STUPID Americans are supporting her?. The end result: She was accepted to the Seminary, but did not go there, because she was turned off, by the latest style and the jewelry this Mehaneches wore!

    And who is suffering. We, the middle class, whose husbands work three jobs, mothers work with 10-11-12 kids, only to make ends meet. When will this SHTUS stop?? Only if WE stop it!

    Next: If the parents of a bochur or the bochur himself rejects a good girl, because she did not go to Seminary, WHO NEED HIM? Let this family go to a doctor to get a head MRI. Is this what we have come to? Is Seminary going to make your marriage work?! Tell me, mothers, and boys, when was the last time you saw your daughter in law who did go to BJJ, etc, or the likes of them, diaper a baby and recite a rashi by heart, or a radak. How many of you have witnessed that your daugther-in-law doesn’t know bosor vecholov as she should, because she was busy with the Rambams. Poor Rambam, he’d be moichel all this knowledge these girls have for a good kosher kitchen!

    And who says the girl has to know so much?. Let her know less, and respect her husband instead. Maybe, we’d have less divorces that way.

    What this world has come to is a pure VENAHAPOCH? You know why? Because WE let it happen. To spend so much money on Seminary because “the girl should have a Seminary experience” is ludicrous. Take the 20K, add it to the $15,000 that the girl can earn by working and NOT going to Seminary, and you now have $35K. At least there is something towards an extra year in kollel or maybe a house! Yes, I know, it’s a drop in the bucket, but every drop helps. The mortgage can be a little lower, making it a little easier on the young couple.

    Now, how about the shnorring food that these kids have to do in E.Y. They go to people houses who barely have food for themselves to eat, and eat the drop of chicken. Seminaries: You charge a hoin rav, give them food. Yes, make them stay IN on Shabbos, don’t let them shnorr from the poor Israelis who hardly have what to eat themselves!.

    And then, just let them stay home. Let them be girls who go to work. They will have saved one years earnings, you will have saved tuition, they will not have eaten pizza, falafel, junk all day, and you will not have to spend money on taking off the 20+ pounds they gained there.

    And ONLY allow your children who are interested in becoming teachers to attend Seminary. And the best one of all is Inensive, right in Boro Park; or any other local American Seminary if you must go. Let the others go to work. Only you mothers can stop this insanity.

    Trust me, shidduchim come from the Aibishter. If you think for ONE minute, I repeat ONE MINUTE that it makes one bit of a difference where she went to Seminary and if she went altogether you are choser emunah. Better spend your time learning a little sha’ar habitachon. You don’t need a Seminary education to learn Sh’Ar Habitocon. Trust me. Anyone who can daven and understand what they are davening can understand Sha’ar Habitochen.

    To the Mother who wrote the letter, I applaud you for being brave and writing this letter.

    May the Aibishter help us all get brains where we need them, and use them for the right things.

    As an elter-bube, beleive me, I know. She’al avicha veyagedicha, ZIKAYNECHA veyomru loch!

  69. #55 how Naive can you be & you must be brainwashed & yes they did a great job on brainwashing you.

    Just look around & you will find some of the finest young ladies raising wonderful families without having been in seminary in Isral.

    Maybe you feel great when it comes to shiduchim & you think you are getting a better catch & my advice be ware of what they tell you, as all Shadchunim are like salesman of used cars.
    they will say anthing just to make a Buck.

  70. i am a girl who rejected from sem last year i live in england and i tottally dis agree with yeapb girls hear in england do go to isreali sems im sorry if you have never heard of it but its very common i myself is going to an isreli sem this year with alot my friends seeing as i got rejecded last year from an enlish sem just because you might not think its normal it doesnt mean its un heard of it may be a littke less common then going to an english sem and an english and isreli sems both cost aroubd the same.

  71. Of course I had no choice but to write the check for the $1,500.00 deposit.********Where is the back bone, or was it all a game depending on what seminary she got into?

  72. As a semin. graduate, I would just like to point out that Seminary principals tend to be very scholastically inclined themselves and they value the hardworking and diligent student, thus the reason for their pickiness. They also want to insure that the girls they pick will not slack off in their work over the course of their sem. year. Not to generalize bec of course many girls study hard and dont do well, ut a lot of students with erratic marks, will slack off later in the year. So you do have to understand where they are coming from.With that said, the way the princ. blow marks out of proportion is definitely crazy, but at least we know what to expect from 9th grade onwards. Girls who have the capabilities should study if they want to get into the seminaries of their choice. i’m obv. not talking about girls who study very hard and just cant do well. Of course, if a girl like that is an all around girl with good midos and hashkafos and a good personality then certainly the sems should look past her marks. No doubt that the system is corrupt but really one should know what to expect and be prepared. With good study skills and preparation the average student can excel in her studies.

  73. I have not left a comment on one of these things in years but unfortunatly I feel that most people have no clue what is going on. First of all seminarys do not cost 20,000 plus spending. The most expensive seminary is 15,000 and all the rest are less. I paid 14,000 for sem + 200/month spending money. My parents did not pay for the whole thing. I helped. Both I and my parents found it to be very well spent money. I didn’t go to the typical BY seminary so I actually learned a lot and grew a lot. Contrary to popular belief I was not brainwashed or “flipped out” but I did gain a tremendous amount. I would never give up my years in seminary. Most people who are writing these coments have no clue what is going on. I don’t know if the seminaries are all about making money but I know that a lot of high schools in America charge more than 14,000 (what I paid for sem) and they don’t get meals, beautiful dorms, tiyulim, shabbatonim, world-renowned teachers, etc.)!

  74. the most important factor for a girl or boy in the time he spends in eretz yisrael, is the connection and warmth he/she receives from their rebbe or mechaneches. now, if only they would see some of this money!! it doesn’t seem to trickle down to them for some odd reason.

  75. anybody want to go into shutfus? open up a semniary have all the rosh hayeshivos supporting it charge a 200 dollar application fee and then close down (and pocket the money)


  77. I agree with her unfortuanatly it has become a problem in our generation, try and get a four year old into a girls school with out a fight.Automattically the answer is no.This is our schools ,which our mechanchim should be ashamed.

  78. To all the devoted parents with the future Imahos of Klal Yisroel continue to shep nachas from your girls and all your children. As a parent of a 12th grader I can relate to what our writer is saying. For all those that say shiduchim are based upon whether one goes to Israel or not, let us all remember that any Israel seminary does not make shiduchim, Hashem does. Secondly, seminary is a time for our daughters to grow and develop the hashkafos they will take with them. Where does it say that E’Y is the only place this can be done? If we were truly worried about our daughters growth, then the seminaries would not put the pressure upon the girls and the parents that they are. So as a parent with a wonderful Bas Yisroel (as they all are) what am I to do? I do not condone the exorbitant prices charged by the seminaries which are charging ever higher fees because we, the consumer are readilly willing. I am happy to say that there are other options, my own daughter is going to YAvneh. We tend to forget that YAvneh has been around way before E’Y seminaries became in vogue. I am not worried abou shiduchhim or anything else becasue it is not in my hands and never was. LEt us go back to the simple basics, HAshem runs the world, not us. Hatzloche to all.

  79. #40 (smr)
    If you’re into chinuch…
    1- Try some math:$16.5K for tuition, 1.2K airfare, another 1.2K airfare for each visiting parent, parent taking out the whole class, then there’s meals, the ‘manadatory’ Thurs night out, cell phones, gifts, etc. And seeing the girls prancing around Yerushalayim armed with Abba’s credit card, I really think $20K is underestimated.
    2- Do you really think Hashkofa is THE subject? Come spend a few weeks here watching the goings-on, the Thurs nights out; one table of boys, next table girls. Hashkofa? Chinuch?
    3- I can understand sending a boy to EY to learn. He has a Chiuv D’Araiso to do so & of course Ein Torah K’Torahs EY, does a girl have that too? What heter is there to send a Bas Yisroel out of her father’s rishus? 6,000 miles away? Does a dorm counsler and 11:PM curfew for a hundred girls compare at all to a father’s hashgacha and love for his 2-3 teenage daughters? I remember learning about the hashkofa of Kvodah Bas Melech Pnima. They must be teaching some new fangled hashkofa nowadays.

    I once had to go out with a Rav to town at 2:30AM for a ‘vichticha inyan’, when the Rav suddenly asked me to stop the car. He got out and asked a group of girls/boys what they’re doing out at that time of night. “Aren’t your parents worried about you?”, he asked them. The reply: “They’re SIX THOUSAND MILES AWAY…” The Rav broke down in tears in front of them. Hashkofa.

  80. I didn’t read all the comments so maybe I am saying something that someone already said. First of all, seminary has become a trend, and everyone thinks they have to do what everyone else is doing. Also going to the “best” seminary does not guarantee you a good job or any job at all, so what is all that education for? A young man I know was so proud that his kalla went to BJJ, because it is considered a top seminary. So what? She is a very fine girl, but, she didn’t get a good job because of it (she didn’t get a job at all) and she’d be a fine girl even if she had gone to a different seminary or none at all. What do these bochurim know about seminaries any way? Do they compare seminaries with their cronies while they are dating? I know many good girls who went to lesser known seminaries and girls who didn’t go to seminary at all and they know how to cook and bake and keep house and have good jobs and good middos and haskofos etc. I think this whole seminary trend has gotten out of hand. Girls used to go to seminary to become teachers and not everyone can be a teacher. Now girls go for other education as well and to get college credits, but, it’s still not for everyone. Maybe some girls aren’t ready to go to work straight out of high school and they need a place to go while they mature, but, it doesn’t have to be in Eretz Yisroel or a full day seminary either. I went to a local half day sem. and worked in the afternoon when I finished high school. That way a girl can at least earn some money while continuing her education. The young of today think everything is coming to them and their parents owe it to them.That’s not the way it used to be and needn’t be so now either.

  81. To #87 I don,t know when you wen t to seminary, but I just received two acceptance letters for my daughter to E’Y seminaries the tuition was 15,ooo. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT

  82. 1. Both my Lakewood learning brothers married girls who DID NOT go to seminary! My mother asked 2 questions. Does this girl want a serious long-time learner and is she comfortable enough with herself to send her husband off to night seder and not feel so alone and lonely while she’s gone that he will end up staying home with her?

    2. My family is against the policy of sending girls to Eretz Yisroel for seminary precisely because of the fear that both boys and girls will end up not being supervised enough. We reqad # 90 and felt like crying!

    My sisters-in-law in Lakewood are great wives and wonderful mothers.

  83. Sorry, it’s the story about the Rosh Yeshiva from maier #93 that made me feel sad and worried, not the comment from #90 unknown.

  84. Here is a simple thought: There are a good number of families that have both single sons and single daughters in the shidduch parsha (perhaps not at the same time). Well, if the very same parents who complain that the first question asked about the girl is did she go to seminary and where would make sure that when they are looking for a shidduch for their son they don’t ask the same question, would not this go a long way to solve the problem? We sometimes are our own worst enemy!

  85. #63 (krunch) #93 (maier)

    Let me clarify my comments.

    1. Hashkofo is what is TAUGHT primarily in high schools and seminary. Deos every school/semminary teach them well so the lessons get internalized? Unfortunately, no. Does every girl who does get a solid hashkafic education internalize it? Again, unfortunately, no. (But that takes us to other issues in the frum world; namely family issues)

    2. Just because SOME girls (and boys) behave inappropriately, doesn’t mean they all do.

    3. We were discussing TUITION. Tuition is NOT $20K. Do many parents spend an exorbitant amount of additional money? Yes. However, there are just as many girls, if not more, who got to go to E”Y by working during the past 4 summers. And they have parents who can not and do not fly to E”Y to visit. They (the girls) do not come home for Pesach because they can’t afford to. Some even don’t have cell phones and Abba’s credit cards! (Horrors!!!)

    4. There are MANY Rabbonim and Menhalim in USA who think it is a TERRIBLE idea for our 18/19/20 year olds to be away without supervision. Yes, they do behave sometimes in an inappropriate manner. However, again, you are lumping all the American kids together. There are seminaries and seminaries. Yeshivas and Yeshivas. Most girls in seminary are not hanging out on Ben Yehuda, ditto for the majority of boys. But as is usually the situation, the ones doing what they are supposed to do, are not in the spotlight. Only the few who are not. Just because some boy from (fill in a name of a B”M) and some girl from (fill in name of “good” seminary) meet somewhere, and/or behave inapropriately should we shut down the entire Mosod? Obviously (I hope) not!

    5. Seminary in E”Y is a luxury, not a necesity. Do many boys ask about seminaries when it gets to shiduchim? Yes. However, there is no statistical data that shows going to an E”Y seminary increases your chance of getting a shidduch, a good shidduch, or better Sholom Bayis. The Shiddicuh “crisis” is not only relegated to girls who did not go to E”Y, it’s across the “spectrum”.

    5a. Many of the seminaries in the US are pretty new, becasue the trend is sarting to change to staying “stateside”. Partially for economic reasons, partially because of the supervisory reasons.

    To address the orginal letter to the editor, it IS painful to be rejected in life. Not just at that age, at ANY age. It is also hard for a parent who is always there for her children to be in a situation where she can’t help. Take this feeling, and use it a positive in life going forward. I know a girl who did not get accepted, who responded “Better me, than “Plonis bas Ploni” (a classmate whose mother was just diagnosed with Yenem Machalah.) At least I have a support network (mother) who can be there for me.”

    It doesn’t help to lash out at seminaries (or ANY Mosod for that matter) becasue doesn’t help and 2. for the most part they do GREAT work. They can’t be responsible for every girl’s poor chinuch (school and/or home) for the past 4-12 years.

    Last, but not least, a lesson in business:

    The Laws of Supply and Demand.

    1. The seminaries charge the amount they do, because 1. it really does cost that much to run. (Yes, they do make a profit. So what? Are you jealous? Then open one up yourself, and see how “easy” it is.)
    2. Because there are plenty of girls who want to come for each slot that they have available. This is despite the fact that 7(!) new seminaries have opened up in the past 2 years!

    In comparison, the Butei Midrashos in E”Y are hurting, because the trend is for bochurim in many US Yeshivas to wait 2-3 years before going to E”Y. So they offer very discounted tuition rates right now. SOME also lowered the standards of acceptance because of that. (No, let’s not get into a whole conversation about this. It’s not every yeshiva, it’s not every bochur.)

  86. Still no word on if there will be forthcoming a big Kol Koreh from all the leading Rabbonim in the USA not to send any girls this year to any Israeli schools. Why not make it contingent on lowering their tuitions by at least 50%? Let these people know that we are sick and tired of them charging such high tuitions. My daughter is crying in her room just because I am reading the posts out loud to my Wife. The pressures on our Families are hard enough without having additional narrisha expenses. Lets put an end to it now. I already told my daughter that I will be forgoing the deposit and she will be home. Anyone interested in sending their Daughter to Michlala, there is now one additional spot.

  87. I’ve read the above letter and many of the comments. While I can feel the pain of a mother whose daughter is rejected, and I can sympathize, I must say I found many of the comments to be way off.

    It’s over ten years since I received my “pending” letter from a top sem – I wasn’t accepted due to lack of space, etc….it hurts to be rejected! Two weeks later, they called to ask if I was still interested, as a space had opened up. So I ended up going. In this way, I kind of experienced both sides of the coin.

    It’s been a while since then so yes prices have risen, but I have younger siblings and neither I nor they pocketed 20K of my fathers hard-earned money for a year’s vacation in Israel.

    I worked for all four summers of high-school, and saved up for sem. When I applied to sem I asked for a tuition break, and they gave us the break even when I was accepted late. So it wasn’t about money. (BTW my father called the principal of another sem that my sister went to, and they also gave him a break.)

    My father figured out that the tuition at the sem was actually LESS than local seminaries. I paid for some of the tuition myself, as well as the plane ticket to E”Y. I did not eat out much, and tried my hardest to minimize my expenses. By the way, I spoke to my parents every 2-3 weeks! In between, I wrote them lots of letters, which they still have and treasure.

    I don’t think the sem I went to mattered to my husband in the least – only the person that I am and strive to be. I will also mention that my husband B”H learns in Kollel, and I am married for 10+ years. We have never been supported by either parents, but have managed (sometimes with s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g) to live with Hashem’s help on my salary.

    I think chinuch begins at home, and it is up to us parents to teach our children responsibility – and yes this means chipping in for what’s important to them. A 19 year-old can prepare for sem if it’s what she wants, and be accountable for her expenditures.

  88. I find this forum absolutely fascinating. I’m new to this site and I’m learning so much about the spectrum of Klal Yisroel. After reading many of the comments, one can find those that are strong in their emunah, in their cynicism, in their pain, in their growth in ahavas ha’Torah and everything in between.

    Being a graduate of a seminary over 15 years ago, I can not adequately address what is taking place in this time period. The problems seem serious enough for there to be change implemented, and for there to be an acceptable venue for those girls who can not attend for whatever reason–without it causing a dent in their shidduchim prospects.

    One point I want to make to all those who do take the time to read comment # 100 and something—-
    The seminary I went to gave me a very strong value system. I received a beautiful Hashkofas HaTorah—a clear vision of what it will be like to be a wife of a Ben Torah–of what it will mean to be moser nefesh for Torah, and appreciate the growth that comes along with it. I made friendships that are priceless, and maintain a connection with some of my mechanchos to this very day. The teachers were brilliant and caring and gave us the tools to access the unique kochos each of us possess. For this I am forever grateful–for what they strive to give over is a genuine desire to see each of their graduates build homes that will make a positive difference in their own personal lives, their husband’s and children’s lives and productive members in the community’s they live in.
    To the writer of the above letter–I daven that HKB”H guide you in your pursuit of the right place for your daughter, and that wherever she may go, it be a positive experience for all of you.

  89. as a father who has sent 3 daughters to seminary in Israel I consider myself a 3 time loser. After my first daughter I should have realized what kind of sham is being perpetrated on us dumb parents. But no I fell for the trap that seminary in Israel ensures a better shidduch.
    To set the records straight the seminaries themselves only cost around $15,000 but the plane trips,spending money, cell phones, eating out cost an additional $5,000-$6,000.Isn’t it ironic that most seminaries charge the same amount from the application fees, deposit,yearly fee. do you think the seminary heads get together to set the price??????????
    forget the fact that the seminaries are teaching subjects that 95% of the girls will never use again in their lives but now some of the elitist schools are even teaching gemorrah to the girls so that presumably they should have something to discuss with their future husbands. little do these mechanchim know that most girls that come out of decent high schools already know much more than the average yeshiva guy and are just filling their heads with useless information.
    In summary I will not be moichel the seminaries for ripping me off financially, I will not be moichel them for brainwashing my daughters that they can only marry long time learners and it is their zechus to work like slaves so that their husbands can “kvetch the baank” and I will not be moichel the shadchens and mothers of boys whose first and most important question is what seminry my daughter went to.
    It will take just one wealthy person with guts to open a seminary and charge $7500 to teach a lesson to these charlatans who look and act frum but are really krum.
    the truth is when it comes to the boys chinuch we are no better. what exactly is a boy getting for the $12,000 being charged in Lakewood. It is the same trap and once again we fall into it.

  90. Here is a reason NOT to go to seminary: With all the “diamonds” #55 has amassed, her attitude pales in comparison to that of #58, an obviously articulate, mature and a wonderfully inspiring person. Her husband is a very lucky man and both will go far in life, there’s no doubt about that!

  91. I’m just curious, all of you who are saying that it has to change that the boys(or their mothers most like) ask what seminary your daughter was in and then won’t go out with your daughter – do you ask that to shadchanim too, for your boys? does that matter the most to you? because i’m sure there are some people on here who do ask those questions.

  92. I don’t know or care which seminary you are upset with. I do know that one seminary uses the money they make to give a year of education to girls that are interested in becoming Frum,from families that won’t support their new way of life.

  93. R’ Moderator,

    I would like to take a timeout here and ask your readers to NOT HOLD THE CAPS LOCK DOWN WHEN THEY TYPE. When you do that online it means you are SCREAMING at us. There is no reason to scream at us. We can read your comments “loud and clear” without your screaming.

    Thank you.

  94. 1)$20,000 is a rip off. Theres no question about that.
    2)Why are you trying put your daughter who’s not an A student into a school for girls who are A students?
    3)If you think the people running the schools are so terrible, and arent good michanachim/ michanachos, then you should be thrilled not to send your daughter there. Why are you upset?
    4)Most seminaries look into other things besides grades. This is common knowledge. They look into middos,schools,neighborhood, family, money, hashkafa, TZNIUS!, amoungst other things. (Like what they do and where they HAD to go for mid winter vacation.(“This year we only went to Florida”))
    5)There are plenty of great seminaries that will take B and even C students as long as they come from homes that are machshiv torah, and the girls have the right hashkafos including being tsniusdik.
    Most important. When girls are not excepted, maybe it would be a good idea if they would think about WHY they werent excepted. Alot of the time, NOT ALL the time, there is good reason for it.

  95. Requiring parents to send their daughters to seminary in Eretz Yisroel is totally off base! Everyone has to decide what they can handle financially based on their budget. No one has the right to force that on parents!

    Frankly, it makes me think of everyone insisting that Shmiras Ainayim is very important and all children (especially teenage boys) must go to sleep away camp, but then say it’s a luxury and charge a solid $3,000.00 per child. Parents can get a break for tuition and then lose the benefit by paying more for one child in camp for less than 8 weeks than the pay for one boy in a dormitory in Yeshiva for 10 months.

  96. Nice post,Sammy.

    If this ship continues on it’s treacherous course, this seminary problem will eventually go away. Many will close, and enrollment will drop at all of them. Concurrently, many kollels will close, and only a few couples will be able to manage more than a year of kollel life. It may take 2 or 3 generations, but this is a mathematical certainty. Why?

    This system of kollel/seminary that we’ve saddled ourselves with is NOT SELF-PERPETUATING!!
    Allow me to demonstrate: If I aspire to sit in kollel for 10 years, and I have 10 children(As the fine institutions that my wife and I went to encouraged us to do), I’ll have a difficult enough time feeding,clothing, and sheltering them. Unless me or my wife are independently wealthy, I will have dug a financial hole for my family that is way too deep to ever emerge from. Ever.

    Consequently, there’s no way I’d be able to pay for seminary, and since I couldn’t support a son in kollel, he’d either have to marry a wealthy girl, or face the reality that Adam HaRishon’s curse is still alive and well – We must work to earn a living.

    Now, when this happens to more and more kollel-seminary families(when, not if – this WILL happen!)the whole system will crash because it will no longer be financially sustainable.This generation of kollel families will NEVER be able to support the same amount of kollel families in the next generation. Everybody will be maxed-out on credit cards and gemachs; kollel and seminary will be the last thing anyone thinks about; it will be a horrible wake-up call for so many of us, Hashem Yirachem. Is this what Hakadosh Baruch Hu intended?? Do yourselves and your children a favor: Teach them the precious value of Middos,Torah, and Mitzvos – but also teach them the importance and necessity of earning an honest living.

  97. My seminary time in E”Y over 35 years ago was amazing. It filled me with ahavas eretz yisroel, shiurim with some of the most sought after mechanchos and rebbaim, and yedios haeretz. Wrote weekly letters on aerograms and monthly calls for 3 minutes, met so many different types of people in E”Y, who are still close friends of our family. I was the minority of students to attend seminary in the 70’s.

  98. I would like to take the time out to give a big Yasher Koach to Reb Mark Levin for bringing the CAPS DOWN crises to the forefront. THANK YOU REB MARK(!)
    Also a big yasher Koach to all the askanim who are moiser nefesh every night to come here and blog for the tzibur. We know its hard but, dont think your work goes unnonticed! Klal Yisroel needs more people like you!
    Thank you. We can now continue with the program.

  99. zero_tolerance, i agree with everything that you wrote. my husband and i are working very hard to try to make sure that our son will get some kind of degree (before he is married) that will enable him to make a living one day. we are not saying that he has to work the day he gets married, but he has to be ABLE to work within a year or two or three after marriage in case circumstances make it so..(and we don’t mean working at minimum wage stocking shelves in a grocery store). HOWEVER, it is like pulling teeth, because in the yeshivish circles it is practically an aveira to take away time from learning and go to college (even for men only) before “married with kids”..the reason given is “what do you need to do that for now when you are not even married yet? when the time comes that you can’t afford to pay your bills then you can go learn a profession.” now does that make any sense?
    and finally, can we please think very hard of the long term consequences of little babies being dropped off at the day care centers/babysitters at six weeks of age. read what dr. miriam adahan has to say about this and working mothers in general. if anyone agrees with what i wrote (and of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion), please encourage YOUR sons to become self-supporting and plan for parnasa BEFORE they get married. we need more good boys in this category for our good daughters who DO want to have somewhat of a chance to be home and raise their babies.

  100. Mark(#110),

    This topic gets some people(like me) so riled up, that SCREAMING is not uncalled for.

    *********** The Perfect Solution *************

    I have come up with the absolute perfect way to deal with this mess – every seminary would close-up shop overnight, and here it is:

    Lakewood and Mir should ASSUR bochrim from dating seminary girls.That’s right – ASSUR! Any bochur who wanted to date a sem girl would have to leave the Yeshiva – and not be re-admitted. A special, “Shidduch Mashgiach” would be appointed to monitor all prospective shidduchim. No more “best boy in Lakewood” syndrome for sem girls!

    Sounds radical, doesn’t it? Almost as radical as working 3 jobs just so your daughter(who may or may not appreciate it) can feel just as entitled as her friends to get away for a year – all expenses paid!

    Just as radical as taking out a second or third mortgage on your house just to afford this chicanery.

    Just as radical as a family rejecting your daughter for a shidduch solely because she didn’t go to the right place.

    Just as radical as making bright, young girls feel as if their life is over because they didn’t make the cut.

  101. Dear Editor:
    Keep this blog going and going and going. Maybe it will help some parents out there get the hint. Keep your daughters home if you have sholom bayis. She will learn more from your good home than she will from her year in Seminary. Sending a child far away from home used to be reserved for children that “had” to get away from a problematic home. That’s the way it used to be!
    That’s the way it should be today.

    Now: as an afterthought. Did you ever realize that many of the Bjj ‘nickers and their likes, who can’t teach for $15.00 an hour because that is not enought to pay the babysitter with, are today doing something called “babysitting”. They are diapering other peoples babies. You know why? Because babysitting pays more than teaching per hour, and they need the money. The “shud” is, that their hardworking parents had to kill themselves to pay tuition for the elite Seminaries in E.Y. and now they can’t even use their knowledge and skills! Sad.

    Second thought: Can you tell me please why a parent can pay $20K for a girl in seminary for one year, which is a luxury and not a necessity, but that same parent can not come up with decent tuition to pay their son’s yeshiva. Tell me parents, why should the Rebeeim, by not being able to properly get paid, because you don’t have enough money for tuition, have to sponsor your daughters seminary year???

    Tell me, if according to the Seminary their work is so holy, avodas hakodesh, then there should be scholarships for those who can’t afford. Pell grants are not scholarships. They are merely a way for the seminaries to pocket more money.

    In conclusion: The gedolim should make takonos: No seminary. And if a parent insists, then there should be a $5,000 tuition fee and none higher.

    This will be the beginning of the end of the mishugaas.

  102. Wow this one of the best blogs on YWN. I think you should make a seperate thread of the greatest hits of ywn.
    I hope something comes out of this

  103. elterbube: The gedolim make takonos all the time. The problem is people ignore them.period. For example the gedolim said people should not have internet,but (with out mentioning any names , elterbube) people just ignore them. The same is with chasunos, and other things.
    so in conclusion:The begining of the end of all mishugaas will be when yidden listen to the gedolim.

  104. wow! from all these posts i can’t believe not one person commented that the girl from the “top family”, “top seminary (in israel)”, top top top have it hard too!!!Trust me shidduchim isn’t easy for the majority…seminary in israel or not.

  105. As a community we need to learn to be able to say “NO” from time to time. It is hard when all your friends are doing something (Like going to seminary) and you are not but sometimes adults have to say to our kids “OK we have X dollars, and that is just not in the budget”. Yes your son or daughter will probably be upset, but sometimes being an adult means that you can’t have what you want.

    I have 2 teen daughters (15 & 16) and when they get married I plan to say to them I have so many shekels for your wedding. Or you can have a cheaper wedding and keep the difference (say to buy furniture). But I am not going to go into a huge amount of debt so they can have a fancy wedding. And I am not going to support them after they are married, they and their husbands can get a job.

  106. While I sypathies with you, just know that it really is for the best. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hashem has a plan for your daughter you just let Him take care of it.

    My son didn’t get into the cheder that we wanted as it is also very competative and he B’H is in a place that is just perfect for him and our family.

    Much hatzlacha and siyata d’shmaya!

  107. I attended sem in E”Y, and then came back to the States, where I spend another year at an American sem, while also getting my degree. And honestly, I gained more from my second year, at an AMERICAN SEMINARY than I did in THE TOP ISRAELI SEMINARY!

    Why? Many reasons:
    1. We got the message that you can have a Torah’dik home in America too…whereas in Israel, you get the feeling that in order to live a Torah life, it has to be in E”Y…which is not necessarily the best place for everyone
    2. I was boarding by a family, so I had much more supervision, responsiblity, interaction, etc.

    I think someone should perform a survey (any volunteers?) to see how many girls who went to sem in Israel felt that it had a major impact on them- both immediately and five years down the road.

    I was in E”Y seven years ago, and I can say that I barely think about it anymore; it has not impacted my life in any major way, except that it gave me a love for E”Y, which is one reason that I now live here. But I could have just as easily gotten that love over a two-month program as well.

  108. All right, girls from England DO go to sems in Israel BUT the ones who can’t afford it stay right here! In addition, English sems cater for approximately 12th grade and one more year (sometimes two)as school here finishes at 16. As regards not being accepted – most sems will accept girls from their home town within reason – if your frumkeit is shaky then obviously they may not want you. BUT, I know of a few girls who were rejected in one sem and promptly applied to another one and WERE accepted – you mainly need perseverance. As regards the parents who were told off for ‘daring’ to apply – maybe you applied to one of the ‘very good’ sems that it is practically impossible to get into? Maybe you are from overseas and therefore if you want to send your daughter there you really should have the wherewithall to pay (especially as you have to reckon in the air fare)? If this is not the case with any of you then I tender my apologies! But bear in mind that there are seminaries for every section of yiddishkeit here, from the Lubavitch sem to the Old Manchester Sem, new Gateshead Sem, Old Gateshead sem etc….

  109. Living in E”Y and a seminary graduate (10 yrs ago) myself, I have a few comments:
    To the letter writer, I hope that if you do choose to keep trying to get your daughter into a seminary, that she should enjoy it to the fullest and that you should be happy with the results. I think we all agree that the rejection letter is worded improperly. In terms of the cost, first of all the mechanchim at most sems are truly devoted, exceptional people who are living beneath American standards and stretching their budget, if they are living solely on a teaching salary. My husband is a CPA here and he knows firsthand the salaries of many sem teachers— yes, it can be better that some Israeli jobs, he says, if the teacher is hired by several schools, working long grueling hours (and then hosting your daughters for Shabboses, which really does add up expenses!). Don’t kid yourselves- they are really not rolling in it, at all.
    There are so many problematic issues with the seminary year (your daughter being far away, expenses, unfair rejections) that I hope people will start to think according to their own situation. Personally, I am SO relieved that I won’t be sending my daughters more than a drive away from home when that time comes… I believe that is the better way but am fortunate that their seminary experience (as Israelis) will be in Israel, at a fraction of the cost, near home. Best of both worlds.

  110. #124 – Forget about Seminary! It won’t make a diffrence! Ask your older friends, with your attitude regarding supporting your future sons in law, you’re going to find it very difficult with Shidduchim. In EY it is the norm to support (to some extent) newly married couples for at least a few years.
    Hatzlacha anyway!

  111. The blame for the seminary crisis is very easy to blame on the seminaries. In truth the responsibility falls a bit closer to home.
    The High Schools where we send our children preach from day one of 9th grade how important it is to study hard and do well as to insure a place in a reputable seminary.
    The seminary ax is held over their heads for almost four years. Additionally, the seminary concept is lauded and praised as the only way to go. Is it no small wonder that by the time these girls reach grade 12 that the goal of going to a “good” seminary has taken on such a large role in their lives.

    Then there are the letters of reference written by H.S. teachers. There have been instances when this reference writer praises a less then worthy girl because she is a family friend. Is their oversight or supervision that governs this process?

    Then there is the question of ehrlichkeit in regard to application fees. Say a seminary has a student body of 150 girls. When applying you figure that you have a decent chance of getting in as there are so many open slots. You therefore plunk down your 100.00 and send in your application. The truth is that very many applicants are “pre approved” based on family, social and financial connections. The true number of open slots is in fact 30 -40 % less then advertised. If this information was properly disseminated there is a good possibility that many applicants would send their fee elsewhere. Meanwhile the seminary’s pocket this less then ehrlicha money.

    Alas, with all my complaining I have sent my girls to seminary. My husband calls it a post HS vacation for girls and I fear that in many ways he is very close to the truth. Pressure from my girls and their HS prevailed and I succumbed. Are the better off for having gone? Well, they have friendships which they developed while in seminary and have lived a year by themselves which tends to mature a person. Is that worth putting their lives on hold for a year and a cost in excess of 15,000 per girl (excluding visits, coming home and expenses) I am not really sure.

  112. Loshon hora. Ridiculous, uncalled for lynching. Ignorant, cheap, defensive, simplistic. I thought YW could be counted on; I see that sechel has gone out the window.
    Where to start?
    If your daughter is a healthy, mature, real, responsible, thinking,idealistic young woman, feel free not to send her. If you’re not interested in her becoming one, or have given up on that hope, let her stay home. But we live here in E”Y. Your daughters are, by and large, spoiled children with a lot of growing up to do. Many seem like this won’t be the first 20 grand “wasted” on them. Many come and waste their time “partying” with friends and relative, often to the delight and encouragement of those same parents who lament their wasted money which could have been put to better use. The seminaries’ ever increasing budget is due, in large part, to the ever increasing standards of American living. The hotels, fancy busses, extravagant trips are a product of the sems’ need to compete to stay open.
    How about parents joining together with a commitment to sems that less than 5 star accomodations are okay, that they can serve a normal Israeli institutional diet and not gourmet. That would drastically reduce their costs. BTW, sem’s aren’t getting rich off tuition, and I would be happy to discuss a typical sem budget with anyone who would really like to know ([email protected]). For example, the dollar has plummetted recently, though food costs have been skyrocketing here. The fact that girls “need” unlimited cellphone time, frequent restaurant dinners, and the ever present ice coffee are more symptomatic of their upbringing than the fault of the sems.
    The fact that the “top” sems take the best students is in no way a judgement on those girls. Space is limited; how should they choose? All the girls who apply are nice, good girls. The fact that the girls, and their society, has put undue pressure on them to “be the best”, or at least have the best name, is more a reflection on our superficial society than on the sems. The fact that everyone needs to go because of peer pressure is likewise a statement on our greater “keep up with the Schwartes” menatlity, eg chassunahs, bar mitvahs etc. (see other mailbag issues). This 20 grand is but one in a long string of extravagances that have become necessary. In short, raise good children by showing a good example. Have the guts to tell your daughter that she doesn’t need to be like everyone else. If you decide to send her, be realistic and choose the place best fitted to her, considering the school’s reputation as secondary. Tell her to keep it simple, and decide in advance on limitations of extra costs. If she and group of friends can decide together, even better. Encourage the girls not to make extra demands of the sems, and encourage the sems that even if they cut the gashmiyus – and pass on the savings, which they will- girls will still come. And don’t be bitter about the success of the “best” – Hashem has it all planned out, and He decides. Wishing all of klal yisroel bisuros tovos,

  113. Hashem yerachem, where do I begin.

    Not everyone who sends a child to E”Y visits, let alone treat the olam. There are some girls who are just so grateful to be there, who realize the tremendous lengths their parents went to to actualize this, who live modestly, who take buses, who watch their friends live the high life… and they grow.

    About the elter bubbes who couldn’t read yet(and we don’t have to go that far back, think of the late middle aged and older women who didn’t go to BY now yet) still have more yiras shomayim then the girls now. I know of men who didn’t have yeshiva options, learned mishnayos (from the Soncino) yet had more yiras shamayim, and were greater men, producing exceptional doros, then many, nah most of the boys now. Go read my favorite book, Zalman’s Menorah, if you want to go back to a true retro lifestyle of yiras shamayim.

    We are raising exceptional girls. I’ll cap that – EXCEPTIONAL. (This thread brings out the capitals in all of us.) They are working so hard, self motivated to an amazing degree, getting degrees online, working several jobs, etc. all after seminary and into marriage. I want to read something about how to raise young men WORTHY of these amazing girls.

    This is going to give me away, I’ve said this to so many people. I want sons and sons in law who will learn for life! Doesn’t matter if they are working or learning full time. This is the measure of the man.

  114. Most important. When girls are not excepted, maybe it would be a good idea if they would think about WHY they werent excepted. Alot of the time, NOT ALL the time, there is good reason for it
    Is this wasn’t so funny, it would be hilarious. It may be that your lack of experience is showing through.
    BTW Gedolim are satisfied to leave some decisions in the hands of parents, (speak to your personal rav) and kolkriahs usually cause more indecision than direction. (this is not an anti daas torah statement so close the caps).

  115. To all those who do not think Seminary costs $20,000 why dont you ask those lucky people who were accepted to the “upper tier” schools this week. You are right it is not $20,000 it is $18,000 before airfare.
    Then factor in that Mommy is sending her baby away for the year. Lets do the math
    Tuition= 18,000
    Airfare= 2,500
    Mommy going crazy buying everything new= 3,500
    Tatty’s cc= 5,000
    like an unbelievable shana full of Ruchnius in Eretz Yisroel? Priceless

    BTW to Post #106, after reading your post I think you are my father in-law and I wanted to tell you to please go to sleep because you have to wake up early in the morning to go to work so you can support me, and my two brother in-laws who are learning very seriously in Kollel!

  116. everyone can write and scream if they wish, but the seminaries will not change their price for tuition! if people are paying it, why on earth should they make it any cheaper?!? for instance a bottle of milk 5 years ago cost almost a whole dollar less than what it cost today! and one may ask how they have the chuzpah of doing such a thing-well why shouln’t they-everyone still buys it!

    another point does every parent know what their daughter is doing in Israel? the best B.Y. girls really fall very low there, and it’s really not their fault! where there is so much kedusha, there is even more tumah!! so its not just on the gashmius level there is an issue, its also on the ruchniyus level and its a major problem!!

  117. What all these comments boil down to is that seminary is not so necessary and not for everyone and doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make or break a girl’s prospects.I am neither pro nor con seminary but, it shouldn’t be such an important issue in a girl’s life, which sem. she went to or if she didn’t go to any sem. I think girls want to get away from home for a year to go touring and have a good time at their parents’ expense. Girls should know the value of a dollar and realize how hard it is for their parents (some of them , or most of them) to pay for all their children’s expenses and it would be better if they would help pay their tuition by working summers and after school hours and saving up money. If they would be responsible for some of their own expenses they would realize the value of a dollar and appreciate what their parents do for them.

  118. shtick emes
    I can’t think of a name that has less to do with your uncalled for tirade.
    That much intensity must mean you have some form of financial connection with a seminary….

    These are people who feel real pain when their daughters are not accepted ot they can not afford to send them… Show some sympathy please

  119. Shtick emes….
    see #137…. I second the motion…
    “The seminaries’ ever increasing budget is due, in large part, to the ever increasing standards of American living”
    You say you live here in E”Y.. have you ever stepped foot into these seminaries?
    I haven’t but I am here for many years, and we have hosted many girls. (the seminaries obviously don’t charge enough to provide shabbos meals, instead the kollel yungeleit have this expense) Every girl that comes thanks us for the experience of a real american bed and for the daled amos of space that they can’t seem to find in their seminary. They also pay their teachers bupkes (see comment 128).the only reason they charge so much is b/c they can get it, and like so many people commented, it’s a business, and a very good one at that.

  120. 122 haimie is really right. Parents should have enough brains and backbone to make the right decision for their daughters. Make that decision and stick to it come hell or high water. Be proud of your decision to leave your daughter home. Tell people you are not worried about shiduchim. If enough people do this, THAT will become the NEW trend!
    I have no rachmonos on shtick emes at all. Must be an owner of a Seminary. Raked enough in already.
    As far as the young bloggers saying they had a great year and it was a great experienc, get back to me in 19 years, when you have 12 kids, and are struggling to make ends meet. Until then, you have no right to talk. YOU probably did not pay the bill.
    Remember when the intifada was really bad. My friend said then: “Meshugeneh mamas shicken zayere techter. “vu loift men? vos loift men? vos is shlecht mit blaiben in der heim? De Mentchen zenen nisht geven in a milchomah. Zay vaisen nisht vos a milchomah IZ. Un alleh loifen. Afiluh bochrim darfen nisht gain. Ainer macht noch dem tvaiten.

    May The One Above help us all!

  121. Most of the comments here are incredibly uninformed, as are the numbers people are throwing around.

    1) 18K for tuition? I know of seminaries that charge significantly less, and will give partial scholarships wherever they can. Do your homework instead of whining.

    Of course, you might not want to send your “precious” maidele to that seminary, b/c it’s not one of the “top-tier” seminaries, as ranked by the local kaffeeklatch. But that’s your problem, so don’t whine about it.

    2) The seminary owners I know – and there are several – are not “laughing all the way to the bank”; “raking it in” etc. The fantasies you people entertain regarding how little it costs to run a sem, and how much money one earns are just that – fantasies. These people are making an average living in a difficult, competitive business. Last I checked, that was not a crime.

    3) You may feel seminary has no value, but many others disagree, and count seminary as one of the wonderful experiences of their lives. Of course, a lot of what you feel might stem from the difficulty of coming up with the money. In other words, you’re not exactly unbiased.

    4) If you don’t want to send your daughter to sem, don’t. No one is twisting your arm. You (I’m talking Krunch here) need to work on anger management. Your disappointment shouldn’t be used as an excuse to attack a whole group of people who have done you no harm. Think of the message you’re sending to your “precious” daughter.

  122. I am married for 20 years B”H. During that time, I never discussed with my wife or any of our friends about what Seminary they went to and if they even went to one. It is simply irrelevant to our lives and it is apparrently irrelevant to just about everyone I know. Frankly, I see absolutely no difference between a girl who goes to Seminary or does not. Middos are what counts to me. I could care less about how much NACH a girl knows by heart. It’s much ado about nothin’. Save your money for important things.

  123. I have spent a few minutes reading the various comments on the subject.

    There is one recurring theme. No one has a really good reason why ‘every girl needs’ to go to a Seminary in Israel.

    There is no doubt spending a year in Israel completely independent can be a growth opportunity. The choice in Seminary can be completely irrelevant.

    There is no doubt spending a year immersed in learning can improve an individual, but why can’t that happen at home?
    These comments apply to the boys as much as the girls.

    Try asking a boy or girl why they are going to learn in Israel, or even one who has already returned. See if any of them have an answer other than “It’s a great experience”.

    The main subject I would like some feedabck on was briefly mentioned in a previous comment.
    We are all aware of the exorbitant cost of spending a year learning in Israel. Amounts can easily reach up to $20,000 after all expenses. Additionally, there are very limited if any tuition breaks in the majority of Seminaries.

    My big question is regarding a sample family with 6 children ready to send one off to Seminary in Israel.
    With a modest household income requiring tuition discounts, the family pays a total of $10,000 annually to the local Yeshivas where 5 of the 6 children attend. However when it comes to forking over $15,000 or more to a Seminary, the parents somehow find a way to pay.

    This is sick on so many levels.
    1) The parents have been completely suckered and taken in by the ‘system’ which demands that their child attend a Seminary in Israel or risk being ostracized in the Shidduch market.
    2) They are now most likely in a financial crisis and the rest of the family is suffering because of it.
    3) Most importantly, this is a major factor why most yeshivas are struggling financially. In this example, over 60% of the family’s entire tuition budget is being spent on one child. People have a right to spend their money how they see fit, but not at the expense of the rest of the community. This person has no right to take huge tuition discounts at the local schools only to go ahead and spend all that money on one child in Seminary. I don’t think that if a person gets a tuition discount the school would have a right to dictate how they can spend their money; but this is another education expense which has a direct impact on the tuition amounts of the other 5 children.

    Unfortunately, I echo a very popular sentiment. Until something very drastic takes place, nothing will change.

    PS- I hope Nesanel D. will continue to roam the palazzo.

  124. As someone who was “in the seminary parsha” over ten years ago, I made the choice not to attend seminary, I did not even apply to a single seminary and I don’t regret my choice. My father asked me why I made this choice and I told him that honestly I don’t see a reason to spend 10K (I think that was tuition back then) for a year in Israel I would rather start collage so I would graduate sooner.
    To all those mothers so concerned about Shidduchim, of my good friends (six in total) two of us didn’t go to seminary and we were the first to get married and the only one that married a boy who is still learning (and really learning) is my friend who didn’t go to seminary.

  125. the seminaries obviously don’t charge enough to provide shabbos meals, instead the kollel yungeleit have this expense

    Excuse me, but I know of at least two seminaries that provide Shabbos meals. Again, do your homework before shooting off your mouth. (or your keyboard in this case)

  126. In summary I will not be moichel the seminaries for ripping me off financially, I will not be moichel them for brainwashing my daughters that they can only marry long time learners and it is their zechus to work like slaves so that their husbands can “kvetch the baank” and I will not be moichel the shadchens and mothers of boys whose first and most important question is what seminry my daughter went to.

    You sound like a five-year-old. No one needs your mechilah for selling you a product that you later decided you don’t really need. Besides, if it was such a rip-off the first time, why’d you jump twice more?

    It will take just one wealthy person with guts to open a seminary and charge $7500 to teach a lesson to these charlatans who look and act frum but are really krum.

    Guess what? I know of a wealthy fellow who had this very idea. He ran the numbers, and found that he couldn’t do much better than current tuition.

  127. 95. sammeygol, I am appalled at your idea that a girl’s worth is how she can write English! Since when does that make a bas yisroel????????? that is no reason for a sem to reject a girl. The fact that academics and not the person makes the impression is a reflection of the goyish society and idolatry of academics.

  128. 146, kishke- The majority of sems do not offer shabbos meals. I heard first hand from a girl who wanted to shake lulav and esrog on succos as she always did at home. The sem did not provide this. She had to stand on the street and wait for a minyan to let out (wow, that’s promoting tzniuys) and ask a man to lend her his set so she can do the mitzvah. the man said something extremely tructhful: “THE SEMINARIES CAN PROVIDE YOU TRIPS AND FUN BUT THEY CANNOT PROVIDE YOU WITH A LULAV AND ESROG?!!!” He is 100% correct.

  129. theres nothing wrong with not going to israel 4 seminary and staying in america, so why go thru the whole hassle of getting rejected? most people cant even afford seminary in israel yet they think it’ll be better for “their name”. i personally know of many girls who went to seminary in israel and came back with very mixed up hashkafos. a lot of girls think that all the sudden they must put on a mid length skirt bcuz if not, wasnt it a waste in israel 4 a year?? but all that stick is garbage n it shud be banned for american girls to go to seminary in israel. what have they accomplished after a year of fun and games in israel???? did it make them more mature and a more thinking person? absolutely not. there are some yechidos who came back more mature and ready to live a torah true life. why waste all that money when you cant even afford it to begin with???????

  130. The fact that girls “need” unlimited cellphone time, frequent restaurant dinners, and the ever present ice coffee are more symptomatic of their upbringing than the fault of the sems.

    I think this is a great point! CHINUCH begins at HOME!!!!!!

  131. I just graduated from high-school last year…and now, although many of my friends are in israel, in seminary….i’m still here.
    but i’m proud.
    let me tell you why.
    i’m saving my parents one very nice chunk of money, so that, beezrat Hashem, they will be able to marry me off to a ben Torah without extra agmas nefesh…and guess what?
    (hold on to your hats)
    I’m actually in the process of getting a degree, so i can have some sort of occupation…for the sole purpose of trying to support a kolel husband, to the best of my ability.

    hey, wait, i didn’t go off to seminary in israel (or any sem at all), and i’m talking like this? something’s weird…

    wait, it gets better- I, an 18 year old girl, who didn’t go to any sem at all, am about to teach you all a very interesting thing, and it’s about shidduchim.
    ppl are scared that “you can’t get a good shidduch if u don’t go to sem.”
    um….yes you can.
    Yiddishkeit 101, here we go:
    who is in charge of the world?
    who runs it, day in and day out?
    who decides whose neshama returns to his body in the morning?
    who decides how much traffic we will encounter on our way to wherever it is?
    who is the one that we pray to, when someone’s life is hanging by a thread, when we realize that He is, ultimately, the ONLY one who can help?
    That’s right Hashem.
    now, for the ultimate question….(ahem)
    uh, the answer’s no.
    not convinced? let me prove it to you.
    you’ve all probably heard of the “shidduch crisis.” funny, it seems that all types of people are being affected, huh? ppl from all around the spectrum, rich or not, pretty or not, sem or not, are all being equaly affected in this “shidduch crisis”.
    so whether or not u went doesn’t make a dent. Hashem is in charge, remember?
    yes, shadchanim and “the boys’ mothers” will ask it right away…but they’re just the shalichim, and YOU MUST TRULY BELIEVE THAT!! not every shidduch that they redt comes out…because they are only basar v’dam. don’t get intimidated.
    please. it’s not worth it to lose bitachon over these things.

    so i didn’t go. yet, i think i have a good head on my shoulders- and believe it or not, i want my husband to learn, and i didn’t spend 20,000 dollars of my parents hard -earned money to come up with that!

    and by the way, for the record, 80% of my class, in israel, are absolutely miserable, want to come home, and only confide in me because how can they tell that to each other, because “everyone else is enjoying themselves.” even their mothers think they love it!

    Ha. it’s terrific for some. not for others.

    and most of all, it’s just as easy for Hashem to make one shidduch, than for him to make the shidduch with the girl who “is the top.” because she went to BJJ. remember that.

    parents, be encouraged…do the right thing.
    live for Hashem, not for others…because in the end, that’s the only thing that counts.

  132. Belev Echad — February 21, 2008 @ 1:48 pm

    Hats off to you & you stand so tall in my eyes & i cant believe that on 18 yr. old could write such a letter.

    It just comes to prove that you get your values from your parents & more importent commen sense that you have, as the saying goes commen sense is not so commen these days.

    When G-D called out for your shidduce, the Talmud says that G-D decides rich or poor, tall or short, Pretty or not, but it does not say anything about Seminary.

    good luck to you & i am sure the right one will surface at the right time

  133. btw its not just israeli seminaries who brainwash the girls to marry a learning guy-its also the american seminaries! as a matter of fact it starts already in high-school!!

    honestly, not every girl is the type to marry a full time learning boy! a teacher of mine told us that, its all great you married a learning guy, but whats going to happen when its motzei shabbos and you wana go out with a couple of friends, but he wants to just sit and learn over a blatt of gemara!?

    girls don’t marry a guy just because he’s going to learn 5-10 years, (or maybe forever)if such a life is not cut out for you. just because everyone else is doing it. its not fair for you or for the boy!

  134. As indicated by my user name, I find this particular subject fascinating and amusing (you have to laugh because otherwise you would have to cry) I have read through all the comments and while I agree with those that feel that “things have gone too far”, I am perturbed by the tone of many of these letters. Chill out, people, one can debate without resorting to name calling or offensive remarks!
    That being said, my two sons have B”H married two remarkable girls who I adore. One went to seminary in Eretz Yisroel, the other to one here in New York. Ironically, the son who did not learn in E”Y married the E”Y seminary girl and the one who learned in E”Y married the girl who went to Sem. here. When asked, the son who learned in E”Y said a girl from a local seminary was preferable to him than one who had gone to one in E”Y. Very telling. The bottom line is that it really should not make a difference as far as shidduchim go and it is incumbent on all of us to make sure it is not an issue.
    As far as the expense goes, we need to teach our children that there are limits. This is a valuable lesson that should last a lifetime. Setting limits would apply to all the mishigassin that are discussed on this website. If one can’t afford something, children (and adults)have to understand that going into debt, when there is a reasonable alternative, is not the answer. Yeshivas should be hammering this point home, too. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen overnight (if ever)and the madness will continue.

  135. Kishke – i am with you on many points. a very good friend of mine works in the money office of one of the regular seminaries in israel and talks to me about the expenses there. some numbers (REAL numbers) to consider:
    Payroll, annually: Between $200,000-$300,000
    Rent per month (including living areas, teaching areas etc.): between $10,000 and $14,000 – you work wha that comes out to annually.
    Food: around $4000/MONTH
    Cleaning: around $2500/MONTH
    Trips: upwards of $50,000 a year
    Utilities (including arnona – property tax) etc.: upwards of $40,000 a year
    There is much much more than this – just ask anyone who ever REALLY has run a school in any country, not to mention a school where all the living needs are taken care of.
    Have any of you considered what it costs you annually to have your daughter in your house – without any school or other experiences at all? Just in food, utilities, the space she takes up in your home (that you could be renting out to a border or the like) etc.? Add that all up, then add educational costs of a staff, programming and trips. Then, if you really want to be fair, depending on how old the school is you can roll in the start up costs – books, over 10k. Beds, desks, chairs, refrigerators, kitchens… oh – did we forget about maintenance? Woops. Add to your list all of your annual expenses on plumbing and electricity and regular minor fix-it jobs that you need so your daughter is comfortable and doesn’t complain to her friends about how you treat her. I think you may get the idea here. Yes, maybe – not maybe, for sure – there are some people running seminaries who make tremendous amounts of money. But, i think if you speak to most people who are in the “business” they will tell you that they basically cover costs and have some left over for difficult years when they get fewer students or – like right now! – when the dollar drops close to 20% in the span of a year or so.

    i also, by the way, know of only one school that charges $20,000. most seminaries i am familiar with are in the range of $15,000-$17,000. Depending on how many girls there are – it might just not be the business you think it is. which means the people runnning the schools might be alittle more lisheim Shamayim than you are saying. which means you are being motzi sheim ra on some of klal Yisroels greatest assets – those who are moser nefesh for chinuch and inspiring bnos yisroel to be the best they can be.

    please think twice before spilling your venom on some of these people – i know some of them and they would cry if they saw what you are writing about them here.

  136. lgbg, as I’ve mentioned to you before, your utilization of punctuation can use improvement. It makes me dizzy to read your comments… please, please cut down on the exclamation points! It only makes you look shrill & immature. 😐

  137. deliber. here:(never did well in grammar).

    By the way it’s not just Israeli seminaries who brainwash the girls to marry a learning guy-it’s also the American seminaries. As a matter of fact, it starts already in high-school.

    Honestly, not every girl is the type to marry a full time learning boy. A teacher of mine told us, that it’s all great you married a learning guy, but what’s going to happen when its motzei shabbos and you wana go out with a couple of friends, but he wants to just sit and learn over a blatt of gemara!?

    Girls please don’t marry a guy just because he’s going to learn 5-10 years, (or maybe forever.)if such a life is not cut out for you. Just because everyone else is doing it. It’s not fair for you, or for the boy.

  138. kishke- The majority of sems do not offer shabbos meals.

    Then send to the ones that do. If the others see it’s demanded, they will follow suit.

  139. If, and only if, a seminary is a must, for whatever socio-shidduch issues prevalent today, then there is a need for a second and third tier schools.

    Which exist. Most of the people complaining apply only to what they consider “first-tier” schools (again, usually determined by the local kaffeklatch). Thus, they perpetuate the very phenomenon they rail against.

  140. when the dollar drops close to 20% in the span of a year or so.

    Good point. The sems I know of are being badly hurt by the dollar’s fall. They have not raised tuition nearly enough to compensate.

  141. i know some of them and they would cry if they saw what you are writing about them here.

    Well, the ones I know would laugh at the foolishness on parade here. But you’re right, the blatant display of kinah and sinah in most of these comments is plenty reason to cry as well.

  142. Dear Mother,
    Firstly, I think that I am at an advantage over some of the other people who commented on your letter, because I am in the 12th grade and I have just gone through what is now known as the “ides of february”. and I have to say that that is one day that I wish I could spare others from.
    what can I say? should I describe how girls were crying in the bathrooms, hallways and classrooms of almost every school that I know of? or how a friend of mine didn’t leave her room for 2 days b/c of seminary? and in response to #17, these girls are what most of the seminaries desire – the generic bais yaakov girl – the top marks, good midos ect.
    furthermore, many girls apply to the “best” seminaries even though they don’t have trhe marks for it b/c in our society, if a girl goes to a seminary in E”Y other then BJJ, Bnos Chava, BYA, Hadar, or Bnos Sora, they are considered to be on a lower intellectual and frum level and please no one respond that they probobly are b/c many girls are very smart they just happen not to do so well on tests and thatv has no reflection on their frumkiet or their intellegence.
    I happen to have B’H a very good average (yes it is above a 90) and I applied to 6 places, most of them just as a precaution. On February 15th I recieved 5 unexpected rejection letters. Needless to say I was in a lot of pain. I am now enrolled in my 6th choice and as strange as it may sound, I am already seeing the hashgacha pratis in my rejection from almost every seminary. I am going with a great group of girls and i”m sure that this is the best thing for me. really I am. so my advice to your daughter is to wait it out – you may not see it now (or ever) but everything does work out for the best. 🙂
    I only have one question – I know that I am only 17 and therefore it isn’t right for me to question the people who run thse seminaries as they are so much older and wiser ect. however, I simply don’t understand when a “good” girl became synonomyes with a smart girl. I am sure that Hashem loves every single girl no matter if they have a 90 average or not. Hashem doesn’t think that the smartest are the better ones. do seminaries have a right to do this?

  143. For all you ppl. to know I find out alot for my brothers shudduchim and yes iI ask what sem and high school…-simply because I what to get the general picture and if a girl went to bjj I look into it more cuz. these girls tend to be very powerfull and yes my brother went to brisk AJ so you dont have to go to sem in isreal to get a good boy you can go to 1/2 day or intensive

  144. Quote:
    “1) Are the seminaries trying to clone an Aryan race by only accepting girls with an over 90 average?”

    I think you (the parent body) is trying to do that. Why did you want to send your daughter there to begin with? Isn’t it because they reject 90% of the applicants?

    “Does this average make you a Frummer or better person?”

    “I can understand that they will not accept a failing student, but shouldn’t acceptance be based on the interview – but more likely the report from the teachers and principals regarding etc?”

    No it should not. It’s a business like every other business, as mentioned before, for the exact same reason that you want your daughter there (the 90% rejection track record) they rejected her.
    It’s unfortunate that she was rejected, even though I have every reason to believe that your daughter did perform in HS with above 90% marks. However if you do the math, I would be more surprised if she was accepted since that would put her twice in a 10% bracket. Using probabilities you should have known better than applying.

    “2) Without mentioning the name of the seminary, I think it is disgusting the way they write their rejection letter by saying: “consider this a letter of non acceptance”.”

    I don’t think it’s disgusting, I think it’s just a regular business letter.
    It’s all how you look at it, if you look at it like an institution of education, then yes you are right. As soon as you change your view and look at them as a business, things will become way clearer to you.

    “Disgusted mother who will not send her precious daughter to seminary.”

    While I agree with you that you shouldn’t send to that business (err education) institution that sees it as a cash cow. I disagree about seminary for girls after HS in general. There are plenty of seminary (specifically in Europe) that are not there to milk your pocket but to educate your daughter.

    In my opinion it’s a wonderful experience for a girl that age to be away in a sleep over seminary, but it’s got to be a seminary.

  145. I fully accept the criticism about the condescending and angry tone of my previous post. Not intended. Really. I apologize.
    But my main points remain, not because we in EY have all the answers, or because I own a sem, but because I feel that there are two basic groups: many girls whose whole life direction comes from sem, but MANY others who gain little and spend lots. That second group is ruining it for the first group. So, to put it more mildly, if your daugher could use a year of thoughtful introspection away from home in a great environment, sem may be a key to her successful growth, though if it’s not affordable, really not, than she’ll have to do without. If she’s just going because everyone else is, keep her home. In terms of the money, it’s not fair to count someone elses money. No sem heads that I know are rich, and many don’t succeed, left with a tremendous financial burden.
    By the way, not all sems are the same, and sometimes top sems actually earned their reputation by providing an excellent chinuch (in Nach and brainwashing of course. Do me a favor)
    That said, I feel for the personal pain of those not accepted, but there is a seminary for all who want to go. Hashem should help all of us steer through the very many challenges of today’s society.

  146. To 58:

    I am reading your post and tears are nearly welling up in my eyes. At the same time, i burn with anger, getting more and more aggravated as i read through your shameless and horrible comment. It breaks my heart to see you relentless and unabashedly put down and mock all of the blood that went into your parents work to earn you that year of seminary. I am saddened that you could be so cold about someone else’s money.

    You just graduated from one of the top institutions in Yerushalayim. The amount that you gained from being in Eretz Yisroel for one year is something you will only find out once you will have a family of your own. There is no way in this world you will understand what working for money that if you don’t earn might put you on the street means until you actually go through it. There is no way in this world you will know what knowing a Ramban is going to help you being a mother until you are actually a mother.

    The opportunity of simply being able to visit the kotel whenever you felt that you needed to pray, is something that like 55 wrote; a luxury, while in your case it might have been a wonderful experience, we all know how dangerous it could be B’Ruchnios and B’Gashmios.

    or the opportunity that you had to visit your amazing teachers whenever you needed tended loving care or just needed to shmooze to them, is that better than your parents?
    You gained so much from Eretz Yisroel? As mentioned before you have no way of knowing that. Feeling great about something that is suppose to prepare you for life, doesn’t mean that it actually prepared you for life. Going to Eretz Yisroel is a big zchus even when it sets your parents pocket back a couple of Gs? Its an opportunity that no one should give up? for $20k? When parents are willing to sacrifice 20000 for their teenage daughter to be able to have an opportunity to be in Eretz Yisorel for a year, YOU think that they should view it that their daughter is amassing and collecting diamonds. But they can’t, they know how useless it will be for the rest of her life. They actually have a family and know it’s useless unlike you that doesn’t have one and has got no clue what a waist of $20,000 it was.
    She will enriching herself with values that will help her build a bayis neeman b’yisroel? How? By working from 9 to 5 and having the kids grow up by a babysitter because they taught you to support your husband?
    They should think of it as an investment opportunity that will yeild great return? I am assuming you meant to write imagine and not think.

    Their daughter will come back wealthy with mitzvos and yiras shamayim that she has obtained from her wonderful mechanchos? Which ones? the ones getting paid from the hard earned $20,000?

    “Anyone who didnt go to Eretz Yisroel for seminary or never sent a daughter there has no right to bash seminaries! Its a wonderful thing!”

    Why is that? Do you have a guilty feeling for forcing your parents to spend the $20,000?
    Or is it because you have had great enjoyment in EY and you didn’t have to pay a penny of your own money for it?

    You are curios on what others have to say, because you have spoken to several teachers about this topic, and they all agreed with you wholeheartedly that seminary should almost be mandatory for bnos yisroel of klal yisroel, since they are the future aim b’yisroel of the next generation.

    Do they also pay $20,000 for their daughters seminary?
    Those are not seminaries, but business institutions, they teach you nothing useful in any way for the rest of your life. Not even for business.

    You went to Eretz Yisroel and you feel that so should everyone!!

    Good for you, and a nebech on your parents, they lost $20,000. Of course you want everyone to go, it’s to water down that guilty feeling.

  147. I am having a crisis, myself. i am a 12th grader. i am an A student, good outgoing bais yaakov girl. My grade average is an A. i was advised by my experienced mechanechet to apply to excellent sems. i did. don’t get me wrong. i had excellent recommendation letters, an A average, excellent interviews, and i am outgoing but tznius. i knew the rambans posed to me, i was able to answer their questions on it, i answered every interview question in a satisfactory manner, i felt comfortable during the interviews…and I GOT PENDING AT EVERY SEM!!!! i was told my problem is that i don’t have yichus, and that’s why this happened to me…my parents are both Baa’lei teshuva. i totally admire my parents. but when it comes to accepting a girl you don’t know versus one that you taught her mother or sister, well…
    no one suspects that i am on pending because everyone in school knows that i am smart. so everyday, i am asked where i am going for sem by teachers and peers alike…i put on a show. i happen to be a good actress. but i cannot even begin to tell you how pained i am. i am so hurt that i am pending and everyone else knows where they’re going and i don’t…and i cry inside every time a girl asks me where i am going…
    p.s . for all those girls out there who are in other grades, i just want to let you know that it isn’t just good grades and being a good girl that will get you into sem. take it from me. you still need HASHEM!!!!!!!!!!

  148. 142, re point #3, what about kollel support and tuition?
    165, B”H in my shidduchim experience my kids were never made to feel like 2nd tier girls. I think there is a subsection of our society that is extremely narrow because those are not the only “acceptable” schools.

  149. # 152 Belev Echad
    Kol HaKovod. Your parents did a good, no great job!
    I guess you proved to all the great mechanchim on this blog that hashkofos come from a good frum loving home, filled with Yiras Shamayim.

    Need a shiduch? I got a great son who needs a level headed girl. (I promise I won’t ask what sem you went to.) And I garantee you, he’ll never drive a Lexus.

  150. Dear 171

    if it makes you feel any better, you should know that you are far from alone in this situation – so many girls are going through the same thing. it is also true that the system is unpredictable. If anyone would have asked me earlier this year where I thought I would get in, I would have answered a promonent sem. perhaps it was Gaivah on my part but I really thought that my marks were high enough… and all the rest.

    I also totally agree with your last comment – if one good thing came out of the whole applying/accepting/rejecting period of my life it is that it really made me FULLY aware that Hashem runs the world and we are powerless. that was comforting to me because when you know that Hashem runs the world you know that He is doing what is best for you and that your rejection had NOTHING to do with you!!
    cheer up – I know it’s hard but try. things do get better

  151. 171 – “i was told my problem is that i don’t have yichus, and that’s why this happened to me”
    who told this to you..your high school principal or the seminaries? i find this very, very, very sad.

  152. It seems that most of the comments that I read deal with one or two issues. Money, money, money which certainly is of great concern and the insensitivity of how the seminaries make a decision of whom to accept. Although I do see the validity in both of these complaints I do feel that there is another major issue that no one seems to be addressing. As a high school teacher who is in the trenches for quite a number of years I never cease to be amazed at the “innocence” of so many parents who are clueless as to what goes on in Israel in that year of sem. How many parents speak to their daughter about the dangers that are so prevalent when they are so far from home? How many parents surprise their daughter with a surprise visit to get a sense of where their daughter is holding? How many parents challenge the seminaries in making sure that they are on top of the matter? Believe me unless you are in the trenches you are pretty clueless as to what is going on in that spiritually uplifting year in Israel. On the other hand, girls grow, come back changed and do have a true aliyah in Eretz Yisroel and that is great! But not only should the money be an issue more importantly know who your daughter is before you send her off for a year to sem.

  153. Could I even mention at this point the diservice the seminaries are doing to Sephardic girls who are not being accepted for the mere reason of being Sephardic? Yes it happens….

  154. *-*-*-*-*
    I agree to number 180. Further, this weeks the Parsha says “vnosnu.” The G’ra says you can read it both ways. To teach you that you should give, and it’ll come back to you, you’ll be the receiver. Money is a gilgul. You invest into your children today, you’ll receive so much more back to you later on.

    I would like to point out a few valid points, feel free to comment.

    ISSUE 1: You want to send your daughter to seminary, it costs $20 thousand. You think the price is crazy, you think its a business and so on. Do you really think these seminary’s are making it into next year’s Forbes? You want your children to be educated by Mechanchim who could converse in English and to a Jewish teenager growing up in American culture, right? So, who in Eretz Yisroel can do that? Most probably, only those Mechanchim who have made Aliyah. The Mechanchim who they themselves grew up in America. Obviously, they adapt tremendously to Israeli society of low cost living. But, still they’re Americans living is Eretz Yisrael. Their cost of living will be the same.
    So break it up, are they making money? Are the Seminary’s receiving money from the Israeli government? Are they raking it in?

    ISSUE 2: I agree that the Seminary’s should not right a non acceptance letter in a rude manner. But how should they? Maybe the Gedolim should put an official “non-acceptance letter al pi HaGedolim (and of course it’ll have their emblem on it)?”

    ISSUE 3: The Seminary’s have to limit their acceptance, otherwise they won’t have such an impact. Do you want them to open up a Seminary that accepts a thousand girls for $12,000 a year? Now which parent would send their precious daughter there?

  155. ok, so i was in seminary in israel recently, and would just like to note that most girls who go don’t GO for a year of inspiration, growth…. it is just not the case. Additionally, most girls admit that they did not spend every minute loving and enjoying it. Also, many people exaggerate and say that they had an “amazing time”… bla bla bla… when i know that many of them spent time crying and wishing to be home…However, looking back at it overall, it was a positive and enriching experience for most.
    when people speak about how uplifting it is, i would just like to note that it is not true that everyone has an aliya. on the contrary! i personally know of a number of cases when the opposite happened. people would never guess what it is possible to hide!! My point: seminary in israel is NOT for everyone. many grow, but many dont. the rules the sems impose are brakeable. don’t think you cant get away with a lot. it is often the girls who are pushed to goto schools that are not for them that trigger the desire to brake away. if society would not place such an emphasis on where you went, i think a lot of the potential problems would not arise.
    i do believe that the israel experience is and excellent experience for ppl, but who said it has to be at 18 yrs old. what’s wrong with going for the summer or for a visit if an entire yr there isnt doable for someone’s specific family situation>? why should parents go into debt to send their children to sem when there are other options available? i have the same question regarding supporting kids. any answers???

  156. the truth of the matter is that everything that happens is totally bashert so if i were you i would be happy for whatever happens me being a married woman when i was going for sem i was angry that i didnt get into the sem that i wanted to go to and at the end that school sent people to have boyfriends and closed down a year later so whatever school you go to is the best for you

  157. to 157:

    Taking the numbers you gave there are expenses of about $650,000 (on the high end of your estimate).
    A sem that has 80 girls at $15,000 is taking in 1,200,000. So just from your numbers they are making a huge profit.

  158. A sem that has 80 girls at $15,000 is taking in 1,200,000. So just from your numbers they are making a huge profit.

    Who says the guy’s talking about a sem with 80 girls. Maybe he’s talking about one with 60 girls. Besides, he hasn’t detailed all expenses; just given a general idea.

  159. I agree with this letter about the rejection, bec there can be great girls with the right hashkofos who deserve to get in but dont bec they dont have such good grades. why should it be that to get into a seminary you have to straigh alefs. besides for the top seminaries who have more work than others seminary should be a year of growth, not more schoo lwork. I think these seminaries only care about their names and not the people bec they think that they are the best. But i do think seminary can be a great year for many girls if the acceptance thing wasnt so crazy.

  160. as the mother of a girl who was rejected from all three seminaries that she applied to i can sympathize with the writer of this letter. however i feel that if she had said just one thing to her daughter she could have helped the situation a bit. before our daughter went to her first interview my husband and i sat her down and told the following “we want you to understand that what someone thinks of you after only having met you for 20-30 minutes has no baring on who or what you are as a person” we wanted her to know in advance that what the interviewer thinks has nothing to do with the treasure she was to us her family.
    when the rejection letters arrived one after the other yes she was heartbroken (incidentally she got into her first choice a mere week later)but with the right shiur…not hysterical and not self depricating.
    a few years after sem. we were talking about what had happened to her and she told me that what we had said…that one little sentence really helped her get over the embarrassment and feelings of “not being good enough” when she recieved the news of “non acceptance”. as a side note i would like to mention that when she returned from one of those interviews and told me some of what the interviewee had said and asked both my husband and i were appalled and quite frankly we davened that she would not get accepted to that seminary because we felt that we would never want her to spend a year in the daled amos of a mechanech/mechaneches of such low charachter.
    b’h she was married before pesach of the year following sem and has two wonderful children. i guess when it really mattered she was baruch hashem not “rejected” by her wonderful husband!

  161. My heart goes out to the writer of this letter. My daughter was rejected as well. Please bear in mind, though, that HASHEM RUNS THE WORLD. HE has plans for our precious daughters that will make them shine, SHINE, SHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and so as long as we give them unconditional love – they will be the BEST yiddisha neshomos they could possibly be.

  162. Am I the only one that reads these things much later?
    If anyone is out there,
    In about 4 weeks I will IY”H be going to a seminary in E”Y. A seminary that charges 15K tuition, that B”H we got a discount for. Yes, they DO take those kind of things into consideration. My seminary accepts girls who are not 90 students, and the dorm is open every Shabbos. I don’t know if they provide meals necessarily, but the staff is always available to host girls.
    Unfortunately, because of rising prices, my airfare was 1.6K, but I am not coming home for Pesach.
    There are ways to do it, and there are ways to do it. I am keeping tabs on how much money I am spending for seminary. So far I came to about $300.
    BTW – the person who made the nasty comment about 20 lbs. more – it is true that girls gain weight in seminary. I for one, am not planning on going out for every meal (I was told that my seminary provides good food), and I think that if you make a conscious effort not to gain, you won’t, and you might even lose.
    My parents did not have to take out a second mortgage to send me to seminary. Yes, my relatives are helping a bit, but my mother wanted me to go for the experience. (In fact, she’s not LETTING me come home for Pesach, even if someone else would pay for my ticket.)

    But obviously, not everyone has to go to E”Y for seminary. In my school, only about 20 girls out the 70 of the girls are going to E”Y. Most of the other girls go to BY Half Day and Intensive. AND I DON’T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT. And if my parents won’t let my brothers go out with a girl who didn’t go to seminary, I will eat my hat. No, I do not think it is necessary. Yes, I do think it is a good thing.
    And I don’t know where anyone got 20K from. That is a sick number, and so absolutely FALSE!!

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