HUGE DEVELOPMENT: Brooklyn Yeshivos & Bais Yaakov’s To Start Earlier After Summer Vacation

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Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs in Brooklyn have reached an unprecedented consensus to begin the 2023-2024 school year around the start of Elul, rather than with the secular start date of Labor Day.

Torah U’Mesorah also requested that “other communities consider joining this movement and working together on this important chinuch issue.”

The move comes after a coordinated effort by Torah U’Mesorah, supported by zkan roshei yeshivos HaRav Shmuel Kamenetzky shlit”a, to schedule the start of their school year around Rosh Chodesh Elul rather than Labor Day, which would leave talmidim and talmidos little time to be educated about the Yamim Noraim and Sukkos.

The plan is for the Yeshivos to start the school year on Tuesday, August 29/12 Elul, and the Bais Yaakovs to start the school year on Thursday, August 31/14 Elul.

In a statement, Torah U’Mesorah said, “we understand that it may be difficult to implement at this late date, but it is important to make the effort to initiate this new schedule, sooner rather than later.”

“We look forward to the Yeshivos and Bais Yaakov’s continuing to work together in the
coming years to ensure that the school calendar is arranged in a way that provides the
proper chinuch structure for our children,” it continued.

“We thank the Roshei Mosdos, Menahalim, Menahalos, Rebbeim and Moros for heeding
the call of the Vaad Roshei Yeshiva, and we laud the efforts of the Brooklyn community
for seizing the opportunity to make a change that will iy”H have a positive impact on the
chinuch of our children.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

15 COMMENTS

  1. I know there are those that will say New York city should go cold turkey and go from a 10 – 11 week vacation (yes, many yeshivos are ending June 20, and if you start yeshiva August 29 that’s 10 weeks.) to 6 weeks like Lakewood. Right now there is too much money invested in the summer venues. Many people would be hurt financially so I wouldn’t advocate this. However I can’t understand why can’t Rosh Chodesh Elul or at least Bais Elul be the default date to start yeshiva. So this year I would say begin yeshiva Monday August 21, 4 Elul and yeshiva should end maximum 8 weeks prior on Rosh Chodesh Tamuz. Perhaps there could a lee-way for people to go away for weekends for 2 or three weeks,

  2. This may prove more challenging non years when RC Elul falls in the middle of august. That would mean summer camps ending early too

  3. Extra time between camp & Yeshiva was bonding time for families to have couple of weeks together. When are families now supposed to bond together & grow together? oops I just realized:- with so many divorced families nowadays, we don’t want to put children of divorced families at a disadvantage, so let’s just cancel bonding time for all families.

  4. Do these new procedures imply that next year 2024 & 2035 when ראש-חודש אלול is after Labor Day, that Yeshivas shan’t be commencing immediately after Labor day, but waiting until אלול commences?

  5. The whole “summer vacation” mentality in part, is a goiyeshe anachronism dating back to the time that children were needed in an agrarian economy to assist working in the fields and bringing in the harvest. In some cases, the summer heat and the absence of air conditioning MAY have also been a factor but I doubt that was in issue in the alte heim.
    Many educators believe that much educational progress is lost when kids effectively shut down in late May/early June in anticipation of summer vacation and they are bouncing off the walls for the first week or two in Septemeber when they return to school after an 8-10 week break. Thus, they advocate for year-round schooling with 3 or 4 “short’ 10-14 day breaks interspersed to provide some time off for family trips and holidays.

  6. Anyway you cut it. The yeshivos need to be in sync with camps, otherwise its counter productive, i never understood why yeshivos think its a good idea to give a month off by pesach, and then another random few weeks between tisha bav and elul, effectively not allowing the bochrim to get any constructive schedule,

  7. There were 2 additional reasons why people went to the mountains that today’s people are not so aware of:

    1. Until the late 60’s there was almost no air conditioning in apartments, schools, public transport or cars. The city was stiflingly hot.

    2. Certain childhood diseases l”o were easily spread during the summer months in the city – less so in the mountains. We old boomers recall some of the devastating results l”o.

  8. Camps are not sacrosanct. Camps exist because of the unstructured time during summer vacations. If the school year is lengthened it will automatically cause the camp schedules to change. It might take a few years to make the necessary adjustments, but now that schools have air conditioning it is not necessary to have more than 4-6 weeks of summer vacation.

  9. “The yeshivos need to be in sync with camps…”

    How about the camps being in synch with a new school schedule that maximizes learning opportunities and minimizes the destructive effects on chinuch of a lengthy summer break. My grandparents and prior generations in the Alte Heim somehow managed to maintain sholom bayis and good family ties w/o sending the kinderlach off to a summer camp for 10-12 weeks each year.