MAILBAG: “Yeshiva Dollars” Are Burden On Families


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Many Yeshivos have a policy that you need to purchase Yeshiva Dollars to spend which helps the Yeshiva pull in income. Some Yeshivos have a requirement to spend as much as $10,000 on this program. If you don’t participate? – they send you a bill and add any unpaid amount to your tuition.

I would like to respectfully bring up and cause discussion to happen about what this bill is to most families.

1) We can’t afford the daily expenses we have, so we use credit cards to spend money we do not have. Yes we can discuss budgeting and how we can cut expenses – but that it not for this discussion. Everyone can agree that most families do not make enough money to cover the cost of living as a Frum family.

As a punishment, we are charged for needing to use credit cards. So we get punished for not being able to afford to have enough money for our daily expenses.

2) The points we get from credit cards and the shtick we follow from various “deal websites” enables us to pay for groceries and other basic needs.

3) We cannot lock up money (which we don’t have) by giving the Yeshiva a check towards specific stores – for 2 reasons. Firstly we don’t have money to lay out, we spend the money first on things we need and then we figure out how to pay it later on. Second, we never know where we will shop. As needs arise we shop around for each item to find the cheapest store for that specific item.

I think this requirement for families is antiquated and does not respect the hardships families face today. I get that the Yeshiva benefits from this, however at what cost to the families? At what cost to the children we are trying to clothe and feed?

Name withheld upon request.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


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  1. What a stupid rule we should get messed over because these yeshivos are too lazy to fundraise money??? And of coarse these yeshivos could get away with this stupidity otherwise you can’t get your kid in to school!!

  2. you are talking to the wall
    yeshivas dont care its a private business where they employ all family members qualified or not
    no matter how many millions albany or washington will give through askonim the tuition will never i repeat never go down
    businesses close down everyday but yeshivas dont

    there is no for profit business as a not for profit

  3. The is the craziest thing I have read on Yeshiv world news

    If it were up to me , the Yeshiva should do this parent a favor, confiscate all her credit cards and have her subside solely on Yeshiva dollars
    everybody would win, but most of all this parent who can’t handle basic budgeting.

    It is one thing to once in a while delay a credit card payment but to live that way. “Yes we can discuss budgeting and how we can cut expenses – but that it not for this discussion.”

    It must be the discussion! Your entire premise is wrong “. Everyone can agree that most families do not make enough money to cover the cost of living as a Frum family.” nonsense!
    Yes it is hard (and of course some families don’t make enough. But “most” ? So spend less! destroy your credit cards, force yourself to only use Yeshiva dollars

  4. By us it’s not a requirement, but rather another “method” of paying part of tuition. Making it a requirement is wrong and I would agree with all the OP said.

  5. The argument the yeshivot will give is that-
    “fine- choose not to purchase these yeshiva dollars… just pay an extra $500 towards tuition.”.
    In fact the argument can be stated that for those that want to save $500 on total tuition, they can do so by buying these yeshiva dollars!

    Schools are encouraged to sell such bills as they pay 95% of the cost for these bills and therefor have the ability to make an extra $500 (pr 5% of $10,000) from the supermarkets for selling their dollars. Either the store can give them $500 or you can.

  6. When one overmilks the cow, the cow just gives up and dies.
    Yeshivas, stop milking a dry cow, the liquid you are milking is cold “blood” R”L.

  7. Look at it from another point of view – Yeshiva’s felt your pain of the high cost of tuition. They found a way to lower your tuition bill without affecting you much by implementating Yeshiva dollars which bring in thousands of dollars in revenue from stores you would be probably be shopping in anyways. It’s a win win for you and them.

  8. 99.99% of yeshivos are not sustained thorugh tuition, and need to meet payroll and other financial obligations from other sources.. I was required to purchase $5500/year – I never had to buy it all at once, the stores get business and give a portion back to the schools. Where I live it was possible to buy certificates/cards for both kosher and regular grocery stores.

    What am hearing is NOT that the certificate programs are unfair; the underlying issue is making ends meet. Therefore think that budget /finance is VERY relevant to this discussion.; I would >>strongly<< advise you to sit down either with your accountant or Mesila and work on a budget. If you are surviving only on credit cards, you will eventually hit bottom. I used to be a Mesila counselor. .

  9. A) we fill our grocery account through our kids yeshivos. Ill call the yeshiva/bais yaakov person and say can you please add $500 to our account at seasons or wherever and give our CC #
    B) 10k sounds high but most families with 3,4, or 5 kids are meeting that in annual groceries easy
    c) in order not to lose out on “shtick” consider filling the card in multiple of 18 – can add 360 for the month. farshtay amigo?
    have an easy 9 days my friend

  10. I have said this before and I will say it again: The high cost of being frum is the most serious threat facing frum Jews today. One major source of this high cost is yeshiva tuition, and one possible solution is to send frum children to public schools for their secular education and yeshivas only for Jewish education. I recognize that there are lots of difficulties in carrying out this proposal, but committed rebbes and parents could make it happen and substantially lower the cost of educating Jewish children.

    Some of the problems are:

    1. Yeshivas may have to reduce their faculties. In the short and medium runs, this will hurt the rabbis who have devoted themselves to Jewish education. They will need help in finding an alternative parnassah. They will also have to reduce their physical plants, which will hurt some synagogues who lease classroom space to yeshivas.

    2. Public schools will have to take a substantial influx of new students.

    3. Public schools will have to make scheduling adjustment to enable frum Jews to spend a half school day getting all their secular education, so that the frum students can also attend their yeshivas for the other half day. This is doable but will require a lot of adjustments by the public schools. For example, frum Jews could be excused from art, gym, and other less essential secular classes. This will annoy the art, gym and certain other teachers, but the public schools will have to deal with it.

    4. Public schools may have to make adjustments to their dress codes, so that older yeshiva students who wear black suits and hats will not be inviolation of public school dress codes.

    5. Related to the above item, I would expect some teasing, taunting, and, possibly worse toward frum Jews from other students. And, sad to say, and C”V, similar behavior may run from the frum to the gentiles. This may turn out to be a good way to stop the taunting when the frum and gentile children become adults and obtain weapons.

    There would be lots of other problems in changing the current practice. But the future of frum Judaism depends on it. Not to mention, taxes paid by frum Jewns are already paying for most of this.

  11. @huju you are in lalaland. when families are so picky about the school they send to and won’t chas vsholom have their kid in the same class as someone whose father works for a living, in what world do you suppose these parents would agree to send to public school for English! It’s a cute idea, but no.