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Unread 11-08-2009, 07:49 PM   #1
5770
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urgent - need help - school crisis

hi - i cannot say where but our daughter goes to a very small chabad day school. However there are some problems: poor financial management, teachers not getting paid, bills not getting paid, etc. Standard stuff.

Rabbi is of course keeping things close to his chest - my wife is very VERY concerned and is really upset with them over the last year. We pour hundreds of hours volunteering into our local chabad and pay a LOT of tuition. But it gets eaten up... and not by the school bills.

There is no viable alternative in our city. Apart from the local jewish community center which does not have any standards of tsnius, kashrut or any core Jewish values worth mentioning.

So we have to move! Don't want to but it's move or lose my daughter's love of Yiddishkeit. I am that desperate.

So can anyone recommend something suitable for GIRLS 1st grade and up?

It must be a nice facility, kind kids, clean, open, w/good standards of secular education, and not too extreme crazy. I just want the core values: love of Hashem, love of Yidden, Kashrut, love of Torah, etc. Oh and did I mention a good modest dress code?!

City (in USA) must not be too big please! Or cold :-)

My wife is israeli secular, I am borderline BT.

Sorry if this is not posted in the right place. Got nowhere else to turn.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
existwhere?
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Far Rockaway?

Gan Yisrael in Brooklyn?
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Unread 11-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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Gan Yisrael in Brooklyn?
Not too big?!
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Unread 11-08-2009, 09:55 PM   #4
5770
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yeah... a small/medium city ... thanks
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
existwhere?
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baltimore
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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You could look into New England. I've heard good things about a few of the schools there, some of which are bigger than others - some of them are in more city-ish areas and others are smaller.

If you look on chabad.org, you can find all of the chabad schools there with some information about them, their websites and phone numbers, etc.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 10:14 PM   #7
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Are you so sure that its going to be different anywhere else? I know of maybe 2-3 Chabad institutions that are not heavily in debt, and none of those institutions is a school. Watch Living Torah from a couple of weeks ago - the debts are not the problem. The attitude is the problem.

I suspect this is not about the money.
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:04 PM   #8
existwhere?
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Are you so sure that its going to be different anywhere else? I know of maybe 2-3 Chabad institutions that are not heavily in debt, and none of those institutions is a school. Watch Living Torah from a couple of weeks ago - the debts are not the problem. The attitude is the problem.

I suspect this is not about the money.
What is Living Torah?
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
Shabbos
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What is Living Torah?
Living Torah is a collection of weekly videos of the Rebbe, including sichos and other clips.

You can see for yourself here:

http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/liv...ving-Torah.htm
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:33 PM   #10
existwhere?
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Living Torah is a collection of weekly videos of the Rebbe, including sichos and other clips.

You can see for yourself here:

http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/liv...ving-Torah.htm
This one? http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/liv...s-as-Usual.htm
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Unread 11-08-2009, 11:41 PM   #11
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It seems like that's the one, but I'm not the one who referenced it. (In any case, that one is very fitting...)
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Unread 11-09-2009, 12:22 AM   #12
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What about Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy?

One of the few schools the Lubavitcher Rebbe kept after the 1953 debacle.
__________________
What fatality prompted him to marry?! - Solzhenitsyn
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Unread 11-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #13
chossidnistar
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Originally Posted by 5770 View Post
hi - i cannot say where but our daughter goes to a very small chabad day school. However there are some problems: poor financial management, teachers not getting paid, bills not getting paid, etc. Standard stuff.

Rabbi is of course keeping things close to his chest - my wife is very VERY concerned and is really upset with them over the last year. We pour hundreds of hours volunteering into our local chabad and pay a LOT of tuition. But it gets eaten up... and not by the school bills.

There is no viable alternative in our city. Apart from the local jewish community center which does not have any standards of tsnius, kashrut or any core Jewish values worth mentioning.

So we have to move! Don't want to but it's move or lose my daughter's love of Yiddishkeit. I am that desperate.

So can anyone recommend something suitable for GIRLS 1st grade and up?

It must be a nice facility, kind kids, clean, open, w/good standards of secular education, and not too extreme crazy. I just want the core values: love of Hashem, love of Yidden, Kashrut, love of Torah, etc. Oh and did I mention a good modest dress code?!

City (in USA) must not be too big please! Or cold :-)

My wife is israeli secular, I am borderline BT.

Sorry if this is not posted in the right place. Got nowhere else to turn.
the current finnancial situation is complicated and more for non profits orgs
It looks that you are doing a great mitzvah in the school and they need you
IF THE ONLY complaint you have is MONEY,I would talk to my wife, and show her ,all the positive things and her great zechus for being supporting a jewish school, and allowing other kids the possibility of having a Jewish education in your area

IF your complaints are in other areas, then you may have good reasons to look for a different place
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Unread 11-11-2009, 01:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chossidnistar View Post
the current finnancial situation is complicated and more for non profits orgs
Quote:
Originally Posted by chossidnistar View Post
It looks that you are doing a great mitzvah in the school and they need you
IF THE ONLY complaint you have is MONEY,I would talk to my wife, and show her ,all the positive things and her great zechus for being supporting a jewish school, and allowing other kids the possibility of having a Jewish education in your area

IF your complaints are in other areas, then you may have good reasons to look for a different place

Sorry in advance if my thoughts below are offensive or unpleasant! I really would appreciate any ideas for how to tackle this.



The financial management greatly worries my wife. She sees our tuition fees being gobbled up on the rabbi's operating expenses .... while teachers and other bills remain unpaid. But… the last minute airline tickets (at full fare) for family members (…this simcha… that simcha…) is no problem. Not to mention feeding the community at great expense every week. AND IT'S NOT AS IF THESE FOLKS ARE THE HUNGRY OR HOMELESS ... THESE ARE WELL-FED YIDDEN!! Yeah, I know Chabad don’t charge for anything … pls don't get me wrong, they are frugal in most respects ...but there’s a LOT of resentment when they are seen to be wrongly prioritizing their limited funds.

OK, let's say I am a small-city rabbi. I raise x dollars. I do various outreach efforts and mitzvas. A bunch of eager volunteers raise money expecting certain things to enhance the school.... but i (the rabbi) grab that money because... well, I need it. I’m not interested in budgets (what's the point – we never learnt that in yeshiva) Moreover, I don’t want anyone nosing around in my affairs: they aren't doing the outreach - I am! Why can’t they just raise the money, hand it over to me and shut up? After all, I got 10 kids so when I say “care to make a donation?” what I am actually saying is, the donation is for me and my family, other commitments like the school you are paying separately for is going to come last. It’s my judgement call what is a personal expense and what gets used as true tzedaka. If you want talmud scholars for the next generation, stop your whining! This is my gig, you can take your proposal for a board of governers, and …!!”



So back to your point, chossidnistar.

I am very confused and torn between things ... I love my wife, my daughter, the school, the rabbi. I’m happy supporting them. But because the way they operate is illogical on some levels, it alienates folks.

Therefore I fear I need a nice new school, also with sound Torah values. Doesn’t even have to be Chabad, although would prefer. Must not be too hardcore…. if you know what I mean – would like to avoid TOO many amateur BT 'rabbis' who are very quick to point out your every halachic error. Oh and did I mention it would be nice to be somewhere warm J

Bottom line: if I don’t find a Torah-based school that is sensibly and openly run, my wife WILL put my daughter in to the state system.

I don’t want to move and find a new job and home, but I need some ideas for strategies for dealing with this. Are we really doing such a big mitzvah - and is all this chaos really just a test from Hashem?

Last edited by 5770; 11-11-2009 at 03:46 PM.
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Unread 11-11-2009, 04:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by existwhere? View Post

Yes that was the one I meant.
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Unread 11-11-2009, 04:48 PM   #16
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The financial management greatly worries my wife. She sees our tuition fees being gobbled up on the rabbi's operating expenses .... while teachers and other bills remain unpaid. But… the last minute airline tickets (at full fare) for family members (…this simcha… that simcha…) is no problem. Not to mention feeding the community at great expense every week. AND IT'S NOT AS IF THESE FOLKS ARE THE HUNGRY OR HOMELESS ... THESE ARE WELL-FED YIDDEN!! Yeah, I know Chabad don’t charge for anything … pls don't get me wrong, they are frugal in most respects ...but there’s a LOT of resentment when they are seen to be wrongly prioritizing their limited funds.

OK, let's say I am a small-city rabbi. I raise x dollars. I do various outreach efforts and mitzvas. A bunch of eager volunteers raise money expecting certain things to enhance the school.... but i (the rabbi) grab that money because... well, I need it. I’m not interested in budgets (what's the point – we never learnt that in yeshiva) Moreover, I don’t want anyone nosing around in my affairs: they aren't doing the outreach - I am! Why can’t they just raise the money, hand it over to me and shut up? After all, I got 10 kids so when I say “care to make a donation?” what I am actually saying is, the donation is for me and my family, other commitments like the school you are paying separately for is going to come last. It’s my judgement call what is a personal expense and what gets used as true tzedaka. If you want talmud scholars for the next generation, stop your whining! This is my gig, you can take your proposal for a board of governers, and …!!”
So you've just described the argument between the Rabbis and the Baalei Batim in every synagogue, school or other Jewish institution I have ever seen. You will not escape this issue no matter where you move. The Rabbi will have money if he needs to have it; you will never know where the money came from (and if it was your tuition money); and the Rabbi will strongly resist a board of governers.

The reason that Rabbis reject the idea of starting a board is that the Rabbi is usually the one doing the fundraising and therefore he feels he should control the money. If the board is putting together the majority of the funds, then you can exert a bit more control.

Quote:
IF THE ONLY complaint you have is MONEY,I would talk to my wife, and show her ,all the positive things and her great zechus for being supporting a jewish school, and allowing other kids the possibility of having a Jewish education in your area
This is phrased very carefully. You should not sacrifice your daughter's education for the sake of the supporting a certain Rabbi or philosophy, but if your only complaint is the money (meaning the education is great, your daughter is happy and the school is safe) maybe you should reconsider your approach.

You are looking for Gan Eden. Its warm, its got great schools, and there are no money problems. Unfortunately, they aren't accepting applications right now.
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Unread 11-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #17
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By the way... in my city, the only people criticized for being more crooked than the Rabbis are the public school administrators. The reputation is overblown in both cases, but public school won't solve your problems either.

I suggest you talk to your wife about the negative consequences of transfering your daughter, especially in the middle of the school year. She will leave all of her friends, get a completely knew hashkafa, and have no history with the school's teachers.
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Unread 11-12-2009, 12:15 AM   #18
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So back to your point, chossidnistar.

I am very confused and torn between things ... I love my wife, my daughter, the school, the rabbi. I’m happy supporting them. But because the way they operate is illogical on some levels, it alienates folks.

I don’t want to move and find a new job and home, but I need some ideas for strategies for dealing with this. Are we really doing such a big mitzvah - and is all this chaos really just a test from Hashem?
It is very hard to know this particular case, that might be different
But in general, shluchim do not have a salary coming from Chabad Headquarters, they are independent , and have to fundraise their own budget
They have to live ,support their family and make sure that their kids have a good education, and this cost money
Yes, all the money that they are able to fundraise, from different avenues :wealthy relatives ,friends,rich ppl, supporters, shul, schools,etc, should be enough ,first for their livelihood and then for their activities
The problem,is , that in these hard finnancial times, it is more noticeable the decrease in the activities, and this is why, you feel, that your tuition goes for airplanes tickets, parties,etc
For example, if you open a store, and you have to pay $ 3.000 rent, $ 4.000 in salaries,$ 1.000 electric bills and telephone, $ 2000 extra expenses, then in the first $ 20.000 that you sell , you did not make any money (you have to pay $10.000 merchandise cost) IOW, you start making some money, ONLY , if you sell more than 20.000.This is what is possible happenning in your Chabad.
If you look in the news,some institutions are going on forclosure
I would look things in a different perspective, and see that BH, there is Jewish School, and that my family is part of this, and that we are doing a great mitzvah, bc I am supporting the school, the Rabbi and his family,BH, Hahem gives me money to spend in Mitzvos, I am partner of the Yddishkeit in my place
Again, I am just talking, in general, your particular situation might be quite different
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:12 PM   #19
5770
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thanks for all the replies!

I guess it boils down to this: we give $$ for tuition ... and in return they don't pay the teachers or pay the rent.

Yes if the economy was great it would not be an issue, but surely halochically speaking paying obligations like teachers and rent should happen before repeatedly flying myriads of kids to seemingly limitless simchas.

Yeah I realise the economy is a problem, but why is meeting obligations not a requirement of Rabbis?
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:21 PM   #20
existwhere?
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Buy things, don't give money.

(ie, the teachers aren't being paid? give them each a tip. Thewalls need painting? Pay a painter. etc, etc.)
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:34 PM   #21
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(ie, the teachers aren't being paid? give them each a tip. Thewalls need painting? Pay a painter. etc, etc.)
I find this a bit callous. A teacher not being paid (or any worker) - is unconscionable.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:44 PM   #22
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I find this a bit callous. A teacher not being paid (or any worker) - is unconscionable.
Halacha is very severe about this no? isn't this one of the first things that a man is asked after 120?
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Unread 11-15-2009, 06:52 PM   #23
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If you mean ìà úìéï, there are loopholes in halacha IIRC. Nonetheless - I do not know how an employer can sleep at night not having paid a teacher for weeks or months.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 09:30 PM   #24
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I find this a bit callous. A teacher not being paid (or any worker) - is unconscionable.
It is. So if it's happening, you do what you can to help.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 09:43 PM   #25
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If one is not being paid - a tip does not do much...
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