Jun 13, 2014
Dear School Administrator...

From the COLlive inbox: An email from a school administrator left my friend in tears and terrified. And she's not the only one.

Dear COLlive readers,

My friend called me on Thursday morning all hysterical. After listening to her, I realized that she is not unique in this situation. And maybe sharing her plight can help others.

She received the following email from her daughter's school:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. XXXXXX,

Congratulations on the graduation of your daughter XXXX. Please be advised, in order to receive a diploma, an outstanding balance of $XXXX, must be paid in full.

Please avoid any embarrassment.

Thank you,
[School name]


* * *

So I sat down and penned a letter to the administrator of the school. I guess the letter is also reveal to anyone who may be dealing with similar circumstances:

Dear Administrator,

You have a very difficult job which requires both responsibility and sensitivity, with a dose of firmness. Collecting delinquent tuition is not easy. I know you had to do something to get the tuition owed to the school, but what was that email you sent?

I imagine you were hoping that the email, with seemingly considerate words like "please avoid any embarrassment," would mobilize the family to come up with the money. Or at least some of it.

Let me share with you what happened: The mother, my friend, received the email. She broke down in tears, totally immobilized, terrified. And couldn't get her morning started.

Here's some background information about her: She's a good person. Her husband is a good person. Both try very hard to raise, educate, feed and take care of their large family, B"H.

Unfortunately, they are just not succeeding - economically. They are super sensitive about their financial problems and anything, even small, makes them crack. And it hits them in all areas, especially in shalom bayis.

He feels lousy about himself. She feels lousy about herself, and about his not being able to provide for the family. And that makes him feel even lousier. Every day is a constant reminder of their dire financial condition. When she's at the grocery, when her daughter tears her tights and when the youngest kid unravels a half a roll of toilet paper.

Looking at them, one may not realize how grave is their financial situation. They are innovative and know how to make a dollar stretch. They try to be creative about how to keep the kids out of the stress of their financial problems and keep some dignity in the neighborhood.

Both parents are also hard workers and try to do well in their current jobs. Yet, the emotional stress is too much. They feel it, their kids feel it.

They hate the fact that they cannot pay their tuition commitments. It sits there in their minds among the many other stressors. It's not that they are not evading their tuition responsibilities so that they can vacation or buy luxuries. They simply don't have it at this time.

They are appreciate the services the school is providing for their child and they really do want to pay. Since they try to maintain some pride, they don't come spilling out their story to you at school (even though it may be in their interest to let you know).

And then you sent that email...

You threatening to embarrass their child sent them into a spiral of negative emotions. It immobilized them and the shalom bayis challenges exacerbated. I assume they both went to work demoralized, which isn't helping you reach your goal.

I know you don't know that background. And I know that is because they didn't share it will you. But couldn't you have shown some care, to find out why is it they are behind on tuition?

You could have picked up a phone or emailed something like, "You've been paying your tuition responsibilities throughout the years in a timely fashion. And we so appreciate that; it makes our job in educating our students so much easier. At this point you are in arrears. Is there something going on? When would be a good time to discuss this?"

They'd appreciate the sensitivity and feel respected, keeping more of their dignity intact. And you'd know what is going on. You'd have the opportunity to explain the school's position. Together, you'd probably come up with a solution that works.

But that takes time. And care. And sensitivity. And everything we all try to teach our children, yet don't always bother to practice it ourselves.

Treating the parents with respect and understanding about their challenges might just be a better way – for the sake of your students, their parents and your school's finances. (And dare I say, your school's image - in at least that family's eyes.)

Sincerely,
A friend (of the mother and the school)



Most Read Most Comments


Opinions and Comments
1
Confused
Where in that letter did they threaten to embarrass the child.
(6/14/2014 12:59:42 AM)
2
an email?
such a serious issue and all he could do was send a lousy email? and threaten to not give the student her diploma? how about contact the parents and talk to them about what's going on. see what he could do to help. isn't menchlichkeit what we're trying to teach students??
(6/14/2014 9:47:05 AM)
3
to a great friend
BRAVO!!! You hit the nail on the head. This poor lady is lucky to have a friend like you. When we suffered a tremendous financial crisis we were also treated badly. We nearly lost our home. My heart goes out to this poor mother but I just want to say hang in. If we could crawl out of the hole, you will too. Praying for you.
(6/14/2014 5:58:45 PM)
4
1000% correct
School staff should all be a bit more sensitive - whether in regards to tuition payments, getting admitted to the next school level, summer programs for those staying in the city, etc.
(6/14/2014 6:27:35 PM)
5
What is the big deal
The school needs the money. When u come up with the money, even if it takes a few years then at that point you get the diploma. If not you will never pay. Just work out a payment plan
(6/14/2014 9:39:11 PM)
6
Been there
It's so silly to punish the child for something their parents can't do at the moment . I had the same situation and in the end when my daughter needed her diploma she retrieved it directly from the board of education . All they accomplished was embarrassment.
Kol hakavod to those mosdos who do take family situations into consideration and work with the parents on a payment plan
(6/14/2014 9:48:50 PM)
7
Nothing Has Changed...
Many years ago, I received a threat as well: my children would not receive their report cards, if we did not pay our tuition balance! Needless to say, if we had the means, of course we would have paid up the balance without being asked. My children, BH outstanding students and a credit to the school, did not need to see proof of their achievements by receiving their report cards. Outraged, I told the hanhala that they could keep the report cards....They backed down....BH we don't owe them any money but they sure did owe my children an apology for attempting to embarrass them for an inyan clearly NOT in their control. When will hanhalas stop victimizing our precious children in this way?
(6/14/2014 9:51:13 PM)
8
disgusting
Please don't keep this school anonymous! It should be publicized loud and clear. If anyone is in a similar situation financially, they should know which school to stay far away from!!!
(6/14/2014 9:57:18 PM)
9
To the author:
Kol Hakavod for for bringing this to everyones attention. It is funny how those parents who try hardest to do what is right, are always hit hardest. Schools try to squeeze out every last penny from the same families every year - well aware that they are asking for the impossible.
It is time those that are B'H blessed with abundance, that do give & help the schools, hold the school responsible to use their donations wisely & stop stepping on those hard working parents & families that are already struggling!
(6/14/2014 9:58:10 PM)
10
why dont you take on tuition
teachers aren't getting paid because of people like you, telling parents they dont have to pay it out!!

maybe the parents should of went to the school and tried talking it out why is it the schools problem to be nicer???!!! its over due, we all know once the child is done with school there is no way for the school to enforce getting paid. this was obviously the last thing they could of done.

(6/14/2014 10:06:54 PM)
11
old and harsh practice in many mny schools
You should have publish the name of the school, otherwise theres no deterrent (if even...) for them to keep doing it... so your letter / article is in vain....

a parent thts been there in manby way



MBA
(6/14/2014 10:07:46 PM)
12
zalman
if the author was a real friend they would call the school and try to work something out and maybe pay or collect the money to pay the tuition.

i cant understand why you are blaming the school who gave a service and wants to get paid
(6/14/2014 10:08:17 PM)
13
ouch i feel bad for the parents
we are also in a situation where we can not pay our kids tuition, as yes we also really try our best. people are very fast to judge people like us that we should get better jobs etc, but life doesn't always work the way we want to. i feel for you all and hope the school will still give your daughter the diploma she deserves.
(6/14/2014 10:09:40 PM)
14
Me too
I know someone in a similar situation it's heart breaking to see that the schools aren't sensitive to the situation and if they would be they probably would get more money
(6/14/2014 10:17:53 PM)
15
Alarmed
This is still happening. Can't believe it!
(6/14/2014 10:18:45 PM)
16
Yossi S
Sorry but the,teachers work very hard and they MUST get paid.
I feel for her but a school administration has to do their job.
(6/14/2014 10:22:26 PM)
17
Bottom line is many people do not pay and
the teachers need to get paid. If you cant pay what should the school do.
(6/14/2014 10:25:40 PM)
18
florida
well said.
(6/14/2014 10:31:57 PM)
19
Great letter
Hard to imagine that a school can send such a letter. Embarrassing a child if his/her parents can't come up with funds...
I had a friend who it happened to.. I pray that no one should know of such situations.
Thank you col for posting.
The schools are doing a fine job with accommodating students who's parents don't have the means, but I hope this raises awerness and allows schools to be more accommodating.
(6/14/2014 10:34:07 PM)
20
Accusatory and immature
You don't know if admin called and was kind.

Tzedeka starts at home but one can not obligate someone to give tzedeka. Instead of writing the letter and "forcing the tzedeka" on the part f the school, you should take this as an opportunity to help. If you are not in position then encourage others but to obligate the tzedeka on te school or dean is contrary to Jewish principles and Halacha.
(6/14/2014 10:40:44 PM)
21
Dear parent,
I fully understand that each case is different, and that a general email doesnt work.

That said, as someone who worked in chinuch, but left due to not being paid 3 months salaries, I support most of what a school will do to get people to pay.

Often, there will be a child who doesnt pay but whos parents drive fancy cars and buy fancy new clothes for their kids, while the rest of the schoolkids suffer since the teacher is unmotivated due to not being paid and is about to leave in favor of a different job, leaving the class with nothing or a worse teacher.

So thats the other side of the coin. Its sad, but a school that tiptoes around the feelings of all the parents who dont pay, rather than maybe just a few, isnt doing its job
(6/14/2014 10:43:45 PM)
22
It works both ways
Point taken. However parents should have same sensitivity and appreciation towards the administrators. If there is a situation, then share it, otherwise how should one person be able to know about it and all others of the 300 plus families struggling. These parents may be sincere and try their best. But what should the administrator email to the parent who cries poor as well but does have the money for their "needed" vacation and breaks and anything and everything else they deam necessary and want? Put sensitivity towards the administrators role as well, struggling to pay the teachers.
(6/14/2014 10:48:09 PM)
23
what's your diploma..
worth?
(6/14/2014 10:58:35 PM)
24
oye
there are at least three sides to every story.
It is terribly unfortunate that this family you refer to are in the matziv they are in. It is also equally unfortunate that the schools don't have money to pay their teachers.
the most unfortunate is the fact that some people have their prioritie
(6/14/2014 11:01:19 PM)
25
smart school
These parents should start paying so teachers would get paid! Hope all the schools are doing the same!
(6/14/2014 11:03:37 PM)
26
Parental choice in education
It is now more than 30 years since the Rebbe urged us all, children and adults, to turn to our public officials and "request the nullification of the shocking policy that religious schools cannot receive equitable financial assistance from the government." The sooner this is done, the sooner will we solve this devastating problem.
(6/14/2014 11:04:16 PM)
27
this is not ok.
i have dealt with this situation. in 12th grade i was told by the administration that i would not have reshus to join my class on chof bais shvat seminary interviews trip if i did not come up with the money my parents owed. The secretary came into the classroom during break and announced this in front of all my friends. i was forced to ask someone i knew for the money. This incident affected my path that i chose for myself in yiddishkeit, socially, and emotionally. schools in general need to be very careful and aware of the effect their words have on their students and their families.
(6/14/2014 11:06:21 PM)
28
boohoo
just pay the tuition, crown heighters are all day complaining about their tuition cost . maybe its time they all start paying in full, you cant pay in full, DONT COME!!!
(6/14/2014 11:11:11 PM)
29
bottom line
When you hire a babysitter, do you pay her? When you buy a new pair of shoes, do you expect the store owner to let you buy on credit and pay when you can??? Until parents wake up and treat their children's education the same way, this issue will never be resolved!! Your child is educated, you pay. That should be your TOP PRIORITY, before name brand clothing, vacations, nice cars, summer camp, etc....Every family who is complaining about tuition should seriously ask themselves if they are putting the chinuch of their kids first. We all know that if you want it bad enough, you find the money for it....
(6/14/2014 11:16:13 PM)
30
learn from the parsha
The meraglim mentioned in public about their fears instead of asking Moshe Rabbeinu privately what could be done. Does airing your friend's email in public help the situation?
May Hashem help your friend and others in a similar situation.
(6/14/2014 11:21:57 PM)
31
to #25
shame on you.

To the friend all I can say is you are very special.
(6/14/2014 11:32:51 PM)
32
Teacher says
You decided to send your child to a private school which costs tuition. Therefore, your kid got a specialized education for your needs and you have to pay for that. This is not new, you knew very well when you sent your child there that you had to pay tuition. If you don't pay then the teachers don't get paid and the school shuts down. Then what? If you can't pay the tuition, then be smarter with where you send your child! simple as that.
(6/14/2014 11:39:39 PM)
33
I disgaree
Schools cannot afford to pay teachers because of parents like your friend.
when you go to the grocery buy vegetables, you PAY for it. When you want a peice of jewelry or clothes for your kids, you PAY for it. Same with tuition.
in any case, the school may have asked the parents for the money many many times and they may have ignored the bills and calls. This could be a final call.

Parents who ignore their payments are WRONG.
its one thing to make a payment plan with a school or ask for a scholarship, but to ignore a bill is not fair to thw school.

And then people wonder why our schools are horrible.

Here's your answer. NO MONEY.
(6/14/2014 11:43:00 PM)
34
Thank you Crown Heights Mosdos
please do not publicize the name of the school. i was thinking of all the mosdos that i have dealt with (or my family/friends have) and i cannot think of one crown heights school that requires full tuition from a family that really cannot afford it. they may push parents to pay as much as possible, even though it seems like a lot. i think it's time to applaud our mosdos and hardworking administrators and teachers who carry the responsibility for the chinuch of our community.
while i feel terrible for the parent and child in the article, i wonder, did they have a conversation with the administration? did they work out a payment plan?
please don't be so quick to bash the people that do a tremendous amount of good for us!
(6/14/2014 11:44:57 PM)
35
If you want to help...
Please e-mail togetherwewilldoit@gmail.com
(6/14/2014 11:46:07 PM)
36
From the administrators wife
I feel the pain of these people. But then please come to the school and explain your situation. But what about the parents who enter the system in the first year saying, we have no money and besides this place is worthless...with out even trying the product first. But I must say, your brand new custom sheitel looked beautiful when you returned from vacation. What about the parent crying poor yet when I meet them during their holiday away accusingly ask me why I am there and who is taking care of their children back home? I won't mention receiving erev rosh hashana menacing emails saying" it's not us who decide who will leave and who will die". The heckles in the street the sneers and snide comments on who can sign my death certificate. No, I am not making this is up. This is just what an administrator trying to pay the teachers puts up with. People find money for everything they want, the children's education must come first. The administrator is trying to save money everywhere and convert your funds into pay checks for teachers.
(6/14/2014 11:55:27 PM)
37
To 27, this is not ok
What happened to you is absolutely, horrifically wrong! As a parent, my heart hurts for you having to have been put through that shame.
(6/14/2014 11:56:31 PM)
38
Been there!
My parents couldn't afford to pay my tuition when I graduated
High school. I needed my hs transcript to go to Sara Schneirer
So I got myself a job and paid up my tuition. It didn't! Affect my yiddeshkeit etc. I think it helped me mature and learn responsibility!
(6/15/2014 12:03:21 AM)
39
a
All this so-called "friend" manages to do is admonish other people (the school admin) to give her friend financial assistance. While all the "friend" needs to do to qualify as a "friend" is post an anonymously on a community website encouraging her friend to do nothing about her tuition obligations!
(6/15/2014 12:04:04 AM)
40
think
We are now at the end of the year, and if by now the tuition issue has not been resolved, that means that the administration did ACTUALLY keep the child(ren) in school all year WITHOUT getting paid even close to the full commitment the parents took upon themselves (no one sends these kind of letters for a small outstanding balance).
It also means that the parents did nothing to work with the school, like raise money for the school, make a payment plan and stick to it, etc.
This kind of a letter is a measure of absolute last resort and the ONLY WAY the school will ever see any money from these people. So all you "well-meaning" tzadikkim, either offer to pay up these people's tuition, or just keep quiet and stop telling other how they need to forgo the moneys that are due them, money that they, just btw, must have in order to pay rent, lights, and teachers salaries!
(6/15/2014 12:15:12 AM)
41
Not the full story..
All of the yeshivas inside and outside of CH employ many respectable means to collect outstanding balances I am certain this is not the only communication.
It is not the job of any yeshiva to be a collection machine or function as a bank. It’s the job of a yeshiva to provide an education (assuming they are doing this correctly.) Progressive an qualitative education can only be achieved when everyone realizes it’s NOT the job of any yeshiva to be a fundraising machine but rather to offer modest help when available but their main job is educational quality. Their fundraising should be to increase the quality of the product they provide. Parents must realize that they have a responsibility to pay for their children’s’ education, along with the community’s responsibility in fundraising for financial aid, NOT THE SCHOOLS. The main job of a school is to offer a top quality product to us as parent customers.
(6/15/2014 12:20:49 AM)
42
grey area
On a personal note, my parents always struggled with tuition, and I had trouble getting placed into classes and getting report cards etc throughout my school years. My parents both worked, but with as many kids as they kah have it wasn't possible for them to pay off all of our tuitions. In some situations it's out of the parents' control.

This predicament is not so clear cut. On the one hand the teachers aren't getting their due payment, and on the other, parents (especially in our community, where families are often quite large) cannot keep shelling out thousands of dollars per year per child. It's simply not feasible. A relative of mine was kicked out of his crown heights yeshiva because he couldn't afford to pay tuition. At the same time, another relative has not gotten paid in 6 months. Obviously no parent wants to send his or her children to public school, so there are only two logical solutions to this problem:

1. Schools need to higher fundraisers
...and perhaps the CHJCC should pay the salaries of said fundraisers. after all, it's in the best of this community's interests. I know for fact that at least one school here does not do any active fundraising, and the principal is forced to raise money on her own to fund school programs. There is a definite need for outsourcing.

2. As a previous comment noted, we need to get additional government funding.

If the school administrators could get together and arrange for a group of people to be in charge of raising money through these mediums, perhaps we would save ourselves quite a bit of admas nefesh.

(6/15/2014 12:23:44 AM)
43
Private school is not a choice
Sending our children to a yiddishe school is not a choice! We are the only sect of chassidim that promote large families but don't subsidize tuitions from the top. Bobov, Pupa, Satmar, Belz you name it all have school paid by their Rebbe and parents who CAN AFFORD are asked to pay a whopping $200 a month per child. Perhaps merkoz can help subsidize our Mosdos chinuch. What can be more important than educating our own and paying quality teachers what they deserve.
(6/15/2014 12:29:41 AM)
44
Board of education
Great idea if you can't get your diploma from the school go directly to the board of education and get it from them.
Also there is a public school near Bais Rivkah start sending you children there and when there is enough Jewish children there maybe they'll give it a Jewish name.
(6/15/2014 12:30:57 AM)
45
inexcusable
I can see both sides over here and I think there's a bit of right and wrong either way BUT if the story that #27 wrote is true ( at least the part about her being embrassed in public) that is simply unforgivable NO MATTER what the circumstances.
(6/15/2014 12:32:30 AM)
46
My suggestion
We need good fundraisers in each school / mosod, It's a skill and a mazal but some ppl are just great fundraisers
(6/15/2014 12:40:09 AM)
47
Communication!!! needed.
Administrator, we do appreciate all that you do!

Understand the Parent's are doing their best,
Please show a human touch of communication instead of an ultimatum!!

Keep it positive and offer payment options / or payment plan....

(6/15/2014 12:43:49 AM)
48
Positive attitude
Administrator,
if you need to write about tuition to a parent or any other issues.. keep it in a positive note!!
Why to hurt parents??
at the end of the day we all trying hard..
keep positive attitude,is that so hard??
-------------
This kind of a school will give the same attitude to teachers and to students as well! (From experience )
Time to change.
(6/15/2014 12:49:49 AM)
49
Yitzchok
As a community and this being a community school it is all our responsibilities to support the Moisdos here first!
I am behind on tuition but in light of what I am reading above I am going to make every effort to catch up.. The schools should not punish the kids by not giving them their diplomas, transcripts etc. because then they can't continue their education and get good jobs and contribute back into the community.... We must end this vicious cycle of not having money in Crown Heights.. I didn't get my yeshiva diploma because as it turned out the yeshiva was benefitting from my pel grant money and they were afraid that we'd find out if and when we would apply I another school, so they just said that they weren't going to give me the paperwork that I needed.
(6/15/2014 1:02:55 AM)
50
Schools Position
I don't believe that email was the first attempt to collect long overdue tuition but a final attempt. Most parents take their responsibility seriously and administrators will work with them if they come to the school.I have a family who in 13 years never pays without phone calls and reminders. We don't embarrass children but someone has to pay teachers
(6/15/2014 1:38:41 AM)
51
chinuch
I'm sorry, but no matter what the reasons for parents not paying, weather right or wrong, the STUDENT should never have to pay the price or even be slightly embarrassed or the parents threatened via something being done or not done to the student. That is just plain wrong and undermines true chinuch.
(6/15/2014 1:59:12 AM)
52
To boo hoo
shame on you number 28- I hope you are joking
(6/15/2014 2:26:14 AM)
53
Money
Many parents consider tuition less of apriority than other bills. If you don't pay your phone bill you eventually don't get hone service. If you don't pay your tuition bill why should you get a diploma?

Many schools provide poor quality education - but it's the parent's responsibility to find a better school or hold their school accountable to educational standards .A vendor can sell what he wants. It's up to the buyer to decide whether to buy.

Some school administrations are poorly run and/or siphon money better spent on scholarships than their own pocket. but again, it's the parent's choice whether to prioritize tuition payments and select a school that is well and fairly run .

Bottom line is if you enroll your child in a school and commit to tuition payment you pay up or pay the consequence. It's not the school's problem.
(6/15/2014 2:28:51 AM)
54
Tuition Required
Rethink jobs, rethink where you send kids to school, but tuition is not an option. Why do we expect our teachers to wait months and months for a paycheck? Is that fair to them? They aren't kicking your kid out of school, they just won't give you a copy of the diploma you promised to pay for but didnt. So pay the money and you'll get the diploma. Send your daughter to work in a cammp and use the money she earns to pay the tuition off. Don't make it the schools problem.
(6/15/2014 2:29:30 AM)
55
Get real and do the numbers
A class of 30 students paying 200 per month would give a teacher 6000 per months. The money for buildings and other administrative costs should come from Hasidic Jewish landlords who God has lent money too to help yiden. this is the only way this can go on... I cant imagine how a normal family (without strong business interest or professional degrees) can afford to pay tuitions for 7 kids. Please someone explain to me how is it possible...
(6/15/2014 2:30:44 AM)
56
Excellent #26
I agree with your post
(6/15/2014 2:35:47 AM)
57
I agree
I think the school did the right thing. Parents should not think that school is free and go for a free ride.

No pay no way.
(6/15/2014 6:53:48 AM)
58
Open minded
Schools work with everybody.it does not say how much the tuition was in the first place.it could be that that bill was for 8 children accumaltive over many years.
(6/15/2014 7:11:38 AM)
59
more to it
1) We are obligated to teach our children. Or hire someone else to. Hence our school system. This is a Torah dictate, not one invented by school administrators.
2). The parents are sending their children each day knowing they are not paying. The school keeps educating the children. The children got what the children needed.
3) the diploma, not the education is being withheld. Bravo to the school system.
4) did the parent or friend go to fundraise this tuition, or do they believe that paying is optional?
5) did They withhold their mortgage or rent for just one month to pay something to the school? As a show of gratitude or to show how mu h they value their children's education?
6) I am aware of parents that let their children in on these issues and that is very harmful. This should be completely private to the children.
7) the administration does not ruin a child's future over this stuff. The family does.
(6/15/2014 7:26:18 AM)
60
TRUE ahavas chinam
You are not in the famyily's shoes and have no idea of their situation properly.
Our job as "outsiders" is to LOVE and CARE for a fellow yid. Not JUDGE and behave in a way of SEDOM... Selfishly throwing out lovely outspoken opinions...

Gemach in should b made and HELP yidden who need help... NO QUESTIONS asked...

If a person comes asking for tzeddaka it is their SOLE chest on alone if they truly need it... Btwn them and the Atbishter.

Schools DO get plenty donations and some type if government help...

It is UNJEWISH to b so harsh towards a family that needs help. It is cruel and wicked middos! Chav veshalom u ever find yourselves in such a difficult situation as this!!

Tachlus LOVE CARE - will bring Moshiach now; not harsh judgments!!!

A JEWISH SOUL comes before ANY PAY CHEQUE...

To humiliate a child is a serious Avera.

U r guessing at many things...

Ill share we moved cities , went to enroll our children. The school saw my husband a businessman and DEMANDED EXCESSIVE pay... We said its too much... They didn't listen. 12 months later we could NOT pay.
We met- they did NOT care and also REFUSED to look at our actual pay cheque...
Which would have shown that as we said initially we could not possibly meet their demanding fee.

They called incessantly to pay up, although I was due to have a baby... Their was no HUMANE treatment or consideration... But visciousnes. They said our children would not participate in certain events... Our one child was in tears ... And we had NO MONEY.
Yes we worked very very hard as best we could on our behalf.

A person has to b a MENSCH before MONEY...

Pirkei avos says we learn a persons true nature through 3 things... One is how one behaves re MONEY...

We are NOT permitted to antagonise people over debts..

And who are all of many above comments to say that sometimes these pple owing money drive lively cars of vacation... Are you HKBH Himself to judge to hard?! Do u know if the lavish holiday was booked and sent to them as a gift?! And the cars belong to their parents and not even their assets?! Or their huge home is an estate of their grandparents for use for certain time etc etc... Or new sheytel is actually a gift from a gemach?!

Be harsh with a left eye on YOURSELF; no other place for such harsh goyishe commentary!!

To the family who suffered- MANY of us KNOW your anguish and take true pity on you and may the Aybishter Himself show revealed Rachamim in expressed blessings of great wealth right now!

LOVE, CARE and RACHAMIM should always come ur way!

(Many posts are a true disgrace on this page!)

And to principals teachers etc FORTUNATELY I see most of u
Have enough or plentiful parnassa from knowing many of you personally... No teachers or school staff from any chabad middos is hungry chas veshalom!

Show more LOVE to the needy... True ahavas chinam TACHLUS
(6/15/2014 7:32:40 AM)
61
It's all in the attitude !
The respect needs to come from both sides from the start! From the time you register your child till your child graduates! I have registered my children in 8 different school throughout the years and money is very tight but I found myself taking care of tuition in attitude order. The respectful schools naturally were respected and got paid first. It's just the nature of people. There was one school that was so respectful from day 1 that even till today when I do not have a child in their school I join their auctions , dinners, and fundraisers.
(6/15/2014 7:41:55 AM)
62
other communities
Lubavitch is not the only group that promotes large families. Lakewood has a high tuition rate that EVERYONE pays. Those who can't, fundraise. They even come to my community to do so. It is no longer accepted in their culture to not pay. The schools also fundraise with dinners and raffles.
(6/15/2014 7:43:20 AM)
63
Yitzchok
$200.00 a month?????? What school are you sending your kids to that will accept $200.00 a month? With big favors we are paying $700.00 per child boys and girls. And I know the school is being kind to me.
(6/15/2014 8:36:45 AM)
64
Expecting the same letter...
But I won't be freaking out- I will just say forget the diploma!
(6/15/2014 8:37:04 AM)
65
I see both sides
Not paying tuition at all isn't right . Growing up my money was tight in my home but my parents always prioritized when it came to chinuch . They may have not paid the full amount but they always worked with the school on some payment plan and bh never had to be publicly embarrassed as I have seen happen to girls in my class (school secretary would come to classroom and call out names and tell them to go home until money was paid up - most girls out of town shluchim kids)
However what should be considered is the feelings of a the student. It's not their fault that money is owed , it's the parents and why should they be penalized for something out of their control . Also lotsa children are kept out of the loop when it comes to family finances and they have no idea what's going on anyway.
So please , deal with parents and don't punish the students
And parents make ur priority ur child's chinuch and try working out a payment plan, or do some other form of service for school to help compensate , teachers need to get paid too so they can send their children to school and put food on their table
(6/15/2014 9:13:19 AM)
66
Have been there :;(
I was sent home in hs in 12th grade because my father didn't finish paying the balance and they wanted me to come up with the money. We always payed since I use to bring the $ but for a month or two he was a bit behind. This was the most embarrassing day in my life. They always pick on the people that are having challenges and not on people who actually have $.
I'm a teacher who did get payed for months I know that feeling so really understand the school BUT I don't believe the children should have to be embarrassed and suffer because of it.
I hope to be able to pay my kids tuition I work very hard but we can't continue encouraging big fam with no financial help.
(6/15/2014 9:16:57 AM)
67
Sensitivity
This is what i got out of the article.
SENSITIVITY will go a lot farther. Remember, the parents feel badly enough about their situation. Give them dignity, respect, hope. Not squash them down again.

I don't see that they were shirking their responsibility. Just frozen about how to get the school the money. And the lack of sensitivity made it worse.

Remember the kovod of everyone - even those without money. Or perhaps especially those who are suffering in the financial areas (which almost always means suffering in other areas too.)
(6/15/2014 9:31:23 AM)
68
The Jewish establishment
The federations which the orthodox world has failed to penetrate are the organizations which should provide an Jewish education to every Jewish family regardless of level of observance and community norms.
(6/15/2014 10:00:17 AM)
69
what about teachers?
Until the teachers are paid, there isn't what to talk about. It's indefensible to have parents who 'can't pay' in a better financial position than teachers who are providing a service. What do you think the teachers home looks like without a salary?!
(6/15/2014 10:21:00 AM)
70
TO #66
YES MAM.
IT sounds like our daughters school. Our daughter is suppose to be graduating today NOW in school. Instead We are writing this at home.
We were told that if we don't bring checks to school this morning, no graduation for our daughter.
(6/15/2014 10:27:41 AM)
71
to no 33
a school is a non profit orgnization Not a grocery store... Schools are meant to survive by fund raising....So you want this familys children to starve...How sweet you are You apparently do not know what its like to not have enough money to provide...Please keep your mouth closed U sound related to this disgusting administrator
(6/15/2014 10:43:48 AM)
72
I can't believe
How many awful comments I had to read through until I read nu. 60. To comment 60 you should be gebentched!

The responsibility to pay for chinuch is on the community as a whole - not on individual parents.... (Shulchon aruch) and after reading this article, the reasons why are obvious for all to see.

Fundraising must be done independent of the school by the community and the school should concern itself ONLY with providing an education.

No parent or student should ever have to suffer anguish, embarrassment or humiliation ever ever again!!!

(6/15/2014 11:02:57 AM)
73
You are right No. 60
I am not sure whether you are admonishing the side of the school administration or the friend of the parent. My guess is the administration, but It seems both sides can benefit from hearing this.
Parnussa is such a difficult nisayon, which is really what this is all about. How do we handle ourselves when given this nisayon?
(6/15/2014 11:07:58 AM)
74
Larry
I'm always wondering when these articles come up how do people post comments when they have no clue who the people are what their lifes are all about how many children they have people just like throw their mouth around like that person who it's about is not a human being I can't comment I don't know the situation but when I do have a few dollars I gave to the schools and if they post an anonymous website I would be more than happy to help out and to all those have a big mouth I'm sure you would love to give also a few dollars to help a fellow Jew
(6/15/2014 11:13:20 AM)
75
THEN HOME SCHOOL!!!
Crown Heights parents need to wake up and realize that not everything is OWED to you, just because you live in CROWN HEIGHTS!!!! You send you children to private schools, you pay private school tutions. IF you cant HOME SCHOOL!!! or get a tutor with a few other parents for a few subjects you cannot teach yourself. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT YOUR TUTION. CH has one of the cheapest tutions in the LUBAVITCH SYSTEM. US "out of towners" Like FL and CA need to pay between 10k-15k.
(6/15/2014 11:48:37 AM)
76
The Administrators Secretary
The "small" fact that the author neglected to mention is that the Administration of the school spent YEARS trying to communicate with these parents. Dozens and dozens of phone calls, emails and letters are all ignored. When "by mistake" one of the parents does pick up the phone they will inevitably say, "Oh, I'm just in an important meeting right now. I'll call you back in five minutes. I promise!" and that's the last time they answer the phone that day!
Now, when they suddenly become aware that there's something that the school may DO to collect the overdue tuition, they are suddenly heartbroken and emotionally drained??!! Where was their great communication through all the years of school??
(6/15/2014 12:36:12 PM)
77
To #28 and one more thing
To #28: Welcome to Sodom!

BTW, there is an issue that I have never seen brought up, that is, what is full tuition?

I would like to see full transparency in the finances of the schools. How many teachers, what are their salaries, how much are the administrators earning, other staff costs, building costs and other costs. Divide that by the number of students and you come to the cost of "full tuition".

However, one really has no idea what "full tuition" represents. Does is represent the max we can get out of parents to cover the cost of students who can't afford it? One would hope that it is actually a number that represents something but everyone knows that it doesn't.

If the school finances were truly transparent, it might inspire parents to give enough to cover their own share. As it is now, they know that "their own share" doesn't really exist.
(6/15/2014 12:40:51 PM)
78
on the other side in Canada
I have been bentched with very understanding school administrators. This may not be a popular position to take...oh well! It's anonymous, no? I have very limited means, and when the means became, unfortunately, even more limited during this past year, the administrators stepped up in their understanding response. Not that every body who perceives to have limited means should come flocking to Canada (lol)...but there are degrees of limited, and somebody has to be in the unfortunate position of determining those degrees. I understand that this family was trying to maintain their dignity, but living in a community, people notice who's kids get the new electronic toys, renew the leases on their vehicles every three years, see the wives at the mall every Tues and Thurs...or take a week in the country during the summer. I'm not advocating adopting a shlepper look, but the teachers who spend all day with our children also deserve to be mepharnes their families with dignity. Nobody ever sees themselves as having "enough" but the sad kvetchy stories I hear are often way too much!
Further, when we show our children that chinuch is the absolute priority, that too is good chinuch!
Thanks for bringing up this touchy subject.
(6/15/2014 1:40:44 PM)
79
Opinion
The school needs to pay teachers & order to run a school properly you need teachers. No doubt if you are sending your child to a school you MUST pay. BUT yes some family's just simply can not afford it and you must be sensitive and understanding with them, and def NOT hurt the student who has no control over the situation! Yet there are family's who "cant pay" but meanwhile have fancy cars, vacations, but the best phone on the market etc. But no one can ever judge until they are in the family's shoes and know! Those who can afford it should try harder to donate, and those who can fund-raise, fund-raise so that those who just don't have the money should not have their last bit of bread squeezed out of them.
(6/15/2014 1:45:52 PM)
80
as a teacher
I work at one of our schools in the community b/c we r at least 6 months behind in payroll ....I HAD NO $ TO PAY MY GAS BILL..IT WAS SHUT.....there is no excuse any worker that works at a job gets paid
(6/15/2014 1:48:04 PM)
81
has always been like this
We are an honest,hard working couple who, gasp, hold onto your seats folks, pay taxes,get no family help and "earn too much" haha, to get ANY government entitlements. We don't have a car, we dont go to the country. . We have to choose every month roof and food or roof and utilities or food, utilities and tuition(risking no roof) which we did for a while and are still in danger of chas v shalom being homeless. Oh, btw, did I mention we are BT for many,many years and thus have no acceptable yichus, no well known name and no protecia to help us. . All I can say is that we feel awful when we cant pay or rthat we cant pay more. Teachers definitely are deserving of a paycheck for their hard work. We get that. So here is a novel idea Instead of paying yourselves and your family members amply and first dear administrators(not all, but those that do, you know who you are) actually PAY the teachers what is their due first!!! Did anyone think of that. Than you cant complain that your teachers need too be paid and its the fault of those of us who are honest and hard working and try to do the best we can
(6/15/2014 2:00:05 PM)
82
Citizen Berel
If you are sending a secretary in to shame a student in public because the parents are in arrears you have an accounting to make. Sending a child home is one thing, whitening a students face in public is another. Pnei dor kpnei celev, indeed. spit.
(6/15/2014 2:41:21 PM)
83
May Help
I think schools should make chinese auctions. Somehow people have money to invest when they might win something. I always see a packed house at these auctions.. A few schools can get together and do an achdus auction.. Then they can split the pot among the schools toward tuition scholarships etc.
(6/15/2014 2:55:49 PM)
84
Unfortunately
School fees come after basic expenses.
I'm sure many follow this mindset.
Unfortunately many don't.
Therefore, administration need to do something to recoup $.
Sensitivity would be nice!! Some ahavas Yisroel!
(6/15/2014 3:08:34 PM)
85
to #12
THERE IS NO ONE TO TALK TO! Wish there was!
(6/15/2014 3:31:09 PM)
86
Same here
We always were able to help the school out, especially on a Friday, when they needed 15,000 or 10,000. We never said no, but then when we had a problem there was a whole fiasco. Nasty lot, only want money.
(6/15/2014 3:37:45 PM)
87
Not every school
There are Lubavitch schools near CH that dont demand payment. You just need to know which school to send your kids to.
(6/15/2014 3:38:50 PM)
88
To nos 60 and 72
I am with you one hundred per cent.
, we are taught to go ahead, have loads of kids, don't worry, a Hashem will bring this that and the other, but what about school tuition, I've seen children not go to school here in my neighborhood because the Rabbi said they couldn't go any more, it's really terrible, so what do we do, send our kids to goyishe places.
I'm so sorry to read about the heartache and the terror caused, usually they get their non Jew to do the dirty work, and they never logistics, they just keep on pushing people around until you drop.

Where's the kindness,nowhere the passion for helping, you tell people to be frum and have loads of kids, but common, how do you educate privately, one has to be a millionaire to be able to educate seven or eight kids, come on, who can afford that, I know very rich people who don't send their kids to private schools. It's impossible, get real.
(6/15/2014 3:48:13 PM)
89
FUNNY!
I find it funny that someone is complaining about an email being sent unthinkingly and saying that the school doesnt understand what is going on behind the scenes; and the forum this person is choosing is on a public website for thousands to see!

Maybe YOU got it wrong, and the school is doing its best to deal with problem parents in the interests of the school, the teachers and the students who DO pay
(6/15/2014 3:57:59 PM)
90
Is this about feelings?
If the issue is being sensitive about people's feelings, maybe the parents should ask the adminstrators about the home life and sholom bayis of the dirt poor teachers who cant afford to buy food or pay rent due to not receiving paychecks in months?!

What a joke
(6/15/2014 4:00:02 PM)
91
Who decided that?
Who decided that the schools and teachers owe the parents free tuition, and that theyre not allowed to do ANYTHING to collect it?

Personally, I disagree with embarassing the students, but not paying is MUCH worse. Think of the teachers who might get evicted from their tiny rental apartments or cant buy food for shabbos. Think of the stress of the teachers wives who try so hard to support their husbands, and see NOTHING to show for it at the end of the month. And what about their sholom bayis? and the feelings of THAT husband?
(6/15/2014 4:03:29 PM)
92
Priorities
Im sorry but you have your priorities all wrong. If paying school fees is number one priority, then either YOU find a way to pay, or YOU speak to the school. Whats NOT an option is to just ignore school fees until you receive threatening letters and then start crying to COL's readers over it.

So I read your Dear Adminstrators letter, and I think youve embarrassed yourself.
(6/15/2014 4:06:19 PM)
93
Take away email
This problem is caused by school administrators having access to email. They should have to make a phone call to ask for payment, and if they dont get through they should leave a message. That way, you only talk to them when you want to/ need to
(6/15/2014 4:07:38 PM)
94
home schooling
Why do not more people who cannot afford to pay do home schooling? It seems if one could take pride in not being a schnorrer, and they cannot afford to pay, then they would opt to home schooling.
(6/15/2014 4:57:13 PM)
95
Larry
And the same for the friend who does not know the whole story of the school administrators, but feels free to post this bashing, as if they aren't human beings either. There is probably enough money in crown heights to cover every tuition deficit, but instead it is used for other purposes. We just came through Shavuos where the lesson is that our future is in the chinuch of our children.
(6/15/2014 5:25:05 PM)
96
@91
Agree 100%
(6/15/2014 5:29:39 PM)
97
#94
That is a good option for some people, but others with BH lots of children ranging diffrent ages & if the Mother needs to work, it would not exactly work?
(6/15/2014 5:43:59 PM)
98
BEET THE SYSTEM
You just have to learn how to beet the system. You then get vouchers "child care" that pays your tuition.
This way the school gets $500 a month for the average school child.
(6/15/2014 6:35:59 PM)
99
phone calls?
This email are sent usually after many many emails and phone calls that this patents ignore.
Yes no one is the same. But if we are by the end of the year and you got this email. Its bec. Your kids are free for a full year and school still have them coming every day to learn.
(6/15/2014 8:08:33 PM)
100
Yitzchok
I think the only choice left is to send kids to public school and then bring back the Talmud Torah system, at least when they graduate they'll have a high school diploma worth something.
The Yeshiva system is now a luxury item, it is not for those with limited means.
(6/15/2014 10:54:56 PM)
101
lets see transparency!
I work in a satmar institution where tuition averages $200@. the teachers get paid like clockwork..and the administration is run by volunteers NOT taking salaries!
chabad institutions should open their books so we can see who is getting what and for what!
(6/15/2014 11:01:59 PM)
102
please!!!! (in a begging tone)
to all those taking sides with the schools: imagine just for 5 minutes what these parents are going through. Step in their shoes just for 5 minutes. I see all those comments like #10 12 16 28 25... Are not going through it. All I can say out of anger frustration that all those will one day understand fully what the story is. It will also happen to them. It's not that I'll be happy a out it, it's just that they will get what they deserve..think about the parents who are struggling and will read all these comments. Enough of elaboration.
(6/16/2014 1:02:33 AM)
103
Morristown/Los Angeles et al
Semicha Programs do the same thing. They refuse to hand over the semicha until the fees are all paid up even at the cost of not handing the bochur his hard earned Semicha Teudah with all the other bochurim, while parents look on and the bochir is Mavezerd Brabim in front of his peers. Shame on Them.
(6/16/2014 5:10:23 AM)
104
@102 / original poster
It seems the posts you number as angering you were addressed more to the author than the parents, so I suppose this is you. If so, your comment/curse reveals alot about you. No longer taking this seriously.

As for people not siding with you, sorry but theyre siding with the hard-working teachers. Have you considered that maybe youre wrong before crying 'FOODSTAMP'?
(6/16/2014 10:04:06 AM)
105
Bigger Picture
You are putting yourself in that family's shoes and that is great and commendable, but what about the teachers that need to be paid and bills that need to be paid. One day, one of these schools will be closed down and have to file bankruptcy.
(6/16/2014 1:59:44 PM)
106
To 25
It sounds like your a kid to be saying that. Everyone knows that money doesn't grow on trees
(6/16/2014 7:27:21 PM)
107
non Lubavitch school
All children presented a paper by graduation. The diplomas are distributed much later, by parental request. If there is a financial or academic issue it is discussed directly with the parent.
(6/16/2014 10:40:55 PM)
108
to #1
they said -"Please avoid any embarrassment."
meaning that the girl will not receive her diploma if the amount is not paid- that is pretty embarrasing
(6/19/2014 1:36:52 PM)
109
I have a plan
We have the money ... in our community.

Next time you get a mailing to sponsor a $multi-million Chabad House, or a new Sefer Torah, write out a check TO YOUR LOCAL YESHIVA TUITION FUND with the stipulation that it pay the tuition of a (few) strugglling families.

When you are blessed with a simcha, and are able to spend $10k - $150K of your own money - make sure in addition to paying the caterer and florist PAY 10% OF THE TOTAL COST (gowns, shoes, makeup,photographer) TO YOUR LOCAL YESHIVA'S TUITION FUND.

Going out to eat? Put the "TIP" in a Yeshiva pushka by the counter, or mail it with the same stipulation as above.

Yes, fancy chabad houses are nice, but warm and cozy small old ones can also be very effective. And
**even the fanciest chabad house will never be able to save every child who is being turned off from yiddishkeit because of financial difficulties**
(qualified teachers cannot be hired, teachers aren't paid and aren't giving their all, parents complain about the high cost, kids feel guilty and drop out early etc).

**And if a parent comes knocking on your door asking for assistance DON'T TURN HER AWAY IN TEARS.
HaShem counts the tears of the poor, the Widows and Orphans. Give what you can, offer a cool drink, words of encouragement and brachos for hatzlacha.

Remember, you are helping your own family at the same time. Your child goes to school too, and will be among all the children who will benefit from a thriving school. And even if your children are grown, you will be helping your future generations too.

Let's help. Together, we can.
M.Z.
(6/22/2014 3:22:40 PM)
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