Sep 1, 2014
Bais Rivkah Postpones First Day

Bais Rivkah of Crown Heights is delaying its first day of school due to financial strains; "It won't be more than a day or two."

By COLlive reporter

Associated Beth Rivkah Schools in Crown Heights, the flagship institution educating Chabad girls, is delaying its first day of school this week.

In an automated call to parents, the school said that aside for headstart, all of its divisions will not be starting the new school year on Wednesday. That includes Elementary and High School.

Bais Rivkah has two campuses: Campus Chomesh houses the Headstart and Elementary divisions at 470 Lefferts Avenue, while Administration, High School, and Seminary are housed at 310 Crown Street.

A person involved with helping Bais Rivkah told COLlive.com that the reason for the delay is the mounting financial strains.

"We are pretty much a public school without public funding," the person said about the school's policy of accepting all of the neighborhood's children. "Many parents are in dire financial situation."

"We are the only institution in Crown Heights that never turns down a child and does not discriminate against anyone for not paying tuition," the person added. "We are definitely facing a crisis and we hope the community pulls through for the school that serves them."

An administrative official said that the decision to postpone the opening date was by the principals and faculty for not being fully paid.

The official said that the hope is that the school will reopen on Thursday, September 4 or Friday, September 5. "It won't be more than a day or two," the person said.


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Opinions and Comments
1
ye right
more then a day or 2 huh?
(9/1/2014 7:33:37 PM)
2
Ma Rabbi
What a shanda. The Rebbe's Yeshiva for girls not opening for lack of funds? Where are all the Crown Heights millionaires?
(9/1/2014 7:34:50 PM)
3
sad
if only th ones who send their boys to the 5 digit tuition schools would pay there local mosad their do tuition we would not have this problem

(9/1/2014 7:40:48 PM)
4
there is no hope
a community that puts in $25.000.000 into a arts and crafts building and not to the only mosad for girls that was part of the rebbes mosdos we have a big problem
(9/1/2014 7:45:27 PM)
5
we love you BR
However, is it impossible to up your game in fundraising? There seem to be so many unemployed yungerleit. NY Jewry have at least 500 Billion Dollars. Can some of those who are competent not be hired as fundraisers?
(9/1/2014 7:48:47 PM)
6
What's it going to help
What does it help to close for a couple days?
(9/1/2014 7:53:53 PM)
7
Help!
What would the Rebbe say in this situation?? Any thoughts????
(9/1/2014 7:55:40 PM)
8
The way to fix crown heights financial struggles
Is this real? A school with many kids closed due to lack of funds in the richest country in the world? I know I lived here for a few good years. How can you expect a couple to pay $2,000 rent $1,000 food and how much for tuition? Newlyweds more or less. One breadwinner and America is really not what it used to be as far making money and having it actually buy things. So besides the fact that we have to realize that there are so many people here who cannot afford rent and food we have to make some serious rules about tuition.

When schools started relying on tuition to pay teacher's salaries they dug their own hole as it were. Obviously, sooner or later parents were going to run out of cash and the system would bust.

The only real expense we can control more or less is tuition. I believe that there has to be a law in Crown Heights that 70% to 80 % of tzedaka monies from crowns heights should go towards Jewish schooling in Crown Heights. Such a rule would require either both botei dinim to institute or a better solution a united beis din.

Obviously these are just my personal ideas and they are probably flawed in many ways but that's what I see as the right approach for now.
(9/1/2014 7:57:05 PM)
9
"...never turns down a child..."
I applied to the high school and was not accepted - not only that they wouldn't even give me an interview. And I come from a good Lubavitcher home and family.
(9/1/2014 8:00:15 PM)
10
fed up parent
"We are pretty much a public school without public funding," the person said about the school's policy of accepting all of the neighborhood's children. "Many parents are in dire financial situation."

are u kidding me I'm unemployed they made me leave in almost tears making me sign a contract and giving them head checks I have no way in the world to cover ..... I was told "so were do u expect me to pay the teachers from? ... my teachers don't even get unemployment" ..... How about you go out and collect money, make dinners and fundraisers like every other organization in the world stop relying on the parents for every dime so your poor teachers will get paid on time
(9/1/2014 8:01:41 PM)
11
and seminary?
Are you sure its seminary as well?
(9/1/2014 8:06:35 PM)
12
It's true
Speaking with friends of mine, there are takke families there that pay tuition fees that would get you laughed out of any other school office, and these parents are absolutely needy and do not bear familiar chabad names. I was amazed. At the same time, Ohelei Torah tells new families that they have no room, by default. It's a very, very sad situation. But yeah, beis Rivka is different. I hope they can make it work because the lack of funding in the yeshiva system is disastrous and one can only hope that one school can beat the new pay to play theme in Jewish education.
(9/1/2014 8:10:08 PM)
13
seminary too?
The automated message only said pre-k through high school... Didnt mention seminary, so if that can be clarified... thanks
(9/1/2014 8:12:04 PM)
14
Teachers have to eat too
The teachers are on strike obviously. They just don't want to call it a strike.
(9/1/2014 8:20:45 PM)
15
Everyone should bring their children
To Public School for a day that would overload the system to force a special school, being enrollment will be too high for the school system to hold all the children in the community.
(9/1/2014 8:26:04 PM)
16
Painful!
This can't happen yearly. Beth Rivka can't rely on a quick fix, some permanent system of finance needs to be put in place. Fundraising,parents contributing e-dollars (supporting their children's school in other ways)
(9/1/2014 8:27:09 PM)
17
Seminary
Does this include the seminary?
(9/1/2014 8:33:46 PM)
18
something is strange.
Mismanaged perhaps
(9/1/2014 8:33:49 PM)
19
The only school
Beis rivkah is the only school without full time fund raisers, the only school without an annual dinner ( but the charge for it never the less), the only school without an annual Chinese auction, the only school without transparency to its books... and the list goes on.

most people have been talking how hard it was to register your children this year in Beis Rivkah, and how hard they were on tuition breaks...

most people know the truth about the admin people and that is that their money is not form beis rivkah, but where in the world is all the money going too??? our checks are cashed why arent the teachers being paid anything???

(9/1/2014 8:37:09 PM)
20
CHARIDY
Let's help beis rivkah!!!! How can we start on Charidy.com ????????
(9/1/2014 8:37:22 PM)
21
never turns down a child?
if you are not full paid and up to date with tuition, they will not put your child on a class list
(9/1/2014 8:39:33 PM)
22
Need to start paying
Most of ch doesn't pay!
Time for people to start paying real tuition like most of us do living outside of NY
(9/1/2014 8:43:05 PM)
23
Do the math!
1600 students multiplied by 2 days is 3200 days wasted. That's close to 10 years. Is this any way to run a school in Lubavitch ????
(9/1/2014 8:45:19 PM)
24
student
yayyy no school for us! more summer :)
(9/1/2014 8:46:57 PM)
25
To number 5
I am sure if you provide names of ppl that are ready to be fundraisers they can possibly up the game
(9/1/2014 8:48:39 PM)
26
What is Wrong with Jewish Education Today?
In Pirkei Avot (4,5) we learn a fundamental Torah law that governs the process of learning and teaching the Torah: “Rabbi Tzadok says ... do not turn the Torah into a crown to make yourself look great with, and not into a tool to earn your living with. And this is what Hillel used to say: He who uses the crown of Torah will perish. From here you learn that anyone who derives a personal gain from the words of Torah removes his life from the world.”

I often wonder why the tittle “Rabbi” is used nowadays predominantly by those who do earn their living from the words of the Torah. Aren’t Rabbis supposed to lead by example?

The Mishnah makes it very clear that no one is permitted to derive any physical benefit from being a scholar in the study of Torah. It goes further, with a severe warning, that anyone who violates this law will perish from the world.

In today’s environment the immediate question that comes to mind is: Who is going to teach Torah if he cannot get paid for it? How is a teacher of Torah going to earn his living without violating this law?

In Tehillim (128, 2) we learn: “If you eat the fruit of the work of your hands you will be happy and good will come to you. ” Chapter 128 continues and enumerates additional personal and family blessings for anyone who follows this law.

Obviously the Torah wants every Jew to earn his living from materialistic work in the physical universe. Again, the same question arises, how about the teacher of Torah?

Several years ago, when we lived in a small city in the West, I participated in a Gemara class given by a graduate (not a Rabbi) of a very famous Yeshiva in New York. He earned his living as an insurance agent, and in his free time he taught Gemara.

We offered to pay him for his time and he was offended. He would not even accept a gift from his students. He made it very clear to us that every Jew has an obligation to devote time to Torah activity and it makes no difference whether one learns for himself, or teaches, or performs deeds of kindness to others. Monetary compensation, in all cases, is absolutely prohibited. Besides, he did not pay for receiving the Torah from his teachers, how could he now accept payment for passing it on to others?

This Gemara study group was one of the most exciting Torah classes I have ever been part of. It drew participants that would not attend any of the classes given by the (paid) Rabbis in town, and we felt like we are getting the Torah for real. For many of us it was the first experience of studying Torah that is not a commodity in trade.

How would you like to take driving lessons from someone who does not follow traffic rules?

How would you like to have an accountant who “cooks the books” for his personal benefit?

How would you like to be treated by a physician who does not keep his instruments clean and sterile?

Now, similarly, why do our children have to learn practically all of their Torah from Rabbis and teachers who do not follow the advice of the Torah they teach? Yes, I know about the various permissions invented by (paid) Rabbis to allow teachers and Kollel students to also get paid for their Torah. If you want to know what the Rambam has to say about it, see Sefer Mada, Hilchot Talmud Torah, Ch.3:10.

The Tanaim and Amoraim - the scholars of the Mishnah and Gemara - had their own businesses. The Rambam worked as a doctor. Rashi was a merchant and never accepted payment for his Rabbinical services. The Radomske Rebbe had real-estate investments. They did not get paid for their Torah. Today, on the other hand, how many Rabbanim do we know who did not turn the Torah into their commodity in trade?

In every generation there are 36 Tzadikim on whom the survival of this world depends. We don’t necessarily know who they are, but one thing we know for sure - every one of them earns his living from materialistic work. None of them can be a paid Rabbi.

One of the very few topics on which all the Rabbis agree is the Torah law that requires every Jew to devote a significant portion of every day to Torah activity. Learning Torah, teaching Torah, and deeds of love and kindness to others, all qualify. Anyone who follows this law would not have any difficulty with the question of how is a Torah teacher going to earn his living. He will work for a living like everyone else does, and in that segment of time dedicated to Torah activity he will perform one of the highest forms of love and kindness -- teach Torah to Jewish boys and girls.

I have never accepted payment for teaching Torah. Neither did my wife ever accept payment for teaching Torah to women or taking women to the Mikvah.

In the early days of Jewish life there was no shortage of teachers who enjoyed teaching the Torah, without pay, to anyone who wanted to learn. They did it because they wanted to, and they enjoyed the pleasure of passing on the torch they received from their Rabbis to the next generation.

Does anyone know of a Yeshiva today in which the Rabbis and teachers follow the Torah law that governs the teaching of Torah? If you do, please let me know. My children are looking for one.
(9/1/2014 8:48:50 PM)
27
To 9
Sent your name to col host and let them verify if you are saying the truth.

I doubt you are because I know a few families from
The shul I Daven in pay almost no tuition and are treated royally
(9/1/2014 8:50:13 PM)
28
punished
Why are parents who pay punished. I still didn't get my daughters report card from last year!
(9/1/2014 8:54:45 PM)
29
Fundraising?
When was the last time Beis Rivkah made a fundraiser? A Dinner? A fundraising letter? Anything!

Who is the official fundraiser for Beis Rivkah? Doesn't exist!

In Oholei Torah everybody knows that there is a man who won't sleep at night if he fears not being able to make the next payroll, who is that person in Beis Rivkah?
(9/1/2014 8:55:45 PM)
30
Never turns down a child
Seriously? I can't believe they said that. When you go to do your tuition if you can't pay what is expected/wanted from you they openly, with no shame,tell you to go elsewhere.
I don't know why they are in such financial crisis everyone I know pays a decent tuition to Beis Rivkah.
(9/1/2014 8:56:52 PM)
31
other moisids
How come other schools in the community don't have thus issue. The boys schools have kids from same families that send their daughters to beis rivkah
(9/1/2014 9:00:35 PM)
32
Parents!
This s your school! It's time for the parents to step up! No where anywhere do parents pay a little tuition as in BR! At the very least there should an "edollars" type system that parents need to put in hours for their scholarships. Maybe some parents will find the money to pay in full, and maybe some will be able to put in hours to do things like fundraising. And yes, the school needs to bring in someone to restructure the finances completely. But to number 8: it's not ok for parents to just pass the buck, it's your children, yes there is a place for scholarships, but there is a way to do it, not just say it's the school's responsibility!
(9/1/2014 9:01:48 PM)
33
just one parent's opinion
I am a parent of many daughters who has paid literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition to Bais Rivkah over the past twenty years and will iyh be doing so for at least fifteen more years. I understand that there are those for whom paying tuition is a serious struggle, but there are also plenty of families who do not make paying school tuition the priority that it should be and that is definitely part of the issue.
In my opinion, however, the bottom line is, that the responsibility for this fiasco lies with the administration. Bais Rivkah management has no transparent tuition policy that applies equally across the entire parent body. Neither does it have any fundraising system in place to cover tuition shortfall.
As long as the school is running successfully, Bais Rivkah administration can get away with doing the same old, but when teachers are consistently not getting paid and thousands of girls can't start school when they were scheduled to, then it is time to do things differently. Bais Rivkah is notorious for it's closed management. If it expects communal financial help here, then they have a responsibility to provide full financial disclosure.
Having said that, I would like to say that as a parent, I have been very happy with most of my experiences with Bais Rivkah. My daughters have been educated by many wonderful teachers and truly love their school. But that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement and if a part of the system isn't working and it affects the staff and student body so strongly, then it is time for some serious fixing.
(9/1/2014 9:03:52 PM)
34
Same thing every year
They have been doing this for the past three years. If you work on fundraising consistently throughout the year, this issue wouldn't come up three days before school starts
(9/1/2014 9:07:52 PM)
35
Fresh face
They need new blood. Successful young business people have to and must get involved if they can succeed in business they can succeed in turning around bais rivka
(9/1/2014 9:09:20 PM)
36
To 23
We shut down our schools for over 10 weeks a year for "summer vacation" and your crying about two days.

How much total is 10 weeks for thousands of students (boys and girls) from around the USA?
(9/1/2014 9:11:28 PM)
37
Unbelieveable!
Whose fault is it?
Well, I'll say this: for those parents that say the school isn't doing their "job" by not fundraising, well that's it right there.
CROWN HEIGHTS: Most people find the money for: day camp, overnight camp, shaitels that cost thousands, weddings that cost in the tens of thousands, and engagement jewelry, gifts etc., flying out for vacations, weddings etc., fancy clothing, expensive shoes, going away for a few days, or the summer, SEMINARY out of town, BOYS yeshiva tuition, need I go on??????
So what's the deal here???? The school should fundraise???

Actually I do think the school should fundraise, have better financial organization by hiring someone to oversee it, change the tuition process, get parents involved etc. BUT, I think some parents are just delusional if they think they can just blame.

Last! A Charidy campaign is a great idea- but let's do it with some type of reorganization of the finances!
(9/1/2014 9:15:12 PM)
38
craziness
what has this school bacome into? hashem yerachem alenu! what am i gonna do with my kids for the next few days?
(9/1/2014 9:21:30 PM)
39
never turns down a child?
who are you kidding.....when we couldnt afford the price..I have 4 daughters at registration I was told there is a public school down the street that is free. I put my girls in a non lubavitch school in Flatbush...I had no choice
(9/1/2014 9:25:41 PM)
40
School vouchers
We need to get school vouchers passed. Why shouldn't the government-which we are paying taxes to- pay for our children's education?
(9/1/2014 9:36:58 PM)
41
this is not the teachers striking
The teachers had no say in whether school would be open on time or not. We found out just like everyone else thru the automated call.
Even though we are owed 5 months pay (nothing was given during the long summer months) most teachers were ready to come in and teach.
The principals care about their staff and have been working to get us our back pay so we can pay our overdue bills.
Since the school has B"H grown and continues to grow the funds needed are much more than they used to be. We need more fund raisers (who have the assurance that what they raise will go towards paying the teachers and not into some bottomless pit) and more events like all the other schools have.
This needs to be worked out quickly so that our kids can learn.
(9/1/2014 9:40:27 PM)
42
dovid
br needs a good ceo someone whom knows how to run a school....bais rivka is unique becuase its the rebbes mosad, it should take in everyone regardless of a parents financial status.
the school leadership needs to think out of the box how to raise funds....i.e a team of fundraisers....Chinese auction, award major donors at a dinner. ect....
(9/1/2014 9:43:21 PM)
43
Boys also
Rabbi O closed his beautiful Mosad near Atlantic City 2 weeks before Elul due to back tuition not being paid.

How sad.
(9/1/2014 9:47:08 PM)
44
Thank you
Thank you to all the teachers who work in Bais Rivkah, not for the paycheck but for the privilege to twzg your daughters, the rebbes children!
(9/1/2014 9:51:05 PM)
45
Great idea here:
If everyone paid full tuition at Bes Rivkah...
...they would not be able to pay rent...
...and the real estate bubble would burst!

I'm pretty sure we just fixed crown heights!

Now what to do about all the honking?
(9/1/2014 9:54:15 PM)
46
orientation
I'm assuming that the parent orientation on wednesday night is canceled, correct?
(9/1/2014 9:54:28 PM)
47
start paying stop lying!
maybe the parents that send their kids to this school should start paying instead of the lying that they do!
(9/1/2014 9:56:38 PM)
48
FUNDRAISE!!!!
Beis Rivka should fundraise by having parents in charge of dinners and programs!!!!
(9/1/2014 10:09:11 PM)
49
time to change
Like others have mentioned before, Beis Rivkah is the only school that does not fundraise. A school of its size cannot rely on tuition alone. As harmful as it is to the students, the teachers must be paid. Teaching is a full-time job, not volunteer work.

It is time for the school to clean up its act! Get a new Board of Directors, and hire honest people.
(9/1/2014 10:09:11 PM)
50
Very sad
As someone who used to work in chinuch in this town but has recently left due to continually not getting paid, I cant tell you how heartbreaking it is to hear that teachers are in this position.

Im surprised that BR dont have a dinner or a chinese auction. Nearly every school does now. But I cannot believe they also dont have a fundraiser. Thats the bare minimum. How can the community get on top of the admin staff to find out what their plan is for the long term? This school is one of our community's most precious assets and we have a right and a duty to get involved
(9/1/2014 10:12:53 PM)
51
ONE PROBLEM
ALL THE PARENTS WITH MONEY SEND TO THE OTHER SCHOOLS - BR IS LEFT WITH ALL THE POOR PARENTS IT USED TO BE THEY HAD ALL THE PARENTS THE RICH AND THE POOR NOW THE RICH LEFT SO THEY ARE FORCED TO KEEP THE POOR WITHOUT GETTING ANY FUNDS. OT & ULY WILL BE IN THE SAME SITUATION SHORTLY AS THE OTHER BOYS SCHOOLS THAT CHARGE A TON GET BIGGER
(9/1/2014 10:17:37 PM)
52
To 28
As a full time teacher in a lubavitch school (out of town) I am appalled at your gall. How are we supposed to pay bills? I work 8-4. Are you telling me that I should teach for free- since I teach in a Torah school and find some other job- working nights perhaps, my only hours available, to feed my family? Get off your high horse and take that nose held so high in the air and bring it down the the 21st century. Teachers in lubav schools (bh mine makes payroll) must make do with less money than they are worth. We must cover food, rent, Heath insurance- since of course our FULL TIME jobs somehow get away with not covering it, all on pretty meager salaries. Get a life. I hope I never teach one of your kids- who is probably as delusional as you are.
(9/1/2014 10:20:35 PM)
53
To number 25
There is a man in crown heights named rabbi B. He is a fundraiser for a Chabad house in Long Island. What does that consist of? Cultivating Baal habatim. How does he do that ? He learns Torah with them, invites them for Shabbos meals,etc. essentially he is a shliach to the high net worth without having to fight to get that shlichus. If presented right I believe many yungerleit would be willing to do that for Beis Rivka. Perhaps they should receive a 25,000 two year grant for their new shlichus besides for "commission based" salary.
(9/1/2014 10:24:41 PM)
54
Well....
It's about time. The four years I spent in Bais Rivka were nothing but misery. My family is not wealthy, and one year I was told at orientation, publicly, mind you, to leave. I was humiliated. Enough is enough!
(9/1/2014 10:34:22 PM)
55
There is some government aid
I assume they are getting government grants and vouchers which are available to yeshivos and other private schools. This requires having an accountant do a special financial report every year which shows a detail of income and expenditures, it's not a big deal. This is pretty standard for most yeshivos, I know because of my profession. It doesn't pay all the bills but helps. Does anyone know if Bais Rivka applies annually for govt assistance?
(9/1/2014 10:35:39 PM)
56
To #52
I don't know either you or #28 but that last sentence of yours: "I hope I never teach one of your kids- who is probably as delusional as you are" is a very disturbing comment coming from a teacher- for many reasons. On that note, I'd also like to sympathize with #54 for her (alleged) experience. No child should be publicly humiliated for something that is no responsibility of hers and belongs strictly between parent and administration.
(9/1/2014 11:12:02 PM)
57
Run the school according to Torah standards.
Fire **every** teacher/secretary/staff member who ever (even on shabbos or out of school) wears short or tight skirts, open collars, exposes her elbows, or walks around without stockings and a full shaitel, and I will B"N pay $100 for **each** new tznius teacher they hire (10 teachers = $1,000, 50 teachers = $5,000!!!!).
I have a vested interest - my grandsons I"YH will need frum kallahs who are currently in the elementary division, and my granddaughters need kosher role models at school now, and I'm willing to pay to make it happen.
(9/1/2014 11:12:09 PM)
58
10 paychecks behind!
That's how behind they are in passing their loyal hard working teachers who are struggling to make a parnoso. Not all of the head staff seem to be struggling as much. Why should their pay situation be different to the rest of the staff?
(9/1/2014 11:16:08 PM)
59
to @51
That is what fundraising is for! All the other schools in Crown Heights (and the jewish community, in general) do it. Beis Rivka needs to start having a chinese auction, and an annual dinner. Not to mention, hire a few fundraisers.

Why should anyone who does not send their children to Beis Rivkah give money, if the school does not go out of their way to raise funds? I am sure people would give if they were guarantied, the money would be used to pay the teachers' salaries. Except, that is the core of the problem. The opacity of the Beis Rivkah administration and financial office, is the worst kept secret in Crown Heights…. which is saying something. As a community school, they need to start answering to the community. There needs to be transparency, and the parents need to be more involved. Start taking an interest, in who your daughter's teachers are. If you appreciate them, then maybe the administration will too?
(9/1/2014 11:28:04 PM)
60
Simple math
Comparing to OT, beis rivkah payroll should be only 25% of OT's, very simple, first their teachers get paid half of what the rebbes get paid, and second, the government pays for the English teachers, so it's only 25% of a Payroll, maybe rabbi rosenfeld and blumes should take over beis RIVKA ... Or at least help them put themselves together
(9/1/2014 11:41:14 PM)
61
donate
We go other school. But willing to on donate and if they make a target account or amazon incan add that
(9/2/2014 12:06:47 AM)
62
I remember when
Mordechai rivkin shimon goldmanò'ä and gavriel rubashkinùéçé we're working for bais rival with full devotion and the crown hights community did NOTHING
(9/2/2014 12:16:49 AM)
63
To #9
You sound quite foolish and obviously still young. "they never turn down a child" hence, "a child". Not a teenager, who can be rejected due to many other factors unrelated to financial reasons! Besides, your family shows nothing about your own character.
(9/2/2014 12:21:57 AM)
64
To #55
Yes they do - most (if not all) is for UPK & Headstart, which isn't affected. As for other available govt money - I think they are so incompetent they either don't apply, don't have a good enough name to get funded, or can't fulfill the requirements so they have to give back the money. Yes, that does happen!

The administration in BR is top-heavy. Too many administrators, secretaries & nepotism. Clear out all the well paid extras & you can pay your teachers more frequently. Administrators will have to learn to WORK instead of monitoring the Dow Jones.

We all know the main problem, but until the top people accept responsibility for this mess, nothing will change. Thank G-d my daughters are out of there - now I worry about my grandchildren.
(9/2/2014 12:53:30 AM)
65
smart teachers, pathetic administration
When my eldest daughter started BR aprox 20 years ago, we paid the then full tuition of $3,000 + signed papers for the school to get a voucher (gov't gave them back then). Fast fw to my youngest who entered BR a few years ago and we paid the requested $7,500 tuition (no more vouchers). In between there was a year in which we experienced a cash crunch. We agreed to somehow pay the amount we had paid the previous year, but couldn't give the requested 10% raise. I was told, "Go fundraise - you have wealthy relatives - why should I fundraise for you?" I walked out of his office shocked and in tears.
I sympathize with every parent that truly can't afford what they are asked to pay. I worked in a Lub mosad and there was lots of fundraising happening. No parent should have to ask their relatives to pay for their child's tuition in order for them to be registered for [the Rebbe's] school [that the mother herself attended] - especially when the administrator admits that the parents consistently paid in the top 30% bracket and on time.
Shame on the administration if after all these years they still can't figure it out. BR is a wonderful school and B"H my daughters got/get a great education there - but just like there are many aspects of tznius, there are many aspects of chinuch. Children "learn" from this yearly school closing game also......
(9/2/2014 1:33:10 AM)
66
link to donate?
This is mind-boggling. After reading the article I wanted to make a donation, no link given, googled and found the Beis Rivkah website, there is nowhere on the site to donate. The site states that it is "powered by Chabad.org", all the normal sites on the Chabad.org network take donations, why not Beis Rivkah?
(9/2/2014 3:42:26 AM)
67
YAWN
This is so boring, it is the same thing every year. BR never starts on time or only has 1/2 days. Why the parents & teachers put up with this baloney is beyond me. It's about time the Hanhala, all of them, stopped their gravy train & got off. Enough of this.
(9/2/2014 6:06:29 AM)
68
Disillusioned
Ever felt duped?
(9/2/2014 6:42:25 AM)
69
This thread is sad and sickening
I don't live in Crown Heights but redding through these comments makes me feel relieved that I don't. The way some people bash teachers, the way the school embarrasses and turns people away telling them to go to public school or sending them out of orientation because their parents can't pay.. Wow. This is serious galus. How sad and sickening.
To the teacher, commenter number 52 I can't believe the words you said about going to never teach that person's children. Are you really a teacher? As a parent I hope that my children never ever have a teacher like you.
This situation is so disturbing on so many levels.
(9/2/2014 6:50:05 AM)
70
Teachers need to get paid more
While we are discussing the financial crisis we should mention that the teachers who teach our kids need to get paid more. If we want decent teachers to even consider teaching our girls we need to offer a normal and comparable salary. Nothing is more important than education
(9/2/2014 7:27:50 AM)
71
To #51
You are probably not from Crown Heights! This has been going on for decades! Before there were any other girls schools on Crown Heights. I'm in my 30s and remember the teachers striking because they were not getting paid! Some things will never change
(9/2/2014 7:59:57 AM)
72
to 51
I am a rich parent and pay full tuition and sent 2 girls thru bais rivkah and BH my kids are amazing and erlich and enjoyed the place.....
(9/2/2014 9:48:40 AM)
73
Money is not the problem
The problem with br is not (just) financial it's a PR and branding issues for some reason (maybe even legitimate) people have a very bad opinion of the school abd it's administration. While this financial crisis will pass the real issues will persist and therefore no one will feel the need to get involved or have the trust and confidence to get involved so the problem will just pop it's head up again in the future and will have the potential of being worsened by the ongoing bad taste in people's mouths.
The only solution is to have a major restructuring of the school starting with the administration (at least one head must roll even if it's just a good will measure) they need to add someone to the administration staff who is trusted by the ch community this person must be empathetic to parents.
Secondly a board must be formed by both parents andlay leader's to help handle the issues the school faces.
(9/2/2014 9:49:24 AM)
74
Put the $ where it belongs
If BR would only use Tuition $$$$$ to actually PAY TEACHERS instead of as a building fund (electricity bills etc).....
Exactly go fundraise for that stuff.
(9/2/2014 10:10:56 AM)
75
SAD :(
i agree with #48
(9/2/2014 10:26:11 AM)
76
if there is no fundraising
And most don't pay tuition, how are they running the school? Although they owe some back pay, such a large school has a budget of millions of dollars?
(9/2/2014 10:42:37 AM)
77
Concern
Of course fundraising is important and there should be transparency. But are all families paying there fair share? My wife and I both work, we have no maid, we do not go away to the country. We send our kids to one session of camp as it is necessary for childcare. I however see many households where one parent works, they have a maid at lease once a week, all of the kids go away to a full summer of camp, they go to a bungalow etc...My wife and I stretch things to pay our fair share of tuition. Is everyone making necessary sacrifices to cover the cost of their children's chinuch?
(9/2/2014 11:25:55 AM)
78
terrible situation...
with no easy solution. Many parents really can't afford tuition. I'm not talking about those that lie and get away with all sorts of things including taking handouts from the government. I mean really struggling families that can't pay these tuitions. What is the solution, yes stop building fancy buildings and art galleries etc.. and put the money into the schools
(9/2/2014 11:43:28 AM)
79
Mother
How do other chassidish mosdos keep their tuition down? People don't pay more than 3,000 per family.
Also bais rivkah administrater told a friend of mine if you can't afford to educate your children don't have so many.
People do not want to give to br because they are not reassured that the money is going to the teachers and not the administration. There is a Lot of uncertainty a bout the management of the funds. Why is there no books open to the public? I know that br gets many government grants, where is that money? The parents challenge br to open their books.
(9/2/2014 12:18:28 PM)
80
What we have learned.
I know the staff at BR is trying their best, and that parents are frusterated, and parents who can't pay because of financial hardships are probably embarrassed. It's a big mess. But I think we need to take a lesson and apply it. In order for this to not keep happening Beis Rivkah MUST admit something is wrong at it's core and bring in some new blood to help spark a fire. Whether that means redoing the entire way it handles it's money or bringing in more paying parents, or starting fundraisers. Something must be done.

(9/2/2014 12:38:58 PM)
81
fundraising
all local schools hold fundraising events throughout the year? when was the last time BR had something? maybe the time has come to replace the administration...
(9/2/2014 12:51:47 PM)
82
to @60
The government does NOT pay for the English teachers, as Beis Rivkah is a PRIVATE SCHOOL. Like all the other private schools, it needs to fundraise. Schools, especially large ones, cannot rely on tuition alone. Tuition is supposed to be used to pay the teachers salaries, everything else comes second.

That is where fundraisers come into the picture. Have a chinese auction and a dinner for parents, alumni, and donors. Most importantly, the top-heavy administration needs to be removed immediately. The Beis Rivkah administration is the core of this problem, and always has been. Until they start making changes, the teachers and students will continue to suffer. It is long overdue, for Beis Rivkah to start answering to the Crown Heights community.
(9/2/2014 12:53:16 PM)
83
THIS IS UPSETTING
WHEN MY GIRLS WERE IN BR,WE PAID FULL TUITION,NEVER HAD A PENNY IN OUR POCKETS,WE LIVED IN SICK BUILDING,NO CAR,NO HOUSE NOTHING OF VALUE SO THE TEACHERS SHOULD GET PAID AND YOU KNOW WHAT THEY WEREN'T,I KNEW FROM MORE THAN 25 YEARS AGO THAT THE AMID TAKES MONEY THAT BELONGS FOR THE TEACHERS,HOW DO I KNOW THIS? FROM SOMEONE ELSE,A LAWYER AND I PASSED IT ON TO MORAH GOROWITZ AND SHE SAID PLEASE ASK SOMEONE IF THE CHECK THAT WENT TO BR WAS CASHED BY WHO,THAT I COULDN'T FIND OUT,SO NOW THE REAL DIRT IS COMING OUT,WE HOPE THIS CAN BE CLEANED UP AS WE ALL WANT THE REDEMPTION IMM
IMM TESHUVAH! IMM GEULA!
(9/2/2014 1:11:42 PM)
84
An Out Of Towner
Bais Rivka is the largest Chabad Mosad in the world. The education of their students ensures the future of Chabad. Rabbi Shemtov works day and night without regard of his age and health. I urge every Shliach/Shlucha in the US and abroad, every alumnus of this great institution to go on line and donate $100/$250/$500/$1000. WE owe it to Bais Rivka
(9/2/2014 1:16:43 PM)
85
yes they are 10 paychecks behind!
Yes this is the sad truth.
BR needs to be accountable to the community.
Enough of the double talk from the uppers in the BR admin.
(9/2/2014 1:56:02 PM)
86
to 66
THere is a donate link on the top right of their website
(9/2/2014 2:25:44 PM)
87
I'm shocked
at all those parents who don't pay full tuition, or don't pay at all, and then throw the blame on the school for not paying its teachers!!! I'm not blaming these parents for not having the money to pay, I am blaming them for having such a lack of hakaras hatov and badmouthing the school for keeping their daughters although they don't pay. Beis Rivkah is one of the greatest schools and I'm proud to call myself a Beis Rivkah student!
(9/2/2014 2:29:28 PM)
88
Soooooo,
Parents! Community! What are you going to actually do? Hold a town meeting? Set up a parent committee? Find a way to do things in a proactive, positive, energetic way??? Who is actually going to STEP UP?
(9/2/2014 2:53:55 PM)
89
previous Br student
BR teachers themselves are so good, nice variety of students, chassidishe teachings and spirit.it's the administration that's the problem. Most principals need be replaced, one competent person can do the job of 3 of them....seriously you don't need be genius to see that. Especially high school, so many extra staff. Get one capable, understanding, compassionate but firm person that knows how to delegate! And makes school wide systems, curriculums, incentives....And to just prepare the tools for the teachers who can do a fine job mostly on their own without having to go back and forth between bunch of people to keep getting a no anyway to any creative idea they might have. Other schools welcome ideas, input, criticism....you need to be open to grow and succeed. When you'll have much less staff, then get few people to fundraise and you'll have much more money available iyh.. oh and one person to be "menahel gashmi" should suffice.
And remember, why are there schools? So students can learn from the teachers. That's it! not for principals or administrators to have a name or to make money....maybe we should start paying the teachers directly, come to school and say I'm giving tuition but it's being written out to my daughter's teacher.
Seriously, you can't be shliach, and everywhere else every other day and expect to run a school too....again Kerr teachers do their job and scratch all the extra staff.
(9/2/2014 3:06:00 PM)
90
This is cyclical
We sent our children to schools that failed to provide them with the skills they needed to be able to pay their own bills. Now those children are grown up and are struggling, and can't pay tuition to the same schools for their children. Do you see the self perpetuating cycle here?
(9/2/2014 3:08:22 PM)
91
Here is a suggestion
I am a teacher, and my family has suffered greatly when paychecks were late. My heart goes out to unpaid teachers. Parents would not dream of taking food from the grocery without paying, they would never expect to live in a house without paying rent or mortgage, and they can't expect to send their children to school without paying. I am sick and tired of hearing about how expensive it is to live in Crown Heights, as if that is a valid reason for not paying tuition. If it costs too much to live in Crown Heights, then do what I did, and move somewhere cheaper! There are communities all over the country, places where rent and housing is cheaper, where the cost of living is more manageable, and where your children's teachers would actually get paid.
(9/2/2014 3:17:40 PM)
92
learn from bais yaakov in boro park
Bais Yaakov of boro park was about to loose their building because they were so behind on mortgage payments.. Then hey got smart and replaced their head of financials.. He got everything in order, started fundraising and began straightening out the mess. Also he makes sure all teachers get paid before administration. Once everyone else is paid only then do they take their salary. The school works with parents to come to a fair tuition price. And once you agree you must pay. They have admission cards sent out a few times a year to make sure every one is up to date with payments.
(9/2/2014 3:39:32 PM)
93
YG (my real initials)
I sent all my girls to Bais Rivkah 3 of them. When things were very tough Rabbi Minkowitz was very kind and asked me to do my best and I did, when I fell behind he was very patient with me and, no he didn't kick my kids out of school. BH things are better and I am on a reasonable payment schedule and hopefully soon I will be all paid up, Even when I owed money and I needed paperwork from the school because my daughter had to transfer to another school, they didn't hold up what I needed. I very much appreciate that Rabbi Minkowitz was nice to me at the time and Bais Rivkah will always be # 1 to me wherever I am …. I wish all the Administration and the teachers and all my neighbors past and present a good year.
(9/2/2014 3:57:27 PM)
94
Shaina
I wonder how many parents came to pay the tuition they owe????
(9/2/2014 5:14:03 PM)
95
Go 57!!!
Yishar Koach for the right hashkafa, and being ready to do something to make a change!
I'm sure the rebbe is so proud!
(9/2/2014 5:23:19 PM)
96
Transparency is needed
May I ask what people pay -- I'm curious to know if I'm
Paying too much or too little?
Obviously u don't have to give ur name.
I'm paying 4k which is fair and doable.
(9/2/2014 6:40:28 PM)
97
The real problem
Chabad raises more money than any other Jewish organization in the world. But, most of this money is diverted to other countries, so none is left for our own children's education.
(9/2/2014 7:17:39 PM)
98
me too
we are also paying 4k.
(9/2/2014 7:38:18 PM)
99
to @96
Is that for one child or multiples? If it is for two or more, then you are paying very little. Even for one child, 4k is a bit low. When I was in Beis Rivkah High School, my father was paying around 8k. That was just for me, and it was over 10 years ago. I guess, that just shows how opaque the tuition policy is.

CA
(9/2/2014 8:24:30 PM)
100
to 72
I mean this with sincerity, not to be snide. Please consider putting two underprivileged girls through BR as well. Thank you for your consideration. (BTW, I'm not part of admin of BR nor related to anyone that is).
(9/2/2014 8:48:50 PM)
101
The Hanhala needs to be the LAST ONE to get paid! Is the Hanhala Starving too?
A few points to consider:

1) Beis Chaya Mushka and Benos Menachem will be happy to accept all students who want to change schools. Both schools have no financial problems, are fully open and functioning and they pay their teachers on time.

2) The Rebbe often mentioned that the Klal is that the Last One to leave (to save themselves) is the Captain of the Ship.

Whenever a Mosad cries poverty, the first place we need to look is at the captain of the ship, i.e. the Hanhala Gashmis, what type of car do they drive and what type of house they live in and how well to do they are, themselves.

If there is not enough money to pay the teachers, then how can it be that the Hanhala Gashmis, live like Gevirim?

The Hanhala Gashmis need to be the last ones to get paid, after everyone else is paid and if such system was implemented, you can be sure that the Hanhala Gashmis, who is "sitting at the shisel" of money, will not go starving and will be able to eat only after all the teachers eat first.
(9/2/2014 9:12:40 PM)
102
Where is the Money? - The School gets more from
The Hanhala Gashmis, of every school, has a habit of relating to poor parents, who can't afford full tuition, as "garbage" and like they are doing
them a big favor by taking them in at scholarship rates.

This is a big myth.

The fact is that all the Mosdos, make far more money from the poor than from the rich, because the poor entitlements enables the schools to get much more than what they can get form the rich parents.
(9/2/2014 9:14:31 PM)
103
Tuition
Is there a number of what the teachers are owed ? We can get 3 or 4 donors on a charidy campaign and raise within 24 hours a few hundred thousand and get the teachers back behind the desk. Than we find a group of young guys and take over the financing of the school
(9/2/2014 9:22:39 PM)
104
if parents cant afford
To pay tuition, they either did not get adequate education in order to make a parnassa. Or they just should simply have as many kids.as they can raise, seeing as though tuition is a factor in raising frum children.
(9/2/2014 9:27:15 PM)
105
An ideaaaaa!!!
this might sound stupid but its a small thing that can help our school in a small way... bring in all your box tops instead of throwing it out! do the math 1600 girls each one brings in at least 10.... each is worth 10 cents so 10 x 10 = $1.00 so that would be $1,600 and i'm sure everyone has more than 10 box tops....... idk just an idea... i mean there's box tops for a reason..... no??
(9/2/2014 9:34:58 PM)
106
Beis Rivka doesn't even BOTHER to Fundrais!
When is the last time that the Hanhala Gashmis came knocking at your door, begging for a donation?

Years ago, every school sent out Meshulachim, Tzedaka collectors to try and fundrias. Nowadays, they sit on their .... and make the parents into shnorers.

In the past 3 decades, at least, Beis Rivka did not send out, not even one Meshulach, to go door to door in C.H. to ask for money, not even to give out Pushkas and not even to bother to collect them.

Now they cry poverty?

Did they show the books to anyone?
(9/2/2014 9:41:51 PM)
107
B.R. is CRYING WOLF, once again (each year the same ploy)
It's all a game.

Can't you see?

Each and every year they play the same game.

Why work hard and make a normal fundraising dinner each year?

Instead it's far "smarter" to delay the beginning of the school year by 2 days, thereby creating the feeling of a dire emergency and getting every ones sympathy to donate for the "emergency".

It's a planned "emergency" to play on our nerves and get the gevirim to be sympathetic to the "sudden" (unplanned? shhh) "emergency", nebech.
(9/2/2014 9:57:10 PM)
108
My thoughts....
Lots of heavy talk here. Let's call a spade a spade. The administration of Bais Rivka is not opening school until their teachers are being paid, out of consideration for their staff that they hire. There are ALOT of people who ARE working very hard to give YOUR and MY daughters a full, rich, Chassidishe education... The not so kind comments here about all the people working in Bais Rivka -- some were about administration, some were about teachers.... my humble suggestion is: think before you talk. You might be hurting people who have been devoted their lives to Chinuch, just because you don't understand or see everything that's going on.
My experience has been an excellent education 90% of the time for my daughters -- caring principals, devoted teachers, and understanding administration (again, most of the time, I guess, everyone's human) -- AND underpaid, late paid teachers who devotedly do their work anyhow. Please let's be careful how and what we say.
And may the Aibishter help that Bais Rivka come up with the money to pay their staff now, and in the future, easily, and a gut gebetched yar to all -- with the coming of Moshiach NOW!
(9/2/2014 10:16:27 PM)
109
Is it true?
Is it true that if you want to go to Bais Rivka then you are not allowed to have a tv?
(9/2/2014 10:47:26 PM)
110
what about the simcha hall
were is the $$ going to? Wasn't it all for tuition?
(9/2/2014 10:54:46 PM)
111
wasted resourses
No one should get paid until everyone gets paid. If it means everyone gets paid for 3 days, then that's it. The janitor, the cook, the teachers, the principals, administrators and everyone else gets paid for the same number of days.

And if the people on the top have not been paid for 10 weeks and are not struggling, it's time for them to take a BIG pay cut.

Actually, cut all the extras.
If lunch isn't fully covered by govt grants, then let the girls bring lunch from home. No kitchen staff, no electric for the fridge and freezer.

Cut the office staff, each teacher can make her own copies, parents can text their teachers instead of leaving messages with the secretaries.

Cut down the admin, principals, etc. to bare minimums.
Yes, some people will be out of a job, but that's what unemployment insurance is for, and since they haven't been paid in 10 weeks, they'll actually do better on UI till they can find a job somewhere else.
(9/2/2014 10:57:45 PM)
112
To 97 re the real problem
You say that a Chabad money is diverted all over the world.

This is simply not factual and also shows a lack of understanding of economics.
A) Most funds to support Chabad institutions come from the regions where those institutions are.
B) while surely money comes from CH to other cities, but so does a lot of money come from all over the world to CH. Do you realize that a significant portion of CH retail economy is fueled by orders from around the world, and by visitors? Then think about the Mosdos that employ locals that service Shlichus.

It's a good thing, everyone needs each other, and everyone benefits.
(9/2/2014 11:42:21 PM)
113
quality of teachers
While on the topic of the serious financial crisis in Bais Rivkah, keep in mind how difficult it is for teachers to support themselves and their families. As a direct result, the quality teachers who can have the greatest impact on the students would rather secure stable jobs, and therefore go for degrees/ change fields/ move out of town.

If we want our children to receive quality chinuch, we MUST change this recurring pattern, so the teachers are motivated to stay in this mosad!!!
(9/3/2014 12:43:52 AM)
114
Bottom line
Let the directors of the school offer to show the books, see how and where the money came in, and how it was spent. 1. After running a school for god knows how long, I would hope they figured it out. If there is a major issue, then I can understand it. If it is just the same budgeting problem year to year. Then they need to be fired. 2. Have these directors of the school been paid to date? If so, fire them. If not, then back to point number one. Bottom line the school is a business , maybe not a profitable one, but still a business . Any other complaints will continue and will fall on careless ears.
(9/3/2014 12:55:11 AM)
115
Every BIG School is BIG Buisness and makes a BIG profit
Apparently there is plenty of room for more competition. According to Halacha, there is no Hasogas Gvul in making another school, even if it's next door.

All Schools make money even they are very large. It's the small schools that have a hard time covering the bills because the larger the school is, the more profitable it is.

It costs the same amount of overhead (expenses) for a small new school with 10 children per class as it costs for a very large school with 30 children per class.

It's the same single salary for just one teacher if it's 5 or 10 children per class, as it is for 30 children per class.

When it comes to expenses for the Building expenses, cooks salary, Janitor salary and secretary salary, it costs almost the same if the school has 300 children as it costs if they have 3,000 children.

The bigger the school the bigger the profit.
(9/3/2014 9:21:18 AM)
116
this wouldn't happen in LA
we have amazing people that look after our schools to make sure we don't get into these types of situations. Thank you Tzvika Ferszt
(9/3/2014 10:17:54 AM)
117
To 101
Quote :'1) Beis Chaya Mushka and Benos Menachem will be happy to accept all students who want to change schools'
-----
Really?
Not so much
(9/3/2014 12:00:28 PM)
118
to #86
I am #66. After you posted your message I went back to the site and a link had indeed appeared. I made a donation that the site acknowledged, but my credit card has never yet been charged. Based on this experience it appears the school is not being run like a business, some experienced business people need to be brought in to shape things up. I live out of town but over the years have been consistently impressed by the quality of Beis Rivka graduates, so I think the teachers must be very dedicated.
(9/7/2014 7:23:20 AM)
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