Aug 8, 2018
How Should We Cover It All?
Illustration photo

From the COLlive inbox: A Chabad mother is wondering if there is some secret she doesn't know on how to cover her family's tuition costs.

By Rochel

I am turning to you, my fellow Anash to help me out. We just do not know how to do this and since finances are something people rarely talk about freely, I hope that an anonymous message would help us get actual answers, as opposed to, "We don't know" when the same question is asked in person.

Baruch Hashem, we have a large family with children in mesivta, Zal, seminary and all the way down to preschool and I have no idea how we can pay everything with our limited income.

Combined, my husband and I earn $80,400 a year. My husband is a Kashrus Mashgiach, and I do babysitting at home. Here is our financial breakdown:

We pay $3,000 in rent and spend about $200 a week in food.

We get $800 a month in food stamps. We do not pay for healthcare, only for an occasional specialist, some dental and orthodontics (which we need to do, but cannot justify the expense right now).

We have the usual utility bills and insurance and do not spend money on anything that is not a need. We rarely eat out, and if we do, it's at the pizza shop. We do not go on regular vacations, perhaps once every 5 years. The one time we did, we drove and stayed at a friend's house.

As you can understand, we are not spenders.

I am writing because I would like to know how do people with our income level pay the tuition for education for the children?

Seminary is asking $19,000, Zal is $15,000, Mesivta is $16,000. Elementary school is $4,000 each child (times 5) and preschool. Even if each moisad gives us a scholarship, it is still, if you do the math, way beyond our income level.

I am not here to complain about the tuition costs. I know that schools have a budget to cover and teachers to pay.

All I want to hear is what are other people doing or can do in such a case. Do people open credit cards, with no way to repay? Do grandparents help out? Do you perhaps do fundraising?

Please tell me the secret; is there some trick I do not know?

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Opinions and Comments
move to a place with school choice
Such as Milwaukee the got covers the Jewish school fully. Also you'll be paying 1000 in rent for a house not 3000 fo a box
(8/8/2018 9:56:20 PM)
Great Question
I wish I could help, but I really don't know. Our kids are not that old yet, but I am interested to see what type of solutions and advice people can offer. Hatzlocho rabba
(8/8/2018 10:05:14 PM)
Mom of three
Glad I don't have to do it anymore, but I got recommendation letters from my Rabbi, a well known community organization leader, and the yeshiva, made copies and literally went door to door. I also sent letters to people and organizations enclosing copies of the reference letters). I explained my situation and desperately pleaded for help to keep my kids on yeshiva.
Very degrading at times, and always exhausting. Some gave $10, some $50 or $100. One gave several thousand (may he be blessed!!). Some gave a lecture and slammed the door in my face.
That's how I did it. I don't wish that torture on anyone. I hope you find an easier way.
(8/8/2018 10:10:21 PM)
Elections are coming up. Make sure to vote for the candidates who support school choice.
Board of education pays $20,000 for each child in public school. Nothing for private school. It's all in the vote.
(8/8/2018 10:13:30 PM)
Trump tax bill
Allows you to use 529 money for tuition at private schools. If you can open a 529 account - fund it and all gains are tax free if used to pay for tuition. Speak to your accountant!
(8/8/2018 10:14:14 PM)
Crown heights
We're in the same boat, except that mommy doesn't work. How can we manage. Waiting for moshiach.
(8/8/2018 10:17:32 PM)
Scared 4 the future
You did a brave move writing this. You are what is called the working poor. You make what sounds on paper a decent living but in a place like NYC that doesn't cover anything. The only answer is to either collect money or hide your income and then get bigger breaks at the schools. Also at least for your Zal and seminary aged children there's probably some government program or grant that you can apply for that you don't know about or didn't apply for correctly. As rent for non luxury three bedroom apartments start to cross that three thousand dollar per month line we will lose our middle class in Crown Heights. The only people who will be able to live here are those who have section 8 or some other form of Government sanctioned rent relief or those making north of three hundred grand a year. Just like that kind of society isn't healthy for democracy it also isn't healthy for a Chasidishe community. We need moshiach now.
(8/8/2018 10:20:06 PM)
The trick
Don't send to Out of Town schools. Local schools charge much less.
(8/8/2018 10:22:33 PM)
My 2 cents (that may not be worth that)
I would recommend speaking to someone who is a specialist at helping families get on welfare, the government (according to our elected officials in nys) are obligated to help you with basic needs such as food stamps rent and childcare. Since you are seemingly a large family your threshold for income should be higher and speaking to a professional will help yoilu understand what the government can do for you. Being at the welfare office is horrible but probably better than begging.... hatzlacha
(8/8/2018 10:29:39 PM)
I would skip seminary
Let your daughter go locally to br... Zal and mesivta send local and begggg for scholarships.
Perhaps it will lower your total to $50k in tuition which hashem will provide
(8/8/2018 10:29:50 PM)
Just want to say that seminary is a luxury and certainly not a necessity of life. If you live in or near NYC. Your daughter can go to Bais Rivka sem for much cheaper than 19k and get some college credits.
(8/8/2018 10:35:23 PM)
Unfortunate reality
Our community is being led blindly by the very board members of our institutions. Instead of representing us and helping us they are increasingly working against us as well as against everything that is sacred and holy that the very schools themselves teach and educate us with.
The school is there to serve the community and its people and it is there duty to figure out how to get it done.
The inadequacies of the individuals on the boards do not call for never mind justify the kind of torment and torture that so many are facing
When it comes to boards and people in charge it needs to start with hard and difficult work and then perhaps it can be followed by honor. If it starts with honor which is our current unfortunate reality then it takes us to where we are now and that is unacceptable
(8/8/2018 10:39:40 PM)
Public school
If the Jewish institutions cant help, just send your kids to Public school and educate them at home. These days, many kids leave the Derech anyways so why waste money on (sometimes) worthless education?
(8/8/2018 10:42:39 PM)
Bad Choice of Profession
See if both of you had gotten some degrees you would be making more like 200-250k and be able to afford your tuition and not need food stamps. Post high school education is a requirement for people who want to be financially secure. Please don't tell me how there are no guarantees in life as all good choices work off probabilities.
(8/8/2018 10:44:57 PM)
Dont bring into this world what u cant afford
(8/8/2018 10:57:05 PM)
I would never take charity...
I would never be able to put myself and my children through that shame! Besides many people in our community are in the same situation! The schools must take action!!!! I don't want my children in public schools just as much as i dont want tzedaka! If i have no choice ill put my kids in public schools and they may end up marrying goyim! But what can we do this is life...
(8/8/2018 10:57:44 PM)
In these types of circumstances I feel seminary is a luxury. Girls can go to sem in Crown Heights and work.
(8/8/2018 11:09:01 PM)
dear rochel
thanks for your well thought of question. i have asked it over and over myself and mashpiim keep telling me rebbe rebbe rebbe don't worry ... have faith ... so i have faith and i tell my bank manager the same but he doesnt believe in rebbe or in me or in g-d ... he wants to see cash and repayments and credit cards being paid. i dont know the answer and look forward to hear what others say. keep the faith!
(8/8/2018 11:10:17 PM)
Send them to the poilesher chassidus schools the tuition is much cheaper and they dont go to seminary
(8/8/2018 11:11:49 PM)
To the author
I dont know where you live, so I will assume Crown Heights.

Here is how you do it:

1. Tell your daughter she is not going to an expensive seminary. She can go to BR seninary or work in a school or for shluchim.

2. Again, assuming you live in CH, the Zals here are not $15,000 if your son is not staying in their dorm, and Mesivta is not $16,000 either.

Mokom shelibo chofetz does not mean at a $15,000 expense.

There, I just solved two thirds of your problem.
(8/8/2018 11:17:18 PM)
We are fighting too many battles
our community here has to support many organizations and shluchim around the world.
it's time that people face the facts, we are not a wealthy community. our schools suffer from this and put all the pressure on us, I'm a very hard-working person, earn a lot of money each month, so does my wife, but for the cost of living in this neighborhood it's pennies. all my friends think I'm rich, but I barely make my payments each month.. it's a constant stress.
Seminary, and camp are way too expensive, and if the prices don't go down it should be prohibited and stopped all together.
I know that's terrible, but I don't see any other solution.
In addition, some kids are getting into school without paying at all, and some are paying less because they have more children in the school. Which I think is great, but someone else will have to cover that.. we need to really fundraise the most we can for our schools, firstly because our education is the most important thing. secondly, which is just as important if not more, so this community can breathe again and have larger families without worry
(8/8/2018 11:26:16 PM)
I always buy clothes
second-hand. You can save a ton of money buy buying good quality used clothing. I wash it well when I come home. Look into such stores. Sometimes you can save hundreds on one garment alone. I am generally talking about quality even name brand clothing for under $10.00 each.
I live in California, but I would imagine that there are similar stores on the East coast. Especially for a large family, it may be worthwhile going out of town to pick up a whole wardrobe for everyone, and each wardrobe will probably be less expensive than one garment in most normal stores.
(8/8/2018 11:28:48 PM)
Location matters. If this is in Crown Heights, do you need you stay in CH? Some states are much cheaper as far as tuition etc.

If you need to stay in CH ohlei Torah mesivta and zal doesn't charge that much. And they will work with you.

Out of town yeshivas charge alot. That is a story for itself.

Seminary many families have cut out as they have discovered the scam that it is.

Do you have any siblings or family that can help you foot the bill?

Some schools will give you a multi year payment plan, you will pay for the next 20 years but slowly

You also left out saving money and paying for simchas, that is a huge expense.

But the trick and secret that many do is they max out credit cards and lease cars etc and take on unhealthy debt. Even to it catches up and they either file bankruptcy or settle with the credit cards and mess over their credit. But there isn't much options.

One other option is to lower your income, get parsonage etc

80k should not be giving you food stamps so I assume you already have some in cash or parsonage.

This issue is a major issue facing many people in our community.

On the other hand there is alot of young well to do people in our community. If only the school had a way of fundraising even small amounts and each person is assigned a family they help cover. It would go a long way.

If the dean of my school called me and said would you be able to give 2k to help pay so and so tuition, I would do it. I would not call the school offering because they are one big cholent, but if I knew exactly where or to whom my money is going to cover I would gladly do it.

I think rabbi Rosenfeld of ohlei Torah can probably get 150 such people.

(8/8/2018 11:33:40 PM)
Ask for a break in tuition. Its no shame. Good luck.
(8/8/2018 11:34:40 PM)
concerning seminary
if you live in ny
maybe send to BR
it won't cost 19,000
and i heard that girls are happy there generally

also, i think we all need to start rethinking how we make simchos and cut down on a lot of the things at the simcha that cost so much and we can really do without...

talking big bouquets of flowers, more flowers all over, maybe a smaller sweet table, each person can find ways to cut down...

but even with all that the cost is staggering

(8/8/2018 11:41:07 PM)
What should the schools do
They fundraise after they give people discounts and are still unable to cover their budgets.

(8/9/2018 12:03:10 AM)
Food stamps
Why are you on food stamps and free healthcare if your family in earns $80,000 plus?
(8/9/2018 12:04:44 AM)
That doesn't help seminary, mesivta and zal.
(8/9/2018 12:05:25 AM)
try to increase your income
babysitting and kashrus hashgocho both pay very low wages - so you can either look into ways to lower your cost of living, or if possible, look into ways to make more money. look into getting into skilled trades or some professional or para-professional occupation. Or perhaps some small business / self-employed opportunities that bring more money than simply babysitting. Do try something - trust in G-d, and believe in your abilities as well.
(8/9/2018 12:11:53 AM)
align your income and expenses
if you live in Crown Heights, it's a fairly expensive area. Nowadays, it's meant for people who make at least $50-60k / yr as a starting salary for a young professional, not a large family with 80k / yr combined income, unless you have subsidized housing. You're paying close to half of your income for housing. On the other hand, your elementary / middle school costs are very low compared to what people pay in other cities / communities (besides some poilisher or litvisher chadorim in places like Monsey, Lakewood, etc.) Use Bais Rivka for seminary - it does not cost 19k / yr. Oholei Torah does not charge 16k for mesivta. Those prices usually include the dorm - do you have local yeshivos at your community? Not to make it feel even worse, but there're also very significant camp costs etc.
(8/9/2018 12:23:37 AM)
Oholei Torah....
For some odd reason, the tuition committee in OT are all very wealthy and have no sympathy to anyone who can't pay full tuition. Why are they interviewing parents? what do they understand about struggling financially?
besides, if you look closely, NONE of them have any children in this yeshiva! So why then are they on this self appointed board?
This is a community organization that benefits from being tax exempt, this requires for them to follow the rules.... why isn't the board of a community school elected by the parent body?
This board will destroy the school
(8/9/2018 1:01:51 AM)
Possible options
You should be able to get some FAFSA money to cover Zal.
Today, Bais Rivka is a viable alternative, which would also be covered by FAFSA.
My husband was always on the books, but didn't make that much, so we didn't get any FAFSA, food stamps, WIC, or Medicaid or even child health plus.
I don't understand what is going on today. The yeshivas never gave us big breaks, but it was manageable (although we continued to pay back tuition for many years). Unfortunately,. I have heard that tuition is the new birth control and that administrators in more than one local yeshiva have told women to stop having kids!!!!

What have we come to in the Rebbe's schools in "Kaan Tziva Hashem'??!!!
(8/9/2018 1:05:27 AM)
Israel !!
You guys know that in Israel religious/chabad schools are free? (Until yeshiva when they cost a few hundred $ a year) And health care. Maybe think about aliyah?
(8/9/2018 1:23:02 AM)
Yitchak p.
For mesivta look into tzeirei hashluchim(beis Menachem Mendel) in tzfas
Great yeshiva with amazing hanhalah was that really helped my son grow
great campus equipped with basketball soccer volleyball and football fields
Dorms are absolutely ABOVE AVERAGE each one featuring a private bathroom and shower

All for a Fraction of the regular asking price of any yeshiva (obviously a lot of government aid is utilized )

Anyway might be something to look into like I said
(8/9/2018 1:30:16 AM)
when are we, as a whole group of Jews , are going to get together and ask the city and state to pay for our kids tuition the way they spend close to 20,000 dollars per year per student in public schools. if you think things are tough now, wait till the next generation being forced to attend public school for lack of fund. Of course Moshiach will be here and tuition will be free in eretz Israel.
(8/9/2018 2:01:08 AM)
What if they don't attend seminary?
would it be the end of the world?????
(8/9/2018 2:03:35 AM)
Spinning in circles
Pray, work harder, make more money.
(8/9/2018 2:11:33 AM)
A Time Bomb
As a parent and now a grandparent b"h, I am convinced that the issue with tuitions is a time bomb ticking away at a ferocious pace, and it threatens Klal Yisroel. I recall the tremendous anxiety it caused me and my wife a"h throughout the years.[br]
It must be handled on a Klal Yisroel level in order for us to survive as a frum people. A national fund must be established mimicking that of the U.J.A Federation. Perhaps charter schools are the answer.

I heard from friends that many young frum couples are making Aliyah because tuition in Israel is taking care of by the government.

If any wealthy people are reading this comment, I urge you to please get together with your fellow philanthropists to establish a United Jewish Tuition Fund on a massive scale.
(8/9/2018 2:34:36 AM)
To Number 3
Impossible way of living
(8/9/2018 2:51:37 AM)
Birth control
And now you know why people arent having large families anymore
(8/9/2018 3:00:35 AM)
Move to Israel
Move to Israel where education is free.
(8/9/2018 4:02:38 AM)
School Choice States
MOVE TO: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana (2), Maine, Maryland, Mississippi (2), New Hampshire, North Carolina (2), Ohio (5), Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin (4)and Washington, D.C-- ALL HAVE SCHOOL CHOICE] Meaning reduced or free tuition depending on the state
(8/9/2018 5:09:35 AM)
In the same situation
Unfortunatly this is one of the nisyonos of our generation.
Maybe move to the Holy Land where tuition is very very low.

I don't have the answers, but this is what I do:

find out about getting school vouchers, Pell grants etc...

dont encourage kids to go to out of town Yeshivas and overnight camps unless it is really important to them

Negotiate hard with the schools and camps (al pi halacha the wealthy in the community are supposed to help the poor with tuition. In Every other Chasidisher group this is the way it is done, some Yeshivos are amazing in this regard and they really work with me, and they do it with a smile, may they be blessed, and others...well...

Daven, daven and keep davening, go to the Ohel go to the Ohel and keep going to the Ohel...tell the Rebbe the situation and ask Him to daven for us down here.

then I just leave it up to Hashem to provide...and somehow it works out. not sure how, but somehow it works.

on a side note I think there is a catch 21 situation going on here. Tuitions are high because there are salaries to pay, but salaries have to be higher today because the staff have to pay high tuitions. all started when out of town Yeshivos charged full and then it backfired on their own kids when they had to go away. economics 101

(8/9/2018 5:26:36 AM)
worse than mitzrayim
We are not having any more children because of this.
(8/9/2018 5:28:57 AM)
Keep your older kids in town
In town yeshivas are much cheaper.
Get scholarships for the rest of the tuitions.
That would help cut out a large chunk of your tuition bill.
(8/9/2018 5:33:40 AM)
TO # 1
(8/9/2018 5:45:25 AM)
Much Harzlocho!
Managing the burden of a large family depends on community wide infrastructure, leadership and resources.

The rebbe tried setting that up (at the time when he campaigned for having large families) by organizing a committee to create long-term affordable rent and housing, tasked the schools to start fundraising instead of relying on tuition and lobbied the gvt for "school choice", but none happened.

So according to the laws of nature it isn't reasonable to expect to do it all alone, but since we Jews were never limited by the laws of nature here are my thoughts and suggestions on what's left for us to do...

a) Cut ourselves some slack and give ourselves the credit for doing the Rebbes rotzon despite the impossible circumstance.

b) Get creative and improvise. (organize your own mini family/neighbor camp, become your own fundraiser even though it's totally out of your league, seek and/or train for a higher paying job, start a business, make use of local seminaries, schools, shoe sales even though it may not be your preferred choice...)

c) Do our best by making the most with what we have and living it with joy by keeping in mind that you're far from alone. Most of us are in the same boat and don't have wealthy grandparents to help bail us out 😉

d) Ask Hashem for help and acknowledge that we live in difficult times. Let go of what we can't control by trusting in Hashem that He will somehow shoulder what is beyond our limited ability but needs to happen.

e) Hang in there when life gets tough and things feel overwhelming by a gam zeh ya'avor (this too shall pass) attitude and...

f) Daven real hard for Moshiach.

Much hatzlocho!
(8/9/2018 6:05:54 AM)
Can't really say...

Just from where I'm at (not knowing anything about your work abilities, etc) I would say that your best start is in your income. If you are working from home you have the world as your oyster. Step one, raise your prices by very, very little. The small raise in prices on your babysitting clients is unlikely to hurt them very much but will do a lot for you.

Starting a side business is also a great way to up your income. A side business can be something as inconsistent as after hours babysitting (if possible) or as in depth as tutoring.

While these things aren't going to bring huge increases on your income they will allow you a little more leg room when you speak with schools. I have to be honest, I don't know too much about how it actually works but from my understanding many families just don't communicate with the schools about an inability to pay, they pay what they can, the school sends reminders and the parents sigh and throw them away. You may benefit from telling schools outright what your payment abilities are for right now and just leaving it at that. With Hashem's help you will have shefa in ruchniyius and gashmius and these problems will be something of the past.
(8/9/2018 6:43:49 AM)
Dave Ramsey
Its all answered in your 3rd paragraph, where you wrote My husband is a Kashrus Mashgiach.
As Dave says, your most powerful wealth building tool is your income. Your husband needs to find a better paying job. Hashgacha, with all due respect, is the easy way out. I went to night school for 4 years to get my degree, working all day In an entry level job with 4 kids and a mortgage then going to school all night, just to get my degree. Now I have opportunities available that would never have been with just a high school diploma and a basic college course.
With that degree he can go on to get his foot in the door at a higher paying job, making over 100k a year, which, when supplemented with your income, will allow you to afford to send your kids to private school.
(8/9/2018 6:50:02 AM)
What about all the money you get back from your tax refund!?
(8/9/2018 6:50:41 AM)
Tuition rates
Those sound like rates for out of town schools. Keep your children local if possible. Are those the published full tuition rates as they sound very high?
Our family struggles by fundraising-not easy but our city works that way- and arranging to pay lower amounts until March or April when tax refund comes.
(8/9/2018 6:51:30 AM)
Financial Advisor
Hi Rochel,

1. Your rent is taking too much of your income. I assume $80,400 is take home (net income) not pretax income (gross income). because you didn't mention taxes. Rent should not exceed 28% of your income. $80,400*.28= allows you $1875 per month on rent.

2. You should certainly try to ask for as much of a scholarship as possible, because it is unreasonable to expect your rent to decrease (this year, as a previous comment recommended moving).

3. I would venture to say look for for a cheaper seminary, but I imagine that is something you would have already considered.

4. If moving is an eventual possibility, besides for cheaper rent many other states allow you to contribute to a 529 college savings plan that enables you to use tax free $ to pay tuition for K-12.

5. Many end up as you speculated, owing money to credit cards companies or even to the schools.

6. Lastly, I believe that it is nearly impossible for most people to afford our lifestyle with only relying on the money they earn at their "9-5" jobs, even with both spouses working. While it hard to suggest this to someone in your situation, it is important to try to set aside a small sum $20, $50, $100 per week to be invested. Investing allows you to earn money even when you sleep.

(8/9/2018 6:55:50 AM)
You open a non profit and solicit from wealthy non frum people.
(8/9/2018 6:59:46 AM)
I don't know what to tell you at your stage in life, but for the youngsters out there, having a combined income of $80K will not cut it. You need well over $100K for basic survival. Be smart, think ahead, and do what it takes to make this happen. Spend wisely in your younger years and make proper life choices...
(8/9/2018 7:13:43 AM)
constant stress
our kids were constantly being threatened to be thrown out , sometimes they were and we moved them around different schools . sen was one yr locally , yeshiva was here and there ( same thing ) . we shnored until there was no one left to go to. we didnt do the pre shlichus ur and found the boys shlichus with friends family , it didnt harm them but it did us . we are old , ill and tired and we havent finished wirh this stage . oh and we are the most hated couple around lol
we had no choice as we were earning very little , we be had huge medical criseses/expenses and we chose to pay ourselves first ( basics no vacations ) with norashing meals and descent clothing so at least our kids should come out unscathed which they have .
good luck.
(8/9/2018 7:25:03 AM)
Have you looked into the different grants that help?
Pell grant/ masa / and other grants that help in yeshiva and sem.
(8/9/2018 7:25:17 AM)
Good question
BH for the brochos of a large family, and children who are learning Torah all day.
Wondering if it would help for you and your husband to have a meeting with the schools, show them your financials on paper and ask them what to do?
Youre doing all the right things, having the children, sending them to the Rebbes mosdos, trying to earn a living by working hard, not spending on extras, so when they see that perhaps theyll try to help you from their end with discounts or scholarships.
May Hashem continue to shower you with brochos and the money to afford them!
(8/9/2018 7:27:35 AM)
It's good to know...
Your problem is the financial nightmare but also great blessing of most people I know..
As #1 said..move to a cheaper place. In Lakewood for example you can live in a 5 bedroom house for only 1500 a month. Also they will never reject kids no matter how much your behind
Same is true in other Chabad communities around the Melbourne Australia. I had 6 children and paid a minimal tuition....Although then there was a "Giant of a man"- Rabbi Yitzchok Groner Z"l. Who would never let a student be ousted on account of money..
But I highly commend you for bringing up this subject. It is a great concern to many
May you have much nachas
(8/9/2018 7:28:23 AM)
Libavitcher yungerman
My advice is, find a course in something you enjoy and which has the potential to earn a high income from and get a degree in that field, and then people will start to request your services
(8/9/2018 7:33:42 AM)
snarky comments
snarky comments with no basis in reality.
1. small families? as if that would help, plenty small families struggle too.
2. college degree ? come on we know that only on paper that may solves problems but still can't make ends meet
Yes life is tough. school can be expensive but also compassionate and for the most part kids don't get thrown into the street, when your short on tuition.
a little belief in Hashem would help to.
Good Luck with realities of life.
(8/9/2018 7:39:06 AM)
To #14
You are wrong. There are more factors than a college degree. Both my husband and I are college educated, and while it may make us in a somewhat better situation, we are still struggling to stay afloat. Hashem is part of the equation, and so is mazal. There is no yellow brick path to success for everyone.
(8/9/2018 7:46:27 AM)
Talk to Rabbi Shais Taub
Write to Ami Magazine
(8/9/2018 7:48:42 AM)
I think comments like don't have children or you should have gone to college are inappropriate for a chabad site and collive should have blocked those comments.

Author is asking for advice and not for your kfirah.

The real answer is that it will all work out, the proof is that even with these worries your kids are in school and you still have food on the table. It does work out. The only issue is that it's a constant worry and not easy. It is called dagas haparnasah.

For years everyone has been tossing and turning in bed over money issues.

Bh it seems that most of the money issues is in regards to school and basic necessities.

The schools no matter how nasty the administrator may be, will still not throw your kid into the streets. It is a very bad feeling to come begging for a discount and to be treated harshly, it makes one doubt everything in our way of life. But in the end of the day your kids will be in school and you will marry them off and will have nachas from them and great grandhildren.

One thing I would suggest to anyone reading this who is just starting their families, it is important to save and invest. Every penny saved and invested even into an index fund will accrue interest.

There are many financial lifestyle programs such as Dave Ramsey and others.

Keep your expenses down. Save save save.

Even a small paycheck if handled properly from the beginning can grow into nice wealth.

It all boils down to having a financial goal.

A little discomfort from being frugal now will be repaid down the line when you will be able to live comfortably.

I don't want to sound cliche but thank hashem for all the good that we do have and just know that hashem will provide. In the end everything works out.

(8/9/2018 7:49:21 AM)
To all that suggest local schools
For a larger family the local schools are causing the same pain and anguish 4500-5500 per child depending on how kind the honorable decision makers are this is simply an unsustainable for a regular income family
The burden is on the school thats the way it always was and with all due respect thats the way it is supposed to be
Enough of this our cost per kid is 11000 and we are awarding you a 4000 scholarship what a nice guy make sure that the world is aware of his honorable status or next year it will cost you 12000
(8/9/2018 7:53:25 AM)
Real Answer
...Pound the pavement...
Thousands like you....simply go door to door in communities that don't know them and raise big money
I did that when I had to marry off two children in same month and 4 others in a period of 3 years..
(8/9/2018 7:54:36 AM)
New York
Or wherever you live should have school choice. It doesn't make sense that with so many Jews in New York , there is no school choice. Start a campaign now to campaign for school choice. Put it on the ballot for the next election. The Rebbe spoke about the government helping with school expenses.
(8/9/2018 7:54:36 AM)
To 12
Those are some very slanderous accusations. What was the last thing you did for the community? The members of our community's boards give away countless hours of their free time purely to insure that the rebbe's mosdos will be able to continue into the future.
How can you possibly look at that spending breakdown and come away like it's the local school's fault? As others have mentioned, paying 20 grand for an out of town mesivta is a much bigger problem than 4 grand for local schools.
This family is bh better at realizing where the priorities should be, but how many people "can't pay" the local tuition because they need to spend on the much more important things like 2 car leases and vacations a few times a year?
You accuse them of doing it for honor, how can you say that when all they get in return is nameless people on collive making comments like yours.
I could go on, but Dai lechakima beremiza. I will say though that with yom Kippur coming up, you should consider apologizing to the hard-working people you mentioned.
(8/9/2018 7:55:10 AM)
We are in the same boat as you (slightly higher income but no benifits). The only way we can keep afloat is to take out loans. Eventually we hope to pay them off. The rest is up to Hashem
(8/9/2018 7:58:08 AM)
Real Answer
...Pound the pavement...
Thousands like you....simply go door to door in communities that don't know them and raise big money
I did that when I had to marry off two children in same month and 4 others in a period of 3 years..
(8/9/2018 8:02:20 AM)
Earn more income
Look for better paying jobs for both of you!
(8/9/2018 8:25:06 AM)
Open your own seminary
With 5 girls, you would be making 100,000. How will you pay the teachers? You and your husband can be the teachers and leave your elementary and preschool children home for them to gain hands on experience in teaching.
(8/9/2018 8:28:28 AM)
To no 63
We are a young couple with some money to invest, where and how? Any insight? Where to look into it?
(8/9/2018 8:58:50 AM)
Community +
As a community we have to stop giving our money to institutions outside the community. Halacha clearly states about tzedoka that it's family first, then local community, then Eretz Yisroel, then you can choose. (The Rebbe brought back shluchim when their local communities didn't financially support them). We fund schools, shuls, mikvehs out side our community and it's simply against halacha. 2 years ago I committed to giving matching amounts to local institutions everytime I gave to not local institutions. Then last year and this year I committed to giving people who ask for non local institutions a maximum of $18 (a lot stopped coming by:)
Also I have big respect to the people in C.H. even the not we'll off guy/mammi you see is spending 3times the national median income.
To the guys suggesting Trump tax 529 do the math how much would have to be saved to pay for the tuition. Take a 5% return these guys just for elementary pay $16'k, they would have to put away their entire income for 40yrs (160000.05=320000 320'k80'k=40..may not be perfectly correct equation but you get the idea)

To the author. There is no solution, do the best you can on each interaction you have. You don't have kids in preschool so there's only another 15yrs to go of school+ weddings.
(8/9/2018 8:58:53 AM)
Old question without solution
What is being asked is an old question. For years families such as the Author's have been struggling to pay tuition.

It is adamantly apparent that the schools in CH and their boards are more concerned with chas v'shalom giving a discount to someone who might not REALLY need it than making sure that someone who does REALLY need a discount gets a break.
(8/9/2018 9:05:04 AM)
who does the responsibility lie with?
Educating the next generation is not just the responsibility of the parents, but it is the responsibility of everyone. you and you, and me , too! If someone else's kids don't get the quality chinuch that they need, in the way that is suitable for that child then it is not only their parents who will feel it, but all of us will have to suffer the consequences!!
You, you, yes, you too, as well as I must do all we can to invest in the future and make sure that every child is given his rightful "inheritance".
We seem to find the time, energy, and money for all kinds of things that we feel are important.. If every one of us would see Jewish education as the most important safeguard for the future of Judaism, then we would invest heavily in ensuring that the schools are able to do their job without financial headaches..
(8/9/2018 9:24:56 AM)
To # 63
Your answer is the best response to the question asked. I am saddened to read so many comments suggesting things that are so against what our Rebbe spoke so strongly about. It is a struggle, but at the end of the day Hashem will help, be it through others who will pitch in, or breaks in the tuition. Hatzlacha and nachas from your family.
(8/9/2018 9:26:44 AM)
Most likely
Most people just don't pay and constantly owe schools. Personally I don't put my kids in preschool because I can't afford it, and rather try to save for elementary
(8/9/2018 9:27:33 AM)
what cheaper rent?
it is hard to find housing in ch for a decent price. all they want are roommates and 3 bedrooms are now 3,000 and up.
(8/9/2018 9:29:23 AM)
Real issue
Real issue is that todays moisdois with new boards (not new ot board) feel that they dont have to take on any real responsibility and raise funds to cover depth.

They try to squeeze and squeeze from parents who simply do not have th funds.

A few years Rabbi Shemtov will struggle and hustle to raise money and help the girls school cover the debt. Today not as much.

Our moisdois have to roll back and once again become real moisdois which assist and help families that dont have the means to make ends meet.

We dont need fancy bbq or over the top dinners we need back to basics hard and dedication Work by the boards.

Or they should step aside.
(8/9/2018 9:30:06 AM)
to #13
Hashem Yishmor
Better keep your kids home
(8/9/2018 9:31:21 AM)
This is a leadership problem
I got through 69 comments and see 3 pieces of advice: get a better job, go into absurd debt, or beg.

The schools need to fundraise harder. It's ok to pay some tuition, but, come on, asking a family to spend more than 1 or 2,000 per month *in total* is insane. Average, working class families earn right around 80K. We can't expect our community to pull in 250K+ a year for everyone.

We need leadership who will work this problem: cap family payments to Lubavitcher mosdos, find big donors (a la Rohr) to support education, rethink maaser for schar limud, etc.

This needs to be done NOW.
(8/9/2018 9:34:11 AM)
For older bochurim
Do semicha as an Elter Bochur working in a yeshiva, free year of room and board after shlichus and some pocket money.
(8/9/2018 9:41:31 AM)
Agreed if possible move to a smaller community
As the CPA said - youre rent shouldnt be more than 28%of your income. If you are in CH please check out either Pverland Park (Philadelphia) or Kingston/ Wilkes Barre. Both are affordable and both have beautiful growing Lubavitch communities. You could rent a place for inexpensive. both have schools run by amazing principals. Hatzlacha.
(8/9/2018 9:53:32 AM)
Where to start ...
1: To those saying have fewer kids, um, that's not helpful, unless you are suggesting that Rochel get rid of some that she already has.

2: To those saying get a college degree, yes, that does generally have a significant impact on lifetime earning potential, but it's not a useful suggestion for someone struggling right now. (Unless you are offering to cover all expenses while they go back to school, that is).

3: Going to local schools, if they are an option, does help. If nothing else, not having to pay dorm and travel costs is a big deal.

4: Rochel, of all the expenses you mention, rent is the largest. There are communities where you can buy a house anaad your mortgage would be far less than your current rent. Moving to a less costly location should seriously be considered.

5: Running up credit card debt is not the answer, it'll is going to catch up with you sooner or later (usually sooner) and you'll be a much worse situation.

6: To those advocating the use of State funds for our schools, I understand the appeal, but be very careful what you wish for. Nothing comes without strings attached, and if you accept Government dollars then expect State oversight or involvement in the future. It's not if, it's when, and at some point the State will want say and influence over how our schools are run, what the teach, and more. This is a reality that is already happening in some places.
(8/9/2018 10:03:51 AM)
Low tuition
Here it's 16-18k a year for elementary, 22-25k a year for mesivta and 25k for Zal. HaShem should help. HaShem should provide! Moshiach now!!!
(8/9/2018 10:04:06 AM)
Imo anochi bitzarah
You comment that these issues are not spoken about publicly- you and many of us need emotional support and encouragement so that we don't fall into despair and depression. Good ideas surface when you are in a group and supported- find that support, you need it and deserve it now. Having a big mishpachah is the biggest kindness that you can do for yourself and your family (and the kavanah) despite the hardship- you are living the most meaningful existence and will see the nachas
(8/9/2018 10:08:53 AM)
Grateful We left
As an administrator, parent and grandparent i could write a book. When we were educating our kids, we changed jobs, extra work etc. What we didn't do it feel entitled to welfare. Most families in CH think it's ok to lie to get benefits. After all of blacks get it why not us. So stealing from the government is ok Tuition in CH is a joke compared to most out of town yeshivas. As an administrator i get called a gonif taking food out of their kids mouths. Somebody has to pay the staff and the ton of money it takes to run a school. If you decide to have 12 kids don't expect the school to educate them for nothing. Leave CH and find a cheaper place to live and redo your resume.
(8/9/2018 10:28:19 AM)
Shluchim grants
I have tremendous respect for all shluchim & we should do all we can to help them ,saying that ,there are a minority of very poor plain anash ,unofficial shluchim who are not eligible for all the discounts that official shluchim get, and are neglected and fall between the cracks. Chabad at large should not forget about these unofficial shluchim & they should be eligible for some of the shluchim discounts at summer camps & schools. Plus a lot ,but not all,of shluchim with the rebbes unprecedented Brochos to shluchim, are doing quite well & don't need these discounts as much as these anash.
(8/9/2018 10:31:00 AM)
I did the calculations.
With that income and that many family members (from what you wrote it sounds like 8 kids, but even if you have 10 kids plus 2 adults) the only way you are getting food stamps is if you're hiding part of your paycheck.
So, you are the prime example of those who claim to be suffering the most, while in fact, it's those who pay their taxes.
Now imagine, you make that same paycheck, but you have about half the family size. You pay taxes, which deducts about 30k from your salary. You don't get food stamps because you know the torah says that the law of the land is like the Torah laws. We don't go on vacations. We are too busy paying medical bills after medical bills. Our drs are constantly telling us we need to take vacations but we just can't afford it.
So where does that put us???
(8/9/2018 10:35:12 AM)
more then one job....
With the way the world works today even if you have a decent paying job it seriously doesnt cut it. If possible, look into something extra you or your husband can do. And GET OUT OF HASHGACHA. It doesnt pay and never did. Especially with the seemingly large family like yours.
(8/9/2018 10:37:49 AM)
top 5% earn $225K a year
How can we be expected to pay these prices for more than one or two kids? we need a community funding model for schools, like public schools, and not built on the (sore) backs of our families!

see stats here:
(8/9/2018 10:39:26 AM)
We need to stop demonizing secular education
There is no way a large family can make it without an accompanying large salary
You say you spend $200 per week on food? Thats impossible unless none of your kids live at home
My children who have five or six kids kh and live out of New York spend much more than that on a Costco trip!
I wish you hazlacha but we need to encourage our children to get a good profession so this does not become an endless cycle of poverty and schnorring
Going for a secular education or job training is not a luxury anymore its an urgent necessity
Mashiach now
(8/9/2018 10:53:04 AM)
Eli B.
As most collive posts, this is a good way to vent, less to actually solve anything.
tRochel, there is, in fact little you can do. Bargaining down is good place to start, every school starts high and bargains down. A higherpaying job is good but unless you're skilled, you will have a limit to how much ( not advocating college but hard to ask for $25 an hour for unskilled labor) . to the larger point. Crown Heights, i think is unique among other jewish communities in the follwoing: There ARE a tremendous amount of moisdos competing for the same amount of tzedoko dollars. I dont think there is another community in the world that is used as ATM machine by so much of the world. Every start up shliach, shliach in small countries, shliach in European countries, local out reach orgs that call everyone, local chessed orgs and, occasionally, the yeshivas. Furthemore, shluchim get diacounts that are not available to the working poor. i should know, im a shliach. Unlike you, my ability to raise my salary ( to any level) is only limited by my ability to fundraise better 9 granted, this is not the same for all shluchim. it is, though, for many in the tri state area. Unlike you, i can get 10% and more, discount, year round, on food and clothing in Crown Heights, there are camp discounts for shluchim etc. I have friends in crown heights that help me-but there are those who i help, when possible, with money. The reason why chassidishe moisodois can subsidize the schools is that community money is pooled, gvirim give to help expand the growth of the community, its shuls, camps etc.
And people, if you actually stand behind your words at least have the courage of putting some kid of name.
(8/9/2018 11:28:38 AM)
I would also like to hear how people do it. I am fast approaching that stage ( my oldest just entered highschool) and would also like to know how people do it. Interested to hear practical details from actual people who are in the same situation.
assume you have 8 or 9 kids ranging from seminary/zal to preschool- how do you actually do it?
What is your income level? what are your expenses? How do you pay for seminary?

Moving away from CH (NY area) is not an option because then my husband would have no parnassah. For his skill level, the money is in NY. Out of town places would have no jobs available for him.
(8/9/2018 11:44:21 AM)
To #34
100% percent right, great yeshivah, extremely cheap, my son Meir grew so much from that yeshivah, he was really really looking towards being not frum, and that yeshivah made him a chasideshe bachur, I am very grateful for that yeshivah, is dirty cheap, if you need help financially send your son there. Two birds with one stone, now with the zal problem, Toronto zal has governmental help, and makes tuition for you very cheap, just like tzefas, it's also a great yeshivah, now for the seminary problem, send your daughter to beis rivkah, my daughter had a phenomenal time, and it is very cheap, I hope you Rochel have a ready tone going through this, and just letting you know, not to scare you, but your about to have weddings, and start collecting note for it! Good luck Rochel! Moshiach Now!!!!
(8/9/2018 11:45:35 AM)
Outside Mesivtas & Seminary's Should Be Totally Free
As There where originally Created To Help The Local Shluchim
HAve a Religious Presence In Their Community;
Than It Just Got out of Hand
(8/9/2018 12:00:19 PM)
Oholei Torah Board is the issue
All of you commenting about sending your children local, you obviously don't k owwhat is happening in this neighborhood (CH is no longer a community)
The local pritzim have hijacked the OT and BR boards without any legal right and are demanding full tuition from everyone, including shluchim and Rebbeim. They have no shame and make sure to stick nasty comments to parents (similar to the famous former administrators of a certain local school would do) all in the name of Chinuch Al Taharas Hakodesh.
Shame Shame Shame on these individuals who ran to the front of the line to hijack these institutions all for the sake of Kovod and dominance.
Shame on them all and shame on the enablers (one from out of town....PA, and the other one a local) who brought in these "boards" to help keep their control and monopoly over our schools.
Time to bring in the attorney general and we will see who truly has the power
(8/9/2018 12:07:11 PM)
just dont pay up
it was more important for me that my kids wear designer clothing , latest of everything and we had israel trips , then pay schools . I didn't have my kids just to slave away and dream that my family life would be just paying for schooling. i wanted fun with them swimming lessons and didnt have the money for both so i chose fun and yes were having a blast ! no one has or are throwing my kids out because they are and were too well dressed and cultured and as a result are and were major assets and poster children for their school.
stop going on their rides . the rich pay up they get money from the government the admin just want huge houses off our backs while we should all be in the gutter.
not me im having too much fun :)
(8/9/2018 12:13:45 PM)
If all of the yeshivos would unite and register their children in public school, the government would see that they have to support yeshivos as well. Even if all the young people in Crown heights would register, there would be a majority of Jews
(8/9/2018 12:20:10 PM)
From Sara
You pay too much rent and u need a larger income.
(8/9/2018 12:54:51 PM)
to comment 15
how dare you say this
Dont bring into this world what u cant afford "

its the rebbes ratzon to bring down as many neshamos as possible, the rebbe requested many times.. for a family to follow the rebbes ratzon with such tmimus should be blessed not the apposite.

hopefully a nice solution will be made...i think its a great idea to start a trend that the best seminaray will be BR so girls do not need to go out of town and same with mesivta and zal.

todate OT and BR is very menchslich and understanding regarding tuition for large families.

(8/9/2018 12:59:21 PM)
What Ever Happened to jewish education scholarship fund !!!
Who remembers this? 2 years ago
He got the rabanim to support but nothing ever happend
(8/9/2018 1:06:38 PM)
The schools teach that the mother is the akeres habayis, but they had no problem forcing me to give up being the akeres habayis in my family. I was forced into the workplace in order to pay 100% of my salary, plus a third of my husband''s salary to tuition. We lived very simply. Maybe some of the menahel gashmis should stop living like multi-millionaires...
(8/9/2018 1:16:57 PM)
If all 101 commemts....
....said nothing....but gave this family 5 dollars she would be 500 dollars ahaead....and would help her far more than all fancy unrealistic etzos.....
Let her set up a. Go fund me.....on col.
We Yidden open our hearts and wallets to one another...
(8/9/2018 1:17:50 PM)
Out of town is no easier
This problem is not limited to CH. Moving out of town is not a good answer. We live elsewhere and like many CH families moving anywhere is not an option for many reasons. Our children must leave home very young. In addition to tuition costs we must pay travel plus dorm or other living expenses. Food, laundry and personal items can be much higher than in a family situation.
When the mosdos are closed for Yom Tovim and breaks the children can not just walk in and out of home - they either come home or araingements for hospitality need to be made with the attendant costs.
When time comes for weddings, unless one lives wihin driving distance of a large frum area the family has additional expenses such as either paying more for catering , site, music, clothing - no gemachs out-of-town and alterations are expensive to make clothes appropriate.
In many frum communities there are other "hidden" expenses. Mikvehs have to be sustained and often built or repaired. The schools generlly have to be locally funded. Chabad House programs and general expenses take money. This is all dependant on the generosity of local support. n those with very limited funds try to help.eEv
(8/9/2018 1:23:58 PM)
What can you do?
Run up as much debt as possible for your husband. At the last moment declare bankruptcy if you can't pay it any longer. Then do the same thing for the wife. Rinse and repeat. Hashem should bring Moshiach. This is our only answer.
(8/9/2018 1:31:22 PM)
Financial Advice
40,0000 is an entry level wage for a professional. Part of your problem is that you and your husband are working jobs which are suitable for teenagers. You need to specialize in something and start climbing the ladder. I imagine neither of you have degrees but that isn't such a problem. With the right resume and experience you can move up.
(8/9/2018 1:34:03 PM)
After all that's been written here, nothing is going to change come the new school semester in Sept.
They need to build 20 story projects in CH on a massive scale, this will drive down the prices of housing in CH
(8/9/2018 2:04:35 PM)
Out of town is no easier
This problem is not limited to CH. Moving out of town is not a good answer. We live elsewhere and like many CH families moving anywhere is not an option for many reasons. Our children must leave home very young. In addition to tuition costs we pay travel plus dorm or other living expenses. Food, laundry and personal items can be much higher than in a family situation.
When the mosdos are closed for Yom Tovim and breaks the children can not just walk in and out of home - they either come home or araingements for hospitality need to be made with the attendant costs.
When time comes for weddings, unless one lives wihin driving distance of a large frum area the family has additional expenses such as either paying more for catering , site, music, clothing - no gemachs out-of-town and alterations are expensive to make clothes appropriate.
In many frum communities there are other "hidden" expenses. Mikvehs have to be sustained and often built or repaired. The schools generally have to be locally funded. Chabad House programs and general expenses take money. This is all dependant on the generosity of local support. n those with very limited funds try to help.
Kosher food iranges from somewhat to much more expensive.
Bottom line: Life is expensive for any family and much more for the frum. It is painful to say support only our own or only loally but that has become te norm. Perhaps we need to stop
maing simchas which requir huge debts or lavish fundraisers.
Does everyone need new matching clothes? How about cutting back on the extras- no fancy lighting and decorations, simple but elegant flowers, fewer musician, less elborate photography.
(8/9/2018 2:20:15 PM)
To number 87
I am shocked!!! To hear a lubavitcher (unless you aren't one) speak that way ("if you decide to have 12 kids..".) When having large families is something the Rebbe koched in!!!
(8/9/2018 2:22:19 PM)
There are tons of suggestions in the comments above, some useful some outright idiotic.
It may not be for everyone but you can send your kids to high school in Israel. The religious boys high school is not Chabad, one of the girls is:
They will speak fluent Hebrew, become more independent, get a Bagrut/decent high school education in a religious environment, you pay for the tickets to come home in the summer and pocket money.
(8/9/2018 2:27:14 PM)
some ideas
A mother I know with a large family is in school to get her master's degree and got a large scholarship from a fund through the Hebrew Free Loan Society, based on family size and they don't have a tiny income. Getting a master's degree doesn't have to be very expensive bc there are some therapy and medical type degrees that the government will pay the student loan if the degree-holder works in an underserved area for a few years. The government also has programs to pay off general student loans after a number of years. There are programs online that a person can find to help teach their children general studies if they can't afford tutors so the children can be close to their age level in general studies and it will be easier for them to do well in college so they can earn a better living when they grow up.
(8/9/2018 2:37:26 PM)
Torah forbids .. charge money for teaching Torah..every child deserves a chinuch. Regardless of money..
Let the wealthy pay to keep schools going
The poor can ride on their backs .
(8/9/2018 2:48:00 PM)
Gevirim could subsidize the online school to make it both affordable and full time for everyone. At present, it is both affordable and full time only for shluchim.
(8/9/2018 2:55:05 PM)
A Shliach
Any way you want to slice it, having a large family with even a very good income for 2 working parents is just not going to cut it. Cost of living has gone way up and tuition is out of control. Etc. Etc.

There is no question that the Rebbe foresaw all of this when he campaigned for large families. Therefor he tasked certain individuals to do big fundraising, encourage people in CH to make housing affordable, and above all made it clear that schools and Yeshivahs cannot kick someone out due to lack of funds.

#47 made some good points on this.

Unfortunately, this was not to be. Politics destroyed CH. The Rebbe's Yeshivahs by and large do not abide by the Rebbe's ruling about keeping kids in who cannot pay. And the fundraisers found it much easier to "fundraise" from poor parents with the threat of eviction than to fundraise from the general public.

It is indeed a very painful subject. We all know that this is causing many (most?) families to limit the amount of children they have.

Is it shameful that Yeshivah love to play the Rebbe card, "what would the Rebbe say?" This is of course for everything that doesn't have to do with money.

For this do I cry...
(8/9/2018 3:07:35 PM)
Scared 4 the future
#115 lays it down nicely. Unfortunately there is no good answers.
(8/9/2018 3:23:40 PM)
Be fruitful and multiply
One should not consider family planning for the sake of tuition payments. Any administrator that even suggests such a terrible thing should be removed from his or her post! Would the Rebbe approve of such a thing? Tell these people if they would suggest such a thing of the Rebbe was right there in the room with all of you. Halacha does NOT support that position so it's an non discussion. People suggesting family planning are only thinking of themselves ... These aren't the people who will tend to you are sick or lonely in your golden years ... children generally do or other close family members . That's a selfish reason to have children we do so because it's what Hashem wants and its Halacha
Don't listen to them and this tuma
(8/9/2018 3:50:35 PM)
The real issue
The real issue is that when the man (and woman) of this family realized that he was not going to stay in kodesh work, he should have gone out and gotten himself a degree and good marketable skills. Instead, it seems like is that he settled for an easy route and went into kosher supervising. This was a grave mistake.
I would highly recommend, anyone that does not see themselves being a teacher or a shliach, please go out and get yourself a degree so you have marketable skills.
(8/9/2018 3:55:21 PM)
Some helpful suggestions from someone who was poor and is now wealthy
Hi. Years ago i was in a similar situation. I had to ask my parents for money for food and rent..the key for me and my family was getting a college degree and a normal carreer. 80k with a big family is not possible. Simple as that, plus now there are lots of frum programs out there so no excuse religious wise either.
(8/9/2018 4:07:25 PM)
Thank you #115 a Shliach
Best comment here. In addition to causing families to limit children, I would add that it also plays a role in kids being turned off by the system.
(8/9/2018 4:38:53 PM)
This generation will pay for anything that hits the latest fad. People can be selling expensive ugly clothes- yet its "brand" so they buy it. People can charge $100 to do your makeup because "everyone goes to her."
Start something of your own as a side job.
(8/9/2018 5:00:59 PM)
Stop Bashing Their Jobs.. This is not helping
Although many people are choosing to go to school now so that they have a chance at surviving.
Sara Schenirer is a place that helps women achieve a degree and therefore Parnassah in the frummest possible way. Never mind seminary.. the waste of 20k (although if your getting government programs you would be eligible for grants) let her start going to school so that she will be set up for good!
(8/9/2018 5:13:57 PM)
Dear Rochel...
My advice; stop paying tuition, save for your future family needs. Should your children be threatened with eviction...then post again on col with your full will see the support you get, not only from anash in general. But from many gvirim....who will put down hard cash for you....or threaten to withdraw their support from the Mosdos
All will awake and...smell the coffee.....
(8/9/2018 5:39:18 PM)
My struggle
While many here are appalled with the suggestion of financial burdens being a factor when it comes to having children...I still wonder about a happy medium between those secular Jews who will debate long if to have even a second child if they aren't sure they can see them through college etc...... and our Torah world where we have 16 children and don't bat an eye to even consider the functional aspects here?
Did the Rebbe truly mean this?
Does the Halacha...which encourages more children mean nothing is factored in but the Mitzva of bringing another child into the world???
Pls enlighten me....I am a bit confused in all this..
(8/9/2018 5:58:51 PM)
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The writer is on target and many families are stressed about the tuition prices. We need more articles about the subject and fundraising ideas instead of raising tuition from the parents every year.
(8/9/2018 6:00:26 PM)
Elementary school is $4,000 each child (times 5) and preschool. Even if each moisad gives us a scholarship, it is still, if you do the math, way beyond our income level.

$4,000 is amazing. Here in California youre lucky if they let you pay $8,000
(8/9/2018 6:28:27 PM)
Thank you 81
81 is the only practical comment
(8/9/2018 7:40:58 PM)
Ideas please!
Ok, I'm ready to quit babysitting and get a "normal" job.
What ideas do you have for a Frum, chassidish mother who is not particularly creative (i.e. Not becoming a graphics designer)
List some ideas please!
Preferably part time.
(8/9/2018 7:45:57 PM)
Crown Heights Living
I started reading some of the comments. Crown Heights has become extremely not affordable.....and when people say "move out" .... that's not always an option for people. Lately I have been seeing A LOT of heimishes in our community....they are bringing there businesses to our community and buying our real estate....I think that needs to stop!!!
(8/9/2018 7:47:20 PM)
At the end of the day- BR CH has the best teachers.

You may not have the "sem spirit", since most girls work after hours, but if a girl is serious, she can gain so much, and even earn some money at the same time.

There are quite a few yeshivos who give discounts, so look at other options for yeshiva. (No need to attend the "top 3." There are options.)

Hatzlocho! It is unfortunately struggle so many of us face. (And I live out of town with lower tuition, yet have the same struggle.)
(8/9/2018 8:11:56 PM)
Crown heights has become unaffordable and there aren't any organizations that help those in need. Wish it would change
(8/9/2018 8:22:42 PM)
Possible Solution
Try buying/selling on Amazon part time.
When you get out of your bind don't forget those less fortunate than you
(8/9/2018 8:50:21 PM)
Much Hatzlocho!
to #124

Yes, that was what the Rebbe meant and clearly said, to bring down as many Neshomos as one possibly can. Not for yourself, but for Hashem and Klal Yisroel.

It could very well be that your struggle is such like Adam and Chava by the Eitz Hadaas because of the tremendous Kedusha and impact every last one of specifically your precious children's neshomos will bring to this world (down to the very last one, who just may turn out to be a Moshe Rabbeinu...)

The value of every child is incomparable to that of money, even though one needs money to raise the child. Because money is fluid. What one has today one may lose tomorrow and vice versa. But the value of a child born is infinite, even when that child isn't destined to live long.

On a side note, the Rebbe who was ever practical and caring, planned and executed a viable framework to financially support the projected baby boom. But unfortunately as mentioned by #115, those tasked with the responsibility decided they knew better and did otherwise, like the Meraglim.

But just as Mordechai Hatzaddik told Esther Hamalka by the 11th hour (perek daled, posuk yud daled in megillas Esther) that if she chooses not to go to the king on behalf of the Jews, salvation will come another way, so too our support will come from another source because those neshomos need to be born irrespective of the current, trying circumstance and for reasons that is way beyond our grasp.
(8/9/2018 8:54:23 PM)

My sister related to me the following true story. She was at a wedding and someone at the table started talking about the high cost of tuition and how she is very behind in paying her tuition bill. Aother lady, a total stranger, asked the first lady how much do you owe in tuitions, the lady thought for a second and said $18,000. The second lady reaches into her pocketbook, writes out a check for $18,000 and gives it to her.
(8/9/2018 8:59:48 PM)
Start with what are you good at? Are you sociable? Do you think you could do sales? Are tech savvy? Apple and Amazon have jobs from home if you know how to work a computer. There also entry level sales positions you could look at. However, not to be a Debbie Downer without a degree at some point you will hit a glass ceiling and it vastly reduces what you are able to do.

If you feel strongly against the idea of working towards a degree then I would start with what jobs you could get. There are also bank positions that don't require degrees, like personal banking, tellers, but they often require a lot of sales.

Good luck
(8/9/2018 9:18:02 PM)
A new idea
I think a womens parnassah organization should be organized.
It should have a list of all different trainings available catered to women. IE, in person courses at different times, mornings, evenings etc. and online courses, live, or self study. This way, women can find something that suits their time constraints.
There should be counselors to help women find employment that makes use of thier skills, as well as resume writing support.
We are capable of so much, and there are opportunities out there. It can feel completely overwhelming to sift and search by yourself.
This could and should be a charitable organization staffed by other women. They can be successful women who would like to help, or retired women who have time to research. If a handful of women donated a few hours a week, it would be enough...if it was well organized.
The mainstay would be a very comprehensive website listing all the trainings and courses that are most accessible to women in the community.
I hope someone can take this idea and turn it into reality.
The highest for of tzedakah is giving someone the ability to make their own parnassah...
Hatzlocho Raboh to everyone
(8/9/2018 9:43:27 PM)
there is no dougt that the situation is a test. just like the jews in mitzraim didnt stop having kids evethough the were slaves, so to we should continue, because thats the way we are gonna get to mashiach. may hahsem see our effort and remove the test by revealing moshiach now!
(8/9/2018 10:12:39 PM)
What about poorer families?
There are also big families living on half of the income of the author who cannot even pay basic cost of living. And for those like the author with a basic income , the cost of rent and education here ruins quality of living.
(8/9/2018 10:55:47 PM)
#81 the only answer worth reading...
Elect new boards that have the ability to fundraise outside the community - NOW!
(8/9/2018 11:01:41 PM)
do your part and work on emuna
I am in a similar position to the author, with some slight differences in the details. As the years have progressed and our family's expenses have increased, I have found, that with each increase in expense, there has arisen an opportunity to earn more money. These opportunities entailed hard work but the way in which they arose was unexpected, and as such, I have viewed them as a gift from Hashem and as a sign that He is encouraging us and sustaining us on our path.

So, to the author, I suggest the following. Work on your emuna and on your simcha, and at the same time, try to open up your mind to the money-making possibilities that lay all around you. Do you have any skills that you can put to use? Think about the items and services that your friends and neighbors pay money for, and ask yourself if there's a way that you can provide those services at more convenience, better value and/or lower cost. Wishing you much hatzlacha.
(8/9/2018 11:20:01 PM)
I live in Florida
We have step up, which is s scholarship the state gives towards school. We pay total 4K a kid which is really good for an out of town school. People we know pay even less. We have a big family so tuition is still our biggest expense but money seems to spread out much more here. We have lived in ny and we were always in debt. It wasn't a life we couldn't afford anything.
My husband works in kashrus and just on his salary alone we afford school, mortgage, car and insurance. We don't have food stamps or Medicaid. I work part time and my money is purely for extras like travel or eating out.

We do budget like we don't do full summer of camp or sleepaway camp. There isn't a keeping up with the Jone's mentality here so there isn't a need to shop at expensive tznius brands or style your kids in designer ware.

If florida is an option there's plenty of jobs in kashrut.
(8/9/2018 11:38:04 PM)
Rochel- the original author
Hi all, this is rochel.
Firstly I want you to know that I read each and every comment. It means alot to me that you took the time to respond. Some comments were very helpful and some surprising, some very encouraging. And for those and all I am thankful to you. Well not for the ones telling me we should not have had kids... our children are our biggest bracha, and we love each and every one. And if it means that we struggle more to have them, I would do it all over again. As one comment pointed out, if this is our biggest struggle, we are grateful. Grateful that we have them, and grateful that we are cracking our heads to give them an education that hopefully will make them happy adults.
To all the encouragement, thank you for that too. Reminding us that we are doing the Rebbes horaos, that somehow we will make it is very helpful.
As to the suggestions to move, I'm sure you all know it's not so simple, finding a new job, cost of moving, who says there will be high schools and mesivtas. where we are now, as you figured, there is a full infrastructure of schools.
Jobs...I see this is the biggest suggestion. It is an issue, we do recognize that. I do not know how to get around that. For us to go back to college, now at our stage, is not so simple. How would we support ourselves during that time? We see this was our biggest error, we should have focused on establishing jobs early on. And now, not sure how to do this now.
The most valuable suggestions were those with practical steps, and numbers, that show us our income cannot support our life. While they didn't offer a solution, it did give us a glimpse that we are not wrong, that we just do not earn enough. It also showed us that there are people in the world, financial advisors, and while I don't think it will help us since our cost of living exceeds our income, perhaps it will help others in a similar situation, or motivate some young couples to seek the advice of one. We certainly will educate our kids to seek that advice early on!
Short of maxing out cards, or declaring bankruptcy as some suggested, I see there is no simple answer.
And while we didn't get a answer we do not feel so alone now. So now we will get to work to try and find second incomes, and somehow make the numbers stretch and meet.
Thank you again.
(8/9/2018 11:47:44 PM)
many years ago a administrator at a large chabad mosed told me "if you don't have money send your children to public school" at the time i was penniless, facing eviction and no money for bread for my children - at times i was considering to do just that.
(8/10/2018 12:03:14 AM)
Today anyone who commits to diligently study (preferably 3 chapters) Rambam daily (despite not seeing the Rebbe), immediately merits to see success in parnoso! (Women defer hamitzvos) Countless people saw instant salvation from doing this! I nevertheless, feel for you and I wish you success. May we merit to see the day when tuition problem will be obsolete because " ... "
(8/10/2018 12:06:38 AM)
Yes, so well said! Also in out of town communities kids have been been kicked out for financial reasons. Fundraising from the working poor doesn't work (but it's easier than going to the general public - which is what a board is supposed to do).
(8/10/2018 1:02:47 AM)
# 98 has the right idea!
everyone just stop paying !
they cant throw out everybody right ??!!!
the lazy admin will surely start fundraising again instead of running personal business from our school ( free) offices!
(8/10/2018 2:07:14 AM)
(8/10/2018 6:32:10 AM)
#103 again
One year, my husband (a respected professional) was told to go door to door collecting. My husband asked a Rav, who told him he does not have to do that.
(8/10/2018 7:12:37 AM)
Another vote for florida
The seminary here is much cheaper and some of the girls that attend are local and don't even board.

I have a special needs daughter so I don't have a choice but to send her to a public school, that being said I was pleasantly surprised that it's not as bad as an environment as made out to be. Again based on your location. She gets full kosher meals and they have an elective to learn Hebrew. Chabad does after school classes for public school kids.
The local sem has a weekly learning and they can teach the kids parsha. Lots of non Chabad organizations teach Gemara to boys in public school for free. Of course I prefer to send my daughter to Jewish school but Hashem has other plans. Seeing that there's so many affiliated Jews in her class and there's so many outside organizations and clubs to join I don't feel guilty about her missing the traditional Jewish experience.
I have plenty of frum friends with 6 kids and up who switched to public school because they could barely afford to make Shabbos.
The responsibility falls on community rabbis to make sure that the community is educated. It's ridiculous to spend up to 20k a year on school. I stopped donating money to organizations and now give directly to parents to help alleviate their bills. We don't need anymore multimillion dollar shul but instead we need to invest that money on cheaper and better education.
(8/10/2018 8:46:35 AM)
Renting to roommates is against the law
The rents have risen because our already tight housing supply is being rented iliigally to roommates, I am not talking about a shome owner renting their basement to a few seminary girls or bachurim, I am talking about large land/building owners renting aapartments to roommates that can pay 1000 a room because they have 3 incomes, this practice is illegal and until we put love before greed we will have strife.
(8/10/2018 9:17:40 AM)
I never suggested that people not have large families. I have one bh myself. All I said is that is you do, you cannot say to the yeshivas, I have 12 kids so you have no right to charge me tuition. Someone has to pay hard working staff who BTW also have families. Left CH just because of judgemental people who just love to attack any comment that they don't like
(8/10/2018 9:43:47 AM)
You hit the nail on the head. I often sit and wonder why there isn't more of a push for vouchers in all states. I agree that people should move to a place where there are simply to make life more affordable but if not why not come out in numbers and work with the other private schools to get vouchers?
(8/10/2018 12:09:53 PM)
To #149
149 writes:
I have plenty of frum friends with 6 kids and up who switched to public school because they could barely afford to make Shabbos."
I find this heartbreaking. Klal Yisroel might end up losing an entire generation.
(8/10/2018 12:59:46 PM)
Move to London.
The chabad schools are government funded and free for parents.
(8/10/2018 1:15:56 PM)
Crazy but
I stopped working and only my husband works. When I worked we spent more money, there was a need for cleaning help, daycare, more clothes, shaitle upkeep, double cars and insurance, we ordered in more because after a long day I had zero energy to cook. After calculating all our expenses I was only bringing home a few hundred dollars a week for a full weeks work!
So I became a stay at home mom. We downsized to one car. My husband Uber's to work. No more cleaning help. I stay home with my 8month baby, 3 year old and 5 year old. I decided to home school kindergarten. That saved me 36k in tuition costs! I don't send my kids to camp.
Long story short I was a teacher who can't afford to teach while I need to pay for school. I will eventually teach again but when my kids are older.
There are plenty of frum homeschooling options and programs and meet ups.

Our biggest expense is tuition. It's more than our mortgage, which is insane! So no need for the younger ones to be in school since what they learn in preschool can easily be supplemented.
(8/10/2018 2:03:07 PM)
NY Times Best Sellers List...
It is known that the value of a book is rated on how long it remains a best seller item..
The Rebbe often wanted key matters not go off the so called "seder Hayom" and to remain a burning issue..
Judging from the overwhelming response and importance of this topic., may I suggest that writers. Askanim, rabbonim and those of influence make this a priority issue to resolve...."Hamaase hu Haikar...
(8/10/2018 2:56:03 PM)
london uk
we dont pay a penny here for school fees for education starting from preschool all the way to A levels which is entry level to uni.
(8/11/2018 4:37:56 PM)

(8/11/2018 8:46:08 PM)
Part of the problem is the system which doesn't really train bochurim to so anything out of working in the from world. If the poster has kids entering seminary and yeshiva she has to be at least 40. Back then it was really not the done thing to go to college... Even now we need to set up our children in a way they can support their families and i think part of that is an overhaul of the system.
Also, all the votes for moving to Florida sound great but not my experience. I am not eligible for any kind of government help or tuition break, we part close to 50k for 4 kids tuition which is a huge struggle for us. Not everyone gets huge tution breaks as you would think if you read the other comments about moving to Florida... Just something to keep in mind.
(8/11/2018 8:52:45 PM)
we need to give people the tools to raise large families on small incomes
If people had sewing skills, for example, they could save by buying cheaper clothes and alter them to make them tznius.

Many people don't have any budgeting skills and know zero about investing or saving.

Instead of home schooling that deprives children of having a peer group, why not create co-op schools with other parent?. Public school has a goal of turning America into a melting pot society and doesn't foster Jewish identity at all.

If like minded people got together, they could create organizations that help people make the most of their money and also create co-ops and gemachs of all sorts. There could be chassunah and bar mitzvah packages that trim the costs and eliminate the keeping up with the Jone's type of competition.

What it takes is for concerned individuals to make a parlor meeting and get everyone to involve others and make it a big success. Every man for himself mentality won't solve a community problem.
(8/12/2018 8:40:08 AM)
Mrs. Rochel, I sympathize with you. Over 150 comments and I too don't have any real good answers for you.

Take pride in raising such a wonderful large family. Your children may not have all the latest gadgets or vacations but they'll recognize the misiras nefesh you and your husband put yourself through.

I was raised in the system but understood that raising a family will be my loving burdon one day. I prepared myself despite being demonized by friends and some mashpiim. Today, I BH pay my full schar limud on time and then some. The administrators take my checks happily knowing that I am helping to cover those less fortunate all the while their own faculty continues to demonize people like me.

I have no good advise for you but you are in a position to break the cycle for your family and make sure your kids don't suffer. They will love and respect you for it. Encourage your children to prepare themselves for the real world. It's your mitzvah to teach your children a trade, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. If there's one mitzvah you can be mikdak in, it is this.

You should have a lot of hatzlocho and reap so much nachos for children you have put in so much misiras nefesh for.
(8/12/2018 8:57:28 AM)
Does anybody know who you need to go to to get financial assistance? My wife and I are BTs and we dont have any relatives or connection in CH and we also struggle paying tuition. Does anybody know individuals or organizations who might help?
(8/12/2018 4:49:57 PM)
Rochel, I really feel for you. My husband and I lived like that for many years. The answer is not acquiring a college degree (we both have advanced degrees), but acquiring a (more) marketable skill. One more thing, be careful about working off the books. The FBI is looking closely into frum communities which have a high proportion of families on Medicaid and food stamps.
May Hashem bless you with nachas from all your children.
(8/12/2018 5:14:09 PM)

FORT KNOX ...........
(8/12/2018 6:54:00 PM)
Non profits can have assets to support the institution
We need talented motivated intelligent connected hardworking fundraisers for our schools which is how any non profit survives. Additionally non profits can and should have assets that support the non profit such as real estate holdings businesses etc. The Vatican as one of many examples has this to support their parochial schools. In not sure but I get the feeling from these comments that we just pressure the over taxed parents for more tuition blood from a stone and 'fundraiser from the working poor and or approach our relatives who may not be in any better position. This is not practical innovative intelligent and its simply not working. In other communities they understand chinuch is the backbone of the community and their leaders along with good fundraisers gverium etc seem to do this.. why are we so behind. Savvy Chabad houses do this. For example their chabad house has a flourishing preschool owns the building it has the preschool collects rent for the mortgage and can fundraise from benefactors to get all this started and continuously because they are a non profit .. there are also government grants non profits can apply for. Why not learn from this
(8/12/2018 7:14:49 PM)
TO 165
Poor examples:

The Catholic system is one of the most corrupt systems in the world, their global reach and money comes from corruption. That is not an example I would use.
Savvy Chabad houses cater to secular educated jews and charge an arm and a leg for tuition. I was personally turned aware from a Chabad preschool because I was too frum and told so. The shluchim said they can make more money from secular jews because they donate on top of paying tuition. My full tuition was not good enough.

I work for a non profit museum. You are correct there are plenty of grants. It sounds like CH needs professional grant writers, that comes with having excellent writing skills.
On top of grants, we survive through volunteers. Maybe local schools need to set up a partnership with yeshivas and sem, to have students work as assistants or substitutes towards teaching hour credits.
Parent's that cannot pay full tuition and are in deep scholarships should set aside 4 hours a month of volunteering at the local school. That can be anything from stuffing envelopes to helping with carpool. This cuts the need for much staff.
Theres may ways a non profit survives but it takes 24/6 commitment, creativity and passion.
(8/13/2018 9:40:38 AM)
To 165
You can say that about any other non profit religious groups as well but it's not the point. Religious schools are part of non profits . Non profits can legally have assets that produce revenue to support their organization . Out non profit yesheva system can have this as well. Jwittness for example have massive real estate holdings and are not surviving solely on fundraising and tuition. Any fundraiser or board member that suggests parental tuition pressure or bake sales isn't out of the box or being innovative
(8/13/2018 4:51:16 PM)
Do you have FB?
If so join one of the Dave Ramsey groups. Or the Frum and Frugal Orthodox (something like that) group. There are posts like this ALL THE TIME and the people in those groups are smart, creative, and absolutely terrific at helping people figure this kind of thing out.

Good luck!
(8/14/2018 9:04:46 AM)
To #23
NO! Please do not move to Israel if you are barely making it.

Hashgacha and babysitting are both overflowing so it will take a bit to find a job, and unless you're willing to live somewhere less central you will spend TONS of money on rent.

Your kids (8 of them?) will need to adjust and learn Hebrew, you will need to learn the system and language, and you'll still have the older 3 to worry about - and they'll probably still be learning abroad, meaning you'll be paying dollar tuition on a shekel salary, plus dorm fees.

Plus if you're babysitting privately then you'll need to open a business, pay an accountant and 15% Social Security, and pay your own Bituach Leumi.

There are tons of great reasons to move to Israel, and Israel is great, but it is NOT a solution to Rochel's problem, and certainly, it is not a magic solution.

Aliyah is a HUGE change and should not be undertaken just to save money, without proper planning, preparation, and thought.

In addition, making aliya with kids over 9 puts those kids automatically at higher risk of dropping out etc. Statistically speaking.

Please please - if you want to make aliyah, do it, but do not do it just for the sake of a magic cure for the financial issue, because it is NOT a magic cure. (Just like marriage is not a magical cure for personality issues.)
(8/14/2018 9:13:47 AM)
this whole situation is out of proportion
Don't go out of town for sem and mesivta or zal.......
If you are such a large family 80K is not much and tuition committees would have to take that into consideration.

can you move to a less expensive apartment, maybe a couple of blocks down, out of the major CH circle.
Rents in CH have exploded, it's ridiculous. I saw an add for an Upper East Side apartment recently which was less than a CH apt of the same size....

What is this? All the hipsters, yuppies moving in are driving up the rents. Why do they come to CH? They would never get into Boro Park, etc....
(8/14/2018 9:34:48 AM)
to 14
IGNORANCE. People with several degrees can make nothing.
(8/14/2018 3:36:47 PM)
Generally people with degrees make money. Of course there are some that don't. And yes, there are some who went to yeshiva all their life and can barely speak English who are doing well. But for the vast majority it's not that way. The ones who are doing well went into business, real estate, etc... and that requires money to start up, so it's got to come from somewhere.
(8/15/2018 11:16:28 AM)
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