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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Letter from a Mother to the Monsey Community!

Image result for letter
I found the following letter on facebook ...... posting it without comment!

"Most people here have no idea what has been happening in my life the last few weeks, and that is usually how I keep my Facebook life - completely generic and separate from my everyday life. However, I have decided that this issue is too important to keep to myself, and I am posting this after a few weeks of mulling over my actions.
The last few weeks have been incredibly stressful as we battled it out yet again with yet another school in this oh so holy town of Torah. Below is letter I have written and sent to them. Since spoken words seem to have no effect, hopefully the written word, which others are able to read and pass along, will have a greater effect. May this post go viral and a change made. Amen.
__________________________________________
I'm sitting on my couch, pondering what to do with the pile of letters I have received over the years from numerous schools and yeshivas in Monsey, politely (or not so politely) informing me that we are no longer 'a good fit' for their esteemed school. My children have been in the frum school system for 7 years, and I am holding the fifth letter informing us that we are no longer welcome in yet another school.
As one institution put it, a family such as ours is not good for their overall image. When I was still stupid enough to beg these pompous educators for a chance to educate my precious child, I was told it is not their problem if she doesn't have a Jewish school to attend. In the words of Rabbi XXXX of Bais Yaakov XXXX, 'it is not my business to care about the people who do not meet my standards and are forced to send to public school'. I beg to differ. You have established a school in Monsey, undertaking to educate our precious Jewish daughters. It IS your business that there are Jewish girls left without a school when you have available slots in yours. You should spend sleepless nights worrying about these girls, not worrying about your image.
This is the person we are entrusting our daughters to. Let's ask ourselves a question - is this how we want them to grow up? Are these the people we want them to emulate??
I now know why there are so many people in Monsey that are disillusioned with the chareidi school administrators and principals, and everything that is associated with it. I know this because I have been added to their pile of castaways, their pile of people they threw out in the cold, because I wasn't good enough. Because I'm perhaps not rich enough or powerful enough or know the right people to buy my daughter another year at school.
There is a reason the class sizes at XXXX are shrinking instead of growing, and why every year there are less and less people banging on their door begging for the honor and privilege of having their daughters educated by people that care only about their image, their egos, the bottom line of their bank statement. Because people are tired of being treated like cockroaches, like they don't matter.
The fact that a child's life and stability can be so easily dismissed boggles the mind. It is abominable that a child's life should be turned upside down because of your personal hatred toward a certain sect of Judaism. What do I tell my innocent 8 year old the reason she cannot go back to her school come fall? That she is not good enough? That the administration of a school that preaches ahavas yisroel does not practice all that they teach? How many times does a little girl have to hear this line before she starts believing it? My daughter is 8 years old. She has been in the school system for 5 years. This is the third time she will be hearing the line that she is not good enough for one reason or another. Something is very, very wrong here.
I am sitting here wondering what exactly makes someone the right 'type'? Did the Chofetz Chaim ever worry about anyone's 'type'? Did he turn away Jews who were not exactly like him? If the Chofetz Chaim would be alive now, would he be pleased with the premise of how a school in his name is run? That only certain Jews matter, while other who do not fit neatly into a little box can be thrown away as 'not our problem'?
These very Bais Yaakovs that we send our daughters to teach them about Sarah Schenirer and the movement she started. Yet they leave out the details of the core of this movement - that every Jewish daughter matters. Not only the ones that are born into money, prestige, and the 'right' family. They teach about gedolim and rebbetzins, and how great they were. My daughter came home the last day of school with a 'gedolei yisroel' notebook, where she learned about different gedolim throughout the ages. I flipped through it, and amazingly, while the girls were taught about the many virtues of these rabbonim and how we should emulate them and strive to be like them, the hanhala that set this curriculum was conveniently picking and choosing which virtues apply to them. Compassion, ahavas yisroel, viyahavta l'rayacha k'mocha, do not do unto others what you would not want done to you. I don't think I have found any of these in the chareidi school system, in the people educating my most precious possessions.
Rabbonim, principals, educators, and countless others constantly decry the internet, smartphones, and pointing to these offensive objects as the reason so many people are going off the derech. Excuse me for disagreeing. People are not frum today because they have become disillusioned with our rabbonim. When a principal of a yeshiva has the guts to look you in the eye and tell you 'your son cannot attend my school anymore because you look like a goyta', the problem obviously lies elsewhere. Looking back, I find this comment amusing. I was so frum and naive back then, and I sincerely believed in the system at the time. Now? Not so much. Now I am jaded, disillusioned. There is only so many times you can hear something without it having an effect on you.
My deepest wish is that a revolution start in Monsey, the town we've lived in for so long yet never really accepted us. A revolution that people demand change, and stop enabling our so-called educators to continue bullying parents because we don't meet their standards of perfection, and don't fit into some preconceived little box we're expected to fit into.
And now, as I neatly add the fifth letter from a school sending us to places unknown to my pile, I know that I have reached that time. That time that the system has failed me, and I know I will be leaving it. I am no longer willing to bring up my children in this system that will likely not treat them any better than it has treated their parents."

32 comments:

OrthodoxJew said...

has rabbi c. tried to help?

Sammy G said...

Dear Mother,

I can't begin to imagine the pain and frustration that you must be dealing with, and my heart goes out for you.

However, as a person living in a small out of town community (where there are thankfully a lot less of these issues) I believe that I have the luxury of seeing the situation without any bias.

The schools that you so desperately want to have your children in are entitled to have standards that they feel are appropriate for their student body and it's families. They have a responsibility to the majority of the students (who chose this way of life) and shouldn't be required to accept students and families that for whatever reason choose a set of standards different than their's.

It's convenient to use the ahavas yisroel argument, but that doesn't give one the right to choose a way of life and set of standards and expect everyone to look the other way and accept you with open arms. As a obviously concerned parent, how about adjusting your way of life to be more in line with the schools you so desperately want to send your children to.

Good luck with the new school year!

Anonymous said...

Since when did these wholly, holy powerful ones ever practice what they preach, unless it was to their ultimate financial or kovod benefit .. really?

Anonymous said...

Get dressed like a Yiddish women and then you can complain you feel like doing what you want and then wander why they say no
Imagine working in Walmart or virzon ups or any other corporate place that has a uniform and you dressing the way you want how will they react
No the will send you home hey your not for us
Same here
And if you have a problem with it open your own place and you make the rules up

Anonymous said...

The place a family chooses to live is extremely important. There are so many great towns in NJ with day schools. There are 1 Rav, 1 shul and Modern Orthodox. Even if your Frummer or less, it's fine. Great people, great surroundings. Accepting schools. Some communities have 20 shuls, 100 Rabbanim and schools that discriminate. Choose carefully.

Anonymous said...

Girls aren't supposed to study the Torah, so what's wrong with sending to public school, you'll be saving thousands of dollars

Anonymous said...

When the Yeshiva system was in its infancy in the early part of the 20th century and the public schools provided a superior education all parents needed for acceptance was a desire to have their children receive a Jewish education. Now that we have educated generations of Yiddishe neshamos AND the public school system has deteriorated we can pick and choose who is worthy of receiving a Jewish education. Please don't blame the women on how they dress because unfortunately we can look at the men too and see how they interact in business and their personal lives (ahem ahem). However, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to interacting with each other. I'm sorry that the mother is in such pain but if I were you I would seek out a modern Orthodox school and don't be afraid of the kids influencing your children. Give you're children lots of love and attention and be a good role model for them. That is more important than sending your kids to the "right" yeshiva!! Also, don't listen to your neighbors, in laws etc do whats RIGHT for your kids you know them best.
Hatzlachah

Anonymous said...

Here in Monsey, the yeshivos toss out kids like used tissues and don't have to give a reason, they run their schools like a business.
Another friend of mine got a similar letter from BYCC, telling her that her child is not welcome back.
And yes, it unfortunately happened to me as well.
Public school? Yes, the yeshivos couldn't care less where you send, not their responsibility. Sure, send a little girl to East Ramapo where she will be the only white girl in her class!
It is an avairah to kick out a child without making sure she has a school for next year.
This letter has been on my mind since I read it. But Leah Zaks can sleep peacefully at night.
It's so wrong, what has become of us? I firmly believe Hashem has a special place in gehenom for these principals.
Good for the letter writer who had the courage to do what so many of us can't because we are afraid!!

Jonny said...

Something like this would be perfect t for achersmusings.wordpress.com!!! Please send letters! Everyone is welcome and let the voices be heard!

chaim said...

Don't give up knock on all doors every child needs a place and has a place a frum school since when is a bais yakov about parents its a matter of being frum or not its not about education that children can get elsewhere your child will get in to the right bais yakov that's ready to take you with nice Jewish kids trust in your self I hear the cry of neshamah that wants a future the best for your child we stand with you keep us posted when she gets accepted with good news

chaim said...

Don't give up knock on all doors every child needs a place and has a place a frum school since when is a bais yakov about parents its a matter of being frum or not its not about education that children can get elsewhere your child will get in to the right bais yakov that's ready to take you with nice Jewish kids trust in your self I hear the cry of neshamah that wants a future the best for your child we stand with you keep us posted when she gets accepted with good news

Anonymous said...

If you need assistance in this matter you call Rabbi Michel Chill.He will advocate for your children like nobody else.But he is also brutally honest so brace yourself to the possibility of getting a reality check ,,,,,and LISTEN

Anonymous said...

to all who are reading this ,it is not fair to point a finger and mention one school, I am aware of many schools that have discriminated and not accepted or kicked out children. in fact at times it is one principal and not the entire hanhala. god will pay them back in kind. I have a relative that works with otd kids .he says it is not internet or texting etc that has caused all the problems, a lot of blame falls on our mechanchim in our corrupt school system.the schools often mistreat staff and fire teachers that stand up for what is right, I know a few staff members who lost their jobs because of the same corrupt system. if we as parents want our children to be in a perfect place and we dont teach them to accept those that are not exactly like us then we are giving the schools the same message. last but not least the new concept(last 50years ) of the best thing to be is yeshivish ;has destroyed our sense of all jews are accepted.to be honest I think that new label has destroyed the acceptance of every yid.if you wear white and black you can do anything in busniss etc and you don't have to be amentch if your torahdic.

Anonymous said...

We don't know anything about this mother and about her kids, but kids
are very influeneced by peers and if any kid is a rotten apple, he and she don't belong in a mainstream yeshiva to ruin other kids.maybe it's not the case here, but people shouldn't throw all the blame on yeshivas and principals, because good parents and good kids shouldn't have to put up with brats and bratty parents. there are two sides here.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell me more about Rabbi Chill and how he has assisted in this matter?

Anonymous said...

regardless how difficult achild is or the parents are if they have the correct yechus or connections or money things are different ive been involved with many cases .

meir said...

This is for Anonm 11:20. Nobody has the right to call any jewish child A "rotten apple". It's appalling for anyone to use such language referring to a Yidisha neshama. Did you not learn anything from Tisha bav? The Torah was given to Klall Yisrael, not just to the beautiful people. The Torah is not an exclusive club, it includes many sinners too. G-d tolerates them, why can't you? Do not make Yiddishkeit into a country club membership. To utter such words, "rotten apple" is shameful. Many "rotten apples" might become wealthy one day and support 20 Yeshivas? A rotten Apple can also be influenced for good by an understanding teacher with an OYIN tov? We need mechanim with an Oyin TOV? Many Gedolim were jokesters and troublemakers when young. You should apologize, and wash your mouth out. It's appalling. Would you abandon your son if someone called him a rotten apple? Are you so so pure that you can deem someone a Rotten apple? OYVEY for the yom hadin

Anonymous said...

meir%, looks like you never went to school. There are bullies who destroy the lives of other classmates and there are very disrespectful kids who make the lives of he rebbes and teachers miserable, and rebels who disobey the teachers and even their parents and days are spent taking valuable time away from the rest of the kids.You want to deny that this exists and you have no clue. Rebbes aren't allowed to even shut them up because parents show up and accuse them of everything. Most kids are good but the bad ones have to sent elsewhere. If youre ok with a kid bullying your son and leaving him with life scars then you're strange.

yitzchokM said...

The parents are responsible for their own children.
The only time a school is to be forced to make sure that a student has another place to go, is when she's being expelled due to no-fault of her own. I.e., lack of academic skill, social problems etc. If it's a problem with the families lifestyle, then it's up to the family to make the change. It's their fault their daughter does not have an education. Not the school. Stop slandering the community

Anonymous said...

This for 5;02.
You write like a well meaning liberal whose thinking has destroyed morality and school systems. Nobody is talking about jokesters and harmless troublemakers and teenage kids who are normally troubled.
Wishing that you would have the same sympathy for the Yiddish neshamas who just want to come to school and learn without trouble, how about them? There are some students whose thinking is against the standards of yeshivos and and their presense could have an effect on the students, teachers and schools.You cant work in the real world without following rules and sometimes uniforms, if you;ve got a problem then go elsewhere. You talk about good mechanchim , and in many cases they can reach troubled students but not all, so what is the yeshiva supposed to do with them/ Maybe they deal drugs and filth and harass the staff, who are also yeddish neshamos.Like a liberal, you take the side of the perpetrator not the victims.There's just so much a school and staff can tolerate

meir said...

To ANON. 5:55. Even so, nobody has a right to call them "rotten apples". You can not solve the problem by name calling or labeling. It will make it worse. We are talking about good kids who can't get into yehiva or bais Yaakov, not bullies. We often like to label them "Rotten apples" because it's convenient or easy. If a child is a bully, then the child (not rotten apple) must be placed in a school suitable to address the problem. Do not be so quick to label a good kid who is rejected from Yehiva a "rotten apple" because his or her dad wear a blue shirt instead of white. Or a school that only wants A+ students, and this child is a b+. We are not talking here about disturbed children. Even these children need a place to learn. Their not "rotten" apples. Be careful with language, because then your kids will label others as well in a derogatory manner. Good kids need a place to learn even if they don't 100% fit in, or parents don't fit in. You know exactly that I was not talking about disturbed children, or bullies. But the subject of bullies need to addressed as well. Do not deny the fact that many good kids and average parents are having problems finding schools. This is the issue.

Anonymous said...

meir% you know very well whom I meant , I wasn't even thinking of blue shirts or A students. It's wrong to throw these kids out because of that and never suggested that for a second. Now you're obsessing with rotten apples, and I explained clearly whom I meant, so acknowledge that,

meir said...

To anon.6:50. We both care about Jewish children. I concede to you.Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I guess they warned the mother no Facebook, & she couldn't control the addiction. She was too honest, & didn't hide behind a screen name like the Principle & teachers of that school. Just thinking out loud.
Junker (EU) is quoted as saying you have to lie when it gets serious you really have to lie. As schools become political they too work that way, so as long as you lie & sign the grocery list on the school toilet roll, your kids are able to stay, if you lie more in business & credit apps, your kids could even get in. If you are honest & work hard you have no money, but maybe you could still lie, if you are too honest for that, you no longer welcome in Oilam hasheker you belong in olam haemess, you what that means.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else pick up the fact that this mother is sitting with a pile of rejection letters??? Isn't that a clear indignation that there's something very unusual and wrong about this case? Yes, I've heard of people being told that the school isn't the right environment for their kids. And I've also heard of people not getting accepted for illegitimate reasons. But when one family is told time and time again, by multiple schools, that they don't fit in, either the parents are forcing their way into schools that are clearly not meant for them, or theirs something truly wrong w the family/parents/kids. Every school has a right to create a set of rules. Private secular schools have rules too. If you don't like them don't send there. And if u send there then it's your obligation to abide by the rules.

avi said...

I heard this a few years ago...
A yid comes to R' Shteinman shlita holding the hand of his 7 year old son. Both their eyes are teary. The Yid tells his tale of woe, 'My son was rejected and thrown out of his yeshiva all because his yarmulke has a slight shade of blue in it. It is simply devastating! My wife and my son have not stopped crying. They threw out my son over such a ridiculous thing like the color of my son's kippa? Look at my sons kippa! Is it really such a terrible thing that it has some blue in it? Have we really sunk so low that we are tossing yiddisha neshamas over such a small thing like this?'

R' Shteinman nods his head in sympathy for a few seconds. 'You are right', he sais softly. 'It is indeed a small thing. But... I dont understand... since you are right that its such a small thing - than why dont you simply change your sons kippa to all black?'

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why parents of these 'rejected' children just don't give up on the schools that continually refuse to accept them. What is so wonderful and glorious about having to struggle in such a difficult and bullying environment even if they are eventually offered a place - why do they want to emulate these people and their environment, when they compel parent/child to maintain their over-the-top frum standards - to what end - low academic skills, no empathy or compassion, etc? Reject them instead!

Fred said...

Just remember that Agudas Yisroel, who (in my opinion) are attempting to take complete ownership of American Orthodoxy, recently celebrated the anniversary Bais Yaakov and it's founder, Sara Shneir (please forgive my spelling). The Agudah published a poster commemorating this event, which included a picture of one of the earliest Bais Yaakov classes, with Mrs. Shnier standing among the crowd of young girls.

Guess what: the faces of all women and girls in the picture where blurred out- including Mrs. Shnier's face. Can you believe the incredible disrespect for the founder of one of the most important Jewish educational institutions in history? It's beyond belief that some Jewish men have become so holy that they allow the faces of young girls and modest Jewish women to be removed from historic pictures like this.

Anonymous said...

Avi, your stupid story proves how out of touch rabbis are with today's generation. Yes, a kippah is relatively easy to change but the fact is, kids are getting rejected from yeshivas for mothers driving, fathers trimming their beards and a host of other infractions that are not that easy to comply with. And there are no other orthodox schools that want there kids. Why should they send modern orthodox school just because they want to drive when modern orthodoxy doesn't fit with their hashkafa?

hi said...

I was rejected from working at Camp HASC three times. They told me I was not social enough.

Anonymous said...

Surprise, Surprise -- Sarah Schneirer was very discriminating too. She demanded that her students accepted to her seminary had h.s. diplomas. Problem is -- that meant goign to secular h.s. as was state mandated that children had to go to school (and there were no Bais Yaacovs -- catch 22).

Rebetzen Vichna Kaplan was rejected by Sarah Shneirer because she did not go to high school. Her uncle in whose home she grew up, refused to allow her to attend secular high school. So she wrote bac and argued. She didn't take no for an answer. Maybe due to her yichus, Sarah Shneirer relented and accepted her.

And from one student -- one simple student influenced by Bais Yaacov in Poland-- she brought with her those ideas and started the first Bais Yaacov in the USA. Who knows if any other would have succeeded, if there were any other survivors who would be able too pull it off. Fact is Vichan Kaplan did it -- and she had been at first rejected by Sarah Shneirer in all her high glory.

Some leaders make mistakes. Not everyone has the strength to overcome rejection and they collapse and disintegrate. but the strong ones say they wont let rejection deter them.

he world doesn't stand on the shoulders of people in business of education. I understand not everyone has the ability to pull it off on their own (as Vichna Kaplan who started the Bais Yaacov movement in the USA)

Maybe this is G-d's way of opening your eyes and pushing you to a new mission-- to see and feel and taste rejection, and understand you aren't the only one -- and go start your own school. We are given challenges for a reason!

Anonymous said...

Haha girls not supposed to study Torah. In lubavitch besides for girls learning chassidus in elenantry school they learn Gemara in high school