[Reader Submitted] I’m plain middle of the road type. I went to a rather large Brooklyn Bais Yaakov, straight through. Seminary in E.Y. My husband went to Torah Temimah straight through, then E.Y., then Lakewood. He stayed in Kollel over five years, and now travels to the city every day. I do work for a web based company form home. KN”H my oldest is ready for primary next year- and I am losing sleep. We were already told by a particular administration that we cannot even apply to that Yeshiva of our first choice.
My sister lives in Los Angeles, and her children were registered in the Yeshivos they applied to, within a few weeks- no hassle. I know that there are some that will say, well “move to—,” or simply “move out of Lakewood.” But is that fair? Is it right? Is it reflective of who we are as a people? I mean after all, we are living here already nearly eight years, are completely at home and very much settled amongst friends and family. Obviously the issue on hand is the difficult “application procedures” for a Yeshiva for our child.
Of course I already went through somewhat of a challenge in regard to babysitters, and then playgroups and nurseries. Not that I have to send my children out, it just allows for a proper business approach to what I do. I am much of a veteran already when dealing for my younger ones in these areas, yet from the initiation of the Yeshiva application procedures, coupled with so much foreknowledge from what I’ve already heard, I am having a very difficult time dealing with it.
Yes, I have internet in my home. I work online, and do banking and shopping online. No we don’t have a television, though my mother-in-law’s parents have one. Yes my computer has DVD capability, yet we don’t usually have time for a movie. Although to be honest, I have watched a few over the years that I thoroughly enjoyed growing-up.
So now I have already filled out four different applications for my son for next year, answering on paper, in follow-up phone calls, and in one in-person conversation, a complete run-down on my and my husband’s background- our daily living style, our hopes and aspirations and private details. Truthfully I’d rather not give over so much private information, who’s business is it anyways, I believe this business of some administrator poking his nose into my affairs invade the concept of Ma Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov. All this for the questioners to deliberate and debate if we are indeed authentic internally to the ways and what we promote to the outside world externally. After all, as one Menahel jokingly mentioned to my husband- “we wouldn’t want your son’s friend to be fed Treif in your house now would we?” I could not get over the gall. No this was not said during any interview process, but rather in passing in Shul.
The truth is the trials and tribulations to get my child into a Yeshiva are bewildering. I mean, except for a difference in income and perhaps blood-type, we are all very similar. We all have shared aspirations for our children and ourselves, we all follow the Shulchan Oruch, and when in doubt, we ask. I mean, what difference does it make who my husband’s last Rosh Chaburah in Yeshiva is, and to whom we ask our Shailos. Was there ever a time in the history of Klal Yisroel that such questions were asked to find a Yeshiva for ones child. My husband tells me the Torah mandates a most thorough investigation when deciding the fate of someone who’s husband has gone missing.
I for one cannot understand why of the six families that now live on our block (we moved to a very nice remote part of Lakewood) each one collectively must send their children to eight different schools. (Boys and Girls). We get on so well with one another and have so many shared Haskafas as a neighborhood. Is it too much to ask that my child have a playmate and friend from two houses down that can be in the same class?
Lastly, it is very painful and yes even demeaning to be treated with the lordship the administrator or school owner seems to gloat over me when corresponding with the institution. Yes, I understand that they have the Z’chus to have and work for a recognized local children’s school and would like to serve it in its best interest. However, customer service interaction amongst the nations of the world in any service department can be better rated. Because you have me in a position of literally begging to place my child in what we believe is the best environment for him, does not give you or anybody the right to use your stronger upper hand to probe and prod my entire life history and humble my approach.
From what I understand, I am not the only one flustered by the seemingly bizarre and berserk method of placing our children in local Mosdos. I and I believe others are in need of Chizuk.
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