Letter: Our Teachers

Hi, I am the one that sent the letter about what to do about our teachers, as even with their raises they received this year from Torah Umesorah, they are severely underpaid compared to everyone else. And yes, we all got raises this year because of inflation… and we are at risk of losing our great teachers.

I was looking to brainstorm what to do that we are not left with new and inexperienced teachers every year. My Rov told me that our first money that we give anywhere should be to our teachers. We didn’t want to flaunt, so after reading all the comments, Chanukah we decided to give a very nice amount (as it didn’t seem like anyone looked at it as flaunting…

Now we gave it to 4 Hebrew teachers (and less for the English teachers…). One of them was a major success, as they put the check into a Gemach. I was able to contact the Gemach and found out that they had another $20,000 they still owed the Gemach, so we were able to give it to the Gemach without them knowing it was from us and not flaunting iy. The Gemach just called them that he got money from someone to pay off some peoples debts, and they are lucky they don’t have to repay.

The problem is that the other 3 teachers I am sure can use the money too, but have no way to think of giving it to them without flaunting. Originally we wanted the school to give it as a bonus, but they told me they can only give it if we give it to all their teachers (which would water down the amount we can give).

I know that the school is trying to work to give their teachers a Pesach bonus between 5-10k, we don’t know if it will pan out, but us as parents, what can we do now with Purim and Pesach coming up? Any suggestions (especially for the teachers that we couldn’t get a clue how to give them money as they didn’t give it back to a gemach…)?

I know they can use the money and we really don’t want to lose them for our next daughter.

Sincerely,
Yaakov

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Find out which grocery they use and put on their bill.
    Pay their tuition from kids not in that school. E.g. High school or elementary
    Rent payment if applicable
    Camp payment
    Or a bunch of visa gift cards left in their mailbox..

  2. Confusing letter. You contacted a gemach and they told you how much a teacher owes them? Hard to believe a gemach would share such private info.

  3. I don’t see it as flaunting. This is between you and the teacher. If it is given with a sincere note they will appreciate. I worked with mechanchim for many years. I never heard someone speaking disparagingly about someone giving too much money. I don’t know what amount of money you are talking about, but a few hundred dollars here and there (chanukah, purim, PTA, Pesach, end of year) with a nice note that indicates that you are giving it in gratitude should do the trick.

    • You seem to have extra money. if your willing to give $10k (bare minimum) You may be able to put money into a growth fund or fixed interest investment of some sort. Have the school set it up for the teachers, as they already have the teachers legal info. And the teachers never have to know your the one feeding the account.

  4. I’m not sure what works you live in but if your school has the ability to give teachers a 5k to 10k pesach bonus ,then it’s not the old Lakewood type of school . That’s many hundreds of thousands of dollars for most established girls schools and none of the schools I know have excess money or parents that can fund such a bonus . Maybe the new types of parents who moved from NY to Toms River have those financial capabilities

  5. Mail an anonymous money order or certified check straight to the teacher homes and it will make its way directly to them. With Hashem watching over you and your amazing chessed and appreciation for Torah.

  6. Wow. Wow. Wow. Mi K’amcha Yisroel! You should be Gebencht! How thoughtful! Can the money be paid towards the tuition of their children in the school? Hatzalah and Bracha!

  7. I dont understand how the gemachs telling you that teacher owed another 20k isnt lashon hara and/or a major breach of privacy but thats besides the point. Also, signing your first name to this makes you not so anonymous anymore to the specific teachers who will now mysteriously find a nice check or some debt paid off. They can easily figure out who you are…The issue of flaunting would be to the teachers who wont get this bonus. Oh the jealousy if other teachers found out and that might be on your cheshbon. I agree with the principal better to give all the teachers. plus your anonymity will be kept. Your hakaros hatov is still present and more ppl can benefit with alittle extra even if its not substantial. Sometimes less really is more.

  8. I’m sorry but this letter is absurd. Really! Grow up! Write the teacher a nice card and give them however much you want. They will be more than grateful. Stop making all of your ridiculous holier than thou calculations which are completely counterproductive. You got your attention now just give them the $

  9. Where I live the Federation provides support to the school & Teachers.
    Can someone make that happen in Lakewood? It’d be a big help having support coming from outside the Frum community.

  10. I Also want to point out that publicly declaring your wealthy enough to give significant amounts of money to tzedaka for teachers and asking the public on advice how not to flaunt is extremely flaunting. Your intentions are noble and I commend u but highly “tone deaf” to the general klal who is struggling and have no chanuka/purim/pesach/end of year bonuses. The only other outside person who should know your financial status is your accountant. The concept of emor m’at v’asay harbei exists for a reason. Next time just do (I.e. give graciously ) and dont talk about it.

  11. I am sending this post through someone as I personally do not have internet access, but after hearing about this thread, I wanted you to hear my take.
    I am that English teacher. I spend every day in the classroom, more than the Hebrew teachers, and I invest all my afternoon hours in these girls. And each time the Hebrew teachers get bigger bonuses and bigger amounts, I want to cry. I am here for the same reason. This is just the subject matter that worked out for me to teach. Otherwise, I am no different than the Hebrew teacher. In fact, my babysitting arrangements are many more times more difficult, and I am paying for extended hours many times over to be at my job. But the status of a “Hebrew” teacher makes into nothing. Is my tznius any less? no. Am I any less a role model? I really hope not. No one would tell me apart from a Hebrew teacher in the street or in the school building except by the subject matter. Its one thing not to get the respect in the building, but that I could live with, I love my job and my “status” doesn’t really matter. But when it comes to finances, what about an English bais yaakov teacher deserves less money? It never stops to hurt. When I hear about parents helping Hebrew teachers for yt, I want to cry. you teach the girls 2x a week, I teach them every day. I invest as much, if not more, in your daughters… But no one ever thinks to help an English teacher… Dear Parents, your daughter’s english teachers are the same bais yaakov graduates/kollel wives that the Hebrew teachers are. I don’t profess for my subject matter to be more important, but please, make us matter….Thank you for listening.

    • never thought of it this way but thanks for opening my eyes (always thought that the responsibility of the class is the Hebrew teacher and the english teacher teach their subjects but if there is any issue (unless happens only by English) the responsibility falls on the Hebrew teacher
      Yaakov

  12. my kids teachers don’t have access to the web not worried about them getting any info from the scoop real old time Lakewooders (great for our chinuch so proud that our kids have such teachers) and to clarify the gemach did not want to tell me amount I just know that 20k he would be able to give them that they can really use (maybe much more I asked him about the number 20k and response was they can really use it and he can get it to them without them knowing it is from me) either by paying off a debt of theirs or by giving them the money and that they can really use it (maybe it is 50k I don’t know)

  13. If your smart enough to make that much money, you’ll come up with a solution. It’s rediculous to claim that quietly offering someone money for teaching is “Flaunting”. This letter writer sounds fishy.

    • The word flaunting wasn’t the right word in this context; the letter writer clearly meant some word that would mean “giving in a clear open way that makes the recipient feel less than”, but not everything that sounds nice or someone who uses their wealth for a noble purpose has to be sullied by someone like you who has to write that it “sounds fishy”.

  14. and the aba therapists who struggle to keep your autistic kids in school? they are worthless?? not even a chanuka present. they. are also struggling. when they teach it doesnt count???

  15. Wow!

    I’ve been teaching for years (girls) and I make just barely over 20k all year.

    But you know what? I like my job. I enjoy it. The girls give me more than I give them.

    It is true that schools will lose teachers and rebbeim if they dont raise pay. I’m not sure what the solution is.

    The rebbeim are really stretching themselves too thin with all the jobs they are holding down. I know other people also work hard, but you need them to spend time and patience on your kids

  16. If I worked 3 hours a day like you probably do, you’d probably make more than me. The only reason teachers get paid so little is because they don’t teach full time. They work for 3 hours a day and then complain they don’t get paid well. If anyone who wasnt a teacher would complain about getting paid over 20k for working barely 10 hours per week, no one would care.

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