Letter: Should I Send Her to Seminary or Save it for Her Chasunah?

Like many parents out there, I’ve been struggling with the whole seminary situation.

Though we registered our oldest daughter to a seminary in Israel (mainly due to peer pressure), we’re beginning to rethink the decision due to the fact that it’s turning out to be much more expensive than we initially envisioned.

The question we keep debating is: Should she go to Israel, or should we back out and rather save the money for her Chasunah (and possibly even give her some of the remaining money to start off)?

I’m curious to hear input from people in the parsha.

A Lakewood resident.

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  1. Good question. What will she do if she stays in America? Go to a local sem? It ain’t much cheaper sorry to inform you. As a mother of many daughters who b’siyata dishmaya were zoche to get married I will tell you that somehow hashem gives you what you need. I mean it. I’m also sorry to say that unfortunately in today’s day and age it doesn’t look good on the resume if she doesn’t go to sem at all. Hatzlacha with your decision. At this point you’ll probably lose a pretty penny from backing out and your daughter is probably liked to go and it will be a big let down.

  2. It depends on your daughter!
    Some don’t need seminary, it’s only peer pressure. Save the money.
    Some really mentch out and mature greatly in seminary. Sending her to work, school, or dating before she’s ready is not the best path for her.
    There’s no one answer for everyone.
    Know your daughter and discuss it with her.

    • What does the Gemara say about the age to get married? Getting married is the only way to mature and “mentch out”.

  3. Its pretty late in the game to back out of a Seminary now. Debates like these should be made at the beginning of your daughter’s 12 th grade. And if you back out, what is the plan for next year? A local Seminary or just to go straight to work or school?

    • At that time of the year, when I sent my daughter to seminary half of the tuition was paid up already. Afaik with no refunds!
      Deposit to accept the slot was a few thousands…
      I’m assuming his daughter is still in 11th grade and he’s wondering what to do next year.

  4. As a girl who didn’t go to seminary (this was my seminary year) please don’t send your daughter to any seminary unless she absolutely needs it most of my friends who have gone have said that they regretted it and it was the worst decision ever. And don’t listen to the people who said it won’t look good on a resume it’s not true. Please do what’s best for you and don’t give into the peer pressure save your money and make your daughter a beautiful wedding very soon iyh!

    • Thank you . You should find your Zvug in the right time. I did not send my daughter to seminary this past year and we didn’t regret it at all. Save the money and use it for the Chasunah Imyh for your daughters rent.

  5. The Chazon Ish says There’s a special Shefa that comes with a simcha and no matter what percentage of the cost you take upon yourself it will be covered
    So why worry?

    • Just the tuition is 30k then you need tickets there then for pesach there and back then for a month last at the end of the year. Plus all the clothing with could end up being over 10k easily then all the other things you need for seminary plus spending money for the year and don’t forget the “mandatory” Poland trip $$$$$$$

  6. I went to an American seminary and bh really enjoyed it. I got married perfectly fine without going to Israel and interestingly my husband stayed in America for his yeshiva years as well. We were both happy with our decisions and plan on sending our daughters when the time comes to Seminary in America. (They usually offer an Israel trip during the year for those that want, which can be nice too.)

  7. I am curious about where people are finding the extra $30,000 to send their daughters to seminary in Israel. In today’s economy, where many are struggling to afford groceries and tuition, this seems like a scam that needs to be addressed. Those who prioritize spending $30,000 on seminary instead of essentials like food or tuition cannot justify such choices. As a society, we need to say ‘enough is enough’ to these extravagant expenditures.

    • AMEN! Paying $30,000 to further the shidduch crisis, the tuition crisis and the hunger crisis AND it gets to reduce the number of Jewish children by one or two per family!? The sitra achra set up a sweet scam with the community!

      • U make no sense. Keeping girls home will worsen the shidduch crisis. They will start dating earlier. Girls should stay in school another 3 yrs and then no shidduch crisis. Obviously makes no sense

        • Every 9 months after age 18 that a girl waits to get married reduces the number of Jewish children born by one, and cuts off the possibility of that missing child having children. Now tell me again about the shidduch crisis?

  8. First off see if she really needs to go.( some seminaries offer a great time and some are miserable )

    Secondly there may be options where u can get financial aid through a college or even masa
    Ask the seminary .
    Maybe even switch to a different seminary
    But if ur cheshbon is Shidduchim ? That’s a hoax. The shidduch has nothing to do with seminary at all!

  9. Give her a respectable dowry instead, and start her on shidduchim. Don’t give in to destructive peer pressure. Ask youself this – what would you pay for an extra year or two in this world to see another grandchild, great grandchild or great-great grandchild! Let her start early and don’t let the yetzer horah limit the amount of Jewish neshamos coming into the world!

  10. Two things. 1 I didn’t send my daughter to Israel for seminary and BH she turned out great and is married with children. Chasdi Hashem!!!

    2 As an administrator in a Yeshiva, I was discussing tuition with a parent, and he told me that he can only pay a small amount because he has a very big expense this year, I asked him what it was, he said he had to send his daughter to Israel for seminary. I was shocked, and he would not budge in giving me more tuition.

    On a side note, I don’t believe that you get anything more out of going to seminary in Israel, there a very good one’s here.


  11. Many of these young women could best be served by gaining job skills they can use to generate income when it comes time to support their families.

  12. Interesting topic. I married off a few daughters without sending them to Seminary, and my Machatonim couldn’t be happier with them. They actually didn’t look at any resumes from girls who went to
    Seminary. They took wonderful Jewish courses in the evening and worked during the day.

  13. Seminary in Israel is a joke and a hoax. These seminaries are making a fortune and laughing all the way to the bank. I sent both my daughters to half day seminary in Lakewood (included half day of work) and started shidduchim immediately. Don’t worry about shidduchim it’s all min hashamayim just do the right thing. Don’t waste time and money on Israel. It’s crazy

  14. UNtil there is a push by rabonim and raoha yeshiavas to stop sending to erets yisroel the boys and theor mothers are expecting seminary in eretz yisroel on the resume. If not then they ask why? Must be a shavache girl. My daughter is a great girl stayed here in esminary and I have heard that the good boys and mothers are holding back because of that.
    The situation is wild. So send the girl to israel, support the boy for at least 5 years… oh and if you have a few girls its all ok there will be shefa.. for the average lakewood family this is out of control…

  15. I find it interesting that the Lakewood High Schools don’t allow any independence for the girls at all but are completely OK with pushing them to going off to a foreign country with no supervision just 2 months later ! There needs to be some sort of transition period (perhaps 12th grade) that can slowly teach the girls learn what it’s like to have responsibility and live in a place like Yerushalayim

  16. Some girls may need or benefit greatly by being away from home, while I’ve heard of some that the freedom was very detrimental.
    On another note, I’ve listened to a conference of shadchanim and Rabbi Lewinstein said that from experience it makes no difference for a shidduch which seminary they attended.
    As for the cost, there are local seminaries, that with the eligible pell grants you can pay in the five thousand range, (including dorm). So that’s vastly cheaper then E”Y, and without plane tickets etc. (and coming home for simchos…)

  17. One needs to spend $35,000 for his daughter to get inundated with the השקפה that money is not important and that she should marry a learning boy! How ironic! None of the גדולי תורה in America send their daughters to Israel to seminary. I guess their daughters have this השקפה ingrained so their father doesn’t not need to spend $35,000 to teach them that!

  18. Seminary gives tremendous value for your money- it’s not the classes, trips etc. it’s the independence of living on your own, without parental oversight- in preparation to marry and be an independent couple. Add to that, living in a country that is not solely focused on materialism- being able to see up close, people who are happy with very little, not by eying to keep up with those around them at the gashmius level that some American cities have placed a huge focus on. You spent on thr Michelle watch, london kids shoes, expensive t-shirts for camp, the right kind of everything for your daughter, and now you’re complaining about spending on an experience that would remove your daughter from that steeped-in-gashmius environment, give her independence going into marriage. I don’t get you.

    • Cheaper to kick em out of the house and let them rent an apartment and get a job, also would get a better understanding of budgeting.

  19. Quite frankly is angers me when people have to ask these questions on here as your rav/rabbi and all your questions will be answered hazlucha

    • So if your rabbi tells you that you need to spend the 30K that you don’t have will he sponsor the 30k?
      I don’t think you need to ask your rabbi when it comes to Money matters its extremely straight forward u don’t spend what you cant afford!!

  20. Responsible parents better have money in a custodial account for each child to pay for both their Seminary or Yeshiva and their Wedding.
    I don’t know how Israeli Seminaries can do it for just $30,000 as they provide good teachers, delicious food, beautiful apartments or dormitories with amenities etc. to go on a Pesach program with a family costs more than $30,000.
    But anyway I would be very nervous to send a child to Israel now due to the current situation, children in Israel should immediately be brought home, and I’m sure Israel wants all foreign students except in the army and in yeshiva’s to go home now.

  21. Why do some (not many) people assume “Seminary” has to mean Eretz Yisroel? The local options are JUST AS GOOD as EY if not better and they are a fraction of the price. In fact, after grants many are paying less than they pay tuition for high school, plus many offer the opportunity to earn credits or degrees.

    There is a reason so many girls are attending American seminaries now (I heard half the Lakewood crowd is staying local this year)- now that we have so many great Lakewood options, EY is just not sustainable anymore.

  22. What type of stupid question!!
    What else are you going to do for peer pressure??
    Start to wake up and do what’s right, not what a few people from Israel (that want to make money from you) tell you that “it’s for your good” to go Israel, and eat by some weird people’s homes and I don’t want to say what else you end up doing there, and just go along for peer pressure!!
    Its about time we wake up!!!!!! STOP DUMPING YOUR MONEY!!

  23. seminary is not the burning issue, the real issue is that whether she goes to sem or not, there is not for certain a boy waiting for her, because of the “arctic” track the boys are forced into, older boys are coming out to thaw and are grabbing MOST of the younger girls, leaving ONE THIRD without any boy to even date.

    so whatever you decide, don’t think you solved the wedding question, you are not even in the primaries yet.

    save you energies to fight for all girls to have an even playing field, to get a chance to go out, and then, by then, whenever that will be… hopefully all of the girls will go for the home run.

    • I totally do not understand this. I know PLENTY of older single boys in every age bracket, including in their 50s, who are looking for their zivug, and they’re not married yet.

      So if older single girls really have no boys left to marry because they all married the younger girls, how is it possible that BMG has a 600 or 700 page BOOK full of single bochurim who are looking for a shidduch, and most of them are in their 20s and 30s???

      It’s not a lack of boys to girls ratio that’s causing this issue or a lack of good boys/learning boys etc., that’s all made up baloney by people who aren’t in the parsha or are trying to turn this into a 1 + 1 = 2 problem. It’s because the right time did not come for them to get married.

      When it’s the right time, it happens. It’s not because singles aren’t trying to get married or there’s a lack of either gender to marry, it’s because Hashem knows when it’s the right time, and what each person has to go through, in order to fulfill the purpose of why they came down to this world. It’s not in our hands, our job is just to try, all results, outcomes, and accomplishments are in Hashem’s hands, and He knows what He’s doing, and He cares more, and loves the older singles more than anyone else, and is taking care of each and every one of them and has more empathy and mercy towards them than anyone else.

      No one cares more than Hashem does that so many of His sons and daughters aren’t married yet, if He didn’t give them their zivug yet, it’s only out of His great kindness and mercy that they’re still single, and our job is to trust Him, and continue davening and doing reasonable hishtadlus, and leave the rest up to Him.

      • BMG does not have 700 boys @ 30 yrs old and they for sure do not have a booklet of them, most bochurim get married within a year of “coming back”, problem is they didn’t get married earlier not due to lack of funds in either family, just due to following common practice, however outdated it may be. if boys and girls would date younger this whole issue would shrink and then go away.

  24. Not everyone pays 30K. It costed me approx 5k after TTI plus plane ticket. My daughter used her own spending money. it wouldnt cost less to stay in america

  25. Keep her home & save the floose. Rabbi Avigdor Miller, of blessed memory, would say the same thing. Her mother & possibly grandma could teach her all she’ll need to know, Biezrat Hashem.

  26. We spend much of davening pining for and yearning for the Eretz Hakadosh.For most people in Lakewood, this will be the only experience they have to actually develop a real connection to Eretz Yisroel. Going for a week or two on vacation doesn’t do it. You need to really be there for a significant amount of time. Considering how important Eretz Yisroel is in Yiddishkeit shouldn’t we all be jumping at the opportunity to allow our children to be there and at least be able to have a real shaychus and to be able to really understand what they are davening for each day instead of some abstract concept.

    The fact that nobody had even brought up this point in the past 50 comments makes me feel that people in Lakewood have become way too comfortable in Galus.

    • You are right about the connection to Eretz yisroel, but you are missing the עיקר that is brought out here! It is NOT worth the price they charge for it! Sure, if you readily have the funds and can afford to splurge, go ahead. But you can get just as good education here in our country as in E. Y. without the steep cost! So no one is denying the חשיבות of EY. Just the cost is a rip off. And there are Better ways to use that money as has already been indicated.

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