Opinion: Thank you for ruining mine and my daughter’s Yom Tov

opinionI don’t know if this is something other parents feel is an issue, but for my daughter to spend the last couple of weeks on finals, and have another final the day after Shavuos, I believe is just ridiculous.

Yes, finals are important, but is this what it is all became about? Finals? Is Yiddishkeit completely out the window?

In my opinion, a teenage daughter should be spending her nights in the kitchen with her mother seeing how she can assist with Yom Tov preparations, not be worried every minute of the evening about finals, which tends to consume these teens.

And if Erev yom Tov wasn’t enough, Yom Tov has to be ruined by school worries too because of the tests right afterwards. Which means, instead of enjoying and relaxing on Yom Tov, my daughter now needs to spends her off time making sure she doesn’t flunk her tests.

Something about this system needs to change. This just isn’t the Yiddish way.

Sara K.,

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  1. what will happen if she gets a bad mark ? Let it go and enjoy Yomtov don’t worry about the mark ! Hashem wants us to try and the rest is up to him …

  2. And that’s not the worst of it,,besides getting no help,whatsoever…I have another job to be a taxi driver for all the studying as if I don’t have enough errands..it’s a tremendous chutzpa on the schools part

  3. If your daughter had studied every night during the semester she would find finals very manageable. If you prepared a simpler yom tov you wouldn’t need so much help. Remember that she will get married and not be available to help though she and her family will be there for the meals.

  4. It’s beautiful!
    After your daughter counted the whole Sefira,(which I don’t recall a single women doing when I was growing up) she can stay up the whole Leil Shaun’s like the Bachurim.

  5. Lea, your comment is the epitome of the problem. Let’s sacrifice a beautiful yom tov and Girls should not help their mothers so the girls can study for the finals. This will prepare them for their future life of bringing up the next generation of ramban experts. Family and yiddishkeit can be toned down in the meantime.

  6. The worst part is the taxi driver I have to be from one friend to another and then stuck taking others while I have to cook for Yontiv even the simple dishes and then shopping

  7. Yiddishkeit is about meeting challenges and overcoming obstacles. The challenge of sinchas Yom Tov is even when you don’t have a perfect set up
    Think of all the mothers and fathers that must work during Chol Hamoed, Chanukah break etc…to keep their children in schools and put food on the table. If anything, our schools are properly training our children for the real world.

  8. I wish the bochurim would be getting the tests and learning and enough with the crazy standard we have set for the girls. I understand they need a B.Y. setting in our times but these teachers are missing the boat. We need to create mothers not talmidai chachomos! Nothing to do with Yom Tov coming the final are nuts, this just proves it has nothing to do with chinuch.

  9. #5-Lea Kohn; in your rush to pass judgement on someone you obviously did not read her entire letter properly. The main point this writer was making was that her daughter would be having a miserable yom tov due to the pressures of the finals, while in passing she stated her opinion that she should rather see her in the kitchen assisting with the yom tov preparations. You obviously chose to ignore that thus your nasty comment.

  10. To Chris. You are a problem. And to Lea Kohn, sorry that you never got married. You are a bitter woman. The parents should ban the Finals. ALL girls should just not take them.

  11. I agree 100%. My daughter loves to cook and bake. She was so looking forward to preparing delicious dessert ideas for Shavuos. She had finals every day this and last week and was so pressured! (Skip the fact that I can use her help with regular cooking and preparing!) she and we were very disappointed with the way the schedule turned out this year. And btw she’s only in elementary school!

  12. I agree that finals are crazy, but honestly with the leap year we had the year, and everyone having access to a calendar, I don’t see why the schools didn’t see this coming and start finals earlier. I think it is very inconsiderate of them when they say “oh…the calendar…”

  13. I think a bit of the authors frustration is as follows. Mothers enjoy these special times in the kitchen as a bonding mother daughter time. It creates a special bond between them. It also helps the girls express their creativity in the kitchen. As a family oriented community this timeless tradition and family bonds has been going on for many generations by all nationalities and races. Personally the schools should have taken this into consideration as part of a chinuch experience. Anyway if I owned a girls school maybe I would be able to afford a hotel for yom tov thus not needing extra help. Gut yom tov to all.

  14. Hello? did no one look at the calendar this year? There is something called a freezer and your daughter could have made her delicious desserts etc. weeks ago and had them ready and available with no pressure. Or she could have helped like my girls did for 1 hour each Sunday to slowly prepare many of the items. Don’t forget that your daughter will be home from 12PM Thursday till after yom tov. Surely she can spend an hour or two helping. Even 10 minutes here and there should be manageable for her. If your daughter insists on studying with friends do what I did. Offer her to go study with them but to pay a taxi to get her there. then see how NECESSARY it is. (and yes my girls have done some studying with friends. I’ll drive a little but not every night and not every girl. you are the boss of yourself and not your daughter. wishing everyone a wonderful yom tov!

  15. as a teacher in one of the schools, i was very surprised to see that finals were being given right after yom tov. i am in favor if finals but not at the expense of life. let school last one more week giving the girls more time to study

  16. In the non traditional BY schools midterms and finals are limited to the main subjects ie:chumash, navi, math, science etc. in this way theres not so much learning time wasted. When there are 2-3 weeks of exams think abt how much more the girls couldve learned. No need for a parsha final and a yahadus final and a grammar final. Like c’mon!

  17. I don’t think this was Sara Schnirer vision of the by system her vision was to combat haskalah at the time the by system today works for some but the weaker students fall away and even some of the better ones fall away from the pressure it’s the opposite of what she wanted she was out to keep the girls frum not push away like the system today is

  18. Of course, it is very easy to pass judgement, whether it’s a general issue or a specific issue. Did you speak to the school about it? what information is missing? Did you ask them why they are doing this and not arranging it differently? Did you ask of the accommodations that were made to help the girls because the school felt that, although difficult, this was the best way to go? Is it your daughter who has a problem, either with academics or anxiety? OF COURSE NOT! because it’s easier to kvetch on the Scoop than to deal with it in a civilized mature fashion.
    The schools have a lot of things to consider that maybe you didn’t think of and, perhaps, you would even agree with the school if you took the time to figure out. Maybe not. But, frankly, blaming the school for “ruining” your and your daughter’s yom tov!? Come on!

  19. the letter writer seems touched a raw nerve , that resonates with people in general and specifically with parents of teenage daughters in high school.

    It seems many people are upset to some degree.
    the cynical commentators unfortunately clutter the forum fand prevent intelligent treatment of the at hand matter.
    the school the post references does indeed have school on isru chag.
    the need to accommodate the numerous finals requires they use every available day including isru chag to handle all scheduled exams.

    Honestly a proper Torah approach toward setting this issue as well as other issues should be had and input from parents welcomed.this may be the inspiration to change which i think is so needed. and perhaps the only way by which they will HEAR and consider changing.
    Otherwise the way they run the school and believe they know better is where it will remain.
    Parents you are the silent majority because you are afraid to speak up, YOU fear the school administration… the time has come to let them know what is truly important to us as parents for the chinuch of our children and what we want to see school provide our children with.
    not the reverse- as unfortunately they are missing the point all to often.

    TLS -please do us all a service and take this to a real level of change- not a vote count

    leave out the bitterness
    bring in the skill
    and lets make a true difference in our childrens lives with superb chinuch joy and love for hashem and his torah the way a bas yisroel was meant to be.

  20. #5 Lea Kohn & #14 Yitzchok, are clearly, sadly, in the cinuch field, they therefore disagree with the letter writer & supportive posters and they dont even identify & validate the complaint. I hope they are more passionate & understanding when a student of theirs is sad and cant due school work due to a family trauma. I also agree with number 1 – let them get a bad mark on some meaningless Ivris final. No One cares !!!

  21. I agree in theory, but perhaps a letter to your daughter’s school in a more timely fashion might be more effective than an online rant. Maybe sending a letter to or having a meeting with the school’s principal well in advance may make the situation more tolerable in the future. If the school doesn’t agree to make any changes, that’s their choice.

  22. My family has been living overseas for 10 years and just moved to Lakewood. My dear friends this is not a school problem rather a result of a dysfunctional lifestyle in USA. Overwork until you’re overwhelmed and then take vacation.
    If your boss gives you an assignment and then another boss gives you another task and you can’t do both by 5pm, what will you do? Talk to the boss and prioritize, correct? Somehow, Americans do not know how to manage their time and priorities. Homework, finals, Yom tov these are all priorities. Can you do it all beminuchas hanefesh? Perhaps go to school on Sunday, then you won’t be so overwhelmed. Perhaps give in-school study time and start summer vacation later. Make a game plan, don’t just do and do. We work so hard so vacation is needed and justified. Perhaps instead have less vacation and then you won’t work so hard.

  23. To further explain how our lifestyle affects homework and finals: Invariably mechanchim feel that we need to overload (a bit) on the students because this challenge prepares them for the “real world”. What it’s real doing, in my opinion, is just starting the “real world” dysfunction at an earlier childhood stage. We are used to working now 9 to 7 (used to be 9 to 5). So we also expect our child to come home at 5 and do 2 hours of homework, play, eat supper, shower and be in bed by x time.

  24. Mothers try to remember that your daughters will need an education to support their children and husbands’ occupation of Life Long Learners. It’s interesting that in the public schools over testing is an issue for both boys and girls but in the nonpublics it’s only an issue for the girls. How can I get one of these life long learner gigs?

  25. Finals and homework. Two words that have destroyed family life and sapped happiness out of the lives of our children.

    Chazora is integral, but there is a time and place for everything. It has become nearly impossible to serve Hashem B’Simcha U’Bituv Layvov with the pressures the schools put on parents and children.

    The Mashgiach Shlit”a has said for years that homework and excessive testing has to stop but it falls on deaf ears within the school system.

    Our daughters BH skipped homework many times and didn’t over-study for tests. They barely passed their classes. Yet, today BH they are awesome mothers and wives, happy as can be, involved in Chesed, fantastic cooks and bakers, and each work full time as well. We are so proud of them and their husbands and children simply love and adore them. Our girls can’t quote a Ramban but they can sure serve a great meal. They can’t write a 5,000 word essay but they tell the best bedtime stories. They don’t know Birchas Yaakov Bal Peh but Yomim Tovim are out of this world in their homes.

    We couldn’t be happier or prouder of them. Just focus on making your children happy and your home a place to always want to be and in the end you will have unending nachas.

    PS – LOL, not to brag but against all guarantees from many teachers and principals who taught our girls over the years, today 1 of our daughters is a well known Morah loved by her students, another opened her own business that KA”H is flourishing, another is so talented in food decorating that she has tons of orders for her “treats” and “mini’s” for all of your Simchos and another is a local babysitter that simply cannot take in another child because she has so many requests. This really works. Forget the pressure. Don’t allow the schools to invade your home and just do what you need to do to get your girls through school as happily as you can. Happy wifes and happy mothers are the key to life. Let’s face it, we all wish we were happy so why not do what we need to to bring happiness into our lives.

  26. Many girls’ high schools do not have school/finals scheduled for Isru chag and have off that day so the girls can study on Tuesday for Wednesday’s finals. That makes a lot of sense. There ARE a few high schools who did not schedule this way and actually are giving finals ON Tuesday. So these girls have no choice but to study on yom tov. I agree that is not right. The help before yom tov is not as easily solved, though, because Shavuos is usually in May and long over before finals begin. This year the schools didn’t have much of a choice but to begin scheduling finals before shavuos because shavuos is so late in June. But the girls WILL be off Thursday night to help.
    And I don’t agree to tell the girls to flunk their tests; right now school is one of their priorities and they should know always to try their best in what they are doing. Busy real life doesn’t mean you can just opt out of “your job.”

  27. This year is an ibur yur. There are times that Shavuos occurs in May. This is not an annual occurance. If your child knew about finals or other year end exams, waiting until the last minute is not the way to handle it.

  28. Does any mechanech truly believe that all this pressure and testing will keep the kids frum? A child that has to study for tests on Shabbos and Yom Tov and can’t enjoy them isn’t enjoying yiddishkeit!!! We are looking for trouble by putting all this pressure on the girls. This is not what Sara Schenerer had in mind. A girl helping in the kitchen and feeling good about herself will get her much further in life Think about what is being done to the girls and the pressure the families are enduring during midterm/final time. Imagine a house that has a few girls that age!!! Did the schools even teach the girls about Shavuos or they’re so worried about the finals?????

  29. I totally agree!! My daughter is in eight grade she is my oldest and my only girl ! She has not been available at all for the past week and she has a final right after yt. She is a top student who does her work all year and when I told her don’t study you’re already in a high school she can’t allow herself not to study! So she’s stressed and I have no help at all and worse than that is most nights she’s at friends studying or a friend comes to us so if I need to run a quick errand I need to take 3 kids with me!! It’s really inexcusable to have this right before yt! I’m not dependent on her but erev yt is a very busy time!! And they should be available to help!

  30. That’s why it’s important to pick a school based on your daughter’s academic standing and your culture. I personally don’t mind my daughter studuing and neither does she, there r schools that are lighter on the studying.

  31. You can’t complain if you sent your children to this school. It is well known that the school is like that, yet everyone is dying to go there begging and cajoling to get in. The school has no reason to change with people literally banging on their door to get in. I was able to go against the popular choice and send my daughters to a less popular school that does not have such a heavy final schedule. But most people wont even apply there saying the academics are to weak!! My daughters are happy and not stressed out. Think before you beg to get into these schools.

  32. The letter writer does have a valid point. However, really, what the schools do? Finals can not be given earlier because that would basically make the rest of the school year hefker and meaningless. Not a great situation for a school. Also, I actually chuckle when I read people saying that this is not what Sarah Shnierer had in mind. Oh, all of a sudden you are worried about what Sarah Shnierer would say? What about your daughter Whatsapping all her free time away and spending mid winter in Florida and every other place that a young Bais Yaakov girl should not be????

  33. I think it’s a good opportunity to strengthen your own bitachon & Emunah . That’s life, deal with it. Instead of stomping your foot that this isn’t fair, show how to handle, and how to set aside any worries.

  34. #43 – seriously????? How in the world does this have anything to do with Emuna and Bitachon? What does that have to do with this?

    Why should people accept something that is outrageous and Kneged Daas Torah? We do not have to show how to handle this – we need to stand up to this and demand change.

    We DO need to work on our happiness and try to push aside worries that is true but we certainly shouldn’t allow ourselves to be bullied or abused by the school system and when it affects the home life of so many then there is even more of a need to be vocal for change.

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