Reader-submitted: Morah Prices

reader submitted opinion op-edDear Morah, Contrary to what people say or think, being a playgroup morah is just as much of a business as any other. You offer a valuable service, which we as consumers are willing to pay for. Therefore if you decide to raise the price of your service every year by $5 that is your prerogative as a business owner, just as much as we consumers have a choice to either pay go elsewhere.

With that being said, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the morahs in our community who have withstood the pressure/nisayon of raising their prices year after year, and have kept them in line with our kollel/paychecks that have ALSO not seen a raise year after year. You clearly do not view your business as just a means to make money but rather a venue to give over and instill in our children the foundation they will need to be successful in the years to come. Maintaining your price puts you in line with all the vendors in Lakewood that promote the Kollel lifestyle by keeping the cost of living low enough for the Kollel salary.

A grateful parent.

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  1. A morah is not a tzedaka/chessed organization. She is entitled to make money on her playgroup and is entitled to charge market rate (especially if she is providing extra services like starting/ending a little later, etc.). I am not talking about charging exorbitant rates, but supporting someone else’s husband in kollel is not a reason for a morah not to raise her price by a few dollars if the raise is justified by the marketplace/expenses. Halacha dictates what people can justifiably charge for services. Anything in consonance with the halachos is fair. Morahs are running playgroups as a parnassah and are entitled to fair compensation. Those extra $5 a month/child may add up to a nice dent in tuition charges for one of the morah’s elementary school children. And no, I am not a playgroup morah, nor am I related to one, but fair is fair.

  2. I have to say I agree with the letter writer – every year when I call to register my kids I am pleasantly surprised to find that the Morah’s rates are still the same. I sent to one Morah seven years ago and she is still charging the same.

    I have yet to encounter a Morah (admittedly my experience is limited – I haven’t asked every Morah in the book) who charges more than 250, and most I know charge 225.

    It is deeply appreciated.

  3. Why wouldn’t a Morah raise the prices when the cost of living goes up every year all over including food, Rent (including for playgroup) utilities, Tuition, supplies etc.

    So how exactly should she cover her increased expenses?

    Maybe write a letter that ur Kolel check should increase

  4. As our family size grows there is a tremendous need for more income. I think it’s criminal to hold it against a Morah if she doesn’t raise her rates. She should.

  5. I very much disagree. I am a parent that sends to playgroup and works in a basic paying local office. I wait for my yearly raise, even if it’s just minimal. There is no reason to expect our Morahs to be greater than human and not get their rightfully deserved raise. Spend $5 less on kids clothing or ask a shailah if you could take it from maser, but put yourself in her shoes before you deny someone a “small raise.”

  6. The price you in lakewood pay for your preschool childs tuition is a fraction of what we pay out of town. I know you are in lakewood and I am not but being that I used to be there and know all about it, all I can say is to have hakaros hatov to those Morahs who would be charging double if they were out of town.

  7. Do the residents of Lakewood have any idea how lucky they are? Ask relatives living in any other city what they pay for identical services. In Monsey, Flatbush, Five Towns, etc. people pay over $350 a month for less hours. Just ask. And do not say “oh the cost of living is more there….”Not by much anymore. In addition, here every body wants extra services for nothing, late pick ups and free everything. This is such a joke. Playgroups end up costing about $2.00 per hour including teaching your child and making lots of projects, heat, water, wear and tear on their homes. Just start appreciating what you get and stop always complaining. If they do raise their prices, they are entitled to and deserve much more, not constant bashing for all they do.

  8. The playgroup Morahs are takeh doing a valuable service for the klal & kudos to them for keeping the price down. The sad part is, many of our talented teachers are staying playgroup Morahs cuz they come home w/ about triple what a morah in school makes. Very sad, indeed.

  9. .I wish the real estate market in Lakewood would be in line with the kollel life style, there is no reason why a 3000 square foot home should cost more than 200 or 250k

  10. What the writer seems to be saying is that if Lakewood goes by the ” ihr hatorah” motto and we encourage staying in kollel full time etc. The standards of the community should be in line with such a life style which would include the budget of such households.

  11. David explain how it should nt b more than 250k… Me and many others are all airs..suplly and demand dictae the price. Prices have overall increased over the past 15 years because of the demand. U can’t but a 3000 sq ft house for that price anywhere in jersey….

  12. I know this will not get printed but I have to say it, maybe if people raised there own children instead of sending them off to someone else to raise you would have extra money. I’m all for pre-school if it is needed so you can return to work. I believe children should be raised by Mommy and Daddy.

  13. they do charge according to the market,
    1. minimal training is required for the job
    2.if rates went up there would be more people doing it which in turn would cause the rates to fall
    they work short hours and make more than many other non college jobs and have many vacation days

  14. She deserves a raise just as the kolel wife would deserve the raise as an employee. Her husband getting the same check from kolel year after year is not the one to compare to the morah. It’s mrs kolel wife’s paycheck plus her raise that is the correct comparison to a Morah’s pay.

  15. inflation is running at a trailing 5 year average of 2.5 to 3.5% per year so if the morah raised her price by 5 dollars a month each of the last 5 years she is charging LESS each year than the previous year. She should raise her prices by 6 to 8 dollars a year just to break even. kol tuv.

  16. i think kollel is nice for a few years & then the husbnd should do some work. Its not possible to raise (huge) families, make weddings etc. on wife’s low paying salary & husbands kollel check. Now if you choose to live in this unrealistic way, dont do it on the mora’s cheshbon. I bet the letter writter is Ladida’s best costumer or something like that.

    ps- david, youre not very in touch with housing prices at all…

  17. Allow me to clarify a statement you wrote in your complaint. “Being a play group morah is just as much as any other business” is that so?! Well then there is your answer…just
    Ike. Any business would increase their prices because of supply purposes, we have that choice to keep purchasing those items. With the economy going at the rate it’s going, it makes sense. If u want to send your child to a play group then just like any expensive pair of shoes or article of clothing or etc… That you would purchase,then you will have to pay the price, and I don’t see any difference. We live in a world of business, sometimes you got to accept the thorns and give in. Thank you.

  18. Is there a part of the letter that is missing I am having a hard time trying to find where the writer complained about a raise in price he seemed to have understood that they could raise their price like any business but was very grateful that there are those that did not even though they could have .

  19. I used to think that Morahs were in it for the lofty goals..until my kids morah didn’t give school during hurricane sandy EVEN THOUGH she had electrictiy because Bais Faiga didnt.. then I realized she like all little girls looks for an easy way to get out of work.. lofty my nose.

  20. There is something not right about this way of thinking.
    Not only do your parents and/or inlaws need to support you, the school where you send your children also need to?

    Yes, Kollel is a sacrifice, however this is the choice you make. Others are not obligated to make their own sacrifice so you can sit in Kollel longer.

    Even if you don’t want to accept this fact, that same morah that you don’t want to give an extra $20 a month to, is in many cases supporting her own husband in Kollel!!

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