Some Lakewood Schools Come Up With New Policy in Attempt to Thwart Mid-Winter Florida Plans

In an effort to stop students from traveling to Florida for mid-winter vacation, some Lakewood schools have introduced a new strict policy.

Last year, some parents told TLS their children’s schools made children sign papers they acknowledge they’ll be suspended if they’re caught going to Florida, while other schools made both students and parents detail and sign where they spent their mid-winter break.

This year, TLS has learned, some schools have taken it a step further, and warned students that should they go to Florida for mid-winter, they would not be allowed back in school for the equivalent amount of days they spent out of town.

“We understand students need a break, but traveling to Florida is a big no-no for many reasons,” a representative from one local Mosad told TLS. “Should parents feel a need to take children out, there are plenty of local activities they can attend without compromising their Chinuch.”



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    • news flash – the schools are more interested in what fashions the students are following, whether or not they have unexplained suntans after break, what “undesirables” they can exclude from the school and how much money they can shake out of the pockets of zeidy than actual chinuch. oh, that plus Michelle watches, and their simcha hall revenue.

      • Your both morons.
        If you cannot understand why a vacation to florida isnt a good idea for someone in whom we wish to inculcate ahavs torah, then dont open your mouth.
        And if you AREN’t trying to help your son do that, why send him to yeshiva at all?

        Could it be that YOU are the ones sending to yeshiva because of social reasons? while Yeshivas ACTUALLY try to be mechanech children al pi torah? hmmm.

    • I took my kids to Florida for a few years during midwinter vacation. It was a controlled family vacation that actually cost very little and did not breach any tznius. For hotels I used points and the hotel pools are empty during the day in many places outside of Miami Beach. The flights, if booked far in advance, are inexpensive. The only “scar” they have left from these trips is the great memories they created with their family. If you don’t believe that is healthy and keeps kids connected to Yiddishkeit, we see things very differently.

    • You guys are so 2018. Who goes to Florida in 2023 – only the middle-class and below. Those of us who have actually made it go to either EY or Acapulco. You gotta keep up.

  1. Concentrate on the real chinuch problem. How about tackling bullying which is rampant and leave these decisions to parents. If the kids go as a family then it should be ok.
    And schools should get over it.

    • Did you ever think that bullying starts with the kid that can’t afford to go to Florida and it’s the other kids that are making fun of him where did you go for mid winter to the flea market?….

  2. If parents are in charge of their children’s chinuch shouldn’t they be the ones to decide how to spend mid winter? And if the schools don’t like it for whatever reason it may be, perhaps they shouldn’t accept those kids back at all? Maybe they should categorize it together with other things that get kids expelled, I e., Internet, tv, etc.
    It just seems like a half hearted confusing attempt at blocking Florida for whatever reason.

  3. What’s wrong with Miami if you stay in Tznius areas?What’s wrong if families with just girls go to Miami?
    Why do schools feel they can control parents?
    This is not about Chinuch because the school is only responsible for chinuch IN SCHOOL. Parents are in charge at home and it should be that way. I agree that children should not be allowed to have negative influence on others at school, but that should be decided based on instances that happen in school, not on what happens outside of school.
    It’s like the body shop telling you not to take your car to trafficky areas because it’ll mess up their work when they get banged up.
    I wonder what kids that live in Florida should do… maybe they should just stay home and not go to school ever…

    • the sad thing is that your 100 percent serious and sincere.
      if schools don’t care what happens at home and should only concern themselves with the confines of their buildings then why would they not accept every student and family that comes to apply for their school?
      what is this whole process of picking and choosing schools in the first place? just send your child to any school regardless of the frumkiet and hashkafos of the parent body?

      • I agree 100% let’s make a school where there’s no rules and you could go wherever you want for midwinter etc. for all those families that want to go that route… ooops I forgot there’s quite a few schools like that just those parents don’t want their kids going there and getting hashpa’a from the families on a ‘lower’ level in Yiddishkite than them…

        • uummm exactly!! i work very hard on a healthy level to not expose my kids to movies, goyish music…..why do i need your kid explaining and exposing my kid to all that is secular??

    • lace front shaitels, internet, dress code for mothers by carpool, tv’s, what bar and bas mitsvahs should look like, what presents to give for chanukah, all put in place for your kids chinuch and for the children around them

    • Like the body shop? Not quite! If you damage your car you pay the price but when you damage your child the school has to pay the price! Why do you think the issue is Tznius? It’s the indulgent lifestyle that is the most harmful to being an observant Jew!

      • I agree 100% let’s make a school where there’s no rules and you could go wherever you want for midwinter etc. for all those families that want to go that route… ooops I forgot there’s quite a few schools like that just those parents don’t want their kids going there and getting hashpa’a from the families on a ‘lower’ level in Yiddishkite than them… some people are just so self centered that they know what they want to do and don’t care how it affects others, very sad!

          • Yup I always wondered why people don’t think when they act or dress a certain way that it’s a bit selfish knowing how it will affect their kids from getting into a school of their choice for example, without getting involved if we should have these rules or not we know that’s how it is so don’t the parents see how they’re putting their own need to stand out b4 they’re kids spiritual well-being but then they complain that the schools don’t care about their kids how ironic…

      • I have yet to see a school in Lakewood discourage an indulgent lifestyle. That is the tznius issue Lakewood won’t touch. In my opinion meat boards are no less a brach of tznius than a lace top shaitel.

    • So pretty much you’re saying that schools and mechanchim are there to fix the damage that you as a parent did . You should be working as a team to raise your child Al pi torah so maybe get your head out of the sand and start being mechanich you kid like this they will maybe have a chance to thrive as they grip up … gosh can’t believe there are people that have such a train of thought raising yishishe kids

  4. these mosodos are soo full of gaiva. if you think a family trip to florida will ruin childrens chinuch, maybe yoir chinuch isnt as good as you say it is. what good is your chinuch if the students cant stand on their own 2 feet?? grow up already and stop with your mishugasiin

  5. Just love this lunacy. Perhaps this entire mid winter vacation should finally be permanently abolished, as all it does is up the ante and make my children both boys and girls feel like nerds that do nothing (as both their parents need to wok full team to stay afloat…. who exactly is gaining for this super stressful unnecessary mid winter break… Did we not just have a Chanukah break….

    • So true about chanukah vacation. Not to mention that working parents can’t take time off to take care of their kids. I know there are mid winter camps, but we’re struggling as it is.

    • Very true! How about giving an amazing day or two of school camp with great entertainment instead of mid-winter? (Talking about elementary scools).

      • Don’t pass judgment until all your kids friends are traveling for midwinter and your kids are feeling the heat while all you wish to do is to bring up a happy torahdike family and be able to pay your bills on time.
        Without taking a an expensive family vacation life is expensive as is large Frum families don’t need to be burdened with these extra expenses, so you can Pat yourself on your shoulder until you get into that same situation and then I’d love to hear your perspective…

  6. We need a break, but more like a snow day, where there’s nothing to do out of the house! Florida is insane, my kids making me nuts, but we just can’t afford it (gasp). Don’t tell them!

    • I’m with you. Let the kids have a fun day in School. The mid-winter just applies pressure on parents and pressure for kids to come back and say what they did.

  7. The solution is to abolish mid-winter break. Most if not all schools give a few days off on Chanukah, which was a month ago, so there is no need for another break. Not sure when this mishigas started but it’s time to end it.

  8. How is it the child’s fault anyway if the parents decide to take them somewhere? Why would they be suspended? Presumably these young children are not going by themselves ? The stupidity is breathtaking. The children aren’t being taught because they are very short on teachers, the stupid all day, every day testing is out of hand especially when they are barely learning the material. And the schools policies are going from bad to worse and this is what they worry about. Why not teach high school girls a few subjects and learn them well for example math, science, history and english , and a few limudei kodesh like chumash….. Why 300 subjects and give them finals every day? How are you supposed to study for a final in one day every day? Why not go back to old school. Teach a few subjects well, test them every few weeks and midterm and final. My daughters will leave high school knowing near nothing unfortunately except how to cram for a test . But they wont go to florida.

  9. The article yesterday seemed to be going on and on about how pashut people are struggling to get by to feed their families. Now the problem is that too many people are going to Florida for winter break. Instead of the school threatening to suspend kids… maybe they can inspire and if need be incentivize kids to make food and give food to these middle class families who pashut have no money at all for basic necessities like food. Explain to the children that it is more valuble for them to instead of indulging in another vacation on themselves to give that money to those who simply have no money at all for food and are struggling to get bread and water on 250k dollars a year.

  10. Even if the schools would change my kids diapers, wake up in the middle of the night for them, clean up after them when they are sick, cook and clean for them, and so on, they still will not have the right to RAISE my children. That is my job. Their job is to teach them the right path, not to threaten and bully families to do their wishes.

    • There are schools where the parent body shares your attitude, so why not send there? Would you also complain if the schools “threatened” to not allow children who smoke or take drugs, back in school or is it only when they interfere in religion that you can’t swallow it?

    • Um so what do you define “raising children “ bec last I checked that is “ teaching them to be on the right path “ so g ewr cover your chip on your shoulder of the school system from maybe when you were a kid or something and start acting like a proper roll model to your kids and actually “ raise them “
      Oh and maybe it’ll help if you didn’t waste your time commenting on here and actually tend to their needs . Hatzlacha

  11. would just like to know if a school can make the same policy for pesach? is there any difference between pesach and midwinter? both going with your family. both going with huge crowds. i would say pesach is worse as the kids grow up with zero misorah of what the yt should look like

  12. Children in normal situations are not the one’s deciding where to vacation. If a child’s parents choose Florida, the response is to deny the child opportunity to learn Torah upon his return?! Disallowing him to come to English studies may not be smart, but at least it doesn’t jeopardize the hevel piyhem of תינוקת של בית רבן upon which the world stands. Simply incomprehensible behavior!

    • um, yea.
      you cant tell someone to pour water if the cup you present is broken. Thats “avodas perach” aka “abuse”.

      Schools are trying to teach torah, and that comes with a lifestyle. If YOU, as the parent, will break that “kli”, the school is under NO obligation to help you. Its YOUR chiyuv after all.

  13. Many thought provoking comments here. It is strange why the schools think they can make rules about Florida. What about not going to other places? Why only during the midwinter break? Perhaps the biggest question, why are these rules only in Lakewood? Is there even a reason behind this rule?

  14. How about abolish getting on a plane altogether???? There are plenty of other destinations people fly to.
    The peer pressure is the need to fly the coupe otherwise you’re not “חל”.

    We won’t need rules, kids won’t have peer pressure, and parents won’t have a nervous breakdown from their kids pressuring.

  16. I wouldn’t get on a plane these days if they gave me free tickets. Spoken to any pilots lately? The FAA? Seen the airline’s revenue lately? Boeing has replacement part supply chain issues. Airlines are short staffed from sea level to cruising altitude. Hi, everyone, this is Captain Alexander. I hope you have been enjoying your flight. We will be landing earlier than expected… sound of static…

    • I find it hard to believe that any Yid can make such an insensitive comment about a plane c”v crashing after last week’s fatal plane crash. Two Yidden died. The tragedy is still fresh. Where’s your seichel?

  17. Everybody is complaining about “The Middle Class Crisis” and is jealous of kollel families who get EBT, yet in the same breath they get all up in arms when their holy right to go spend extra money on a vacation in Florida is threatened. It sounds pretty contradictory to me.

      • It IS the same people, @Ironic is 100% right
        The way i note idiotic comments these days is to look for stereotypical accusations like “putting people in a box”, which dont even begin to make sense.

  18. This actually happened to us. My wife’s parents live in Florida and since they’re no longer ambulatory, the only way my children can see them is if they go to Florida. However, one of the schools our family attends sent out a notice similar to this one. I was Dan L’kaf Zchus that when I would explain this to them, they would change their mind and allow a reasonable exception. We are still awaiting a final decision, but it seems unlikely. We are going regardless, but it seems a waste to punish children for seeing family

      • We do occasionally, but most Yomim Tovim we host my parents from E”Y and summers have camp and whatnot. Midwinter isn’t the only opportunity we get to go to FL, but it has always been one that we’ve taken advantage of and that will continue.

  19. you are all wrong. The reason the schools put a stop to traveling, its not just to florida, but rather a stop to getting on a plane is simply to stop the crazy pressure on parents and kids. This world has gone mad. Its not Florida pur se. Its the whole idea that the standards of a mid winter break for kids has gotten to the point in which if you dont get on a plane you are from the nebs. Lots of families cant afford basic tuition, pressure of spending astronomical money on mid winter break has gotten out of control.

  20. Let the rich be rich, and have the parents of the not-so-privileged teach their children that they should be proud of the way they are and that they are potentially in a better place… time to call a spade a spade.

  21. The policy should be with all mosdos if you pay full tuition you should be able to enjoy a trip but if you get scholarships dont spend money you “claim to not have” on lavish vacations.

  22. In my young days if someone went to Miami and when they came back the gaba had strict instructions not to give him an aliyah from the rov,but these days every rebba and rosh hayashivas
    And manchanchim from USA and Israel
    Are spending time in Florida winter and summer ,so they are giving florida a kosher shtempel on it ,and then they expect us not to go
    Wake up world something very wrong is going on ,just not sure whose fault it is

  23. Maybe, if you ran a school in Lakewood & saw the harm that travelling to Florida does to the chinuch of the children, you would also agree. Have any of the big chachomim here actually discussed this with a menahel?

    If you don’t value the chinuch decisions of your children’s school, why do you send there in the first place?

    • No it isnt out of their Jurisdiction.
      And it MOST CERTAINLY isnt jealousy.

      The tactic of brushing something off by attributing it to jealousy or greed is one of the oldest “self-comforting” tactics, that, frankly, is quite evil.

  24. All the yiddishe kids that grow up in Florida end up off the derech, of course. Because Florida destroys neshamas. Never mind there are 10’s of thousands of frum Jews living there, with the number compounding immensely year-over-year.

    This is such a silly, made-up issue. Another case of people in positions of authority being neurotic and OCD and imposing a shockingly absurd view on the rest of the community. If enough people repeat a stupid idea, it gives that idea legitimacy and people think it’s a 50/50 debate. This idea of Florida being tamai is an extremist position and totally illegitimate. This is not Las Vegas we’re talking about.

    If the issue is lavish vacations and jealousy, then the school should send out a memo to the parents instructing them to teach their kids not to talk about/show off their vacations. Good middos.

    If the issue is a family doing things that don’t fit with the middos taught at the school, then let the family know a different school would be a better fit.

    Making a blanket statement, “Go to Florida, go to gehennim” is beyond parody, and it makes me sad that individuals want to control others’ lives to that extreme.

  25. A bit of a conspiracy theory here. This initiative was actually driven by a group of askonim from South Florida who are sick and tired of having these interlopers come from the tri state area and be metamei their cities. They come with their gaavah and gashmius and triple park and loudly and obnoxiously complain how the kosher stores stink and the restaurants are slow and awful, They also come not only on a vacation from their schools, work… but they take a vacation from yiddishkeit too. With their comingling of genders and hanging out in places they would never be caught dead in at home… They also seem to have enough money for plane tickets and cars and restaurants but just need to hit up their “friends” for a family place to stay for a week or 2 shabbos meals… because they want be to mehaneh them with their amazingness. The leaders of these communities in South Florida saw what a negative influence having these people around was for their community and made some donations to some schools… and here we are. Just a theory.

  26. And then some parents will wonder why their kids turn out like trash. Read some of the comments here, curious if your kids will turn out normal or yours are the ones who look like trash.

    Every year we go through the same stupidity! If the schools would really care just stop giving Mid-Winter break NO ONE NEEDS IT! THE KIDS DONT NEED IT! I love how everyone feels the kids NEED A BREAK OY!! Convince yourself!!! You want to know what the kids need so they stay sane and healthy ARE PARENTS!!!

  28. A Rabbi in Long Branch once joked that Lakewood is a place where people all feel the need to prove to each other how much more religious they are than everyone else!! I’m seeing some truth there.

  29. I’m struggling to understand something from the many comments written here. Putting the FL issue aside for a second, what happened to teaching your kids to respect authority? When a school makes a rule, we respect that. You and your spouse can discuss in private whether or not you agree with that rule, and then make a decision as to what school you want to send your child to based on that. I can’t understand how someone would openly ignore and badmouth a school rule. How can you expect your kids to respect the people you trusted to be mechanech your children if you yourself don’t respect them, and you pick and choose what you want to listen to?

  30. There are parents erroneossly think that splurging on a vacation twice a year will substitute all the missing attention they gave to their marriage & raising their children. This is why they get so angry when it’s frowned upon by a school. They are desperate for some quality family time in Florida to make up for the lack of family time on an average day of the year. Marriages & children need time & attention everyday of the year. The $10,000 you blow over a weekend won’t give you Sholom Bayis or well adjusted children.
    Well adjusted families live happily without a vacation to Florida.

  31. My opinion is that one for one is not enough. Should be 2 days to 1, plus a report should be written about whatever the school sees appropriate.

  32. How come all the rabbonim can go for a weekend to Miami (Torah umesorah presidents weekend convention) but no one else is allowed to go something isn’t right

  33. I’m not really sure I understand. There are over a hundred schools in Lakewood. They have different rules. Some care about this and some do not. Why would parent who thinks this is crazy ,send their child to a school that doesn’t align with his beliefs. ? Why don’t they send to the more open schools that allow parents all the freedoms ? It’s not right sending to a school that has rules and then defying the rules or complaining how crazy they are. Most of these schools rules were known to the parents before they enrolled their children. Why force yourself on a school that you don’t agree with their rules?

  34. “but traveling to Florida is a big no-no for many reasons”
    Ooooooohhh not a big no-no. The boogeyman gets you for the big no-no. I guess a little no-no would be okay. I’m sure the many reasons that make it a big no-no are irrefutable and incontrovertible.
    Condescension and vagueness and threats are always the best ways to communicate to parents and be their partners in chinuch of our children.

  35. As a high school girl myself, I’ll just put it out there. We just had 4 full weeks of midterms, for which we studied very hard! A midwinter break of a day and a half is the least we deserve! For all those saying your kids don’t need a break, speak for yourself! And the whole Florida “issue” is ridiculous! Who cares where we vacation, as long as we are being tzniyus and making a kiddish Hashem, mind your own business. If anything, this kind of restrictive rule will send more kids off the derech than going to Florida will.

  36. I’m not sure why you all think this is a new rule or exclusive to Lakewood. When I was a kid, (and I’m not that old:)) my school in Flatbush had a rule that we were not allowed to go to Florida.
    Keep calm everyone.
    And btw, when you fight against the rules of your child’s schools or anything for that matter, you are teaching the kids that it is ok to rebel and guess who they will rebel against?!
    If you want your kids to ever listen to you then stop the nonsense.
    Do it for selfish reasons!

  37. How about everyone mind their own business? Your trips, kashrus standards and etc are YOURS to keep. Schools now are gonna tell us what to do whole day long? Bottom line… counterproductive and damaging.

  38. Best thing to do is do away with mid -winter break. If one must go to Florida, go during the summertime. A Chanukah vacation should also be scrapped. Both aren’t necessary. Shabbat Shalom Mevorach.

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