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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Public Service Annoucement: Affordable Los Angeles Yeshiva Alternative

A friend forwarded this to me, after it was forwarded to her. I'm posting this both for my Los Angeles readers (I do have some Los Angeles readers I hope) and for the rest of my readers who are searching for alternatives. This one seems very intruiging.


There is a fantastic new Yeshiva high school program – Yeshivas Ohev Shalom – that is opening up for this fall (starting Sept. 8). It is being run by my brother Rabbi Chaim Tropper (former menahel and rebbe at Yeshivas Ner Aryeh in the Valley), and Rabbi Rachmiel Steinberg who taught at Yavneh for many years and who is well known throughout LA as a rebbe and a top secular teacher (currently a candidate to receive his doctorate in education).

The Yeshiva will have a fully structured limudei kodesh morning program, starting with Shacharis at 8 AM. The afternoon secular program is going to be done as a "supervised home schooling program". Students will all be registered through a local charter school and will be taking an individually designed secular program custom made for each student. Rabbi Steinberg and other accredited teachers will be supervising the secular program, and will be available for one-on-one help for any student that needs it.

The goal of the Yeshiva is to make a real Yeshiva education affordable for every family. Full tuition this year is only $5,000> (75% lower than other L.A. high schools), and scholarships are available. This is a perfect solution for home schooling families looking for a limudei kodesh program for their boys. For families that want to continue secular studies at home, they can attend the limudei kodesh in the morning and then go home for secular studies. It is also a wonderful option for the many families that have been considering the possibility of home schooling but were not practically able to do it since both parents work.

The Yeshiva already has 11 boys registered and will be opening with boys in every grade, 9-12. It is centrally located at Congregation Ohev Shalom, 525 S. Fairfax. Free carpool from the Valley is also available.

Please spread the word. More info is available at our website Yeshivas Ohev Shaloms. Rabbi Chaim Tropper can be reached directly at (818) 461-4312 and is happy to meet with any interested families.

A poster with more info as well as the calendar for the 2009-2010 school year will be posted shortly.

Mendel Tropper

33 comments:

Commenter Abbi said...

Wow, that sounds really innovative. But why only for boys?

SephardiLady said...

I imagine that if the program really gets off the ground, there will be demand for a girls program too.

ProfK said...

There's no information up on the school's website except for a contact number and I'm a bit confused. How does the afternoon program work? It's in the same building as the morning formal program, but no one is actually teaching the boys anything unless they need help with something one on one? It sounds like there will be teachers available for consultation and supervision but not for actual teaching.

In a regular home schooling situation the "teaching" parent actually teaches the new material to be learned. So the boys will be handed books on Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and told to go to the teacher only if they need help? Ditto for all the sciences?

Lots more info needed before we know if this program would work for Yankele Average Student or only for those already motivated and bright enough to teach themselves.

Bara said...

The secular studies can be done through a virtual public school. In Colorado we have a few of them that are geared towards homeschooling families who want more offical stamp. I can think of COVA and Virtual Academy of Colorado but I know there are more. You get your textbooks, personal computer and internet subscription. All free of charge. You also have teachers on line for support and questions. I am not a fan of an exclusive computer education, but if the kids have mornings with the teachers and they can ask for help with secular studies I think it could work.
ProfK - I think the students go home after Limudei kodesh. It would not help working parents as the children would be home for the afternoon, unless the stay at home parents could co-op and have few more kids at home while they are getting instruction from the on line school. I think it is a good start at trying new things. Yasher Koach to who is thinking out of the Yeshiva box.

Yael Aldrich said...

In a regular home schooling situation the "teaching" parent actually teaches the new material to be learned. So the boys will be handed books on Algebra, Geometry, Calculus and told to go to the teacher only if they need help? Ditto for all the sciences?

By that age, many homeschooling children are not necessarily being taught by their parents -- not every parent has the ability to teach the subject (neither do all teachers in schools -- teachers get hired/get assigned to teach subjects in which they don't have recent training or professional degrees).

A homeschooled teen may have tutors, go to co-op style classes with other homeschooling teens (parents or professional teachers teaching the course), or they may teach themselves with DVD/CD-ROM/On-line/VideoConferencing classes. Often in those situations the originator of the program is available by phone/email/video to answer questions or to clarify things. I do not know what programs they will be using, but there are numerous programs on the homeschooling market with parents and children using them every day.

This program looks interesting but it is not homeschooling IMHO. It does takes care of the "scary" limudei kodesh though which may help some parents with their worries about their children's Jewish education. I applaud their creative thinking!

Thinking said...

This is fantastic. By 9th grade most boys don't want to sit through classes anyway and the classes end up being a joke. In May they start to study for whatever Regents (in NY) they need to study for and that's it.
E learning has become a great alternative for most major corporations. A good course includes ongoing methods of measuring learning retention. With some guidance I don't see why the boys should not even be more successful than they could have been in a class.
Of course, the one reason other schools won't adopt this is because they'll need to lay off teachers. Imagine how much having just one licensed teacher facilitate the learning, it would save hundreds of thousands of dollars for your average school, but they won't do it.

Thinking said...

I should just add that eventually all learning will be done this way anyway. The first yeshivos to adopt it will win big!

alpidarkomama said...

How refreshing to see some outside-the-box thinking!!!! Even with this option we would still just do our learning at home, but I'm so very glad some lower-cost alternatives are appearing on the scene.

SephardiLady said...

ProfK-One room schoolhouses have worked in the past and I see no reason they can't work now. In fact, they still do exist and there are also many Montessoris throughout the country that also have multi-grade classrooms.

So, such an environment of facilitated learning, rather than active teaching is nothing new.

I personally believe that when students take ownership of their own learning and work in small groups, not on busy work, but on mastering the material, you can create a very strong learning environment.

SephardiLady said...

Incidently, or perhaps not so incidently, the traditional yeshiva is much more of a faciliated learning environment than an active teaching environment and teaching decreases as students age.

In college, students basically self-teach before and after lectures.

Yes, I imagine that this environment is probably best for a self-motivated student. But, I've yet to see many unmotivated students get motivated while staring at a teacher writing on a blackboard. Students who really lack motivation aren't really being served as it is, and are likely best served by hands-on work and apprenticing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you SefardiLady for posting about our new Yeshiva!

We are so happy to see that the word is spreading about our new Yeshiva program. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. We're hard at work getting ready to start the school year, so I will only take a moment to respond to some of the comments we've seen posted.

The morning is a traditional Yeshiva High School with davening, Iyun, bekius, etc. with top Rabbeim. The afternoon secular is being run in partnership with Kaplan Academy of California, a fully accredited charter school. The curriculum is customized for each individual students from over 100 available courses, including every honors and AP class. It is NOT independent study. Kaplan has a full staff of teachers for each course as well as guidance counselors. The students do all their learning on the computer but there is a teacher on the other end teaching the class. They graduate with a full California diploma, not a GED.

As far as a girls program, there has already been an overwhelming demand from within the LA community for this. However, we want to first make sure we get the boys Yeshiva off the ground successfully - "tofasta merubah lo tofasta". IY"H we will have the siyata dishmaya to expand to girls education in the not to distant future, as well as to build many other exciting plans we have in the works.

Much more information will be available on our website shortly, so keep checking back there. www.yeshivasohevshalom.com.

You can also follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/YeshivasOS.

Feel free to email us your questions/comments and your contact info so you can be added to our email and mailing lists.

yeshivasohevshalom@gmail.com

Gmar Chasima Tovah

Mendel Tropper

Ohev said...

One more thing about the secular. In addition to the full Kaplan staff, our Yeshiva has accredited high school teachers in the classroom supervising the boys as they do their coursework. Our teachers are available to help each individual student throughout the afternoon.

Mendel Tropper

SephardiLady said...

Mendel-Please do feel free to email me throughout the year with updates on this program and any expansions that will come iy"h. I always welcome Guest Posts and anything you can share would be appreciated throughout the nation.

Hatzlacha rabba! I wish you much success and beracha.

ProfK said...

Okay, Mendel Tropper's comments clear up the home schooling issue, which this isn't. Clearly a classroom with computers is being provided along with supervising teachers in the classroom.

So morning session rebbis and accredited supervising teachers for the afternoon are being provided for $5000K a year per student. Presumably there are going to be some expenses for the building being used, electricity, the computers. Clearly the teaching staff is being paid something. Since the school is new and presumably will start with ninth grade, how is the tuition covering the necessary expenses? 11 students across four grades doesn't seem like it would cover all the expenses. If there are four grades are they all going to be with only one rebbi to learn in the morning? Are the English teachers in the afternoon being covered through the Kaplan charter school, with salaries paid through the State? How is the start up being bankrolled? Answers to these questions would be necessary for any other area that might consider this idea.

Yes, I like the idea but so far I've only seen the packages wrappings--look really nice. Now, I'd like to see what's in the box.

Anonymous said...

wow thats soo nice of rabbi tropper to leave his job at ner aryeh and open up this amazing school

Anonymous said...

http://www.avi-chai.org/Static/Binaries/Publications/Key_Findings_of_2008_09_Day_School_Census_Final.pdf

SL, longtime reader here. i thought you might be interested in this study from avichai about the 'census' of jewish day schools, if you haven't seen it already.

tdr said...

It seems to me a key piece of this is getting the right charter school on board with the plan. I"m wondering how the relationship with the charter school came about? Was it a well-established charter school? Also I'm wondering how long the school day is? At what point do they switch to English? Are you saying they basically "attend" class via video-teleconferencing? Or they watch a video of the class after-the-fact?

I love that a Yeshiva figured out a way to leverage the availability of free secular education via the public schools.

emes said...

mendel what is the hask of your school is it "black hat" be honest sounds like a mask for kiriuv how come no yh, no yz on your cal. centrists beware!!!

Ohev Shalom said...

Emes, what;s with the chip on the shoulder? Happy to answer any questions, but try asking like a mentsch before jumping to conclusions.

Ahavah Gayle said...

Deja vu...LOL

Tziporah said...

The Yeshiva as of today has enrolled 14 boys and 1 pending.

The boys are B'li Ayin Hara amazing and we look forward to a great year.

A K'siva V'Chasima Tova

R. Steinberg

SephardiLady said...

Tziporah-I hope you will check in and give updates througout the year on the success (!) of the program. My email is Orthonomics at gmail dot com.

Hatzlacha and a Shana tovah.

Anonymous said...

Shana Tovah from Yeshivas Ohev Shalom. Please see our R"H card featuring our inaugural student body and Rabbeim. www.yeshivasohevshalom.com

Mendel Tropper

SephardiLady said...

Shana Tova Mendel. Hope your year will be fruitful.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very interesting idea. Saves a lot of money by using the charter school system but students still will get a full limudei kodesh environment and the camaraderie that homeschooling alone doesn't provide. Good Luck!

Jay3fer said...

That's a great idea - and it's basically what we've ended up doing with our 15-yo this year. His secular subjects, via correspondence, are fully government-funded. The only problem is his mainstream yeshiva doesn't let out until 4 pm, making for too little time to squeeze in the secular subject. I still believe this is the best of both worlds, however. Glad to see it's going mainstream!!

Rabbi Rachmiel Steinberg said...

Rabbi Steinberg has once again offered our community an economic solution to to the current crisis by opening another low cast Yeshiva without compromising on high quality education. This time he calls it a Yeshiva Trade school with an online program funded by CA State and Fed. funds.

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Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful article written in this week's Los Angeles Jewish Journal about Yeshivas Ohev Shalom, now starting its second year.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/community/article/an_orthodox_high_school_goes_online_sort_of_20100908/

Anonymous said...

this school has a few problems, 1. it had 7 kids in the whole school 2- there are no teachers and 3- its not a structured school. if you are looking for a good jewish school Ner Aryeh is the best choice

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