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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

PSA: West Orange Cooperative Yeshiva

Hat Tip: A reader

A new Yeshiva starting with Kindergarten is opening in West Orange New Jersey, the West Orange Cooperative Yeshiva. The website lists a seasoned Kindergarten teacher, a curriculum development consultant and math teacher, and a music and computers teacher.

Target tuition is $8000 (15 students max). Parents will volunteer.

I've posted about the Florida Jewish Cooperative School. It is nice to see a second cooperative school setting down roots.


Anonymous said...

One of the founding folks involved is a long-time friend of mine, and I can vouch for his yashrut.

Akiva said...

It sounds like a great idea. But how is $8000 per student a serious savings (or any savings), especially for early grades or kindergarten???

I know the answer, it's that the nearby MO yeshiva (Kushner) and the nearby Conservative (Solomon Schechter) are more (maybe $12,000). But the almost-as-close black-hat schools (Yeshiva Ktanta of Passaic and Yeshiva Beis Hillel of Passaic) are cheaper (maybe $6500).

Anonymous said...

Akiva, the price of YBH-Hillel is closer to $10K for the younger grades, and YKP probably around $8K. A local option is always a plus; and YKP is not at all strong in secular subjects.

JS said...

Kindergarten at Kushner is:

Per Child:
Registration fee (early): $750
Tuition: $11,360

Per Family (annual):
Parent Teacher Council: $60
Dinner Journal: $1000
Scrip: $350

Per family (one-time):
Building Fund: $3,200


Seems like a very significant saving. I don't get why everyone "pooh-poohs" saving several thousand dollars per year. Over on Chump's blog several people were saying this is no big deal or that the school can't keep the price low beyond the earliest grades, etc. Even if the school ends up being K-2 only, for example, that's a saving of around $8k per year for 3 years per child. That's $24k/child. Where I come from that's nothing to sneeze at.

I think a lot of what's holding back low-cost models is that, for whatever reason, people aren't satisfied unless it's an all-inclusive solution that takes care of everybody. A cheap kindergarten for 15 kids is not good enough. It needs to be a cheap K-8 school that takes care of 500 kids off the bat or no one is interested.

I don't get it.

Miami Al said...


To these people, $24k is a LOT of money, it's more than they'll put away for college per kid, period.

But more important than the $24k?

Their neighbors NOT thinking that $24k matters to them.

It's a nouveaux riche thing, not an economic thing.

Anonymous said...

It gets harder for Kushner to credibly keep saying that 13k is the cheapest way to provide a good Jewish education when others provide it for so much less.

Light of Israel said...

I think a lot of what's holding back low-cost models is that, for whatever reason, people aren't satisfied unless it's an all-inclusive solution that takes care of everybody. A cheap kindergarten for 15 kids is not good enough. It needs to be a cheap K-8 school that takes care of 500 kids off the bat or no one is interested.

I disagree with your analysis. While you are reporting the cover story, the real reason low cost doesn't take off and be embraced by the masses is because if you go to a low cost school, you are publicly identifying yourselfying yourself as a financial failure. That is the perception. Social norm is not to complain and to mortgage your future for the high price of tuition.

Miami Al said...

Also, if admissions is competitive for the schools, a cheap K-2 doesn't help... You now need to gain admission to the school in third grade...

It might not REALLY be a problem, but it's enough of an excuse to do nothing.

Ariella said...

I agree with Akiva. I believe that the tuition is about that much for kindergarten in TAG; it may even be lower for nursery. My son's high school's tuition is just over $10K. That's for a day that ends at 6:30 on nomishmar days and includes Sundays every week.

tesyaa said...

Ariella, what kind of curriculum does your son's HS offer for 10K?

Female life actuary said...

TAG is actually the lowest cost school in the neighborhood, others are higher.

My son graduated YFR last year (2010), I think the tuition was 11,500. The secular is pretty good for a right wing yeshiva but not as good as most MO schools. He took 3 APs and got 5's on all of them plus full regents curriculum (he got the advanced diploma, not the watered down version that some yeshivas have started to offer that only requires 5 regents), but they only offer those three APs (Calc, US history and Physics). I think you can maybe independent study other APs. But I just found out that another local more RW boys high school sends the "top" boys out of 2 English periods a day to learn - they skip English Language and Computers in 9th grade. I was appalled.

tesyaa said...

Female LA - what appalls people is relative. I'm slightly appalled that an accomplished professional sent her son to a school that only offers 3 AP courses. Another person might be satisfied with a school that offers yeshiva boys English and computers. Another person might be proud that her son gets extra learning and can study English and computers independently, and appalled that someone else finds it appalling. We all have our frames of reference, and they're all different.

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...


Since the boy will be dragging out college (probably will not work until married, and will then be in "Kollel" for a year or two, minimum), and will go to a local college (no Ivy League), AP's don't really help (except to save the parents some money, and even there, the child will get an easy full scholarship, so AP's actually cost my aunt more).

As far as the "other school", parents who send there know what they are getting. The local newspaper printed their survey of high schools,. Only 30% of their graduates go to college. Don't be upset at the school, they market to their clientele.

tesyaa said...

Nephew: I understand that APs may not make economic sense, although their total cost is minimal. But we have a fundamental difference in approach to education, I guess. My child who is getting credit for AP courses has several options: 1-graduate early, enabling her to start her career sooner, and possibly saving some money; 2-graduate with her class but have the opportunity to take a more diverse curriculum because she's not retaking classes she already took in high school.

If one enjoys gaining knowledge, there's no reason to retake Bio 101 just for the easy A. Take a class in Shakespeare, or sociology, or some other interesting elective.

I think many people view college as a necessary evil for entering the job market; it can be more if one wants it to be. Unfortunately, a lot of people view education other than Judaic studies as a waste. I prefer a more broadminded approach.

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...


If it was a daughter, I would agree. For a boy though, the "big picture" is still learning. I would be disappointed (but supportive) if my son decided to go work before he got married (assuming he did so within a reasonable period of time, and was productive in his learning). As such, I don't see graduating early (in this case) to be an advantage.

Knowledge and being well rounded is good, as long as it doesn't take away from the goal (which always has to be Avodas Hashem).

P.S. I took two Shakespeare courses in college.

tesyaa said...

Nephew, I see your perspective. I would just point out that there are multiple expressions of Avodas Hashem, and it doesn't have to include full time learning. But in the context you describe, I understand your explanation.

JS said...


It's very simple.

If you're a man, avodas Hashem means learning.

If you're a woman, avodas Hashem means working, taking care of kids, cooking, and cleaning.

Anonymous said...

"If you're a man, avodas Hashem means learning.

If you're a woman, avodas Hashem means working, taking care of kids, cooking, and cleaning."

What else do you expect from a system where MEN make all the rules......

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...

JS: And here I thought Avodas Hashem for a girl meant Tznius! LOL

I think it is more of a reflection of "wanted marriage ages" than boy vs. girl. If girls would not start "dating" until 22-23, then the same reasoning as boys would apply. (and yes, in a situation where a boy would meet a girl without shidduch dating, or if learning is not working out for the boy, Tesyaa's logic would apply, that it would be helpful to finish early and get a leg up).

(All this is IMHO, I don't speak for my aunt (obviously)).

Miami Al said...

Just a thought, you're expected the boys to start "dating" at 22-23, I presume married between 22 and 25?

No offense, but how is it not advantageous to graduate early? If you shaved a semester off undergraduate (we're not talking about going to a liberal arts school to expand his mind, we're talking about college as trade school, we don't want his mind expanded, right), that's one semester earlier to start graduate school.

I mean, if you're not going to start working until 24-26, you really ought to have a graduate degree. Being a 26 year old with a kid at home competing in the job market with 22 year olds with no responsibilities (able to work until 9 PM, able to make nearly no money) is just a recipe for disaster.

Kollel isn't the problem. Learning isn't the problem. A system that infantilizes men instead of encouraging them to "man up" and be able to support their family is the problem.

Anonymous said...

YKP for $6500 - sign me up. Last I checked it is over 8! (They charge hundreds of dollars for "registration" which is not "tuition" even if your child has been in the school the year before.

The real point is, of course you can sign up 15 kids who each pay $8000 (that's over 100K) and fund their education. The problem is that most schools charging $8000 are not actually collecting $8000 per kid. They've got 4 kids paying $2000, 6 kids paying $4000, 5 kids paying $6000....

Female life actuary said...

I went away for shabbos so I'm sorry to jump back in so late.

While I became an actuary and went to a pretty good college, I did not get anything from my Bais Yaakov high school. They didn't offer APs or credits through a college, they wanted us to teach or be secretaries (and somehow support our husbands in learning?). My friends and I saw through the sham and went to college. But I still think I got a very good Judaic education. I wanted a yeshiva education for my children as opposed to a Day School that stressed secular studies. Even though his HS only offers 3 APs, realistically how many APs can you expect a child to do? They are challenging courses and 2 as a senior and 1 as a junior is really enough. Since there was no choice he took Physics even though he is not interested in Science, but I think that is a good thing - he learned something he probably otherwise would not. I just think that HS students should at least get a HS education. That is what I was appalled at. Then at least they have a choice if they want to go on to higher education later.

Al - I agree that a 26 year old should go to grad school before trying to land a job.

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...


Only so that when they are ready to work, they "recently" came out of school. A large gap will raise questions.

tesyaa said...

Nephew, are you sure that a frum man with a wife and a kid to support, who naturally will be "kove'a itim" and learn as much as possible, can be as productive as young non-frum people just out of school, with no ties and no responsibilities, who may be willing and able to work long hours for less pay?

Not all young frum men are so much smarter than the general population that they can do more in less time, although there is a cultural bias to believe that this is true.

Nephew of Frum Actuary said...


I believe we are talking about two different type of people; the type that does enough to get by, and the type that really can do eight hours of work in four hours.

I am discussing a specific example (yes, I do think that highly of my cousin).

In general, though, if your "kove'a itim" worker is not pulling his/her (goes for young mothers as well) weight, they will either be fired or placed on the "Mommy" track, which they may very well be happy on. I have a friend on the Mommy track (for a large life insurance company), works from home, makes much less, but is very happy doing so.

From what I have seen, sedarim get dropped during tax season (and picked back up afterwards).

I hope that answers your question.