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Friday, December 23, 2011

New Low Cost Option: Yeshiva High School in Los Angeles

Wish I had found out about this new school before the open house. But, better late than never, right?

Los Angeles is now hosting a second low cost yeshiva high school option called Yeshiva High School with a tuition of $8000 (the first was Yeshivas Ohev Shalom which had a PSA on this blog in 2010). The mission statement is a big different than other mission statements I've read. It reads: "The Yeshiva High School is intended to serve the greater Los Angeles community and to provide each student with a diverse self-directed, independent education in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment that promotes self-discipline, integrity, motivation, and excellence in learning. We are dedicated to Halacha, Torah Hashkafa, a love of Eretz Yisrael, outstanding academic achievement, and moral conduct. The Yeshiva High School joins parents, community members and businesses to assist student to become self-sufficient, respectful, ethical adults who are successful life-long learners committed to contributing responsibility both in the Jewish and global communities."

You can see the course offering, philosophy, etc on the website. I pulled the tuition from a article in the Jewish Journal that came through my feed.


45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will they pay the teachers on time, consistently? is it a non-prophet institution?

Orthonomics said...

I believe prophecy ended long ago!

Anonymous said...

On time payment is a big issue at the MO yeshiva I work at. Many parents make late tuition payments and then the finance office sends out an email because they can't pay on time. This leads to teachers who can teach somewhere else to leave, which reduces the overall quality of the program. A group of parents actually made late tuition payments last year because they decided to go on a fancy cruise instead. My personal feeling is that an entitlement mentality taking over our community that we are often our own worse enemy.

I'm not Jay Wagner said...

I asked a wealthy friend here in Baltimore why the well off in our community don't give more to Yeshivas? His reply somewhat surprised me; he said that Yeshivas are a bottomless pit that no amount of money can fix. I asked for clarification and he said that since more than 50% of Baltimore parents can't pay full tuition (and in many cases none) the problem will never go away. I was one of those parents who ate my guts out trying to pull cash out of thin air. My wife & I finally realized that our situation was untenable & we put our kids in public school. I'm not advocating this for everyone but it ended up working out well for us. Post facto: the social pressure was unreal but I truly don't give a s#@! what their opinion is because they don't pay my bills.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I actually had to file for bankruptcy due to burden associated with our kids' tuition payments. I now feel like a fool because I was concerned about what my friends would say if my kid G-d forbid went to our local public school and had to sit next to "goyim." We live modestly and our tuition payments truly were the factor that put us over the edge. We are now in danger of losing our house, and my friends now tell me that I should have been for careful with my money. What a joke! By the way some of my "friends" are also the type to go on a cruse or by a Lexus and then complain about the lack of sufficient scholarship money.

SJ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I had a very negative experience as part of our school's scholarship committee. Several people clearly tried to manipulate the system by under reporting their income. One man I know personally owns a large business in which he is paid mostly in cash. He lives the high life complete with a 5000 sq foot house and annual trips to Israel. This person complained to me personally because his kids did not qualify for a financial aid, and claimed that I have a personal vendetta against him. Yeshiva finances are typically a mess but I have learned that it often comes down to the personal integrity of the parents.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:56 - I always found the reported (I have no idea if its true) lack of integrity in finances among people who would send their kids to yeshiva rather puzzling. If honesty is not a high value, then what is the point of yeshiva? Is it just to fit in with the community that these people find themselves in? Ditto for those who want to send their kids to yeshiva but don't want to sacrifice. Is it a fallout of the yeshiva for all mentality. Is this what happens when a yeshiva education for all is viewed as an entitlement rather than a recent 20th century phenomenon?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:43 - I think it comes down to not wanting to be "the sucker" who pays more than his fair share. IOW, if tuition is inflated because of forced subsidization, people will rationalize asking for scholarship so that their bottom line cost is the "true cost".

Just a thought, I don't and wouldn't do that or condone it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:43 - Based on numerous examples across the religious spectrum, I am forced to conclude that bein adam l'chaveiro and financial integrity are no longer relevant to the practice of our religion. At a certain point, you have to stop saying that the religion itself has these mitzvos and ideals in them if they have no practical impact on the religions' supposed adherents.

Miami Al said...

Anon 3:55,

Nah, the religion has the mitzvot, they've just become like sacrifices, something to learn how to apply in Yeshiva, but of limited practical application.

Anonymous said...

I am a social worker who is not Orthodox but who has worked with many Orthodox families through our Jewish Family Services programs. You'd be amazed at the number of clients who basically lie to our business office to get financial asssistance. They know that our resources are limited but don't seem to have any sense of shame. An issue that often comes up in staff meetings is the over inflated sense of entittlement in this population. A question I have but don't know enough to answer is is there something about what people are taught at Yeshiva or day school that promotes this mind set? It really seemed to be absent in my grandparents' generation.

Anonymous said...

my sad observation is that there might actually be more dishonest people in the orthodox community than in the general population. I used to offer orthodox Jews the opportunity to pay for my services over time but stopped this practice as most of them failed to pay or, after much persistence on my part, offered to pay 20 cents on the dollar.

Anonymous said...

This is a very depressing string of comments. I doubt very much that orthodox jews or any subset of jews are any less honest than any other group. I think it may jst stand out more when someone in a kippa or sheitl transgresses. However, we should be better and we should be glad that people expect better.

Anonymous said...

Anon 601

Many orthodox jews are caught in the middle. The need medical services but are too 'wealthy' for govt programs. The kids must go to school - yeshiva isn't a choice - the wealthier segment of the jewish population doesn't carry their weight in supporting jewish education! As we are all taught the poor people of YOUR city comes before supporting out of town. Yeshiva is NOT private school- but public school to educate jews. The orthodox jews who are forced to not to pay is because a yeshiva administrator is not willing to accept that a young couples income is finite.no they shouldn't have fewer kids, yes they should economize where they can, but we as a community must come together to help our most natural resource - our kids and THEIR families.- so no one ghets stiffed...ever

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:53 -- There are plenty of alternatives for able bodied people who are not eligible for Medicaid -- how about one of the parents get a full time job with medical insurance. Isnt it the job of the parents and the schools to make sure that children are sufficiently educated and motivated to get such a job?

I am afraid that your comment confirms the social worker's observation of a sense of entitlement - we are entitled to yeshiva education, we are entitled to large families and we are entitled to have someone else pick up the tab for the health insurance we can't afford because we chose yeshiva.

Anonymous said...

Anon 721

Does entitlement mean I'm entitled to air? Food? As religious people we agree that we must take care of our owns religious obligations. Wlet there be one esrong per 1000 people and let those funds go to educate our children ,whatever. There is no sense of entitlement for a basic, no frills, no bells or whistles jewish education. I wanted my son to studt Shas Misnayos prior to his Bar Mitzva in addition to his Parsha Reading - I paid for that myself and I do not feel entitled to this, but the basics, kriah, chumash rashi,mishnayos, gemorah with rashi is each boys Birthright.

Anonymous said...

To answer the social worker, I think that many Orthodox Jews do have a feeling that they are better than the goyim, and even non-Orthodox Jews, and are therefore entittled to whatever they can get out of the system. I saw this all the time at a MO yeshiva I worked at. A group of parents presured the school to do away with a support program for learning disabled children so that their kids could be in a math enrichment program. Unfortunately, these kids couldn't do the required work and the enrichment program was discontinued. By that time, however, it was too late for the children with learning disabilities who ended up missing an opportunity to get an adequate education.

Selena said...

To get back to the topic of the post, does anyone know who is running this Yeshiva?

Selena said...

Never mind, I read the Jewish Journal article...very interesting.

Orthonomics said...

My experience is that there are impeccably honest people in all populations and a bunch of scum bags too.

Selena, Rabbi Benzquen is one.

rosie said...

I have a close relative who is self employed and some of his clientele is Orthodox and some is Jewish but not frum and some are non-Jewish. They actually all pay about the same; some goyim and non-Orthodox are slow pay or no pay and some frum people pay up eventually.

Dave said...

There are venal (and worse) people in all communities.

You can, however, judge the communities based on how they react to those people.

If they treat it as normal, or make excuses for them, or shower them with honors, then there is something wrong with the community.

shmichelfoofer the cat said...

please do not talk lashon hara on an entire segment of people. You will need to ask them all mechila come yom kippur time and that will be a tough job.

I will venture to say - not excuse- that orthodox people are in a position where they must earn three times the average american's salary, and under pressure some may succumb to the yetzer hara.

shmichelfoofer the cat said...

please do not talk lashon hara on an entire segment of people. You will need to ask them all mechila come yom kippur time and that will be a tough job.

I will venture to say - not excuse- that orthodox people are in a position where they must earn three times the average american's salary, and under pressure some may succumb to the yetzer hara.

Dave said...

will venture to say - not excuse- that orthodox people are in a position where they must earn three times the average american's salary, and under pressure some may succumb to the yetzer hara.

I think you confused "must earn" and "want to earn" in there.

As far as asking for mechila, I keep meaning to state this and forgetting.

So, for this coming year, for anyone who is lying or otherwise cheating to gain governmental benefits that they should not be entitled to -- to the extent that that is considered an offense against me (as a taxpayer), I will not grant mechila come Yom Kippur.

Anonymous said...

Dave

Not granting mechila when you want Hashem to grant you mechila for your offenses?

Statement was that he must ask mechila from the offended community

Anonymous said...

On way to reduce education costs would be to for students to take some of their classes online. In my state a number of public and private schools offer this option. Also, maybe it is possible for older high school students to take science or math classes over the summer at their local community college. Just a few constructive ideas. I sometimes think, however, that yeshiva administrators are more into control than offering creative solutions.

tesyaa said...

WHY is community college over the summer OK for a teenager, but not public school?

Anonymous said...

In my state you can take classes at a community college if you are a high school junior or senior that counts toward the credits you need for a high school diploma. You could take these classes over the summer or during the school year. I looked into this for my son, but the Yeshiva administration office said they would not accept the credit for the science class he wanted to take. That's why I made the comment about my feeling that it's more about control than helping parents or students.

Anonymous said...

shmichelfoofer the cat: But doesn't all the emphasis on and years of study of ethics act as a counterweight to the perceived need for more than average income?

AztecQueen2000 said...

Unfortunately, that won't work in all states. In New York, for instance, in order to take advantage of dual enrollment (college classes for high school students) you have to either be homeschooled or in public school. Private school students (that's all yeshiva students) need not apply.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how a yeshiva student could reduce tuition expenses by taking secular classes over the summer, since tuition isn't split by kodesh/chol. Now, if a child wanted to, I don't know, get an education or something radical like that by taking physics or another course not offered by his yeshiva, there's no reason not to; and he can present evidence of such coursework when he applies to college (yes, the C word).

Certainly a private school has the right not to accept outside coursework for credit towards graduation.

Anonymous said...

The community college courses I took during high school and during the summers while in college (I also worked those summers) let me graduate college a year early, saving on college tuition. Having been exposed to a college environment and college courses during senior year in high school helped prepare me for college too. I think its a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone weigh in on how a kid that is homeschooled through college gets the equivalent of a high school diploma. Are their state tests they take, like regents, the GED exam? What is the track record for getting into good colleges? How does a homeschooler show he/she is as good as the kid with top grades from a top high school?

Anonymous said...

I am the father of the son who wanted to take a community college physics class. To clarify my point, if you live in a state that allows you to get credit toward a high school diploma via community college classes, your school could reduce tuition costs by having students take their science or math classes at the community college. In some states you can also get credits toward a high school diploma by taking online classes. Once again, this is a way the Yeshiva could save money on the cost of hiring teachers and, hopefully, pass the savings on to the parents.

tesyaa said...

Anon, a yeshiva generally discourages or forbids contact with non Jews and with peers of the opposite sex. Community college students include non Jews and classes are coed. Why are you surprised that a yeshiva would look askance?

Anonymous said...

The yeshiva my son attends is MO and has coed secular classes. The administration also didn't like my idea about online classes either. I suspect that part of the problem is that the school seems like it's a make work project for people in the community rather than a school committed to academic excellence. In the past 5 years,despite the economic downturn, they never let a single teacher go, and many of the teachers were related to or friends with a teacher or administrator at the school before they got a job.

Yael Aldrich said...

Quoth Anonymous:Can anyone weigh in on how a kid that is homeschooled through college gets the equivalent of a high school diploma. Are their state tests they take, like regents, the GED exam? What is the track record for getting into good colleges? How does a homeschooler show he/she is as good as the kid with top grades from a top high school?

Every state is different as well as how each university/college deals with homeschooled children. Some states require homeschooled children to take tests throughout their homeschooling "career", some states do not. Any parent who homeschools their child/ren can print out a diploma (I guess they could scribble one out on a restaurant placemat, but I digress). They could school under an umbrella organization/"church" school to get a diploma from a organized educational institution. They could take the GED (but most do not). Homeschooled children get into Harvard (in the 80s, there was a homeschooling family who had three of their four children go to Harvard and wrote a book about it), Yale, and just about any selective and the not so selective colleges/universities. A homeschooled child will show s/he is qualified for a college/university the same way a "regularly" schooled child will -- with a transcript from their parents/teachers, a portfolio of their work and letters of recommendation from mentors, teachers, supervisors, etc. Hope that answered your questions. Feel free to google the topic for more information!

Anonymous said...

A word of caution from a professional who works with home school families. Parents need to be fully invested in the home schooling process and be aware of what their kids are doing or not doing. I have seen several high school age student who did not take their home school program seriously and are now unable to go to college. I live in a state where there is very limited oversight and no formal academic testing required. In other words home schooling is not something one should attempt after reading a few blog postings. At a minimum, you need to talk to real live parents who have been involved in the home school movement for several years, contact your state education department to find out what the requirements are.

guest said...

"How does a homeschooler show he/she is as good as the kid with top grades from a top high school?"

Scoring highly on AP's and/or SAT II subject tests would be an effective way to demonstrate mastery of advanced material just like a "kid with top grades from a top high school."

My understanding of college admissions is that the less is known about a student's school, the more emphasis is placed on objective, universally applicable markers. This is something that affects not only homeschoolers, but many other students who come from schools that rarely send to selective universities. Subjective things like transcripts and recommendations matter less, because the school has no basis for comparison in its own data.

Standardized tests are the most common and straightforward way for a homeschooled kid to prove himself, but I think college admissions would also grant weight to many other concrete indicators of high levels of mastery in subject areas and high intelligence or creativity: published writing (fiction or non-fiction), high placement in subject-specific competitions (math olympiad, quiz bowl, geography bee, science fair), designing an app that was downloaded XX times, designing and building a complicated device (such as a small aircraft) alone or with others as college teams do, etc.

guest said...

@tesyaa
"WHY is community college over the summer OK for a teenager, but not public school?"

"Anon, a yeshiva generally discourages or forbids contact with non Jews and with peers of the opposite sex. Community college students include non Jews and classes are coed."

While I'm not surprised that a yeshiva would look askance at community college for the reasons above, I think it's usually true that the social dynamic of community college is very different. You have students of age 16-70, many have jobs and/or families. Many students only show up for class (some only show up for tests) since there's no expectation of spending the day on campus, and have no desire to get to know their classmates or hang out. It's not usually like high school where you have a cohesive group of same-age peers and most students' social and emotional lives revolve around their classmates.

Individual circumstances may vary, but generally IMO community college is much less of an immersion experience than high school, especially if one is only taking a few classes and not pursuing a particular 2-yr degree. I can easily see grounds for making a distinction between the two by a parent who would prefer reduced contact with non-Jews and/or the opposite sex, but is willing to weigh costs and benefits. It's a matter of degree more than kind.

Anonymous said...

Guest Dec 30 10:03 you make a very valid point. I never thought of that but I do agree. You do not have peers the same way in community college...

In response to the earliest posts-In the orthodox community, everyone is very concerned with what other people think. ( Who knows how it can affect the shidduch- even in MO circles ?). Many many times in my life I've had to ask myself what do we ( my husband and myself) want. A wedding is supposed to be like "this", your child is supposed to go to "this" type of school, camp etc. If you want to live a less stressful life, you need to come to terms with what is important to you- not what will other people think. (This issue is so ingrained into our thought process that at times it can be very difficult to decide to do something and to reject an idea that you have always been told is a "given" and has to be a certain way).
Because of certain difficulties in our family's lives, my husband and I have had to think outside the box numerous times. We sent one child to public school, because it was best for her, and we let people know it- so others could choose to do the same should the need arise. I feel so sorry for the original commentators on this post that you had to get yourselves into dire straights before you could choose public school. Yes, we got a lot of criticism- both to our face and I am sure behind our back. But you know what? Sometimes I think people deliberately seek us out when they too are grappling with issues and realize that the solutions may be in braking with the status quo.
Many costs in life have escalated. Jewish day school tuition is unsustainable. It is time to think outside the box!

psychobabbler said...

As someone who took community college classes right after high school (summer after)I have to say that these classes were helpful. Firstly- save on college tuition. Second, most of the classmates were not eager to "hang out" or really get to know anyone in their room. Yes, they might ask if you want to study later but it is always an easy excuse "sorry, got to go to work/home" or just pick any excuse you may have. Classmates all understood as they also have hectic schedules- just don't make it look like it is "them" that is the problem. As long as you blame the inability to hang out on some "other", they are ok.
Students come in an out of the campus just to take one or two classes- they aren't interested in making lifelong friends.
But, there is a problem with going- most students out of our yeshivos are unable to say "I am frum because" or "I believe because". They are unable to answer basic questions that any non Jew would ask (especially if you are their first frum person they have ever met).
Luckily, my parents have taught me what to say- my schools did not.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if there are any statistics regarding frum Jews who have had to file for bankruptcy due to the burden of yeshiva tuition. I know of several people in this situation and have a relative actually lost his home recently. The yeshiva finance office still hounds this poor man who is now living with his in-laws and literally has no money.