Lawrence, NY – Yeshiva Turns to Court to Recover Tuition


    Lawrence, NY – A local family is named as the defendant in a lawsuit brought by the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaways. HAFTR is seeking reimbursement for more than $10,000 it claims it is owed. The family, which acknowledges that HAFTR provided scholarships to help pay their children’s elementary and high school educations, maintains its obligations to the school have been met.

    Family members spoke to The Jewish Star on the condition that they not be named or otherwise identified. They told of receiving a letter from HAFTR over the summer requesting payment of more than 10,000 dollars in unpaid tuition. Two months later, they returned to the home they rent in the Five Towns to find a legal summons taped to the door. It threatened that the school would seek a default judgment if the summons was not answered.

    Isaac Tuchman, an attorney with Daniels and Morelli, which represents HAFTR, confirmed that the school has filed a number of lawsuits against HAFTR families. When parents come to the school with hardships, “accommodations are inevitably made,” to allow children to attend the school, he said.

    “The school provides a service to the community, to the parents, and the parents commit to paying tuition. Often, parents don’t honor that obligation so the school believes it is justified – we’ve been trying to collect unpaid obligations that are owed by parents,” said Tuchman.

    Read the full story at The Jewish Star

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    1. I’m just curious… does this yeshiva teach its talmidim to go to batei din? Can someone explain to me why the requirement to go to batei din apparently only apply to baalei batim?

        • “ They have learned from us chasidim that it is ok to go to court”

          Not all disputes among chassdim have to go to the secular courts. It is still common for some low level disputes about property or contracts to be submitted to a beis din but in general, I agree that most of the big chassideshe rabbonim have indicated it is mutar to go to regular courts.

    2. If the parents are caught going to florida on vacations and having summer homes and all the extras then there is a problem. Tuition comes first beofre thew extras. Now we really don’t know what the facts are here so this comment is just a generalization. At the same time schools should be opening. Their books since they are also always claiming poverty.

      It is interesting how not one school closed this year yet they all complain thewy have no money!

      • pity you were not alive when gomorrah was being written, you were able to figure out the truth behind yeshiva tuition, that it is one giant scam. are you insane yes tuitions are high but there is electric, tuition, insurance, rent. yeshivah go into debt have to be rescued by baaleh battim that generously underwrite costs. it is not interesting that not one school has closed it is miraculous.

          • Dear Raflowitz;

            You might as well be anonymous since there is no verification of your name on most blogs….there are 20+ Raflowitzs listed in the consolidated New York Area telphone directory although you might live in Bnai Brak or who knows where. You miss the point though. Virtually everyone agrees that these parent should be sued and punished for not paying their bills. The only issues is whether to make them pay in civil court or a beis din

      • 100% right open you books , [if they are taking out side money]some schools that i know cry but the ones on top are buying homes for family members and doing alot of other stuff. and again we dont know the whole story.

      • “ WOW, while I may understand the need for yeshiva’s to collect tuition. I find this shocking that they went to court with this!”

        Why is this shocking. The Hebrew Acacademy of 5T is having serious problems meeting their financial obligations and have given parents who are late with tuition many opportunities to pay their bills. This was a a last resort effort to recover the funds they are owed before they have to impose additional charges on other parents who do pay their bills. It is a large educational institution with a multi million dollar budget not some dinky cheder in the back room of beis medrash. They would not have gone to court unless they had exhasusted all their other options.

        P.S. Going to beis din was not a viable option because they need immediate financial relief and they don’t want to get bogged down with the politics of the local Vaad.

        • Let me repeat that:

          “They would not have gone to court unless they had exhasusted all their other options.

          P.S. Going to beis din was not a viable option because they need immediate financial relief and they don’t want to get bogged down with the politics of the local Vaad.”

          Rarely does someone contradict themselves so thoroughly and without any self-awareness like that. Let’s see, some options not explored: Doing it according to Halacha (too much politics for that, can’t be bothered?), cutting expenses (why be a multi-million dollar operation if you can’t afford to cut $10,000 rather than going to court over the money?). Closing down and apologizing to parents for the fraud of pretending to be an Orthodox school. (The controlling officer’s need for money is clearly greater than their fidelity to Halacha, so why consider that option?).

          If they can’t be bother with the politics of the local Vaad, then the parent’s shouldn’t be bothered to pay back tuition either. Maybe they should ask for a refund.

    3. Yeshivot, beis yaakovs and batei medrashim are a business and must have money to pay their teachers, keep the yinglach fed and pay the utility bills. Parents must treat a bill from the yeshiva like any other obligation and honor their committmements whether they pay only half of the normal tuitition or full tuition. I’m sorry if some families are having trouble in these hard economic times but we all are having the same issues of paying our bills. What is especially disgusting are those ehrleche yids who are already behind on their bills to the yeshiva going out and having more kids which the cannot afford. These parents are especially irresonsible and the lawyers should make sure they get every dollar back they can from these people who try to shift their debts on to the rest of us.

      • please keep your anti halacha comments away from a frum website like this one. there is no heter for birth control because of money whatsoever. do not blame people for listening to their rov and the shulchan aruch.

        • since i believe we need to push for more jewish children in this world, my sentiments are with you. what are the halachic issues / heter for birth control if any?
          can you give me soures from the shulchan aruch..
          for example if money is not a consideration is a woman saying i cant deal with the stress of more children a heter for birth control?
          is remote health concerns for the mother or children a heter?
          i am very interested in these halachic issues.
          in this article it obviously boils down to finanacial issues..
          is there ever a financial basis for a birth control heter?

          • is there ever a financial basis for a birth control heter?

            Obviously the answer is yes. Speak with your rav or spiritual advisor. If you cannot afford to feed and clother a child, will your rav pick up the tab. if you want to have a lot of children, learn a parnassah that will provide you the money to support them, have your wife go back to work, or wait a few years till your mazel turns etc. but don’t blindly keep making babies with the idea that “hashem will provide”. If you do, you will rightfully find yourselves in court trying to hold off the bill collectors. Tzadakah is for those who find themselves in need through no fault of their own. If you deliberately make your economic situation worse, don’t expect others to keep digging you out of the hole you dug for yourslf and your childredn.

          • Economics is NEVER a basis for a heter. The only valid basis for a heter is health. The exact threshold to justify a heter is a judgment call, and therefore up to the rov; that’s why one has to ASK a rov, and not decide for oneself. I doubt that many rabbonim will allow it just because a woman says she can’t deal with the stress; but if there is good reason to believe that she really can’t deal with it then that is a valid basis for a heter. And of course a history of severe post-partum depression is very good grounds for a heter; I know of one case where a very black-hat rov ORDERED a woman to have her tubes tied (which is an issur de’oraisa) because not only did she get badly depressed after each birth, but each time was worse than the previous one, and he was afraid of what the next one might be like.

        • do not blame people for listening to their rov and the shulchan aruch.”

          They must have a Rav who learns a different sha’as and shulchan aruch the most rabbonim. If this heilege rav tells his talmidim and kehillah to “keep having babies and let someone elese worry about the costs” he is no talmid chacham and is teaching som every dangerous midos.

          • On the contrary, he is teaching exactly what the shas and shulchon oruch and most — actually all — rabbonim say. You are the one who is contradicting ALL of those. Do you have a single source, in shas, shulchon oruch, or ANYWHERE else for your position? Is there ANY posek, anywhere, who permits birth control because of costs?

        • “ so what you’re saying is that only the rich should have more children?”

          Yes. The torah says we must accept responsibility for our own actions. It doesn’t say p’aru u’rahvu and then go out and stick someone else with the bills to feed and educate those yinglach. If you cannot afford them, DON’T HAVE them. Don’t make believe some mystical force made you have children and then go out beggging others to care for them. Thats the most disgusting and irresponsible position I’ve heard around here in a long time

          • If this is what you are saying then you are a goy. There is no heter to use birth control for economic reasons. Pru urvu is a mitzvah, and if that means living on tzedokoh then it’s the community’s responsibility to provide tzedokoh. What is disgusting and irresponsible is openly advocating that people defy the Torah, and pretending that “the torah says” this. WHERE does the torah say what you claim? It doesn’t.

      • you would be correct if the yeshivos and bais yaakovs would be run professionally and like a real business. problem is that most are family enterprises – family owned that rip off parents so that the whole family of the principal owner gets large salaries and great jobs… ever wondered how come the principal has his wife as the head office manager, the daughter is the secular principal and son in law the main teachers ?? its a busha that the rabanim let this situation happen !!

    4. Which Rav let’s HAFTR file lawsuits? Where are the Botei Dinim? Why is this school allowed to get away with this? It is not the first time they have gone to the Secular Court system. Are they a religious institution or not?

    5. people think its a free ride- a magic money machines. The schools/yeshivas need the tuition to pay their bills, teachers etc. Its cost lost of money to educate our children and we must take responsiblity and pay for this. They are our children and it is our responsibility. If you cannot afford it then go raise the money. If you needed food for your kids what would you do… same thing – the parents are responsible to get the money to pay the school- either pay for it or fundraise it.

    6. I know all u people are going to jump on this one, but the schools are suffering and there are many many people who are blatantly and purposely not planning to py there tution. its stealing . I know someone who owes much more than 10 thousand, and he feels no need/ or pressure to pay it . SHAME ON YOU. as an administrator of a schoolm I can sympathize with this school . Then there are those poor widows, who dollar by dollar , do evrything they can to pay tution, volunteer for the dinner, substitue, bus monitor sell chocolates are just a few things you can do . One 11 yr old girl made 20,000 selling cookies door to door. ,Many times you see these people with their leased cars, exepensive bar mitzvahs and pesach vacations and going to the country. to those few , SHAME ON YOU FOR LEAVING YOUR CHILD’S REBBE TO BORROW FROM GEMACHS OR FORCLOSE ON HIS HOME BECAUSE YOU DONT THINK ITS IMPORTANT. for the record , most people are not like this its only a small few, but the small few can add up to thousands of dollars the yeshivas really count on .

    7. if satmar can take take each opponent of thiers to secular so can haftr .give one reason why bais din is better is better then secular if chassidim don’t abide by this rule?

    8. how do u know for a fact that haftr didn’t first try baisdin but they weren’t getting any where so they got a heter arkaos. why don’t you hear both sides of the story

    9. I know of a case in Westchester where a “Hebrew High School” is taking a single mother to court without having gone first to Bais Din. A disgrace and “proof” that these Hebrew Academys and Hebrew High Schools do not believe in or teach Torah. No wonder so many of their graduates are mechalel Shabbos .

      • just like satmar? I dont disagree that beis din is/was the way they should have gone, but we dont know all the facts. maybe they tried arbitration outside of ct and for some reason were forced to pursue this route. chv am I “taking their side” but stop jumping to conclusions. and seriously – when the “modern orthodox” do it (over a financial matter)- it means they are all a bunch of chalolim, but when chassidim in williamsburg do it (also over $), they are tzadikim?

        • Places like HAFTR and Frisch are run by people who believe that having “been in the Rav’s shiur” gives them carte blanche to do whatever they feel like doing, and calling it halacha. In this and many other matters they are chalolim.

          • i dont know anything about haftr, but,
            my children go to frisch and you are so off base it is pathetic.
            i wish most of the chasidic and boro park hungarian schools could reach frischs level .. that includes religious values/observence, torah education, secular education, and a high end physical campus that is unusual in the jewish world.
            all students including girls, need to attend minyan daily..promptly at 730 am.
            they have a sephardic minyan, ashkenazic minyan and beginners minyan and more.
            theses children are the real future of halachaic judaism

    10. When you come out to the Five Towns on Pesach or Mid-Winter Break week the place is a ghost town because everyone (whether they can afford it or not) is away on vacation. Yet, everyone likes to complain about the tuitions and how the schools are robbing them. Teachers and Rebbeim need to be paid and that comes before Joe Woodmere gets to take his whole family to Florida and then ask for a break.

      • You are apparently ignoring the fact that this yeshiva opted to institute suit in a goyisha court. They did not attempt to go to a bais din. How do you condone such behavior from an institution that promotes torah and hashkafa in an orthodox setting. It is entirely irrelevant whether “the five towns is a ghost town because everyone is on vacation” during Pesach or mid- winter break. Similarly, it is also irrelevant that tuition per child at this school, (or business) is about $20,000.00.

    11. We have 2 boys and a girl at yeshivot in the Five Towns and our tutition bill is about $28,000 per year plus lots of addtional charges. We haven’t taken a real vacation in several years, both of our cars are over 10 years old and we don’t go out to the expensive kosher restaurants that charge $100 for the five of us for dinner. Each of us works full time and are still having a a tough time making ends meet. I have no sympathy whatsoever for these jews who don’t pay their bills and put the burden on those of us who do. I hope the court makes them pay quickly so set an example.

      • i did not move to the 5T because i dont have the money for that life style so i stayed in brooklyn and doing with what i have. things are much higher there at least when i look in to it years ago

    12. I find it reprehensible that Yeshivas seem to assume that when parents don’t pay tuitition, the parents are hiding the money. As a parent with many friends I can unequivocally state that parents who don’t pay simply don’t have the money to do so. Its not as if Yeshiva is a luxury that the parents who cannot afford should simply opt out of! In other words, even parents who cannot afford it, have no choice but to send their kids to Yeshiva. I have yet to meet the mythical parent who pleads poverty but takes his entire family to a hotel for yom tov. They simply don’t exist. While I agree that Yeshivas need money, suing the already overburdened parents is simple rishus and cannot be condoned.

      • “…even parents who cannot afford it, have no choice but to send their kids to Yeshiva…”

        Sorry, but thats not good enough…if you cannot afford the more expensive yeshivot send your kids to a cheaper yeshiva (some of the smaller chassideshe places are much less money and offer decent education) or send them to public school and hire a rebbe for after school teaching. But don’t enroll your kids in a school you can’t afford and then assume the other parents will pick up the tab for you. That is mamash genavah and should be treated as such.

        • Geneivah is less of an aveirah than sending a child to public school, especially a “Geneivah” of intending to pay when you can.

          Going to secular court is a rejection of the whole Torah (to quote the Rambam) and should be treated as such. All parents should take their kids out of that poor excuse for a school and start one based on the actual Torah.

          • My friend, if you really think that geneivah is less of an aveirah than going to public school. than you really would have been better off going to public school than whatever yeshiva you went to.

            • Most public schools probably transgess all three of the ‘yehareb vial yaavor’ prohibitions. I am not a posek, but would be surprised if a posek ruled differently.

        • So its your belief that only the rich are entitled to a jewish Yeshivah education and that parents who cannot afford it should send their kids to Public School??? If that statement weren’t so sad it would actually be funny…

          • No. The poster said choose which yeshiva you go to based on what you can afford. There is a wide range of choices in the New York area (and in LA where I live) with different tuitions. There are also many good after school programs for those who cannot afford any yeshiva and send their kids to public schools but still want some yiddeshe education.

      • I also find it hard to believe that parents are hiding money, but I do think it exists. The reason that I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about the “tuition crisis” is this: twenty years ago, tuition was also very high. But at that time, most people were able to pay it. As a matter of fact, they were able to pay it and afford large homes, vacations, camp for their children and expensive cars and clothing. These people set the standard for the rest of us who could not afford the expensive tuition or the large homes, vacations, etc. We wanted to sell our house, but were told that because our mortgage was relatively small, it just wasn’t worth it to sell. We tried very much to live within our means. But the elementary school that our children went to didn’t care and charged us as much as they wanted to. So I think that now that the “rich” people, who set this ridiculous standard, can’t pay their tuition, all of a sudden, there’s a crisis. They made the crisis by living such large lives. I think it’s all a lie. Let them sell their homes, tell their children no every once in a while, and stop judging people for what they have or don’t have.

        • There probably certainly are people like you describe but probably at least as frequent andtheste are stories from 2 and 4 decades ago-where day schools/yeshivot would not “believe” someones income when they worked for a Federal agency which they were required to and everyone knew all income was reported.-case where person had 2 children of different sexes total family income around 35K-was willing ti pay 5K tuition for both of his schools-the female school accepted the 6K-the “frummie” one told him to get lost with 6K-they wanted the additional capital fund,dinner fees, blow your nse fees etc.,
          Another story-a female living in the south Bronx was not let into day schools and went to public schools-fortunately she survived and on her own name could borrow money to go to Stern. for college.

    13. The posters on this read make very valid points. Yeshivas need money for their operating expenses and unfortunately, some people do not look it at that way. With that said, if HAFTR is going to secular court and playing that game, the parents should act like any other debtor, including filing for bankruptcy. If HAFTR would act in a mentchlich manner, I would hope the parents at mentchlich. This does not seem to be the case.

    14. The parents should have brought the lawsuit against themselves! They need the school to survive as much as anyone else does. Why should some community members feel responsible for the local school and others not? Each and every parent of the school and indeed every community member should feel obligated to do whatever it take to help the school grow, ans succeed,. In essence in a perfect world the delinquent parents would sue themselves. Then again in a perfect world they would have long ago made figured out a way to compensate the school for the services they received.

    15. The issue is NOT whether the parents should pay if they signed to it- it’s whether the yeshiva should have gone to secular court.

      As for whether or not tuitions are justified… Nothing comes for free, but many of the yeshivas’ expensive decisions are never put to the parents for approval. Case in point: my children’s school, which has SIX principals for about 200 students. Excuse me???

      The principals are: director, dean, boys’ kodesh principal, girls’ kodesh principal, general studies principal, preschool director. Plus they have a director of development. They hire assistant teachers for classes that have only 10 or 12 students! You’d think they get a great education there, but they don’t. None of my kids knew alef-bais by the end of the kindergarten, including one child who tested as gifted. It was their only curriculum that year for 6 hours a day. There’s no excuse. Nor did my bright son know how to subtract 7 – 2 when I asked him at the end of second grade. So you can add tutoring fees to tuition. Can I sue the yeshiva? LOL

      When I went to school there were 30 kids in a class with 1 teacher, no assistant – and 1 principal for over 700 kids. And we learned!

      • Bingo! Why do the Yeshivos need to” keep up with the Jones”? Who needs the computers and fancy smart boards? A room with desks and chairs and a board with a teacher is all you need! If the parents want more let them go to after school specials! No time? your right! the Yeshivos should let out early so those parents that want all the special stuff can go and do it and pay for it themselves!

        • “Why do the Yeshivos need to” keep up with the Jones”? Who needs the computers and fancy smart boards? A room with desks and chairs and a board with a teacher is all you need!”

          Because there are thousands of jewish parents who want state of the art computers, art, music and all this “extra stuff’ and we are willing to pay for it. There are many “cheap” yeshivas and beis yaccovs for yidden such as yourself who don’t want to pay for more than the basics and send your kids to those cheap schools. But don’t enroll your kids in my “extravagent” yeshiva and then yell “gevalt, it costs too much money”. You and your children are stealing from me and the other parents if you engage in such behavior and shows your lack of midos.

      • I’m not sure what school you went to as a kid, so I will not mention that today’s schools have a goal of producing frum b’nei and b’nos torah.

        Either way, today’s children are not the same as those of the last generation (athough some in chinuch have yet to realize that reality). You are welcome to go into a school and try to teach 30 kids by yourself, with only one all-encompassing principal for support.

        Good luck.

        • The fact that you assume I did not attend a frum school emphasizes my point. Was it my good writing that made you suspicious? In fact, we learned beautifully in well managed classrooms – and we were not beaten either. Many in chinuch today think a small class with an assistant still needs to resort to physical violence to produce b’nei and b’nos Torah. Do you agree with that, too?

          And I have, in fact, taught classes of 30 kids myself. Six such classes per day, thank you, in a large Bais Yaakov High School with two principals – of which I only answered to one. They were doing it right in my opinion.

          The problem today is people – perhaps yourself included – who have such low expectations from the schools. I don’t see how or why you could justify the need for 6 principals for less than 200 students, whose teachers barely accomplish much in learning. That is a student:principal ratio of 33:1. Is this truly what you think it takes to produce b’nei/b’nos Torah? I disagree. I believe that mediocrity is NOT, in fact, the secret ingredient for producing b’nei/b’nos Torah.

      • Are you in a small community with no choice of schools for your children? If you are in greater NY, FIND A DIFFERENT SCHOOL. My kids live out of town, and drive an hour to get their kids to scholl in the morning and another hour coming home. (For the parents its is a total of 4 hours drive daily). As for a school that is padding their staff – same answer.

    16. Disgusting excuse for a yeshiva. How can a place be called a yeshiva when they go to secular courts to get $10,000, which is not even a years worth of tuition. Such a chilul hashem. Horrible!!

    17. While the Yeshivot need money to survive – I find it sand how they will not take the financial situation facing our community into account. How many parents lost there jobs & are not able to pay. It is a vicious cycle. I know of a Yeshivah day school that is a lost this year 100 students – because parents cant afford the tuition. They went to public school – that is sad – Yeshivah should also work the parents.

    18. People are entitled to go on vacatio. that should not affec t your tuition status. What a husband and wife should totally “crack” from teh pressure of trying to make ends meet? People “need” the break. It is essential to get away once in a while.

      Why should schools have “Tax emept” ststus if they are running it like a business. There is a trade off to reeceiving the “tax eempt” status(That enables everyone in the schools adminstration familt to buy “Tax free” items ; – ))

    19. A yeshiva is not “any other debtor” there is a communal responsibility to provide Jewish education dating back 2000 years to R’ Yehoshua Ben Gamla. There is definitely no requirement for a family to file for bankruptcy. If there was no attempt at mediating this in Beis Din than this is a Chilul Hashem of tremendous proportions for a communal institution to take a family to court. And the school should close down.

    20. This is a very import lawsuit and is meant to set an example of these parents for not paying their bills. Its not somthing appropriate for a beth din. We are not talking about stealing someone’s chicken or whether someone has chazakah over a bench in the beis medrash.

      • I work for a Genral Contractor who is a frum yid. when we havee jobs with other Yidden our contracts always stipulate going to bais din in case of a disspute. Thats right million dollar contracts brought to Bais Din. Someone who has respect for Torah knows that you turn to Bais din for more than just “stealing someone’s chicken”.

        • This school has every right to go to the civil courts. I’m sure they considered a beis din but they obviously made the choice that worked best for them. You may not like their choice, but too bad. Unless you want to donate $10,000 to Haftr, mind you own business.

    21. I know some of these parents personally and I can assure you that they have no money, live off the local gemachs and social service organizations and do not go on vacations and have even advised HAFTR of their dire situation. Further, there was no move to go to Bais Din and certainly no Heter Arkoas issued. These whole thing is shocking and many of the Rabbonim in the 5T neighborhood (including the MO ones) were stunned by the turn of events. Hopefully, HAFTR will do the appropriate thing and (i) vacate the default judgments that they have received and (ii) carefully analyze each individual case before pursuing such indigent people. No one is looking for a free ride and people who take advantage of the system should be taken to task but not at the expense of real Aniyim.

    22. My father ran a school for the past 30 years. He has some parents who avoid him when they fail to meet their obligations. That is unethical. Then, there are parents that respons to their messages from school administration and explain that they are going through a difficult financial time. This group of parents are honorable. These parents are offered new terms of tuition obligations based upon what they can realistically afford.

    23. Why are people complaining about secular courts? Do you live in United States or Antarctica where there is no legal system? Do you have some special rights over the rest of population in the U.S. that use “secular courts” to resolve legal matters? Bes Din is nothing but politically controlled lobbies where those with money or name recognition can turn things to their favor.

      • Excuse me? Have you heard of something called Judaism? Have you heard of the Torah? Or are you a sheigetz who’s never heard of either, and thinks that “kechol hagoyim beis yisroel”? Going to court without permission from a beis din is Chilul Hashem, and is absolutely FORBIDDEN. It is worse than eating chazer, which you probably do.

    24. Why is everyone assuming the parents breached an agreement to pay. It sounds like the parents thought that they had paid the part of the tuition that wasn’t covered by the scholarships. It sounds like a misunderstanding where the school thought the parents would pay $Y and the parents thought they were to pay $X. If the school doesn’t have the agreement as to the amount of the tuition in writing, it may have a hard time in court. Oral agreements are enforceable, but one would expect a school to have some written agreements with the parents or at least some paper work showing what was agreed to and what was paid.

    25. HAFTR has changed a lot in the past 5 and 1/2 years. The executive director died on the job, so what he promised is an open question. They ran existing principals out of the HS because of a few Board Members and lost lots of students-both those who they pushed out and future ones whose parents wouldn’t want to deal with an institution that thinks nothing of changing on a dime its promises about what the school is. Then they hired a new Exec Director -a proud son of a traditional Conservative Rabbi. Not sure if one who is brought up and proud of a Conservative Rabbi father-a traditional one to be sure-cares much about Beis Din.
      HAFTR probably sued after 5 and 1.2 years because of Statute of Limitation problems-contracts have a 6 year SOL in NY.

    26. “These whole thing is shocking and many of the Rabbonim in the 5T neighborhood (including the MO ones”

      I don’t believe a single Rav from the 5Ts sends their kids there-as opposed to 30-50 years ago when many sendtheir kids to HAFTR’s predecessor instittutions.
      One Rav whose kids are beyond school age-a number of years back sent some of his kids there.
      If I’m wrong someone will contradict me.

    27. “As for whether or not tuitions are justified… Nothing comes for free, but many of the yeshivas’ expensive decisions are never put to the parents for approval.”

      HAFTR like many day schools has many administrators earning over 200k-note the Beis Din decision involving R Brisman where thye were ordered to pay him 118K-and Brisman was an ordinary Rebbe-not an administrator.

      • “HAFTR like many day schools has many administrators earning over 200k-“

        Yes and whats wrong with that. The market determines what the compensation will be for an experienced administrator of a large school. Paying several hundred thousand dolllars a year for an outstanding manager of a school for our children is a bargain. We pay young lawyers in our firm who are only several years out of school nearly that much. As others have posted, there are many yeshivot who pay much less and charge much less so send your kids there or to public school where the principals only are paid $150K>

        • well….most administrators are not needed and because of their large salaries the schools have no money and tuition is ridiculously expensive. Get rid of useless administrators and pay the good ones a decent but normal salary and our
          schools will flourish and tuition will drop

    28. I guess this would be the right time for parents to start requesting tuition refunds from those who had their children kicked out of school. Tuition is for Schar Limud, and when a student is kicked out at some point tuition dollars should be retuned.

    29. “Now through December 31, 2009, HAFTR will be accepting no fee credit card payments on our website.

      Please visit our website at and click on “donation/tuition payments”. There is no need to login with ID and password to make credit card payments”

      So they don’t care about absorbing the costs of the credit card payments-but go after immigrants for tuition.

      “I guess this would be the right time for parents to start requesting tuition refunds from those who had their children kicked out of school. Tuition is for Schar Limud, and when a student is kicked out at some point tuition dollars should be retuned.”

      They like many day schools/yeshivot would be truly bankrupt if they had to pay the huge salaries to their administrators and mechanchim AND refund money to those who spent morethan a decade there and are functionally Jewishly illiterate .

    30. We had a food store for many years and many families would shop and “charge on their accounts” which was fine, if they paid up regularly. However, some went away for winter vacation, bought a house, went to the bungalow and all the extras before they paid the bill they had with us. There is something very wrong with that.

      Go for it HAFTR – just like some people don’t honor the halacha of paying up their bills, they will also not honor the ruling of the Beis Din.

      Been there, lived it. Sorry.

      • you are so WRONG – the halacha is that one has to go to BD 1st- assuming haftr would win ( ie no special deal was made to get the kid- and later reneged on)- and haftr won- they would simply move to ‘confirm ‘ the award in secular court and get their $$$.
        going directly to secular court is not allowed
        we should find out which Rav allowed them to do this – assuming they asked the question

        • “we should find out which Rav allowed them to do this”

          Who cares. They are a private school and made this decision on the advice of their lawyers. They obviously know that halacha allows for use of a beis din to adjudicate disputes but for their own reason, they decided to go directly to civil court. They are accountable to their own board of truestees, not to a bunch of armchair poseks on an internet blog.

          • They are accountable to their own board of truestees, not to a bunch of armchair poseks on an internet blog. ”
            thought we were all ACCOUNTABLE to the Ribbono Shel Olam………..

          • Halacha doesn’t “allow” for use of a beis din, it REQUIRES it. But of course you don’t believe halacha can require anything; you think there are 613 suggestions rather than commandments. The school is accountable first to HASHEM, and only afterwards to its trustees.

    31. It’s a chillul Hashem that they don’t go to beis din. They should be ashamed of themselves. And why does sombody sue another for not paying tuition nowadays?

      • Actually, it would have been a bigger chilul hashem had they just written of the 10K and made all the other parents pay more to recover the loss. We are all working as hard as we can and don’t have extra money to pay for those ehrleche yiddin who don’t pay thier bills. Another option would be to offer these parents an opportunity to “work off” their debt by cleaning the school building in the evening or doing any other work they are qualified to do.

    32. can someone please explain how come when our parents went to yeshiva all our grandparents were holocaust survivors and coludnt afford to pay much tution if any and everyone stayed n school and the schools survived also. is it bec they were only a few big ones or maybe every school today has to build a fancier building than thier nieghbooring yeshiva and we have to pay for that ( my fathers yeshiva had leaks was run down the day before the inspectors came they would try to fix it) maybe someone could list some reasons im not surel what the aawnser is

      • it is because every one of the teachers had a side job. Look it up, and you will see. Consequently, they were not giving thier students the attention which the kids deserved. We would not stand for this today, and for good reason.

    33. Any parent who takes scholarship money and then goes on vacation is effectively financing their vacation with the blood of unborn children (unborn bc their parents used birth control to avoid paying yeshiva bills). They deserve to be treated as accordingly.

    34. As long the collections are done within the guidelines of the, The Fair Debit Collection Practices Act, I don’t see a problem, and a debit is a debit regardless if it is a none for profit or a credit card, if you own you need to pay, that said, if you really cannot pay you should take advantage of the bankruptcy laws, but remember it will be un your credit report.

      • During the time of Machon the dynamic duo encouraged many kids to leave Yahadus-including those whose parents paid full tuition to HAFTR. I don’t know what their ploicy would have been to those who paid full tuition to Rambam. Of course maybe the 5Ts just raises the ante-it is full tuition plus major contribution which is necessary to protect ones kid.

    35. To all you ignoramus people in here: It is clear why secular court was chosen – the ‘jewish’ ones are a big joke and do not have power. You have brought this upon yourselves!

    36. As the wife of someone who sat on a “tuition assistance board” for many years, I can tell you story after story of parents crying poverty, while the wife wears a mink coat and drives a BMW. The stories go on and on. HAFTR is not the first, not will it be the last going after overdue tuition in civil court. They have no choice, they have to pay their staff and they can’t pay with parental “empty promises” of next week, next month, during the summer, etc. There are many yeshivot that charge a great deal less than HAFTR, if you cannot afford the tuition, or choose not to pay such a high tuition, send your child to a “cheaper” yeshiva.

      NO ONE IS FORCING you to send your child there. Your obligation is to pay the committment you made !!!!

    37. I once represented a yeshiva that was trying to collect several bad debts. Many parents wrote post-dated checks on accounts they knew were closed. Intentionally writing a bad check (or a whole series of them) is a crime in NY. I attempted to file criminal charges against some of those parents. Fortunately for them, the local DA discouraged us from doing so. Out of a dozen cases, some were resolved in civil court (with the school getting a judgement for the full amount and then filing that judgment as a lien against the family’s house), some were resovled in Bais Din (where the losing family basically ignored the decision and paid very little or nothing in spite of the judgment) and some were resolved by the family calling me and offering 10 – 30 cents on the dollar – which the school graciously accepted.
      I do not know anything about HAFTR, but I do know the parents who owe the money should make some effort to pay. I’m sure that would go a long way!

      • “Out of a dozen cases, some were resolved in civil court (with the school getting a judgement for the full amount and then filing that judgment as a lien against the family’s house), some were resovled in Bais Din (where the losing family basically ignored the decision and paid very little or nothing in spite of the judgment)”
        You seem to be an attorney but your comments don’t make sense.
        You seem toi be saying that the bais din judgment is not enforceable like the civil judgement and that is simply NOT true.
        NY STATE recognizes Bais Din is BINDING ARBITRATION and Bais Din generally has people sign that they accecpt it as that before they will here any case.
        With a judgement from a binding arbitration ANYONE can then go and file that judgement with the courts so they can enforce it and place a lein on a house an so on….
        As an attorney you should know that.

        • FYI – Bais Din didn’t (wouldn’t) put it in writing. They simply gave their p’sak verbally! I’ll tell you what you can go do with something like that.
          By the way – bais din charges a fee for their services. Do you expect the school to throw good money after bad? The other side didn’t want to pay either so all we got was a “quickie” decision – “its not nice to not pay what you owe – go pay.” Big deal – no teeth to that!

          • facts are Beit Din does charge a fee- a very small one- MUCH smaller than one would pay a lawyer- so going to beit din is not only the right thing- its the smart thing.
            going to court without a heter is wrong and a waste of the yeshivas money
            btw- any beit din would have you sign an arbitration agreement and would issue the psak in writing- you get what you pay for

    38. Let all the yeshiva”s open they’re books to outside auditors…..Menahalim, Administrator, hire they sons, son in law, nieces, cousins,ALL FAMILY member’s….that never show up to work..that’s how they get away with high salary’s..nice mortgage on they’re houses..its all about inflated expenses…suck the parent body as much as you can..

    39. Let all the yeshivas open they’re books to outside auditors..menahalim, administrator, hire they sons, son in law, nieces, cousins….that never show up to work..that’s how they get away with high salary’s..nice mortgage on they’re houses..its all about inflated expenses…suck the parent body as much as you can..

    40. i have been on three sides of the desk- as a student , parent, and employee. there are 3 sides to every story. but if people would act mentchlich, much agmas nefesh could be avoided. for example, my family was never well off; my father was in chinuch for most of my Yeshiva days.we got by only with scholarships, but when there was a few extra dollars, the yeshiva got a nice piece. my mother, A”H vounteered for several years in her retirement to do whatever the yeshiva could use. my sister, A”H sponsored a full year of tuition from one of her first jobs. it was very annoying to find that some people had “protektsia” and paid less tuition than us, while driving Cadillacs! and then they forgot about the break…. if these people really don’t have it, that is what scholarships are for. i know of one school that asks for a “moral obligation” from all recipients of discounts, to remember the school when they graduate, and start making money.

    41. Many Conservative Rabbis from the 5T Area have sent their kids to HAFTR in recent decades-Orthodox Rabbis send their kids elsewhere.
      Limudei Kodesh teachers in general send their kids elsewhere-even those who live in the community-some of the TOP administrators send their kids there-could be a requirement of earning the big bucks.
      Raises general question of effectiveness of schools who have limudei kodesh instructors who don’t believe in the “hashkafa” of the school.

    42. if the history of Reb yehoshua ben Gamla is any indication, then the onus of responsibility for affordabloe tuition falls on the kehilla i.e. the shuls and not the schools. The schools are working for the kehilla yet the shuls do nothing to support them. Our kids deserve only the best and that includes 100K rabbonim and 200K Principals (not 6 in aschool of 200 but yes one or two in schools of the size of haftr and the like.) and smart boards and the best general studies teachers who go for 100K a pop…but the kehillas have to help the community pay

      • very well said.
        In the past, the community paid various taxes to the kehilla which paid for these services, one of the taxes being hechsheirim. nowdays the hecsher has become a profit making enterprise (in a lot of cases)and nothing paid back into the community.
        If only all the askonjm/rabbonim could get together and sort this out.

    43. HAFTR is doing exactly what it should do. The truth is that HAFTR parents who pay the full rate and are honest are subsidizing those who cannot afford to pay. The school has responsibility to those who pay full price to do what it can to recoup money from those in arrears. The truth is that HAFTR has let a lot of this stuff slide for a long time, and it has hurt the financial stability of the school considerably.

      I’d be willing to bet that the family being sued has no interest in going to Beis Din. I’m just speculating here, but this is an immigrant family from the former Soviet Union. Immigrants from the FSU are not the type to trust religious courts. As someone with a traditional conservative background, I sure wouldn’t, at least not without the advice of counsel.

      Of course, if HAFTR had done what it is supposed to do, it would keep decent, transparent records, and there would be no secret agreements with Executive Directors.

      • Of course, if HAFTR had done what it is supposed to do, it would keep decent, transparent records, and there would be no secret agreements with Executive Directors.”

        noone really knows what goes on there- there is no transparency and a handful of wealthy guys make decisions that are good for them and their families. not a way to run a yeshiva.


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