Brooklyn, NY – Avi Fishoff: Yeshiva Systems Needs Major Overhaul

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    Brooklyn, NY – A well known and respected voice in the world of at risk behavior is calling for a drastic change to the religious education system, observing that the one-size-fits-all approach taken by many yeshivos is failing a substantial number of students.

    In an 18 minute video, Avi Fishoff of TWiSTED PARENTiNG noted that in the post-war years, the educational system focused on producing students who could reinvigorate the Torah world by building yeshivos and other communal institutions.

    Having successfully created that infrastructure, Fishoff said that the time has come to prioritize maximizing the potential of each child instead of encouraging every student to become a long term learner, a goal that leaves many feeling like failures.

    “Otherwise we will have a majority of our children leaving the yeshiva world feeling like they are not a success, the hatzlacha that they were meant to be, which is false, and the result of that can be disastrous,” said Fishoff.

    Drawing on his own educational career in a highly regarded yeshiva, Fishoff recalled that he was well aware as a child that he was not a top student and that the school staff looked down on him because of his performance. The idea of every student being able to learn for 10 to 12 hours every day is as unrealistic as expecting graduate to become a lawyer, said Fishoff.

    “People who go to work to support themselves should not feel bad that that’s ‘nebuch’ the life that they have,” said Fishoff. “Like in the yeshiva where I grew up they said ‘grubbe balabatim,’ grubbe balabatim they called us. 85 percent of those who graduated, maybe more, ended up being balabatim and we all felt that we are not ehrliche yidden.”

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    58 COMMENTS

    1. Hey Avi what’s your take on smelly nebachals who are not cool off the derech kids rather maybe they are good learners who are a bit off socially? Is anyone caring about them or do we wait till they have a break down and become even more disfunctional and then maybe otd or not ?
      Can we start something to help people who are not ” cool” or not ” fun” to help bec they are smelly and wierd? These are the true forgotten ones on society. There is enough out there for the cool otd guys .

    2. Sorry but he is dead wrong. There is nothing wrong with the yeshiva system. The problem is with the parents. Today there are many types of yeshivas on all different levels. One should choose what is right for their child, not one that fits their social status. To blame the yeshiva that you chose is ridicules.

      There are yeshivas that promote Torah learning, there are yeshivas that promote working, and there are many yeshivas in between. Sending your child to a Torah learning geared yeshiva and complaining that he is the working type is like sending your child to law school and complain that the school is teaching law and they want their child to be a doctor.

      Let’s get real and stop trying to throw the blame on others. If your child is not a good fit for the yeshiva he is in, pull him out. Place him in the yeshiva that is a good fit for him. Who cares what his brothers were like, who cares what the neighbors will say, who cares of the family image. Care about your child, do what is right for him. The one-size-fits-all approach in education your children is wrong.
      This is all the parents responsibility not the yeshivas.

      • Don’t know if I should laugh or cry! There are no high schools in Brooklyn for struggling good kids. Torah Vodaas say, let the classrooms be empty, we only want metzuyonim! Zuckers, a school that needs to be shut down, kicks our boys around, has them sitting detention for failing a test and then puts them on the street with the trash. Our beautiful boys! And this school opened to cater to the struggling boy!

        • You should laugh and send your kid to a public school or home schooling . Just start thinking. The Yeshivah System is less than 100 years old and produced nothing. Get 5-6 boys together let them go to public school together and let them learn after schools in any shul together with an older person. Many if not most of the Gedolim like grew up in Russia under communism and did not attend yeshivos.

      • Kids want to go to high school with their friends. Deny them that, and they fall away very quickly. If we keep up a system that does not insure another yiddeshe dor, I guarantee you — it will soon be in your backyard!

      • You have a good point. “If he is not a good fit pull him out” correct so far. PLEASE dont send him to another yeshivah. By definition the are all based on the same dysfunctional system what was created 100 years ago. Morning seder etc nonsense. Get 5-8 like minded parents and hire someone to help them learn in any Shul in the neigborhood for a small fraction what you would pay for a yeshivah. They can learn chumish/rashi, gemoreh, tnach, sulchan aruch or what they wish. instead of whatever a Rosh Yeshivah in Russia 100 years ago invented. The rest of the day let them go to public scool, play ball, get a job or whatever they want .

      • I agree. We the parents (mostly Polish,hungarian,Galicianer)decide to send our kids in Yeshivos run by Litvaks after fully known how they never pruduced a frumme Bal Bos. 98% of lutvaks went of the derech afyer the war. We the parents decided to go make Money and let this failed lutvaks teach our kids. Now we getting the peyras we planted.

      • The last Gadol we had in the USA R Avigdor Muller went to Public School, later to YU and learned privately with a Lubawitcher Chosed. Maybe its time to follow his footsteps. There must be something terribly wrong with the YESHIVAH SYSTEM in the USA.

        • If you think your brilliant idea will work by all means why not try it, you might end up actually learning to respect all that the yeshiva system in the USA offers you.

      • right on!

        unfortunately, I know of too many cases of parents who ruined their kids by demanding that the kids fit into a social structure that the parents chose without regard for the needs and wants of their kids.

    3. Our kids are leaving our way of life in droves! Just like it was, back in Europe! All, owing to our current educational system! Well said, Avi Fishoff. Unfortunately, I don’t believe anything will change until there is no house without a corpse. The pain is unbearable! And, all of the wonderful “mechanchim”, will be held accountable for what is happening in our time. I have no doubt!

      • “wonderfull mechanchim” will be held accountable….. Oh, of course not the parents who are sending their kids to this well documented failed bussiness for profit Establishments. Its your responsibility to give your child quality EDUCATION (Public, private, yeshivah, day school, home school etc) YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE.

      • “The pain is unbearable” FALSE. Its obviously very bearable, otherwise corrections would have been made. There are many many families I know where the father is sitting in Kolel with 8-10 kids and the wife is complaining about this bad bad mechanchem instead of telling his husband to teach the kids himself like the Torah commands him to do. Win Win let him teach his own kids (and his neighbours,friends,etc) save the tuition and follow the Torah. Wolimadtem ea bnechem. TEACH YOUR SON instead of complaining

      • One of the biggest problem here in the USA is that the Rebbis/mechanchem are way way overpaid. In Eretz Yisroel they are paid less than half and doing a good job. The Hatzoleh chevre gets no money and doing a great job. Ambulances make a fortune and never on time. the same in chinuch. Just look at a Hatzoleh guy how much he cares on each individual he treats. If mechanchim would do it lshem shomayim (instead of money) they would do it much more carefully with each person. A well paid Rebbi is usualy a looser since he makes half of a computer guy or a 10th of a bussiness men where a Hatzoleh guy is a Star. In May clinic there are 100s on nuns working as nurses doing much better job than paid ones. Any chassidishe bikur cholem lady is doing better for Free than many well paid ssocoal workers. Cut the Mechanchim salaries 70% and bring in some who will do it lshem shomayim

          • the same way like other volunteers. they work or they are rich whatever. 10000 sits in kolel. how do their families eat? The halacha is you are not even allowed to charge for chinuch. ask any posek . every single rebi who gets paid is does an avejroh. this are the results. R Avigdor muller when he went to public school the lubawitcher learned with him for FREE. The facis he was a Gadol and todays rebis had not produced a single one. Its Mitzveh sebo beavayro,

    4. His point is well taken, but will produce backlash from those who are indoctrinated into the belief that chinuch as it currently exists is the holiest since Matan Torah. We witness this in Comment #3. The difficulty is that the Torah provides ample guidance of how to conduct chinuch, and much of it is missing in today’s system, or minimized to the level of ineffectiveness.

      When you tell me that one can trash חנוך לנער על פי דרכו because it is not economical, I laugh at the humor of it, and cry for the tragic spiritual deaths that result from it. When you talk about producing gedolim, I react the same way. It is an impossibility. And Klal Yisroel will always be unique in that the individual parts of it are not identical but we get along together with achdus. The cookie cutter approach together with the grandiose goals are not Torah approved. Just study Hilchos Talmud Torah and the many relevant Divrei Chazal.

      To Commenter #3. Your instruction is fantasy. The pulling your kid out and getting him in elsewhere is unrealistic. A large percent of such kids will be without yeshivos. Rav Shteinman ZT”L opposed this exclusivity in yeshivos and called it “Gaavah”.

      • Sorry but you missed my point. I’ll say it again. The responsibility is on the parents choose the right yeshiva for their children. If it is not working out the parents have to fix it. Why are putting children in a yeshiva that is not for them and then telling that yeshiva to change???

        Lets wake up and shoulder our responsibility and not blame others.

        • I did not miss your point. At the yeshiva level we are discussing, there is no moral basis for specialty yeshivos. There are a myriad of reasons for yeshiva choice. The restrictiveness that is utilized by many is not a Torah concept at all, and it is blasphemous to reject potential talmidim for these irrelevant reasons. By Matan Torah, HKB”H did not reject anyone. We all said Naaseh Venishma together, but what we were mekabel was not identical. Each did so according to his own madreigoh. For yeshivos to create a new paradigm that has zero basis in Torah is not okay. The only justifiable reason to reject a talmid is because there is no space. Oh, there are those talmidim that have special needs. If schools cannot provide the needed services, that is a good reason to not allow registration. Otherwise, the trend is for yeshivos to compete for the reputation of the greatest students. That is precisely what Rav Shteinman called “Gaavah”. When the selection of students is about the image of the yeshiva, not the needs of the student, we have a non-Torah based process. Where is the achdus that enables Kabolas haTorah?

      • All I can say is, there are plenty of yeshivas for all types of kids across all lines. if a kid is jumpy and can’t learn all day there is plenty of resources out there. its not perfect but its out there. So this constant message that we hear how our system is failed, is not really true. I don’t really Buy Avi’s view.

        Here is what is missing. People who are out there to help nebacheals. Name one yeshiva / askan that takes on “good learners” or seemingly good learners who are social misfits. Yes I mean maybe yeshvish kids who are not OTD yet depressed or misfits. (They often end up OTD bec of it). People not in style or cool to help. It’s easy to help the cool OTD kid (or waterbery kid) with a slick hair style and fun personality. But what about the misfits? Name one mosdod out there to help them?

        Till you guys address that and you are not really being honest nor caring of all jews

        .Yes this is my pet peeve because I find most of this talk all from a bunch of fakers who don’t really care about every jew and ignore the uncomfortable acts of chesed.

      • “holiest” ? In fact not a single Gadol was produced in the USA in the Last 50 years. None. The Gedolim were from Europa. Some went to public Schools. Some are in Israel. None went to USA Yeshivos. R. Moshe, R Yakov, R Aron were all from the alte haim. The reality is that this is a Trefene Medinie as all Godajlim said before the war and now we see the results. 50 years of Lakewood , and not a single World class Talmid Chochem . (They had to bring from Europe) A shande.

    5. I’m in my late 40’s and most of us were raised by mechanchim and/or parents who were ego driven so the change that has the happen will happen very very very slowly. Hopefully, there won’t be too many bodies.

    6. As a rebbi in a yeshiva ketana and a parent of a number of children who didn’t make it past mesivta, I can talk from experience. Rabbi Fishoff your heart is in the right place but I’ll tell you why nothing will change. First of all at what grade level do we tell a parent that your son doesn’t belong. Unless a child was diagnosed as learning disabled and he has to go to Ichud, ptach or Chush etc. not one parent will ever take their child out of a mainstream yeshiva ketana (Grades K – 8). The only plan for weaker children is to have a resource room, but there are problems with this too. Mr Fishoff are you going to start putting children into specialized yeshivos for mesivta. I can tell you from my experience this is where the biggest problems begin. Children who are accepted by a school that took them in because no one else wanted them feel like failures from the start. to be continued

    7. Another major problem that I saw with all my children was, when they went from a regular yeshiva to a level 2 mesivta there are two types. There are yeshivos that wanted to be a regular mesivta but along the way they got stuck with level two kids. Then you have Rebbeim that really want to help these kids they make a level 2 yeshiva but to run the programs that these kids require cost thousands of dollars. Tuition in some of these types of yeshivos are almost $30000. There are many children who manage to go through the system but at the end of the day, your child is friends with a level two kid and often it’s not a proper friendship. Then if your child makes it to a Bais medrish level you have the problem of finding jobs. There are those who give jobs to these kids. One of my sons was B”H very lucky he got hooked up with a good boss and now many years later he is successful but many others treat these kids like I’m doing you a favor and the kids end up going from one job to another. Hashem should help everyone should find success in all their endeavors.

      • You are correct about the costs. But, we are a community that has money for everything! Surely, the money can be found for our schools and our children. Every family has these children! Avi is saying, change the curriculum. Cut down on the insane hours that is turning off our kids. Not every child has the ability to learn Gemara. I was just asked if my son would go on medication to attend a beis medrash. No! He absolutely will never go back on ADHD meds. Change the curriculum! Bring out his beautiful midos and very frum heart. Find a way to show him how he can be a great Jew and raise another yiddeshe dor in klal Yisrael!

    8. I grew up in Boro Park BC ( Before Chasidim ). There was basically three choices, Etz Chaim, Toras Emes, and Beer Shmuel. Nobody frowned if the kids were out playing stickball or basketball, mixing from one yeshivas kids with another. It was a wonderful time, and I thank Rabbi Chafkin, rabbi Geldwerth, and Rabbi Wolf. Rabbi Schwartz, a lover of mussar, taught us all to respect other people, even the goyim, and encouraged Dr. Morris Mandel to try to get the most out of every child. Torah values were and are important, but we are not all cut from the same cloth, and someone needs to work to pay the bills.

      • I agree 100% with you since I was one of those kids with a disability from Beer Shmuel. I would loved to be in a specialized school but we didn’t have much choice in BP BC then.

    9. How will a society continue to exist with everybody a bench warmer?
      How will a society exist with men who sign a ketubah and fail to support their families?
      Avi Fishoff is correct in his assessment of the warped society as it now stands

    10. I had the misfortune of teaching in several yeshivot. The ONLY things that mattered was total conformity and rote learning 8+ hours a day. Dress alike, look alike, think alike. The yeshivot system is designed to produce the next generation of gedolim conformists, not thinkers who can think for themselves and function outside of the yeshiva system. That’s 1 % of 1 %. Everyone else must scramble to survive and somehow make a living. Its what you’d expect from a system created 400 years ago and unchanged since. If one yeshive tried to change the failing model the gedolim would heap scorn and ridicule on ir.

      • “The next generation of Gedojlim??” The USA Yeshivah system has not produced a single one ever. Stop your imagination and name the biggest Gedajlim worldwide in the last 100 years and you will realize none learned in the USA.

        • My point was not about how wonderful the water was back in the alter heim that treated us so well and always looked out for the best interests of Yiddishkeit. My point is that the yeshive system here and in Israel produces robots on an assembly line. If your boy is a good conforming robot he’ll move up in the syatem. 95% others struggle. How does that help the next generation besides making the current yeshivot rich and powerful?

    11. Some of these posters should perhaps go back to yeshiva and learn mesechta Baba Basra 21a. Our current educational system did not begin in some shtetel in Europe 100 years ago. It began at the end of the second bais hamikdash thanks to a person Yehoshua ben Gamla. see the whole gemara there.

      • just finished the blat. not one word about the morning seder or the hefker welt in ben hazmanim nisan av etc. stop the lies. this is a new shigas. the sanzer rov was against this etc. if it would be lshem somayim it would not have this issues. its a business and its failing. The father has a chijuv dayrajse to teach his son. not the rebi. its not working, never did. How many frumme yiden from the Lite you know? 98% off the derech. Its well known.

    12. Totally agree with Avi here. So many problems.

      To those commenting above true for boys there are more options available where parents can choose what is best for their child. What no one has pointed out is the girls schools there are not such many options. This is serious problems with the girls education system. I won’t even discuss the amount of homework these girls have.

      I also do not not like the system where a Godol today depends on your Yichus. What is the point of all this learning if your last name does not fit the special few?? You will never become a Gadol. Crazy!

    13. 25-30 years ago a chinuch asufa called by one of the geodilm Boro Park all the Chasdish Mosdes participated and the Chairman was a Menhal from one of the largest cheddars in Boro Park the topic was that there is a crises and unless the parents start teaching the children yires shamayim we will end up with future generations that will be O.T.D

      My sons went to the Cheder where the esteemed chairman was Menhal.
      When my oldest son was 8 years old he learned more than 1 amed gemera a week, and hardly knew the ivre never mind understand anything so i asked follow parents does your kid know the gemra the answer was a resounding no.

      I met with the menhal and asked why dont u learn less, and make sure they understand and feel how sweet and enlightening the torah is instead of them feeling depressed and hating the torah which in turn leads to no connection to torah & mitzvot, his answer i have 5 good students In every class (they had 3-5 parallel classes of 27-30 students) and the entire class learns how much they can handle and it is up to the rest of the class to chase them

      Unfortunately 25 30 years later students are less and less afraid to tell the menahel i have other options

    14. So to add my 2 cents… I learned ina very respectful chasidash high school that taught in a high level gemorah. I bring an A student attended this good Yeshivah. Ina class of 30 buchrim there was about 7 guys that excelled in the learning that we called “TOP” bucherim. And then the rest, me included where just average. Struggling to keep up. Reason being that this type of learning wasn’t my interest. And yes I got the message implanted that I’m average. Not an A student not the TOP. Years later Im learning now daf hayomi with tons of reshonim and I’m eating up every word and completing Iyh Shas in 2 years. I’m suddenly an A student. I’m the top guy. Reason being: I found my love of Toreh that I enjoy.i wish the school I attended Gabe me the option for this type of curriculum. Point being EVERY BOY CAN BE MADE FELT TOP STUDENT. IN A TOP SCHOOL. just make available different lemudim. Torah is so vast. Why are we only teaching this one and only mehalech. And either your good at it or not and then avaade you’ll be shvach. I hope I made my story clear.

    15. Rab Avi was not trying to bash the Yeshivas and he definitely did not intend a full Yeshiva bashing with this video, I think the message was that the yeshiva system will always have weaker boys and it’s their job to find ways to make them feel comfortable and accepted. Just because a boy may not be the smartest boy in learning doesn’t mean that he needs to feel like second class. The reality is that a boy who isn’t a excellent learner will feel like a failure and feel like he has no part in Klal Yisroel, we are hurting so many kids… There are hundreds of stories about the greatest Gedolim that were sensitive to every single bochur and made them feel accepted and wanted, Avi also sees first hand the pain that so many kids go through that want to do well but struggled a little, I know from experience that you can have quality learning and at the same time treat a weaker boy with dignity. And there would be nothing wrong with a Yeshiva having different levels of learning, the Menahalim can’t be afraid of ruining their name or the name of the school if they cater and love every single boy….

    16. What are the facts?

      We can’t be in denial of the facts.

      Kids going OTD are no longer a rarity, as it was, many years ago.

      Sadly, now it’s the new norm, happening in virtually every single Mishpacha, r.l.

      Ask around every single one of your freinds.

      I chalenge you to find me even just ONE familly in all of Klal Yisroel, who does not have at least one member in their immediate or extended Mishpacha, who is not yet OTD!

      If OTD was something very rare, you could blame it on parents perhaps. But if every single familly of all of Klal Yisroel, every single one is affected, how much worse must it get before we finally wake up and smell the coffee?

      Can anyone in the right mind, even imagine that each and every familly in all of Klal Yisroel, are all “bad parents”?

      Each and every one?
      You really think so?

      Where did each and every OTD child come from?

      What’s the common denominator?

      Yes you guessed right!

      Each and every OTD child came from the very same system!

      EVERY OTD child CAME FROM OUR Very Own YESHIVA SYSTEM!

      Is this epidemic a coincidence?

      What would the CDC say if masses of children, attending the very same school, masses of them, ALL get the exact same identicall sicknes?

      It has “nothing” to do with the school?

      Really?

      A mere coincidence?

      If you still really think so, then let me ask you, to change the question around, the opposit way:

      Suppose large numbers of those attending Harvard, masses tend to turn out to be the world brightest and the smartest, highest acheivers ?

      Is the Harvard outstanding performance, also a mere conicidence?

      Or is the product, which they produce,
      by design?

      Perhaps everyone coming our of Harvard is so great not because Harvard is a great school but because of the parents?

      Let’s not give credit to Harvard.

      It has nothing to do with Harvard.

      It’s only becsuse of “the parents”.

      You can’t have it both ways.

      If when huge numbers children are high acheivers, the school gets the credit?

      Then when huge numbers, students, “mysteriousrly”, they all trun out OTD and
      every other day the news media reports yet another frum suicide, (hushed up as an “accident”), the same schhol, must also get the very same “credit” for THE product which they produced.

      OTD is not a rare thing. It happens every single day, and this product is output by design, out of each and every Yeshiva, and affects each and every Mishpacha.

      It’s not a mystery.

      It’s not an accident

      When our Yeshiva succeeds, it does so by design, and likwise when it produces OTD and Suicide, its the exact same design and the credit falls on the exact same shouldets of this who run it.

      “It’s an ACCIDENT WAITING YO HAPPEN”

      We “hush up” all frum suicides.

      And we “hush up”, our shame, of the system which produces OTD by its very design.

      Take your head out of the sand.

      Wake up and smell the coffee.

      Don’t wait to give a sigh, at the Shiva Call of the frum suicide victim.

      We can no longer say
      ידינו לא שפחה את הדם הזה

      We all know the truth, but we hush it up, to not blame those who run our system which produces this product BY DESIGN!

      Let’s all make sure, that the upcoming Shabbaton for Mechanchim, will no longer pretend that “it’s not their problem”…..

      • You ask for facts but offer none.
        That every OTD kid came from our system is quite an obvious point. If they went OTD they were obviously once on it. Your logic does not identify a cause and does not provide any factual evidence backing up what you claim are the causes for this phenomena.

        • There are plenty of facts about the truth of a school system that excludes too many of our children. It has touched too many families and will surely touch yours too, in the near future. You will certainly understand it then. Don’t think this is the problem of the few. The fallout will be unbearable. The purpose of a Torah education is to ensure a new generation in klal yisrael — not a handful of metzuyonim who often are so lacking in other areas!

          • Nobody said OTD is not real. The point is that OTD has existed since the times of the first bais hamikdosh. The greatest rishonim had talmidim who went off the derech and so did children of many rabbonim in Europe. You claim to have facts but present none. You blame the system but have no facts to prove thay the system is the cause for this problem. If you bothered to speak to OTD kids you would be given many reasons as to why they went off. Rabbeim have a tremendous task trying to make shor shenogach es haporah relevant to a teenager. They have a huge task of making repetitive and lengthy tefilos intresting to the youth. Recognize the challenge instead of belittling others and be tiftach peh lsatan. Perhaps looking inward instead of casting blame on others will help bring those OTD in your family back to the fold.

      • You are wrong, who said you can’t have both in one system, our mosdos Don’t produce only OTD children, the most successful people in our community also come from that same “system” so obviously the system isn’t failing us, find another community that produces such a high unproportionet level of wealth, professionals, highly successful businesses in the multi millions of dollars, in proportions not seen anyware, all from our mosdos, our mosdos creates in percentage much more success then in any community (and that’s without teaching basic English, but let’s not go there), so I’m not sure where we are failing.
        What Avi is saying is only that we don’t bring out the most potential from every single student, now that might be true but to say that the whole system is failing that is definitely not the case.

      • What you are saying is very nice but not to the point. Your comparison to Harvard just proves it. If there was a yeshiva where many boys were going OTD then you have a point. But you are saying there are many families where kids are OTD, so the issue seems to be from the families. If a family sends 5 of their sons to a particular yeshiva and 1 goes OTD, you say blame the yeshiva – even though 4 didn’t.
        If we look at the yeshivas they don’t have a 90% failure rate, they have a 90% success rate. The question is what to do with the 10%. The answer is defiantly not to change the yeshiva. The answer should be to come up with a plan to help the 10%. Instead we are are sitting around doing nothing but blaming the yeshivas.
        Get up and do something! It is very easy to throw the blame on others but that won’t help those who are suffering. If there are children who are sick and their doctor can’t help them, will you leave them under his care and just blame him for not being a doctor who can cure every single patient? No! Will you tell him to change his practice to cater only to them? NO! You will get up and find a doctor who can cure them.
        Get up and find the solution!

        • 90% success? What’s your criteria? Even the best yeshivos, the exclusive and restrictive ones don’t claim that. Success is not the performance of the yeshiva, at all. Many Roshei Yeshiva scarcely know their talmidim. The expect and accept Sidur Kidushin at their weddings, while barely knowing their names. Do all or any of these talmidim emerge as Gedolim?

          Guiding each bochur to progress and excel according to his own capabilities and potential is the Torah mandate, as in חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. Does anyone actually do that? Our Roshei Yeshivos must know each talmid well enough to guide them towards the career that maximizes their potential. Some belong in full time kollel, others in advanced education, others in business, etc. The fantasy that one locks everyone into a predetermined mold is a colossal failure. That is a huge problem, and it needs to change because the Torah itself says it is not the proper derech of chinuch. That’s OTD.

          Parents generally have fewer children in the family than a classroom, and they are of different ages. They tend not to cookie cut their kids, though can also err and mismatch their parenting to the individual. That’s OTD.

          • Thanks for proving my point. Success means the child graduates yeshiva as a proper mentch and G-D fearing Jew. Success does not mean the biggest masmid or biggest lamdin. Yes 90% do graduate as a success.

            We are the ones painting the yeshivas wrong. I know many yeshivas and while they would like that all their graduates become a gadol beyisroel, they do not force them to. They also don’t consider them familiars if they don’t. If a boy goes through the system, conforms to the system, puts forth his best effort, and his parents are on the same page – he will succeed and he will not feel like a failure.

            I will say it again – stop blaming the yeshivas. It is our responsibility to make it work out. If there is a problem WE have to fix it.

    17. It’s the same mistake in almost every Yeshiva.

      Picture a class of 30 students.

      Teacher gives a test

      How many do you think will get a 100 on the test?

      How many will get a 70

      And how many do you think will get a failing mark?

      Those who are not at the top of the class, will always be the majority.

      Only a small minority will get 100 on the test.

      The majority who get lower marks or failing marks, don’t get that because they aRe “not so smart”. They don’t need “a different school”. A different school would be the same failed system only at a different address.

      The non-high acheivers ate not stupid, they just don’t feel turned on by a system, whete management doesn’t care about the heart of the child, only about the ego of the school to show off how smart their fop students are.

      The children didalusioned by Yiddishkeit are not the stupid kids. They are the smart ones.

      Only the smart ones, see right through the mere ego of the system management, selling them a mythic pie in the sky to become a so called “godol”.

      Why would anyone want to pursue a goal to be a so calked “Godol”?

      Besides the fact that it’s not even realistically possible, that every student of 1000 students in school become “godol”.

      In truth not even 1 in a 1000 will be, so they are selling them a lie which can never happen.

      But even if it could be, it’s all for the EGO to be called BIG

      What registers in a child’s mind.

      My teacher doesn’t care about Hashem that I should grow up to be a frum Yid.

      My teacher cares only to feed his ego and my ego.

      So what does the child walk away with?

      Hashem? Yiddishkeit? Being a Yid?

      No
      My teacher taught me very well.

      My goal in life is to feed my ego.

      As an OTD I can get a much more realistic much bigger ego.

      And if I can’t?
      Then I can get off at the next highway EXIT.

      The next Exit is Suicide.

    18. It’s always easy to blame the system. It’s much harder to create a better one. There is nothing really brave about calling out others. Try making something better if you can. The reality is that there are many successes in the system and there are also failures. Failures come about for many reasons and it is simplistic and wrong to blame it all on “the system”. For what it’s worth the yeshiva I attended never referred to “grubbe balle batim” neither did the Yeshivos that my kids attended. The reality is that schools and Yeshivos are academic institutions and that includes an emphasis on classwork, tests and academic pursuits. However, to claim that it is one size fits all is pure nonsense as anyone who is aware of what has transpired in schools and yeshivas over the past decade or two is well aware of the incorporation of differentiated learning and the plethora of therapists, counselors and social workers that are now employed by almost all frum schools to help those that struggle succeed.

      • The plethora of therapists, counselors and social workers that you are referring to is just another way of milking the system, with very little to show for it, but everyone is happy because money is being made, and at the same time it seems like you are doing something, and the parents go along as long as it is done without much fanfare they will go along.

        Rav Shmelke Leifer (he should have a Refiah Shlima) was a successful Diamond Merchant 30 years ago who at that time had no children and was appalled at what was going on in the mosdos

        He said when a potato falls into mud you discard it, “But a Diamond if it falls in to mud you Wash it off and it is back to its previous luster” the same is with a yeshiva boucher who is struggling.

        He opened a Mesivta for boys that were not doing well in regular Mesivtas he played ball took them on trips and without therapists, counselors and social workers his talmidim graduated in no less of a % (maybe even more) of well adjusted serious baalei batim Magadi shuraim and dayinim.

        Unfortunately he wasn’t supported Financially by the community he had to close twice for lack of funds he is a broken man today because he could not save more kids

    19. Avi has been so helpful in everything he teaches. He never encourged us to blame or get bogged down with what is wrong. The whole focus is what can we do to help now. Things can change and get better if we have emunah and follow the teachings of our Rebbeim and Tzadikim who had true Ahavas Yisroel. Ask the parent who avail themselves of Avi’s advice. Their kids do get better. If everyone, parents, mechanchim and menahalim take Avi’s workshop we will be in a much better place. Each child is precious. We can’t let any be thrown out on the streets. Its up to parents and schools to take responsibility. Not one or the other it has to be both to work well.

    20. The Yeshiva system today stinks stinks !!!
      From every class there is 3-4 kids who are interested in the deep kind of learning all other kids don’t know what’s flying …..
      When will the גדולים stop with the BS of smart phones again and smart phones again ? Or if the skirt of the women is a inch to short ….STOP being busy with SHTUSIM….. and let all the big RABBIS get together and start making change in the way we learn in Yeshiva ….. the TORAH can be sooooo sweet if u package it in a way that the average and Weaker kids can enjoy it …. why not learn CHUMISH ??? Isn’t there enough מדרש to make it interested ??? Why not learn משניות ??? Wouldn’t the boys feel accomplished by finishing מסכת after מסכת ??? Why not focus on הלכה ??…. so many kids ( 98 percent ) have no clue !!! No clue how to doven with הלכה …..clueless when to take out there 4 ציציות….. isn’t הלכת שבת big enough ??? These kind of learning will make the boys RUN out of bed with out an alarm clock …. no one will have to wake them up !!! Listen CLEAR “ NO NO “ boy today’s days enjoy learning 3-4 BLOT a week ….. those days are gone gone ….. and the side affect of these kids is …. the second they don’t feel satisfaction from the corrupted type of learning they automatic run to SHMUTZ that is sooooo easy today’s days to find ….. and who can blame them ???? Yes your child ( even u think nah nah my child ???) yes your child has a hidden smart phone where he watches dirty clips when u are fast asleep !!! Ladies and gentlemen wake up and smell the PROBLEM

    21. Again all you guys keep on harping about OTD and ‘at risk ‘ kids. What about kids who are not cool yet from troubled upbringings? Its cool to help a kid who is OTD and fun. Do you guys know how many are out there who are yesomim, kids from divorced homes etc.. who are socially awkaward often due to their upbringing, maybe a bit unkempt?

      Why is everyone ignroign that issue? name one askan willing to help out those kids? Why is an OTD’s kid blood more red than a nebach smelly yosom? And FYI the OTD kids read thru it too. We have to start treating all kids equal. Don’t snob out nebachales.

    22. So if a kid dislikes fasting six times a year, likes to hang out with girls like any other teenager in the world, and finds watching movies more exciting than gemara it is all the fault of “the system”. Get real and stop the nonsensical belief that teachers are responsible for every bad decision that a kid or adult makes. Our teachers should be lauded for all those that they inspire to overcome temptation and lead a true life of avodas Hashem.

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