After having numerous conversations with various individuals who are allegedly ‘in the know’ , or at least vehemently claim to be, I have gleaned a lot of useful tips and helpful information. I feel it might be beneficial to share this with my readers , or at least that’s my aspirations.
When a couple gets married, they should immediately start looking into the various schools. Observe the parent-body of an institution, ascertain what is the school’s objective, what values do they espouse. Make discreet inquiries as to what the hanhala of the school finds most desirable in its talmidim/talmidot., as well as it’s parent-body. Once, you feel that a particular mosdos might be a good fit for your family-to-be, it behooves you to make the acquaintance of the principles, and if at all possible, the owners of the school. Obviously, common sense dictates that you be as low-key about this as possible. Develop a strong positive relationship with them, they will be invaluable to your network down the road..
Lakewood, as a community, has one of the highest growth rates in the frum world. For many various reasons, the schools can never seem to keep up with constant demand. As a result, every year, virtually every school, has 20-30 seats, that 100 or more children are competing for. Unfortunately, a vast majority of parents find out after its too late, that the decision-makers in almost all the schools , are most favorably inclined to people who made the effort to develop an amiable relationship with them over the years, as opposed to total strangers. I wonder why…
Possibly, there should be an official mentor, who is affiliated with the yeshiva, teaching the chasanim, this every zman. The sad truth is that they feel this isn’t their responsibility. It would be nice if this was officially discussed in the Seminaries, especially to those girls, who have no family in Lakewood and are blissfully of the realities of life here. Once, again for whatever reason, its not..
When your children are first starting out and you are picking a school; make serious inquiries and a ‘hesbon hanefesh’ . Am I picking this school for myself , for the status or image you perceive the school has, , or is this the place that you feel is the best environment for your child to grow in Middos , Torah-values, and Yiras Shomayim.
Discuss this with a Rov you are comfortable with, and get Daas Torah . All too often, the fit is completely skewed and the parents refuse to admit it.
Case in point, a father comes to an interview in a blue shirt and beige pants, and very stridently claims , he is ‘real’ in his Avodas Hashem. He isn’t like all the fakers and frauds that the schools are catering to. While this may or may not be true, REAL WORLD : This ‘real’ father would probably be better off getting together with other like-minded ‘real’ parents and starting their own ‘real’ school. Don’t needlessly sabotage things for yourself and your family and then cry about it to the Vaad.
There is a well-known ruthless school-owner who fancies himself to be Hashem, r”l. His school only takes siblings, so there are only about a half a dozens slots available every year. These spots go the gvirim and their friends. But Shlomo HaMelech already taught us that. (Cesef Yaavor es HaKol)….
How much more so is this true in an inept bankrupt town , where very few parents can afford to pay full tuition. Nevertheless, he likes to tease and torment the rest of us mere mortals with these available places in his schools for his own sadistic amusement.
So, be forewarned , if you inquire about getting a child into one of his schools and he says, ‘I’ll think about it’ … This is code for ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’ ..
Which brings us to the next yesod …COMPROMISE… Sometimes, despite the fact that there is nothing wrong with you or your family, you will still be rejected..
KA”H, the population is rapidly growing and outpacing the amount of viable schools , so it’s an extremely competitive atmosphere.
Always be open-minded enough to consider a new mosdos that may meet your needs and more perspicaciously your child’s needs. Often, you will be favorably surprised..