Following the article on Anash.org on tuition cuts offered by Chabad yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, parents and yeshiva administrators reached out to tell about diverse opinions of American yeshivos on the matter.
By Anash.org reporter
Yeshivos across the world have long been shut, and the bochurim sent home. Attempting to keep a semblance of the rigid yeshiva schedule, classes were set up on Zoom or telephone. But with dorms and kitchens closed, the expenses of running an institution is cut by a significant percentage. Will those savings be passed on to the parents?
A previous article on Anash.org discussing tuition cuts in Israeli yeshivos received wide coverage and parents and hanhala from USA yeshivos reached out to share their experiences.
Rabbi Mendy Spalter, administrator of Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in Los Angeles, told Anash.org that all parents were offered a cut, and more significant discount were offered for those who need it.
“We sent out an email to all parents saying that they can receive a refund on the room and board for the months of May and June,” Rabbi Spalter said. “All they had to do was send back an email or give a short phone call.”
In addition, any parent having financial problems connected to COVID-19 could reach out to the office for additional discounts. “We are working with any parent who needs a financial break,” he said.
Rabbi Spalter said he had been contacted by yeshivos who had heard of YOEC’s plan. After hearing the details, they said they would implement similar discounts.
Other yeshivas have offered discounts as well. Parents told Anash.org that the Mesivta in Pittsburgh had refunded room and board, and the Detroit Yeshiva also sent out an email about discounts.
Not all yeshivos agreed, however. One Mesivta sent out an email to parents saying that they would be doing a cost analysis, but not offering any discounts at the moment.
“In regards to personal financial hardships, we will continue to work with parents who reach out to me individually, as I have done for the past years,” the email said.
“However, it is important for everyone to know and understand these important facts,” the email continued before laying out points why expenses essentially stayed the same.
“All our staff continue to be on payroll. We have kept the kitchen staff and our kitchen running to provide meals for the Hanhala families and all our older Bochurim and dorm counselors are continuing to work as support staff to the married teachers,” they said.
“All expenses of our many facilities such as mortgages, insurance, utilities etc. etc. still exist as they have before. We continue to employ our maintenance staff, using them for many long awaited projects,” they said.
They also noted that a large portion of their budget came from fundraising, which has been severely curtailed at the moment.