Bringing Down Girls for Shlichus? Here are Five Tips

After spending her own time on shlichus, a post-seminary girl writes five tips for shluchim who are looking to hire girls for the upcoming year, and for the girls they hire.

Written by A (Slightly) Burnt Out Post-Sem Girl

With the new year just ahead, many are thinking of how to make this year a meaningful and rich experience. One post-seminary girl who returned from working for shluchim, put together a list of tips for shluchim who are hiring girls to know how best to treat them.

One: Make a proper contract. Before going, make a contract and appoint an intermediary that you both trust, to be available if a situation arises where one party needs an advocate. The contract should contain the agreement regarding the responsibilities of the girl being brought down, her payment, living accommodations, and the standards of yiddishkeit and chassidishkeit you expect her to adhere to. The contract should be agreed upon and signed by both parties, and can be adjusted if necessary.

If there are additional things that need to be done at a certain time, you can ask the girls for help but should always leave them a respectful amount of space and not expect them to say yes or always be available.

Crushing and overloading girls with extra work makes it difficult for them to do the actual job on the contract. If you sees there is an overload of work that needs to be done, it is appropriate to hire more people, not just dump it on the teachers and shluchos who come because they are there already.

Two: Make them feel welcome and appreciated. These girls are young and it is likely their first experience having a job; treat them properly and they will respond in kind. The shlucha can make sure to check in on them periodically and see how they are acclimating to the new environment, and make sure they have everything they need.

Small gestures of warmth and kindness go a long way. Things like setting up their apartment with food before they arrive, giving them time to settle in before starting them working, and giving small gifts for Chanukah, or after big events where they worked really hard, makes them feel seen and appreciated.

Three: Have in-person meetings. The best way to clearly plan out what needs to be done is in person. Set aside a set time to meet and go over the upcoming schedule of events. Phone calls and texts are distracting, especially when they are conducted in the middle of taking care of multiple other things at the same time,

Lots of miscommunications and dysfunctions can be avoided with proper meetings and clear communication. When the girls know what’s happening in advance, they know what to expect, what they need to do, and can do their job properly.

Four: Be sensitive and appropriate. You are dealing with young women. Be mindful of the relationship the girls are expected to have with the shliach and the shlucha. Some things will make girls uncomfortable, and having to deal closely with the Rabbi can also be inappropriate in certain circumstances. Be in touch with a mashpia regarding the individual questions you may have regarding your particular situation.

Five: Invest in your future. Lastly, the way you treat your girls this year is an investment in the quality of girls that will be willing to come the next year and every year into the future. Girls share their experiences with friends and the best way to ensure you keep having the great staff that you want, is by treating the ones you have now properly and with respect.

Build a reputation as a fair, kind, and thoughtful employer and girls will be calling you up to come, rather then you having to frantically search each year.

Wishing you much Hatzlocha and Brocha in the coming year, and much success in your shlichus!

Feel free to contact us for any guidance or questions at [email protected]

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  1. Great article!
    I’d imagine much of what was written here applies when bringing down bochurim and even new shluchim to work under you. The principle of going out one’s הגבלות one should apply to oneself, not to someone else

  2. Thank you for writing this clear guided, thought out article. Each one of these important points are valid even crucial for a successful year…..

    1. I have 5 daughters who have all gone on shlichus and yes all these issues and more could’ve been prevented by this info. Thank you.

  3. With all due respect, this appears to be a misguided venting. Certainly, every shliach (person!) should take care to treat all their employees and partners with respect. This op-ed is formulated as a list of demands which certainly doesn’t take into account other things the shliach may do.

    To quote another comment “The principle of going out one’s הגבלות one should apply to oneself, not to someone else.” This applies equally to the girls/bochurim going to help a shliach.

    Expecting gifts? I am sure they would be appreciated – but precisely because they aren’t expected!

    A proper contract is a wonderful idea, but the implication is that anything not explicitly agreed upon is too demanding. Perhaps gifts should be included in the contract as well? Obviously that is ridiculous on its face. And appointing an intermediary? That is certainly excessive for a short-term, temporary position.

    In person meetings can be immensely valuable at times – but it is widely agreed (in the “working” world) that they are usually a tremendous waste of time and resources with few clear benefits. Shluchim have very limited resources already, asking them to spend more seems unwise.

    Of course the last two are no-brainers – although the last is a thinly veiled threat.

    What is left out, however, is what the shluchim *do*. How much effort did they put into feeding, housing, etc? Were the shluchims efforts appreciated? Rememeber, this is a *shlichus*, not a glitzy internship in a multi-million dollar corporation. The shluchim are putting in their heart and soul, and if they occasionally don’t provide the high level of comfort the girls are accustomed to, perhaps the soul-searching needs to be on the part of the young people?

    Frankly, yes, one should research a makom hashlichus before accepting an opportunity, and, yes, that might include how much they spend on chanukah gifts. If what you hear is not what you expect, you will probably both be better off not engaging.

    If there are issues during the year, make an effort to figure it out. You are an adult, and just as you expect to be treated as such, behave that way as well.

    Shlichus is an incredible opportunity and privilege that the Rebbe has given us, and not always is it as glamorous as it sounds.

    Most importantly, if you have constructive feedback, find a way to provide it to the shluchim directly (or if necessary through an intermediary). Don’t resort to backhandedly slandering hundreds of hard-working and dedicated shluchim when a therapist would be a better recourse.

    1. However, the author does identify as a burnt out post sem girl, so it’s not like we expected the most mature content here

    2. Very true, but that’s another thing that you could make a article for *5 tips for the Girls* (That they should appreciate the Shlucim buy them gifts…), But this one is not for the girls it’s for the Shluchim… And No they do NOT mean any harm C”V rather, sometimes due to the fact that the dedicated Shluchim are working so hard they may tend to forget the needs and psychological care those under them need, & that’s why the author who is writing this is not demanding [or threatening] as that would be counter productive and would not help with the point of the that’s trying to be brought out….

    3. To be honest, it’s posts like yours that continue the abuse (yes, abuse) and emotional manipulation of our young unmarried daughters and sons who help out on shlichus.

      As someone who has been burnt by a shliach (more than once!), contracts are an absolute must– and if you don’t think that they need one then I have a bridge to sell you. I’ll be the first to say that if a shliach refuses to give you a contract, run. Fast!

      And yes, I am on shlichus. These are YOUNG ADULTS that we’re talking about! Diamonds from HKBH, that we have the precious opportunity to show what a beautiful, well-rounded shlichus looks like. And that starts in the home of the shliach, treating these young adults like real people, taking the time to meet with them and help them grow, caring for them like one of the family.

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