of November, schools start to bring seminary into talk. Signs for open houses, seminary meetings, option nights are posted everywhere. Option night is an assigned night for all twelfth graders along with their parents to attend. What goes on this night is that one representative from each seminary speak. They speak about the seminary they attended send describe their own personal experience with that seminary. They give the audience a feel of the seminary. Students and parents go home with a lot of confusion. Which seminary is my daughters type? Which one will she do well in? so many difficult questions arise. This turns into stress. In my opinion if they speak about Brooklyn seminaries and not hide it in the sand, it would change plenty of parents minds, and make the decision an easier one. Seminary advisors send out notes to set up a meeting with each individual student along with their parents. The goal of this meeting is to help make the right decision for the girl and what is best for her. The seminary advisor takes out a list of all seminaries, and goes through each one individually. She tries cutting down the seminaries that are not the right fit for the student.
This minimizes their selection and makes it easier for the girl and the family to choose what is best for each individual girl. The seminary adviser that is assigned to each girl does help many girls, but I think they are mainly focusing on the Israel part and barely mentioning staying home. Peer pressure at this point is above indescribable. Girls that dont really want to go and would be okay in Brooklyn are feeling that pressure, my friends are going therefore I should go. I went through this myself. I didnt want to feel like that loner thats giving away the opportunity, and going to stay home alone. Seminary in Brooklyn is definitely not being discussed as much as it should be. It should be equally advertised as Israel is. I feel this system should be changed. Schools should cut down on the pushing girls to go to Israel. and start focusing on the superb seminaries we have here in the United States. Ive interviewed friends of mine whom experienced the Israel seminary program along with those who have stayed in Brooklyn seminaries. Debra was in Darchei Bina for a year. She had a grand year.
The one word she used to describe her experience was indescribable she had no words to describe her experience. I asked her what she gained from that year and why she would encourage Israel seminary. She answered me back one word friendship, thats the highlight of my year. I told her to explain and elaborate on what she meant by that. She said the friendships she made within those ten months of her life she will always cherish forever. She became closer to girls in 10 months, than she as with her friends back home that she was with for years. I asked how such a thing is possible. She replied briefly seminary is a time period where a girl is mature and knows what and who she is in life, and what she wants to perceived as in the future. She knows what type of friends are good for her and which girls will help her and be the person she wants to be in the future, you find those few friends who will stay with you forever. Debra is already four years out of seminary. Her closest friends she made that year live in London and Chicago. They speak every night and visit each other on occasion.
She brought up a good point because in higschool you move from friend to friend because nobody is stable yet. I personally say that you can find those same friends in Brooklyn seminaries. It will definitely take longer to bond but at the end of the day you will find that. It will take longer since youre not together 24-7. Youre together for a couple of hours a day. Debra brought up a fantastic point; some girls need that quick friendship process that brings everlasting friendships. Not everyone needs that and not everyone gains such friendships in Israel, its not guaranteed. Another friend of mine, Michal who attended seminar told me about her experience. Michal focus and reason to go was to gain independence. I used to be that girl that needed mommy for everything, whether it was driving me places, going shopping, or even making my bed. After a year of completing the seminary stage in her life she said she is no longer that same old Michal anymore.
Shes more independent than anyone else can be. Without that one year of Israel I wouldnt be who I am today, I would be a mommys girl that nobody appreciates. For her it was the best move of her life. Girls who need that sense and feel of living on your own and become independent, Israel may be a success. Some girls do need that. Doing laundry on your, cleaning, folding, taking care of shabbos meals, basically doing everything without mommy. On the other hand she shares the negative part of her experience.
She is used to a cozy comfortable life. Her clean room, her clean spotless house. She had a very hard time adjusting to this big switch. She said everything in seminary is flying, its ugly. She believes a girl should know what she is coming to before she registers for seminary. Its not something a person should jump into, if youre that type of clean person, think twice before coming. This was difficult for her but she kept telling herself Im here for the right reason, to gain independence, therefore I will live with this. If a girl doesnt have the right reasons to come, I believe she should stay in Brooklyn seminary. I enjoyed interviewing Michal. What she said really touched me. It did bring a valid point that girls should be aware of.
Mrs. Edery, a parent of a twelfth grader explains as follows. Its so unfair and unnecessary to us the parents to spend so much money on seminary in Israel, its a burden these schools are putting on us it seems like they dont realize whats going on in this economy. She said plenty of parents cannot afford it financially but feel the pressure to take every penny and even loans to send their daughters. She does not understand whats wrong the seminaries here that they are not being enforced. Im on the same boat as Mrs. Edery. If seminary in Israel is so important and they feel everyone is obligated to go, they should cut down tuition fee. There are scholarship programs that some families are qualified for. Even with that help its difficult.
Chevy, who was recently a kallah, tried giving over her point of view regarding isreal. She brought up an excellent point that many people only realize once they get back from Israel. Free time in Israel can lead to bad and downfall of a person. When youre free and bored you look for bad, thats nature of a person. This defeats the whole purpose of growing in Israel. Most parents are naive and tend to throw this right over their head while theyre figuring out the seminary for their daughter. If parents knew what goes on there at certain hours, certain places, they wouldnt even think twice to send their daughters there I was actually in Israel a couple of weeks ago and I was astonished by what goes on. Bis Yaakov girls hanging around because there are no night classes certain nights.
These seminaries are trying to do well but they are missing an important point. Every parent wants only good for their child, in my7 opinion they should go check out the scene there before sending their child. In Brooklyn a girl has parents watching her and controlling her. This saves her from falling most of the time. A person has to be extremely strong and know their limits if theyre planning on spending the year in the holy land. Mrs. Fink, a seminary advisor in Prospect Park agrees with this free time issue. She says people sometimes get this wrong. They think theyre entering a place with kedusha and its going to stop them from doing bad. Thats not true, because if a person wants to do bad he will find his way. So you really have to know yourself ad beware of this. Boys are sent off to Israel and they hang out on the streets that are a danger for girls. She also explains how Israel is amazing because you focus on limudei kodesh and spiritually a whole day.
This is a watering the seed of a person to grow. But in Brooklyn its just a couple hours of the day and the rest is secular studies. Its a big expense; some families financially cant afford it so the child has to understand accept this matter. some families need that extra 20,000 dollars for the Childs wedding, instead of spending it on seminary after seminary the girl iyh is ready to get married and the chatuna is a big expense, so seminary expense should be cut down. Another reason Mrs. Fink thinks a girl should stay home, Shabbat placing. Although seminaries make sure you have a place for Shabbat, its not always that homey atmosphere a child needs. Girls are sent to random families they dont know, how can parents let such? Its hard for some girl not to be in their own home, in the atmosphere they are used to for Shabbat.
One of my cousins, Leora, went to BYA maalot here in Brooklyn, NY. Main reason why people go to seminary is to grow, and they think that can only happen in Israel, but here I am proving them wrong She grew tremendously, great hashgafa and great teachers. She met a lot of new girls and built real true friendships with them. All my friends went to 9sreal, I felt left out at first but after gaining so much I realized how lucky I am to attend seminary near home. She said it was really convenient instead of sleeping in a dirty dorm room she was able to sleep in her own house and bed and even go to seminary!!!! Some girls think they wont grow by staying in Brooklyn. Its because our schools arent discussing and bringing girls in whom had great and meaningful experiences here. I wish I was able to repeat seminary in Brooklyn again Leora is already 2 years out of seminary and still values every moment of her attendance to BYA maalot. Marlene, a friend of mine whom also stayed in Brooklyn agrees with my cousin Leora. She attended Machon in Boro Park.
The teachers were role models, their hashgafa was amazing, I wanted to grow and gain some more torah knowledge before entering the next stage in my life, and yet I did. Marlene fell into peer pressure and did apply to seminary in Israel. Her sister veevee, who went to Israel a couple years before convinced her not to go. Veevee went for the wrong reasons, peer pressure. She saw what it was like and returned home after a couple of months and attended seminary in Boro Park mid November. She didnt feel the obligation to be in Israel when she was able to be home and gain the same thing. Therefore she told Marlene the truth that its a fashion statement to go to Israel. You want to grow, you can even grow in Brooklyn, and it doesnt say in the torah that growing only works in Israel. I strongly agree with this, its something important that should be taken into concern. A downside about Israel seminary from my point of view is brainwash. I see it with my own eyes, m=when my friends come back from seminary in Israel they are totally different.
The ones that become frumer are brainwashed for six months then theyre back to themselves how they were before leaving to seminary. I see this with all my friends that went to seminary and grew for the better. It stops the girls from dating right away, they have to wait till that brainwash is washed away, or else this can be dangerous. As opposed to the ones that stayed in Brooklyn, Ive never came across such incidents. Some girls do need Israel. Some girls need the experience for the right reason. Its a big decision that needs a lot of thought out in to it. Parents and schools should put Brooklyn seminaries on their list too and set aside time to look into it. No question there are many people whom go to Israel to study but thank god we are blessed to have fine seminaries here in Brooklyn, NY that a girl can grow spiritually and gain similar benefits. In my opinion this whole Israel business is a trend and everyone feels the need to stay in fashion and be in style. The fact that schools arent focusing on Brooklyn seminaries it makes this concept a tougher decision then it really should be.