Picking a Sem

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Post  Sun, Jun 11 2006, 4:47 am
Ok. I'm looking into sem for my sister this year. I'm pretty much looking at the michlalet esther-sharfmans-afikei torah range. I'm trying to understand the diff bet the 3 as I'm petrified of making a wrong decision. Yes, I will ask a shaila but want info from other woman who've gone and have friends that went. neither my friends nor I actually went to sem in israel so I don't know who to ask. I went on frumteens but didn't like the info there (seemed very imaturish and unhelpful). I'm very confused as to what to do. Any info at all will help. I've also heard of ateret but don't know anything about it. I need info on frumkeit of girls, academic levels, how involved in boys they are, what the school policy is on boys and freedom of time and general hashkafa.
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Post  Thu, Jun 29 2006, 1:52 pm
I didn't go to any of those, though I have friends that either went or I have spoken to people there. From what I undersand the hanhala is pretty good in all 3. In afikei the girls are more frum to begin with. Michlelet esther has girls ranging from almost "off the derech" to girls who became frum through NCSY and are real "shtark.". Sharfmans from what I understand does not put a lot of stress on textual learning, but most peopel I know who went there very much enjoyed it. And michlelet esther definitely puts more emphasis on more textual learning, but many girls come with minimal (and I mean minimal!) abilities. Now, that I think about it I am not exactly sure how to answer it....can you describe your sister maybe a little bit? I don't really know the schools that well, but another thing you may want to think about is dorm life. For example, whereas ME and Afikei have dorms, sharfmans has apartmetments and gives no food. ME gives all 3 meals while Afikei gives one. One more thing Very Happy , I don't know where you are located, but you may want to call the schools themselves and hear what they have to say about them and/or visit them, visit a few classes, teachers, etc.
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Post  Thu, Jun 29 2006, 2:56 pm
reading your title I was kind of laughing. In my circles, sems pick you 9if you're lucky). Exploding anger Exploding anger Exploding anger
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Post  Thu, Jun 29 2006, 3:12 pm
Secbeb wrote:
reading your title I was kind of laughing. In my circles, sems pick you 9if you're lucky). Exploding anger Exploding anger Exploding anger

lol - very true.

I went to Afikei Torah and I loved it - they had all the teachers that you've "heard of" in Israel - the best of the best. It was a very warm place and they really cared about the girls because it was a big smaller (might be bigger now I went when it was in its second year). More individual attention. The classes were amazing and it wasn't as academically challenging as in some other schools which was just fine with me. I didn't want the pressure of getting good marks - I was there because I wanted to be there - I learned because I loved my classes and the teachers. I think it was Bais Yaacovy in theory - like all the teachers had that mindset - but even though some girls went to BJ for high school -not all did - so the teachers were very aware that the girls come from all different backgrounds and were very tolerant and happy to answer questions etc - which most teachers in BJ schools are not happy to answer.
Although there were girls that talked to boys etc - it was a very small minority - and definately not tolerated.
There are about 10 -11 girls to every apartment and you have a kitchen and everything to prepare the meals that they dont give you. (they only gave supper) and once girls start gaining weight Very Happy they start to make all their own meals.
I had a great time - got very close to the girls in my apt and personally was not interested in running after boys. I think in Michlelet Esther you will find more girls who are into guys and not from very yeshivish backgrounds- and as a previous poster said - some who are becoming more frum and need a place like that to grow. Sharfmans also had a wide range of girls. They all have great teachers and pros and cons. PM me if you want more info.
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