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Wives of rebbes: an honest answer please!
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amother




Brunette


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 8:55 am
When my kids started going to cheder I asked around what to do. I was told that I can give Purim and Chanuka, either one or both. The only time I heard of tipping every Rosh Chodesh and at PTA was if the rebbe was a terrible rebbe and there was no other option like switching classes, then a tip to the rebbe every once in a while was meant to bribe him to be nice to the kid or if the boy was not a well behaved child, the rebbe should have patience to deal with him or if the kid was slow, to have more patience than the others. So when I hear of someone tipping the rebbe so often I wonder why.
I only tip on purim and the most each rebbe gets is $35. That's what I can afford at this point in time. $35 times a few rebbes and teachers add up to a lot.

And so the rebbe shouldnt see the envelope, I always give a bag with tissue paper and the envelope taped to the grape juice bottle
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mommish613




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 9:12 am
DVMOM,

I give you so much credit for your attitude towards the Rebbis response. I can’t say I would’ve been able to swallow that.

Unfortunately, I think Rebbeim are products of society today in general where life is expensive and money is tight. It’s not their fault- they also have to send kids to camp and get them braces. They probably look at Chanukah and Purim as bonus income. I wish all rebbeim in today’s society would be altruistic but I’m not sure it’s so realistic.

Signed, not a rebbis wife but was disappointed last year when I didn’t get a bonus from my employer 😔
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amother




Azure


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 9:48 am
Thank G-d my kids went to a commuter school and the PTA or class mothers collected money for collective gifts to staff. Whoever gave, gave, whoever didn’t, didn’t, nobody needed to know which was which. There were suggested sums but you gave what you wished or were able.

Frankly I think giving individual gifts to teachers mid year is just this side of bribery. There are no expressed expectations of tit for tat, but does anyone really think a teacher won’t be just a smidge more favorably inclined toward a child whose parents gave a nice fat check?

Expressing appreciation in a very material way after the year is over and the grades are in, assuming the kid won’t have the same teacher again, that’s a different story. But mid year with grades still to be given? No,no,no.

A friend who is a supervisor at her job told me that a subordinate went on vacay to a foreign exotic country and brought her back something. She told him thanks but she couldn’t accept it because her policy is not to accept gifts from people she supervises. Even so, she confessed, just the fact that he thought to bring her a gift made her see him in a slightly more positive light. And she didn’t accept the gift or even know what it was! How much more so if one receives a gift of some value.
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amother




Brown


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 10:18 am
I do think they wait for the check.
I’m just a parent, no wife of a rebbe.

I’d just give 18 or 25$ and write a note how I want to give more but we’ll have to write it in words instead...
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Frenchfry




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 10:21 am
I didn't read the whole thread, but your first post turned stomach!!!!

My husband is a Rebbe. He expects nothing!!!! The notes, he really does appreciate, and he saves every one.

One year, he taught the son of a single mom who was really struggling. She wrote a beautiful note, and gave him a ten dollar gift card to a seforim store (possibly regifted).

He valued it so much, and still remembers it to this day.

Another time he had the son of a multi millionaire. They did not give a cheque for Purim, and my husband didn't think too much about it. A few weeks later, the father came to him, embarrassed, that they found the cheque in the house and it never made it into mishloach manos. It bothered my husband so so so much that he should look at it as an obligation. We really don't expect anything from anyone. But we are grateful for anyone's hakoras hatov in whatever way they express it.
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Frenchfry




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 10:25 am
Also, I want to add. My husband and I have an argument every year. I want to overextend ourselves, and give overly generous cheques as I really feel that rebbeim do so much for my boys. Also, as a Rebbe in the school, we don't pay tuition, and I want to give directly to my boys' chinuch

My husband, being the Rebbe doesn't want to do that. He feels that if a Rebbe gives other rebbeim cheques that are too over the top, we might make them feel uncomfortable with what they're giving to their own kid's rebbe, and it's not fair to "up the ante" like that.
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Optione




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:00 am
I am a teacher. When there's something extra with the mishloach manos, or a nice mishloach manos, I really really enjoy it. HOWEVER, I'd rather my students come with nothing, or something super simple, than not come. I feel that that few minute interaction is very beneficial for the student. It's good for the student to see that the teacher is excited to see him and shmooze/dance with him. That then spills over into good feelings and nonacademic conversation in school.
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:01 am
DVOM,

I send to the same yeshiva that you do. Multiple sons have been through the system.

I'm sorry you had that experience, but it in no way is representative of all of the rebbes in our school or even in our community.

My DH has a cousin who is a rebbe here (diff school than ours tho), and he asked him for the same reason you posted - we wanted to know the norms and expectations. And he said that about half the class gives something and the range is very wide, and half gives nothing at all. So its really up to you.

And I have not always been able to give on PUrim, I never give for Chanukah, and most of the rebbeim are wonderful. I have never felt that my son's needs were slighted because of a lack of giving.

I'm just so sorry you had that experience. It really is a wonderful yeshiva with dedicated personnel who do their best. That's just so... awful. I hope you can chalk it up to sometimes we all have bad behaviors or mess up but we forgive ourselves. Gosh, I just don't know what to say. Just give if you can, and if you can't its fine. Ouuuuccchhh and hugs to you.
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amother




Tangerine


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:21 am
Such a sad story and I don't doubt the exchange the OP saw between the Rebbe and his wife happened, but I like to use my imagination to come up with dan l'kaf zchus scenerios. Here are a couple:

1. Perhaps the Rebbe or his wife wanted to give a nice shaloch manos to someone and didn't put one together (or couldn't afford to) so were looking for a nice package to "regift." When the OP and her son came, they could tell there was no check, and it was a nice shaloch manos, so the Rebbe mouthed to his wife that this would be a good one to keep intact and give to someone else? If there is the possibility of a check inside, they would need to take it apart and put it together again, which is not so easy on a busy Purim day.

2. Maybe the Rebbe's kids or grandkids have a free-for-all on Purim and take apart the multiple mishloach manos received. In the chaos, it is easy for checks to get lost, so they may have designated spots in the house for shaloch manos without checks, which the kids are allowed to rip apart, and those with the possibility of checks, which the kids can not touch? The words mouthed to the Rebbe's wife would just be an indication as to where to put down the shaloch manos.

The Rebbe did greet his student warmly, so maybe he was actually pleased with what was given and has no expectations. I understand how and why the OP interpreted the reaction as disgust, and I likely would have done the same, but you never know.

Just trying to come up with a way to interpret this differently, since the more obvious interpretation of what happened is so so concerning...
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amother




Apricot


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:26 am
One year my ds had a really extra special rebbie and Chanukah time I wrote $100 check and when ds came home from school he gave me the check back. Rebbie had written on check that the true gift was teaching my son. I was floored. I love my son and I do think he is a gift! But even so... if someone gives you a gift it's hard to turn down. That rebbie is a special person.
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amother




Jade


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:30 am
This really bothers me since dh and I work really hard to be able to pay full tuition for our children. We really don’t have the money to do it but make it work since it’s important to us. Now I wonder if it would be better for my children if I would pay reduced tuition and give the teachers a fat check. Of course a teacher/rebbe will treat kids differently based on a gift like that, it’s human nature.
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pause




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:34 am
DVMOM, if I was you, I'd rather give even a $10 check with a bottle of sparkling rather than a "nicer" MM.
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studying_torah




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:36 am
Why the rebbes & not the morahs?
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pause




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:37 am
studying_torah wrote:
Why the rebbes & not the morahs?

I give the teachers a check too. Smile
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studying_torah




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 11:52 am
Ah ok pause. Thanks for the clarification
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amother




Cerise


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 12:24 pm
DVOM wrote:
This was really my question. If my shalach-manos-sans-check got this sort of reaction, It made me wonder what the true norm is. I always assumed that most people don't give checks (who has that kind of money!). But the expectation must develop from somewhere.

They probably receive checks from 65% the sad truth is the 35% glares out at them. I wish it wasn't so. The expectations are so hard on us.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 12:39 pm
amother wrote:
DVOM,

I send to the same yeshiva that you do. Multiple sons have been through the system.

I'm sorry you had that experience, but it in no way is representative of all of the rebbes in our school or even in our community.

My DH has a cousin who is a rebbe here (diff school than ours tho), and he asked him for the same reason you posted - we wanted to know the norms and expectations. And he said that about half the class gives something and the range is very wide, and half gives nothing at all. So its really up to you.

And I have not always been able to give on PUrim, I never give for Chanukah, and most of the rebbeim are wonderful. I have never felt that my son's needs were slighted because of a lack of giving.

I'm just so sorry you had that experience. It really is a wonderful yeshiva with dedicated personnel who do their best. That's just so... awful. I hope you can chalk it up to sometimes we all have bad behaviors or mess up but we forgive ourselves. Gosh, I just don't know what to say. Just give if you can, and if you can't its fine. Ouuuuccchhh and hugs to you.


So nice to meet another school mom here on imamother! Hi Hi !

Thank you for your warm sympathy... it was very touching.

I clarified in a later post, but I'm going to clarify again. I am not holding onto hurt feelings towards the rebbe, and certainly not towards my boys' school. We really love our school, and have a lot of gratitude for the wonderful job they are doing educating our sons. One of the things I love most about the school is the middos that the rebbes model for the boys. I think the rebbes are almost always sensitive and kind, and that this filters down to the boys, creating an environment that is accepting and compassionate.

What I witnessed was a seconds-long exchange between husband and wife that I'm sure they had no idea I observed. I know they didn't mean to embarrass me. I really liked this rebbe, and continued to like him after this incident. It's ok that he was disappointed. Maybe lots of kids didn't give last year, and he'd been counting on it?

It was more that I felt I'd committed a social gaffe. You know that rush of embarrassment when you realize your behavior doesn't meet social expectations?

I'm happy you shared your research with me via your cousin. I don't mind being one of the half of the class that doesn't give. I'm really comfortable living frugally, within our means. But I don't think it would be fair to my kids if we were of the only ones. I'm not sure how I'd come up with the cash though...
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amother




Teal


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 12:42 pm
I'm also in a financial position where I cannot give rebbe's or morahs for that matter any checks or cash. It really bothers me, and the schools send out email reminders before Purim as well as Chanukah......

I wish I could give, but the holiday itself is already enough of a financial strain on the family budget. So many mishloach manot, etc...... pesach right around the corner. Idk how people do it.
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amother




Lilac


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 1:08 pm
As a preschool teacher, here’s my take. No it isn’t an obligation. But if this is the norm, then you come to rely on it like a different poster said. In 5 years of teaching I only ever once had a student who didn’t give any tip at all (or gift). Am I then bad for anticipating it?
I would never judge a parent for giving only a little. But yes, I do rely on that money. Remember teachers are paid pennies and my paycheck doesn’t even cover my rent.
However, I always make sure to immediately pull out the money of the MM and put it in a separate pile, and only read the notes after. I don’t care to remember who gave 50 and who gave 10 and be influenced by that.
I once had an assistant who wrote a list of who gave how much and that I found beyond disgusting.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Fri, Mar 15 2019, 1:41 pm
As a previous preschool teacher for couple of years, I also remember only once not getting a check or gift from a student. Mom was angry at me because I couldn't accommodate her travel plans & change the date of a class performance, where she ended up missing her daughter performing as main part.
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