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American elementary schools in Bayit Vegan?

 
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 17 2019, 8:00 am
Hi,

Does anyone know of an American-style (American yeshivish?) elementary school in Bayit Vegan? Or at least an Israeli place with lots of English speakers, with a high level of kodesh and chol?

Our kids are used to chareidi schools but we want someplace warm and accepting where we wouldn't have to worry about not being accepted/being thrown out if my husband doesn't dress in only white shirts, I don't always wear stockings, or our kids talk about having seen a cartoon movie or something. That said, it's important to us that it's a place where the kids do not have TV and even if parents have smartphones for work, the kids and their older siblings certainly do not. And where the teachers (and kids!) don't smoke. (No, I'm not just saying that stam. My son once had a teacher at his school who spent recess chain-smoking).

This would be for a boy going into 4th grade, a girl going into probably 3rd (2nd if she needs to be caught up), and another girl going into gan chova. Also, if anyone knows a warm, bilingual English-Hebrew gan for my little one's first year of (3 year old) gan, please let me know.

Thank you!
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jul 17 2019, 2:51 pm
Anyone? There's a good percentage of Anglos in Bayit Vegan so I thought it would be pretty easy to find something like this.
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Thu, Jul 18 2019, 6:21 am
For girls, there is 1 elementary school in Bayit Vegan. It is a beit yaakov school, it's huge and serves the whole neighborhood (~ 8 classes in each grade, with ~30/35 kids per class).
There are plenty of English speaking girls there, and and handful of new olim (US, France, Russia, etc).

They are strict about wearing stockings.

They are strict about parents not having smart-phones (ie. large % of parents really do not have smart phones, and the rest hide them. Kids and older siblings do not have them).

If you want something slightly more open-minded, you'd probably have to go further afield.
Bnot Yerushalyaim in Rechavia perhaps.

I don't know about boys schools in Bayit Vegan, but I doubt there is one with high level of limudei chol. You might look into Bet Rabban in Neve Yaakov, they probably have school busses from all over Jerusalem.
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, Jul 18 2019, 3:20 pm
amother [ Firebrick ] wrote:
For girls, there is 1 elementary school in Bayit Vegan. It is a beit yaakov school, it's huge and serves the whole neighborhood (~ 8 classes in each grade, with ~30/35 kids per class).
There are plenty of English speaking girls there, and and handful of new olim (US, France, Russia, etc).

They are strict about wearing stockings.

They are strict about parents not having smart-phones (ie. large % of parents really do not have smart phones, and the rest hide them. Kids and older siblings do not have them).

If you want something slightly more open-minded, you'd probably have to go further afield.
Bnot Yerushalyaim in Rechavia perhaps.

I don't know about boys schools in Bayit Vegan, but I doubt there is one with high level of limudei chol. You might look into Bet Rabban in Neve Yaakov, they probably have school busses from all over Jerusalem.


Thank you! When you say strict about wearing stockings, do you mean for the girls or the mothers? I generally do but (after it caused shalom bayit issues and speaking with a rav together with my husband) not always. As in someone from the school might see me without them at some point. For the girls, their previous/current schools were strict about stockings at school and they're used to it. I have an antique (non-smart) phone. My husband has a smartphone for work...would that be fine?

Thank you!
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Fri, Jul 19 2019, 2:37 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you! When you say strict about wearing stockings, do you mean for the girls or the mothers? I generally do but (after it caused shalom bayit issues and speaking with a rav together with my husband) not always. As in someone from the school might see me without them at some point. For the girls, their previous/current schools were strict about stockings at school and they're used to it. I have an antique (non-smart) phone. My husband has a smartphone for work...would that be fine?

Thank you!


If you were seen without stockings/socks/tights (ie. bare feet and sandals) it would not give a good impression.
If you called the school with a non-kosher phone number (the prefixes of the kosher phones are set digits), or wrote down a non-kosher phone number on a school form, it would not look good.
Unless you have an 'ishur' for a smart phone for work, from a rav that the principle of the school relies on.
The principle of that school is very strict in these 2 fields - tzniut and non-kosher technology.

If you can 'swallow' those 2 rules strictly, then in general the school is great. They make a big effort to make it a friendly place, almost all the teachers I've come across are extremely professional and helpful, they have a lot of extra-curricular enrichment, outings, etc.
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amother




Wine


Post  Fri, Jul 19 2019, 8:29 am
You might want to look into Beis Yaakov HaAri in Katamon. There's is a Hassah from Bayit Vagan.

I second Beit Raban for boys.
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 5:25 am
amother [ Wine ] wrote:
You might want to look into Beis Yaakov HaAri in Katamon. There's is a Hassah from Bayit Vagan.

I second Beit Raban for boys.


Does anyone have more info on Beit Raban? And Beis Yaakov HaAri?

My son in particular does better with small classes. We changed schools once largely for that purpose. But I think it was also because of the extra chaos of so many kids in one class, so if it's an especially calm place it may not be an issue. Also, would he have friends in Bayit Vegan if he went to school in a different neighborhood? We sent him out of our neighborhood at one point and the poor kid had just one friend anywhere near him for a couple of years. (And that kid's mom was sooo thrilled that her kid finally had a friend! Poor them when we moved!)

For the barely-3-year-old girl, any suggestions of a warm English-Hebrew gan? Preferably within Bayit Vegan as I would neither send her on a hasaah nor for tzaharon.

Thank you!
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 5:36 am
amother [ Firebrick ] wrote:
If you were seen without stockings/socks/tights (ie. bare feet and sandals) it would not give a good impression.
If you called the school with a non-kosher phone number (the prefixes of the kosher phones are set digits), or wrote down a non-kosher phone number on a school form, it would not look good.
Unless you have an 'ishur' for a smart phone for work, from a rav that the principle of the school relies on.
The principle of that school is very strict in these 2 fields - tzniut and non-kosher technology.

If you can 'swallow' those 2 rules strictly, then in general the school is great. They make a big effort to make it a friendly place, almost all the teachers I've come across are extremely professional and helpful, they have a lot of extra-curricular enrichment, outings, etc.


I used to dress really according to the strict Bais Yaakov type requirements and it bothered my husband because he wants to be clear on the difference between halacha and chumra. This involved lots of conversations with rabbanim and was not something I took lightly to change, and I don't want this thread to turn into anything about this topic. I know there are plenty of people who hold that those standards are halacha and I respect them. My point is that I personally have no problem dressing according to the school's rules, especially while at the school out of respect. But if I go out with my husband or something someone might see me with, for example, no stockings, a skirt that doesn't actually extend 4 inches below the knee, neckline a bit under the collarbone, etc. I don't want to have to worry about my kids being kicked out if someone sees.

I'd also be willing (happy, even) to get a kosher phone, though like I said my husband has a smartphone for work. He has a heter from an excellent Rav. Just wondering, though...are all kosher phones completely text-free? Because often my husband cannot call/answer due to his hectic work schedule and we have absolutely needed texting in the past. I rarely text anyone but him, and my daughters' former and current Bais Yaakovs both sent texts about chugim/school cancellations/etc. Any loopholes?
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DrMom




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 6:21 am
If you are interested in distinguishing between halacha and chumra, why do you want to send your children to a school that does not?

Perhaps it would make more sense to send to a school that shares your hashkafa?
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 6:35 am
DrMom wrote:
If you are interested in distinguishing between halacha and chumra, why do you want to send your children to a school that does not?

Perhaps it would make more sense to send to a school that shares your hashkafa?


Because we need this specific neighborhood and the places that are a bit stricter than us are much closer to our hashkafa than the places that are more lenient. We sent to a more lenient place when my first started gan and we felt extremely out of place and didn't like the ideas and conversation topics he was coming home with. That's why I said American-style...we just haven't found anything that actually matches our hashkafa.
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 7:24 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I used to dress really according to the strict Bais Yaakov type requirements and it bothered my husband because he wants to be clear on the difference between halacha and chumra. This involved lots of conversations with rabbanim and was not something I took lightly to change, and I don't want this thread to turn into anything about this topic. I know there are plenty of people who hold that those standards are halacha and I respect them. My point is that I personally have no problem dressing according to the school's rules, especially while at the school out of respect. But if I go out with my husband or something someone might see me with, for example, no stockings, a skirt that doesn't actually extend 4 inches below the knee, neckline a bit under the collarbone, etc. I don't want to have to worry about my kids being kicked out if someone sees.

I'd also be willing (happy, even) to get a kosher phone, though like I said my husband has a smartphone for work. He has a heter from an excellent Rav. Just wondering, though...are all kosher phones completely text-free? Because often my husband cannot call/answer due to his hectic work schedule and we have absolutely needed texting in the past. I rarely text anyone but him, and my daughters' former and current Bais Yaakovs both sent texts about chugim/school cancellations/etc. Any loopholes?


I wouldn't say that the school does not distinguish between halacha and chumra. I would say that the school insists you keep certain chumras.
I don't think your child would be chucked out if you were seen without stockings, for eg. But I happen to know that the menahelet does not mince her words or shy away from telling parents what she thinks.
If you are prepared for her to call you up and say something, then it's fine. And you can explain to her that you've been to Rav XYZ and you have a heter not to keep this chumra. I doubt she'll chuck your kids out.

About the phones, I'm just answering technically, not from a 'what's allowed' point of view.
Kosher phones do not have text abilities. You could possibly get a 'hacked' kind of phone, that has a kosker number but still has texts, or has 2 sim cards that you can alternate between, etc, there are all kinds of loopholes.
But don't call the school with a non-kosher number. Don't write down a non-kosher number on their forms, even if it only has texts, unless you can show your rav's heter. Don't take out your smart phone to take photos at the mesibat siddur.

It sounds crazily-strict, but if the school has a no-smart-phone policy, the only way they can monitor it is by checking your phone number. They can't start checking does she have texts or doesn't she, does she have only whatsapp, waze, whatever. They just go by the phone number. Is it a kosher number or not. There are shops that can somehow wangle you a kosher number with a non 100% kosher phone.
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 7:27 am
I don't understand what you mean by:

"it bothered my husband because he wants to be clear on the difference between halacha and chumra"

    He wants you to go out without stockings sometimes, just to show that it's not halacha?

    Or, he wants you not to wear stockings, and he doesn't think you should be so machmir on something that's not halacha?


The way you wrote, it sounds more like the 1st, but I assume you mean the 2nd.
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 7:39 am
Ok, it looks like I wasn't clear on the tzniut reasoning...and again, do not want it to turn into a conversation about this as opposed to school suggestions.

The mothers themselves may understand something is a chumra, but the kids may not. So when my husband saw my very young daughters felt they would be doing something wrong by going out without stockings, he thought that I was being too machmir and the schools weren't distinguishing. Which could affect our kids' perception of who is frum, etc. And also that I was taking something on that he wasn't comfortable with. Like, it went from a chumra to no, I can't ever be seen without them just like I can't eat a cheeseburger, if that makes sense.

And just to clarify further, I think based on my original post I did give the impression that we are looking for something that matches our hashkafa. It's just that since that doesn't seem to exist based on personal experience and the responses, I'm trying to figure out where we fit in best. Thank you, Imas! You're helping. Smile
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 7:42 am
amother [ Firebrick ] wrote:
I wouldn't say that the school does not distinguish between halacha and chumra. I would say that the school insists you keep certain chumras.
I don't think your child would be chucked out if you were seen without stockings, for eg. But I happen to know that the menahelet does not mince her words or shy away from telling parents what she thinks.
If you are prepared for her to call you up and say something, then it's fine. And you can explain to her that you've been to Rav XYZ and you have a heter not to keep this chumra. I doubt she'll chuck your kids out.

About the phones, I'm just answering technically, not from a 'what's allowed' point of view.
Kosher phones do not have text abilities. You could possibly get a 'hacked' kind of phone, that has a kosker number but still has texts, or has 2 sim cards that you can alternate between, etc, there are all kinds of loopholes.
But don't call the school with a non-kosher number. Don't write down a non-kosher number on their forms, even if it only has texts, unless you can show your rav's heter. Don't take out your smart phone to take photos at the mesibat siddur.

It sounds crazily-strict, but if the school has a no-smart-phone policy, the only way they can monitor it is by checking your phone number. They can't start checking does she have texts or doesn't she, does she have only whatsapp, waze, whatever. They just go by the phone number. Is it a kosher number or not. There are shops that can somehow wangle you a kosher number with a non 100% kosher phone.


Really helpful, thank you! And ahhh, the bolded drives me crazy! I totally agree. That's just basic respect.
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amother




Firebrick


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 7:53 am
Beit Yaakov Ha'ari or Bnot Yerushalayim might be a better fit for you.
But I think you'd feel comfortable in Beit Yaakov Bayit vegan too.
Beit Yaakov Ha'ari is an open minded Beit Yaakov school, simply because it serves areas like Katamon, Pat, Gilo, etc. More 'modern charedim' there.
Bnot Yerushalyaim is a 'mamad charedi' - from what I understand there are a lot of American families there, but I don't know much about it.

If it helps, I tell my kids, for school you need to wear tights. As soon as you get home you can take them off.
When they're not in school, they go out in knee-high socks. I wouldn't mind if they went out bare foot in grades 1 or 2, but older than that they got used to wearing socks.
Why can't you tell your kids, that's a school rule. School is machmir, but it's a tznius chumra. Doesn't mean people who don't wear socks are not frum.
Like we eat certain hechsherim, but that's our chumra. I don't think that's so hard for kids to understand.
Loads of people do things differently - maybe it helps that I have lots of frum not-charedi family, so my kids see it all the time.
Some people fast on minor fasts, some don't, some eat gebrochts on pesach, some don't, likewise, some wear socks, some don't.
Seems a shame to give up on a good school that's close to home, just because you sometimes want to feel free to go out without socks here and there, just so that your kids don't get mixed up with halacha and chumra.
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amother




Amethyst


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 8:17 am
I can't really help so much because I am relatively newly married and don't have kids yet..but just wanted to say that I live in Bayit Vagan currently and I am really loving the neighborhood, Baruch Hashem.

I can kind of understand your situation because I personally have a similar hashkafa/level of tzniyus to you, while my husband sounds similar to your husband. I have also for Shalom Bayis reasons and with asking a Rav had to compromise on some of my chumras in regards to tzniyus (within the home) bc my husband had a preference.

In regards to tights, I think they are considered minhag hamakom. I think you and your kids would fit in fine in this neighborhood. There are also definitely men here who do not always wear black and white (such as my husband) and have a smartphone for work. Then again there are many who only have kosher phones, and after moving here my husband decided to get one as well (he has a tablet with whatsapp that he can use to be in touch with family/me when he cant call).

However, do keep in mind, and remind your husband about this, that in general in Israeli schools things are more polarized. You might have to choose between a more modern school than you would like, or a Bais Yaakov with stricter standards than you are used to.

A teacher of mine once told me it is like comparing the rest of the days of the week, to Shabbos. There is a certain level of kedusha [seperateness] which residents of Eretz Yisrael try to uphold. So for example while denim is not assur, in Israeli Bais Yaakovs (as opposed to America) they do not have the girls wear denim (unless the fabric is very different from actual jeans). Men generally wear white dress shirts, although like I said you will see the occasional guy here in other colors. The same with tights for women. But I think if you understand that this is a difference between Eretz Yisrael and chutz laaretz (and share with your husband so he is on the same page) then I think your true hashkafas do line up with Bais Yaakov, as opposed to the more modern crowd. Just keep in mind that things will be on a more chumra kind of level than you are used to in America, and instead of fighting it [and in turn, chasv'shalom turn your kids against it] , you can embrace it as part of the privilege and responsibility of living in Eretz HaKodesh.

B'hatzlacha with your decision! Let us know how it goes!
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