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Identitiy crisis, what am I? -poll added
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Poll

Which school do you think would be better for my kids
Frum community school (still right wing)  
 82%  [ 34 ]
More Right wing Insular school (not chassidish)  
 17%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 41


amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:05 am
Hi everyone, so I am a baalas teshuvas, and I feel like I am having a bit of an identity crisis. Am I modern, yeshivish, other. I am having this crisis now because I am thinking of which schools would be good for us and we dont fit neatly in a box.

AMA that you feel is relevant, then tell me where You think I fall on the spectrum.
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DrMom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:08 am
Maybe this will be quicker if you tell us what thoughts are going through your head regarding this school decision.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:10 am
Ask your Rov or Mentor to suggest which schools to apply to.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:12 am
DrMom wrote:
Maybe this will be quicker if you tell us what thoughts are going through your head regarding this school decision.


Some schools are more accepting of people that dont fit the yeshivish mold, but those same schools have students and families that are more exposed to secular influences.
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amother




Violet
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:20 am
Where do you live?
What are your tznius guidelines?
What “dress code”does your dh wear?
What do you want your child to look like in 15 years?
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amother




Babyblue
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:37 am
amother [ Violet ] wrote:

What do you want your child to look like in 15 years?

look like on the outside? yes, a school can take care of that
but the inside? not really.
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amother




Babyblue
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:38 am
Do you want your kids to have access to higher education as in college?
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amother




Babyblue
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:39 am
Are your kids artistic, out of the box?
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amother




Babyblue
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:39 am
How broad or open minded do you want your children to be ?
Remember that your kids become your friends when they are adults, so what kind of friends do you want to have in 15 years?
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amother




Khaki
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:46 am
amother [ Babyblue ] wrote:
look like on the outside? yes, a school can take care of that
but the inside? not really.


Right, you’re the parent, that’s primarily on you.

But do you envision your children going to secular college? Learning long term after marriage?

Where you live also obviously is a big factor here too. A “modern” school in Lakewood isn’t the same as a modern school in Brooklyn or a day school in Boston.

Do you have TV? If not do you/ dh/ kids watch secular shows and/or movies?

Does your family listen to nonJewish music?

Dress code is external, but if tou want to fit in your community it does matter. A bearded man in a white shirt in a modern community will get stares just like a man in jeans and a T-shirt in a yeshivish community.

Op my husband and I also didn’t grow up frum. Before we met we both became very close to families who sort of adopted us. While we chose those communities to belong to, these families we became part of sort of shaped our hashkofos as well. I would say we are “working yeshivish”. We have very limited secular media in our home (dh and I both read secular news and I watch videos, he does not). Of course our goals for our kids are primarily that they have good middos and are faithful Jews; however we are also laying a hashkafic path for them .
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:48 am
You don't need to label yourself. You just need to think about what you value. In my experience, many baalei teshuva gravitate to insular communities because they appreciate the clean break from secular society and because they're looking for definite guidelines. This makes a lot of sense. The thing is that for many (not all, of course), this isn't a good long-term approach.

An insular community is more likely to discourage contact with non-religious family, to devalue secular education, and to put baalei teshuva at the bottom of the heap when it comes to marriage opportunities. By the time you confront these obstacles, you've been in too long and too deep to change.

So take your time finding the place that's right for you. Think of what you want in twenty years. Ask baalei teshuva in the different communities about their challenges and about what they like.
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amother




Babyblue
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 1:00 am
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
You don't need to label yourself. You just need to think about what you value. I'm my experience, many baalei teshuva gravitate to insular communities because they appreciate the clean break from secular society and because they're looking for definite guidelines. This makes a lot of sense. The thing is that for many (not all, of course), this isn't a good long-term approach.

An insular community is more likely to discourage contact with non-religious family, to devalue secular education, and to put baalei teshuva at the bottom of the heap when it comes to marriage opportunities. By the time you confront these obstacles, you've been in too long and too deep to change.

So take your time finding the place that's right for you. Think of what you want in twenty years. Ask baalei teshuva in the different communities about their challenges and about what they like.

This. All of it.
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amother




Forestgreen
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 2:08 am
I also agree with Turquoise.
I am not a big fan of joining insular communities. By very definition, they do not accept outsiders, and you will always be second best. It might not be as extreme as other parents not letting their kids come over to your place (although it might). But you will definitely feel it at shidduchim time, when none of the classmates your kids went to school with will be willing to marry into a BT family.

Also, you yourself say you are having an identity crisis. It is obviously not your first - choosing to uproot your old life and become a BT is also an identity crisis. You are someone who examines her life periodically and grows, makes changes. It would be a very bad idea to lock yourself into a system where conformism is so highly valued, and where there is very little room for change. Do you really want your kids to be in a school where they micromanage the moms' dress and behavior, to the level that you can't choose your own shade of nail polish?

In ten years' time you may want to make changes. Give yourself that freedom. Don't send your kids to a school where you have to pull them out if you want to change.

And don't forget that your kids are not your typical insular kids. They have secular extended family, they will be exposed to some secular influences whether you like it or not.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 6:02 am
amother [ Violet ] wrote:
Where do you live?
What are your tznius guidelines?
What “dress code”does your dh wear?
What do you want your child to look like in 15 years?


Live in NY
Tzniut, I cover my elbows collarbones and legs. I cover my feet in my community but not when I leave out of town.
Dh wears black pants and whatever dress shirt or polo he feels comfortable in. He wears colors. Usually wears white shirt on Shabbos but if he has a reason to not wear the white shirt hevwill not hesitate to put on a colored shirt, No hat, just a back kippah.
I want my kids to look like yids in 15 years ( not Americans where you cant tell they are jewish) refined with good middos who know and love Hashem.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 6:06 am
amother [ Babyblue ] wrote:
Do you want your kids to have access to higher education as in college?


Ideally do not want them to go to “college” like a campus environment, but not opposed to higher education if that is what the want ( preferably at a seminary/yeshiva or online)
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 6:26 am
amother [ Babyblue ] wrote:
Are your kids artistic, out of the box?


I dont think I know what this question means, but one of my kids does like arts and krafts alot
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 6:31 am
amother [ Babyblue ] wrote:
How broad or open minded do you want your children to be ?
Remember that your kids become your friends when they are adults, so what kind of friends do you want to have in 15 years?
ideally open minded is ok, but it comes with consequences of exposure at times, and I wand my kids to be mostly sheltered (but not under a rock. I want friends I can learn with and talk about torah and ruchnius topics with (not sports or politics , or silly topics, yes these things are ok but not conversations I want to engage in)
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 6:56 am
amother [ Khaki ] wrote:
Right, you’re the parent, that’s primarily on you.

But do you envision your children going to secular college? Learning long term after marriage?

Where you live also obviously is a big factor here too. A “modern” school in Lakewood isn’t the same as a modern school in Brooklyn or a day school in Boston.

Do you have TV? If not do you/ dh/ kids watch secular shows and/or movies?

Does your family listen to nonJewish music?

Dress code is external, but if tou want to fit in your community it does matter. A bearded man in a white shirt in a modern community will get stares just like a man in jeans and a T-shirt in a yeshivish community.

Op my husband and I also didn’t grow up frum. Before we met we both became very close to families who sort of adopted us. While we chose those communities to belong to, these families we became part of sort of shaped our hashkofos as well. I would say we are “working yeshivish”. We have very limited secular media in our home (dh and I both read secular news and I watch videos, he does not). Of course our goals for our kids are primarily that they have good middos and are faithful Jews; however we are also laying a hashkafic path for them .


We are the parents, but schools contain friends and friends are a bog influence for kids.

Secular college no, higher education ok.

We live in a mixed community in queens, chassidish, yeshivish, modern, conservative, askenaz, sefardi.

We do not have a tv, we watch secular shows but hope to break this habit soon, especially for me and the kids, my husband wants to too but it might take him longer to break the habbit.

My husband and Listen to secular music, we are ok listening to a mix of jewish and not jewish music, we listen to secular music in private only. kids only jewish music and dont want them listening to secular music.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 7:24 am
amother [ Turquoise ] wrote:
You don't need to label yourself. You just need to think about what you value. In my experience, many baalei teshuva gravitate to insular communities because they appreciate the clean break from secular society and because they're looking for definite guidelines. This makes a lot of sense. The thing is that for many (not all, of course), this isn't a good long-term approach.

An insular community is more likely to discourage contact with non-religious family, to devalue secular education, and to put baalei teshuva at the bottom of the heap when it comes to marriage opportunities. By the time you confront these obstacles, you've been in too long and too deep to change.


So take your time finding the place that's right for you. Think of what you want in twenty years. Ask baalei teshuva in the different communities about their challenges and about what they like.

I agree with discouraging contact with non-religious family (once or twice a month at most) , we dont value secular education al little but not a lot, like we want them to learn math , science etc, but not focus on it not needed to be high level. Shidduchim, it is a concern I have, but I think its better to help my kids be the best yidden they can be and let hashem help us find a shidduch even if that parsha might be hard in those circles.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 7:34 am
As far as insular, we live in a mixed community, but I want my kids to have the right friends, and is to have the right friends and be in the right circle to protect their neshama and help them grow to thier fullest potential. I would want to encourage friendships with kids that dont watch shows, or have other secular exposures.

Note: my husband has been in Kollel for 6 years, he is starting to work part time now. It is an accepting kollel, like I said we dont exactly fit the yeshivish mold, we dress different, have our struggles, but value learning having a frum life. They are aware of who we are, we dont advertise our struggles in public, but it is not a secret to those who know us. They accept us for who we are and know we are trying to grow.
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