Summer “vacation” is devastating to the ongoing education of our children


From the Inbox – C.H.

Bochurim Gather for 28

Click image for full story and photos

… and in a few weeks they will scatter all over the place like chickens without heads, because the doors to our  Yeshivas, Chadarim and Talmud Torahs will be closed during the summer for “vacation”.

Hundreds of teenage boys and girls will be doing (only) G-d knows what for three “free/fry” months.  These three months are the source of all פְּרִיקַת עוֹל. The result of this three month “vacation” is devastating to the ongoing education of our children.

Where are the school administrations during the summer months? If they truly care for our children’s education, then why are our schools and yeshivas closed for three whole months!?

Where is the outrage?  Where are the Mashpi’im and Rosh Yeshivas regarding this matter?

See: The Rebbe on Summer Vacation

Listen and take to heart/action:

Sorry we're closed- Crown heights yeshivas closed for summer

Facts/Realty Check:

1) Hundreds of Bochurim and even younger children will be hanging out in the streets as a result of our Yeshivas, Chadarim and Talmud Torahs closing it’s doors for the summer “vacation”, R”L. As a result many will not return to Yeshiva after a “free for all” summer.

2) This “vacation” effect (is detrimental) not just [for] the older Bochurim who are in Mesivta (ages 14-17) and Beth Medrash (17- 20), but also to the youngest who are in Pre-1a, learning the Alef-Beis.

Any parent [and teacher] who are involved [and care] in their children’s studies can tell you that much is lost as a result of this summer “vacation”. Both the learning and behavior deteriorate. All that is accomplished during the year is lost.

All the special programs; events; Farbrangens; rallies; publications; campaigns; etc… are a waste of time, all is lost.

3) The camps [day camps and sleep away camp] are [clearly] not the solution.

a) the gain of camp pales in comparison to the loss. There is less learning, both for the staff/Bochurim and campers/young children.

b) there is not enough space for all our children (and as stated above, many end up in the streets).

4) Money is not an issue.

a) We pay tuition for 12 months a year.

b) We are paying triple (and in many cases much more), to entertain our children [and our selves] for the summer months. This money can better go to our Yeshivas.

c) There is plenty of money in Crown Heights to keep our Yeshivas open.  There is money for all the Machlokes; court cases and lawsuit, there is money for our children.

d)  If Lubavitch would spend only 10%  on the fifth [lost] son of Chabad, as it does for the fifth son of the world, then we would have enough money to keep our Yeshivas open.

It’s time we focus a little on the fifth son of Chabad.

Why most we wait until our children are lost in-order to “save” them, when we can go on the offense and DO ALL WE CAN to make sure they don’t leave the Derech to begin with?

What can you do to make a difference?

Simple. Reach out to your Yeshivas administration and advise them that you would like your children’s Yeshiva to remain open thought out the summer.

Rally other parents. bring up this subject at every opportunity possible, you will find that everybody [who cares] is in agreement with you.

Hillel climbed onto the roof of the Study Hall, and lay at the “skylight” listening to the lecture, until he froze.

Hillel climbed onto the roof of the Study Hall, and lay at the “skylight” listening to the lecture, until he froze. Today in 5774, Hillel would find a “sorry we’re closed” sign.

The following are some of the comments worth reading and taking to heart:

חילול השם wrote:

The mashpiam of the Yeshivas -who always preach in farbregens that CHABAD LUBAVITCH is the TOP OF TOP, These same mashpiam should go to WIlliamsburg, Boro Park, Monsey , and even Lakewood to see how they run their Yeshivas in the summer months.
They are always open to guide their talmidim- or in the city or in the whole yeshiva moves to the country air
Lubavitch is the ONLY one who sends hundreds and thousands children to the street for three months and GO AROUND the world to MEKAREV one JEW -not that its not important


How is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

How is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

Chaim wrote:

Can anybody explain how it is that for 10 weeks a year the doors to our Yeshivas and Chaders are closed?

Perhaps the administration of Oholei Torah, the largest Chabad Yeshiva and Chader in America (or perhaps in the world) can answer this question?

As divine providence has it on the 9th of Adar II 5774 Oholei Torah hosted an event that dealt with the question of how do we protect ourselves in the future from the Call of the Shofar saga and similar predicaments?

The answer is common sense, so obvious and right in front of our faces.

The Rebbe, our teacher and father points this out time and time again, year after year.

Being that Oholei Torah is the largest educational institution, it is the Oholei Torah administrations responsibly to lead the way in implementing this change. The fact is that all the other [at least local Crown Heights] schools follow Oholei Torah ‘s lead. They do this for snow days; “Vacation” before Yomim Tovim and when to start and end school.

That said, I ask….

Rabbi Yossel Rosenfeld, Executive Director of Oholei Torah, how is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

Rabbi Sholom Rosenfeld, Director of Oholei Torah, how is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

Rabbi Hershel Lustig, dean of the elementary department of Oholei Torah, how is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

Rabbi Zushe Wilhelm, Menahel – Principal of Oholei Torah Mesivta and Mashgiac Rabbi Hillel A. Laufer, how is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?,

Oholei Torah Zal, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yisroel Friedman and Mashpiim, Rabbis Nachman Schapiro, Sholom Charitonov, Shlomo Sternberg, Pinchas Korf, Yekusiel Feldman, Levi Yitzchok Matusov, Yosef Yitzchok Pevzner and Schenor Zalman Vilenkin how is it that you allow your institution of Torah learning to be closed for 10 whole weeks (during the summer)?

Every true Rebbe (teacher) should be demanding this! A teacher who does not demand this change, does not belong in a class room teaching our children. Such a teacher is a criminal.

Every parent that cares for his children’s education and future should be demanding this!


Give me A break wrote:

vacation, a break is a great thing, BUT not three months in the street. Especially, for teenage boys and girls who hang out the streets without any structure…. THIS is the main reason why they go off the DERECH.
Most of the bochorim, aged mesiva and beis medrash, stay in the street. Very few land a job as a counselor or waiter, but the majority are without structure or plan. This leads them to alcohol… drugs… chilul shabbos.. You can clearly see (by viewing pictures of recent Lchaims) that a big majority of our bochorim dont have beards…the beginning to this is the three months of the summer…
The Rebbe zt”l screamed and cried and wrote letters and answers about the HEFKAIRUS of closing of our Yeshivas for the three months of summer. AND NO ONE LISTENED TO THE REBBE….ALL his great big chassidim!!
Today, we see that an entire generation does not know what it means to HACHANA (preparedness) to Rosh Hashana and the entire month of Tishrei. The empty summer months – brings the boys and girls to observe Tisha Baav-a day of mourning as a day to pass with watching videos , as is a minhag in many camps….And………
In these three months they truly forget what they attempted to learn during YESHIVAS months…when the choice of what to do during the free months comes THE YETZER HORAH takes the lead.


The Rebbe zt”l wrote:

The Rebbe zt”l wanted that our schools and Yeshivas stay open. Unfortunately, when it came to Chinuch or when it came to having influence on the administration, the Rebbe didn’t have any.

He spoke and nobody listened.

It’s not to late.


Chabad Lubavitch wrote:

Here in Lubavitch ..where we are the top of the top..where the Rebbe spoke in favor of keeping yeshivas open…we should go to other chassidim and see how they keep their yeshivas open and no HEFKER time! No children hanging out in the street!



Why are so many of are youths going off the Derech (the Jewish Path)?

Don’t fool yourselves by blaming it on…
1. Some Rabbies in the community who don’t get along. Or, not having a complete Beth Din.

2. This Machlokes or that.

3. were not relating to the young. It’s a new time etc…


Here we have a clear answer.
In Lubavitch the Chinuch stops for three months a year.

Thousands of teenage girls and boy are free to roam* (*to go to different places without having a particular purpose or plan), for three whole months, without any accountability.

Teenagers are at a crossroad at to what path they will take. Will it be right or left? Yeshiva or bum?

With three months of “Free” time and nobody to direct them or with no structure to push them back on the path, what do you think they will chose?


100% true!! However, wrote:

If the parents would give the money to the yeshiva, instead of to camps, I’m sure yeshivos would stay open. Parents give $3000 for 8 weeks, and then complain that they can’t pay $6000 for 9 months….

The Rebbe tried plenty of times to keep yeshiva going through the summer. But lots of schools just cant afford it as it is, and parents are not going to pay more just because it’s open for another month.


#13 isn’t brave. wrote:

you are bowing down to the “powers that be” (sic).
Even in America, right here in New York, there are yeshivas where the entire yeshiva moves to the country – and continues regular seder – for a month, is closed for Menachem_Av and reopens by Rosh Chodesh Elul.Teachers get paid because YESHIVA TUITION IS CHEAPER THAN CAMP!! So all the parents who are paying for camp and bungalows can pay tuition instead and everyone will be happy. (p.s. including the kids, because they thrive with structure, and regress over the summer months even in the best camps)
We have to take the yeshiva and girls’ school system back.

Stop making America Underish.


Solution… wrote:

Just do what they do in England – only have a 1 month vacation in the summer, and a few more small vacations during the year!!
What they do in USA is stupid – i don’t think i would manage 3 months doing nothing! 1 month is plenty!!!


here in Chicago wrote:

The Cheder for the boys goes through tisha bav. The summer schedule is not as intense but it’s still a healthy structure and maintaining the learning. They have about six weeks off. I think that’s perfect and healthy, both physically and spiritually. Maybe one day they’ll do it for the girls. In the meantime at least we have a good day camp to send our kids to.


CH mom wrote:

I agree with the author’s opinion. It’s very difficult to pay Yeshiva tuition all year, then have to come up with thousands more for a good summer camp. Very sad when people don’t listen to the Rebbe.


8.לא מקשיבים לרבי זצ”ל wrote:

אחרי שהקשבתי לשיחה האמורה נהיה לי שאלה קשה על המשפיעים ראשי ישיבות של מוסד אוהלי תורה איך הם נותנים ליסגור הישיבה לכמעט שלוש חודשים ושולחים את הבחורים לרחוב. לפי הרבי זצ”ל שהם כל היום משתמשים בשמו היו צריכים להקים צעקה גדולה ומרה אבל כניראה
. …..
וגם לפי ההלכה זה בגדר של עושה מלאכת השם רמיה ושוב פעם באם המשפיעים הראשי ישיבות אמיתים היו צריכים להקים קול צעקה על זה שסוגרים ישיבה לשלוש חודשים אבל כניראה
והתירוץ הוא חיים בעלמא דשיקרא שהמפיעים והראשי ישיבות לא אכיפת להם מהבחורים כהוא זה ורק מחדירים בהם פוליטקא…. לא יראת שמים לא הלכה ולא חסידות …וד”ל והמבין יבין


Chaim wrote:

Everywhere I go in Crown Heights, whether it be a local store or office, I overhear parents discussing this issue.

There’s a lot of frustration about this situation.

One place I over hear parents discussing the high cost of camp.

Another about the fact that there is not enough place for their children.

Another place – and this is my main issue – how the children’s learning – everything they learned during the year goes down the drain.

What good are all the extra programs we have during the years, when in the summer it’s all lost?

What good are all the “mivtas” (campaigns), if during the summer it’s all lost?

We are filling the cup with good healthy water, the problem is that there’s a hole at the bottom, that hole is the summer months.

Before you comment here please take the time to actually read the Rebbe opinion on the matter.


Why Are Our Kids Dropping Out? wrote:


Why Are Our Kids Dropping Out of Yeshiva
and as a Result Dropping Out of Yiddishkeit?

In a Sicha given over on Shabbos Parshas שמיני found here (page 343):

The Rebbe relates a well known story that the Previous Rebbe related about a man known as “Yosef the Wooden-Beam” (“יאשע דער קלאץ”).

[Free Translation]

[Yosef] was a Jew who would study Torah 18 (out of 24) hours a day, and because of his great poverty, he didn’t own a chair, and thus he would sit on a wooden beam and because he would shake (to and thro) while learning, as is the custom of Jews, his “wooden beam” became shaped with the impression of where he sat, thus he received the name ” ,”יאשע דער קלאץ Yosef the Wooden Beam.

He was once asked: Since it has been 30 or 40 years that you study 18 hours a day, why can’t you allow yourself to cease learning for an hour or a half an hour, learn only 17 (or 17 and a half) hours?

He responded, that if he decreases even a bit in his learning, another Jew might leave the ways of Hashem (to go off the path) Heaven forbid!
When asked to explain the meaning of this, he explained, when I learn 18 hours, he who is on a lower level will learn a bit less, and so on [For everyone looks at who is on a level above him, and accordingly accustoms themselves at one level below]. Until we reach the Jew who is at the lowest of all levels [of Torah study], and this Jew still holds on to his Yiddishkit. Therefore, if I decrease in my learning, then this will cause a decrease and weakening in all the levels, and the end will be that this last Jew (on the lowest level who learns a bit) will leave the Jewish faith Heaven forbid.


A Desire For Change wrote:

Now there is an את רצון -Desire- for change in the way we do things.

This whole story with ‘COTS’ was a great wake up call. It is time to start implementing the Rebbe’s will.

As a father I know that what the Rebbe is saying is not just an opinion c”v or good advise, but rather a realty.

My oldest is now 7 years (in second grade), Thank G-d he’s a good student and B”H he gives us lot’s of Nachas.

When he was 5 and in Pre-1a, I already saw the damage the summer did to his learning and behavior.

Time to wake up and do the right thing.

This vacation is killing our children’s Yiddishkit!!!!


Chaim wrote:

To Anonymous who wrote:
…”I am a parent in the community who, while knowing we have a lot to improve, appreciates what we have.”

If you are sending your child for babysitting then by all mean “appreciate what we have”, after all what would be the difference, the hours are the same.

But if you care about your child’s ongoing education, behavior and as the Rebbe describes “his Yiddishkit” , then you don’t just appreciate what you have, you demand more, you demand better.

Az Gut Iz Gut, iz Besser Nisht besser (if good is good, is better not better).

When my first child (a son) was is PRE1A, i already recognized the decline in his learning and behavior (he’s B”H a good student, who enjoys learning).

I’m dreading the summer.

I work 12 months a year. I Don’t have 10 weeks vacation and I don’t want a 10 week vacation.

I have a vacation day once a week, it’s called Shabbos Kodesh. I use this vacation to spend extra time with my wife and kids and doing some extra learning myself.

Sleep? I’ll sleep after 120.

I also get many days of Yomim Tovim.

Bottom line: The day camps (the way they are set up now), is not the solution. I’m not interested in make believe learning.

I suggest you read or listen to the Sicho before commenting.


6 Responses to “Summer “vacation” is devastating to the ongoing education of our children”

  1. C.H. (The semi author of op-ed above) Says:

    To clarify:

    1) It’s important that the children get to experience, swimming, sports, trips and several other camp like activities.

    This can all be done in the structure of Yeshiva, not only in the summer months but all year around.

    2) the best and most simplest way to do this is like in Israel, Australia, Europe and in recent years in many parts of the USA.

    That is, have Yeshiva until the month of AV and return for Rosh Chodesh Elul. During the year, a week here and there.

    Now the days “off” are not g-d forbid days off from learning. When we do have the three week “Vacation”, our Yeshivas don’t close their schools, instead under the Yeshiva structure there is camp. Same Rebbe’s, the schedule is almost the same, except for swimming, sports and some trips.

    If Teachers need time off, they can do so whenever they want during the year (like they do now) and take a sub.

    10 weeks “vacation” is just plain ridicules.

    The places that have only three weeks or 10 days of camp, accomplish more with that [short] time then we do with eight long weeks (not including the weeks before and after camp).

    Bottom line: it doesn’t have to be all or none. There is a middle path.
    As many suggested in comments above.

  2. Avi Says:

    I spoke to one of the Gan Yisroel head counselors, he says that all day he gets phone calls from bochurim ages 16-18 begging for a job, any job in camp, just so they have what to do.

  3. Zev Says:

    This post is a change [of direction] to what we are used to reading here.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Ohr Menachem chaider is open during the summer. Give them some recognition!

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