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Two good salaries not enough for a Jewish education

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Wow, I’m still reeling from shock. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that felt nauseous and outraged at the “2019 school fees letter” sent out to the parents of Yeshiva College on erev Shabbos on 10 August 2018.
by Anonymous | Aug 16, 2018

It’s no wonder that more and more families are running to the Chevrah Kadisha for financial assistance. The queue outside the Yeshiva College Financial Director’s office must be growing in length on a daily basis.

When you apply for a subsidy because you simply can’t afford to give your child a Jewish education, you need to show them everything – and I mean everything. They want to know when last you went on a holiday, because apparently one is not allowed to go on holiday. Do you have DStv, because apparently this, too, is a crime. Can my parents pay for their grandkids? Why should they... they paid their “school fees” a long time ago.

My wife and I both earn good salaries. We both have good jobs, but this is now not good enough. The annual fee increase is 8%, but for my family it is actually 40%. Why so high? This is because every grade apparently costs way more than the grade below. My wife and I will be very fortunate if we receive a 5%-7% increase in salary. As it stands, the chance of both of us getting an increase is quite slim, based on South Africa’s economic outlook.

I would like to give a special mention to all the employers out there, Jewish or not Jewish, “frum” or not. Please remember at the end of the year, before you jet set off on your next exotic vacation for four weeks right after you’ve just announced to your staff that there will no increases or bonuses and a possible drop in salary or a scare of retrenchments, that everything is on the rise for the “working class”.

Dear Chevrah Kadisha, it seems that in 2019 you may have many, many, many more families knocking on your door. 

We acknowledge the pressure that paying school fees places on our parent body. We are grateful for the partnership that we have with our parents. Unfortunately, the high cost involved in providing a top education is something all private educational institutions face.

We are committed to providing the highest levels of education across two curricula – limudei kodesh and general studies. We are also very proud of the incredible results our learners achieve in all realms of life.

While the costs of providing this education are extremely high, our school fees are in line with private schooling norms and other Jewish schools. Since the inception of the school, we have remained true to the Rosh Yeshiva’s vision that no child be denied a Yeshiva College education due to finances. While the remissions process has to be thorough, we strive to treat everyone with the utmost sensitivity and respect.

We are committed to seeking out avenues to bring down the costs of education, but must ensure that the quality of our education and our children’s futures are not compromised. – Rabbi Leron Bernstein, Yeshiva College

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