Volume 41 Number 72
                 Produced: Tue Jan  6  5:15:27 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Children in Schule
         [Yisrael Medad]
Kollel & Charity / Tzedukah
         [Carl Singer]
Kollel & Tzedaka
         [Esther Posen]
Kollel and Tuition Scholarship
         [Elazar M Teitz]
Scholarship subsidies
         [Kenneth G Miller]
Yom ha-Shoah
         [Ed Reingold]


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sat, 03 Jan 2004 21:57:26 +0200
Subject: Children in Schule

>From the Machon Meir sheet this week, Rav Aviner's opinion:-

"One should not bring one's small child to the synagogue. It is not a
day-care center or a nursery school.  He will run wild there, and this
will reinforce in him the precise behaviors that his father falls prey
to now.  If, however, he sits quietly, then it is certainly good for him
to breath in the holy air. Yet the moment he unexpectedly starts making
noise, one must remove him immediately, even if one is in the middle of
the Shemoneh Esreh. One is not alone in the synagogue. One is disturbing
others.  Neither should one rile up one's own children or those of
others. One should not make faces at them or pinch their cheeks. Even
children have a right to be left in peace."


Yisrael Medad


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004 07:24:12 -0500
Subject: Kollel & Charity / Tzedukah

Eliezer M. Wise  wrote -- in part

> We should also consider that when people are supporting their children
> in kollel they are less apt to donate to existing institutions. When a
> person chooses to learn in Kollel he has committed his parents or
> in-laws to supporting himself and his family for an unspecified period
> of time.  Consider the one doing the supporting. He may be comfortable
> but his charity dollars are all spoken for. What will happen to schools,
> shuls, outreach organizations, frum social services agencies etc. These
> institutions will either have to engage in warfare for the remaining
> dollar or compromise their principles to gain needed funds. So you see
> the choice of a young man to learn in kollel has a ripple effect on the
> entire Jewish world.

Not in agreement or disagreement with above -- but I have 2 questions:

Is supporting one's children in Kollel tzedukah?  

For that matter, is paying yeshiva tuition tzedukah?

-- I'm speaking of halachik definition of tzedukah -- 
not I.R.S. / Charitable Contribution.

Carl Singer


From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 07:43:42 -0600
Subject: RE: Kollel & Tzedaka

There is a seemingly perfect line of reasoning here that there exists a
finite amount of available tzedaka out there and if Peter and Paul are
both needy and Peter gets the tzedaka then Peter is in effect eating
Paul's lunch.  Though this does seem perfectly logical, this is not the
way it really works for a multitude of reasons, chief among them that it
is g-d who decides who has and who needs:

1) People have pet causes.  Some people like to build buildings for
yeshivot, some people like to give their money to hachnasat kallah, some
to victims of terror, some to the unemployed, some to kiruv and some to
build hospital wings.  Likely, is it not, that g-d planned it this way.
Different strokes/tzedaka for different folks.

2) Giving tzedaka is an opportunity given to us by g-d to help us
realize that our resources are g-d given and not really a result of our
excellent life planning skills, stellar college education and smart
career choices. Wherever we give this tzedaka is immaterial.  "Asser
kidei sh'tisasher" asserts that giving tzedaka does not truly lower
anyone's net worth.  If we believed that if everyone truly made the
right choices there would be no requirement for tzedaka we are being
arrogant and blind to the fact that Hashem created the world and
determines who has and who needs.

3) Though not distributed evenly, the financial resources of the
orthodox jewish community are astounding.  In fact, noone need go
hungry, without a jewish education or without a thriving kollel in their
midst.  Walk down the streets in the Five Towns, Boro Park, Toronto or
wherever you choose and it becomes clear that the global orhtodox Jewish
community can be self supporting.  Perhaps giving some tzedaka to that
poor, unemployed kollel guy with thirteen children in eretz yisroel,
whether or not you think his circumstances are due to poor choices, will
be just the ticket g-d requires of you to excuse you from not moving
there yourself.

Esther Posen


From: Elazar M Teitz <remt@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 21:51:41 -0500
Subject: re: Kollel and Tuition Scholarship

<Even if you don't directly fund a kollel you may be subsidizing one
because, for example, the schools that you send your children to offer
"scholarships" to kollel families.  Simple math.  If there are 100
children in your community school and the tuition is $10,000 per child,
the annual tuition revenue should be one million dollars.  If, instead,
that revenue is, say, $600,000.  Then you are really paying $6,000
tuition and $4,000 scholarship subsidy.  And you don't even get the tax
deduction.  Conventional wisdon is that if tuition were reset to $6,000
with a $4,000 donation request that noone would pay the $4,000.>

        As one who has been employed on the receiving end of the tuition
process for 45 years, and was a tuition payer to day schools for 28 of
those years, I find the logic expressed above specious.

        First question: what is the school's actual expense?  If it is
$1,000,000, then the cost of educating a child is $10,000.  It is not
the tuition payer who is subsidizing the scholarship cases, but rather
the people who contribute the $400,000 above tuition that the school
must collect to meet its obligations Only if the $600,000 raised in
tuition covers the school's total expenses can it be said that $6,000 is
tuition and the rest is to cover scholarships.  However, show me a
school which covers its expenses from tuition only, without engaging in
massive fund-raising. (I can attest that the school system with which I
am associated would not quite cover its costs even if each and every
student were full-paying. Thus, even the full payers are beneficiaries
of some degree of scholarship assistance.)

        It might be argued that were the scholarship children not in the
school, the costs would be lower.  This, too, is for the most part false
economics.  Provided that no additional classes are added, but the
scholarship students are absorbed into existing classes, it can be
argued that each such student actually _lowers_ the per-capita cost.
The difference in cost between a class of, say, 21 students and one of
23 is negligible: two extra desks, some more paper and other school
supplies.  However, virtually all students pay some not insignificant
proportion of tuition.  Even if each of the students in my example pays
$1,000, the school has an additional $2,000 at its disposal, with added
cost of at most $250. Thus, adding the two scholarship students has
reduced by $1,750 the amount by which others are subsidizing
tuition. And though we have no kollel yungeleit living in our community,
many of the wives of those who live in other communities teach here; and
since we are involved in their tuition directly to the schools their
children attend, I can attest that their average payment is far more
than $1,000. per student.

        True, if another class must be added as the direct result of the
number of scholarship cases, my mathematics is faulty; but in most
schools, i is the exception, rather than the rule, that extra classes
are necessitated by the presence of scholarship cases.  Furthermore,
most students benefit from the variety and flexibility which parallel
classes provide, so that even in this case, the benefit is shared by all
students, not merely the scholarship recipients.

        In truth, from my perspective no parent should be required to
pay tuition.  In an ideal world, the Jewish community would understand
that Torah education is a communal. as well as a parental,
responsibility, and Torah education would be funded by a
Jewish-community-wide tax, rather than principally by tuition.  The
benefit of having a day school in a community is far more than the
parents' alone.  Every Jewish resident benefits, and not only
spiritually.  In most communities with respectable day school
attendance, what would happen to property values were the school to
close down?  All those no longer paying tuition who do not contribute to
the school's upkeep are, in a way, parasitical in wanting the benefits
while shirking the concomitant responsibility.

        There was an attempt made, I believe prior to World War I, to
form a fund to care for the needs of all the yeshivos g'dolos in Russia,
Latvia and Lithuania.  An extremely wealthy man named Baron Hirsch
marshalled eight of his equally wealthy colleagues, and each put up one
million rubles. That sum, in those days and that area, would have
sufficed to generate enough income to sustain all the yeshivos, while
preserving the principal intact.  What happened was that through various
happenstances, the fund was totally lost.  The Chafetz Chaim pointed out
at the time that it was the third attempt to take such an action, and
all had the same result -- a series of unbelievable misfortunes led to
the loss of the money.  The Chafetz Chaim's interpretation was that the
result was inevitable.  Had the plan succeeded, those learning would
have had a share in Torah, as would the nine capitalists, to the
exclusion of most of the nation.  With the big sums gone, and the need
existing to recruit large sums from many people, even those who could
not learn, but could support Torah, whether more or less, had a share in
Torah. (My source is my father z"l.)

        Finally, why is the onus for the "extra tuition" placed at the
footsteps of the kollel yunge leit?  Far greater funds are expended,
throughout America, for the education of Israeli yordim and immigrants
from the late, unlamented Soviet Union.  When asked, we did not and
still do not hesitate to help them with their physical lacks.  If there
is, in the words of the prophet, "lo ra'av lalechem v'lo tzama lamayim
ki im lishmo'a es divrei Hashem" (not a hunger for bread, nor a thirst
for water, but to hear the words of Hashem -- Amos 8:11), should we deny
them this necessity because it costs us money?

        I apologize if my answer is overly lengthy; it is obviously a
topic about which I have deep feelings.  True, yeshiva education is my
livelihood, but the cause-effect relationship is not that I care because
it's my job.  I made it my life's work because I care.

Elazar M. Teitz


From: Kenneth G Miller <kennethgmiller@...>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 08:42:45 -0500
Subject: Scholarship subsidies

In MJ 41:69 (in the thread titled "Kollel"), Carl Singer wrote <<< If
there are 100 children in your community school and the tuition is
$10,000 per child, the annual tuition revenue should be one million
dollars.  If, instead, that revenue is, say, $600,000.  Then you are
really paying $6,000 tuition and $4,000 scholarship subsidy.  And you
don't even get the tax deduction.  Conventional wisdon is that if tuition
were reset to $6,000 with a $4,000 donation request that noone would pay
the $4,000. >>>

I know of one school (and have heard that there are others) where the
bill is itemized, and lists (using his numbers) $6000 for tuition, and a
separate $4000 mandatory donation to the school's scholarship fund. This
is done specifically so that the parents *can* get a tax deduction on
the $4000. I am not a tax lawyer, so I don't know for sure how legal
this is (can it be a deductible donation if it is mandatory?), but it
*is* being done.

Akiva Miller


From: Ed Reingold <reingold@...>
Date: Sat, 03 Jan 2004 17:45:31 -0600
Subject: Yom ha-Shoah

The message about the date of Yom ha-Shoah was forwarded to me; here are
two comments:

In the second edition of my book with Nachum Dershowitz, _Calendrical
Calculations_ (CUP, 2001), I say

> Yom ha-Shoah is Nisan 27, unless that day is Sunday (it cannot be Saturday), 
> in which case it is postponed 1 day. This exception was introduced by the 
> Israeli Knesset in May 1997. 

As to my Emacs calendar/diary code, the principle used is: 

> The dates used by Emacs for holidays are based on _current 
> practice_, not historical fact. Historically, for instance, the start 
> of daylight savings time and even its existence have varied from year to 
> year, but present United States law mandates that daylight savings time 
> begins on the first Sunday in April. When the daylight savings rules 
> are set up for the United States, Emacs always uses the present 
> definition, even though it is wrong for some prior years. 

(The above paragraph is from the manual).  The reason for this principle
is that the definition (or even existence) of holidays changes and doing
the historical research to get each holiday precisely correct
year-by-year is an enormous scholarly task!

Professor Edward M. Reingold                Email: <reingold@...>
Chairman, Department of Computer Science    Voice: (312) 567-3309
Illinois Institute of Technology            Assistant: (312) 567-5152
Stuart Building                             Fax:   (312) 567-5067
10 West 31st Street, Suite 236
Chicago, IL  60616-3729  U.S.A.


End of Volume 41 Issue 72