Volume 55 Number 24
                    Produced: Mon Jul 30 22:16:55 EDT 2007

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Finances and Judaism (2)
         [Dr. Josh Backon, Tzvi Stein]
"Konklet" (5)
         [Carl Singer, Avi Frydman, Bernard Raab, Wendy Baker, Fay
         [Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire]


From: Dr. Josh Backon <backon@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:38:15 +0300
Subject: Re: Finances and Judaism

>We are currently in an awkward financial situation.  With two kids in
>dayschool, and babysitting for the third so we can both work, we will
>spend upwards of $50,000 after-tax on education/care for the kids
>during the next academic year.  We are both middle-class, white-collar,
>educated professionals.  We make good salaries, in an urban area.  But
>the numbers just won't add up.

This is perverse, this is insane. I'm not saying that yeshiva high
school tuition should be $750/year like it was when I was in yeshiva
high school in the 1960's. Using standard computations the relevant
dollar figure should be no more than 3.5 times what it was worth
then. In other words, annual tuition today *should* be $2625. Only it
isn't. It's more likely to hover around $18,000 - $20,000.

Demand accountability from the day school. How do they account for the
expenses mostly for over-bloated administrative staff? In the 1960's my
yeshiva high school had 520 students (K-12) with 1 principal (for both
general and Limudei Kodesh for elementary and high school, one assistant
principal (general and Limudei Kodesh for elementary and high school, 1
secretary, 1 bookkeeper (and this was the age before computers), and 2
janitors.  Total: 6 people. Today the same school has 580 students and
the number of administrative staff look like the credits at the end of a
Steven Spielberg movie: literally 50+ nuchshleppers. And each of these
nuchshleppers makes (in real money) 3 times what the administrative
staff made in the 1960's. And the quality of education (secular and
Jewish) is certainly not better (and in some instances worse) than it
was in the 60's.

Every 1 percent in over-bloated administrative staff fired will engender
a concomitant 1 percent decrease in tuition. You fire 50% of the staff?
Tuition plummets 50%.  You fire 75%? Tuition plummets 75%. And you'll
see no difference in quality of education.

If the school refuses to comply, pull your kids out and give them an
excellent homestudy secular education
http://www.babbagenetschool.com/information.html at a cost of $2000 per
child per year and a good Limudei Kodesh curriculum
http://www.yeshivaonline.ca/ for another $2000 per child per year. And
the Limudei Kodesh curriculum can be beefed up by proper texts and
audiovisual material that is currently available for: Hebrew, Tanach,
Dinim/halacha, and gemara.

As someone who has prepared NY State Board of Regents proficiency exams
in Limudei Kodesh for college credit in Hebrew, Talmud and Jewish law
www.jewishbible.org , I assure you that those who follow this self-study
curriculum have the cognitive and learning skills that far surpass those
of the typical American yeshiva high school graduate.

Apart from teaching at the medical school here I also own and run an
electronics firm. Everything is outsourced. What costs $300 in the USA
costs $8.75 (eight dollars and seventy five cents) in Ireland. I know
how to run a business. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever
for the outrageous tuition currently charged by day schools and yeshivot
in the United States.

Dr. Josh Backon

From: Tzvi Stein <Tzvi.Stein@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:39:27 -0400
Subject: Finances and Judaism

With respect to Anonymous's post regarding the high cost of Jewish life:
 *  You didn't mention if you applied for Tuition Reduction.  Sometimes
    people assume they are earning too much for a tuition reduction, but
    in reality, if it's really true that "the numbers don't add up", you
    may very well qualify for not only a reduction, but a substantial
    one.  You don't have much to lose by applying.
 *  If you have a choice of Jewish schools, you may want to look into
    different options, which may be more affordable.
 *  You may want to look into home schooling, which is becoming more and
    more popular among the Orthodox.
 *  You mention that "your job is not portable".  You should give serious
    consideration whether you are giving your current job more power over
    your life than it really deserves. Try to take the fear and emotion
    out of it and look at it rationally. Think of it this way... if G-d
    forbid your job ended tomorrow, don't you think you could find a new
    job?  i don't know your particular field, but the great majority of
    professionals who have a solid working record are able to find
    similar (or better) employment when they need it.  Keep in mind that
    since you already have a job, you are in a much better position to
    look for another position than someone who is out of work.
 *  Aliya is not the only option for moving.  There are several "medium
    size" Jewish communities around the U.S. where you can find a normal
    house with room for 2 sets of dishes in the kitchen (!) and decent
    front and back yards for a sukka and kids, for well under $200 K that
    are well under a mile to the nearest shul.


From: Carl Singer <casinger@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 12:10:56 -0400
Subject: "Konklet"

From: <MarcWilson1216@...> (Marc Wilson)
> I was wondering whether anyone has heard of "konklet" (sp?), a hamburger
> breaded in matzo meal, fried in schmaltz with chopped onions --
> occasionally served on a roll, but usually accompanied by mashed
> potatoes bound by more schmaltz and gribenes.
> We were/are Litvaks, referred to such hamburgers as "konklet" but have
> not yet met anyone who knows the term.

My dear Mother (who is from Lutzk, Poland) uses the term "kucklet" (no
"N") for what was (to me growing up) a generic hamburger.

This hamburger being made of ground beef, egg, leftover challah, slivers
of garlic, etc. -- I don't recall matzo meal as a breading, per se --
but mixed in to provide some body -- or in lieu of matzoh meal, stale
bread ground into bread crumbs on a reebaz (hand grating board.)
Schmaltz, the universal solvent, for frying (anything) was a given.

The side dish of potatoes lubricated with schmaltz and gribenes has
fallen by the wayside due to intervention by several cardiologists.


From: Avi Frydman <frydman@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 13:05:12 GMT
Subject: "Konklet"

My parents were Galizianers and my mother served "Koqulets"(sp). They
were oval, hand formed hamburgers (not breaded as I remember) but served
with mashed potatoes, shmalse fried onions and grebenes.


From: Bernard Raab <beraab@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 11:11:39 -0400
Subject: "Konklet"

Probably delicious, but one of these "konklets" might cause you to "konk
out" clutching at your chest!

--Bernie R

From: Wendy Baker <wbaker@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 14:42:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: "Konklet"

My Mother-in-law prepared a similr dish she called kottolet(like
cutlets).  She was from Proskurov in Western Russia, not far from
Berditchev.  I would assume that konklet is a related word that kind of
got an n added.

Wendy Baker

From: <JuniperViv@...> (Fay Berger)
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 21:58:08 EDT
Subject: Re: "Konklet"

I'm a Litvak,also.My family pronounced it "kotlet"Looked up hamburger in
Uriel Weinreich's Yiddish English dictionary.It is spelled "koof aleph
tes lamed ayin tes"

Fay Berger


From: Irwin E. Weiss, Esquire <irwin@...>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 07:30:53 -0400
Subject: Konklet/Helzel

Marc Wilson inquired into the delicacy "Konklet".  I never heard of it.
Doesn't sound overwhelmingly appetizing from his description, and not
especially good for you.  Sorry to semi-hijack the thread, but, a few
weeks ago my wife and I watched a National Spelling Bee on television.
One of the words a boy from Iowa was asked to spell was "Helzel".  The
young boy asked to have the judge use it in a sentence, so he could get
a better feel for the word.  The judge said, "Tziporah's recipe for
helzel is wonderful."

Only in America.
See:  http://www.jewish-food.org/recipes/helzel1.htm

Irwin E. Weiss
Baltimore, MD


End of Volume 55 Issue 24