Lakewood’s Yeshiva Bais Hatorah Forced to Close, Over 350 Students Stranded


school-closedThe closure of another yeshiva in one of the Tri-State’s large frum communities is indicative of a disturbing reality that is hitting home with great force: the dire financial state of our communities’ mosdos hachinuch.

Yesterday, it was determined that Yeshiva Bais Hachinuch, a well-respected boys’ elementary school, will be closing indefinitely due to its dreadful fiscal state.

The school had been scheduled to begin the new school year this morning.

Yeshiva Bais Hatorah started with an initial 16 students in a storefront on Route 9 in 1999 and grew to an enrollment of over 350 talmidim occupying a sprawling campus on Swarthmore Avenue in Lakewood’s Industrial Park. That campus will now sit dormant, while hundreds of students will be stuck at home due to the pecuniary shortfall facing the school’s administration.

Just last year, Bais Yaakov Elementary School in Lakewood shut its doors because of its financial deficit.

For a decade following Yeshiva Bais Hatorah’s founding, the dedication of the menahel, Rav Nechemiah Gottleib, helped the mosad take root and flourish into the exemplary mosad hachinuch. The incredible accomplishments in limudim and yedios haTorah, the hallmarks of a Bais Hatorah talmid, are, for now, a thing of the past.

Yeshiva Bais Hachninuch distinguished itself since its inception for its mehalech in limud haTorah and producing bochurim of the highest caliber by following the noted Zilberman method of learning. In addition to a seder halimud that included the basics found in any yeshiva, Bais Hatorah marked the completion of Chamisha Chumshei Torah by the end of fourth grade. The seder halimud also included the completion of large portions of Neviim Rishonim and Acharonim. Augmented by at least two sedarim in Mishnayos, the talmidim of Bais Hatorah had aspirations of yesteryear in regard to their breadth and depth of yedios haTorah.

Less than two months ago, on July 6, Yeshiva Bais Hatorah held its 11th Anniversary Dinner at Toras Aron Hall in Lakewood. At that dinner, a special siyum was made by the yeshiva students on Chamisha Chumshei Torah, Trei Asar, Seder Nezikin and Gemara Makkos.

It is unknown at this point what the future holds for the yeshiva or what arrangements will be made for the hundreds of talmidim who, for now, remain stranded.

 { Newscenter}


  1. This is a very sad situation, so many young kids that have no school and with there special derech halimud I don’t even know if the older kids could even fit into regular schools , ohy tatte in himul!

  2. If 350 talmidim meant 350 full tuition payments then the problem would be solved. Even if only 300 were paid. Even 250. Even 200. Even 150. Even 100.

  3. A tragedy for everyone, talmidim, rebbeim and paents. I hope someone steps in to keep it going.
    Especially hurtful is to note that this is in Lakewood, where the overwhelming majority of homes- and school tax revenue- goes to the public school system. If there was ever a ‘poster-child’ for vouchers – here it is!

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  6. these kind of things happening & people being Niftar at young ages or in strange ways R”L are all wake up call to klal yisroel & to the people of that town, that we only care about ourselves, but when it comes to helping/caring for another yid then i cannot help you.
    with that being the case, each time tragedy strikes Hashem has the same question-for each person separately-now you have woken up, now you are crying at this baby’s levaya R”L but when we hear of someone else in tragic cases… we dont care. hashem then wants to know if we will wake up now to help others or do we need another tragic WAKE-UP call from hashem C”V to care for one another?

  7. Unfortunately this is a major problem facing many of mosdos, Unfortunately many parents can not pay full tuition and many people are using the current recession to say we can’t donate like we used to.
    Another problem is that unfortunately a kosher education is not high on the priorities of large donators.

  8. No matter how you slice it, this is a tragedy. Truth is, 90% of families in our communities are drowning financially. We are living crazy lives.

  9. As a father of two mainstream mesivta bacharim who went through the system of Bais Hatorah in elementary, I can attest that they do just fine in mesivta. In fact, the Rebbi used to say very often, when they reached a pasuk or mishna, “Bais HaTorah bochur, finish the pasuk for us”. They are also on top of their classes, and their friends have also been accepted to top mesivtas in Lakewood and beyond. It IS (I hope it resurrects itself) a phenomenal yeshiva with a wonderful parent body, dedicated Rebbeim and great Hanhala.

  10. as long as a society has a holier than thou attitude , where appearance means everything there will not be a feeling of achrayis of one to another. why is it that one wearing a colored or striped shirt is automatically labelled and shunned from certain schools? who decided what makes a young lady more frum than the other? why should one who can not get his child into a school for some absurd reason dreamed up by who knows who want to support such a movement. when each family will be respected for who they are – not how they look like maybe the schoos will have a chance. but i believe this closing is only the tip of the iceberg

  11. response to # 14- Tatte in Bais Hatorah
    Well said. My sons did fabulously in Bais Hatorah. Their knowledge of the entire Tanach is unsurpassed by Talmidim from any other school. And my Mesivta son had no problem whatsoever blending in to his class. This is a tragedy with no solution in sight!

  12. We’ll have more money for the important things if we don’t spend it on foolishly extravagant simchos and marriage agreements (i.e. fully financed apartments for young couples from the parents.) Part of being a kollel yungerman (and being the wife of one!) is to recognize that if you aren’t making your own money then you must be moser nefesh for torah and live on the simple side like many yungeleit do in Lakewood today.

  13. Seems like some people in town are only worried about the mosdos and not about the property tax burden on the yachid. They don’t realize that if you choke the yachidim with a unfair huge tax burden then eventually it trickles down to the mosdos. People cannot afford to pay the huge property taxes and still pay the tuition needed to keep the mosdos afloat.

  14. Ok,
    I just spoke to my brother in law who lives in Lakewood.

    We are not getting the whole story here in this article.

  15. terrible news! my kids are not in school yet but i was at the recent dinner and i was really really impressed with this yeshiva…. i hope they open up fast and im sure they will!I do believe there are peopole out there that will open their hands to this great mosad! (and yes i did give what i can).

  16. Genuck #24-
    You are complaining about property taxes? Why don’t you check out how much of that goes to the school district, which then pays for your yeshiva bus, books, resource teachers and much more. Imagine the yeshivos lost all of that funding. they would all be up a creek.

  17. Why was this not apparent until the day before it was supposed to open?
    Couldn’t they tell in April or June they had no money?

  18. The problem is that we are dealing with the next generation in Lakewood. While until now a great percentage of Lakewood was supported by their parents they were able to learn and be fully supported, now we are at the point that the grandparents are still in Lakewood and nobody in three generations is bringing in a decent amount of money to support the ever growing expanding lifestyles that we all live in.

    Now as long as the system in Lakewood worked, it was fine. But now that the next generation of yungerleit are marrying off their kids, b”h, and the pressures of the shidduch crisis requires everyone to over extend themselves financally, the entire system is bound to crack. We are a community living beyond our ability. While we all hope that this school issue can be resolved, we should embrace ourselves for the next mossad to collapse, unless we change our priorities.

  19. we need to line up these 400 kids in front of the p.s. on 7th street.
    you will see how fast vouchers will come to nj!!!

  20. Well said #34, I couldn’t agree more. We must take to heart that we can no longer contiue the way things have been for the last three decades. The system is cracking underneath our feet and were paying much attention. It’s not sustainable. We need to find well paying jobs. This is needed so we can support these yeshivah and Batei Medrashim.

  21. The problem in general is the newer generation that are working are not welcomed or trusted by older leadership which are tired. It’s time for the older leadership to enjoy their grandchildren and trust that Hashem has found good Shluchim in the younger generation. Sometimes you need to let go and allow others to step in before it’s to late.

  22. what can the askonim do??

    problem, is getting worse by the day teachers and rabbeim wont stick around if they don’t get paid… parents cant afford to pay so now we are stuck!

  23. When a Yeshivah closes one must fall back to plan B.
    Plan B is the original chiyuv of teaching ones children. Guess who that might be?
    It is the Father of that child. Well now 350 fathers will be learning with their children in BMG. (you can use the chaires and seforim from the closed down Yeshiva.)

    The above is NOT funny. It is min hastam the right thing do ( Ask ashaylah).

    BTW, Is this the same place that has that new hall? If yes, I guess the prices for the affairs were too low as well?

  24. Without money you cannot run a yeshiva.Without education,you cannot get a job.Without a job you cannot support a yeshiva. Since everyone is expected to have many children,and sit and learn,and marry young without jobs,and little education to be able to hold a job or run a legal business and the older generation leaving us,this ponzi scheme will now fall apart.

  25. imagine you have choice of only two schools. both have trust accounts and are financially sound. one has ONLY talmidim whose fathers are learning in kollel. the other has ONLY talmidim whode fathers are working. For some reason, you may send to either one, and no other option is available. WHere would you send your son ?

  26. Most of us dont support our childrens Yeshivos with the Maaser we need to give even from Kollel checks. I am a former staff member of other Yeshivos who owe me over 200k together. Curently without a job and can’t pay tuition or mortgage.
    The only solutions to receive more money would be to have more fundraisers, higher tuitions, grant writers and the best would be for all jewish parents to register their kids in Public school 1 day before they open. All Frum parents must arrange the time and place and the Rabbonim must make a Machoah that if the parents dont bring a signed registration to the yeshiva then they will have to reconsider their acceptance back into Yeshivah. Public schools receive 12k-16k for an average student without any added services. Even if Yeshivos would receive 50% because they only use half a day for Limudei Chol this alone would be a Brocho.
    Again this must be done in Massive numbers with the community askonim notifying the autorities the day or 2 before it happens and everyone must line up orderly etc…. in order for it to have any affect!
    I have been saying this in monsey for a few years…………
    My childrens Yeshivah decided to shut down 1 month ago or so. Most other local Yeshivos did not want to accept new students and they only had about 100 kids wwith small classes.
    I hope someone comes up with a major solution! Hatzlocho Raboh!

  27. What is really needed is some better strategic planning. What is the return on investment of the new Yeshiva? Can the community involved afford a new administrative infrastructure, whether it is the yechiddim or the tzibbur? Is there a system of transparency or accountability in place to ensure that mammon hekdesh is spent properly? With these cheshboinoiss, the intitutions involved would be less vulnerable to their demise.

  28. I feel terrible for all the children, and Rebbeim, most of whom, are the most taierer and ehliche yidden I ever had the zchus to meet…

  29. I am not familiar with the public schools in Lakewood, but here in the Lawrence School District the schools would love love love if we enrolled our yeshiva children in the public schools. They would simply hire more teachers, raise taxes and be thrilled that they are helping to make sure the next generation of orthodox jews will not be “radical”. In NYC they are even more able to absorb the frum in the schools since they have even more capacity. Don’t think for a second that registering in PS will solve any problems.

  30. IN Lakewood it would, because the population is like 70% frum, the rest are senior citizens and Black/Hispanic.

    The bulk of the taxes come from the yeshiva community, and we just voted down a tax increase this year..

    So if 7000 children shoed up at an elementary school they would be completely overwhelmed, as the school would go from about 2-3% (special ed and other matters) frum and 97% Black/hispanic to about 75-80% frum..

    They would also need to build a new school by buying property from someone who in all likelihood is a frum investor…

  31. Here in Lawrence more than 50% of the students attend private schools, and our property taxes are also high. We only have about 4000 yeshiva students and 3000 public school students. We control the school board and routinely vote down budgets. The PS would still love to have us. We do have extra capacity in the school buildings here though.

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