Letter From An Ateres Tziporah Parent


Update: Ateres Tzipora Parents open temporary school, Here’s how to join

Dear Lakewood,
  It is approximately 9 weeks since we received the letter that our school, Ateres Tziporah was closing. It is now approximately 1 week into the school year.

The new school, Bais Yaakov of Ocean County looks like it will open at some point. However, at this time it is no more than a pipe dream. The much-hyped administrator removed himself from the situation. There is currently no administrator, no menaheles, no building, and no timeline.

  The situation is as terrible as you might imagine. We watch girls in their school uniforms get on busses by every morning while my daughter has nowhere to go. In the beginning, she asked me every 15 minutes if we’ve heard back from any schools. She’s stopped asking me. She cries herself to sleep every night while I soothe her. No one is there to soothe me as I soak my pillow later. All she wants to know is what color her uniform is going to be, and if I think they will start by Monday.

Stay involved – Here is how

   I have done everything humanly possible to try and get my daughter placed. I have begged, I have grovelled and I have humiliated myself. I have called in every favor that I could. However, at this point, I’ve given up. There is no one left to call or email. There is no one left to grovel in front of. Fathers, grown men are breaking down over this. And there is no end in sight.

  We are stuck in an awful catch-22. There is no timeline for this new school, however knowing what we know, there is no logical way that it can open before Succos. On the other side, the schools refuse to budge. There are only about 120 girls without schools. They can easily be absorbed by other schools, but that is not happening.

I blame the callous school administrators and principals who will not budge. They will not agree to an interview.  How they can sleep at night, on the tears of children, boggles my mind.
  Keeping our children busy is impossible. There is no structure. Most of us are 2 working parent homes. It is causing incredible stress. While everyone has seemingly moved on from us as yesterday’s news, we’ve literally begun the battle for our daughter’s souls. It is at times an hour-by-hour battle and it is real. This is not hyperbole.
 A while back there was a takanah from the BMG Roshei yeshiva which is still in place. The takanah was that no school opens until all girls are placed. For some reason that was not enforced. This travesty could be solved in 2 days if all schools were forced to close until each beautiful and vulnerable neshama had a school to call their own.

 As a father, I cannot describe the utter heartbreak and hopelessness that has become our lives. But somehow, aside from some dedicated askanim, the town has moved on. So as you go about your day-to-day lives and prepare for the Yom hadin, please understand in no uncertain terms, this is on you Lakewood.

An Ateres Tziporah parent

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood


  1. As another parent with a child not in school yet, I hear you and feel for you.

    Unfortunately, the school owners are hardened business people that have forgotten the reason they’re in business.

    What bothers me the most – as it should to anyone (whether you child is in school or not) is, why is there no leader to call the shots? There’s no guidance.

    I would say the Vaad. But from what I see and hear, it doesn’t exist anymore- at least not in the capacity it used to.

    We need leadership. Now.

  2. I believe this is a very selfish way of thinking that other schools should have to close because your child or children are not in school. It is a shame that they do not have a school to go to but everything will work itself out in the right time. It is a very stressful and heart breaking situation indeed but there is no action that can be taken at the moment so why pain yourself more? Need to believe in hashem not Lakewood. It’s not Lakewood’s fault this happened and it’s not on Lakewood now. The community as a whole needs to get on with their lives just the same to work and be in school ect. Ones life should not have to stop just because another’s did. Good luck to these parents and children.

    • Not selfish at all.

      Let’s see you in this situation. Easy to Judge from you high horse.

      We are a community. We’re all on the same boat. If it sinks, we all sink.

      Also, if other schools don’t start, you can bet this will resolve much faster.

    • your an idiot. Just waiting till its your child. This is not hashed this is lakewood from the top . They allowed the building and pushed it and they didn’t open community schools . This Is on them

    • Unfortunately from your comment I see a non believing Jewish person response to a YID that opened up his heart and crying in public because he’s broken and all YOU can come up with is its not my fault and it’s not MY responsibility? How dare you tell him to believe in the same Hashem that you so conveniently don’t believe in? Hashem should help you see how selfish you sound. This message from a father that is going through the same thing.

  3. Shame on all the principals and administratives in lakewood! Shame on you! Shame! Put yourself into the shoes of those parents!! What makes u think u r better than regular parents out there! Shame on you!

  4. Hi. As of now I am not working.. I would love to be of support for your daughter And perhaps learn with her and occupy her a part of the day.. if you would I can call you when you’re available..

  5. 120 parents. Each parent pays $450 a month. 120 x $450 = $54,000 a month. Appoint few guys of the parent body to take this money rent a building and pay the morohs. The parents should open a new school!!! Show the rest of us you can do something and we will all chip in and help!

  6. X even if that’s what you believe which is extremely selfish what would possess you to post that comment. Keep your unsupportive comments to yourself!

  7. To X
    B”H I’m not in this painfully situation.
    But sorry to say do the selfish one Is YOU!
    How can u say life goes in.didnt ever heard “kol Israel areivim ze laze”
    Yes.if the schools weren’t allowed to open all those girls will b in school a long time again.
    How can you not care??? ?

  8. When these kids will become dropouts we will have 100 organizations to bring them back but where is everyone now when we could prevent this???

    • Are there really 100 organizations to bring back dropouts?

      I can think of a few individuals who do such work but not so many community organizations

  9. One of the most glaring elements of the horrible school situation is that, some very cruel hard hearted people, who ignore the Roshei Yeshiva, are the very same people tasked with educating our youth.

  10. For years many of the parents were knocking the Lakewood institutions and its rules. Now that the situation is reversed they are begging for forgiveness. It doesn’t work. You made your bed, now lay in it.
    And obviously the reality is that the parents aren’t willing to pay their fair share and that’s why the school was in such a deficit while other school administrators are buying their kids houses in Israel.

  11. Speaking for myself, I can say that the reason I was able to go on with my life is because I was under the impression that the issue was being resolved when I saw last week that the new school was opening. I had no idea until I read this letter that the situation is still so uncertain. I’m heartbroken. And I feel so powerless. As a community we can’t stand by while so many families are suffering! This is intolerable!

  12. Shame on Lakewood! Move out of of this despicable town! Where parents and teachers and administrators think they’re better than everyone else. This is a town of selfish disgusting egotistical people I don’t call this yiddishkeit. Lakewood by far has the most kids without a school and no one to turn to. It’s about time people there take a stand and protest that every child needs a school otherwise they won’t send their own children to school.

  13. We can all help these children.
    We can daven for them! This letter speaks to the heart of everyone who has one. Channel that feeling and say a kapitel Tehillim!

  14. The worst thing about being a child in this situation is the lack of any structure and purpose. One primary goal may be that while a solution is being worked out, a location be found where all school-less students can come each day to daven, learn, play, have lunch and then go home. It doesn’t need to be a full day of school. Maybe 9-1. Any available parents or Lakewood residents who want to help can volunteer to staff and run this. It can be funded by either parents or donations. Is that a possibility?

  15. Also, schools not opening until all children are placed is not helpful because that makes all the other parents suffer. The real solution is SCHOOLS MAY NOT OPEN UNTIL ALL CHILDREN ARE PLACED. AND TUITION MAY NOT BE CHARGED FOR THE DAYS THAT SCHOOL DID NOT OPEN! This way, the consequence is directly affecting those who have the ability to fix the problem…

  16. serious suggestion

    20-30 of the parents of children who don’t have schools, stage a protest on rt 9 and pine street, or some other vital interaction in town at 2 pm. and block the street. stand in middle of the intersection with placards! yes you will get arrested, and probably let out the next day with a fine. but then a big tumult will start. it will be reported in APP and other outlets. word will get out all over about what is happening in this town. then maybe something will start to change…..

  17. The parents should go around the va’ad and directly to the roshei hayeshiva demanding action. They are the only people in this town that anyone will listen to.
    Have a video with Rechnitz speaking about this to raise some controversy.
    Put these letters on Lakewood Scoop.
    Make a list of schools that are not actually full to capacity and publish it with a list of how many girls are actually in each class.
    Have choshuve rabbonim go over to these administrators and ask them why exactly they can’t accept any girls. See if the explanations makes sense. Maybe you can address them.

    • This doesn’t work either.

      Without going to details, I have been doing just what you mentioned above and still no results.

      This town is a lawless. The school owners do what they want without ramifications. That’s the bottom line issue.

      Until it hits them in the pocket, it won’t change.

  18. MODERATOR NOTE: As you probably understand, your comment contains Loshan Hara & cannot be published. We feel your pain & sympathize with you. Hatzlocha!

  19. This is very serious and I feel awful for all the parents in this situation.
    I personally know a few families that send/t do Ateres Tzipporah and they are great families. Their yiddishkeit is real. I feel it’s very inconsiderate for some people to judge and post hurtful comments against the families in the school. Please watch what you say before you post, these parents have been through enough.

  20. Parents themselves should open the school! Pool together your tuition and rent a space with a few teachers. It’s really not that complicated! At the same time make go fund me page and everyone will help!!!

  21. I am an “out-of-towner” and, so, I can’t say that I understand the whole situation. I would venture to say that we don’t have the whole story. Ikkur Chosur Min Hasefer. Be that as it may… I had seen an article a few weeks ago where it seemed that some parents had started planning/implementing a viable solution to this issue. They had been working with Melamed Academy to get a group together to have a structured “school day” utilizing the Melamed computerized program. I am not affiliated with Melamed in any way, but from their website, it is clear that Melamed (https://melamedacademy.com/) is an accredited online school, where the children can get a real education (K-12, with a recognized HS diploma) in a “Yeshiva” setting. This could, of course, be done on an individual basis, at home, too. But, if parents got together groups of 20-30 girls (even different ages/grades), they could have one Rebbe/Morah or “Teacher” (doesn’t have to be licensed) to proctor the class, and provide some structure (lunch break, recess, etc.). They could rent a room (or rooms, as necessary) in a local Shul… and at least the girls will be back “in school.” I’m not sure why this idea seems to have been tabled. Whatever its shortcomings, it’s far better than sitting at home. Their pricing seems very reasonable, and I imagine if a group comes to them, they would work with you, so that even renting space and paying a teacher would factor into the economics of the arrangement. Hatzlacha.

  22. I’ve been living over 30 yrs in this community.
    My youngest son left to an out of town yeshiva last week my youngest daughter left to israel for seminary. I went through the same every single year,my kids were never excepted into Lakewood schools it was HORRIBLE AND PAINFUL…..
    I’m sorry for the pain you and your children are experiencing.My children are left with scars.They were sitting home for months every beginning of school year.while we ran from the vaad to the Rosh yeshivas to anyone with pull……. nightmare memories.
    For high school I had to send all 6 of them out of town.

  23. My boys and girls are both in schools BH. But I really do feel your pain and understand you. I can only imagine what you are going through, and I hope something is done quickly To tackle this situation, and to ensure that this doesn’t happen ever again. It is terrible!

  24. Poster – Is there something we can do to help? Anything specific other than davening and caring.

    You should know that people do care but just don’t know what they can do

  25. The Lakewood community cannot be held hostage by not being able to open their schools due to parents who moved here without a school to send their children. It’s very sad the children are being put through this but demonizing other mosdos is not the answer. If the schools would simply accept 140 children into their already overcrowded classes we would be inviting many more people to join Lakewood without a plan for a school.
    At this point the parents should remain United so that there’s enough students to begin a new school. It will be impossible to begin a new school if some of the girls are accepted into the existing schools.
    It’s not a simple decision to accept more children then a teacher can manage, especially when those children are of a different background then the rest of the students.
    I hope a new first school opens for these precious children.

  26. I’m confused
    why is everyone so reliant on this so called administrator?
    Why don’t a few parents come forward and take control?
    Everyone sits by and waits for the other person
    If u have 170 parents pick up your Tu#%~>and take charge?

  27. Here’s a solution that many may disagree with but IMHO will work….

    All 100 girls tomorrow morning should get dressed in their uniforms and be brought by a parent to 75 Oak Street which is Lakewood’s Elementary Public School at 9:00am. Be prepared to spend an hour or more there just in case. There are literally 1,000 scenario’s of how it will play out but I’m pretty sure that if any parent tells all the media sure to be present that there’s no reason why their tax dollars should pay for private school busing when they are clearly discriminatory and that if Public School which is the only school in town that will accept your daughter who is a Shomer Torah v’Mitzvos than it should be good enough for everyone’s daughters…..

  28. Forgive my intrusion – I’m only trying to help.

    Why can’t all the parents meet together, pool resources and set up a school of their own. Maybe you can pull some teachers out of retirement for the first year and look to hire new ones going forward. A plus would be that this School wouldn’t be run by a vaad or businessman but rather by the parent’s who would create a board of themselves to oversee all aspects.

    Just a thought.


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