Making final decision regarding high school for ds14

Do you remember when I wrote about the new yeshiva high school that was planned to open in Karmiel for the coming school year?  This was a very exciting option for our family since I’m strongly against sending high school age children to dormitories and there are no suitable local options for us in northern Israel.

Well, right after dh left to the States I got the news that the school won’t be opening.  It has something to do with some technicalities with the municipality.  I didn’t want to think about this information for a week.  This was a huge disappointment to me.  Huge.  Not just regarding ds14, but for the next five boys, particularly in light of my homeschooling plans since having a relationship with a high school and then enrolling a homeschooled son from the same family is very different than approaching a school that doesn’t know you or your family.

If something isn’t meant to be you can’t make it happen.  So we had to adapt, but I needed some time to mentally adapt.  Fortunately, we have choices.  Ds14 was accepted to the school of his choice in the center earlier this year and they really want him.  That’s a nice situation to be in.  This is the place where he scored the highest of all the approximately 100 incoming applicants on the testing, but ds is also a really great kid and I appreciate that they recognize that.  We told them that if the local school opened we’d be sending him there but if it didn’t we’d send him there, and they held a spot for him just in case.

There’s also a yeshiva in Haifa that has accepted him.  This was kind of funny since he didn’t apply there!  Months ago this yeshiva was having an in-Shabbos for potential students, and ds was asked by a teacher in his school to accompany another applicant who had made aliyah about nine months after us and didn’t yet speak Hebrew well.  Being the suspicious person that I was at the time (this is when we were getting pressure to send ds to a non-bagrut yeshiva), I told dh they were trying to get ds to that yeshiva and were pretending it was to help someone else.  But it actually was to help someone else and I was being overly sensitive.  While he was there the boys in the yeshiva told him the boy he was with wouldn’t be accepted (because he’s a member of a non-litvish religious group).  So ds went to the rosh yeshiva and spoke to him about this kid, telling what a great boy he was and why they should accept him.

Well, they still didn’t accept the other boy (which I think was a good thing for the boy, since he would be better off in a school more in tune with his family’s traditions).  But a local friend who has a son in that yeshiva told me the rosh yeshiva called them and said he was so impressed with ds that they wanted to find out how they could get him to attend their yeshiva!

There’s also a typical charedi yeshiva here in Karmiel and another one in Rechasim which would both be options if we didn’t care about him getting a secular education.  But we do and in any case they are both dorming schools as well.  Months ago when we were talking about all the options we discussed sending him to the Karmiel yeshiva, since we thought it was likely they would agree to let him sleep at home.  But he’s not interested in being there, and in any case by the time he’d come home at night it would be 10:30 pm and he’d have to be back by 7 am, so we wouldn’t see much of him anyway.  The one local non dorming school that we considered is in Nahariya but he isn’t a good match for the student body.

So this week dh called the first yeshiva and told them that ds will be attending.  Dh and I feel good about it – as good as I can feel about a dorming school – and ds also feels good about it.  In addition to already having met the rosh yeshiva and mashgiach and having a very nice feeling about both, he’s toured the campus and met a bunch of students, who were all friendly to him.  His local friend has reassured him that he’ll do well socially for several reasons.  So while it will be a new and different situation, he has a positive feeling about it.

One thing that’s nice about all of this is to finally have a decision.  We’ve been waiting in limbo since December to see what’s going to happen with the opening of the new school, and now we can finally move forward with a decision.


9 thoughts on “Making final decision regarding high school for ds14

  1. Hi Avivah,
    It sounds like you acted on your own advice in your piece about pain vs. suffering. You had a big disappointment, gave yourself time to feel the disappointment and then were ready to move on. With the positive attitude you all have about this, it has every chance to be a wonderful experience.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I really do feel optimistic about this, and fortunately he can come home every Shabbos. That mitigates the dorm situation somewhat!

  2. What type of school is it? I’m interested in sending my son to a yeshiva high school that also has secular studies. But I didnt know that charedi ones exist. Do you know of any in jerusalem?

    1. There are supposedly about five or six charedi yeshivas in the country that also have secular studies – off the top of my head, they include: Maarava, Nehora, Nahardea, Mesivta (RBS) but I don’t know what the others are as these were options we looked into.

  3. ah, the joys of life post homeschooling! we are also sending our high school age son to a dormitory school,something that I never thought I would do as it is not congruent with deeply held core values and beliefs. BUT it IS the best match for him in so many other ways, so I had to get over myself (as my kids would say) and send him. sigh.

    1. I wish I knew the answer, Karen. There is certainly a need and I don’t think it’s unlikely that they’ll try again at some point, but time will tell.

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