Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some Nice People Want to Give You Vocational Training

I got this email yesterday:

Hi-

I ran across your blog and thought I’d challenge you, since you appear to actually care about the fact that most young bochurim are usually broke.

I’ve got a $5000 grant for each and every Chabad bochur that uses it for tuition at a vocational course that will bring him a profession that he can earn a living at. No strings attached, at all.

If they need help finding a career, I can help. Likewise with finding schools and courses. Also with writing resumes, getting GED’s , and so on. No strings, no BS, and all very very confidential.

Can you write about it?

Yossi

CH-CAP

212.524.1728

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32 comments:

  1. I recall Cheerio telling me about this awhile ago.

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  2. just one letters change and they would be called fags

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  3. Nice, Altie. Very eidel. :)

    This guy actually seems very nice. I almost met him one time to see what he is doing and write about it, but my car broke that day in the middle of nowhere and I forgot to write down his phone number. I should make an effort to visit him again.

    Unfortunately, the one guy I know whom this could help is in yeshiva right now (getting out in half a year or so). I mean, not unfortunately, but… whatever…

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  4. I asked already. The answer is no.

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  5. What's the point then? To get a whole bunch of Lubavitchers fixing washing machines?

    I'm in a vocational/professional course that will provide me with a profession that I can earn a living at.

    Hmph.

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  6. What's the point then? To get a whole bunch of Lubavitchers fixing washing machines?

    I'm in a vocational/professional course that will provide me with a profession that I can earn a living at.

    Hmph.

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  7. There are enough jewish lawyers out there. I wonder if i could get it. I have several people who can swear up and down that I'm lubavitch even though I'm not by any stretch of the imagination except theirs

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  8. It reminds me of my college roommate’s high school friend who got into college under an African American scholarship, while being white himself.

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  9. One of our fellow basement bloggers gets native american scholarships.

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  10. i got it.
    although it doesnt help with college, there is a wide variety of other things it can help with.
    for example - say you are interested in psychology. no he cant send you to college, but he can give you money to get trained as an addiction therapist. you do that for a bit, and then you have an entrance into the whole career area. or something like that.

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  11. But why can’t he apply the same amount of money for helping someone who is pursuing a professional career, not a semi-professional one?

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  12. CA: Different non-profit organizations try to target different people.

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  13. I've come to the inevitable conclusion that this is a plot to keep Lubavitchers working menial tasks. Why not help people get real educations and professions? Why vocational training only?

    Maybe I'll take up their opportunity and use $5000 to take some cooking lessons this summer.

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  14. Modeh, on their web site they say that it is for graduates of Crown Height kollels, yeshivas and teachers seminaries. You may not qualify no matter where your neshama shtams from.

    And Mr. Yossi, if you're reading this, how can you say no strings attached and no BS?

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  15. Nu, a Jew’s mind shouldn’t be in his work.

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  16. nemo: chillax. it's not a plot. maybe they're just trying to spend their money where they think they'll get the most bang for their buck.

    And this isn't "BS." He's not trying to be deceptive.

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  17. Most bang for their buck? How about help a law student through school so that when he starts making $100k+ he can begin giving back to those who helped him through - kiflayim l'toshia? How much do you think auto mechanics are going to help the cause?

    This isn't just my thinking, this is the way every scholarship out there - and incidentally every campus shliach -- keeps their endowments and stays in perpetual business: help people with high earning potential when they're broke so that hey thank you when they're rich. It makes good economic sense, even if it isn't all about charity.

    The recipients will always feel a moral responsibility to give back to those who gave to them. For example, I will always have a moral indebtedness to my law school for the (partial) scholarship that I'm receiving. It will be almost expected that I eventually make charitable gifts to the school's endowment.

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  18. Probably, but only after paying back all of my shluchim supporters and yeshivas and giving out free legal services to anyone who had me over for a shabbos meal and on the condition that the Career Planning office doesn't get any of it.

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  19. Heh. Nemo, the idea is to get as many lubavitchers to work as possible. More of them will probably be interested/capable of vocational training than law school. If I take a year off and cram semicha like I want to then maybe.

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  20. Nemo: You're being like those people who say, "Why is Chabad putting on tefillin with people when there are people dying of hunger?" There are many worthwhile causes. If an organization chooses to help one cause, it doesn't mean that they don't think the other causes are also worthwhile.

    Scholarships for law students are cool. and scholarships for vocational training are also cool.

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  21. E: you've completely disregarded my point. Unless there is an issue with limited funding and a choice to be made with regard to what the goal of the organization has to be, the organization should be just as willing to giving school scholarships or even interest-free loans to people with professional aspirations. It's economically good for them. It also accomplishes their charitable goals of providing a Lubavitch bochur with parnosa.

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  22. Of course there's an issue of limited funding. Anybody who gives away money (or lends money) indiscriminately will run out of money.

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  23. It seems that a Lubavitcher bochur who is in the middle of law school (or is even applying to one) or any other place of professional education is well on his way to making something menchlach out of his life (b’gashmius). Unfortunately, it seems many are nowhere close to that level and have no idea how to get there. “Education” is not a word applicable to these people; “training” is a more appropriate term. Which, it seems, is the niche this organization is trying to help.

    Alternatively, as I said, maybe the goal is just to get Lubavitcher to the point where they can earn parnasa — nothing more fancy than that. Whatever the reasoning is behind that.

    Maybe the best way is to ask the gentleman advertising this himself. In our brief exchange, he seemed like a very nice guy.

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  24. Long time ago. I was actually going to meet with him during one trip to NYC and then write about his organization, but on my way, my car broke down in the middle of nowhere. After that, I didn’t really have a chance to meet with him again. Maybe I should look into it again, but it seems there are a lot of people actually living in NY who could meet with him and write about it.

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  25. E: I don't know his budgetary issues, but I would point out that this is sponsored by the Jewish Federation which tends not to be broke. I'm not suggesting indiscrimate disbersals, I mean taking a closer look at the organizations goals and how to accomplish them.

    CA: I assumed that Mr. Yossi was reading this, just based on his saying that he reads the blog. I imagine that he'd want to followup on E's posting of his contact info.

    Additionally, I may be well on my way to making something mentchlich of my self, but I'm accruing loads of debt doing it. I pay tuition plus living expenses.

    I do agree that the general concept of this program is commendable - helping those that aren't on their way to doing anything already. But what if I hadn't started law school yet and I can't start without securing finances. Does it make sense to exclude someone under those circumstances from this program?

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  26. contact Yossi and he'll probably be glad to meet with you.

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  27. and as far as i understood it, the funding for this particular program is coming from an anonymous donor.

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  28. Had I known about this earlier, I'd have responded in a more timely fashion- Sorry that I didn't.

    First of all, the money is not from the UJA or from FEGS. It is from funds given for the express and only purpose of helping Chabad-affiliated persons get a decent parnosoh. Obviously, the donor respects Chabad, and equally obvious should be that he would respect the fact that the Rebbe was against regular college educations.

    Also, in terms of "bang for the buck", vocational training is far more effective for most CH residents because of their educational level vs their secular skills. How many can afford the time to start from a GED and get to an MS or professional degree? Far more are unable to, burdened with family support, but can take a six-month course in an easier career.

    It's not a plot to keep Chabad in unskilled jobs, and it's nothing less than paranoid to think so. Those who are motivated enough for college will find a way and a scholarship- there is plenty of funding out there for the skilled. Those who are desperate for an honorable parnosoh, not so much available.

    To date, people have used the grants for studying at COPE, culinary arts, HVAC, Programming, Cometology, Massage therapy, and many other fields.

    And feeling gratitude doesn't constitute a "string", in my humble opinion. All we ask is that you mentor other Lubavitchers in similar situation for a few hours a year.

    I'll be happy to answer questions,by phone or in person. I'm usually in CH on Thursdays, or can be reached other times at 212.524.1728

    Yossi

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Forth shall ye all hold.