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Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook


Parent Handbook - Shnas Halimudim 5778

Our Mission
What a Talmid Needs to do to Succeed at Mesivta
A Note to Parents on Yeshiva Policies
Understanding the Structure of our Mesivta
Dress Code
Cell Phone, Technology, and Items Allowed in Mesivta
Permission to leave Mesivta for Simchas
Following the Mesivta Calendar
Health & Medical Protocol
Out-of Town Talmidim
In-Town Talmidim
Reports to Parent
Parent/Teacher Communication
Shabbosim off
Rooms and Roommates
Arrival Information
Laundry and Clothing
Contacting your Son
Contacting your Son or Faculty in Case of an Emergency
In Conclusion


Our Mission
Our mission at Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago is to be מחנך each Talmid with a solid foundation for life, giving each one the tools to grow up to be a true חסיד, ירא שמים, ולמדן with מידות טובות, embodied with a spirit of total dedication to תורה ומצות מתוך יראת שמים and total devotion to all that the Rebbe and of what Chassidus demand of a Chossid. The success and growth of a Talmid is not only measured by academic achievements but also by his progress in Chassidus and Darkei Hachassidus. In our Mesivta our aim is to place a strong emphasis that the Talmidim achieve in both areas.

What a Talmid Needs to do to Succeed at Mesivta
In order for a Talmid to be Matzliach at Mesivta he has to:

a)    comply with the rules of Mesivta
b)    learn diligently, placing maximum effort into doing the best he can
c)    show interest, progress, and growth in Darkei Hachassidus

Talmidim who place true effort in these three areas will be very successful in our Yeshiva. In the event that a Talmid is not inclined to work in the above three areas, we will, or course, do whatever we can to work with him. However, the ultimate choice of accepting the guidance that is being offered to him will lie with the Talmid.

We therefore encourage you to be in regular contact with your son’s Magid Shiur (teacher) and Mashpia, to find out how he is doing in any of the above areas. We also suggest that you encourage your son to see Yeshiva as his home, i.e. being around after Seder for extra-curricular programs, Shiurim, and the like, where the Ruach (spirit) of Yeshiva is strong and has a very positive effect on a Bochur.

A Note to Parents on Mesivta Policies
Please take note that all Mesivta policies have been carefully crafted and thoroughly thought through. They are guided either by Halacha and/or by our principle of ensuring that the Mesivta is a safe place both B’gashmiyus and B’ruchniyus They are also guided by our experience from past years, while keeping up to date with an ever changing world, and the latest trends and the challenges they bring along, in all areas of Chinuch. While we recognize that there may not always be complete agreement in regards to various policies, it is crucial for the success of the Talmid that he knows that the Yeshiva has the full confidence and backing of the parents. This is the only way he can succeed in Yeshiva.

Just like the quality of air we breathe is vital to our health, likewise a Talmid can only grow in a spiritually clean environment.  Over the past few years we have been observing a trend and peer pressure towards materialism in clothing, electronic gadgets, and the like, often serving as a distraction to Talmidim from the above stated goals, besides the obvious challenges these things create. While we believe that the ultimate way to combat negative winds and forces is to offer a strong and positive atmosphere - and that’s where we place our main efforts and energy - common sense safeguards and measures are necessary, too.  To that end, please read carefully through the sections of “dress code” and “items allowed in Yeshiva” (see below).                                                                         

We ask you, as parents, to please pay special attention to these policies and ensure that your son arrives to Mesivta only with the appropriate clothing and only with items that are allowed in Mesivta. Please guide him that when in doubt that he should always ask the Hanhalas HaYeshiva first. This will ensure that he does not face any uncomfortable situation in Mesivta. There will be a zero tolerance policy when Talmidim deliberately do not abide bythese rules. We hope that the many positive things we are always working on and are always going on in Mesivta, together with these measures, will help us to continue to provide the level of Chinuch you expect of us.

Understanding the Structure of our Mesivta
When your son is in Mesivta, it is helpful to properly understand the structure of the Mesivta and how the Mesivta operates:

There are three Shiurim (grades) in the Mesivta: Alef, Bais, and Gimmel, equivalent to 9th, 10th, and 11thgrades. The ages of the Talmidim range from fourteen to seventeen: Shiur Alef age is 14-15, Shiur Bais age is 15-16, Shiur Gimmel age is 16-17.  This coming year we will have בלעה"ר a Shiur Alef of 44 Talmidim, a Shiur Bais of 40 Talmidim, and a Shiur Gimmel of 36 Talmidim. While each Shiur is divided into two Kitos (classes) for all subjects that they are given Shiur in, they operate under the umbrella of one Shiur. They learn some subjects together, have one Mashpiah for the entire Shiur and Farbreng together and dorm together. (For clarity sake, we will refer to the Shiur as a whole as a “grade” and to the Kitah when it is divided into two as a “class”.)

Every Kitah has its Primary Maggid Shiur (teacher). The Primary Maggid Shiur is the one who teaches גמרא לעיונא,and is in charge of overseeing their growth in learning Gemora. In addition, every Shiur (grade) has a Mashpia, who teaches them Chassidus, spends time speaking with the Talmidim individually, Farbrengs with them, and is in charge of overseeing their growth in הנהגה בדרכי החסידות. Shiur Alef and Bais also have an “academic coordinator” who is tasked with pulling together all the pieces of the multiple subjects of a Talmid’s academic day in Mesivta. He will meet approximately every five to six weeks with the entire team of Magidi Shiur of that Shiur/grade. He will have the entire picture of the Bochur and how he is doing academically. Parents should first be in touch directly with teachers. However, since each Talmid has multiple teachers, the coordinator will serve as the “homeroom teacher” and will be the “one stop shop” for a parent to communicate with and deal with, especially if a Talmid is having difficulties in his learning and/or underperforming or failing. This will also allow for issues to be dealt more rapidly when they arise.

Shiur Alef Primary Magidi Shiur: Rabbi Levi Stern, Rabbi Sholom Scharf
Shiur Alef Mashpia and Academic Coordinator: Rabbi Sholom Scharf (for the entire Shiur Alef)
Other Shiur Alef Magidi Shiur: Rabbi Sholom B. Halberstam, Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Scharf, Rabbi Daniel Goldberg, Rabbi Michoel Lopskier, and some older Bochurim who take care of Seder Chumash and Likutei Sichos.

Shiur Bais Magidi Shiur:  Rabbi Yosef Cohen, Rabbi Menachem Schechter               
Shiur Bais Mashpia: Rabbi Shmuel Chaim Scharf (for the entire Shiur Bais)
Shiur Bais Academic Coordinator: Rabbi Menachem Schechter
Other Shiur Bais Magidi Shiur: Rabbi Levi Stern, Rabbi Daniel Goldberg, Rabbi Moshe E. Markowitz, and a few older Bochurim who take care of Seder Chumash, Gemorah L’Girsa under the directorship of Rabbi Menachem Schechter

Shiur Gimmel Primary Magid Shiur and Rosh Yeshiva: Rabbi Eli Nosson Silberberg
Shiur Gimmel Primary Magid Shiur: Rabbi Moshe B. Perlstein
Shiur Gimmel Mashpia: Rabbi Yosef Gurevitch, (for the entire Shiur Gimmel)
Other Shiur Gimmel Magidi Shiur: Rabbi Daniel Goldberg, Rabbi Yosef Cohen and a few older Bochurim who take care of Seder Halacha under the directorship of Rabbi Menachem Schechter.

Rabbi Perlstein in is the founder and dean of the Mesivta who oversees all financial matters and the entire Mesivta.

Rabbi Shmuel Wineberg is the associate dean in charge of the further financial and physical growth and expansions of Mesivta.

Rabbi Halberstam, as Principal / מנהל רוחני, is in charge of overseeing all ענינים רוחניים וחינוכיים and the entire Mosad and the welling of all Talmdiim. This includes: accepting the Talmidim, hiring staff, setting the calendar of events and agenda items, keeping the parents informed, overseeing that all rules in Yeshiva are being kept, ensuring that the dormitory functions properly, following up on the day to day issues in Yeshiva, and making sure that all needs of the Talmidim are met.

Rabbi Menachem Schechter serves in the position of Gemorah L’iyun Magid Shiur for Shiur Bais as well as Mashgiach Keloli in Mesivta, overseeing the afternoon Sedorim of Shulchan Aruch, Gemorah L’girsa and Chumash.

Mrs. Gaffen is the school secretary and primary contact person for all parents needs. She is available Mondays through Thursdays, 9am to 5pm, and Fridays, 9am to 1pm. She can assist parents with all things Talmid related, such as; getting messages to your son, school information, registration, medical/dental appointments, and many general items. 

Mrs. Fuhal duties is the bookkeeper and focus on the financial aspect of the Mesivta. She is available in her office Mondays through Thursdays, 9am to 5pm.

There is also a group of 7 post - Shlichus Bochurim who, aside from their regular learning schedule, serve in Mesivta as dorm counselors and teach some subjects. They are instrumental to the Hatzlacha of the Yeshiva, being around the Bochurim very often, and being able to offer help to a Bochur in times of need, etc.

In addition, there is also a group of 11 Talmidim Hashluchim who are sent to our Mesivta from various Yeshivos. This year, our group will consist of five Bochurim from Oholei Torah in New York, and six Bochurim from the Yeshiva in Morristown. The Shluchim are of tremendous value to Mesivta. Aside from their regular schedule of learning, they are involved on a daily basis in working with the Bochurim, learning with them during or after Sedorim, and coordinating all Mivtzoyim in Mesivta - from the regular Friday Mivtzoyim to Mivtza Shofar, Chanuka, Purim, etc. They also run projects that bring a Chayus into the Yeshiva, whether it be Shabbos and Yom Tov, or getting ready for special days on our Chassidishe calendar.

General Mesivta Policies

Please make sure that your son brings along all of the Seforim on the list enclosed in this packet.  In order to be allowed to attend class, Talmidim must have all their Seforim upon arrival at Mesivta.  If you have not yet purchased Seforim through the option which we have emailed you about, please see enclosed Seforim list.  You can also order any Seforim for your son and have them shipped directly to the Mesivta. Be sure to have it addressed to your son.

As we would like the Talmidim to improve their skills in Loshon Hakodesh, English Seforim, such as an Artscroll Gemara or English Shulchan Aruch and Kuntres Umaayan are not permitted to learned from during Seder. They may be used after Seder. If a teacher feels that a specific Talmid should use them, the Talmid will be notified. English Chumashim and Lessons in Tanya are permitted.

Dress Code
The appearance of each Talmid must be of a nature that is befitting the ציור of a Tomim and Talmid of Yeshiva. The following dress code must be followed and is strictly enforced. The term “regular looking” means clothing that do not attract attention to them, such as tight clothing, etc.

  • Clean and presentable clothing
  • Clothing which are “tight” “fitted” or “slim” may not be worn in Mesivta – this refers to pants, shirts and jackets.
  • Hats and jackets must be worn during Davening and while on the street
  • Regular looking conservative jackets (not the casual looking ones such as suede, cotton, corduroy or linen jackets)
  • Only regular looking dark colored dress pants:  may be black or navy, or conservative pin stripes, should not be suede, corduroy, jeans or jean look. If they are cotton they must resemble regular looking dress pants, not tight or fitted and without the ridged stitching on the seams or extra and odd-looking pockets; does not have to be a suit.
  • Shirts should be regular looking (not tight or fitted etc.), button-down white shirts only.
  • Regular looking socks; they may be black, blue or white etc. No ankle or below ankle socks.
  • Solid black Yarmulkes only.
  • Regular looking solid black dress shoes or sneakers that look like dress shoes and are solid black only (not the high tops, suede, or casual looking types).
  • Only regular button down or dresspullover sweaters are permitted. Hooded sweaters or sweaters with writing on them are not permitted.

Please ensure that your son comes with all clothing he needs for the Zman. Permission for a Talmid to shop for clothing at the malls in Chicago will be given only in extreme circumstances and only with a parent’s consent.

Cell Phone, Technology and Items Allowed in Mesivta
A positive and spiritually clean atmosphere in the Yeshiva and its dormitories are of utmost importance to the Mesivta.  Make sure that any items your son brings to Yeshiva are within the following guidelines. If you have any questions regarding items that may or may not be brought to Yeshiva, please ask and find out rather than to have an Talmid bring an item that he may not have in Mesivta. A Talmid should not travel to Mesivta with any items not allowed below.

Cell Phones:
We understand that many parents want their children to travel with cell phones for safety purposes.  The only cell phone that a Talmid may bring with him to Mesivta is one that does not have a large screen, i.e. a simple “flip phone” or one with a keyboard, it may have text but not internet as part of the plan; if your son’s phone is part of a family plan, it is your responsibility to make sure that the Internet is disabled from your son’s phone number. If that is not possible, then you must get a different phone plan for him, which internet cannot be used on. Please call your cell phone provider to ensure that this is done. “Smart phones”, even with text or internet blocked, may not be brought to Mesivta.Phones (or any device) which have WIFI capability are not permitted in Mesivta. It needs to be the simple and basic kind of phone. The phone may not be password protected at any time.

Upon arrival to Mesivta, Talmidim who have brought cell phones will turn them into their dorm counselors. The Talmidim are able to retrieve their phones on Fridays during the time of Mivtzoyim and they return it to a designated place on Motzai Shabbos. If a Talmid arrives with a phone other than the one described above, it will be held in the Yeshiva office and returned to him the next time he goes back home. Your son’s cell phone should not be relied on to contact your son during the week. As it will not be in his posetion (For other ways to contact your son, see “contacting your son”).

Reading Material:
Only Jewish books, of truestories or biographies, written by Frum authors and published by Frum publishers, may be brought to Mesivta. The Mesivta Hanhala reserves the right to check on any book that a Talmid brings to Mesivta and decide whether it belongs at Mesivta (even if it is under the above mentioned categories).  Weekly or monthly Jewish publications such as Mishpacha/Ami/Zman and the like may not be brought or sent to your son in Mesivta. We are opining at the beginning of this Shnas Halimudim a large library with many books where Talmidim can read or take out to read in the dorms.

Music and Other Audio:
Only items that are in our Audio library may be listened to at Mesivta (see below).

Audio and Video Devices:
Mp3 players are allowed. To possess an audio digital player in Mesivta, such as an iPod and the like, the Talmid must ensure that:

a) The player does not have a working radio on it (Such as the iPod classics). For I-pod “nano’s” which have radio on them, the radio can be disabled from a computer. This must be done prior to the Talmid’s arrival to Mesivta. 
b) The player is empty of all content prior to the Talmid’s arrival to Mesivta.
c) The player is turned into the office upon the Talmid’s arrival to Mesivta. The office will register it and it will be turned over to the Mesivta audio library. 
d) The Mesivta audio library has an extensive selection of items that are approved for listening to by the Mesivta; the Talmid will be able to choose from the library catalog what audio he would like placed on his player. No videos, including videos of the Rebbe are allowed on any of these devices.

Other Technology Items:
Radios, including those that are part of alarm clocks, are not allowed. Any items that possess wireless, or Wi-Fi connectivity - capability such iPhones, iPod touch, android devices, blackberries, pocket or tablet computers or laptop or desktop computers, computer games (such as handheld play stations/game boy), are prohibited.

Social Networking Accounts:
It is not permitted for a Talmid at the Mesivta to hold an active “Facebook”, “Google plus” or other social networking account.

While we are confident that all Talmidim will keep the above rules in terms of “cell phones, technology and items allowed in Yeshiva”, we believe that these policies are an important step to ensuring the purity and clean atmosphere and safety of the Mesivta and its Talmidim. Therefore, we have adopted strong and clear consequences in response to a Talmid who violates any of those rules. The Hanhala will randomly check to ensure tthat they are in compliance with Mesivta policies in these areas. In order to keep our Talmidim safe their needs to be a level of trust between the Hanhala and the Talmid. If that trust is broken, the Mesivta cannot take responsibility for the safety and Ruchniyus of the Talmid. A Talmid who violates that trust by hiding items which are not allowed to be brought to Mesivta:

a) First offense: the item will be confiscated and he will receive a Knas (fine) of $100
b) Second offense: the item will be confiscated and the Talmid will be suspended from Yeshiva for two weeks with an assignment to do.
c) Third offense: the Talmid will be permanently suspended from our Yeshiva.

When in doubt about any of the above, call the Yeshiva first to ask. Do not bring the item and then ask.

Permission to leave Mesivta for Simchas
Many families בלע"ה have a lot of Simchas. Of course, everyone wants the entire family to be present by all gatherings. However, having Talmidim leave Mesivta to go for every event that parents or Talmidim deem necessary, disrupts the flow of Mesivta, and ultimately hurts the Talmidim individually and collectively. Bringing your son home for a Simcha and the like should be reserved for one that you deem truly necessary.

In order to deal with this issue, there is a clear policy in place.  Please understand that decisions made in these areas are for the benefit of your son and the Mesivta.

Please note that under this policy Friday and Shabbos combined are considered one full Yeshiva day.

Simchas have been divided into two categories: Type A and Type B.

Type A Simchas include: Bar Mitzvas, L’chaims and Chassunas of siblings, uncles, and ants. A Bochur will be given automatic permission for Type A Simchas, without any yearly limit, in the following manner:

For a Bar Mitzva or L’chaim, and Chasuna of a non-sibling a Bochur may miss up to 2 full Yeshiva days including travel.

For example: If the Bar Mitzva or L’chaim is on a Tuesday night, the Talmid may leave anytime on Tuesday and must be back at Mesivta no later than 9:00 PM Wednesday night. If the Simcha is on Thursday night, the Talmid may leave anytime Thursday and must return to Mesivta by Sunday morning by 8:30 AM. Likewise, if the Simcha is Sunday night he may leave any time on Friday and must be back by 8:30 AM Monday morning.

For a Siblings Chassuna, a Talmid may miss up to 6 full days, including days of travel.

For example: if the Chassuna is on a Tuesday night, the Talmid may leave any time on Monday and return to Mesivta by Sunday night by 9:00 PM.

Parents must request permission for any travel plans at least 2 weeks in advance, (unless it was not known earlier.

Type B Simchas include cousins’ weddings or immediate family and other gatherings that the parents deem extremely necessary for their son to attend. They are subject to the following limitations: 

a)    There is a limit of 1 per year. (in rear occasions and extenuating circumstances it may be allowed a second time in one year).
b)    A Talmid who has already gone for three or more Type A Simchas will not be allowed to go. 
c)    The parents must notify the Mesivta of this no less than two weeks in advance. 
d)    Type A and B Simchas may not be combined.
e)    The amount of time allotted will be the same as for a Type A Bar Mitzva / L’chaim.

Please Note: “Time of Return” means that the Talmid is on the Yeshiva premises at that time.

Talmidim are required to make up all material missed during absence for Simchos; for any exceptions (such as a long stay like a Chassuna etc.) the Talmid must speak to his teacher before leaving for the Simcha.

To receive permission for your son to leave for a Simcha, please e-mail or call Rabbi Halberstam. In your e-mail please include the dates of the Simcha and exactly when you would like for permission for your son to leave. Once you are given permission, the school secretary, Mrs. Gaffen, needs the dates, time and flight information.

Following the Mesivta Calendar
Tickets for travel during the Yeshiva breaks must be kept within the dates and times written on the calendar (enclosed). If an issue arises that prevents you from making the travel arrangements within the confines of the School Calendar, the Mesivta must be contacted before a ticket is purchased. Please e-mail or call Rabbi Halberstam.

Please note: We try our best to make our calendar in a way that avoids the need to travel on expensive, busy travel days (obviously that is often impossible during the Chanukah break and the like).  Also, when possible, we try to make travel days for Tuesday or Wednesday which are the cheapest travel days of the week. We ask that you make plans and look for tickets way in advance to ensure keeping with our calendar. Whenever it says on the Mesivta calendar that a Talmid may leave any time during the day, it means that the day before is a full day at Mesivta and he may leave the day before at night. In-town or local Talmidim may go home that night after Maariv.

For new Talmidim arriving the first time to Chicago, please refer to the travel information sheet enclosed.

Please schedule all medical appointments during the times that your son is off from Yeshiva. However, please note that there are many issues that can be dealt with in Chicago. For example, if a Talmid is in need of orthodontic work, it can be done here, as many Talmidim have done in the past. Please contact the office to determine the best times for appointments. We also have a community resource list that can be provided which includes our recommended providers.

Health and Medical Protocol
In the event that a Talmid is not feeling well, ח"ו, here are the procedures we will follow. Each morning before leaving the dormitory, the dorm counselors go through each room to ensure that everyone has left the dorm to go to Seder. This will ensure that a Talmid who wakes up in the morning and is not feeling well, to the point that he cannot come to Yeshiva because of a fever or feels too sick to come, will be attended to right away. The dorm counselor will advise the bochur regarding what to do and give him Tylenol if necessary, based on clear instructions and protocol they will receive at the beginning of the year. (Additionally, our dorm counselors will all be certified in first aid and CPR.) The dorm counselors will always have in stock basic food and drink items and will also ensure that his roommates will bring him all meals. The dorm counselor notifies Mrs. Gaffen and Rabbi Halberstam of what’s going on with the Talmid. By noon time, the Talmid will be visited by someone from the Hanhala, who will determine with the parents what to do next, i.e. whether the Talmid needs a doctor’s appointment or just stay in bed for some more rest, and he will advise the Talmid on what to do. He will also decide whether any special food items are necessary. Talmidim are instructed that if they are not feeling well at any time during the day.  They go to Mrs. Gaffen or Rabbi Halberstam or whomever is in charge during that time of the day and they will deal with it accordingly. In a case where an in-town Talmid becomes sick for more than one day, arrangements are made with the parents for the Talmid to stay at home until he is better.

A Talmid that wakes up with a headache, sore throat and the like, is encouraged not to remain in bed, but rather to come to Yeshiva and receive Tylenol and the like. After Davening, if he is still not feeling well, Rabbi Halberstam will determine with him what to do, whether it’s going back to the dorm for some more rest or to remain in Yeshiva. In general, please note: if your son ever calls you and conveys to you that he is not feeling well, please call and notify Mrs. Gaffen she will know what to do. 

Once it is determined that a Talmid needs to be seen by a doctor, the dorm counselor will bring him either to the CVS minute clinic (it has convenient walk-in hours with a certified nurse practitioner on call) or to the ENH medical group which has a group of reputable doctors that we recommend. For both of these options, an out-of-town family would either need a PPO insurance which covers out of their state, or they would need to purchase traveler’s insurance. If you do not have a PPO (or a plan which covers out of state), we have found the Travelers insurance to be a very affordable option for parents. With traveler’s insurance, payment is due at the time of the appointment and the insurance will reimburse you. Before the appointment, the secretary will be in contact with the parents to get their credit card information. After the appointment, she will email parents the receipts so that they can then send the claim to their insurance. To purchase traveler’s insurance, you can contact Noach Heiman at (718) 387-2114 or email, .

In the event that we suspect strep and no other illness, the school secretary has been trained to perform the rapid strep test for a small fee of $10. This is a good option when we only suspect strep and don’t need to check for anything else  and only for a family who has their own doctor who will be comfortable to prescribe antibiotics based on her test results.

Having proper insurance (any of the above options, including Medicaid which covers out of state emergency’s) is also very important in a case of emergency, Chas V’Sholom, may we never need it. In the event of an emergency, parents will be contacted and the \someone from Mesivta who will arrange that the Talmid be taken to the emergency room, and Rabbi Halberstam will be in direct contact with the parents. In cases of emergencies, ח''ו, where decisions have to be made quickly, the Mesivta has doctors who is consulted with, and whose advice and guidance we trust and rely on.

If your son needs ongoing orthodontic work over the course of his stay in Chicago, it can be done (many parents have done it here). Please e-mail: or call 773-262-0430 ext. 229.

Out-of-town Talmidim
As your son is under our Achrayus (responsibility) while he is in Chicago, out of town Talmidim may not go to anyone’s homes when they are in Chicago. In the event that a Talmid would like an exception made (e.g. to go to a relative for a Seudas Shabbos), he must receive special permission from Rabbi Halberstam. This applies to nephews and brother-in-laws as well. A Talmid may go to a Hanhala member’s home for a Shabbos meal whenever invited. The Hanhala will designate and organize special Shabbosim where Talmidim may go to families for a Shabbos meal, in a way that is supervised by the Mesivta. The Talmidim must adhere to their curfew rules that are laid out for them in the Talmid Handbook.

In-Town Talmidim:
In-town Talmdim are full-time and regular Talmidim at the Mesivta. They are expected to be full participants in all aspects of yeshiva, e.g. farbrengens, mivtzoyim, etc.

In-town Talmidim who live in the dorm are not allowed to go home at any time during the week. They are to remain in Yeshiva for the entire duration of the day, as is the case for all out-of-town Talmidim, including breaks and meals. Of course, like all Talmidim, they may go to the park or the dorm during breaks. If a Talmid must go home for a matter of extreme necessity, he must receive special permision from Rabbi Halberstam.

If a Talmid does receive special permission to go home during a break and the like, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that that all Mesivta and dormitory rules are being upheld.

On Shabbos, in-town Talmidim may eat at home for one Seuda; during the fall/winter, the Friday night Seuda and during the spring/summer, the Shabbos day Seuda. There are, however, special times when allTalmidim are requierd to eat at Yeshiva; they wil be notified ahead of time.

In the event that an appointment must be made for any medical or other issue, please send an email to Rabbi Halberstam or Mrs. Gaffen prior to making the appointment.  He will advise of the best time for making the appointment. If it is an appointment that has to be made urgently, please leave a message for Rabbi Halberstam or Mrs. Gaffen; you do not need to wait for a call back.

General Mesivta Information

Reports to Parents
We will be sending out report cards three times during the year: Chanukah, Pesach and at the end of the year.  The report card is a detailed report of your son’s progress in all areas of Yeshiva during that Zman.

Each parent will have their own Engrade account and login information. Your son’s grades and attendance will be accessible for you at any time you wish to log in. Your log in information will be emailed to you. If you need assistance with Engrade, contact Mrs. Gaffen.

Parent / Teacher and Mesivta Communication
Parents are strongly encouraged to communicate with the staff of the Mesivta on a regular basis.

For all questions and issues regarding your son’s day-to-day progress in areas of learning and Hanhaga, you may contact his Primary Maggid Shiur. Please refer to the included list for numbers and times that are best to contact the Maggidei Shiur. You may also contact Rabbi Halberstam for any issues pertaining to your son. If you speak to your son by phone and get the feeling that “something is not right” please try to get him to be as verbal as possible, and try to understand what is bothering him as best as you can. Then call the Mesivta to see what can be done.  While we try very hard to be in-tune with the needs and concerns of the Talmidim, we are בלע"ה a large Yeshiva and things can sometimes slip through the radar. Your communication is very important.

We have a full time school secretary. She will be in the office whenever Mesivta is in operation Mondays -Thursdays 9am to 5pm and Friday’s 9am to 1pm. She can be reached at or 773-262-0430 ext. 229 to assist you with any issues that do not pertain to the direct Chinuch of your son, such as calendar questions, giving messages to your son about flight itineraries or doctor appointments, and much more, etc.

Important: Please note that we do not contact parents on a day-to-day basis regarding incidents with your son that are dealt with in Mesivta. If a parent wants more detailed updates, they are advised to call the Mesivta periodically.  It can sometimes be confusing for parents to figure out who to contact for what. If you want to speak with someone about how your son is doing and are not sure who to reach out to, contact Rabbi Halberstam and he will either give you the information you are looking for or direct you to the right place.

Our website, , also has lots of information that you may need in the parent resource login section. The username is “parent” and password “parent5778”. You will also find there an extensive list of FAQ’s which we are sure will be useful for both new and returning parents.

There are daily breaks for breakfast, lunch and supper, and after Seder at night (see daily schedule). During these breaks (besides breakfast) Talmidim have permission to go to the dormitory, nearby parks, or remain in Mesivta. As a matter of safety and to avoid הפקרות, if a Talmid would like to go anywhere else, i.e. store, dry cleaners, etc., he must receive special permission from Rabbi Halberstam or the Mashgiach. The Talmidim will be notified the system of permission. There is also a ride once a week by the dorm counselors to the local supermarket.

Shabbosim Off
Throughout the year there will be a few “Shabbosim Off”. The Mesivta arranges for all out-of-town Talmidim to go to a Shliach's family or Anash family for these Shabbosim.

Rooms and Roommates
When the Talmidim arrive to Yeshiva they are shown which dormitory rooms they will be sleeping in. The assignments of rooms and roommates are made by the Mesivta.

Chavrusas for Talmidim of Shiur Alef are set up for them by their Magidi Shiur. Changes will be made based upon the evaluation of the teachers.

Arrival Information
For new Talmidim arriving the first time to Chicago, please refer to the travel information sheet enclosed.

The Yeshiva serves the Talmidim three meals a day plus snacks, on a regular basis. There are refrigerators in the dorm as well as in the Mesivta building for Talmidim to store some of their own items. Sandwich makers, portable grills and personal refrigerators should not be brought to Mesivta. Cooking of any kind is not allowed in the dormitories. 

Laundry and Clothing
There are card-operated laundry machines in the dormitories. Please provide your children with money for washes.  Due to the large amount of Bochurim, the frequency of washing laundry will be limited to approximately once every eight days. Please ensure that your son has enough clothing to last him comfortably throughout those days. Please send along with him linens and bedding; they are not provided by the Mesivta.

Contacting your Son
There are public phones in the dormitories and the Mesivta building, so that your son can contact you. There are no limitations or restrictions on Bochurim calling home besides during Seder. (See numbers on detailed contact sheet, enclosed.). Calls are free of charge in the anywhere USA. If you would like to call your son, it is best to reach him at the Mesivta during his break times or in the dormitory at night.  

Please Note: It is often be very difficult for parents to reach their children in by calling the Mesivta or Dorms; the phones can often be busy or no one answers. We know this can be a frustrating experience for parents, so we have established an e-mail address for every Shiur (see detailed contact list). All e-mails sent to those address go directly to the dorm counselors. They will be checked on a daily basis, and the message will be passed on to your son. So you can send a message for your son to call you. You can also always call 773-262-0430 ext. 229 or e-mail: and leave a message for your son to contact you. If the call or email is placed/sent before 4:00 pm (Monday through Thursday), he will get the message that same day.

Important: Closer to the start of the new school year, we will also be providing you with the phone numbers of the dorm counselors. Please reserve contacting them for Important and urgent matters only, as the dorm counselors are unlike “camp counselors”; they have a Seder where they are learning Smicha during the day and are responsible for various Sedorim in Mesivta. For reports on how your son is doing (even in terms of dormitory issues) please contact Rabbi Halberstam.

Contacting your Son or Faculty in Case of an Emergency
In case of an emergency where your son or a member of the faculty must be contacted right away, call 773-809-3395. This number should only be used in a case of a real emergency or a truly very urgentmatter.

Please note that mail to your son may only be sent to the Mesivta address:

2756 West Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60645

Absolutely no mail should be sent to any of the dormitories.

In Conclusion
We are sure that you understand that all policies set forth by the yeshiva are made after careful review and a rigorous decision-making process. They are all aimed at upholding the standards and quality of our Mossad, so that we can continue to be מחנך the Bochurim in a manner of יראת שמים, מידות טובות, והליכה בדרכי החסידות.  We hope that this year will bring you only increased Nachas from your son.