THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS DO NOT CONTAIN MESIVTA POLICIES. THEY ARE ONLY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR ALL MESIVTA POLICIES AND GUIDELINES, PLEASE SEE THE PARENT HANDBOOK.

Sending My Son off to Mesivta – What do I Need to Know?
Q: In general, what should I pack my son with when sending him to Mesivta?
Q: What about shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, etc.?
Q: Does Mesivta supply blankets and pillows?
Q: Is there place to keep suitcases in Mesivta?
Q: Do I need to send laundry detergent?

Forms Yeshiva Needs
Q: What are the forms that Mesivta must have prior to my son’s arrival at Mesivta?
Q: Will I need to resubmit the forms every year of my son being at Mesivta?

Spending Money
Q: Should I send spending money with my son?
Q: If I send my son with cash or other important documents, is there a secure place where he can keep it in Mesivta?
Q: How much spending money does my son need?

Arriving to Chicago
Q: What are the choices of airports in Chicago?
Q: What carriers and low budget carriers normally fly to Chicago?
Q: Does Mesivta offer pickups from the airport?
Q: How can my son get from the airport to Mesivta?
Q: what directions should my son give to the taxi driver?
Q: How much should a taxi cost?
Q: Who are the drivers you recommend for airport pickups?
Q: What are the addresses to the dormitories?
Q: If my son is in Shiur Alef how do I know which dorm my son will be in?
Q: When do the dormitories open?
Q: How do you enter the dormitories?
Q: As my son is arriving to Chicago for the first time, how will he know what to do once he gets there?
Q: Can they keep food in their dorm rooms?
Q: is there a refrigerator in the dorms?
Q: Is there place in Mesivta for my son to keep his items such as Seforim and notebooks etc.

Laundry
Q: What are the laundry arrangements in Chicago?
Q: What is the cost of using the machines?
Q: Does my son need to bring laundry detergent from home?
Q: Can in-town students do their own laundry at home?

Contacting my Son
Q: How can I contact my son?
Q: Can I send an Email to my son?

Medical Issues
Q: If my son is not well,ח''ו, who will look after him and what is the general process?
Q: What is done if my son needs a doctor?
Q: What if my insurance does not cover in Chicago?
Q: What do in-town students do in a case of illness?
Q: What does the school do in case of an emergency?
Q: What do I do if my son needs ongoing dental work in Chicago?

Contacting Teachers and/or the school administration
Q: What is the best way to contact my son's teachers, dorm counselor or any other faculty member?
Q: Who is the best person to talk to if I have specific or general concerns about my son or Mesivta?
Q: Who do I contact for permission for my son to miss school?
Q: How can I reach someone in case of a very urgent matter or an emergency?

Q: Who should I speak to regarding any tuition matters?
 

Breaks and "downtime":
Q: What happens during “downtime” for the Bochurim in terms of supervision?
Q: What is available for the boys to do during their breaks?


Shabbbos:
Q: What are the arrangements for Shabbosim?
Q: Can my son go and eat Seudas Shabbos by anyone he would like to?
Q: How often are there “Off-Shabbosim”?
Q: What are the dates of the Off-Shabbosim?
Q: What are the accommodations for Off -Shabbosim?

Birthdays:
Q: How are birthdays celebrated?
Q: If I would like to arrange a cake for my son’s birthday, how can that be done?


Misc. Questions:
Q: When is the Father and Son Shabbos?
Q: What do the boys have for meals?
Q: Can a parent visit their son during the school?

Q: How can my son continue getting his Chayenu or Dvar Malchus while he is at Mesivta?
Q: Can my son use a Chayenu as his English Chumash for the Chumash Seder?
Q: If my son receives a Chayenu, does he need Lessons in Tanya?


Mail
Q: Where do I send mail or packages for my son?

Sending My Son off to Mesivta – What do I Need to Know?
In general, what should I pack my son with when sending him to Mesivta?
Think in terms of sending him to camp, just for an entire year, i.e. clothing, bedding, and toiletries.

What about shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, etc.?
We suggest that you begin with sending him with all that he needs in the way of toiletries. However, you do not need to send him a stockpile for a year. When they run out, the boys are able to purchase items in Chicago.

Does Mesivta supply blankets and pillows?
No, all bedding has to be brought from home.

Is there place to keep suitcases in Mesivta?
Yes. Every dorm has designated spaces to keep their empty luggage and suitcases.

Do I need to send laundry detergent?
There is no need to send laundry detergent with your son. He can purchase this item in Chicago. (See “Laundry”.)

Forms Yeshiva Needs
What are the forms that Mesivta must have prior to my son’s arrival at Mesivta?
Shiur Alef students and new students need the IL Health form and an Eye exam form completed and signed by a doctor. Plus the Lunch Form, Medical Consent, Credit Card Authorization, and Tuition Contract. Returning students only need the Lunch form, Medical consent, Credit card authorization and Tuition contract. All forms can be found on the website under the Parents tab.

Will I need to resubmit the forms every year of my son being at Mesivta?
Each year the Lunch Form, Medical Consent, Credit Card authorization and Tuition Contract must be updated for returning students. The IL Health Form and Eye Exam Forms are good for his entire stay at the Mesivta.

Spending Money

Should I send spending money with my son?
It is advisable that every student has some money for the $5 deposit for their laundry card, additional money for laundry, supplies and etc. Many parents find it helpful to give their son a debit card where parents can control their spending by making a certain amount per month available on the card, as opposed to them walking around with a lot of cash.

If I send my son with cash or other important documents, is there a secure place where he can keep it in Mesivta?
If a student has a substantial amount of cash, it is not advisable for him to leave it around. He can give it to his dorm counselor to hold or ask the office to hold it for him when he comes to Yeshiva.

How much spending money does my son need?
There is no single right answer to this question. It’s a decision parents have to make based on their means and the amount they would like to have their sons spend while away from home. From our perspective, students should have money for laundry and to be able to buy themselves some basic items, we have school supplies for purchase, or some nosh, etc.

Arriving to Chicago
What are the choices of airports in Chicago?
There are two main airports: O’Hare International (ORD) and Chicago Midway (MDW). While ORD is closer than MDW, sometimes flights to MDW can be cheaper. However, bear in mind that transportation from ORD is about $25 cheaper than from MDW. In terms of distance, think about it like LaGuardia and Newark airports to Crown Heights with ORD being like LGA and MDW being like Newark.

What carriers and low budget carriers normally fly to Chicago?
O’Hare Airport: American, United, Delta, US Airways, JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Virgin America.
Midway: Southwest, Air-Tran, American, Delta, Northwest.

Does Mesivta offer pickups from the airport?
No, we are not able to do pickups from the airport.

How can my son get from the airport to Mesivta?
One option is for him to take a take a yellow cab that waits for passengers right outside of the airport. Give them the dormitory address (for address, see Q & A below, in this section). Another option is for you to pre-arrange a personal pick up for your son from a Frum concierge service in Chicago (for concierge information, see Q & A below, in this section). Please note; we do not find that this option is necessary for more than the initial arrival to Chicago, as once the bochurim come to Mesivta, they band together for future travel to and from the airport.

What directions should my son give to the taxi driver?
From Chicago O’Hare, Exit onto Nagel Ave. and go onto Devon East to California Ave. Give him the dormitory address (for address, see Q & A below, in this section) .
From Chicago Midway: I-55 to Lake Shore Dr. (North), To Peterson Ave. Turn Right (north) on California Ave. Give him the dormitory address (for address, see Q & A below, in this section).

How much should a taxi cost?
O’Hare: $40 and Midway: $60

Who are the drivers that you recommend for airport pickups? 

Joel Meystel:               773-655-1951
Shimon Levi:              773-780-7300
Avi Fine:                     773-569-1770  

What are the addresses to the dormitories?
Shiur Alef and Bais Dorm: 2740 Pratt Blvd. Chicago, IL 60645.
Shiur Gimmel Dorm: 2747 W. Greenleaf Ave. Chicago, IL 60645. (Use the rear entrance only)

If my son is in Shiur Alef how do I know which dorm my son will be in?
We will post room assignments at the dorms for reference upon your arrival.

When do the dormitories open?
Talmidim may move into the dormitory at any time during the day of arrival. They should not come a day earlier. There is no supervision prior to the day of arrival. Refer to the Mesivta calendar for all dates.

How do you enter the dormitories?
Every dormitory has a combination code on the door. We will notify you a few days before Yeshiva begins. You can also find the codes in the Parent Handbook listed under the Parents tab>then logging into the Parent Secure Log-in Section.

As my son is arriving to Chicago for the first time, how will he know what to do once he gets there?
The dormitory supervisors will be in the dorm to help the boys settle in and make sure they are comfortable. They will be told where to put their Seforim in yeshiva and they will be given a schedule of when supper and orientation will be. 

Can they keep food in their dorm rooms?
Yes.

Is there a refrigerator in the dorms?
Yes, each dormitory has a shared refrigerator for student use.

Is there place in Mesivta for my son to keep his items such as Seforim and notebooks etc.?
Yes, each classroom has bookcases for the students’ personal belongings, and each Student gets a locker.

Laundry
What are the laundry arrangements in Chicago?

Each dormitory has card operated washing machines and dryers. When the bochurim come to Mesivta they put a $5 deposit for a plastic card (looks like a credit card) which they can fill with money on a machine in Mesivta. These cards operate the laundry machines at the dorm.

What is the cost of using the machines?
$1.25 per wash cycle, $1.25 per dryer cycle. (These machines are owned and maintained by a separate company.)

Does my son need to bring laundry detergent from home?
No, there is no need to shlep this item from home; the boys purchase detergent in Chicago.

Can in-town students do their own laundry at home?
Parents of in-town students are welcome to pick up and drop of their sons laundry.

Contacting my Son
How can I contact my Son?
Please refer to the ‘Detailed Contact Information”, available in the “parent log-in” section. It contains an extensive list of phone numbers and email addresses. You can try to reach your son at any of the phone numbers during his breaks (see his daily schedule in “parent log-in” section under his respective Shiur’s Information). However, as you can imagine, it can be very difficult to get through sometimes. Therefore, you can contact Mrs. Gaffen at 773-262-0430, ext. 229 or email office@lubavitchmesivta.com. She will post a message for your son at the student message center. Or contact your son’s dorm counselor with a message that he should call home. Each class also has a “class cell phone” which the boys use and pass around on a rotational basis.

Can I send an Email to my son?
Yes, each Shiur has an email address, e.g. “ShiurAlef@lmchicago.com” and the like (see list on “parent log-in” section). These emails are forwarded to your son’s dorm counselor and he will give it to him. Any itineraries and travel information should be sent to the class email as well. You can also send an email to: office@lubavitchmesivta.com and it will be printed and left in an envelope in the student message center.

Medical Issues:
If my son is not well ח''ו, who will look after him and what is the general process?
What is done if my son needs a doctor?
What if my insurance does not cover in Chicago?
The entire process and dealing with medical issues is outlined in the “Parent Handbook”.

What do in-town students do in a case of illness?
Since parents will always care for their children better than anyone else, and to avoid the spread of illness, when an in-town Talmid is not feeling well, we make the necessary arrangements for him to go home.

What does the school do in case of an emergency?
In cases of emergencies, ח''ו, where decisions have to be made quickly, the Mesivta has a doctor who we consult with, and whose advice and guidance we trust and rely on.

What do I do if my son needs ongoing dental work in Chicago?
There is a dentist that we recommend as many parents have used him and were happy with his services. If your son needs an evaluation or ongoing dental work, please call Mrs. Gaffen, and she will give you the information. We will help your son figure out how to get to and from the dentist. If it is work that you prefer done at home and will need ongoing appointments at home (like every few months), contact Rabbi Halberstam.

Contacting Teachers and the School Administration

What is the best way to contact my son's teachers, dorm counselor or any other faculty member?
Please see the Detailed Contact Information page on the “parent log-in” section for all numbers and contact information.

Who is the best person to talk to if I have specific or general concerns about my son or Mesivta?

If it’s a concern related to a specific subject in learning, please speak to the teacher of that subject. If it’s a dormitory related issue please speak with the dorm counselor. If it’s a general issue or any of the above issues are not being resolved, then speak with Rabbi Halberstam.

Who do I contact for permission for my son to miss school?
Rabbi Halberstam; best is through email. For details, see the school simcha policies and appointment policies in the Parent Handbook.

How can I reach someone in case of a very urgent matter or 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 urgent matter.

Who should I speak to regarding any financial matters?
Rabbi Perlstein at 773-262-0430, ext 223 or email him at rabbi@lmchicago.com.

Breaks and "downtime":
Q: What happens during “downtime” for the Bochurim in terms of supervision?
A: While we do our best minimize the amount of “downtime” students have without an “official” structure, Talmidim do “live” here and inevitably, “downtime” does exist. There are Friday afternoons after Mivtzoyim until Mincha, Shabbos afternoon between Seudas Shabbos and Seder, and obviously the daily lunch, supper and after Maariv until sleep time. The Hanhala is very cognizant of these times; we try to guide the Bochurim how to spend this time in a constructive manner and we have a clear internal Hashgacha system to insure that it does not become counterproductive for the Talmid’s growth and Ruchniyus. However it is important for parents to recognize that it is not “fool proof” and you can always ask your son how he is spending these times.

Q: What is available for the boys to do during their breaks?
A: Talmidim may spend their breaks in any constructive manner they wish. They may go to the dorms, they can read, go to the park and play, remain in Zal and learn, etc. There are many programs run by the Talmidim Hashluchim which take place during breaks, especially after Seder at night. Twice weekly, we rent out the facilities at the JCC a few blocks away from Mesivta where the Talmidim can swim, play and exercise.

Shabbos:
Q: What are the arrangements for Shabbosim?

A: Just like Seder each day, Shabbos in Mesivta has a fully supervised program, beginning from Mincha throughout Shabbos. Married Hanhala members are present at all Sedorim and Tefillos throughout Shabbos. The Talmidim Hashluchim and Older Bochurim at Mesivta are a very integral part of the Shabbos, making sure that the Seudas Shabbos has a proper atmosphere and program. There is a Farbrengen almost each Shabbos during the Seudas Shabbos by day for those Talmidim who want. There are also times that each class has their own Seudas Shabbos together, where they arrange the program together with the Talmidim Hashluchim.

Q: Can my son go and eat Seudas Shabbos by anyone he would like to?
A: For the safety of the Talmidim, Mesivta has very clear policies about this. A Talmid who has an immediate relative may go to them for one meal on a Shabbos with permission of the Hanhala, twice a month.

Q: How often are there “Off-Shabbosim”?
A: Approximately 4-5 times a year.

Q: What are the dates of the Off-Shabbosim?
A: We do not know them yet, it is worked out throughout the year.

Q: What are the accommodations for Off -Shabbosim?
A: The Mesivta arranges the Talmidim to spend Shabbosim at different Shluchim around the Chicagoland area. For more details on this topic see the Student Handbook.

Birthdays:

Q: How are birthdays celebrated?
A: Talmidm also receive guidance from their Mashpim about their Yom Holedes. Talmidim are also encouraged to make a Farbrengen for their birthdays, in most cases it will be one of the Talmidim Hashluchim or Older Bochurim who will sit with the class for an hour or so.

Q: If I would like to arrange a cake for my son’s birthday, how can that be done?
A: Call the local bakery (Tel Aviv Bakery) which delivers to Mesivta each day. Ask for Esther or Menachem, tell them your son learns at Mesivta and you want to order a cake for his birthday. Their number is: 773-764-8877. You must have your son's name written on the box, and also notify Mrs. Gaffen about this, so that she can alert the kitchen.

Miscellaneous questions:
Q: How can my son continue getting his Chayenu or Dvar Malchus while he is at Mesivta?
A: Sure, you can have his subscription sent to Mesivta and he will get them here at Mesivta. We do not get them in bulk; just have them mailed directly to Mesivta.

Q: Can my son use a Chayenu as his English Chumash for the Chumash Seder?
A: Yes.

Q: If my son receives a Chayenu, does he need Lessons in Tanya?
A: Better if he has Lessons in Tanya but it’s ok if not.

Q: When is the Father and Son Shabbos?
A: We have a Father and Son Shabbos every other year. This coming school year is an “off year” in terms of Father and Son Shabbos.

Q: What do the boys have for meals?
A: There is an extensive menu at Mesivta. 

Q: Can a parent visit their son during the school?
A: Sure, contact Rabbi Halberstam to arrange the best time to visit.

Mail
Where do I send mail or packages for my son?
Please note that all mail to your son may only be sent to the Mesivta address:

Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago
2756 W. Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60645

Absolutely no mail should be sent to any dormetories.