Regarding your article about the offer for a bribe to recruit students (“Rabbi Offered Cash To Steer Students To Israeli Yeshiva,” Nov. 19): like everyone who heard about this behavior, I was shocked and embarrassed by this egregious breach of halacha and ethics. The person and institution responsible for this reprehensible behavior should be duly punished.
Like many of my colleagues [in Israeli yeshivot with an enrollment of diaspora students], I have recently returned from a “recruiting trip” in the U.S. that was tiring and challenging but, contrary to your article, I did not find it “cut-throat” at all nor did I find any traces of “infighting, bickering and lashon hora.”
To the contrary: the people representing the various seminaries with whom I speak and collaborate regularly — the same people I ran into at the Israel Nights — are, to a person, hardworking, honest, and sincere people representing the best seminaries in Israel. Indeed, throughout the year, collaboration among the seminaries occurs often in a healthy and successful manner. The joint application, coordinated deadlines, regular meetings and impromptu phone calls and discussions are but some examples of teamwork among seminaries that recognize that we are all, ultimately, on the same team.
To be sure, reprehensible and inexcusable acts like those described in your article do occur. However, it is too bad The Jewish Week article didn’t write about — or even mention — the overwhelming majority of positive discussions and meetings that take place during our trips abroad: honest, sincere representatives meeting with curious, interested students and dedicated Israel guidance advisers all trying to find the best fit for a tremendous year of Torah study in Israel.
Sha’alvim for Women