Bais Yaakov Yerushalayim Expels Nine Girls for “Non-Kosher” Cell Phones

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no-cell-phoneNine students from the Israeli Beis Yaakov Yerushalayim (BJJ) High School, also known as Beis Yaakov Hayoshon, were expelled because they own “non-kosher” cell phones. The story began in the twelfth grade class this week, when a student suddenl jumped up excitedly and announced that her friend got engaged. Her teacher realized that she had received the happy information via a text message sent to her cell phone and immediately called for the school principal.

The principal demanded that the girl hand over the phone.

The student was expelled from school, but the principal didn’t stop there. He went through the phone’s directory to see what other girls in the class had “non-kosher” cellphones. Apparently, kosher cellphones have a similar prefix, so it was easy to spot the “non-kosher” ones.

The principal’s detective work resulted in 8 other girls from the class being called in to be reprimanded for using non-kosher phones, and then they were all expelled as well.

“Many girls at the seminar are stressed out, because they have a phone that is not kosher and fear being caught,” said one student.

“There are those who are now trying to get a kosher phone, so they can show that to the principal, if caught. Since we’re dealing with 12th grade, no one wants to get thrown out of school 6 months before they enter shidduchim,” another student said.

In some yeshivos and schools, parents of students may not own non-kosher cellphones.

{Yair Israel/Yediot Achronot}


  1. This is part of the cause of our shidduch crisis. For a school principal to throw some one out of school is extremely serious. This cannot be done close to shidduchim just because they had a cell phone. Did they ever mis-use it?
    The principal will have to live with this forever if someone cannot get married because they were thrown out.

    When I was in yeshiva they threw out too many people putting them in the cross hairs of at-risk status. This cannot be taken lightly.

    In my opinion they could have been suspended, but NOT expelled.

  2. What has BJJ got to do with the 12th graders? Zero connection. Lacks vital knowledge, which discredits what you think you do know.

  3. Baruch Hashem! Finally, there are people who are taking our children’s Chinuch and spiritual welfare seriously. Kol Hakavod! And, by the way, I’m sure there will be hundreds of comments about how harsh that is and how extreme that is, etc. DON’T BE NISPAEL!!! Those cynics are being machriv the next dor!

  4. this is not really “BJJ”, it’s the Israeli HS bais yaakov hayoshon. BJJ stands for beis yaakov yerushalayim, in English (hence the J’s). so technically BY Hayoshon is a BJ in J, but it’s not what is known to Americans as “BJJ” (sem).

  5. Its importent that they don’t let them back into the school. Who knows what else they were looking at on those treifeh celphones? If they come back,they might show inapropiate things to the other bas toyrah in their class.

  6. That is seriously ridiculous. it’s because of principals like that that cause kids to go off the derech! That guy was an absolute retard for even doing such a thing. So they dont have kosher cellphones. do they think these girls are going to be looking at inappropriate sites such as, dare i say it, Facebook? WOW! what kind of world am i living in???

  7. Basically they forced girls to snitch under the guise of litoeles. I hope that they can make sure all these girls are looked after now that they have no chance of getting into another school for the rest of the year. there are punishments other than expulsion.

  8. Just curious on why is this being reported here and being blown out of proportion.

    I recall as a bocher when a few boys of a Yeshiva, which was/is considered ‘prestigious” got thrown out (and reaccepted a few days later) for going to Piamenta concert, during the zman.

    I think these bochurim turned out just fine, and the Yeshiva is still functioning beautifully 9or even better after taking a stand…) Imagine if that info had been all over the news with everybody adding their comments.. The damage to those bochurim, and subsequently the Yeshiva… and the rest of the students AND future students would be terrible.

  9. #4,
    I hope you are being totally sarcastic.
    If not, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
    Also, I am sure that Sara Schnirer is sheping huge nachas.
    For shame.

  10. Name me one yeshiva or Bais Yaakov that actually cares more about the kids than their reputations. Name just ONE!

    It’s all about status today. Then they make a whole write-up about why kids go off the derech. They went off the derech because you showed that you care more about kosher cell-phones than you care about them!!!

  11. The same issue occurred in my high school in the USA. If someone is caught with a cell phone they would go through the persons contacts and call all names that sounded feminine or were similar to his classmates. The number of times a boy was yelled at for having his mother and sisters on his cell phone was almost funny. In the end these policies resulted in a more careful underground network and a general contempt for the RH

  12. I would probably be very happy to have any of these girls marry my son. If you show me a Bais Yaakov that is run under the auspices of a godol instead of by women who do what THEY think HKB”H wants, I will send my daughter there. In the meantime I see no value in the subjects they teach if it’s not Hashkofo, Halacho and cooking.

    I have been told by a good teacher that the girls learn so many meforshim on Chumash because they have a mitzva of Talmud Torah. When I told her to check with her husband (who is a Rov) she thought I was crazy. When I asked a teacher why the girls have to memorize Mishlei she told me ‘I enjoy when a girl can quote a posuk’. When I told her my daughter isn’t in school for your enjoyment, the conversation ended. When I asked the principal why these teachers are doing what they do she said ‘They don’t listen to me’ and didn’t understand when I asked her to fire them for not following her instructions.

    No, it’s not the students that need disciplining, it’s the educators. Curriculum and policy has to be set by gedolim and poskim, not by the people running the schools today.

  13. principal is a neboch i am sad for kids still in the school under his guidance. yes cell phones can be harmful. but is that the big picture? the cell phone is the problem?
    does expelling em really help? or is this principal just trying to feel all frum and getting on to matzav? neboch!!!

  14. As a student, you have to follow the rules, as with everything else in life. If the rule is: that it’s assur to have a non Kosher cell phone & they indeed had one, so they SHOULD be thrown out! What kind of Chinuch are you teaching if you allow students to constantly break the rules?

    Today, everything is beseder & you can’t punish anyone. You may hurt their feelings! They may get turned off to Yiddishkiet! Such immature babies! It’s no wonder we have a Shidduch crises! We have a bunch of immature spoiled brats out there & their dumb parents only encourage such behaviour!

  15. a non kosher cell phone might be a problem but i don’t understand how a principle could then go into the girl’s contact and expell the other girls isnt there another way to go around it? it just sounds a little interesting to go into her contacts…….. and a teacher tateltaling on girls.. is this the whole story?

  16. #15 I would be most unhappy for any of my daughters to marry your son. just because a women doesnt have a chiuv to learn Torah doesnt mean that her life (and the lives of her children) cannot be enriched by the depth and beauty of the great Jewish thinkers. The words of the Meforshim have taught me so much about life, child raising, and my own relationship with HKBH (and so much more). Yes, we women are entitled to that relationship!!!!!! The Bais Yaakovs are doing a FABULOUS job (yes even run by WOMEN!!!!!!!!!) They are putting out a product of fine Eidele girls who are not just one dimentional- They are raising beautiful Yiddishe Mishpachos (even cooking and baking!!!!!) but they are also thinking productive individuals!

  17. i think many people missed the point. there was a school rule that was broken. i guarantee you these girls knew the reaction would be very strong if they were caught. we can’t judge their rules based on our standards in america- it’s very different in israel. but either way, if a child is in a school she has to follow that school’s rules otherwise she can choose a different school.

  18. Whoa, let’s everyone calm down a bit.
    Number one, the school in question is NOT the American BJJ seminary (which obviously doesn’t have a 12th grade!). It is the oldest Israeli Bais Yaakov high school in Yerushalayim, whose dorm and facilities BJJ uses.

    Second, no one – neither these girls nor their parents – should have been surprised and I doubt they were. Use of non-kosher cell phones is very clearly forbidden in the vast majority of Israeli BY high schools. While in smaller schools the principal might have been able to deal with the situation without expulsion, Bais Yaakov HaYashan is a HUGE school with an average of 10-14 classes in each grade with an average of 40-45 girls in each class. Do the math – that means that there are a minimum of 400 girls IN EACH GRADE. The vast number of students does not allow for any other treatment of something that is a clear deal-breaker from the getgo. Parents who send there know the demographics and are aware that the administration cannot possibly give real, individual attention to a high school with over 2000 students.

  19. # 13 I’ll name one off the top of my head then 3 more to make the point.

    1. Chaim Berlin

    Now three more:
    1. Stolin
    2. Ahavas Torah
    3. Ateret Torah
    4. … I could go on, I know little about girls schools but I am very in tune with what goes on in boys schools. They are very dedicated to their talmidim.

  20. Sick, sick, evil and wicked.

    1. Why didn’t the teacher first speak to the girl PRIVATELY?
    2. The nerve of a principal to invade the privacy and honor of a student by going through her directory.
    3.EXPELLED – what about suspended and taught what was wrong?

  21. #18….right on.Glad someone came out and said it. The school has rules…you break it…your responsible. Besides which,if I were the principal would ban phones in the first place. They have no place in the school system.They are there to learn, not to chat…What happened to us when we were in schooL? Imagine, how did we survive? If it’s important to talk to someone, like parents for some reason or other, there is always a phone for emergencies.
    Girls and boys in school and yeshive have no need for phones….and yes….parents are so afraid of kids today, after all, you try and discipline a child today, and there are a million organizations, telling you not to do this or that to your child….it’s not the in thing anymore to be machanech children. They call the child abuse or other places and report on parent. They manipulate and blackmail the parents….I can’t imagine what this place will look like in 15 years from now.
    You call Eitzah…they tell you to cool it with the kids lest they estrange themselves from you…or run off….A meshugane velt. You can’t be a proper parent with discipline and values anymore…!!!!!go figure
    Good luck to all the parents out there. Happy I’m done raising mine.

  22. #24…taught what was wrong????you’re kidding. What..are they 5 year olds or what??? They very well know what and why the school forbade the phones. They took a chance and got caught. Everyone knows the rules….you don’t have to explain it achar hameisa….they should have thought about it before.

  23. The girl/girls are 100% wrong
    but the principal is 1000% wrong
    Suspend the girls for weeks, make they do teshuva, monitor them etc.
    Expelling them disadvantages their future definitely a good way to create more messed up FFB kids

  24. #24, what’s truly sick is your holier than thou attitude.

    1. What didn’t YOU speak to the school privately?
    2. The nerve of an anonymous blogger (who snatched my moniker)to invade the privacy and honor of the school by blogging and commenting on their internal decisions.
    3. They have a good track record on educating and producing wonderful God-fearing Jewish women. What track record other than degrading do you have?

  25. The school’s policy of allowing cell phones is liberal enough, without the added worry of Kosher cell phones. I’m sure the consequences of being caught with an unkosher cell phone were clearly spelled out at the beginning of the school year. DON’T BREAK RULES!

  26. Nebach Nebach.
    A Rosh Yeshiva came to Reb Shach. He told him that he wanted to kick out one of his bochurim.
    Reb Shach said, “no problem!, just find him a new yeshiva to go to”

    However, these “top” (sarcastic) schools are “so” good, they have to retain their “reputation”
    We teach Torah not people.

  27. Comment #18, I totally agree with you…
    There are rules & we teach our children to abide by them…these girls know better…
    & to further #18 comments, there have been 7 broken engagements in 1 class alone (20 yr. old) from a popular H>S>…The parents are teaching their girls that materialism is more important than leading a torahdik lifestyle!
    Yes, this is a generation of spoiled brats who after the first disagreement with their new spouse run home to mommy as quickly as they get engaged…keep in mind also the whole chinuch system in E>Y> is different than in U>S>, where the teacher here might have handled the same matter in a different way,
    maybe with suspension rather than expulsion.

  28. Even the public schools cell phones are banned,
    Madison H.S. kids leave their cell phones (before school)& pick up their phones at 3pm… at a local deli for .50 a day^-^.
    Point here is the school has standards & rules;
    you break the rule there are consequences. They chose to go to this school.Period. The system is very different in Israel than in America.
    It’s a very sad commentary when parents have to be afraid to discipline their children or they’ll go off the derech etc….I shudder to think about the next generation that are being raised by these selfish, spoiled, demanding girls……

  29. Mobile phones are an amazing tool. If you took one back one hundred years ago they would burn you at the stake for witchcraft. In this case I support the school 100%. Students should not be able to use their phones in any manner whilst studying. A place of learning should be just that. Boundaries are required. Too many teenagers are glued to their phones and feel like they can’t survive unless they are constantly connected. (I know of a case where a 17 y.o. girl did 4200 txt messages in a month. One every seven minutes of her waking life ! Her mother was worried she would suffer from RSI.) There are deep subconscious reasons for this phone addiction. Many Telco executives are quite happy with this situation. It is all about balance and healthy use. I-Phones don’t kill people, people do.

    P.S. The other great phone on the Planet right now is the HTC Desire. The Taiwanese still make some great electronics.

  30. Its important to understand that some of these schools are run by very nice mechanchim, but over the years, they have become convinced that thy understand chinuch, often because their schools have grown, and that now, they dont really have such a kesher to daas toyrah or a strong desire to develop girls that dont fit their mold. but they allow themselves to develop a definition of what the right mold is, without looking to rabonim for guidance.
    thats when these types of story happen
    Other places are run by mechanchim who are meshabeid themselves to gedolei yisroel and are completely lsheim shomayim.
    there are still 200 (mainly sefardi) girls in yerushalayim not accepted into schools (according to my daughter)
    These stories will to continue to occur until schools are meshabeid themselves to daas toyrah, and ask shaylos on these issues, even when their reputation is at stake. or until the parents can come up with $10,000 a piece.

    lets say some tehillim for the girls that were kicked out and then some more for the 200 girls without school places and then some more for the mechanchim themselves that hashem should give them daas hayashar.

    good shabbos

  31. Two comments:
    1) If in fact there is a known and stated policy against ‘non approved’ phones with expulsion as the consequence – ten points for standing firm! I hope that this is applied with consistancy.
    2) A menahel/menaheless who goes through the contacts of a confiscated phone -in this type of situation, where no one is in potential danger- has betrayed a trust; no just with this girl, but with all the remaining talmidos.

  32. 40 years ago in the yeshiva.. what was a kosher phone?
    calling collect to your parents once every 2 weeks and hang up and they would call you back for 90 seconds at $1.50 a minute
    i feel for todays kids

  33. Number 34, can you give me the telephone number of the school so that I may speak to the principal??

    Expelling a student….because of a Mazal TOv announcement. Instead of checking who her contacts are, let him read all her texts and check them out (there are halachic poskim against this). Rules are rules, that is why the IRS sends a question sheet about mistakes/inaccuracies before handcuffing you. That is the reason you can claim ‘Not Guilty’ on traffic tickets.
    EXPELL that Toras Hashem. Since you are privy to the ‘behind the door’ events, share them with us, so that we can understand this discipline.

  34. Next time be more careful the way you speak people think that this is bjj the american seminary please be a more careful this is not the american school!!!

  35. I find it appaling that a principal, with apparantly little knowledge of Halacha can impact so profoundly the life of a girl and her family.

    Clearly, if the administrator would take the time to research the situation in a Halacha light, a far different conclusion would have been reached.

    There is a t’shuva in the Iggros Moshe, chastizing anyone in a position of relative power to encourage, or demand an act of disclosure on the part of one student, against another.

    Rav Moshe goes into some length on this issue and describes the hashchoso inherent in engaging in this kind of investigation. Unfortunately, many of our childrens’ teachers and principals are more tuned into being Hashems detective, than keeping his halochos, when they are not consonent with these zealot’s emotions.

    Time constraints prevent me from going expanding on this critical issue, however, I would close by wishing these girls hatzlocha, despite the egregious averah perpetrated by the school.

  36. #20 Please forgive me if I sounded like I am denigrating the wonderful graduates of our Bais Yaakov schools and seminaries. Many, if not most of the girls who attend go on to become wonderful wives, parents and grandparents. However, that should be the goal of the school, not a by-product. Our boys need to aim to be Roshei yeshiva and gedolim, at the very least an erliche yid who is Kovaia Itim. The girls need to strive to be good wives and mothers, NOT roshei yeshiva, etc.

    Sadly, I speak from experience. Most of the class that I mentioned in my diatribe ended up either not frum or ‘modern’, despite having to memorize Mishlei. The girls came out angry at the way Torah and tznius was forced down their throats and how any perceived infraction was severely punished (a girl sent home for wearing the wrong socks??) Hashkofo was not part of the curriculum, young adults who naturally had questions about Emuna and Bitachon were frowned upon for voicing those questions.

    I’m afraid that the whole system desperately needs an overhaul. Many schools add to their curriculum subjects that are unquestionably one-upmanship to other schools (An in-depth report on a book about the Brisker Rov with a ludicrous amount of detail for entry-level seminary girls!!) I state my challenge again: Show me a school that is run according to the guidelines and curriculum set forth by gedolim and poskim and I will cheerfully send my daughter there, push their agenda and extoll their virtue. Until then I remain on the sidelines.

  37. I haven’t been able to stomach the comments, so sorry if this point was made.
    But imagine if this would have happened ten years ago, before we had this culture of instant news. It sounds like this was a reasonable rule, having kosher cell phones. Possibly, possibly, immediate expulsion is too draconian, but this should all have been handled between hanhala, students, and parents, not the court of popular opinion.
    Now that we, the peanut gallery are involved, what choices do these probably very good girls have? I’ll bet a lot less than had this been handled discreetly, and kept within the school and community.

  38. Tzippi,
    Discreet was over the minute they were EXPELLED. If the teacher would have taken her aside during a free period to discuss it privately and then a meeting ‘after school’ with the principal THEN perhaps discreet would have been possible.

  39. Bizyonos! The principal should be exspelled and he should pray that he doesn’t come as a gilgul in the form of a blackberry.

  40. When I went to high school (in the mid 60’s) there were no cell phones. We got along fine. Why can’t they just shut the cell phones off during school hours so it doesn’t interfere with their studies?

  41. Im a girl in high school and all i can say is this. First of all, schools have rules and if you break it, expect a punishment. I could never understand those girls who break a rule and then rant and rave a bout how unfair it is to get punished!!! Its a rule; you may not agree with it but rules are rules. keep them.
    Second of all, Some schools let phones to be brought into school, including my school, but many schools dont allow any phone besides for a meushar one. so for those schools who allow phones; its one thing to bring your phone to school but its an entirely new thing if the girl is texting with it during school hours. In my school that is something that would warrant a severe punishment. but in this case, its a school that prohibits regular phones(not meushar) and i would assume that using it during school hours is part of the rule. so here there was a girl with a NOT meushar phone using it DURING SCHOOL HOURS. Did she expect not to be punished??? Im not saying that expullsion was a fair punishment but i would say a moderatly severe punishment was in order.

  42. #42…do you really expect a Godal to comment on this? Do you think he sits at “his”computer and listens to all this garbage???? vus is mit dir???? I know what you mean….we can go and ask one, but I guess they probably did…the people involved. In any case, I’ve read all the comments and you can tell the younger generation from the old. The fact remains: Everyone in a particular school knows the rules. It’s not new to anyone. Some kids are more gutsy and take risks. And then they complain about punishment. Well….rules are rules…You knew the consequences…don’t complain about them and make the hanhala look bad. You are the bad one. They told you in advance!!!!! Don’t test the limit. They are not your parents….There is a certain discipline expected in school and if you can’t handle it, find another school that caters to your needs. Simple….
    I’m having a hard time understanding the comments in favor of the girl. That’s the trouble with todays generation. Meget ales nuch. They never learn the lesson, they are always in the right…and that’s why they are roaming the streets, not the other way around. Spare the rod, spoil the child…is what I learned….!!!!look it up.

  43. I think its disgusting that the princepal expelled them!! She couldnt just suspend them for a week and then they’ll learn!! i think, the princepal should find all of those girls shidduchim because its her fault, its true they shouldnt be having a non kosher phone but to expell them???

  44. 1) Many people fail to realize that it is not the kids who decide what school they want to go to, rather the parents.

    2) The issue was not over whether the girl was talking on a phone, but talking on an “approved” phone.

    The bottom line is that many individuals have ambitious goals for living an extremely devout religious lifestyle. This is very commendable. However, from my experience working with “at-risk” Orthodox Jewish teenagers, (which,by the way I hate using the term at-risk for normal kids who have the unfortunate challenge of living in houses with parents imposing a lifestyle too stringent for most people to follow) many are not able to or have the desire at this stage of childhood/young adulthood to deal with such a restricted lifestyle.
    I would hope the principal took steps to ensure these students have an alternative school to attend where they could learn in an environment more in line with their capabilities and desire.


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