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Op-Ed: A Shlucha’s reply to “The Forgotten Girls”

By Shaina Rosenfeld – Shlucha to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Editors note After receiving an overwhelming amount of responses to the Op-Ed “The Forgotten Girls [1]” we’ve chosen to run the following Op-Ed in response.

With personal interest, I read the latest Op-Ed on CrownHeights.info. I myself worked for shluchim in an out-of-the-way city in the USA for two years. On many, if not all, points, I have a hard time identifying with the author of this article. Instead of relating directly to the authors complaints, let’s discuss the general issue.

Why do girls go out to work for shluchim, out of all things?

Hopefully, the answer is to join in the Rebbe’s shlichus. If it’s anything else- to pass the time till they get married, to make some money, to do something fulfilling with their time, to get out of Crown Heights, ‘cuz it’s the ‘in’ thing to do…..

Well, all I can say is that they’ve probably chosen the wrong business. Though some of the above reasons are real, they are not going to be the foundation of a happy, successful year with minimum stress.

If there’s one thing I learned from my years of working for shluchim, it’s that this perspective is what counts most. When I went out to work, it was with all the admonishing and warnings of friends and relatives that “Shluchim take advantage” and “Watch out for yourself”.

What I discovered was that, yes, if I looked at my job as a typical office job or as a 9-5 “don’t disturb me after hours” type of thing, life was going to get miserable really fast. Having being born into, and grown up, on shlichus, I knew that I was getting myself into something larger. After many open and frank conversations with the shluchim I worked for, with friends and others working for shluchim, and hearing from other shluchim, the following picture emerged:

Shluchim bring out girls to help them in their SHLICHUS, which means to be shluchos themselves in the community, with all that that entails. Yes, they are employers, and need to treat their girls as any employer would their employees. But they see your (the girl’s) role as so much more than just what they listed on the contract. Just like the shliach’s ‘contract’ can’t possibly outline every possibility that may come his way.

The girls usually go out to work for shluchim with a similar goal. To help the shluchim in their shlichus. But the word HELP is the key. No, this isn’t their community, they won’t have the joys of seeing the peiros of their hard work. They also won’t be the ones to deal with the aftermath of any unfortunate incident. The mesirus nefesh for something which is not theirs cannot be demanded.

Another point, slightly unrelated, is the fact that for most of these young woman, this is the first real JOB, outside of summer camp, that they have ever held. So they will naturally look at it as something of a JOB, with all that they imagine or have been told goes with that.

The root of many issues is the above divergence of intentions. The shliach is bringing out a SHLIACH, the girl is going to a UNIQUE JOB. And all it takes is that one time for the shliach, or the girl, to create an issue based on these two different veiws and you have the vicious cycle that so many shluchim and their girls complain about.

Have I witnessed shluchim taking unfair advantage of the girls working for them? You bet!

Have I heard girls give unrealistic demands, and shirk the basic responsibilities which they were brought out for? Yup!

The way to deal with this is two-fold.

Shluchim: Remember, your girls are young, impressionable, and committed. They also might be a bit overwhelmed at the beginning. Don’t dump it all on them at once. They are human beings with human feeling. Compliment them on a job well done. True, no one is doing that for you, but that doesn’t make it less important. And, remember, they are, after all is said, EMPLOYEES. Not there forever, not committed for life, and don’t have the same investment. One can’t expect mesirus nefesh from them.

Give them reason to love the place, the people, the shlichus, not hate it.

Girls: You aren’t going for a free ride. This is not camp. This is that job you said you wanted. But it’s also much, much, more. The shluchim have committed their lives to this. They need you to commit yourself to this too. (and, for the record, there is not a job in the world where every time you smile the right way someone is going to pat you on the back). And, remember, this Shlichus isn’t for everyone. If you’re not ready for it- DON’T.

After reading through many of the comments, another point was brought up continuously- is this even what girls should be doing at this stage in their lives? Fingers were pointed at a particular seminary principal for discouraging it.

R’ Y.Y. Chitrik wrote an article in the Kfar Chabad about 4 years ago against it. His points are real. The most important line he wrote was towards the end- before you go work for someone verify what their ruchniyus achrayus is. Both with regard to his home and his shlichus. As long as a girl stays within the framework of our educational system, whether as a teacher, student, dorm counselor, secretary, she’s guaranteeing a certain degree of spiritual structure for herself. Yomim Tovim don’t just ‘happen’. Yoma D’pagra don’t pass by without some kind of acknowledgement. There’s a need to maintain a level of conduct “for the children”.

The shluchim themselves have that spiritual struggle when they move out to their place of shlichus, and that’s presumably after they’ve somewhat stabilized their spiritual standing, usually after they already have to do things “for the children”. To send a girl who has yet to congeal her outlook and views out to a shliach takes serious achrayus. Not every girl is ready for that, and not every shliach conducts his home and his life to the highest of standards.

So, should girls go out?

No blanket answer. Every girl has to do the right, honest, investigation- into herself, her motivations, her ruchniyus, and into the prospective place of shlichus.

And remember- there are two sides to every horror story, and for every situation that doesn’t work out, there is at least one that does

Hatzlocho Rabba to all of you in fulfilling the Rebbe’s shlichus.

Post-script: I now run my own Chabad House. The skills I learned while out in the boondocks have made a tremendous contribution. Whether it was running an office, giving shiurim, emails, Friday night dinners, or talking to those who come by, I owe much to the shluchim who showed me how. Thank you Berel and Devorah Leah.

This Op-Ed reflects the views of its author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CrownHeights.info nor of its Editors.

A reader that wishes to make his or her voice heard on any topic of their desire is welcome to submit his or her Op-Ed to News@CrownHeights.info [2].

55 Comments (Open | Close)

55 Comments To "Op-Ed: A Shlucha’s reply to “The Forgotten Girls”"

#1 Comment By buchur on a crazy shlichus On February 3, 2008 @ 7:11 am

verry well said!
p.s. to any shluchim who read this,you dont know how much chizuk a real thank you can give.

#2 Comment By Excellent article On February 3, 2008 @ 7:56 am

Beautifully written. It does pay to remember that there are ALWAYS 2 sides to every story.

Whilst the original article had many valid points, so does this one. Conclusion: There are always 2 sides to a story!

I think the main point of this article is that girls should know what a life of a shliach is, it is not a 9-5 job, and that it is not for everyone. You should not go on shlichus because it is the thing to do. You have to commit to that life.

#3 Comment By Critical Thinker On February 3, 2008 @ 8:13 am

Your article is very well-written. However, I would like to make 2 points:

1. You say “and, for the record, there is not a job in the world where every time you smile the right way someone is going to pat you on the back”.

Note, though, that in the case of a corporate job, although it is true that they may not show the appropriate appreciation for an employee’s accomplishments, the employee is, nevertheless, paid for the work, (a finanicial expression of “appreciaton”), thus making the “pat on the back” form of appreciation a preference and “bonus”, but not mandatory and necessary.

2. Your article applies to the decent shluchim whose only imperfection is their lack of EXPRESSING appreciation, but who, in fact, DO appreciate the work performed by the girls.

It does not, however, address the shluchim being referred to in the original article – those who DO NOT, in fact, even appreciate the girls’ work on their behalf (let alone take the time to express it).

#4 Comment By Faigy On February 3, 2008 @ 10:18 am

Point well said Shaina. I totally agree with you. The idea of girls going on Shlichus after seminary was not even a concept before gimmel tammuz. Like you said, I think a lot of girls are not looking at it as a shlichus, therefore a lot of conflict arises….

#5 Comment By Missing the point … On February 3, 2008 @ 9:17 am

I’m a guy, married, living in Crown Heights, but I spent many years as a bochur working for shluchim. I’ve seen the way girls are treated. In many cases they are treated with respect, but I’ve personally seen girls who have been over taxed by things that just aren’t right.

It’s one when its comes to actual shluchim, or setting up an event, or cleaning up after it. But when you use your girls as babysitting services – thats wrong. Once in a while, here and there, if they don’t mind – fine. But if you bring girls down to help in your shluchim, it’s like an internship. They should be at the event, helping WITH the event. Not at home watching your kids.

The other thing I saw was sending them on shopping runs. In places where the nearest grocery store is 2-3 hours away. they send them with huge lists, no help in carrying it back into the chabad house, and worse I’ve seen girls given cars that are barely starting, getting stuck places for shabbos. Getting stuck on the side of the road. I’ve seen girls sent “at the last minute” to get groceries by a near by store for an event, but without enough money, or enough time before the event or even shabbos.

Thats what I think the point here is. Don’t ABUSE them. I know girls (and guys) on shlichus have to do things that aren’t “fun” but there is a difference between treating your “girls” as slaves or as interns, helping to give them a preview of what they might expect.

I feel that the writer of this op-ed misses the point. She thinks the girls from the original op-ed were just kvetching. This further strengthens the point of the original op-ed, because it shows they don’t understand the difference between using your girls as babysitting services and home delivery for groceries and bringing them in as young women who want to learn the ropes and eventually use this knowledge and experience to help run their own chabad house one day. If you treat your girls as employees and partners and interns – there won’t be any problems.

If you treat them as “extra pair of hands” to do all the dirty work, well, then you have the problem we have here today.

#6 Comment By Racheli On February 3, 2008 @ 11:07 am

Very well written, Shaina!!

#7 Comment By A shlucha On February 3, 2008 @ 11:45 am

I was on shlichus as a girl for 2 years before I got married. We worked side by side with the shluchim. We shopped for them-they fed us,we babysat for them-they filled in for us when we had to go to a simcha. Hey! its a two way street. The problem here is that the girls now are a different breed. I see it with the counselors I bring out year after year. They have no idea what shlichus is all about. They are the ME generation and havent got a clue what it means to work for the Rebbe. Its not totally thier fault. Thier parents, educators and friends have alot to contribute to this failure. Im sure there are shluchim out there that abuse, every organization has thier fair share. Check out where you are going BEFORE you go and if you made a mistake GET OUT Of THERE as in buy yourself a plane ticket! May we all be zoche to bring our Rebbe nachas and continue in his work and bring Moshiach NOW!

#8 Comment By CM On February 3, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

Posters “Critical Thinker” and “Missing the Point”:

Very well sais. I am hoping that the author of this op-ed will have the decency to respond to your comments and not simply overlook them and embrace the positive feedback (probably from other similar-minded shluchim who use “girls” for their personal benefit).

#9 Comment By marshmallow On February 3, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

yes very well said, however i have to agree with “missing the point”

#10 Comment By An outsider On February 3, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

You write “On many, if not all, points, I have a hard time identifying with the author of this article” That’s fine, the author was not asking you to identify with her, she was writing about her experience and just wanted her shluchim to listen and understand that yes she is willing to do her job well but a little appreciation is nice too. why is it so difficult to show Hakoras Hatov? A little Thank You can go a long way.

#11 Comment By fresh out of school! On February 3, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

A Bochur was going to help a Shliach and was negotiating “payment” for his “job” he asked me for my opinion,
this is what I answered:
I went to a job placement website and read off a list of industries that this bochur felt his “job description” fits closest.

The starting salary for that job (for collage graduate – majoring in that area) in that city was $32,000.00 annually BEFORE TAXES.

That is $2,600 a month BEFORE TAXES

The Shliach was providing housing, so we found the cheapest studio apartment in that area was $600 a month.

The Shliach/Shlucha was going to feed him – it was determined that it is worth about $20.00 per day for regular home cooked food (with Shabbos) = $600.00 a month.

The Shliach was giving him a car/gas valued at $350.00 a month

(That is working full year with 14 days vacation annually)

So I told him – if the Shliach gave him $200/$250 a week – poor Shliach is over paying . . .



Doctors work as much as 70 hours a week!!!!!

#12 Comment By To Mr. “Missing the point” On February 3, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

Isn’t it troubling that Mr. “Missing the point” – the expert on shluchim/shlichus knows all the details of how shluchim abuse GIRLS from his “many years as a BOCHUR working for shluchim”??

Mr. “Missing the point”, it seems that your time at shluchim was spent missing the point!

It is individuals like you who give all the Bachurim and Girls who work for shluchim a bad name!

Get a life!

#13 Comment By Shlucho On February 3, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

Most parents allow their daughters to go on “shlichus” to enhance their shidduch prospects.
It’s all about doing the holier than thou thing. It’s in vogue to change diapers. It’s chassidish. With all the kids being brainwashed throughout the school system, shlichus shlichus shlichus, how can one even contemplate anything but working for a shliach?

#14 Comment By i-ve been on shlichus and know On February 3, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

if the shluchim arent over using and abusing and the girls are their to give all they got to shluchus(which is usually the case, with the girls) then all is fine. we are talking about shluchim who think that the girls are there to do everything the shluchim don’t want or can’t do. SOME of these shluchim mean well they just don’t know enough.and sadly I have heard many personal stories of girls that worked for shluchim who took advantage of them.
that is the truth. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE ME GENERATINON it’s about some shluchim who just don’t know the true worth of these young girls

#15 Comment By It really hurts On February 3, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

Well written, fair & un-biased. In short – very acurately described.

For all the people who can’t help but respond negatively – there’s always an answer to a question, there’s no answer to an answer.

Your responses are so automatic, it’s almost as if they’re pre-programmed. Why be like that??? Is that really what kind of people you are?
Or is it, that you just have an answer, that you’re absolutely desperate for the world to hear, so as soon as you see an opportunity, you jump on it??? I hope not, because we all know what kind of a personality that reflects.

Think about it, really think about it – Everytime there’s an article on here, I read the comments, and there’s always, always someone or some people who feel the need to share their infinite wisdom. Now, that’s not even my problem – after all that’s what different opinions are all about, I respect people who have their own opinion. In fact, people who don’t have opinions are the ones to be worried about.

However, did you ever think about the person on the receiving end of your comment? I’m not talking about when you really respond wisely – even if it is in a negative way. I’m talking about the people, who just write the first thing that comes to their head, like an innocent child who doesn’t think before he speaks.
Please remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and think about how you would feel if someone said that same thing to you.

P.s. I’m not saying this as some sort of mussar drosha…feel free to disagree or to ignore, that’s your choice…. but i’m just a regular Lubavitcher, and it really hurts everytime people belittle others. There’s enough going on in the world, we don’t have to be the ones responsible for even more.

Thank you

#16 Comment By A GIRL On February 3, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

This whole discussion is very interesting to me..

I was a girl on shlichus for 4 year in the same place, working for the same shluchim, and all in all I had a very positive experience.

I know that my positive experience was just as much in my attitude as it was in the attitude of the shluchim who brought me out.

As much as the girls who go on shlichus need to go out with the right attitude, it is the shluchim who bear the responsibility for the girls they hire.

It could be that now girls go on shlichus as a job instead of a shlichus but the bottom line is, shluchim desperately need girls,and if they want the work to be done they need to treat girls in a way that will make the girls want to be there!

Shaina, your advise to girls makes sense when you are talking about decent shluchim who really care about their girls, and its true, there are many out there..
but there are those shluchim who expect their girls to babysit, run errands, do all the dirty work for the program but in the end receive no credit for it.

Just like you tell girls that if they are not cut out for shlichus not to go, i would tell shluchim that if they are not ready to support and respect their girls they have no choice but to run their own bas mitzvah clubs, hebrew schools, womens programs, teen events, youth zones, preschools and friendship circles.

Girls who are happiest on shlichus and subsequently do the best job are the ones who feel as if the program they are running is their own. I know that it is extremely hard for a shliach to completely give over a program to their girls, but it is the only way it works.

If I am completely in charge of Youth Zone i would stay in the office until 9 at night making phone calls and organizing the event, because its MY program. If i am just there to go to Costco and Michaels do not have the same drive as the Shlucha does to stay in the office until 9 at night making phone calls or setting up tables. It doesn’t matter if this attitude is right or wrong. It is what it is. and Shluchos who want girls who do good work need to let the girls feel empowered and not abused.

It could be that “they don’t make girls like they used to” and that “shlichus has become a job” but i think it is in the power of the Shliach of Shlucha to set the tone of the shlichus and to make their girls feel cared for, appreciated and involved. In most cases, girls who feel appreciated and empowered will reciprocate.

In my 4 years of shlichus there was not a day that I went home by 5. I tell everyone that reason I stayed for so many years is only because of the shluchim. We liked each other, they made me feel a part of their family, they treated me with respect and as an equal, and in exchange they had a dedicated “girl” who came back 4 years in a row.

#17 Comment By response to the anal-ilzers On February 3, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

excellent article

in response to “CM”, “Critical thinker”, and “Missing the point”:

oh and to all those goof balls who expect responses to their every point and detail… even if your points are right, its impossible to absolutely completely address the totality of the issue in one article or even in a forum such as this one.

so dont be so “klein keppeldik”, give credit where credit is due, and acknowledge a very well presented article.

#18 Comment By Disappointed mother On February 3, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

I sent my daughters on shlichus to help out shluchim in a few different countries. All of our daughters were overworked, taken advantage of, underpaid, and basically unappreciated. My girls went with idealistic values. They did not go for the money. But they expected the shluchim to appreciate them more and to treat them more like family and to recognize their hard work.
I was personally very disappointed about two of our daughters because the shluchim they worked for brought in other girls to help who were not a good influence, and the shluchim themselves were not perhaps on the best level in terms of hashkofas, tznius etc. We felt very upset because we sent our daughters with good kavanas and good intentions but we were disappointed the way they came back. I think the shluchim must realize their responsibilty: they take young girls to work for them and they have to be sure those girls are in the right environment, with the right people, and they are doing the Rebbe’s work. If the girls come back with negative emotions, or with a negative feeling towards shlichus, that is partially the responsibility of the shluchim! And that is besides the fact if the girls come back with wrong hashkofas based on the example of the shaliach.
I dont think one can criticize the young girls that much since they are young and impressionable and inexperienced in life. If they have a good experience on shlichus they will become good shluchim themselves and they will also become better chassidim. If the opposite happens, I believe the shaliach has to accept at least partial responsibility for that.
In fact, before two of our daughters went on shlichus, they were very well behaved and very good girls. But the shlucha told them that she cant believe they actually still listen to their parents and ask permission from their parents…and after that our daughters began to resent our advice. It was very hurtful to us as parents. We sent innocent, good girls out there on shlichus and our daughters came back on a lower level, not a higher level. I would be very cautious before sending another child on shlichus!

#19 Comment By IN PERSPECTIVE! On February 3, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

As a girl who worked (and quit) one shlichus and now has worked BH for over a year and a half at the second shlichus…
Shliach 2: no contract, no car, no home… i commute and i pay the fare. i pay my own food. the salary is below what others have offered BUT we get along great and they let me fly with my ideas because there is open communication. this shlichus isnt about me or them. its about the neshamos that come through the door about the programs that will attract them. there is a mutual respect. i dont like/ do shlepping jobs and its not demanded of me. on the rare occasions atht it is, it is done respectfully and with a realization that on my part (from myself) i am doing something another bit to get this shlichus done and from the shliach’s part: i am doing part of my shlichus BUT it is a favor.
Shaina, youre one hundred percent right! it is all a matter of perspective. if a single girl is ready to take on the world- than do so by all means. go out on shlichus work hard- you know there will be hard times, the job doesnt always pay well… but its the rebbes work. for those who cant/ dont want to subject themselves to the extremes of being on shlichus as a single girl (which includes: not the best pay, working HARD, not seeing the fruits of your labor, going an extr mile often! and more…) THAN JUST BE HONEST WITH YOURSELVES ABOUT YOUR CAPABILITIES AND WANTS. not everyone can deal at a job that isnt totally set out, not everyone can deal with the disorganization… especially when at times it doesnt feel like its your own cause.
dont ever kid yourselves. the underlying point of this and the previous article can be applied to any of the many different jobs my friends are in. teaching, secretarial, special ed, management. YOU WILL NEVER BE HAPPY IN ANY JOB UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE. and to work the rebbe’s job… well there its a whole diffierent level of perspective.

#20 Comment By a thank you goes along way On February 3, 2008 @ 7:13 pm

yup that is all it take really appreciating what people do for you even if you are paying them make them feel like your in it with them we will pull through it together if everyone is there for the shlichus then your all on the same team a team works together and gives each other support and yes there may be those few that aren’t there for the shlichus but most girls and boys you think they just go for the fun? no they enjoy it and it is fulfilling but everyone wants to be appreciated and if you don’t know how to treat someone nicely then don’t bring them out forget the money they need friends and the shlucha hs to be there friend have friendly chats girls if you feel your not appreciated leave!! they will get the message! why do you think bochurim don’t have as much of an issue with this b.c. the shliach knows he will just pick up and leave i know someone who went on shlichus and had a great year, got close with so many people in the community and still are until today but never talks to the shluchim even while they were there they weren’t close with them at all they just made them feel uptight and pressured all day long they bought the shluchim a present (very expensive) before they left never did they get a thank you. people in the community noticed so many times people complained a few times to them about the shluchim, one time the shluchim got all upset that they are telling people things about them, it never occurred to them that why would they say anything bad they are here on shlichus but people had noticed and were close so said things to them!!!! so just think 10 times before you say and remember always say thank you this applies to both sides

#21 Comment By Chanie On February 3, 2008 @ 7:21 pm

In response to this article, it does not seem to me that people should continue to criticize and vent about their Shlichus experience. It is out of place. Those who continue to vent just want to vent and are doing so with their ears and brains plugged out to what anyone has to say.

Very well said Shayna – Hatzlacha in your shlichus!

#22 Comment By Resident On February 3, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

To the author:

It is truly a shame that you 100% missed the point, but no surprise you stand by your shluchim friends and not by the girls who ARE being abused AND ACTUALLY DENIED FOOD by your friends…..and maybe subconsciously by you.

These girls are simply lied too. If they are going out to be babysitters, etc….THEN BE HONEST, DONT LIE and trick them into coming.


Once again and attempt by a shliach to smack down anyone pointing out some legitimate issues. I FEEL LIKE WE’RE IN CHINA
LET’S NOT FORGET, the Rebbe would not have liked to have his Shluchim starve girls

#23 Comment By a girl who has been around On February 3, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

yes there are many nice, appreciative shluchim out there. and i’ve been to shluchim like that, but i’ve also been to shluchim where we were not treated properly and the shluchim didn’t know where to draw the line. those are the shluchim that the original writer was talking about. i’ve been through an experience where i got physically sick from stress and i had to leave just one week into the year. these things do happen, and unfortunately it turns girls off from eventually going on shlichus later on. btw, the writer of this oped wrote that if a girl is going for any other reason-such as money-than the shlichus, it’s the wrong mindset. i think most girls know that they will not get rich from shlichus. if they really wanted to make money they would stay in the city because shluchim do not pay lots which is understandable and many times they do not pay until the girls come begging for their checks (i’ve been to those). there are all types and girls-do lots of research before you go anywhere, speak to people that have been there, and not just the names of the girls that the shluchim give you since usually they will only mention the girls that they liked.

#24 Comment By Amused On February 3, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

Bottom line is the original article was addressed to those shluchim who unfortunately do not, or do not realize that they are not treating their girls correctly.

So to those shluchim who treat their girls well Kol Hakavod, you need’nt take notice of the article it was’nt meant for you and to those who do take advantage of their girls just do a little Cheshbon Nefesh and be honest with yourselves, if it was your daughter or child who was being treated this way how would you feel?

#25 Comment By Kleinimoose Coleman On February 3, 2008 @ 6:05 pm

The “Haute shlichus” experience for youngsters is just another manifestation of the “Designer yeshiva” and Boutique seminary” culture, quite prevalent in our community.
If we would consider how our children really feel and pay attention to their real needs, rather than our own self concious status seeking inclinations, we would not seek these vulgar modes of validation.

#26 Comment By Missing the Point On February 3, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

to the guy who wrote to me “To Mr. “Missing the point”

It seems you too have missed the point. Sadly, many of these same shluchim who abuse girls treat the bochurim fine. The guys they send to prisons, schools, office buildings, have them give classes, speeches, etc. But the girls all end up babysitting and going on grocery runs.

Girls aren’t just babysitting services and taxis.

#27 Comment By Shaina Rosenfeld On February 3, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

To all the Posters here:

Positive feedback is always nice. Negative feedback too.
NegativiTY isn’t.

At no point did I ever say that Shluchim don’t need to show appreciation. They do. The comment on appreciation was made to the girls themselves, on the mindset with which to approach such a situation. (By the way, I always made a point of telling the shluchim I worked for that a program or class THEY gave worked out nicely. How often do they get to hear that? Usually, my part was immediately complimented too.)

As for shluchim who abuse the girls they hire I wrote: “Have I witnessed shluchim taking unfair advantage of the girls working for them? You bet!”
I am well aware of the facts. I don’t live with my head in the sand. The point of the article is not to condone such behavior.
In fact, it’s not to condone or condemn anyone. The point is simply to remind everyone to put things into perspective. The responsibility to make this work out is both the shliach’s and the girls’. In that order.

Hatzlocho Rabba to all,

#28 Comment By Proud to be a Shliach On February 3, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

It is common sense that Shluchim need to take VERY good care of the girls and bochurim they bring out, and that unfortantley there are Shluchim who do not. However, there are girls and bochurim who come and take advantage of Shluchim. As the author put it so well, there is no longer this feeling of “Shlichus” amongst them. This is a job, something to do for the Yom Tov, summer or the year. They demand very high salaries, not keeping in mind the financial difficulties of a Shliach and demand on top of that many more things that a Shliach is not capable of providing.

For example, a Shliach can no longer bring down a Chazan for less than $2000, unless he wants someone who is inexperienced, sounds likes frog and has no idea what the nusach is. It’s just not right.

So yes, Shluchim need to do their best to treat the girls and boys like kings and queens. They need to especially show appreciation and fulfill their promises.

But at the same time, the bochurim and girls that go out there need to be less selfish, more understanding, and more botul to the Rebbe rather than to their own pockets.

I also want to add, that there are times that you bring boys and girls down and they are not very helpful, like THEY said they would be. So they do not fulfill THEIR promises. They lazy around, wake up late, do not what they’re supposed to do and cause a Chilul Hashem in front of your BB.

The ikur is, we need Moshiach now!

#29 Comment By bais chaya girl!!!! On February 3, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

good luck shaina, and i know that whatever you write is true!!!

#30 Comment By well put On February 3, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

to :Kleinimoose Coleman – very well said – !!

#31 Comment By been there On February 3, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

Unfortunately there is one more point that I have heard regarding the way these girls are treated. This is uncommon, but it does happen. There are shluchim that behave very inappropriately with the young girls. These shluchim do get this reputation…but, it can sometimes be after the damage is done. There has to be a way to prevent this from happening.

#32 Comment By Stephen R. Covey On February 3, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

Mesiaras nefesh is something you can demand of yourself and YOURSELF only…
Don’t drag the Rebbe and Shlichus into your problems, and use it as an excuse to manipulate and abuse your workers.
Please read: 7 habits of highly effective people…shluchim should have to pass a test on that book before hiring workers.

#33 Comment By the Shluchim here deserve the refund! On February 3, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

To all girls or bochurim who think that they are going on Shlichus to “learn the ropes of Shlichus”:
Stay home!

You are going o help a shliach as an extra hand. He’s not there to train you. Shluchim don’t bring down bochurim/girls because they want to train boys and girls how to be shluchim (they are not a shlichus training academy!). They bring you down to be part of the shlichus effort. If you are going for “training” then you ought not to complain about your salary, rather you should be paying that poor Shliach for all of your training.

All of the experience you get on the job is a perk, and not what shluchim bring you down to their makom hashlichus for!

(I write as a 23 y/o bochur working for a shliach)

#34 Comment By Stephen R. Covey On February 3, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

Mesiaras nefesh is something you can demand of yourself and YOURSELF only…
Don’t drag the Rebbe and Shlichus into your problems, and use it as an excuse to manipulate and abuse your workers.
Please read: 7 habits of highly effective people…shluchim should have to pass a test on that book before hiring workers.

#35 Comment By To CM On February 3, 2008 @ 9:17 pm

You display a lot of poor intelligence, and undeveloped maturity. The Shlucha who wrote this article, just voiced her opinion and nothing more. She did not commit herself to responding to every bored girl or boy which posts a response to her opinion. “decency”… You’re out of your mind!

#36 Comment By bais chaya girl!!!! (schap) On February 3, 2008 @ 9:11 pm

shaina, i admire your courage and bravery for standing up to these people who will always find something to complain about! youre an inspiration to us all here in bais chaya!

#37 Comment By someone from argentina On February 3, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

i read the comments most of them are about the girls/bochurim who had a bad experience on their shlichus..like some said the coin has two sides…so why dont the shluchim who mistreat the girls/bochurim give their opinion or explanation..

#38 Comment By please no sides On February 3, 2008 @ 10:28 pm

I love how the articulate people with valid points in opposition to the article are shot down just by virtue of the fact they spoke against the article. Once again…people caring more about “taking sides” and covering up issues than they are about the fact the issues exist themselves. This is destructive.

Oh yes…..kleinimoose….that was awesome.

#39 Comment By Chana On February 4, 2008 @ 1:03 am

kleinimoose- how true. and well said, too!

#40 Comment By abused, belittled, humiliated On February 4, 2008 @ 9:11 am

why is this a new op-ed
my comment on the original was better pointed but this was well written
i blame he kids
you go on shlichus and if everything isnt perfect its the shliachs fault
thats crazy
if your not willing to do what the shluchim that are bringing you out did when they went out then dont reply to the we need dynamic girls adds
also who ever wrote the breakdown of the money is 100% right

#41 Comment By a jew On February 4, 2008 @ 6:09 am

I amn no shliach and never went on shlichus. But as a 22 year old with a solid income and very close to the shluchim where I live I will say as follows:

There are many that use and abuse the shluchim.. perhaps most not on purpose but nonetheless. There are those in chabad who expect free food and accomodation from shluchim because hey its a chabad house!

There are those that abuse a shliach’s hospitality by overdrinking, causing trouble, making a chilul lubavitch and more.

Its sad to see shliach chasing after guests to come to minyan etc..those that make a mess in the hess, dont say thank you to shlucha who spends days cooking, think a shabbos meal is about shmoozing with the girls.

This is no way a attack on all bochurim and girls… but please note that this abuse works both ways.

#42 Comment By breakdown of the money is 100% wrong On February 4, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

To the one who broke out the money and to the one who thought it was “100% right”, you are not exactly using critical thinking:

“The Shliach was providing housing, so we found the cheapest studio apartment in that area was $600 a month.”

This is not exactly a good comparable. Someone who is living in a persons guest bedroom does not have the level of privacy or independance as someone in their own studio apartment.

“The Shliach/Shlucha was going to feed him – it was determined that it is worth about $20.00 per day for regular home cooked food (with Shabbos) = $600.00 a month.“

Again not exactly a good comparison. If the shlucha was making dinner for ten every night (six kids and two ”employees“) would you estimae her food bill to be $6,000 a month?!

”The Shliach was giving him a car/gas valued at $350.00 a month“

This might be you best comp. but then again this assumes a car that does not stall.

”So I told him – if the Shliach gave him $200/$250 a week – poor Shliach is over paying . . .


correct, but fuzzy math is the first term that comes to mind when reading your comment. I have a suggestion, how about finding out what someone is paid to accept a boarder in their home, add the cash that the bochur will be paid and the car numbers and see if the numbers still make sense. Or as an aleternative, tell the shliach to pay you what a first year docter and lawyer is paid and you will find your own accomadations,car and food. According to your calculations the shliach would be getting a bargain!

#43 Comment By To : abused belittled humiliated On February 5, 2008 @ 2:50 am

Excuse me but i do not agree with you… girls do not have to put up with everything the shliach throws at them just because they came out to shlichus. yes its a full time job and a commitment you have to know you’re making before you go but sorry… they don’t owe the shluchim thier lives and dignity just because they came out on shlichus to them. some shluchim really need to have some tact. being a dynamic girl doesn’t mean to do all the shluchim’s dirty work… not that all shluchim take advantage, i’m not generalizing, but i know from my friends a nice handful who do and its an ufair thing of you to say that in other words a girl who has a dynamic personality should be expected to deal with anything and everything that is thrown at her even if she wasn’t exactly told before she came and its not in her contract or whatever. basically, yes… you can and should go beyond just what your contract says… its a shlichus after all… its not about the shliach… its about the mishaleach and bringing jews close to yiddishkiet, but there is a line between giving of yourself and being taken advantage of with no tact whatsoever! i don’t mean anything against you… just atating my opinion.

#44 Comment By gwilligers On February 4, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

re:the Shluchim here deserve the refund! wrote:
I suppose babysitting was one of the things required from you as well???
Lack of Respect for one another is the reason we are in this golus……

#45 Comment By girl On February 4, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

I’m sorry, whoever wrote that breakdown of money was WAY off.

$20 of food a day? Who are you kidding? Most shluchim will give $50 of food a week to a group of 3 girls. Adds up to a LOT less than what you said.

Gas, shluchim I worked for gave $20 every two weeks. That’s $40 a month, not $350. Thats if you get a car. The other shluchim I worked for didnt give us a car, or pay for all the public transport we had to use.

$600 apartment? laughing at this one. MANY of my friends have been put in shluchim’s basements and garages. And those who do give apartments are not paying $600 for each girl/boy in teh apartment.

AND most shluchim dont pay $200 or $250 a week!

And I’m not saying they should. I’m saying, get your facts straight before you speak.

#46 Comment By Sarah On February 4, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

When Shluchim first go out, they are the ones in Walmart at 2:00 a.m…. in fact, many of them are STILL in Walmart at 2:00 a.m., sometimes, because they don’t want to deal with girls’ attitudes about whether or not shopping at Walmart is beneath them.
The bottom line: Shluchim bring out girls to help them get stuff done. A Shlucha with experience and more finesse may want to be the one inviting people to events, working with committees on programs and developing further connections to people by learning and giving classes. She wants to free up her time so she can focus on these tasks. Therefore… you hire people to help do these mundane tasks that UNTIL they came, you were doing youself!
I am on Shlichus, never brought out girls for the year, and only worked with camp counselors who incidently, LOVED going to Walmart at 1:00 a.m.
So in conclusion… the Shluchim need to be clear and outline all the task they want the girls to do. If you want a “shlepper”, then say so!

Or if “shlepping” is part of the job description, and there are a lot of other things to do that are more up your alley, you do that as well, knowing its part of the job, much as changing diapers are a part of parenting. When you go help someone, you are there to enable them to do their Shlichus.

And Shluchim, if you want someone to help out with these tasks so you are free to do the “bigger picture” things, make sure you explain that to the girls. Communication, folks!

#47 Comment By op-ed On February 5, 2008 @ 1:15 am

to response to the analilzers wrote: and It really hurts wrote:

this is an open forum it is meant to be discussed if you cant stand it dont read the comments.

#48 Comment By The way things are On February 5, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

The negative is just as real and valid as the positive side of things.There are solutions to every problem when one is not scarred to face them, but alas Jews are frightened of everything including the truth.

#49 Comment By Response to Sarah On February 5, 2008 @ 11:17 am

“A Shlucha with experience and more finesse may want to be the one inviting people to events, working with committees on programs and developing further connections to people by learning and giving classes. She wants to free up her time so she can focus on these tasks. Therefore… you hire people to help do these mundane tasks that UNTIL they came, you were doing youself!”

This says alot. A shliach with this expectation should put this up on their advertisement with ch.info/shmais. It should read something like this:

Shlucha with experience and more finesse seeks dynamic girl to take over many of the mundane tasks of which until now I need to do on my own. If this experiance sounds exciting to you please call 555-5555…..

#50 Comment By the Shluchim here deserve the refund! On February 5, 2008 @ 2:47 pm

Re:breakdown of the money is 100% wrong and re:gwilligers

You obviously have no comprehension of the way money (budgets) work, because there is something called “consolidating costs”. If you are a single girl purchasing provisions, the bottom line will be much more then if you would have purchased those same provisions for 5 ten or twenty people together. The same applies with real estate (i.e. a studio apt verses living at the shluchim).

And to answer gwilligers question: Yes, absolutely! If the shluchim needed me to watch their kids, it didn’t slight my dignity whatsoever and I was glad to help. It’s all about your attitude.

#51 Comment By breakdown of the money is 100% wrong On February 5, 2008 @ 9:26 pm

I happen to work with this every day and get paid for it.

When someone challenges you respond to the questions without deflecting to another topic. If the Shliach would not agree to pay the bochur entry level doctor/lawyer comp and give up on all the perks, you can see your logic is flawed. By your own consolidated cost analysis, you can make the same claim that the bochur can rent a four bedroom apartment and share it with three mates and would cost him a fraction of the $600 bucks you quoote. Again we are back to fuzzy math…..

#52 Comment By i hope you understand On February 7, 2008 @ 5:35 pm

born and raised on shlichus and now 22 single looking and happy to have worked for more than 10 shluchim 2 in australia one in canada more than 5 in the states some for a year some half a year some for a few months and one just for a couple weeks,
i never was put in a basement
i never went hungary
i was never paid less then excpected
i never felt taken advantage of
i never was short on gas
i never had a car that would breakdown
that said i would like everyone to read everything written here and the original op-ed and be warned the world is dark, moshach tzaiten dosnt mean we are already redeemed, a shliach has the power of his sender and can pass that on a hundred times over trashing the girls and boys is as bad as trashing the shluchim wich is as bad as …. i dont think i have to spell that out
we all know what happened good and bad please clariffy with the shliach bring you anywhere exactly what your shlichus wil be and excpect it to be worse
i saw a letter the rebbe wrote to a shliach and it said something like this
i recieved your letter in reffrence to your shlichus and you shoud know that this is a portion of your shlichus

i know who sent the letter and i know what he wrote to the rebbe
it was a list of reasons he shouldnt be there

iam sorry if this message dosnt make sence iam just rambling bec this topic really erks me
so please take what you can and move on

#53 Comment By the Shluchim here deserve the refund! On February 8, 2008 @ 1:42 am

Re: breakdown of the money is 100% wrong

the pot which called the kettle black! You are using dishonest math! You can’t find 4 bedroom apartments for $600 a month in Brooklyn! If you were a shliach and would cheshbon out how much these bochurim/girls really cost, you would shut up, because they cost shluchim thousands of dollars and in some (hopefully not many) cases get zero return on investment (some expenses were never even mentioned in this discussion, such as flying them in to the shlichus town, which most shluchim pay for).

#54 Comment By chasidim ain mishpacha On February 8, 2008 @ 4:28 pm

i will start of by saying i understand what mr i hope u understand wrote

this whole dishonest math thing has gotta stop
first of all if you have to stress your point that many times you probably need so convincing yourself
second of all even if its in acurte the point is stil strong
i know for a fact that it is more financialy sound for me to work for a shliach
someone working a nine to five 5 days a week comuting to boropark everyday made 3/4 of what i made working for a shliach

and about the whole car thing
what a load of trash
most shluchim that give cars to the boys and girls that work for them give ethier a car they drive or another car available to them that they would be using if their car wasnt available i heard countless stories of boys and girls destroying cars alot of them new cars and whats a shliach to do then even if could afford insurance that covers his car aswell and gets the car replaced the premiums skyrocket what if the last group that worked for this shliach crashed and now the shliach cant afford insurance anymore and thats why you dont have a car or maybe your a nineteen yr old little kid and the shliach dosnt want to call your mother and say iam sorry bt i gave your kid my car and …..
not everything in life goes your way take it from me u dont have to learn the hard way
and to the girl that wrote that most shluchim dont pay $200-$250 a week i would have to agree
i havnt goten les then $300 a week in my life not for day camp not for my yr on shlichus in middle of nowhere not anywere
thats all i have time for now
shabbos is soon so have a good shabbos and i will voice my opinion again in the future
maybe even write my own op-ed
ooo wouldnt that be fun

#55 Comment By a shliach who likes to comment On February 11, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

As a shliach who has brought out many boys and girls (at different times) i would like to say
1) Our bochurim and girls are the BEST, the Rebbes kinder, wanting to do whats right – even if they sometimes act a bit immature. I have recieved tremendous inspiration from the chassidishkeit of bochrim and girls today.
2) the first time I brought out people for an extended peroid of time, an older – and wiser – shliach told me ‘remember, u are adopting two kids, thy’re joining the family’ and we try (at times better then others) to treat them like that. bh we have been 99 percent very happy with the girls and bochurim we have had.
3) shluchim, remember u have a chinuch achrayus with these young souls, make sure to spend time (the shlicah with the bochurim, shlucha with the girls) socalizing, chatting, and farbrenging.

4) to the young shluchim, bochurim and girls, 1) remember ur in the army,even if ur doing stuff that isent the most fun, so spirit is important, and if u feel theres a problem, speak up, in a calm way, in most cases it will help.

5)to parents of the bochurim and girls, if ur child is at risk etc, share it with the shluchum, so they can be part of the team, communicate with them without being a nudge, show them some apprecation for what they do, so they can show ur kids some.

Everybody is human, but with a little help, almost everyone can be a mentsch