A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 23, 2015
“Day school tuition is the best form of birth control” (joke)

Many Jewish parents try to sent their children to a yeshiva (Jewish day school), but tuition is expensive. A popular joke in the Orthodox community is that day school tuition is the best form of birth control.

“American Jewry’s financial birth control” by Michael Freund was published in the Jerusalem Post on October 23, 2002. “Is Jewish day school tuition a form of birth control?” was published in the Canadian Jewish News on January 12, 2005.

The joke has also been applied to private schools in New York City and to college tuition. “High tuition is a new form of birth control” was said by America political satirist Bill Maher in April 2012. “A very effective form of birth control is looking at preschool tuition prices in NYC or even just repeating ‘preschool tuition’ to yourself” was cited on Twitter on August 9, 2012.


Torah.org
HighBeam Research
23 October 2002, Jerusalem Post, “American Jewry’s financial birth control” by Michael Freund, pg. 7:
Wednesday, October 23, 2002—The numbers are in, and they don’t look too good. Earlier this month, the results of the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-2001 were released and they confirmed everyone’ s worst fears. American Jewry, it seems, is shrinking faster and more profoundly than even the gloomiest of pessimists might have imagined.
(...)
Day-school tuition must stop serving as a contraceptive device and instead become an aphrodisiac. Because, as the survey results showed, what we need now are more Jews, not less.

wRanter.com
Is Jewish day school tuition a form of birth control?
Canadian Jewish News Wednesday, 12 January 2005
(...)
Even if we could find a way to endure three years of daycare fees for a third child, sending three kids to day school would cost more than $30,000 a year. That’s more than many average after-tax salaries, particularly among working couples where one parent is the lead income earner and the other takes more responsibility in the home.

Orthomom
SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2005
Sticker Shock
(...)
Shifra said…
Yep, we are around 20% as well.
That’s why they say yeshiva tutition is the best form of birth control.
smile
9:23 PM

Google Books
The Spirituality of Welcoming:
How to Transform Your Congregation Into a Sacred Community

By Ron Wolfson
Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing
2006
Pg. 13:
I often quip that day school tuition and synagogue dues are the most effective form of Jewish birth control yet invented. It isn’t funny.

Google Books
Getting Our Groove Back:
How to Energize American Jewry

By Scott A. Shay
New York, NY: Devora Publishing
2007
Pg. 72:
The fourth objection is cost. Affordability is a primary restraint to day-school enrollment among the non-Orthodox. It is also a source of hardship among the more fervently Orthodox. An old joke among Orthodox Jews is that the form of birth control most couples use is yeshiva/day school tuition.

WorldJewishDaily.com
Where Is Our Jewish Leadership Hiding?
By George D. Hanus
Originally published in the June 2008 issue of World Jewish Digest
(...)
There is a terrible piece of black humor circulating among many young Jewish families - families that are committed to sending their children to Jewish day schools but are struggling to pay the $15,000 tuition per child. The joke is that tuition is the best form of birth control. In fact, many families are limiting the number of children they have because they just can’t fathom paying an additional $15,000 per year per child.

The Jewish Star (Long Island, NY)
June 27, 2008
Addressing the tuition crisis
The first in a series of articles attempting to confront and offer solutions to the financial problem of yeshiva day school tuition.

By Malka Eisenberg
(...)
“The last chillul Hashem, the biggest in the entire Jewish world is some families are not having children because they can’t afford tuition,” he said, highlighting the third issue. “It’s a terrible joke, that day school tuition is an excellent form of birth control.”

SamGlaser.com
The Best Form of Birth Control
Friday, August 6th, 2010
By Sam Glaser
Jewish parents that care about bringing up a generation of Jewishly connected kids usually choose to send their offspring to day school. In fact, for many parents it’s not even optional. It is the ultimate weapon to fight ignorance and assimilation and create a powerful, informed Jewish identity. The schools ease you in: preschool is cheap, kindergarten a few grand more, and then you are on the ride of a lifetime. Tuition is like an additional mortgage payment every month, and that’s before the school trips, books, scrip, volunteer hours, banquets and registrations fees. The best form of birth control in the Jewish world? Why, it’s day school!

Twitter
Nzinga Blake
‏@NzingaBlake
“High tuition is a new form of birth control.” #Bill Maher
9:26 PM - 27 Apr 2012

Twitter
MsAvignon
‏@MsAvignon
A very effective form of birth control is looking at preschool tuition prices in NYC or even just repeating “preschool tuition” to yourself.
10:13 AM - 9 Aug 2012

Twitter
Jeremy Senderowicz
‏@jsende
@DouthatNYT @michaelbd There’s a long-running joke among Modern Orthodox that yeshiva tuition invoices=most effective form of birth control.
10:49 AM - 15 Oct 2012

The Jewish Week (New York, NY)
Modern Orthodoxy Has Its Costs – Not Just Financial
When cost of living pushes $300,000, what else is sacrificed?

Tue, 02/17/2015
Elli Fischer
(...)
It follows that if Modern Orthodoxy is elitist, it is also very expensive. An old joke within this segment of the community has it that day school tuition is the best form of birth control. Some writers have begun to notice as well: according to a widely-discussed article by Dmitriy Shapiro, families can find themselves struggling even with annual household incomes as high as $300,000.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Monday, February 23, 2015 • Permalink