Can one use his maaser money to pay for his daughter’s tuition? What about the hasa’ot to and from the school?
Would it make a difference if some are subsidized and he is forced to pay more than the average kid does from that area? Can that extra be taken off of maaser?

Answer:

Answer

One may not use ma’aser money for anything that one is obligated to do, and only for voluntary matters.

Concerning girls’ education, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe YD II:113) writes that since nowadays the State makes it compulsory to attend school until a certain age, and since if you do not arrange for a suitable Jewish school the child will have to recieve non-Jewish education, the arrangements for a Jewish school are obligatory, and one may not use ma’aser money for this purpose.

The hasa’ot are a part of schooling (one can’t get an education without getting to school), and therefore included in the ruling, even if one has to pay extra.

For a fuller discussion, see http://din.org.il/files/alon_hamishpat/30.pdf (Piskei Dinim).

Tags: Maaser

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2 Responses to “Maaser for Girls’ Tuition”

  1. kvod harav, i apologize if i was not clear enough. the school is officially close enough to walk to and my daughter has done so many times. however, the school offers hasaot to make life easier (due to the heat etc). they made a (backhanded) deal with certain (preferential) parents that for them, for the same hassa’ah it will be sponsored or severely subsidized. unfortunately, my daughter (in the same neighborhood) is not part of that group (which is about 90% of girls from our neighborhood) and they make us pay full fare for the hassa’ah.
    since the hasa’ah is not a chiyuv, and is more than the average person pays – is it not like the extra amount of tuition that one pays which can come off of maaser [paragraph 4 of the suitable use for maaser kesafim article]?

    • Thanks for the clarification. However, it is hard for me to see this as an ‘extra’ in tuition. As you mention, the school is close enough to walk, so that the issue is a question of comfort for your daughter, which I don’t think justifies a ma’aser expense. The ‘backhanded’ deal sounds very unpleasant, and perhaps you should try to get together with other parents who have received a bad deal, and file complaints. Good Luck!

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