Does a School need to do Bedikas Chametz?

What do Schools generally do?

I would think that it would be the responsibility of the Head of School to ensure that Bedikah is done. Even if they were to sell the chametz, Bedikah should be done. However, in my limited experience I have not heard of schools doing Bedikah. What is the solution that would allow them to not do it?


1 Answer 1


General rule - if property is owned by a Jew, as is the case of just about every yeshiva that I know, then they must do bedikat chametz. IIRC, if one leaves the property more than 1 month before Pesach and will not be returning before then, no bedika is required. I can't say that this is what occurs in Israeli yeshivot. But in U.S. this is not the case, so a bedika is required.

A yeshiva down the block from me has dorm rooms. Students are responsible to clean their own rooms and share responsibility of the public shared spaces. Since they leave about 2 weeks before Pesach, they do bedika before they leave, from what I understand.

As for the rest of the yeshiva, there are public spaces used by the community all 385 days of this year (yes. The 385 is correct!) This includes kiddushim during Pesach, shalot se'idot twice this year during Pesach. I believe that the Rosh yeshiva does the bedika Erev Pesach. Point is, it needs to be chametz free.

  • Thank you. Do you know what local High Schools or Grade Schools do?
    – RCW
    Apr 21, 2016 at 2:43
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    How do you know this rule?
    – Double AA
    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:16
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    Must mention but one still needs bittul. One can always sell the school over pesach and then one needn't do bedika either.
    – newcomer
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:05
  • @RCW I don't want to reveal the exact area that I live in. But, within the New York City area, every yeshiva that I know of does this. Yeshiva University, I know, has pretty strict rules about both dorm clean up and locker room clean up. When my kid's were in elementary & high school (same building) they had to empty their desks and lockers completely which meant food, papers as well as books. I knew the head of maintenance, and I believe that he and his crew opened lockers, threw out leftovers and bleached and scoured all lockers, desks, blackboards, floors, and cubbies. Very thorough!
    – DanF
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:45
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    @RCW See halachipedia.com/index.php?title=Bedikat_Chametz#When One must do bedika prior to leaving the premises. So, students did this about 2 weeks before Pesach. The Rosh Yeshiva who lives in the neighborhood does it the night of 14 Nissan.
    – DanF
    Apr 22, 2016 at 2:13

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