Hebrew Charter School As Growth Industry

March 20, 2012

Source: The NY Jewish Week


Julie Wiener visits the Ben Gamla Hebrew Charter Schools in Florida and reports on their development. There are now four schools in the fast-growing Ben Gamla network founded five years ago in South Florida by former Rep. Peter Deutsch (D-Fla.) and another three in other States. A fifth Ben Gamla is slated to open in August, in Florida’s Pinellas County, and organizers from more than two states are in active discussions with Deutsch and the Ben Gamla Charter School Foundation about replicating the model.


Charter schools are growing and expanding as they offer to educate large numbers of American Jewish children in Hebrew and in the secular aspects of Jewish and Israeli culture — all at the taxpayers’ expense. On the sites of many of the charter schools, after-school Jewish studies programs are offered to interested charter school students.


The charter schools may be attracting many families, interested in a Hebrew language – Israeli culture curriculum, without paying exorbitant tuitions. Many Florida day schools watch Ben Gamla warily, worried the movement will lure away tuition-paying students. However, Jewish community centers see the charter schools as providing an opportunity to rent underused facilities and expand their supplementary educational programs.


The entire article can be read on the NY Jewish Week website

Updated: Apr. 03, 2012