Source: The Australian Jewish News
Three Jewish Melbourne schools have put capital works on hold as the global financial crisis begins to bite. The King David School (TKDS), Leibler Yavneh College and Mount Scopus Memorial College all announced plans to construct new buildings and upgrade existing facilities in the past 18 months. However, rather than spending money on construction, the schools are now using it to cover the costs of day-to-day education.
Although over sixty per cent of Melbourne's Jewish children have been attending Jewish day schools, the global economic crisis has been making parents think twice about whether they can continue to foot the high bill of providing their children with a day school education.
School administrators and parents have been calling for a critical examination of philanthropic priorities, placing ongoing Jewish education above welfare and Israeli causes. Some have been calling for the establishment of a widely supported community fund which would make Jewish day schools more affordable for the many parents affected by the economic situation.
Others have called for a reorganization of the Melbourne day school scene, where the nine Jewish schools could pool resources and programs, thus cutting costs and making day school attendance easier for many families in the Jewish community.
The Australian Jewish News has opened its pages to community leaders and members to constructively consider and debate the measures needed to protect and further Jewish education in these challenging times.