Source: The NJ Jewish Standard
The Rabbinical Council of Bergen County last week unanimously voiced its support of a community fund to raise money for day schools struggling with rising costs and skyrocketing tuitions. Following the vote, the Northern New Jersey Tuition Crisis Committee, the group of day school representatives and rabbis that proposed the kehilla fund, its unofficial name, filed incorporation papers to create Northern New Jersey Jewish Education for Generations Inc. The nonprofit organization will manage the fund — to be called Northern New Jersey Kehillot Investing in Day Schools, or NNJKIDS.
The 23 rabbis of the RCBC, representing all Orthodox synagogues in Bergen County, agreed to dedicate an upcoming sermon in each congregation to encouraging regular donations to the fund through a website expected to launch the first week in June.
The rabbis will also appoint “implementers” to lead efforts in their synagogues to promote contributions. The Orthodox Union will provide fliers and other printed materials to draw attention to the funds within the synagogues.
The idea for a community fund was put forward at an OU conference on the tuition crisis earlier this year, and the organization advised the tuition committee in developing the fund.
The money raised will be used to aid scholarship programs in order to reduce the tuition burden. The establishment of the fund and its support by the larger Jewish community will create a community responsibility towards Jewish education and the day school system.
The tax-deductible donations will be pooled bimonthly and then divided among elementary-level day schools within the catchments area of UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, which includes Bergen County and Wayne in Passaic County. Distribution will be determined based on the number of students at each school.