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There are many ways to view yeshiva day schools. The Orthodox community generally views them with pride, as a substantial communal achievement — and rightfully so. In less than a century, a community of largely impoverished refugees, decimated by the Holocaust, came to a foreign country and established schools that rival that country’s most elite and established schools. Almost every yeshiva day school produces graduates who attend the finest colleges and graduate schools, and their students regularly win national literary, advocacy, math and science competitions. And the sweeping success of these schools has also been religious — there are more Jewish religious studies students in America today than at any time in its history. And yet, this achievement has come at a cost, and that cost continues to be extraordinary and multifaceted. The most obvious cost is financial: it costs an extraordinary amount of money to send a child to yeshiva day school and for our community to sustain such independent schools. But there are also other, associated costs which may be less obvious than the monetary costs, but which are no less profound.
Updated: Jul. 19, 2016
Having examined many of the non-needs based day school tuition reduction programs across the country, Avi Chai has concluded that very few of the programs have led to meaningful increases in enrollment. Furthermore, in the rare cases where a school or community of schools saw a material increase in enrollment, the lower tuition levels were rarely sustainable beyond a few years. The schools were invariably forced to raise tuition at above average rates in the ensuing years. In addition, schools which presumed a high level of voluntary contributions from full-paying families were usually disappointed in the results
Updated: Feb. 25, 2015
It follows that if Modern Orthodoxy is elitist, it is also very expensive. Some writers have begun to notice as well: according to a widely-discussed article by Dmitriy Shapiro, families can find themselves struggling even with annual household incomes as high as $300,000. That such large incomes are barely sufficient is only part of a larger problem. The other side of the coin is that Orthodox parents, as stated by the OU’s Nathan Diament in the Shapiro article, are “driven to higher paying professions,” specifically law, medicine, and finance. A community that constrains the career choices of its young people incurs a cost that cannot be measured only in dollars and cents.
Updated: Feb. 25, 2015
Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit is leading the way to implement affordability models for Jewish day school education. In partnership with a major local foundation, the Hillel Tuition Grant program not only insures that tuition will never be higher than the first year a child enters Hillel, but will actually decrease in each subsequent year. This grant is directed to parents who pay full tuition because they are not eligible for tuition assistance. The grant program is for students in grades 1 – 8. Each year, through eighth grade, the value of the grant goes up by $1,000.
Updated: Feb. 04, 2015
Perhaps it is fitting that this Chanukkah issue of HaYidion is about gelt. The authors of the articles in this issue point out several significant trends and methodologies that can be helpful to schools, including information about tuition charges, working in collaborative relationships, accessing federal funds without encountering separation of church and state issues, and determining the value proposition of our schools. We believe that you will find this issue fascinating and recommend that you not put off reading it.
Updated: Jan. 05, 2015
Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is proud to introduce BunkConnect, an affordability initiative built on the success of FJC’s One Happy Camper program. BunkConnect is a referral program that makes finding the perfect camp easy by offering special introductory rates at participating camps for eligible families at many of the best Jewish camps across the country. Through BunkConnect, first-time campers of all Jewish backgrounds (including Jewish day school students) can choose from a variety of high quality summer experiences. The program is specifically designed for families for whom Jewish camp might not be financially feasible - including families with moderate incomes.
Updated: Dec. 21, 2014
Yeshivat Noam, an Orthodox Jewish Day School in Paramus, New Jersey, announced today that it is making the switch from conventional energy to clean, renewable solar energy. The Amberjack Solar Energy Company of Oakland, New Jersey, is currently installing 1,512 solar panels on the roofs of Yeshivat Noam’s two school buildings. Yeshivat Noam is the first Yeshiva Day School in Bergen County, New Jersey and among the first Yeshiva Day Schools in the United States to make the switch to solar energy.
Updated: Nov. 24, 2014
Harry Bloom of PEJE tells of some innovative approaches adopted by savvy Heads of School and Boards of day schools in order to overcome the marked fall off in day school enrollment over the last years. An increasing number of these schools are going on the growth offensive and investing in three strategies.
Updated: Oct. 26, 2014
For the first time, eight Jewish day schools in the Greater Toronto Area have partnered on a marketing campaign to entice parents to “choose Jewish” for their children’s education.The centre-spread ad, which ran in last week’s CJN, posted the dates and times for open houses for Associated Hebrew Schools, the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto, Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School, Bialik Hebrew Day School, Zareinu Education Centre, Leo Baeck Day School, the Toronto Heschel School and Robbins Hebrew Academy.
Updated: Oct. 06, 2013
Funding the Jewish Day School system, which by 2008 stretched over more than eight hundred schools and more than two hundred and twenty-five thousand youth, had always been a problem. Now the unresolved questions of how much parents could bear in tuition payments, schools could bear in enrollment and revenue shortfalls, and communal organizations could bear in subsidizing this system assumed new urgency.
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013