In a move that thrusts UJA-Federation of New York more directly than ever into the effort to bolster day school education, the charity announced this week that it is has raised $50 million for a matching grant initiative that will launch in September.
The new Day School Challenge Fund has a goal of eventually raising $200 million. It has been in the works for several years and is designed to strengthen schools’ long-term financial health by establishing endowment accounts, which are the lifeblood of many private schools and universities.
According to the rules of the Fund, UJA-Federation will match on a 1:3 basis the money raised by schools that meet the initiative’s eligibility requirements. Participating schools can first contribute to their accounts in September; for every $3 contributed, UJA-Federation will add $1; the schools can start drawing 5 percent interest on the total a year afterwards.
The Hebrew Academy of Morris County is being renamed “Gottesman RTW Academy,” in recognition of a $15 million challenge gift from its leading benefactors, Paula and Jerry Gottesman of Morristown, and in tribute to the school’s founding families: Rubenstein, Turner, and Wertheimer.
The naming gift is one of the largest for any Jewish day school in North America, and marks the second time a Jewish day school in Greater MetroWest has been named with a $15 million gift.
In a ground-breaking ceremony March 2, Jerry Gottesman announced the new name to a crowd of about 300 that included members of school families, alumni and alumni parents, grandparents, community leaders, and friends.
Though Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time, not everyone is privileged to be exposed to his words in person. Monday night, the attendees of the iJED Day School Conference had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The crowd of day school leaders and educators was spell-bound as Rabbi Sacks painted pictures – with almost equally vivid and engaging strokes – of exchanges between European leaders; words of Torah; and jokes about the Academy Awards and Jews and Chinese food. All of these components were masterfully woven together toward one central message: the vital importance of Jewish day schools, throughout Jewish history, today, and for our future.
About 300 teachers from three Jewish day schools in the Greater MetroWest area came together on Friday, Dec. 6, for their largest-ever gathering, to share expertise and forge connections for mutual support.
The Quest for Teaching Excellence Conference, held at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, was organized under the auspices of the Greater MetroWest NJ Day School Initiative.
Shaped around the theme of “Teachers Teaching Teachers,” it brought together staff members from Kushner, Golda Och Academy in West Orange, and the Nathan Bohrer-Abraham Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County in Randolph, as well as a small contingent from the Jewish Educational Center in Elizabeth.
Major donors and leaders of Greater MetroWest Jewish day schools came together on May 3 for a “Day School Showcase” bus tour of three schools, followed by a luncheon featuring Yossi Prager, executive director for North America of the AVI CHAI Foundation.
The event, coordinated by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest, honored members of the Herskowitz Society of Greater MetroWest, which recognizes major donors to Jewish day school endowment funds. The tour highlighted collaborative programs in excellence and affordability at the three schools — Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, Golda Och Academy in West Orange, and Bohrer-Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County in Randolph. The programs are supported through grants from the Greater MetroWest Community Day School Fund, established to support the three schools, as well as the Paula and Jerry Gottesman Family Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ, and funds raised by each school.
Peter and Aliki Rzepka, founders of The Agnon School in Beachwood, hosted a donor appreciation event at their Shaker Heights home. More than 40 supporters and friends of the school participated in the induction of the first Legacy Society class. The evening’s featured speaker was Paula Gottesman, pioneering philanthropist and national leader in Jewish day school education.