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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 1, 2008 / 26 Nissan 5768

Faith communities can learn from Orthodox Jews in stimulating private philanthropy for religious education

By David Zwiebel


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Making good on a promise he made in this State of the Union speech in January, President Bush convened a national summit on faith-based schooling on April 24. The author, the Executive Vice President for Government and Public Affairs for Agudath Israel of America, was invited to be among those to address the gathering and to talk about how private sector resources can be harnessed to help religious schools


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As we all know, separation of church and state is one of the foundation principles upon which our democratic society is based. While this principle has been helpful in allowing faith-based communities to establish their own independent networks of schools to educate their youth in the traditions and beliefs of their faiths, it has also served as a barrier to governmental funding of such schools.

In the abstract, it might be expected that parents who seek such specialized schooling should be expected to cover the costs of the service through their tuition payments. After all, they are consumers, and consumers typically pay for the goods and services they consume. In the real world, though, the cost of educating a child is often beyond the means of a tuition-paying parent.

That certainly hold true in the Orthodox Jewish community — the segment of American Jewry most heavily invested in Jewish day schools — where (for a variety of reasons I won't get into here) average family income is relatively low compared to other segments of the Jewish population, and average family size is relatively high. Furthermore, the dual curriculum of religious and general studies programming at Jewish day schools, which results in longer school days, higher operating costs and steeper tuition bills — typically ranging from approximately $5,000-$18,000 per child — makes it necessary for most schools to set up generous scholarship funds for needy parents. A 1997 study by the Avi Chai Foundation found that tuition and fees covered only 57% of Orthodox Jewish schools' operating budgets. (Schick and Dauber, The Financing of Jewish Day Schools (1997), Table 9.)

So if government may not provide the funding necessary for religious schools to maintain their financial viability, and if whatever tuition parents are able to pay is not enough to cover costs, how are these schools able to stay afloat?

The answer for most schools is private philanthropy.

Just about every school has its own fundraising apparatus, targeting alumni, grandparents, and any other individuals it can identify as potential donors. Some schools sponsor banquets, bake sales, parlor meetings and other creative fundraising events. There is no substitute for this type of school-by-school, retail approach toward fundraising, which is clearly the most essential means of bridging the gap between tuition income and the actual cost of running a school.

There are, however, other ways of stimulating private philanthropy. I would like to touch briefly upon just a few of the many broader communal models that have been developed to encourage giving in the American Jewish community, models that might be replicable in other religious communities as well.

Programs Directed at the Broad Grassroots: In Chicago, there has been a major emphasis on promoting broad grassroots support for Jewish education. The Association for Torah Advancement (AFTA) conducts an annual citywide campaign, with the cooperation of local synagogues and other communal institutions, to encourage community-wide membership in (and regular monthly contributions to) its Kehillah Jewish Education Fund. Nearly a thousand individuals have contributed to the Fund, which last year distributed, on a per capita basis, over $550,000 to the nine local Jewish day schools under the auspices of the Associated Talmud Torah school system, as well as an additional $350,000 to three special education programs in these schools.

Another creative approach toward generating a broad base of communal support for Jewish education is "The Five Percent Mandate." The brainchild of George Hanus, a local Chicago activist, this program is designed to encourage every Jew to leave 5% of his estate to an endowment fund for a local day school of his choice. (Mr. Hanus has also independently established a "Superfund" to generate broad grassroots support for Chicago-area Jewish schools.)

Encouraging Bigger Givers: A number of philanthropies have established creative programs designed to encourage larger donors to contribute to Jewish education. For example, the Avi Chai Foundation has successfully attracted new sources of major philanthropic giving by establishing a matching grants program pursuant to which first-time grants of $25,000 — $100,000 to Jewish day schools are matched 1:2 by the program. In 2006, this program brought in a total of over $15 million in new contributions, supplemented by nearly $8 million from the matching fund, which resulted in grants to some 160 Jewish day schools in 25 states across the country.

Encouraging Corporate Giving: Schools are increasingly reaching out to corporate entities that conduct charitable programs within their communities. This is especially true in jurisdictions where there are laws that establish tax incentives for such purposes. For example, in 2007, the Bank of America, taking advantage of Rhode Island's Scholarship Tax Credit program, contributed $200,000 to a tuition scholarship fund benefiting needy students in the two Jewish day schools in Providence. Similarly, in Phoenix, the local Jewish Federation has established a Day School Scholarship Fund to which contributing corporations receive substantial tax breaks under Arizona's tax credit program. In 2003, the fund contributed nearly $1 million in scholarship money to over 200 students attending the seven Jewish schools in the Greater Phoenix area.

Specialized Giving: There is broad variety not only in the sources of Jewish school philanthropy, but also in the purposes for which private contributions are solicited. Many contributions are made to a school's general fund, to be used for general budgetary purposes. Others, though, are targeted at specific programs that would otherwise not be made available through traditional sources of tuition or fund-raising.

For example, in New York, which has the single largest concentration of Jewish schools across the United States, the Gruss Life Monument Foundation has established various programs to support Jewish school educators. In conjunction with the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies (UJA-Federation), the Gruss Foundation has established the Fund for Jewish Education, which (among its other projects) provides millions of dollars annually to subsidize the costs of health and life insurance for Jewish school educators. The Gruss Foundation also sponsors a program to help Jewish schools fund pension plans for career educators, as well as an annual awards program that provides $10,000 cash grants to "excellent teachers" in the Jewish school network.

Another example of a popular targeted program in the Jewish school philanthropic world is the building loan program that the Avi Chai Foundation has established for construction and renovation of Jewish school buildings. Schools are eligible to borrow, existing facilities, repayable over five years. Over the past decade, Avi Chai has made nearly 100 loans under this program, totaling over $80 million.


The bottom line is that there are many different sources from which private philanthropy can be sought; many different means of facilitating such contributions; and many different purposes for which such programs can be established. The relative success that the Jewish community has had in establishing programs of this nature reflect a broad recognition that Jewish schools are a precious communal asset that must command the support not only of tuition-paying parents but also of the community at large.

The first challenge for other faith-based school populations across the United States that may wish to replicate some of the models developed in the Jewish community to encourage private giving is to foster a similar communal recognition of the critical role such schools play in their respective communities. If today's summit serves no other purpose but that of stimulating recognition of that vital role, it will already have made an enormous contribution.

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