The meeting held earlier this week by Funding Committee to discuss new ideas and new possibilities towards funding was as heartening as it was spirited. In addition to four GAJE members, seven other individuals also attended. Space limited numbers. Moreover, we wished to encourage uninhibited, substantive, respectful discussion on the merits of the proposals that were raised. There were two criteria for choosing the individuals who were invited to share their ideas with GAJE: (1) a recognized, widely acknowledged expertise in a business-related field, and (2) a recognized, widely acknowledged commitment to the cause of ensuring the viability of Jewish education.
Original thinking was on evidence throughout the meeting. A number of new proposals were suggested and debated. The ideas were recorded. They will be refined, made more precious and further presented to and “tested” with groups of parents.
It is hoped that the ideas will be ready for public presentation in the late spring. We are determined to present new, meaningful, substantive possibilities for individuals and families to consider in the effort to make Jewish education affordable.
The CJN this week published an essay by Rabbi Eddie Shostak of Montreal entitled Driving Rabbi Sacks. The article is an elegantly written first person by Rabbi Shostak of his having been asked to be Rabbi Sacks’ chauffeur during the latter’s recent visit to Montreal. Among the goals Rabbi Shostak set for himself from this unique opportunity, was to ask Rabbi Sacks “one good question.”
The question Rabbi Shostak posed to Rabbi Sacks was: “Where can one make a greater impact on Jewish lives – in a day school or at a synagogue?” And this is how Rabbi Shostak recording Rabbi Sacks’ response.
“Rabbi Sacks paused before rejecting the simple binary offered: ‘Without question, one can make the most impact in day schools,” he said. ‘Communities should have their primary focus on day schools but in partnership with strong synagogues.’”
In the column, Rabbi Shostak elaborates upon Rabbi Sacks’ straightforward but somewhat clipped answer. Among the key insights Rabbi Shostak-Rabbi Sacks offer is the core conclusion that animates our cause. “Study after study shows that Jewish engagement is dependent more than ever on day school education.”
We commend the article to you. Unfortunately, at the current time, it is not yet posted to the Canadian Jewish News website (http://www.cjnews.com), but we hope it will be available there shortly.
We wish you well in your Pesach preparations.