It takes a community
It is one of the core principles of our movement that the obligation to solve the problem lies with the entire community. Even if not all of our families will seek to provide Jewish education for their children, it still falls to the community in its fullest sense to ensure the viability and availability of Jewish education for all the families who seek it. The reason for this was succinctly stated some 20 years ago by the UJA Federation’s Commission on Jewish Education: “Jewish education is vital in ensuring that Jews have the knowledge and understanding needed for Jewish continuity and good citizenship.”
The term community must be understood in its fullest historical, sociological, ethnic and theological sense. Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg has written a great deal about this precise sense of “community”. We have referred to some of his writings on the subject in the past.
“Community is constituted when individuals come together and constitute themselves a group for a purpose. The goal creates the ground of values and the orientation… Jewry is a community devoted to the realization of perfection in human history. The Jewish people came into being to teach the world the concept and promise of redemption and thus to be a blessing to the nations… Sharing values is not enough. There must be a commitment to realize them, to pass them on, to be responsible until they are fulfilled.”
Who we are – as Jews – compels us to act according to our shared values to ensure that those values are passed on for all generations to come. The key instrument for doing so is a Jewish educational system that is affordable to the majority.
It will take a community, specifically our community, to make that happen.
1. Please contact your rabbi to ask him or her to speak out during the High Holidays or even sooner on behalf of affordable Jewish education.
2. If your family is eligible for the tuition cap program at the AHS or Leo Baeck campus in Thornhill, please enroll. Contact the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education at the UJA Federation for further information, 416-635-2883.