Weekly Update: September 2, 2016 — 29 Av 5776

The needs of Jewish tomorrow are urgent

In the September 1 edition of The CJN, Pamela Medjuck Stein, a member of the paper’s board of directors, eloquently appeals to Jewish federations to “add a few percentage points to the Jewish education allocation of the annual campaign.”

Medjuck Stein writes that the “long road of high tuition fees” facing young parents is a threat to Jewish life. She therefore asks community leaders to view “the needs of the Jewish tomorrow” as urgently “as those of the Jewish today. It is a question of survival and leadership.”

Medjuck Stein cites three positive results that would flow from an increase in the communal allocation for education. It would enable families to think more positively about engaging with the community. It would reduce revenue problems for some schools. And finally, she suggests, “most significantly, more Jewish children would enjoy a high-quality, immersive Jewish school experience to underpin their Jewishness for a lifetime.”

Medjuck Stein’s last point cannot be overstated.

This is the very heart of the community obligation to educate our children. She mentions it at the outset of her cri de coeur. “Evidence is overwhelming that good Jewish education is valuable to the Jewish future. Learning and practising Jewish values in childhood lock in an attachment to Judaism. Even those who may wander off in young adulthood usually return, when they have children, to model Jewish values and traditions for their families.”

Medjuck Stein’s is correct.

There is a long-lasting, personal, familial and community-wide benefit in enabling children acquire a high-quality, immersive Jewish school experience. We are dedicated to making such an experience possible for all the families that wish it for their children.

•••

Take Note

One of our GAJE members, Sholom Eisenstat, an expert in the use of educational technology in Jewish Education, will be speaking about Blended Learning for Jewish High Schools at the Taste of Limmud on Sept 18. His presentation will focus on showing how blended learning structures can save schools money. It will be the first public presentation concerning the project on which he and others are working.
For more information on the conference, please visit LIMMUD.ca.

•••

This is the last weekend before our children return to school or in some cases, start school. It is an appropriate moment, therefore to point out that it’s not only to acquire knowledge that we entrust our children to the many caring and dedicated individuals who comprise their schools. It is also to acquire the skills, self-confidence, good character, sense of limitless possibilities and the expansive personal feeling of belonging to the Jewish people.

Thus we thank teachers, school staff, parents, grandparents and students for the precious work they are collectively undertaking and the eternal commitment they are collecting reaffirming.

May the coming school year be an excellent one and may it bring us closer to Jewish education that is more affordable.

Shabbat shalom.

GAJE

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We would like to share personal stories about how the affordability issue has affected families in our community. We will post these stories anonymously on our Facebook page and on our website.

We will not include any personal information such as names, schools, other institutions, or any other identifying information. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

To share your story, either send us a message on our Facebook page or email us @ info @ gaje.ca.

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