LIFE & LEGACY additional step to educational affordability

The disruption and distress of Covid-19 still punish populations around the world, including ours. But Covid-19 also provided the opportunity for the community’s day schools to demonstrate their excellence and respective capabilities to turn quickly and effectively on disaster’s dime and to innovate meaningful learning.

Many parents noticed.

Enrollment increased this year for the first time in almost two decades. Tuitions, however, are still onerous despite the various emergency efforts of the community to abate the cost of sending children to day school.

UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and The Julia & Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education are developing permanent, long term strategies to make tuitions affordable for the large swath of families wilting under the burdens of high tuition or unable yet to take the first financial step of registering their children in a school.

Thus, it was noteworthy that the Federation two weeks ago announced it was adding yet another arrow to its quiver of ensuring perpetual educational affordability. Specifically, the Jewish Foundation of Greater Toronto is partnering with the celebrated, Massachusetts-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation to acquire expertise and practical know-how to implement the latter’s LIFE & LEGACY® initiative.

LIFE & LEGACY is a four-year program that provides training, support, and monetary incentives to instruct and motivate Jewish organizations to help establish and grow endowment funds specifically through after-lifetime commitments. Fourteen UJA-affiliated Toronto Jewish day schools are participating in the program. Indeed, they have already started.

Thankfully, happily, community’s stewards and planners constantly acknowledge and affirm the irreplaceability of Jewish schools for Jewish permanence and diversity. In announcing the launch of the LIFE & LEGACY initiative, Ronit Holtzman, Senior VP, Philanthropy & Planned Giving and Endowments at The Jewish Foundation said “ensuring our day schools have the financial security to continue as pillars of our community is critical to the passing on of Jewish values to the next generation.”

Daniel Held, the Koschitzky Centre’s executive director said: “For a hundred years, day schools have shaped the Toronto Jewish community into what it is today—one of the world’s strongest communities characterized by high affiliation, strong engagement and a deep connection to Israel. Our day schools’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic proved their value once again. However, it also reinforced their financial vulnerability. Now is the time to ensure these important institutions are around for another 100 years.” (Our emphasis)

By joining forces through the LIFE & LEGACY initiative, the 14-UJA affiliated schools and the Jewish Foundation of Toronto are trying to ensure the long-term affordability and sustainability of Toronto’s day school community.

GAJE commends the initiative. All arrows in the community’s education affordability funding are welcome.

For more information about LIFE & LEGACY, individuals can contact Chani Greenwald at


Be safe. Stay safe. Be well. Stay well. Be strong. Stay strong.

Shabbat shalom.


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