One of GAJE’s longstanding supporters brought to our attention the following instruction to the Jews of America from the late Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz. It was a timely missive to GAJE for only recently, on the 17th day of Av (July 26), the Jewish world commemorated the revolutionary scholar, visionary, teacher, rabbi’s first yahrzeit.
“Jews in the Diaspora have only two choices. Either they can give up, close shop, and say “We are defeated,” or they can create a new way, a new hope. If people want to go on, if they have a feeling that there is something in it, if the memory of the half-obliterated document still possesses some compelling power, then the Jewish life in this place must be rebuilt. Let me say something full of chutzpah: there is a need for, a use for, and even a possibility of making this place something like Galut Bavel, the ancient Jewish place of exile in Babylonia.
It is possible to create a second center, comparable to, possibly better than, the main center in Israel. But to accomplish this, one has to do much more than survive. If you cannot do it right, if you cannot create something that will be worthwhile spiritually and intellectually, it is not worth doing at all.
Such an effort would require massive change, not just in priorities, but also in the way people want to do things. It means both a different plan and a different way of planning. It means making big changes in what people are interested in and what they invest in.”
You see, Jewish education is not just for children, but also for the parents and grandparents of those children, so as to ensure that every grandchild of every Jew remains a Jew.”
Rabbi Steinsaltz speaks to us from the past. But his words are always alive.
As our followers know, GAJE is committed to helping make more affordable the considerable investment in Jewish education expended by each family that wishes it for their children.
And as our followers also know, GAJE will be challenging in court Ontario’s unfair educational funding in court that discriminates against independent religious and other non-religious independent schools in favour of Catholic schools.
Our lawyers are donating much of their time and expertise. The cost for prosecuting the case, from the trial all the way to the Supreme Court is approximately $250,000. Thus far we have raised about a quarter of the funds. We need your help to raise the balance.
Ontario has resisted all efforts of moral and other suasion to change its policies. The courts now are our only option. This is our generation’s opportunity to try to end the funding discrimination that has existed in Ontario for more than 25 years. If we do not try, who will? It is an imperative that calls upon our consciences
Please help us make this happen! And please tell your friends to join in our effort.
Hearing Rabbi Steinsaltz’ voice brings us to the line. Heeding it is where we start.
To donate to this important cause, please click here.
(For further information, please contact Israel Mida at email@example.com)
Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada.
Be safe. Be well.
Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE)
August 6, 2021