As a contextual footing for advising readers last week that UJA Federation had updated its Day School Scholarships website, we restated the late Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ life-long credo that a strong Jewish future relied upon strong Jewish education.
“If you want to save the Jewish future, you have to build Jewish day schools. There is no other way,” Rabbi Sacks told a conference in the U.S. on Jewish education in 2014. Deborah Fishman, then Director of Communications for The AVI CHAI Foundation reported upon Rabbi Sacks’ remarks in an article that was published on the eJewishPhilanthopy website.
Rabbi Sacks referred to the British Jewish educational experience when he spoke about the state of Jewish education in the US at that time, His observations then, nearly nine years ago, were deeply relevant to our own experience and are still so today.
Fishman reported: “Today , the younger generation of British Jewry is more religiously and Jewishly committed than their parents …..Rabbi Sacks squarely attributes the state of his community to the fact that, in [the past] 30 years, his community built more day schools. Whereas [in 1980] 10% of those 65 or older went to a Jewish day school, in 2013, 70% of Jewish children were attending.”
Rabbi Sacks explained how Jewish attitudes toward day school changed in the UK.
As Fishman noted, there were two reasons. “He credited the schools themselves, for their great secular and Jewish results, emphasis on chesed, and active engagement in British society.”
In addition, Rabbi Sacks pointed out that the community was able to convince the government to help fund Jewish day school education. Once the British government opted to contribute to the cost of Jewish education, enrollment in the schools skyrocketed.
The lesson for our community is quite plain. And taking that lesson to heart, GAJE will not desist in our effort to bring fairness to the province’s educational funding policies until every path is barred to us.
Fishman’s full article is available at:
If you wish to contribute to GAJE’s lawsuit for fairness in educational funding, please click here.
For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.
Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE)
November 4, 2022