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June 03, 1988 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-03

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U From Tuition

economics up against a school's mis-
sion: to educate as many as well as
possible. It also assumes that funding
is the sole responsibility of the
families who directly benefit from `the
school. Rabbi Freedman and others
reject this view.
"These three schools are com-
munity schools that the community
needs for its future," says Rabbi
Freedman. "These are factories pro-
ducing committed Jews."
The day schools must be treated
as Jewish public schools and funded
out of community coffers, argues Rab-
bi Freedman. "The community has to
understand that this is the future of
Judaism. It all starts with education."
The local communal establish-
ment is only now beginning to realize
the day schools' importance in raising
the next generation of committed
Jews. Until now, the emphasis has
been on supplementary education
and the Conservative-affiliated
United Hebrew Schools.
Last year, the three day schools,
with a total of 1,400 students, receiv-
ed $520,000 from the Jewish Welfare
Federation. At the same time, United
Hebrew Schools, with 1,200 students
in its afternoon and Sunday program,
received $870,500.
The Federation provides only a
fraction of the day schools' operating
Beth Yehudah, for example, with
800 students, receives only 6 percent
of its $2.2 million annual budget from
the Federation. Another 30 percent
comes through tuition. The rest is
provided through fund-raising.
Rabbi Freedman says raising tui-
tion to cover the budget gap would be
an unbearable burden on parents,
many of whom have five or more
children in school.
While day school enrollment has
been rising in Detroit, afternoon
schools have been losing students.
United Hebrew Schools reports near-
ly a 30 percent drop in enrollment in
the last 10 years.
This has brought about a change
in Federation thinking. Last fall, the

Hillel Day School
$2 million budget

Akiva Hebrew Day School
$1.3 million budget

Yeshivoth Beth Yehudah
$2.2 million budget

[1] From Fund-raising


From Federation

"It's a seller's market," says Cohen says.
Federation established an education
Rabbi Abramson has seen some
task force to assess the community's Cohen. "Everyone is clamoring for
improvement over time. There is less
those few good people."
future education needs.
The few outstanding Jewish "musical chairs" in Jewish education
And while some in the day school
community see this action as a step educators are constantly circulating than 10 years ago, he says.
After a period of uncertainty,
in the right direction, others are more though the system — a system doing
skeptical. It often takes years before little to encourage young Jews to Hillel last month decided to close its
declarations and task forces are . become teachers and administrators. ninth grade due to low enrollment.
Many in the field say not enough Both Akiva and Beth Yehudah have
translated into Federation dollars.
Rabbi Abramson of Hillel says in- money is offered to make Jewish high schools, including a senior-year
program in Israel. The high school
creased community funding is education an attractive field for any
component of Beth Yehudah is
welcome, but the primary solution to
Yeshivah Gedolah, located in Oak
the "constant strain" of budget pro-
blems is an endowment. Hillel recent-
ly established such a fund with a goal
of $4 million. "Unless we get an en-
dowment, we will be forever in trou-
Akiva established a modest en-
dowment two years ago. There have
been discussions at Beth Yehudah
about starting an endowment, but
there are no concrete plans, according
to Rabbi Freedman. •
Dollars, either from the Federa-
tion or from donors to an endowment,
must be raised by a shrinking Jewish
community whose needs are growing.
In addition, everyone raising funds
must compete with everyone else and
the Jewish Welfare Federation forbids
independent fund-raising by member
agencies during the Allied Jewish
Campaign, November through April.
"We have more fund-raisers than
Custer had Indians," qtiips Steven
Cohen. "And it's a problem."
1988 may some day be
remembered as the year the day
schools changed their top personnel.
By coincidence, Rabbi Freedman is
leaving Beth Yehudah and will
become director of the Hebrew
Academy of Cleveland in the fall; Rab-
bi Abramson will become the director
of education of the United Synagogue
of America; Akiva's headmaster, Rab-
bi Shmuel Lopin, has taken a com-
parable position at the Hebrew
Academy of Seattle and will be replac-
ed by Rabbi Zvi Shimansky; and
Akiva Executive Director Philip Ap-
plebaum began a public relations
position at Guardian Industries last
Akiva nursery schoolers Rachel Novetsky and Ari Deal pair up.



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