NEW YORK (Oct. 3)
The number of new Orthodox-oriented day schools sponsored by Torah Umesorah in the United States and Canada rose again for the 1982-83 school year despite continuing inflation and higher educational costs, according to the annual report of the Society of Hebrew Day schools.
Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg, Torah Umesorah national director, said nine new schools were set up in the United States and one high school for boys in Ottawa for a total of 495 day schools in the United States and 58 in Canada, or a total for North America of 553 day schools.
He said the totals for 1981-82 were 489 day schools in the United States and 57 in Canada, for a total for the two nations of 546. Thus, the increase for the 1982-83 school year over the prior year was seven schools, but Torah Umesorah claimed nine new schools for 1982-83.
Goldenberg explained that two elementary day schools closed during the 1981-82 year, accounting for the different totals. One school closed in Annapolis for lack of both funds and pupils, the other in Perth Amboy, N.J., where Jewish residents moved out in a major population shift, he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The rabbi reported that the new elementary schools were established in Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C., Newburgh, N.Y.; Rockville, Md.; and two in Brooklyn. The seventh elementary unit is a nursery school opened in Lancaster, Pa., which may be the start of a new day school there. The two new day high schools, bringing to 10 the total of new day schools established in this country, are in Edison, N.J. and North Hollywood, Cal.
ALMOST EVERY U.S. CITY HAS DAY SCHOOL
In a special report to the Torah Umesorah executive committee, Goldenberg said there is now a Hebrew day school in every Jewish community in the United States with a population of at least 5,000.
He reported that most day schools have again raised tuition but that the increased fees from that source falls far short of meeting the increased budgetary needs of the day schools.
Goldenberg said another problem is the increased number of single parents — usually working mothers — whose children need substantial scholarships to attend Hebrew day schools. He said the increase is particularly evident in the Sunbelt states where at least a five percent increase is evident at the start of the new school year.
He estimated the total enrollment as 95,200 — 83,850 in the United States and 11,350 in the 58 schools in Canada. The comparable figures for the 1981-82 school year were 83,000 in the United States schools and 11,000 in the Canadian schools, or a total of 94,000.
CONCENTRATION OF DAY SCHOOLS
Goldenberg said that of the total of 495 day schools in the United States, 216 are in the New York metropolitan area, with 56,000 students of the national total of 83,850.
He reported the data again highlighted the concentration of enrollment in neighborhoods with strong ethnic and traditional orientation. He said the Williamsburg section in Brooklyn, a major Hasidic center, has 26 day schools with 6,200 students. Boro Park in Brooklyn has 41 day schools with 16,100 students. Brooklyn’s Flatbush section has 46 schools and 12,800 students.
Listing the Greater New York area as including the city’s five boroughs, plus Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties, he said Brooklyn has more than 120 day schools of the national total of 495.
SEVERAL NEW SCHOOLS ESTABLISHED
Agudath Israel of America also reported that a number of day schools had closed during the 1981-82 year but that this had been offset by establishment of several new schools. Prof. Aaron Twerski, chairman of the Agency’s commission on legislation and civic action, said it appeared that 1982-83 will be an even more difficult year for the hard-pressed yeshivot.
Twerski said the yeshivot would feel the full impact of the Reagan Administration’s new federalism which will mean further cuts in such programs as school lunches and in funds from the 1981 Education Consolidation and Improvement Act.
In addition to the expected smaller allocations from federally funded programs, he said, the schools will continue to find it hard to raise money from middle class Jews continuing to be hurt by current economic conditions.