Loose Change: More day school trouble (and a few solutions), JCCs open on Shabbat, and American Idol

The Jewish media may be dollar poor right now, but it had a rich week in terms of coverage:

  • The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia announced its allocations for the next year, and made some significant shifts to account for the recession. Among them: More money percentage wise will stay in Philly and less will go overseas; more will go to social services; the federation has set aside $1.1 million in emergency funds for unanticipated needs, and the federation is funding organizations for 18 months instead of 12. (I might break this one out a little further later in the day.)
  • The Jewish Week continues its look into the financial crisis facing Jewish education, with a report on the Orthodox Union’s push to create no-frills yeshiva day schools that would cost less than $7,000 per year and a separate article looking at whether the Boston federation’s decision to stop funding its local Board of Jewish Education is a harbinger of things to come across the country.
  • A right-leaning conservative synagogue in Teaneck will open an after school “open yeshiva” next year to give supplementary Jewish education to public school children, as an alternative to day schools.
  • Jewish day schools in Cleveland struggle to stay ahead of the collapsing economy, according to the Cleveland Jewish News.
  • The Jewish Federation of the North Shore has begun issuing needs-based scholarships to North Shore families to help offset the cost of Jewish preschool, day school and overnight camp.
  • An organization in Phoenix that grants scholarships for tuition to day schools in the region is giving out less money this year because its collections fell — this at a time when it is receiving more requests for aid.
  • In case you missed it in last week’s edition of the Jewish Week: J. Ezra Merkin, whose investors lost hundreds of millions with Bernie Madoff, is slated to become chairman of his posh Upper East Side synagoge.
  • In the Forward this week: The Orthodox tackle eating disorders and day schools embrace Arabic as a study.
  • Synagogues in New Jersey are becoming active hubs for job networking, support groups, healing services, and community advocacy on behalf of the jobless and merely anxious, reports the New Jersey Jewish News.
  • And the majority of JCCs in the state are now open on Shabbat, as the JCC of Central New Jersey in Scotch Plains will now open on Saturdays, the paper reports.
  • The editor of the Baltimore Jewish Times, Neil Rubin, weighs in on how exactly a JCC should be open on Shabbat, in light of a local center’s controversial decision to open on Shabbat.
  • The American Jewish Committee studies the state of the Jews at its annual meetings in D.C., reports the Washington Jewish Week.
  • j. the Jewish Weekly of San Francisco highlights a lifetime Jewish communal worker, as the longtime librarian at the Bureau of Jewish Education’s library moves on.
  • Some bright news from the St. Louis Jewish Light: A new JCC opened in St. Louis.
  • Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee got a $2 million grant from the Baye Foundation to expand, according to the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle.
  • And let’s lighten it up a bit more. The LA Jewish Journal goes full blown Hollywood this week as it has features on both “The Millionaire Matchmaker,” Patti Stranger, and American Idol’s Jewish “Rock God,” Adam Lambert. (Sorry, the Fundermentalist cannot vouch for the accuracy of either story, as I do not watch either show. I’m more a "Bigget Loser" fan. I feel it offers the best metaphor for what’s going on in the nonprofit world now. Wacka Wacka.)
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