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Idea of the Day: Subsidize day schools

JTA is soliciting readers’ ideas for reversing the tide of Jewish assimilation in America. Here’s today’s featured idea:

Study after study has shown that extensive Jewish day school education has been the best guarantee of creating a Jewish population committed to Judaism and the Jewish people.

In order to increase Jewish day school (and high school) enrollment across the board, the top tier of wealthy Jewish philanthropists must join forces (as a few did in the creation and sustainment of Birthright Israel). The Adelsons, Mandels, Steinhardts, Wexners, Schottensteins, etc., should pool their resources and create a multi-billion dollar mega-fund (perhaps, $3 billion or more) that would spin off $100 million to $150 million per year to be used in matching grants (via federations) throughout North America to provide scholarships for day school students.

Only then will the Jewish middle class (including the upper middle) be presented with affordable tuition. Otherwise, day schools across the country will continue to close, and assimilation will continue to increase unabated.

Failure or success, the choice lies in the hands of those who have the assets to make a difference.

Jeremiah Unterman
Jerusalem, Israel

To share your idea, send an email describing one concrete idea in 200 words or less to jewishfuture@jta.org (include your full name, city, and state or country). Our favorites will be featured online.

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