D.C day school receives $5 million gift


An anonymous donor has given a $5 million challenge gift to the Jewish Primary Day School in Washington.

The gift, which was announced last week, will go to rennovating the school’s facilities and scholarships.

Here’s the press release:


The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital, one of the fastest growing parochial schools in the region, has received a challenge gift of $5 million from an anonymous donor.

The money will be directed to renovating the school’s current building., creation of a new outdoor field and play area, scholarship funds, and a capital reserves fund.  

The gift consists of an outright contribution as well as matching components.  In all, JPDS-NC will have to raise a total of 1.8 million dollars in order to receive the full five million dollar gift, and school leaders say they have every expectation they will raise the match.

“This gift is an extraordinary opportunity, a major achievement in the life of the school, and a testament to the success of JPDS-NC,” says Naomi Reem, Head of School.  “We are grateful and  privileged to accept this gift and we are ready to work with the community in raising the matching portion of the gift.”

The gift solidifies critical components of the institution and lays the foundation for future additional growth.

The donor is “impressed with the diversity of the JPDS-NC community and its inclusive approach to learning about Judaism,” s/he said, adding that “education is the foundation of our society and must be supported.”

The gift was announced at a dinner for leaders involved in JPDS-NC at the home of Ralph and Louie Dweck, also longtime supporters of the school.  Rabbi Josh Elkin, the Executive Director of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education spoke at the event.  “JPDS-NC is bucking national trends and is a textbook case of what schools can accomplish when board members, school leadership, and donors work together with a clear vision and commitment.  This investment in JPDS-NC is a tribute to the success of the school.” said Rabbi Elkin.

As the only Jewish day school in the nation’s capital, JPDS-NC contributes to the diversity and cultural fabric of Washington, DC.  Founded in 1987, JPDS-NC  has grown from 18 students at Adas Israel Congregation to an independent day school in its own facility on 16th Street serving 262 students.  Since moving to its current location in the District, JPDS-NC has steadily grown by approximately 10% per year from 151 students in 2003 to it present population of 262 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Recommended from JTA