South Australia’s only Jewish school to close


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The only Jewish school in South Australia will close this week.

Massada College, which was founded in Adelaide in 1975, will cease operating on July 8.

Financial strife has plagued the school for years. Massada was bailed out on numerous occasions by benefactors, including Melbourne’s Rabbi Joseph Gutnick.

The school’s financial woes were largely a function of dwindling enrollment as the Jewish community in the South Australian capital has shrunk from about 2,000 in the 1970s to fewer than 1,000 in the last census.

Massada went into voluntary administration in January with debts of more than $500,000.

The school catered to some 20 primary school students, mostly offspring of the city’s three rabbis. Many of the students were subsidized.

The Australian Council of Jewish Schools said it accepted the decision with "regret" and noted that the school had "maintained the excellent academic record of the school" during the recent troubled times.

Adelaide still has an operational Orthodox synagogue and a Progressive congregation.

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