American Jewish Organizations Must Support Government Funding For Jewish Schools

September 9, 2012 4:56 pm 2 comments

Jewish school entrance. Photo: Arie Darzi.

Government provides aid to Jewish schools in Australia, Britain and Canada – and it is high time that the Jewish community in America demands the same. Undoubtedly, if implemented, the support would make a tremendous impact on Jewish continuity efforts.

American Jews intermarry at a rate of nearly 50%, assimilation is at an all-time high – and it appears that education is the primary path to ensure Jewish continuity. According to sociologist Steven Cohen, Jewish school attendance increases a Jewish child’s likelihood of marrying another Jew by 14 percentage points. Naturally it also impacts other arenas of an individual’s Jewish identity. What issue today poses a larger threat to the American Jewish community than the sweeping tide of assimilation? In years past, certain Jewish organizations argued about the importance of a separation of church and state.  Clearly, this concern pales in comparison to the fact that American Jewry is voluntarily withering away.

Education isn’t cheap – tuition at American Jewish schools averages $14,000 a year, and it’s a heavy burden to pay for many parents. Lowering costs makes a big difference – an experiment last decade at a Cleveland Jewish day school showed that cutting tuition from roughly $10,000 to around $5,500 led to an enrollment increase of 20% over three years.  And why should Jews be taxed to pay for public schools which don’t provide a curriculum geared towards securing our people’s future?

It appears that slowly Jewish organizations are rethinking their opposition to public support for religious schools. The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans recently became the first in the country to endorse private school vouchers. But more action needs to be taken much faster as every year we lose more and more Jews. Government aid for Jewish schools is a cause which anyone concerned about the future of American Jewry must universally advocate for.

For me, as a parent, owning my own business and living in New York City, I pay approximately 45% of my income in taxes – and on top of that I pay $20,000+ (in post-tax dollars) per child for yeshiva (Jewish education) for my children.  Why shouldn’t I receive tax credits for public school which my kids don’t attend?

As Ze’ev Jabotinsky said in 1937, “Jewish religious tradition is not an archaic object of our history, but an active pulsating power which exists today and will continue for all eternity.”

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, and Author of PR book “For Immediate Release.” He is also a passionate Jewish philanthropist.

2 Comments

  • “What issue today poses a larger threat to the American white Christian community than the sweeping tide of assimilation?…why should we Whites be taxed to pay for public schools which don’t provide a curriculum geared towards securing our people’s future?”

    Is it wrong to say that, if the above article constitutes respectable opinion?

  • http://www.davidduke.com/?p=36188
    David Duke & The Algemeiner – Love it

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.