In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, CJP is announcing an emergency scholarship fund in the hope that no student has to withdraw from their Jewish day school solely based on a change in their family’s economic circumstances.
Day schools and the communities they create are important sources of comfort and support to families, especially in difficult and uncertain times. CJP wants to ensure that families can continue to turn to this lifeline and draw strength from their school communities.
In addition, CJP is extending scholarship support to middle-tier income families who are new to or are considering Jewish day school for their rising kindergartners this fall.
Partnering with day schools to support parents
The CJP Day School COVID-19 Emergency Scholarship Fund will provide a total of $400,000 to families who have suffered economic losses due to the public health crisis. During this stressful time, it was important to CJP to deploy the funds quickly and in close partnership with the schools. This CJP support will be coordinated in conjunction with schools’ individual tuition relief funds. Interested families should reach out directly to their schools to receive this support.
“We know families are hurting economically right now, and they are also facing decisions about the fall and whether they can continue to afford to send their children,” said Dr. Sarah Abramson, CJP’s senior vice president of strategy and impact. “CJP is providing the funding, and the schools will distribute it based on need. These schools are integral to our community, as well as to the lives of the students and their families.”
Keeping the kindergartners coming
Even for families who have not lost income because of the pandemic, the uncertain economy might be a discouraging factor as they consider where to send their kindergartners this fall. CJP’s new Kindergarten Recruitment Scholarship Program will offer a 20% tuition discount (or up to $5,000) to middle-income families who are new to day school and beginning kindergarten in 2020-2021. The intent for this program is to ease the transition for those who are just beginning their day school journey and to help families who are considering day school for the first time to fully explore this option.
Support beyond the Coronavirus Emergency Fund
In the early days of the crisis, CJP launched the Coronavirus Emergency Fund, gathering 1,400 gifts from generous donors who have given $2.04 million as of May 13. This funding has been prioritized to meet basic, urgent needs such as access to housing, food, financial assistance and employment resources. Beyond the Emergency Fund, CJP is deploying additional resources to support this scholarship program to ensure that families can draw strength and comfort from their Jewish communities.
The true value of our day schools
“These dark days have actually shined a light on our day schools and the tremendous value they add to our kids, our families and our Jewish community,” says CJP president and CEO Rabbi Marc Baker. As a parent and as the former head of school at Gann Academy, Baker knows all too well the stress schools and families alike are feeling, and that the time to support them is now.
“They’ve transitioned to online learning seamlessly,” he said. “They’ve responded to their community’s educational needs, but also to their emotional and spiritual needs. They help CJP fulfill our mission to build communities of learning and action that strengthen Jewish life, and we want to do everything we can to support them with their fall planning.”
Collaboration, trust and partnership
The close and collaborative relationships that CJP already has with Jewish day schools simplified the process of distributing funds, knowing that the schools are well positioned to determine how to best help families in need.
“CJP is a critical partner in our work,” says Adam Fischer, head of school at The Rashi School. “This initiative in a time of crisis is only one of the many ways that CJP supports our wonderful Jewish schools that, in turn, support us all. We are truly grateful. An excellent education that recognizes that learning is a sacred act and so combines the secular and timeless Jewish learning every day is a gift for a lifetime.”