Our Heritage Program

About

Our Heritage is a four-year program designed to increase enrollment in Chabad Jewish Day Schools. The COVID-19 shutdown presents a tremendous opportunity to open the doors of Jewish education to new families. The goal of the program is to create a paradigm shift in Jewish day schools’ orientation towards new enrollments and ultimately generate interest and success that can lead to a national movement of day school enrollment.

Rationale

The COVID-19 school shutdown has created an opportunity for Jewish Day Schools to increase enrollment.

  1. Jewish Day Schools (and private schools) have been showcased at their best during this crisis, having in the main responded with resourcefulness and agility with online schooling (in contrast to the public-school system which had much more resistance to adapting to the new need).
  2. Jewish Day Schools tend to be smaller, with greater ability to monitor any future outbreak (G-d forbid) and the ability to institute rigorous protocols for cleanliness and safety.
  3. This is a moment of introspection, with people thinking about what really matters in life. The school shutdown has called into question the value of schooling in general – whether it is simply babysitting and/or conveying facts and figures or is schooling more meaningful in the form of instilling values and spirituality.

Goals

It is imperative to seize this unique moment in time to create a trend of increasing enrollment in Jewish Day Schools this Fall. The Our Heritage program is designed to motivate Chabad Day Schools to utilize this opportunity to expand enrollment to new families who would normally send their child to public school.

Methodology

Fall of 2020: Our Heritage aimed to award at least 10 schools a $25,000 matching grant challenge, contingent on enrolling at least 10 new students per school. This grant could be used to subsidize tuition, increased staffing, remedial assistance, or other needs.

The $25,000 matching grant will be distributed to each participating school in 3 installments throughout the 2020-2021 academic year: September 2020, January 2021, and May 2021.

The grants can be utilized by each school to support the increased enrollment in whatever way they deem necessary: subsidizing tuition for newly enrolled students, hiring a school liaison to accommodate the needs of new families, additional hiring, etc.

Update:
“Our Heritage” program has exceed goals for new enrollment this fall: 13 Jewish Day Schools have enrolled 141 new students to date!

This number is current as of September 2020.

Additional Resources

In addition, Our Heritage is partnering with the Nechomas Yisroel organization, which has agreed to grant Our Heritage schools $1,000 to subsidize tuition for each new day school family who transfers from a public school. This is on a case by case basis. Please reach out to Rabbi Kugelman of Nechomas Yisroel directly (718-851-0340 ext. 201) for more information.

Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible for the $25,000 Our Heritage grant, each Chabad Day School must:

  1. Enroll 10 new public-school students in their school for the 2020-2021 school year and provide proof of enrollment.
  2. Raise $25,000 locally for this project to support the additional enrollment and provide proof of the raised funds.
  3. Be fully compliant with their State’s COVID safety measures and protocols prior to opening their school.
  4. Ensure that they have the resources to fully care for the incoming families and provide a positive and personalized experience for the first-time Jewish Day School students.
  5. Be willing to collaborate with other Chabad Day Schools to share recruitment ideas and best new enrollment practices.

Application

Applications are now closed for Phase 1 of the program.

Participating Schools in Phase 1:


Bader Hillel Academy, Milwaukee, WI
Chabad Early Learning Center & The Academy of the Arts and Sciences, Bayside, NY
Chabad Hebrew Academy, San Diego, CA
Desert Torah Academy, Las Vegas, NV
Jewish Institute of Queens, Queens, NY
JNY Day School, Toronto, ON
Mazal Jewish Day School, Brooklyn, NY
Shaloh House Jewish Day School, Brighton, MA
Silverstein Hebrew Academy, Great Neck, NY
Slater Torah Academy, New Orleans, LA
South Florida Jewish Academy, Coconut Creek, FL
Tamim Academy, Burlington, VT
The Academy of the Arts, Redondo Beach, CA

Check back here to participate in Phase 2 for the 2021-2 school year.

Our Heritage is generously sponsored by:
Alan & Lori Zekelman ~  Anonymous Foundation in Milwaukee ~ Shneur and Devorah L. Hirsch ~ Yosef I & Batsheva Popack ~ Bram Family ~ Mrs. Gloria Kaylie ~ Mr. Josh & Robyn Goldhirsh ~ Blavatnik Foundation ~ Rabbi Noach Weinstein & Rabbi Leibi Marosov, in loving memory of Shneur Zalman ben Gimpel Avrohom Hirsch

Our Heritage Committee

Our Heritage Chairperson: Mr. Bob Aronson

Committee Members:

  • Mr. John Goodman
  • Mr. Shneur Hirsch
  • Mrs. Chanah Rose Ms. Ed.
  • Rabbi Zalman Shneur
  • Mr. Dan Smith
  • Rabbi Shais Taub

Media Coverage