Whereas Jewish education is and has always been essential to the perpetuation of our people and its sacred mesorah; and,
Whereas many studies indicate a statistically significant correlation between an intensive Jewish education (such as a Jewish day school or yeshiva education from preschool to high school) and commitment to Jewish identity; and,
Whereas education is subject to “cost disease” (i.e., education costs rise more quickly than other segments of the economy) even when student body size and services offered to each student remain fixed over time; and,
Whereas the population of Jewish children in the Jewish education system is growing; and,
Whereas communities have increasing expectations of their Jewish schools and their dual secular/religious curricula; and,
Whereas quality teachers and quality educational experiences cost more; and,
Whereas the current funding model of Jewish educational institutions as a consumer product paid for by parents is insufficient to cover its rising costs
Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America urges
Rabbis and lay leaders to advocate for collective responsibility in funding Jewish communal education, akin to the various communal services so crucial to the safety and security of our communities.
Communal organizations and local Jewish Boards of Education to prioritize the establishment of endowment funds whose proceeds can fund Jewish schools.
All individuals and couples, regardless of wealth, to bequeath a portion of their estates to fund a Jewish educational endowment of their choosing.
All community members to contribute ma’aser (their annual tzedakah [charity] budget) monies to fund a Jewish educational endowment.
All community members to initiate and participate in fundraising activities to raise scholarship funds to help pay tuition costs for families which cannot afford to pay them.