Jewish Journal


February 2, 2006

Class Notes - Day School Gets $15 Million Gift


A recent gift of $15 million to the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Md., one of the largest day schools in the U.S., will help pay for the school's daily operation, extremely rare among large gifts, which more commonly go toward endowments or capital expansion.

Donated by Robert and Clarice Smith and Robert and Arlene Kogod, through the Charles E. Smith Family Foundation, the gift is among the largest of its kind to a Jewish day school. It includes $10 million to enhance the school's educational programs and a $5 million matching endowment for scholarships.

The $10 million portion will be given in $1 million increments over 10 years and will allow the school to better integrate art, history and science into the Judaic and general studies curricula, the head of school, Jonathan Cannon, said. It also will aid in developing experiential, informal educational programs and offer professional development programs to teachers, he said.

The school is pluralistic and not affiliated with any movement, serves 1,500 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. -- Chanan Tigay, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Teen Dating Violence No More

Jewish Family Service is recruiting teens to volunteer as presenters in its new teen-dating violence prevention program, The Hula Project (Healthy Unions Los Angeles).

"The Hula Project is focused on educating Jewish teens about what constitutes healthy versus abusive relationships," said Susan Hess, JFS project coordinator. "The program is aimed at Jewish teens to dispel the myths that domestic violence and teen-dating violence do not occur in the Jewish community."

The teens, ages 16-18, will present the program to their peers at schools, youth groups and confirmation classes. Volunteers will be required to go through a four-hour training session and to commit to two two-hour presentations.

For information, contact Susan Hess at (818) 789-1293, ext. 1203 ,or shess@jfsla.org.

An International Summer

Every summer, 2,000 teenagers from around the globe attend the world's largest international Jewish summer camp, The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation JDC International Jewish Summer Camp in Szarvas, Hungary.

This summer, 45 exceptional student leaders from North America will be selected to have the opportunity to study and travel with their Jewish student peers from around the world including India, Israel, Turkey, Eastern Europe, France and the former Soviet Union.

The program, which is kosher and Sabbath observant, is open to students completing 10th or 11th grades this year. The applications deadline is March 1.

For more information or to apply, visit www.szarvas.org or contact info@szarvas.org or (212) 362-3361.

Students Invited to Warsaw Ghetto Exhibit

Middle school classes are invited to view "Scream the Truth at the World," an exhibit of artifacts from Jewish Polish life before World War II, at the University of Judaism's (UJ) Platt Gallery through May 7.

The exhibit consists of diaries, photographs, artifacts and art that Emanuel Ringelblum and a group of archivists code named Oyneg Shabbos buried in the Warsaw Ghetto. While two caches were found in the rubble of the Ghetto in 1946 and 1950, the last has never been found.

The Ringelblum archive, as the materials came to be known, is the most important source for the destruction of Polish Jewry. The UJ exhibit is the fourth stop on a national tour, administered by The Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw.

To schedule a field trip call Marilyn Lewitt at (310) 458-3435. For more information visit www.uj.edu.

New Tuition Initiative

With day school tuition at $11,000-$18,000 per child, per year putting the crunch on many families, the Orthodox Union (OU) has launched a tuition initiative to address both long-term and short-term solutions to what could become a crisis in Jewish education.

"In the Orthodox community it is inconceivable not to send your children to Jewish schools, but in many cases the costs severely impact family life and financial security," said President Stephen J. Savitsky. "At the OU, we want to come to grips with this distress and propose responses,"

Subcommittees have been formed to analyze the issue and propose long-term recommendations. In the short term, the OU will explore ways to stop tuition increases by changing management structure and fundraising strategies and getting access to government funds; and mobilize its leadership and member synagogues to advocate for access to government resources, as well as make the case to local federations for placing Jewish education higher on the agenda.

For information, visit www.ou.org or call (212) 563-4000.

Classnotes appears the first issue of every month. Please send items to Julief@jewishjournal.com.


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