Jewish Journal

$781,500 to Raise a Jewish Child

by Pini Herman

June 16, 2011 | 8:13 pm

Without the fancy add-ons, it costs at least a fifth more (22 percent) in inflation adjusted dollars to raise a child from birth through age 17 now, than it did in 1960.  In 1960, it cost $185,856 (in 2010 dollars). 

A couple earning between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920 raising the kid.  As many Jewish couples earn more than $99,730 a year, we can expect to spend $377,040 (in 2010 dollars) raising a typical child to the threshold of college. 

Raising a child Jewish isn’t in the US Dept. of Agriculture calculations. Using inflation and cost adjusted estimates from the 1997 LA Jewish Population Survey, puts an additional cost for a Jewish basket of goods (no private Jewish day school) at about $6,700 per Jewish child a year and with private Jewish day school at $31,100 for Jewish children in L.A. or $404,000 through the age of 17, actually more than the $377,000 USDA cost of raising a child with three hots, a cot, medical care and transportation. 

$781,500 is what it will cost to get to drive your Jewish day school educated child to college and only $463,500 for your Jewish religious school child with their modest Bar or Bat Mitzvahs and some Jewish summer camping under their belts. 

With college, the real expenses start, but the Hillel is a bargain.

Pini Herman serves as President of the Movable Minyan a lay-lead independent congregation in the 3rd Street area.

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Bruce Phillips is Professor of Sociology and Jewish Communal Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. He has conducted Jewish population...

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