May 31, 2011
Toledo’s only day school closing
The only Jewish day school in Toledo, Ohio, is closing at the end of the school year due to a lack of enrollment.
The David S. Stone Hebrew Academy will shut down when the school year ends next week, the Toledo Blade reported.
The school, serving grades K-5, dropped from an enrollment of more than 100 students several years ago to 22 this year. It was founded in 1968 and served all Jewish denominations.
The United Jewish Council of Greater Toledo conducted a two-year study to explore alternatives that would allow the school to remain open. Among the options the committee studied was sharing the school with another faith group by holding secular classes together and religious classes separately, the Blade reported.
“It wasn’t a decision reached lightly or quickly,” Kirk Wisemayer, the UJC’s chief executive officer, told the newspaper.
The Jewish population in the Toledo area has declined from approximately 7,500 in the early 1970s to fewer than 4,000 today, according to the newspaper.
Wisemayer said there are more than enough children to populate the Jewish day school in the Toledo area.
“You have to ask yourself the question, ‘Does the community really support the Jewish day school if they’re not sending their children to it?” he was quoted as saying by the Blad. “And if they’re not supporting it, should we, as financial stewards, be funding something they don’t support?’ That was the primary reason for the closure of the school.”
Neither the school nor the UJC have noted the closure on its website.