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The Case for Jewish Day Schools: Toward A Bright Future

The following opinion column appeared in The Jewish Week.

A provocative question is circulating in the Jewish community: Can day schools survive, given the reality of reduced philanthropic support in this economic climate? While this is a vitally important question, it misses two salient points.

First, there is strong evidence that the day school field is not only surviving, but is a resilient, thriving enterprise. Enrollment decreases this past year were smaller than originally feared; we have seen significant enrollment growth at 50 non-Orthodox schools nationwide; and school closures, while painful, have been few.

Second is a more critical question: Can the Jewish community allow day schools not to survive? The answer is an emphatic “no.” We at PEJE (Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education) believe that day schools are essential for fostering an engaged Jewish people for an enduring, vibrant future—not just in rosy economic times, but also, perhaps especially, in these challenging economic times.

Read the rest at The Jewish Week.