April 22, 2024
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April 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

To the Editor:

Thank you so much for your article and editorial on Moriah’s new tuition affordability program (TAP).  Since announcing it publicly last week, we have received comments, suggestions and even some critical feedback.  Our favorite conversations have been with the families who have simply said, “Thank you.  It is about time a school began to appreciate the difficulty many of us have experienced in trying to live a Modern Orthodox life in Bergen County.”

The critics have asked why we are giving tuition relief to someone earning $360,000.  Please note that Moriah continues to provide an incredible, sensitive, and respectful financial aid program and process to those Moriah families in need.  We are also continuing to focus on attracting and retaining the highest caliber faculty by providing the highest tuition benefits and average salary based on the 2011 YU Bergen County Jewish Day School benchmark study.

The reality however, is that with 3-4 children in school, the actual cost of living in Bergen County and other reasonable lifestyle decisions makes providing some relief to those earning $360,000 a true need as well.  While there have likely been tens of millions of dollars raised through Bergen County day school annual campaigns over the past 14 years, the full-tuition paying families have seen their tuition more than double while incomes have increased by less than 40% during the same period.  Each year, the Moriah board has struggled in balancing the cost of tuition while improving the program and providing for its faculty.  Moriah recognizes that increasing tuition has a direct correlation to an increase in financial aid while placing a greater burden on those “on the bubble.”  Identifying and quantifying the parameters for this “bubble” became a key objective this year.

Using Wall Street calibr analytics we generated a financial model that allowed us to create an alternative tuition index for those with varying income levels. The model allows for all who participate in the program to maintain relative thresholds based on the percentage of income that is applied toward tuition.  For some the tuition index reduces tuition by $250 per child; for others it could be as much as $3,000 per child.  So does reducing someone’s tuition by $250 per child make a real difference?  The answer is simply, of course.  And it is certainly better than increasing their tuition by $250 per child.

What is equally as important is the change in mindset. Moriah is focused on inviting these families to take part in TAP, to help give relief and to temper the burden that so many in these brackets have had to bear across the Bergen County community through more than a decade of runaway tuition increases. We recognize that change is overdue and that Moriah must lead this change. There are two key messages: we know how hard you work to afford this education for your children, and this affordability measure is just the beginning.

We invite everyone to go to www.moriahschool.org/tap for all the information, tuition schedules and applications.  We also invite school leaders to contact us (some already have) as we would be more than happy to share with you our findings, materials, etc.

Evan Sohn, President
Jay Goldberg, Chairman of the Board

To the Editor:

Alan Sohn and Jason Castle issued a press release last week stating that they were going to sue Teaneck. They said that the thousands of pages of public documents requested as part of the witch hunt they are calling a campaign for Council was not provided quickly enough for their liking. Alan has been around for a long time and frequently speaks at council meetings about legal fees incurred by the town as the result of misbehavior of employees in the ’80s and ’90s. The ink on Jason’s residency is barely dry, yet he is looking to sue the town already.

What do Jason and Alan have in common? They have become the political tools of Barbara Toffler and her group, Teaneck 2020. At least Toffler waited until she was actually on the Council before she sued the town and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. Long-time employees have sued the town. A sitting member of Council has sued the town. But I think this is the first time new Council candidates have threatened to sue the town. If this is how they intend to start their campaign, I shudder to think about what four years of them on Council will be like. Taking a page out of Toffler’s playbook is no way to start.

Jonathan Mantell
Teaneck, NJ

To the Editor:

I am writing to you to express my great disappointment in seeing an article in favor of Roy Cho on the front cover of your April 10, 2014 issue, while not seeing anything at all about Rep. Scott Garret, the incumbent in the race for congressman in the 5th congressional district. To top it off, an article entitled, “Bill Maher Focuses on Bergen County” by Stephen Tencer, appears on page 14 of the same issue. The article states that this year Bill Maher is going to meddle with the political process in an attempt to “Flip a District.” The article went on to quote Bill Maher, saying that “there are a lot of ‘terrible,’ entrenched congressmen out there. We’re going to choose one of them, throw him into the national spotlight and see if we can’t send him scuttling under the refrigerator on Election Night.” In an unattributable quote, the piece continues, “Viewers nationwide have made Scott Garrett…the most tweeted and Facebook-posted target for Bill Maher’s ‘Worst Congressman in America’ #FlipaDistrictfeature.” The reporter further suggests that “District 5 has a very good chance of being chosen…” as “Maher is looking for entrenched politicians. Garrett has already served six terms.” The article goes on to slam Garrett (R) and praise Cho (D).

The Jewish Link should be a forum and place for candidates to be represented on both sides of the aisle. Sadly, not only do I see just one side being represented here, I see the other side being savagely attacked by what looks like a witch hunt with unwarranted and untrue statements.

The reason Scott Garrett is an “entrenched” incumbent, is that the people of District 5 like him and vote for him. Contrary to the article, Scott Garrett is not “terrible” or the “worst congressman,” he is a true statesman with many years of experience. He is a mentsch in all senses of the term. He is determined to curtail wasteful spending, thereby saving our children and grandchildren from generational theft. Yes, someone has to pay for all these programs and it is your children and grandchildren. Let’s make these programs more efficient and get rid of those that are just a big waste of our tax dollars. And yes, Scott Garrett is a leader in this effort and other efforts to maintain our economic viability and liberty. How does $17.5 trillion in debt and $128 trillion in unfunded liabilities affect you, your children, and children’s children? http://www.usdebtclock.org/.

Will we see some positive front page articles about Scott Garrett in the Jewish Link soon? I hope so, for the benefit of the people of District 5 and the people of America.

Rosalie Greenberg
Teaneck, NJ

To the Editor:

This week is Holocaust Remembrance and the one question that perplexes me every year at this time is: How could those Jews living outside of Europe have allowed the Holocaust to happen? Yes, news did not travel nearly as fast back then, but surely Jews in this country saw the Nazi rise to power and heard the cacophony of anti-Semitic rhetoric. Why didn’t fellow Jews do more to help their European brethren in peril?

Well, here we are, more than 60 years later, and again we are faced with a growing tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, and this time from multiple sources. Jews are fleeing Europe in droves because they feel unsafe, and those remaining are living in fear. And yet, as we watch the threat continue to grow, we feel somewhat powerless and helpless to respond. There is only so much we can do, right?

So now, I finally get it. Other than through prayer, we cannot protect every Jew who is in danger; it is not practical or even possible. We, however, are not powerless. There is something tangible and impactful that we can do that those in the 1930’s and 1940’s could not. We can more actively and openly support the State of Israel, the one safe haven on earth for all Jews. Granted, Israel faces a number of external threats and internal turmoil, but it remains the answer to the burning question: How can we help our fellow Jews?

I hope that during this week of remembrance, we all remember this simple yet critical fact.

Jon Kranz
Englewood

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