May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

NJ Heads of School Urge Voter Registration

Editor’s note: New Jersey school heads have penned this letter to the community.

Learning to daven with an open heart. Sharing parsha insights with passion. Exploring questions in Tanach and Gemara, alongside tackling literature, math and science. The benefits of a Jewish education are boundless. But the burdens of its cost are overwhelming and unsustainable. We cannot continue to allow these costs to put the future of our families and communities at risk.

How can we keep tuition down but still offer our students the world? A critical way is through financial support from state governments. We know this approach works. New Jersey nonpublic schools have benefitted from more than $140 million in state funding this year for things like security, technology, bussing, and nursing services. But we can do much better – without passing on more costs to parents, school alumni, grandparents and other donors.

In Florida and Pennsylvania, more than half of yeshiva and day school students get tuition assistance from the state-established scholarship programs – nearly $8,000 per student. Starting in August, 100% of Florida families will receive scholarships for every child toward their Jewish education. How did nonpublic school advocates, including Jewish groups, succeed in passing such an impactful program? They started by making their voices heard at the polls. The Florida Jewish community comes out in droves to vote. Here in New Jersey, we must catch up.

That is why we are introducing the Day School Voting Initiative. We are partnering with Teach NJ to get 100% of our community registered to vote and voting in every election. It’s easier than ever to register online at https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/register. You can do it right now. Teach NJ has a special voter hotline for all your questions so call or text them at (201) 613-2491.

Elected officials listen to communities with consistently strong voter turnouts. If we want to earn meaningful financial support for our schools, we must do our part. Our part is voting.

This year, we have elections for both State Senate and State Assembly. These are the lawmakers who decide how much funding to grant to Jewish day schools. Our schools get 90 % of our public funding from the state of New Jersey, so the sustainability of Jewish education rests in the hands of these candidates. And yet, many of us don’t vote in state elections. It doesn’t make sense for us to stay home when there’s so much at stake. It’s time to change that.

Maintaining our Jewish future depends on educating our children in Torah and mitzvot, along with offering an excellent secular education. It takes all of us working together to make this a reality. The joy and responsibility of sustaining Yiddishkeit belongs to every family – not just ones who can pay full tuition. Every child deserves to learn to daven, read and analyze Chumash, and the beauty of Shabbat and holidays.

These challenges affect each and every one of us. If we want to ensure a thriving future for our community, we must take action together. As educators, we pledge to do our part. Please pledge to do yours. Register to vote today at https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/register.

Already registered? Reach out to 10 people you know and make sure they are registered and voting too. The primary election is June 6 and the general election is November 7. We will keep reminding you throughout the season and through November. See you at the polls!

Rabbi Daniel Alter, The Moriah School

Rabbi David Beyda, Maor Yeshiva High School for Boys

Rabbi Eli Ciner, Yeshivat Frisch

Rabbi Yisrael Davidowitz, Foxman Torah Institute

Mrs. Yoti Golan, The Hebrew Academy, Marlboro NJ

Rabbi Chaim Greenwald, Politz Day School of Cherry Hill

Rabbi Chaim Hagler, Yeshivat Noam

Rabbi Moshe Halberstadt, Mesivta Zichron Boruch of Clifton

Rabbi Y. M. Jacobowitz, Ilan High School

Rabbi Ari Katz, Hillel Yeshiva, Deal NJ

Rabbi Jonathan Knapp, Yavneh Academy

Mrs. Deena Kobre, Naaleh High School for Girls

Mrs. CB Neugroschl, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls

Rabbi Daniel Price, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey

Rabbi Michael Ribalt, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva

Rabbi Tomer Ronen, Yeshivat He’Atid

Mrs. Rivky Ross, Yeshivat Netivot Montessori

Mrs. Shulamit Roth, Yeshivat Shalshelet

Mrs. Orite Rubenstein, Tenafly Chabad Academy

Rabbi Eliezer Rubin, JKHA/RKYHS

Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, YBH of Passaic

Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro, Jewish Educational Center

Rabbi Shlomo Stochel, Torah Academy of Bergen County

Rav Aryeh Stechler, Heichal HaTorah

Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz, Yeshiva Gedola and Mesivta of Carteret

Ms. Tikvah Wiener, The Idea School

Ms. Rachel Zivic, Kellman Brown Academy

Rabbi Saul Zucker, Ben Porat Yosef

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