June 14, 2024
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June 14, 2024
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Project Ezrah Helps Young Couples Build a Strong Financial Future

Amid the frenzy of wedding planning, how many of us sit down with our soon-to-married children and help them prepare a written budget and teach them how to communicate effectively with their future spouse about money? While some chatan and kallah classes briefly cover the subject (and should be credited for doing so!), many young couples in our community are getting married without understanding the basics of personal finance, including how and why to establish good credit, how to create and stick to a budget, and what it costs to live a frum lifestyle in Bergen County.

Project Ezrah’s “The Aisle” is hoping to change that by making it the norm for all engaged and newly married couples in the community to participate in an engaging financial education workshop that equips them with the knowledge and tools to create a financially healthy lifestyle and relationship.

Established five years ago with the encouragement and backing of community rabbis and the generous sponsorship of Elana and Marc Rothenberg and Tamar and Ross Rothenberg, The Aisle is expanding to three times a year to better serve the community. Engaged and newly married couples who currently live in Bergen County or plan to move here soon can register for the free interactive Zoom workshop (cameras on) on March 7 at 8 p.m. by visiting https://tinyurl.com/theaisle.

“Helping injured people and their families is what we do, especially during the times when our clients are most vulnerable,” says Marc Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Law Firm LLP, whose family has been integral in making The Aisle a reality. “Project Ezrah does the same in our community and we are proud to join forces with them.”

His brother, Ross Rothenberg, added: “Financial responsibility and planning is part of what we do. After a successful settlement or verdict, our job is not done. We help our clients plan their financial future, which often includes guiding them through the process of selecting structured payments. We hope The Aisle can advise young couples in the same way.”

Project Ezrah believes that establishing good financial habits early on can help young couples enhance their shalom bayit and save them from years of financial anguish. Teaching them about the power of compound interest can motivate them to start investing early on for long-term goals like tuition, smachot and retirement. Project Exrah wants to help them make smart money decisions like not overextending themselves by buying more house than they can afford, understanding the implications of burdensome student loans and how best to tackle payments, smart credit card habits, and creating and sticking to a budget.

Teaneck resident Tamar Snyder Chaitovsky, a noted financial educator who leads personal finance presentations in many area high schools, leads The Aisle. Chaitovsky has a budget coaching practice where she specializes in helping people in their 20s and 30s with analyzing their financial situations, identifying shared money goals and priorities, and clarifying next steps to improve their finances. She also works with Project Ezrah to assist some of its clients with clarifying their financial situation and creating a working budget. She is passionate and knowledgeable about financial education, and is dedicated to helping young people make smart money decisions.

“The Aisle is a springboard to help couples dream together about what they wish to accomplish together as a couple,” said Chaitovsky. “We approach budgeting not from the standpoint of deprivation and cutting back, but from the point of view of prioritizing what’s most important to us as individuals and as a couple, and viewing money as a tool to help us accomplish our goals.”

The Aisle will also feature Tamra Ackerman, Project Ezrah’s social worker, who will share thoughts about “planning for the unexpected.” She will provide participants with insights gleaned from years of working with clients experiencing financial difficulties. Jeff Mendelson, Project Ezrah’s director of employment, will share more information about the services Project Ezrah provides, including the educational seminars, a robust jobs board, and a referral source to other helpful resources in the community.

Project Ezrah is committed to expanding the financial education resources offered to the community through its newly formed Ezrah University. Announcements about financial education workshops geared toward college students and other demographics in our community are forthcoming. Project Ezrah welcomes suggestions for other financial educational programs and topics that members of the community would find helpful.

To register for The Aisle’s interactive Zoom workshop on March 7 at 8 p.m., visit https://tinyurl.com/theaisle. For questions about The Aisle, email [email protected]. Learn more about Project Ezrah at www.ezrah.org.


Rachel Krich is the executive director of Project Ezrah in Bergen County. She can be reached at
[email protected].

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