June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Six Local Yeshivas Join for Student Discount Card Program

There are many differences in our various Jewish day schools, from academics to hashkafot to extracurricular offerings. It is comforting to note, however, that there are many similarities as well; these are highlighted in the schools’ many collaborative efforts for the benefit of the community, one of which is the student discount card program.

Initially working individually, six local yeshivas—Ben Porat Yosef, The Moriah School, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Yavneh Academy, Yeshivat He’Atid and Yeshivat Noam—have now banded together to offer a unified Bergen Discount Card. Families who attend any of these schools can purchase a card and enjoy discounts from over 85 vendors (up from over 65 during the previous year) while supporting their schools and local businesses. This year’s card is valid from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.

During spring 2020, Jenifer Babich, Yavneh parent volunteer, began working on the new annual card. She was hesitant to request discounts from vendors when many businesses were on the verge of closing or under stress due to the pandemic. Yet when she reached out to each vendor, she was delighted to find out that most wanted to stay on from the previous year. “At least 80% of the people we approached were more than happy to participate,” said Alana Fisher, Noam parent volunteer.

Additionally, Babich was informed that these six schools that historically had independent, thriving discount card programs, decided to streamline the process and join forces for the 2020-2021 year. “We were all doing the same thing, but separately,” Babich noted, “and given the complications during May 2020, working together was an especially great idea.” It would bring a bit of unity when everyone needed it the most.

The committees united, and because all schools agreed on identical prices and vendors, there was no cross-competition. “It’s great when a group of yeshivas collaborate on a project,” said Fisher.

“We have so much crossover,” Babich added. “We all go to the same shuls and gyms, and our kids are on the same sports teams, so it was really nice to work together across the schools instead of competing against each other.” Competition is best left on the sports field.

It was also in the interest of the vendors to have one card, not only for continued business exposure, but instead of dealing with six different contracts, they could easily sign one. This year’s list of vendors ranges from restaurants and gift stores to photographers, shoemakers and self-care.

With committee turnaround as parent volunteers change from year to year, there is a panel of people who pass along information to help newcomers get up to speed. “It’s a great way to connect as a community,” noted Fisher, “and through the efforts and organization of these parent volunteers, we are able to continue smoothly for another year.” Schools share in both the workload and benefits.

And everyone does benefit from the program: schools, families and vendors. “It’s nice to know that people can share these projects,” said Fisher. “Maybe there will be ways for schools to find common projects in the future, and create achdus. This is one that certainly works!”

For more information, contact your participating school’s parent association or discount card committee.

By Chaya Glaser

 

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