April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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‘The Aisle’ Helps Young Couples Manage Finances Together

(Courtesy of Project Ezrah) It’s no secret that money is one of the biggest sources of strife and arguments among couples. Project Ezrah is hoping to reduce financial stress by helping engaged and recently married couples in the Bergen County community learn how to prepare a written budget and communicate effectively about money.

The goal is to make it the norm for all engaged and newly married couples in our community to participate in The Aisle, Project Ezrah’s engaging financial education workshop that equips them with the knowledge and tools to create a financially healthy lifestyle and relationship. The next workshop will take place on November 2, from 8-10 p.m. on Zoom. Participants can register for the workshop by visiting www.ezrah.org/aisle or emailing [email protected] for more information.

Established six years ago with the encouragement and backing of our community rabbis and the generous sponsorship of Elana and Marc Rothenberg and Tamar and Ross Rothenberg, The Aisle is now offered twice a year to better serve our community, typically in the spring and in the fall.

“At Project Ezrah, we believe that establishing good financial habits early on can help young couples enhance their shalom bayit and save them from years of financial anguish,” said Rachel Krich, executive director of Project Ezrah in Bergen County. “Teaching them about the power of compound interest can motivate them to start investing early on for long-term goals like tuition, lifecycle events and retirement. We want to help them make smart money decisions, such as not overextending themselves by buying more house than they can afford, understanding the implications of burdensome student loans and how best to tackle payments, learning smart credit card habits, and creating and sticking to a budget.”

While some premarital chatan and kallah classes briefly cover the subject of finances (and should be credited for doing so!), many young couples 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 in Bergen County.

Teaneck resident Tamar Snyder Chaitovsky, a noted financial educator who leads personal finance presentations in many high schools, serves as the facilitator for The Aisle. She 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 clients with clarifying their financial situation and creating a working budget. “Tamar is passionate and knowledgeable about financial education, and is dedicated to helping young people make smart money decisions,” said Krich.

Managing money together as a couple, when done in a productive manner, can actually bring a couple together and strengthen their relationship. “The Aisle is a springboard to help couples dream together about what they wish to accomplish together as a couple,” Chaitovsky said. “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 also features Tamra Ackerman, Project Ezrah’s social worker par excellence, 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. Participants are also encouraged to speak with Jeff Mendelson, Project Ezrah’s director of employment, who coordinates the organization’s educational seminars and oversees its robust job board.

Supporting The Aisle was a natural fit for the Rothenberg family. “Helping injured people and their families is what we do, especially during the times when our clients are most vulnerable,” said Marc 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, added: “Financial responsibility and planning are 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 is committed to expanding the financial education resources it offers the community through Ezrah University. Future financial education workshops are planned, geared toward college students and other demographics in our community.

Engaged and newly married couples can register for the free interactive workshop (cameras on!) to be held on November 2, from 8-10 p.m. on Zoom, by visiting www.ezrah.org/aisle or emailing [email protected] for more information.

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