Welcome to the Budowsphere! This is where Rabbi Budow shares his thoughts, musings, and insights on Jewish education and various other topics of interest to the Jewish community.
I’d like to talk about the importance of Zionism to Abrams Hebrew Academy. Some of the questions in the Measuring Success Survey in which AHA parents participated focused on the main reasons parents send their children to a day school. Abrams parents responded that one of the most important drivers in enrollment is the teaching of a commitment to Israel. For me, a commitment to Israel is like breathing. Each Jewish person connects to the land of Israel in her/his own way, whether you are moved because it is the Jewish homeland; because it is God’s land; or for whatever reason that resonates with you- if you are a Jew, there is always a connection to Israel.
The word Zionism has been controversial since the secular Zionists laid the foundation for a Jewish State in 1948. The most religious Jews wanted to separate themselves from the establishment of a secular State. However, in my opinion, there is room for both religious and secular Jews to be Zionistic in their own ways. Secular Jews are proud that they took a land that was primarily sand and turned it into the proverbial land of milk and honey, as well as a modern, technologically advanced country. Religious Jews experience the holiness of the land- from Chevron to Rachel’s tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the Kotel- the history and tradition of the Jewish religion lives on to this day. Each person, no matter what his/her belief, can be Zionistic in his/her own way.
I am comfortable with the fact that Abrams is a Zionistic school. When I was a student at Ner Israel Rabbinical College one of my teachers was Reb Kaplan, and I was later surprised to hear that he had moved to Jerusalem after being at the Yeshiva for 20 years. When I asked him why he decided to move to Israel he told me that the greatest Torah scholars and Baal Teshuvahs came out of Israel, and he wanted to live there, as well.
We at Abrams represent a kaleidoscope of Zionism. I am proud of my teachers from Lakewood, who all embrace Zionism in their own ways, and in our Hebrew language teachers who teach our students Hebrew language with a religious emphasis.
I strive to bring Zionism alive at Abrams in many ways throughout the year- we host Bnot Sherut women, visitors from the Israel Guide Dog Center for the Blind, IDF soldiers, and others who all interact with our students and make modern Israel come alive. We collaborate with The Technion and the Weizmann Institute in our math and science programs, and we join Tal Brody in Israel at a Maccabi Israel game each year.
At Abrams we believe that Zionism should be at the forefront of our children’s’ experience throughout their education, culminating in the annual 8th grade graduation trip to Israel. This is an experience that students dream of from their first day at the school, and this is our goal- to instill a life-long commitment to the State of Israel.
I do not see any contradiction in religious beliefs and a commitment to Zionism- we promote love of Israel and Torah together.
Unique Fund Raising Opportunity for AHA
Exceptional Funding Opportunity
We need everyone’s help to take advantage of a unique opportunity for Abrams to raise $400,000!
Two anonymous donors have offered to give Abrams $200,000 if we match that gift with $200,000 in new money that we raise on our own. With the $200,000 donation and new EITC funding, each $1 that you raise brings $3 to the school!
The money that you donate must be new money over and above what you donated previously to count towards the match- in other words, if you donated $500 to the school last year, only the amount that is above the $500 previous gift will count towards the match.
Every dollar counts!
Your generosity will truly make a huge difference in our budget and help us to ensure the future for Abrams Hebrew Academy!
Abrams has made arrangements with the Yardley Borough Police Department to station a uniformed policeman in the school, beginning on March 30, 2015.
The police will be in the school during prime hours- arrival and dismissal. The police officers will provide security and make observations and recommendations for upgrading and improving our security measures.
I will discuss this matter with the students next week, so they will not be surprised to see an officer at the school. The officer(s) will be introduced to the students, and they will encourage the students to interact with them and feel comfortable in their presence.
The board has voted to approve this on a trial basis until the end of the school year, when the board will make an evaluation and decide what the next steps will be going forward.
I appreciate your patience in this matter- it is an emotional and complex issue, and I assure you that the decision was not made lightly. We will certainly inform you about any new developments.
Rabbi Ira Budow
Past-Due Tuition Payments
To the minority of parents who are not up-to-date with their tuition payments or have not made special financial arrangements with James Dorvil, our business manager, please note that your child(ren) will not be allowed to return to school after the Passover break without making your past due payments or coming to an agreement with Mr. Dorvil in our business office.
Thank You for your attention to the above.
Letter of Appreciation
Here is a wonderful letter from a parent expressing his feelings about Abrams. It is gratifying to know that our commitment to our children and their Jewish education bears such beautiful fruit.
Despite the weather delays, Abrams students celebrated Purim and enjoyed a joyous day of activities and fun!
We need you to take ACTION and help expand Pennsylvania’s Educational Tax Credit program. Contact your PA Representative and urge him/her to co-sponsor legislation that would expand the availability of educational tax credits through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs.
The EITC and OSTC programs allow individuals and corporations to receive tax credits in return for donations to scholarship granting organizations. Last year, the EITC and OSTC provided scholarships for more than 60,000 students throughout the state. In addition, these two programs provided Pennsylvania’s Jewish schools with $10 million in aid for the 2014-2015 school year, allowing them to enroll more students without raising tuition prices. This funding permitted hundreds of students to receive a previously inaccessible Jewish education, laying the foundations for a stronger community.
Despite the success the EITC and OSTC programs have achieved, many parents are still left without the assistance they need, forcing them to choose between an education that best meets the needs of their child and financial security. EITC credits are often depleted on their first day of availability, and OSTC funds quickly run dry as well.
With this increase in funding for the two programs, nearly 36,000 additional students would be able to attend Pennsylvania non-public schools, and an additional $5.1 million could be allocated to Jewish schools.
Please contact your representative in the Pennsylvania House today and urge him/her to co-sponsor this critical legislation.
Please note that the car pool line is for grades N and K only. All other students are to be dropped off in the front of the building.
Parents who use the back for drop off should follow the directions of the teachers in the parking lot. They are there to assist students and maintain a safe environment.
Under no circumstances are parents to park their cars in the middle of the line and leave them unattended to walk students into the building.
** We ask that parents refrain from cellphone use in the parking areas while dropping off and picking up their children.
Birthday Celebrations at School
When sending birthday treats into school to celebrate that special day for your child, please consider sending in a healthy treat, such as frozen fruit bars, rice cakes, fruit salad or cups, sugar free pudding snacks, yogurt cake or pie, cheese sticks, light popcorn or air popped popcorn (when age appropriate), pretzels, carrots/celery (when age appropriate).Please avoid nuts because of allergies.
In order to maintain a consistent kashrut policy and to avoid confusion, ALL orders for birthday cakes/cupcakes MUST be ordered from Cramer’s Bakery, 16 E. Afton Avenue, Yardley. Cramer’s will deliver the order to the school at a discounted price.
Please call Kim Pierce at 215-321-5707 to place your cake/ cupcake order.
Celebrate Your Simcha at Abrams
Abrams Hebrew Academy is a perfect choice to host your family or social affair, business meeting or athletic event. Whether you’re looking for an inviting space to celebrate a special occasion; a meeting area with state-of-the art technology; a fun, safe environment for a child’s birthday; or a gym or athletic field for a sporting event, Abrams can accommodate your needs and your budget. For more information on room rentals at Abrams Hebrew Academy, call (215) 493-1800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check Your Child’s Assignments with Homework Now
Parents- all homework will be posted on-line by all teachers grades K-8 by Sunday evening each week.
Instructions for use of homeworknow.com:
Click on homeworknow.com
Click on Parent and Student
Click on find school
Click on Pennsylvania
Click on Abrams Hebrew Academy
Click on your child’s teacher
View homework assignments
Share Abrams News With Others
Is there a family member (such as a grandparent) or friend who would be interested in hearing about everything going on at Abrams? Sign them up for our e-mail list today! Please contact the Main Office.
Information about the Extra
Please submit any information to be considered for inclusion in the Extra to Dale Sattin, Director of Development & Communications: email@example.com. (215) 493-1800 ext. 22 by