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.
When I attended the North American Jewish Day School Conference last week I was asked by my colleagues how I manage to juggle both educating students and fund raising for the school. The new model for school administrators is separation of these two roles- very few of them are combining the roles of being an educator and raising money, and this is certainly a more rational way to handle responsibilities.
So, I asked myself, “Where did I go wrong? What led me to take on all of these duties?” Looking back at my career, I realized that I simply emulated my mentors. Rabbi Pinchas Mordechai Teitz (zt”l)moved to Elizabeth, NJ, a Jewish community without even a minyan, and established the Jewish Educational Center, teaching students from K-12, as well as two mikvot and five shuls. Rabbi Teitz taught me his philosophy that a community Rabbi has the responsibility to both educate and also raise the money to support the institutions he establishes.
When I attended Rabbinical College at Ner Israel in Baltimore, Rabbi Herman Neuberger (zt”l)served as its director, and he moved the Yeshiva from the city of Baltimore to Pikesville, MD. As a result of Rabbi Neuberger’s efforts, Pikesville, MD is now one of the greatest Jewish communities in the world. Rabbi Neuberger was an active member of the Jewish community, and also a terrific fund raiser.
These Rabbis were my mentors, and I have tried to follow in their footsteps. I do not raise money because I enjoy fund raising, but because I want to be able to bring the best teachers, facilities, and education to Jewish students who become adults who live Jewish lives. That is my greatest reward for my efforts.
I worry all the time about the financial viability of the school. It is not easy to maintain a day school in today’s world; Abrams has a very small line of credit, and there is no margin for error. I often say that we rely on miracles, and now we have a miracle in our sights. Through the hard work and generosity of anonymous donors and several board members, Abrams has the opportunity to obtain a matching gift of $200,000 if we are able to raise $200,000 of new money. This will provide Abrams with $400,000. Simply put, if you gave $1,000 last year and give $1,500 this year, the additional $500 will count towards the matching gift.
The $400,000 will allow us to pay our bills and make the school whole financially. This money is NOT for any new “toys”- it is for paying bills and making the school financially solvent.
This is the week leading up to our annual fund raising dinner, and it is close to Passover. Please stretch yourself to donate additional money to Abrams at this important juncture. It will make a huge difference to the school.
Finally, I leave you with a story- when I was a child my mother was very ill and my father needed to place me in a school with extended hours. He went to the head of the Yeshiva of Hudson County, Rabbi Pikas, and explained his situation and that he didn’t have the money to send me to the Yeshiva. Rabbi Pikas told him to send me anyway, and pay when he could. Without the Rabbi’s generosity I would not be here today, so I give great thanks to my mentors and want to emulate their commitment to Jewish education by ensuring that Abrams Hebrew Academy thrives for many years to come.
We have been very successful so far in our initial fund raising efforts, and with your help I believe that we will be able to reach the goal of raising the first $100,000 by the dinner. Please help us to achieve our miracle.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. (215) 493-1800 ext. 22 by