Foundation for Jewish Camp Launches Affordability Program

— by Jason Edelstein

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has launched a new, national program that matches eligible families with high-quality nonprofit Jewish summer camps at a more affordable price.0679_120808-FJC_x_x

BunkConnect has launched nationally with 75 participating camps, representing various movements and denominations. The program is for first-time campers, basing eligibility on a family’s adjusted gross income, number of dependent children, and place of legal residency.

After income-eligible families supply some basic, confidential information into the program’s online system, the system matches them with available camp sessions at low introductory rates (between 40% and 60% off list prices). This initiative is modeled after the success of FJC’s One Happy Camper program – a need-blind grant initiative for first-time campers.

For more information, or to determine eligibility, please visit BunkConnect’s website.

A Study Break Like No Other

By Hannah Lee

In 1923, Rabbi Meir Shapiro proposed to the First World Congress of the World Agudath Israel in Vienna that Jews around the world bond over a daily study of the books of the Talmud, the code of rabbinic law. The six orders of the Talmud (or Gemarah), known as sedarim, are divided into 60 or 63 tractates, masekhtot. Clocking in over 6,200 pages long, it’s written in Aramaic and quotes from the Hebrew Bible.  Today, August 1, is a grand celebration of the completion of the 12th cycle of study, the Siyum HaShas of Daf Yomi.  It’s being held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and approximately 90,000 men, women, and children are expected to attend.

The six local teachers who’ve faithfully lead the daily study sessions year-round are: Rabbi Yechiel Biberfeld of Bala Cynwyd; Rabbi Dov Aaron Brisman of Philadelphia; Rabbi Yonah Gross of Wynnewood; Rabbi Sruli Schwartz of Merion Station; Rabbi Avraham Shmidman of Bala Cynwyd; and Rabbi Mordechai Terbelo of Philadelphia.  Yishar kochachem to these dedicated individuals and to their students for the commitment to sustaining Jewish scholarship!

Note: This list excludes some other local Daf Yomi teachers, such as Rabbi Jonathan Levene of Bala Cynwyd, but this was a siyum organized by the Agudath Israel of America, and I consulted their memorial book,which is a hefty volume 1/2-inch thick.

Abrams Announces New Scholarships Available To Students

Grants Ensure That More Children Realize The Dream Of A Jewish Education At Abrams Hebrew Academy

— by Chris Frangicetoo

Abrams Hebrew Academy announced that two new scholarship opportunities are available for the coming academic year thanks to generous grants it has recently received from The Jewish Day School Collaborative, a project of the Kohelet Foundation, and the Henrietta Milstein Scholarship Program.

The Jewish Day School Collaborative, a project of the Kohelet Foundation, has provided funding for a select number of students in grades K-8 to receive tuition grants and scholarships. Each student will receive up to 33% of tuition at day schools throughout Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey, up to $5,000 for lower and middle school.

The second opportunity is made possible by The Henrietta Milstein Scholarship Program. These needs-based scholarships for grades 1-3 ensure that more children will realize the dream of a Jewish education at Abrams Hebrew Academy. Each student will receive up to 33% of tuition.

More after the jump.
“Our mission is to encourage and challenge our students to develop an understanding of both their Jewish and American heritages while providing them the educational foundation to become future leaders and active citizens in their communities,” said Rabbi Ira Budow, Director. “Thanks to these generous grants we are better positioned to provide students with affordable education in an environment that fosters scholastic enrichment and a commitment to Judaism and the State of Israel.”

For more information on eligibility for these grants and scholarships, please contact Dale Sattin, Director of Development at Abrams Hebrew Academy at 215-493-1800 ext 22 or [email protected].

Abrams Hebrew Academy is a co-educational community Hebrew day school for preschool through eighth grade. Children from all Jewish backgrounds are equally welcome, and all levels of observance equally respected. Abrams Hebrew Academy is a constituent agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and a beneficiary of the United Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.

JEVS Lasko College Prep Program

The Lasko College Prep Program is a program of the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service (JEVS) for Jewish high school juniors preparing to enter college.

As Penny Kardon, Director of Career Strategies for JEVS, explains,

The program is for  current juniors whose families meet a certain income eligibility requirement. This is funded by the Lasko Family Foundation, and it’s in its seventh year. It gives students an opportunity to work three days a week in the Jewish community, at a Jewish organization, and two days a week they come to JEVS Human Services’ Career Strategies Department, in the Youth Services.

More after the jump.

High School juniors, adds Kardon, “get SAT tutoring, college advising, and they have an opportunity to visit two college campuses, and they start writing their essays for the college application. We work with the family on financial aid, we help them get scholarships, and they are matched with a mentor from the Franklin C. Ash program for Jewish college students. These are kids who are already gone through the whole college application procedure, and they help them negotiate the whole college application process.”

This mentoring, says Kardon, entails the “nitty-gritty” issues of “What if you don’t like your room-mate? Or how did they pick their college? Sometimes the mentees visit their mentors in college during the year, and it gives the students a great opportunity to see (how) very successful students negotiate their college application process.”

The Lasko College Prep Program, adds Kardon, is also great for the community because “It places these kids in a Jewish organization three days a week, and they actually do the things that sometimes we don’t have the time to do, (like) data entry, answering phones, filing, working with kids, doing art projects, creating a brochure if the student has some particular graphics talents. So it’s a great opportunity for the community as well.”

“It’s a one-year program,” adds Rhonda Cohen, Coordinator of Community Relations at JEVS, “they start off in the summer, before they enter their senior year. That’s when they spend their three days a week at the Jewish placement, and that’s when they get their SAT tutoring, that’s when they get their mentor from the Franklin C. Ash college program. Once the summer ends the program continues, and they are required to work with our educational counselors until they have successfully get into college, and we work with the parents.

The Lasko program, adds Cohen, “has made the difference for families that don’t have that luxury of spending money on a college consultant or an SAT tutor. This is for low-income families in the Jewish community, and we are very proud to say we have a ninety-nine percent success rate, in seven years, of getting students into college.”

Application is available online.

Jewish Day School Grants and Scholarship Now Available For All Ages

The Kohelet Foundations’s Jewish Day School Collaborative will award a limited number of tuition grants and scholarships Jewish day school students in nursery, elementary, middle and high school for September 2012.

These grants and scholarships ensure that more children realize the dream of an education rich in Jewish values and responsibility, where they achieve academically, while connecting to the world through a Jewish lens. Engaged, passionate and committed, they are tomorrow’s leaders.

Each student will receive up to 33% of tuition at day schools throughout Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey, up to $5,000 for lower and middle school and up to $8,500 for high school.

These grants and scholarships are multi-year and are offered to new and existing day school students of all denominations. Qualifications and details vary based on grade level.

Don’t wait another minute to give your child a Jewish day school education.

A limited number of grants and scholarships available at all day schools in Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey: