Taking on School Affordability

Gruen Fund, YU Institute for University-School Partnership Award Grants to 12 Jewish Day Schools

The Ethel and Ronald Gruen Endowed Fund for the Advancement of Secondary Jewish Education announced today that it will award grants of $20,000 each to eight schools across the country that are intended to provide need-based scholarships to students or to support the schools’ mechina or beginners programs. In addition to these eight schools, four other schools earlier this year received similar grants of $22,500 each. The gift will be administered through Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership.

The YU School Partnership was founded in 2008 to ensure the excellence and sustainability of Jewish day schools. It aims to advance Jewish education by providing support in the recruitment of teachers and school leadership, professional development and guidance in strategic planning and day school economics.

“This is a critical time in sustaining our schools and people. This grant provides scholarships for day school students, as well as preparation programs for those who have not had the ability to attend day school up to this point,” said Dr. Scott Goldberg, director of the YU School Partnership. “Ronald, of blessed memory, and Ethel Gruen were concerned about the affordability crisis before it became the number one issue around the Shabbat table and have made this possible. We are excited by our ongoing partnership with the Gruen family.”

“A total of 52 institutions have already benefitted from the Gruen’s almost $3 million endowment,” said Dr. Herbert C. Dobrinsky, Yeshiva University’s vice president for university affairs. “Ethel Gruen, well into her 90s, carries on the legacy of her partner in mitzvot. They have inspired other organizations to follow their example by extending tuition grants to day schools throughout the Jewish community. Surely the memory of Ronald Gruen, z”l is a source of enduring blessings for Jewish children for generations to come.”

The Gruen grants will help schools to attract students who otherwise would have difficulty affording them. The YU School Partnership received an overwhelming number of applicants for the grants.

The eight new grantees of $20,000 are:

  • Denver Academy of Torah
  • Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh
  • Kohelet Yeshiva High School in Philadelphia
  • Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Md.
  • RASG Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach
  • Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston
  • Yavneh Academy of Dallas
  • Yeshiva Atlanta High School

The four schools that received $22,500 each earlier this year are:

“We are thrilled to have been selected to receive the Gruen Grant,” said Dr. Roni Raab, head of school at RASG Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach. “Our past experience has shown us that a mechina program designed to strengthen the skills of students who join us with limited Judaic background, has been the catalyst that caused dozens of students to stay in our school and to receive a Jewish education.”

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