Inside the OU

OU Convenes Summit On Jewish Day School Affordability

Aware that there is no magic bullet to alleviate the tuition crisis affecting Orthodox families, the OU convened a national summit on educational affordability this past December.

The event attracted more than 175 leaders representing eighty schools and organizations from across the Orthodox spectrum. Leading rabbis, educators, administrators, lay leaders and Federation and foundation professionals from around the country attended the retreat held in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, where they spent two days examining many aspects of the affordability challenge.

Some of the topics addressed include communal support for day schools, political advocacy to obtain government support and the role charter schools and technology might play in addressing affordability.

On the concluding day of the summit, winners of the Day School Affordability Challenge Grants, part of a $150,000 OU initiative to confront the affordability issue, were announced. The objective of the grants was to stimulate the development of innovative and replicable solutions to address the high cost of day school tuition.

John Kirtley (left), Chairman, Step Up for Students, Florida, after his discussion on the need for the Orthodox community to engage in greater political activism to secure government support for day schools. Also pictured here are New York City Councilman David Greenfield (center) and OU/IPA Executive Director Nathan Diament (right).

Lively session led by Dr. John Ruskay, Executive Vice President and CEO, UJA-Federation of New York (right) and Yossi Prager, Executive Director of the AVI CHAI Foundation, North America.

OU Managing Director Rabbi Steven Burg addresses the crowd in his opening remarks at the summit.

Over 175 participants, including community leaders, school administrations, rabbis and lay leaders, attended the summit in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, OU Executive Vice President, Emeritus (right), part of a panel discussion with Rabbi Yochanan Zweig, Rosh Yeshivah, Talmudic University of Florida, Miami Beach, Florida.

Keren Fisher, President, Yeshivat He’Atid in Bergen County, New Jersey, expressing her views during one of the working meetings at the summit.

Rabbi Steven Weil, OU Executive Vice President, introducing one of the keynote speakers.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz (left), Founder and Dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam in Monsey, New York, shares a moment with OU President Dr. Simcha Katz.

IPA Chairman Yehuda Neuberger announces the OU Challenge Grant awardees at breakfast on Monday morning of the summit.
Photos: Kruter Photography/



This article was featured in the Spring 2012 issue of Jewish Action.