Jewish day schools get a $1.67 million boost

Chicago’s Jewish day schools just got a raise, one they surely can use.

The Jewish Day School Guaranty Trust Fund, a collaboration of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and the local day school community, will distribute $1,670,513 to 17 participating schools in the coming year. That’s nearly 12 percent more than the previous year, and brings the total distribution to $12.3 million since 2003.

“Jewish day schools are one of the keys to assuring our community’s future,” Federation President Steven B. Nasatir said. “Chicago was a pioneer when it launched this ground-breaking effort to help our financially struggling schools. Today, the Fund is a proven vehicle, assuring an ongoing source of support for our schools that will continue, and hopefully grow, in perpetuity.”

The increased distribution this year is due, in part, to a renewed push to secure additional gifts for the endowment that sustains the Fund. Community leaders organized efforts that, as of the end of 2013, boosted commitments to the Fund by more than $2.7 million, to more than $34 million. That success, Nasatir noted, is evidence of the unprecedented cooperation among generous donors, the schools – which serve students of all denominations – and the Federation.

The annual distribution to each school is based on enrollment, and is in addition to a wide range of other support the Federation provides. That includes a $3 million allocation each year, administrative and educational training and services, security seminars, legislative and regulatory advocacy, JUF Right Start preschool tuition assistance, health programs, and tens of millions in loan guarantees for expanded facilities at individual schools.

“The Jewish Day School Guaranty Trust Fund represents the support of our community for day school education,” said Tony Frank, head of school at Chicagoland Jewish High School. “It takes a family, it takes a village to raise our children, and that’s what this represents.”

“The Fund’s support is not just a boost financially,” said Rabbi Moshe Unger, dean of Yeshiva Ohr Boruch. “It is a boost to our morale. It says that others believe in and support our staff, our students, and what we do. I invest in the Fund myself because it is the best. It will be forever. It plants the seeds for the future and the future and the future.”

Schools receiving support from the Jewish Day School Guaranty Trust Fund are Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School; Arie Crown Hebrew Day School; Bais Yaakov Girls High School; Chicago Jewish Day School; Chicagoland Jewish High School; Fasman Yeshiva High School (HTC); Hannah Sacks Bais Yaakov Girls High School; Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School; Ida Crown Jewish Academy; Jewish Therapeutic Day School of Jewish Child & Family Services; Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov/Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi; Keshet Day School; Seymour J. Abrams Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School; Lubavitch Girls High School; Solomon Schechter Day School; Telshe Yeshiva High School Program; and Yeshiva Ohr Baruch-The Veitzener Cheder.

Gifts to the Trust Fund, including testamentary gifts, are part of the Federation’s Centennial Campaign and are over and above the donors’ annual gifts to the Jewish United Fund Annual Campaign and to the individual schools.

For details on the program, contact the Federation’s Legacies and Endowments Department at 312/357-4853 or

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