Applaud Mobile creates iPhone apps specifically for Jewish organizations like synagogues, temples and Jewish schools. I recently reviewed the app it created for the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton, Massachusetts. Tamir and Marcia Borensztajn, active lay leaders in their community and parents at SSDS, came up with the Applaud Mobile app.
Many Jewish day schools are taking good advantage of technology these days. I was very impressed when I heard about how one Jewish day school in Detroit -- Hillel Day School -- made it possible for a family to celebrate a bar mitzvah together even though one cousin was in Mongolia.
A provocative question is circulating in the Jewish community: Can day schools survive, given the reality of reduced philanthropic support in this economic climate? While this is a vitally important question, it misses two salient points.
First, there is strong evidence that the day school field is not only surviving, but is a resilient, thriving enterprise. Enrollment decreases this past year were smaller than originally feared; we have seen significant enrollment growth at 50 non-Orthodox schools nationwide; and school closures, while painful, have been few.
Having spent almost 13 years in Jewish education, and the last four as a head of school, I am intimately familiar with the question of day school viability. I am fortunate to have been involved, in an advisory capacity, with Yeshiva University and Avi Chai, and I have heard a number of important, thought-provoking, and creative ideas to improve the quality and affordability of our day schools.
Now a decade old, the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro,
despite growing pains, is hitting its stride.
Special To The Jewish Week
Touring the sites of Riverdale with out-of-town visitors on a recent Shabbat, I noted the scenic campus of the Telshe Yeshiva, an elite academy overlooking the Hudson River educating high school and post-high school budding Talmudic scholars. Virtually all students are out-of-towners, who, together with their prestigious faculty, are creating a haredi community in many ways dissonant yet coexisting with Riverdale’s Modern Orthodox subculture.