The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey’s annual scholarship reception Sunday night raised more than half a million dollars – a three-quarters increase over the amount raised last year.
Mordy Rothberg, the school’s vice president of development, attributes the fundraiser’s success to a new communal attitude toward supporting day school education.
“We’re a recipient of all the work the community has done to make awareness that Jewish education is not just a parental obligation, but a communal obligation,” he said.
|The organizers of the RYNJ scholarship reception, board members Mordy Rothberg, left, and Menachem Schechter, right, flank one of the evening’s speakers, Yeshiva University President Richard Joel. courtesy RYNJ|
“During these tough economic times, there’s a real big focus on giving locally and supporting Jewish education. One of the benefits of the community setting up NNJKids” – the umbrella fund for Bergen County’s day schools – “is that we’re really making Jewish education a priority.”
Rothberg serves on the board of the parent organization of NNJKids, Jewish Education for Generations, as a representative of the yeshiva, in which his five children are enrolled.
The economic climate has also meant that “unfortunately, scholarship recipients are at an all time high,” said Rothberg, with the school awarding more than $1 million in scholarships.
“The community is committed to giving a quality education to every single family regardless of their ability to pay. I think the community as a whole is really stepping up and saying this is a communal obligation and a communal responsibility,” he said.
The school saw a significant increase in parental participation for the fundraiser, with 275 families contributing, up from 211 last year. The school has 982 students from about 425 families. About 120 families receive scholarships.
In recent years, the scholarship event has morphed from a catered dinner to a dessert reception organized and catered by parent volunteers.
“Our cost, including invitations and food, was less than $3,000,” said Rothberg.