Thank you for the informative April 22 piece “Making day schools affordable to the middle class.” The article presents a comprehensive picture of the day school affordability issue as well as the MetroWest community’s efforts to resolve it. As someone who provided background to the reporter and was quoted extensively in the article, I would like to clarify two significant points.
First, The Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union was renamed the Golda Och Academy on Dec. 6, 2010, in honor of one of its founders, Golda Och, and in recognition of a $15 million endowment challenge gift from her son and daughter in law, Daniel and Jane Och. While MetroWest’s overall community-wide day school campaign effort did play a role here, this gift was largely the result of other factors, including a decades-long relationship between the school, its leaders, and the Och family. Most importantly, this historic commitment – one of the largest endowment gifts ever given to a day school in North America – represents a son’s desire to honor his mother’s memory in a way that most effectively represents her extraordinary legacy in our community.
Secondly, I would also like to clarify that I was hired by MetroWest Jewish Community Foundation not to “oversee financial development at all three schools.” Rather, my job is to coordinate a $50 million endowment campaign, which includes partnering with the schools’ lay and professional leaders on their own endowment development efforts as well as the various affordability and excellence programs stemming from the campaign. The three day schools continue to oversee their own financial resource development efforts, including annual and capital fundraising.
Thank you for the opportunity to clarify these points in an otherwise excellent article.