The Matmidim Program is an innovative cost-saving program that incorporates a Judaic Studies track into an already established Jewish community school.
Led by Congregation Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner (BIAV), the program offers students the opportunity to attend Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) for general studies and a separate Matmidim Judaic Studies tract. The dual program is successfully meeting the educational needs of the Kansas City area’s growing Orthodox community in an affordable way.
The cost savings involved in this venture is the direct result of prudent collaboration and non-duplication of resources, such as shared administration, back office, and facilities. There is also a significant gain in political capital by avoiding the tensions of creating competing institutions.
Matmidim serves all the stakeholders of the Orthodox community of Kansas City including the kollel, Chabad, and the BIAV community. The program is open to all who support the values of the program regardless of their personal commitments or observance at home.
For years, Orthodox families have left the community when their children reached school-age because they felt that the school was inadequate from both a social and spiritual perspective. The Matmidim program answers those challenges and has become an effective tool for retaining families and attracting new ones.
One-third of the families at BIAV have children between infancy and age twelve. The current classes of K-2 Matmidim have seven students per class, and the incoming Matmidim class for next year’s Kindergarten projects an enrollment of twelve. Future incoming classes are also projected to receive the necessary enrollment such that by the time the program extends through fifth grade, fifty students will be enrolled. It is estimated that once the program has twelve students per class, it can be sustained within the school without additional outside funding from the Orthodox community and therefore be self-sustaining.
Such a program allows an Orthodox community to grow and flourish within the context of a currently existing infrastructure. There is genuine transparency, apparent through items such as the agreement between the community and the school. Another benefit is the pure simplicity of this model: A distinct Judaic program that integrates with the rest of the school for general studies and extracurricular endeavors.
The program can be replicated in both small communities and large metropolitan areas. Communities can look to measures that conserve resources rather than duplicate them. The Matmidim program proves that win-win synergistic relationships can be achieved when they are guided by a broad vision of communal responsibility, mutual respect, and commitment to educating the next generation of our children.
For more information contact Rabbi Daniel Rockoff at email@example.com