OU Education Dept. Sponsors Summit on Economic Crises and Yeshivot, 01/06

29 Dec 2008

The forum will be held Tuesday, January 6 at 6:00 p.m. at OU headquarters in Manhattan with board presidents, principals and executive directors representing approximately 40 yeshivot/day schools across the greater New York Metropolitan Area (including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) invited to attend. The schools span the range of Orthodox practice and education.

According to Rabbi Saul Zucker, Department Director, who has organized the summit together with Assistant Director Rabbi Cary Friedman, “In order for yeshivot and day schools to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and to approach solutions, two things are critical: We have to think of solutions both in and out of the box employing a multitude of approaches – there is no one magic bullet; and we have to do so collectively, in cooperative fashion, because schools are going to be wary of going ahead in isolation and doing something – while working together there will be greater confidence.”

A host of approaches will be presented to the group for discussion.

In addition, there will be presentations from Josh Elkin, Executive Director of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education; Martin Schloss, Director of the Division of Day School Services of the BJE of Greater New York; and Moshe Bane, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Orthodox Union. Leadership of the Avi Chai Foundation, which provides substantial support to Jewish education, has been invited to participate.

Although relatively few yeshivot have been directly impacted by the Madoff scandal, Rabbi Zucker explained, the effects on the Jewish philanthropic community are felt across the board, with negative consequences for Jewish schools. “The economic downtown in general, and the ‘trickle-down’ effect from investment failures in particular, have far-reaching consequences,” Rabbi Zucker said. “Summit participants will grapple with these consequences to ensure stability in the yeshivot and day schools.”