Published on: January 8, 2019

Re: Invest in Kids Act— We need to jump all over this—NOW!

Dear members of our holy Jewish community and you all are,

I’m writing to urge you to participate in something monumental!

Agudath Israel of Illinois, as Hashem’s messenger, has helped pass historic legislation that can become a “game-changer” for our schools and our community. In short, this state program, called Invest in Kids Act, will pay up to $13,336 tuition to our day schools for eligible families. And there are hundreds of them.  Already, our schools collectively received about 10 million dollars from this program.  But we can collect more than twice that amount if we all participate.

The key is that we must all participate. Call the Agudah at 773-279-8400 or email them at STC@AgudathIsrael-il.org for your next step.

But you want to know, how does it affect “me”, the average Joe? After all, I’m not one that qualifies.  It does affect you.

Let me explain.

EVERY one of us are affected by Jewish day school tuitions; those who have children in the schools and those that do not, those that are paying full tuition and those that are not. When a Jewish community has all its children proudly and joyfully learning Jewish values, it shows. The neighborhood streets become alive with Yiddishkeit. That atmosphere is felt by everyone, both those with or without children.

And when families cannot afford the tuitions for all their children, what do the schools do?  Boruch Hashem, because we understand the responsibility we bear to ensure every Jewish child can receive a Torah education, our schools: 1) raise funds from the community, and 2) raise the tuitions for those blessed with more income and they bear some of the added cost—ouch!

Therefore, to the extent that, with G-d’s help, our community can get substantial government aid, everybody wins.

It allows our schools to accept children into our schools that would not otherwise be accepted. Those children will enhance the Jewish atmosphere in our neighborhoods.  

And for those higher-income families, suffering under the burden of full or close to full tuition, these substantial funds ease the pressure on the schools, which in turn eases the pressure on those families and other community members that the schools rely on for support.

And for those needy families, who are trying their hardest, but, through no fault of their own, can’t pay the cost of schooling, this program can make them feel a bit less of a burden on the community. Even our other worthy mosdos stand to benefit if our schools aren’t in financial crisis. 

So, we all win!

But there’s a hitch – we need to all participate and take advantage.  The brocho won’t just happen by itself.

Kehillah Fund is about acting like a community, a close knit family. We need to avail ourselves of every brocho, every opportunity, that Hashem provides. And Hashem has provided, through the diligent efforts of the Agudath Israel, a way for all of us to participate in making this happen. Now we have to act!

 I’m afraid that if we do not take proper advantage of this, we will be held liable in the only court that matters, G-d’s Court. He’ll be saying to us, “I sent a life raft to save you, but you refused to use it. Now suffer!

So what am I asking of you?

If you have a particular school you want to help, call them. They will walk you thru the particulars. Otherwise, call the Agudah at 773-279-8400 or email them at STC@AgudathIsrael-il.org and ask what your next step is.

The Agudah is here to help you and will gladly do so. And, we all win!

Nesanel Siegal, Executive Director

 Kehillah Jewish Education Fund

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