Celebrating 15 Years Of Community
I really enjoyed last month’s cover story, titled “Bringing hope through Torah,” that featured Rabbi David Ozeri on the cover. Besides bringing to light the accomplishments and goals of ATIME and its annual Shas-A-Thon fundraiser, the article showed in a discreet way the type of influence Rabbi Ozeri has had and continues to have in our community and beyond.
It was also beautiful to see fellow community members from Brooklyn, Deal, and Lakewood participating in such an important and instrumental fundraising event. Besides the amazing accomplishment and the merit of learning the entire Shas in one day, the funds raised for the event will go to a very worthy cause – couples dealing with the challenge of infertility.
May the zechut of the day’s learning answer the prayers for all those couples struggling with infertility.
High Costs of Tuition
I read with great interest last month’s article that dealt with the pressing issue of the high costs of yeshiva tuition (Combating the High Costs of Tuition). Over the years, I have done much research on this sensitive topic and have come up with a possible solution to help solve this crisis.
I believe tuition can be cut in half if the following plan can be implemented. Leading philanthropists could give a 30-year interest-free loan, essentially bridge financing, to fund the shortfall. Each family would purchase life insurance, with premiums payable for 15 years and the insurance proceeds payable to an “education fund.”
Conceptually, the idea is to allow parents to pay for tuition throughout their lives, making such “payments” much more manageable, as cash outlays would only be required for 15 years.
After 30 years, the loan would be repaid, using the built-up cash value of the insurance. When the second spouse passes away, there will be a death benefit of somewhere between $1 million dollars and $1.5 million dollars for Jewish education.
Those providing loans will see immediate returns; and at the same time, they can lay the foundation for that most guaranteed of all investments, that of the Jewish future.
In order to solve a problem, it is often useful to take a step back and see the forest for the trees. Focusing too intently on the details of the problem can make one lose sight of what exactly is the problem itself. Obviously, yeshiva tuition is far too expensive for many families in our community. But, before we examine various cost saving measures or start finger pointing, it is important to consider and ask ourselves: Why do we send our children to yeshiva in the first place? In other words, what are the goals of yeshiva education? What are we hoping to gain or accomplish? I believe that the answers to these questions are critical to how we approach the problem. In particular, I believe that part of the problem is that parents have vastly different goals and that is one of the main reasons we have not been able to come up with an effective solution for this crisis.
Protecting Our Yeshivot
Your publication should be commended for the continued exposure you have provided over the years in regards to the lack of security in our yeshivot. Today, New York City Council passed a measure, introduced by NY Councilman David Greenfield, which will reimburse yeshivot for costs they incur in hiring private security guards. Of course, hakorat hatov goes out to Councilman Greenfield and the other NYC officials who made this possible. But it is only because the publicity and public awareness made from fine publications such as yours that put the pressure on our elected officials to get this measure implemented. Keep up the good work!