The Schechter Day School Network and United Synagogue were awarded nearly $2 million in grants for strengthening North America’s 43 Solomon Schechter schools. The money will allow the network to add educational professionals and field consultants to support and enhance the Schechter schools’ work.
Nearly $1.7 million comes from the Avi Chai Foundation while another $325,000 comes from an anonymous foundation.
“These grants are transformative,” said Dr. Steven C. Lorch, president of the Schechter Network board. “They will generate extraordinary momentum for our programs, the immediate beneficiaries of which will be our schools.” The United Synagogue will remain for the immediate future the institutional home of the Schechter Network, which is pursuing separate incorporation as a not-for-profit organization.
The grants are the culmination of a lengthy strategic planning process, also funded by Avi Chai, led by Dr. Elaine Shizgal Cohen, director of the Schechter Network, who will retire in June 2014.
The network’s new executive director will be Dr. Jon Mitzmacher, a nationally recognized expert in 21st century learning. Mitzmacher (see article, p. 48) heads the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a school in Jacksonville, Florida, and will assume fulltime responsibility for his new post at the end of the next school year.