Moriah Foundation concerned about cost of education

August 22, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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Donors to the Moriah Foundation have heard an update on the fund’s activities at its annual cocktail party…and concern about increasing numbers of Jewish children at public primary schools.The Fund supported by the foundation was created 18 months ago coinciding with the school’s capital appeal.

Shelana Silver

Shelana Silver

Fund director Shelana Silver told  guests that the it was now focusing “on procuring means-tested bursaries and Israel Study Tour subsidies”and said that the fund “has begun to make a real difference to the lives of Jewish children in our community.”

Foundation president Judy Lowy, who hosted the cocktail party with her husband Steven, said: “We believe that the strength and success of Moriah is critical to the success and the strength of this Jewish community”.

She said that Jewish dayschool education plays a critical role in “the success of Jewish continuity and Zionism”. She thanked all who had played a part in building Moriah to what it is today from its humble beginnings.

Lowy said that the school had produced wave after wave of fine young Jewish adults but that “not every family can afford these opportunities”. She said that many Jewish families cannot afford a Moriah education for their children and “are turning to the public schools instead”. She earmarked Bellevue Hill Public School saying that the number of Jewish children attending it “had grown exponentially over the last few years”. She said that many families, including Moriah graduates are finding the cost of a Moriah education “too much of a financial strain”.

Judy Lowy

Judy Lowy

She said that since the capital appeal and the establishment of the Foundation, the school had raised more than $12 million. She added: “We established the Foundation to address the issue of affordability. We must raise funds to bring more Jewish kids into Moriah who simply cannot afford it…and we must raise funds to help those families who may not be able to keep their children enrolled without help. In addition we must raise funds to make the Year 10 Israel Study Tour accessible to all Moriah students.” She added that the IST is “not a holiday and is not elitist”.

Judy Lowy said that the Fund is raising money for bursaries focusing on needs in primary education and that the program was about to be launched to the public as they are ready to accept applications. She said that financial assistance had helped raise the number going on IST from 32 two years ago to over 70 in 2013,

Referring to the progress the Foundation had made, Lowy said that one donor had made an annual commitment of $100,000 to be used for IST loans and $250,000 collectively from other donors. She added that eight bursaries had been donated, seven of which would pay for a child’s complete primary school education. The eight donation would pay for one child’s entire Moriah education from Year K to Year 12.

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition was committed to honour all the commitment made the Government in respect of school funding. He said that “the big difference in our approach and Labor’s we have a passionate commitment on our side of politics to choice, to freedom and to parents being able to choose the education for their children that they believe is right for them. Enabling that with Government support is absolutely critical. We will not proceed with the over-regulation of schools that Labor proposes.”

Turnbull said that under a Coalition government schools would be answerable to State governments adding “there is too much bureaucracy already. We are crippling this country with red tape”.

He told his personal story of how his single Dad brought him up but he was still able to help him get to Sydney Grammar. He said that later on life when success had visited him he gave money to the school but felt that scholarships should be means-tested…a scholarship founded in 1987 at a cost of $250,000.’

School funding is based on the notional assessment of the needs of a particular school commitment. He said that some pupils at Moriah came from some of the wealthiest families in Australia and there are some who “are very hard up”.

Gior Friede

Gior Friede

Turnbull told Moriah that they should dream “to get to where Harvard is”. He said that a student could again admission on the basis of their academic prowess. But once in, can they afford to pay the fees? He said: “If your parents are Wall St bankers you pay full fee. If you’re living with a single mother on benefits you will get everything paid for with gradations in between.”

He said: “No-0ne should be denied access to a Jewish education because of a lack of means”.

Turnbull then briefed the party on the progress of the election campaign.

Moriah College president Gior Friede thanked Malcolm Turnbull before outlining the plans in place for the school.

The cocktail party was entertained by the fine musicians from Moriah College.

 

 

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