Published : Tuesday, July 14, 2015 | 3:11 PM
When Jewish immigrants came to America throughout the 18th- 20th centuries, they became known for establishing synagogues and schools – even when they arrived nearly penniless. These institutions were deemed top priorities as the synagogues served as hubs of their communities and the schools ensured that those communities would be well educated and thrive for generations to come.
Pasadena’s Weizmann Day School was founded more recently – in 1983 — but the impetus for the San Gabriel Valley’s only Jewish Day School was largely the same: to provide a strong education, build Jewish community and ensure Jewish continuity. In light of this vision, Weizmann
Day School recently applied for – and won entry into the Generations Endowment Program, which provides Jewish day schools with training and incentives to establish endowments.
Endowments (funds made up of gifts and bequests where the principal is maintained intact and invested to create a source of ongoing income) are proven instruments that help institutions of all types thrive. The Generations Endowment program is a collaboration between several national organizations whose mission is to support the success of Jewish schools: The Builders of Jewish Education (BJE), Partners in Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) and AVI CHAI.
Weizmann was selected to participate in the program last school year and recently met the fifth of five milestones, thereby earning the school thousands of dollars in incentive funds. “Our school sees endowment as a way to ensure our ongoing ability to invest in our exceptional teachers, materials and students while keeping tuition affordable for students from a diverse array of Jewish, interfaith and non-Jewish backgrounds” said Weizmann School Head, Lisa Feldman. “Personally, I view endowment as an important part of the legacy that I will leave my successors so that Weizmann may continue to benefit our greater community many generations from now.”
At the end of the three year Generations Program term, Weizmann will have the opportunity to earn a total of $25,000 in incentives (for completing milestones), receive an extra $250 in matching funds for every $1000 cash raised (or pledged over the next five years), forty hours of coaching each year from a development consultant, several training sessions (with all expenses paid) and participation in the national L’Dor V’Dor Society for donors at levels of $25,000 or above.
“I am honored to be a part of an incredibly talented and dedicated Generations Committee,” said Committee Chair and School Board President, Lawrence Lurvey. “We are grateful to everyone who organized and attended our events, and to everyone who has contributed so generously to our endowment campaign so far.”
Having met their 5th Generations Program milestone, Weizmann Day School can now earn thousands more in incentives by raising another $136,000 (payable over 5 years) by June, 2016. “The way we see it, we’ll reach our goal if only 14 more families or individuals donate $2,000 per year for the next five years,” said Committee Member, Galit Feinreich. “And thanks to the generous Generations program sponsors, our school will also receive another $34,000 in matching funds,” she added. “We are confident that we can reach this goal with the help of people who appreciate the great value the school provides to our community.”