by David Shore
All four of my daughters attended Kehila JCDS. The youngest is currently a student in Grade 4. While it is my deepest hope that she graduate from Kehila, like her sisters, that may not be possible.
The Kehila board, which I chair, needed to make a decision about next year early in order to inform teachers and parents in a timely fashion. All of the current families want this high quality experience to continue, but the board must consider its financial position. We are still actively fundraising for the current year—please consider donating.
The Hamilton Jewish community has struggled with the concept of two schools for many years. While some feel strongly that one school should be able to accommodate the needs of our community. Others feel that parents need an alternative where all of the community’s educators (cantors and rabbis) can teach, where girls are taught the same things, and given the same rights, as boys, and where parents influence how the curriculum is taught. Kehila’s multiple modalities of artistic expression—art, drama, music—and spiral curriculum that integrates the secular studies with Judaics and Hebrew provides this alternative learning environment.
Beyond the stellar mainstream education, Kehila integrates children with exceptionalities into the learning environment, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity; Kehila provides an excellent environment for all of our community’s children.
The current board has decided that we cannot afford to operate for another year; however, parents of JK/SK/Grade 1 children are eager to continue the tradition of liberal, egalitarian Jewish education that is the hallmark of Kehila. In order to remain open another year, we require pledges for next year of $80,000 before the end of May, on top of the needs for the current year.
To be clear, the current board of Kehila has made a decision to close the school based on its fiduciary responsibility. At the same time, a new board consisting of young families is trying to bring together the same energy and excitement that began this school 16 years ago.
On a personal level, I am pledging $10,000 to this cause, even if my daughter will not graduate from this school. If only seven other people step up and do the same, we can continue to enrich the lives of our future Jewish community for another year. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to become involved.