Edgware Adath is the first Kehilloh in Edgware to join Chomesh L’Chinuch
Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation one of the largest kehilllos in Edgware, is the latest kehilloh to join the highly successful NW London Chomesh L’Chinuch initiative which aims to raise desperately needed finance for our local schools.
Already burdened with a substantial annual shortfall of over £7.5 Million per annum, our schools’ financial situation is worsening due to a combination of slashed government real-terms funding per pupil and running beyond maximum capacity. Furthermore, there are increased costs of Ofsted compliance and additional indirect payroll costs. These factors are causing staff redundancies and reductions in the quality of education and chinuch which our children will receive.
Initiated by Golders Green Beth Hamedrash in 2016 and joined in the past few years by Hendon Adass, Beis Yisroel (Dayan Ehrentreu) and the Beis Hamedrash Beis Shmuel, Edgware Adath is the fifth kehilloh to join and will substantially strengthen the communal initiative.
Early this year, £251,100 was distributed by Chomesh L’Chinuch to 26 local schools, with funds raised from the members of the four founding kehillohs. This bring the total donated since its inception to over £500,000. Chomesh L’Chinuch is a shul-based project whereby shul members are encouraged to prioritise and allocate one-fifth (a ‘chomesh’) of their charitable (“tzedokoh”) donation to local schools attended by the children and grandchildren of their congregation.
The Rav of the Congregation, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Lieberman together with Rabbi Doniel Karp (Rav of the Sefardi Minyan) announced their full support for the initiative. Rabbi Lieberman highlighted the importance of the commandment (“mitzvah”) of Charity Giving and ensuring that calculating the tithe – 10% – of one’s net income as well as correctly prioritising and allocating to the appropriate charities are critical aspects of the mitzvah.
The two co-founders of the Chomesh L’Chinuch initiative, Eli Katz and Emanuel Meyer were invited to speak to the community at the various services (“minyonim”) held on Shabbat Parshas VeYakhel / Shekolim. They highlighted the unfortunate fact that every local Jewish school is running at a significant deficit often in the £100,000s. However, our NW London community is generous and certainly able to afford eliminate the collective shortfalls, if the charitable donations (“tzedokoh”) allocations are prioritised accordingly. They explained that there is both a Halachic and ethical responsibility of each member to support the community’s local schools as the children are the foundation of our next generation. The guidance referenced Shulchan Aruch (the foundation of Jewish Law) which details the need for everyone in a community to support the essential communal infrastructure, specifically including the community’s schools and welfare funds. This is based on the concept that everyone in a town has entered into an implicit partnership arrangement with all the other inhabitants to support the essential communal infrastructure.
They urged every single member to allocate at least 20% of their own annual charitable donations to our local Jewish schools, whatever the amount.
Mr Eli Katz, explained in detail the financial crisis affecting all our schools, state-funded or private, primary or grammar, as well as the severe impact on our children’s Jewish and secular education. “The Chomesh L’Chinuch program was developed to addresses this crisis. In order to deliver a first class and essential Kodesh and secular curriculum for the education (“chinuch”) of all our children – the future of our Kehilloh – we need to ensure the schools are fully supported by the Kehilloh, especially with the grave challenges from the secular world surrounding us.”
Mr Emanuel Meyer, added that,”We are delighted that one of the leading Edgware Congregations has recognised the need for a communal solution to the communal educational funding problem. Rabbi Lieberman and the Council of Management have been incredibly supportive of the Chomesh L’Chinuch initiative. The personal involvement of Rabbi Lieberman together with Rabbi Karp and the Council of Management is a testament to the level of responsibility that the they and the Kehilloh likewise have. Many kehillohs have already reached out to us to discuss joining and we are in active planning phase for additional Kehillohs in the near future“. Any shul interested in launching Chomesh L’Chinuch should contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Mr Aron Kleiman, Committee Chairman of Edgware Adath Yisroel Congregation has written to all members encouraging them to sign up to this initiative. He noted ‘Edgware Adath is proud to join Chomesh L’Chinuch – to help support the most vital of our communal institutions – our schools.
As a well established and generous kehilloh, Rabbi Lieberman has highlighted that we have an important responsibility to help our local schools. Many of our members are already generous supporters of our local schools and we hope the entire kehilloh will sign-up to the EAYC Chomesh L’Chinuch”.
Mr Kleiman together with EAYC members, Mr Joey Savery and Mr Adam Grossman, are leading the committee to spearhead the campaign in the kehilloh to explain and encourage members to sign up. They added, “A key factor of the Chomesh L’Chinuch initiative, is that everyone in the kehilloh can participate. This creates a stronger sense of giving as a community in the support of our community’s schools”.
The local schools, popular with Edgware Adath congregants voiced their suppor for the Chomesh L’Chinuch initative.
Mr. Daniel Wynne, Trustee of Beit Shvidler Charitable Trust added, “We know that the EAYC community will understand the challenges BSPS is currently facing. We are aspirational with the school’s learning objectives but the economic environment is increasingly challenging. We view the CLC programme as part of the solution and hope the Kehillah will embrace the scheme and prioritise their tzedakah allocations accordingly. We are very grateful for all the support provided from EAYC since our establishment and look forward to benefiting from the results of this new initiative in the future. We take pride in our ongoing partnership and see the shul’s active participation in the CLC scheme as another vital step on the path to our joint success.”
Mr. Jonathan Feinmesser, Hasmonean Governor – Head of Finance Committee, Trustee of the Hasmonean High School Charitable Trust added, “At a time when funding shortfalls mean schools across the country are struggling financially, the work of Chomesh L’Chinuch, galvanising the community to support their local Jewish Schools, is a G-d send. At Hasmonean we are already having to make difficult educational decisions to balance budgets, meaning every penny raised by Chomesh L’Chinuch goes to providing a better educational outcome and allows us to retain and pay our teachers.”
Mrs. Hayley Phillips, Governor, Menorah Foundation School added, “Chomesh L’Chinuch is a wonderful initiative, highlighting the need for a keen focus on funding education in our community in a organised and central way. Helping to tackle the increasing shortfall from central and local government funding.”
Mr. Richard Denton, Governor, Noam Primary School added, “I would like to thank everyone involved in the wonderful initiative of Chomesh L’Chinuch which goes a long way to improving our ability to keep our school running. Wishing you and all of your supporters hatzlocho in all your efforts.”