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UJA-Federation of New York Day School Challenge Fund Initiative

September 24th, 2018

Jewish day schools participating in UJA-Federation of New York’s Day School Challenge Fund (DSCF) initiative are in the final months of raising funds for endowments that are eligible to be matched — with the goal of helping to secure their long-term future and to make excellent day school education more accessible for more families.

The DSCF initiative already has changed communal norms around endowment giving, elevating its importance for a diverse cohort of several day schools and yeshivas in New York. Since its launch in 2014, the $51 million Communal Challenge Fund has matched distributions on endowment dollars that participating schools raise. And, through expert training and strategic consulting provided as part of the initiative, day school leaders are equipped with best in class strategies and approaches in endowment fundraising.

The Day School Challenge Fund has had a profoundly positive effect on the culture of our school, in two different ways: It has provided us with a sense of long-term security that has stimulated us to think more creatively than ever about the future of our school, and it has inspired our donors’ confidence in their own ability to have a truly transformative impact.
– Michael A. Kay, PhD, Head of School, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

Annual endowment distributions provide a school with a predictable revenue source, which can transform a school’s dreams of financial stability, increased affordability, and educational excellence into everyday realities for years to come. The Day School Challenge Fund initiative offers the 23 participating Jewish day schools and yeshivot the tools and incentives to develop and grow endowments to support each school’s programs and activities.

When the fundraising part of the DSCF concludes on December 31, 2018, the initiative will have generated almost $100 million in new endowment dollars. The schools are working to finish their campaigns strong with four months left to go.

Our school has received three seven figure gifts – unprecedented in our history – due to the encouragement and match in funds from UJA-Federation of New York’s Day School Challenge Fund initiative. We look forward to continuing to make history for our school.
-Danny Karpf, Head of School, Rodeph Sholom School

Jewish day schools play a vital role in fostering a knowledgeable and engaged Jewish community, and inspiring the next generation of leaders. The New York Jewish Community is laying a strong foundation for the future of its day schools.

The 23 DSCF participating schools represent the spectrum of North American Day Schools and Yeshivas:

Abraham Joshua Heschel School, Barkai Yeshivah, Carmel Academy, Hannah Senesh Community Day School, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway, Hebrew Academy of Nassau County, Manhattan Day School, Magen David Yeshivah, Mazel Day School, North Shore Hebrew Academy, Ramaz, Rodeph Sholom School, SAR Academy, Schechter School of Long Island, Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, Solomon Schechter School of Queens, Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, The Shefa School, Westchester Day School, Yeshiva Darchei Torah, Yeshivah of Flatbush, Yeshiva of South Shore

The Jim Joseph Foundation is one of a group of foundations and philanthropists, including UJA-Federation of New York, that have contributed to UJA-Federation of New York’s Day School Challenge Fund, totaling $51 million in matching funds that will be part of a total endowment of nearly $100 million.