By Mitchell Kopelman and Jeffrey Lapp | ALEF Fund
The Atlanta Jewish community is diverse, sprawling and growing. It is very much a collection of communities, more than a singular place, with each of our various schools representing significant communal hubs.
The past few decades, study after study has indicated that one of the best ways to promote “being Jewish” is to provide Jewish education for as many of our children as we can.
Nonetheless, whichever corner you are in, you are likely to hear that “it’s expensive to be Jewish.” Many of those who want to engage and incorporate Judaism more into their lives cite cost as a significant barrier, especially when it comes to educating their children.
So how can we bridge the divide between a community desire for living a Jewish life, the centrality of Jewish education and the ability to afford it?
As we are thinking Jewishly during the High Holiday season, we each have an opportunity, at virtually no cost, to provide scholarships to achieve this goal of more affordable Jewish education.
We can do this because, in 2008, the state of Georgia set aside funds to allow Georgia taxpayers to reallocate some of their state taxes for scholarships to private schools. The ALEF Fund is your vehicle to redirect some of your income taxes.
Since 2008, the ALEF Fund has raised more than $20.7 million for 2,445 scholarships for children to attend Jewish preschools, day schools and high schools.
As part of your preparation for the High Holidays, please take five minutes and go to www.aleffund.org to complete your application. Thanks to you, hundreds of local students will receive scholarships toward their Jewish education.
Our hope for the coming year is that as a result of this program, more parents will have the option to give their children a Jewish education, and our community preschools, day schools and high schools will be overflowing with children learning about our heritage, values and mores.
L’shana tova for a happy and healthy new year of helping others. If you have any questions, please contact Jared Novoseller, ALEF Fund manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitchell Kopelman (email@example.com), the partner-in-charge of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne’s technology and bioscience group and the tax practice, is the president of the ALEF Fund. Jeffrey Lapp (Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org) is a partner with the Kusiel Lapp Group and serves as secretary/treasurer of the ALEF Fund.