Westchester Jewish Center in Mamaroneck is the kind of warm, welcoming synagogue that draws young city dwellers to the suburbs, in search of a calmer and meaningful family life. A traditional egalitarian community of 465 member units, it offers spirited prayer services, an innovative and well regarded children’s religious school and youth group, scintillating adult education classes and a dizzying schedule of activities including Israeli dance, spiritual learning opportunities, cultural outings, sing-a-longs, storytelling and more.
Blessed with the recent arrival of Senior Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz, an energetic and visionary spiritual leader, its clerical team also includes long time Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman and Cantor Ethan Goldberg.
Located on a sprawling, leafy campus at Rockland and Palmer Avenues, minutes from the Long Island Sound, Westchester Jewish Center’s appeal is obvious to families who have recently traded up their urban digs for a robust outdoor family community.
Starting in the 2020-21 school year, Westchester Jewish Center will acquire another unique selling point as an anonymous synagogue donor has announced a gift to subsidize the cost of Jewish day school for eligible children of synagogue members.
What this means is that children of synagogue members who are newly attending Jewish day school, in any grade, are eligible for an incentive grant of up to $12,500, as are all children who remain in a Jewish day school at three inflection points: entering 1st, 6th and 9th grades. The incentive grants, are available to any member family that applies, regardless of financial need, and are intended to be in addition to any financial assistance families may receive from other sources.
Having recently moved from Norfolk, VA to the northern New York suburbs, Rabbi Arnowitz and his wife Tami, the parents of four children, are aware that the high cost of Jewish day school often inhibits school aged families from even considering it as an option.
“The beauty of this incentive grant is that it puts the possibility of Jewish education back on the table,” he said. “Together with the donor, we have designed this program to provide meaningful financial support and we have created wide parameters for eligible Jewish day schools.”
“While it is true that the excellent public schools are often part of a decision to move to Westchester County, a subsidy of this size will enable some to consider a Jewish day school option for their children,” added Rabbi Arnowitz.
“This forward-thinking program inspires local Jewish families to expand their horizons,” said Elliot Forchheimer, Executive Director of the Westchester Jewish Council. “It is also an attractive lure for families who were not aware of the robust Jewish community along Westchester’s Sound Shore of Larchmont/Mamaroneck and beyond.”
Though the donor has chosen to remain nameless, they hope that their generosity will be replicated by others, both within the Westchester Jewish Center and beyond.
“In truth, the donor would love for more people to get involved; they would love to expand the pool,” said Rabbi Arnowitz. “A Jewish day school education is a priceless gift to give our children.”
For further information about Westchester Jewish Center’s day school incentive grant, call 698-2960 or visit wjcenter.org