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Federation Approves BJDS Emergency Grant

DENVER – (April 6, 2011) – The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado (Federation) announced that it has approved $35,000 in emergency funding to help enable the Boulder Jewish Day School (BJDS) to finish the 2010-2011 school year and honor its commitments to its families and teachers.  Representatives from the school approached Federation leadership in early March 2011 with a request for emergency funding, as they were projecting to exhaust their cash on hand by the end of the month and were facing a revenue deficit of $70,000 through the end of their fiscal year in July 2011. Federation agreed to consider funding half of the shortfall, with the school raising the other half.  Shortly thereafter, the school Board of Directors voted to close the school for the 2011-2012 school year, and Federation’s Coordinating Council (CC) and Jewish Resource Center (JRC) Board voted to approve the emergency funding.

Richard Galdieri, BJDS Board president and parent of two current students, is devastated that his children will not be able to attend the school next year, but is grateful that they will at least have the chance to finish this school year.  “It has been a sad and difficult time for all the BJDS families as they undertake the challenge of finding new schools for next year,” said Galdieri. “We are extremely grateful to Federation for helping us finish out the remainder of this academic year, as closing mid-year would make this transition even more difficult.  Their support, in addition to our own fundraising will enable us to give the children time to say goodbye to the school they love.”

BJDS, a community day school that has been in existence for 17 years, serves students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Three years ago, the school’s enrollment reached an all-time high with 65 students but has since declined to the 26 students currently enrolled.  School leadership was projecting a further decline for the 2011-2012 school year, prompting the decision to close the school.

Marnie Miller, chair of Federation’s JRC Board, worked with BJDS and Federation volunteers and staff to facilitate the emergency funding agreement.  “I am so happy that Federation is able to respond to BJDS’s emergency request, and that 26 young Jewish children will have a positive experience as they complete the school year,” said Miller.

“It is most unfortunate that BJDS is closing,” says Judy Robins, Federation’s CC chair. “Federation has supported the school during its years of serving the Boulder Jewish community, and we are committed to assisting the school as it faces this challenge. This is what Federation is all about – being there for Jewish communities in Colorado and around the world when they are in need.”

The Coordinating Council approved up to $35,000 in emergency funding for BJDS at their meeting on March 23, 2011: one immediate installment of $10,000, with the remaining $25,000 to be funded incrementally, as BJDS raises its share of the deficit.  Release of matching funds will be dependent on BJDS collecting the remainder of their tuition revenue for the 2010-2011 school year.  While BJDS will not operate during the 2011-2012 school year, if the school becomes operational after next year, the emergency funding must be repaid to Federation with interest within 24 months of the first day of school.

Federation will be implementing a supplemental campaign to enable donors in the Denver/Boulder area to help support the school through the end of the year.  For more information or to make a donation, please contact Dani Gilady at or 303.316.6466.

About the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado
For more than 60 years, the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado has been building and sustaining Jewish life across Colorado, in Israel, and around the world.  Each year Federation mobilizes the Jewish community to raise the crucial funds required to provide food, refuge, comfort, education, and emergency assistance to millions of people in-need.  Last year, Federation raised $10.3 million that benefited dozens of charitable agencies, both locally and worldwide.

About Michele Weingarden

Michele Weingarden lives in Superior and is a Colorado Advisory Board member for Hazon. She looks forward to sharing modern social justice symbols to her Seder tonight.

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