Charlotte Jewish Day School Receives $1,000,000 Endowment Towards Tuition Affordability!!

It is with great pride and humility that the Charlotte Jewish Day School received a $1,000,000 gift, securing our future and enabling more families in our community to have access to a life changing Jewish education. This gift will be truly transformational!

During the throes of the pandemic, Risa and David Miller and Stacy and Todd Gorelick, together created the Mariashi Groner Affordability Fund with a focus on making it possible for middle income families to provide a Charlotte Jewish Day School education for their family. Both the Millers and Gorelicks sent their children, who are all now college age or beyond, to CJDS. Their gift actualized their dream that all Jewish children in our community should have access to a CJDS education by making an affordable tuition program for all.  

The Gorelicks and Millers recognize the importance of knowledge and access to an understanding of our history and heritage. By creating engaged, educated, and knowledgeable Jews, we can ensure not only the survival of the Jewish people, but one significant way to create thriving and engaged Jewish leaders for our future.

Tuition is a tremendous burden for many families, particularly when they have two or more children enrolled in school. Families often grapple with trying to save for retirement, or for college or are just trying to be fiscally responsible to their family. Now, if the dishwasher breaks or the car needs repair, a family won’t be put in stressful situations. In the past, many families would not be able to qualify for a tuition grant as their income exceeded the traditional thresholds set for awarding tuition relief.

Stacy and Todd Gorelick have been long time members of the Charlotte Jewish community. Their children Henry (26), Adelaide (24), Jack (21) and Charlie (18) all attended CJDS for their elementary education. Stacy and Todd have both been on the CJDS board of directors at various times during the school’s 23 years as a community school, and Stacy now serves as the President of the CJDS Board of Directors. Stacy and Todd have been active leaders in the Charlotte Jewish community serving on the Boards of The Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, The Foundation of Shalom Park, The Levine Jewish Community Center, Temple Israel, and The Jewish Preschool on Sardis. Stacy and Todd have been involved in many non-profits and areactive philanthropists in the greater Charlotte community. 

Risa and David Miller moved to Charlotte in 1998. Noah (21) and Jordy (18) graduated from CJDS. Risa is the incoming President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte and served as President of the CJDS Board of Directors and a board member of the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community, the Jewish Preschool on Sardis and The Levine Jewish Community Center. Risa and David are engaged in upward social and economic mobility issues in Mecklenburg County.

In announcing the gift, the Millers and Gorelick named the fund in honor of school founder, Mariashi Groner:

By naming the fund, The Mariashi Groner Affordability Fund, we want to recognize the dedication and vision of CJDS school founder and director, Mariashi Groner. “It is Mariashi’s vision and her belief in teaching the values of Torah and making them relevant for our children that we wanted to honor her this way. Mariashi has made it possible for hundreds of children in our community to become knowledgeable, engaged Jewish adults around the world. Mariashi has been a leader in our community and her dedication and focus on the soul of each child has been a constant for the last forty years in Charlotte.We see how our children and our families have benefitted from the foundation created at CJDS. 

We believe that this gift of $1,000,000 in an endowment is just a start and will be an inspiration to others in our community who believe in the importance of Jewish education, and for many whose children have benefited from a CJDS education

While a $1,000,000 endowment will generate approximately $45,000 in annual revenue to offset middle income affordability grants for family tuition, CJDS awarded over $600,000 in grants for the 2021-2022 school year alone. Tuition Grants fall into three primary categories:

  • Jewish Professional Discounts: Any full time Jewish professional in the greater Charlotte Community is eligible for this grant which provides a 30% tuition discount for each child. These professionals dedicate their lives to building a Jewish community and life in Charlotte and they should be able to take advantage of the opportunities within the community. CJDS gave over $50,000 in tuition discounts to Jewish professionals for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • Traditional Financial Assistance:  Families who desire a Jewish education for their children but don’t have the financial means would qualify for Traditional assistance grants. CJDS awarded over $450,000 in tuition grants for these families.
  • The Affordability Program:  Geared toward families with multiple children who traditionally have not needed to seek financial assistance in the past. These families generally can pay most of the tuition but would not be able to pay all tuition for multiple children, while still being fiscally responsible to their family.  Just over $100,000 was awarded to families in this category.

All families are required to complete varying applications depending upon their situation. The goal is to find the appropriate tuition for each family, recognizing that every family has unique obligations such as paying for college, supporting elderly parents, paying for childcare, or paying for health insurance.

Philip Stark, a CJDS board member and parent of two graduates thanked the Millers and Gorelicks with these words, “Your donation will pave the way for the future children of CJDS as it did with our children to learn the ways of Torah. To always be loyal to the teachings of our faith and that the ideals of our people will live on through generations to come. If one thinks about all the trials and tribulations of the Jewish people have been through since we were slaves in Egypt, each Jewish birth is a miracle. In the years to come, I believe in my heart, the results of your generosity will be nothing short of a miracle as well.”

The Affordability Fund will be administered by The Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community (FCJC).  Executive Director Phil Warshauer said “We are very excited for the Miller and Gorelick families, as well as the Charlotte Jewish Day School.  Since I joined FCJC in 2006, this is the single largest endowment fund established by an institution that was not from a bequest or part of a building campaign. A gift of this size, made during the lifetimes of the donors, allows the two families to experience its benefits to the institution and the community.  In working with David and Risa and Stacy and Todd over the years, I know this fulfills one of their dreams.  The foundation is privileged to play a small part in the creation of this meaningful endowment.”

In the twenty-three years operating as a community school, under the leadership of Head of School, Mariashi Groner, along with a team of dedicated educators who have implemented a school of excellence, CJDS has stayed true to its vision. It is about the well-being of each child and guiding them to become engaged, positive citizens of the world. Our faith and trust in CJDS and the mission and vision which has been sustained and we hope will be sustained for generations to come.

We have a vision that the children of Charlotte Jewish Day School will…

  • Know that being Jewish is the essence of who they are
  • Be accomplished, educated students who are motivated, lifelong learners
  • Care about others even when it is difficult
  • Understand that it is more important to do their best than to be the best
  • Have the courage to stand up after they have stumbled
  • See the Torah as a blueprint for their lives
  • Develop a relationship with G-d that is always present
  • Be proud of their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses
  • Recognize the value of all people
  • Realize the importance of unity among all Jews
  • Feel an unconditional love for and connection to Israel and its people