(Courtesy of NEJA) This past summer, the New England Jewish Academy (NEJA) – a newly merged Orthodox Nursery-12th grade school serving the Greater Hartford, New Haven and Springfield region – launched a transformational initiative reducing tuition by up to $10,000 per student. Thanks to the extraordinary vision and generosity of local philanthropists and community leaders Ann and Jeremy Pava, NEJA announced the new plan in an effort to remove cost as a barrier for families wanting to send their children to a Jewish day school.
“We genuinely believe that sending children to a Jewish day school is the most important decision parents can make,” said Ann Pava, who recently served as president of Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools. “We know that day schools immerse entire families in exploring our tradition, securing sacred values and enabling a knowledge and understanding of Judaism that can never be replicated elsewhere.”
The new pricing structure announced for New England Jewish Academy sets tuition for students in K-1 at $5000, in grades 2-5 at $7500, in grades 6-8 at $9500 and in grades 9-12 at $12,000. Additional financial aid is also available for families in need.
“The amazing part of this initiative is that it allows the school to reduce tuition while not making any compromises on the educational experience,” noted Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Mara D’Atra of the Young Israel of West Hartford and founding board member of NEJA. “It has even sparked a community-driven Educational Excellence Campaign, which is raising over $150,000 annually and will be used for teacher development, additional learning support and other educational enhancements throughout the school. All this enables NEJA to continue to enhance the quality of its education even while committing to keeping tuition low and affordable by offering one of the most robust tuition initiatives in the country”.
Housed on the beautiful campus of one of its constituent schools, the Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE), New England Jewish Academy has also embarked on a building project, adding an additional 8000 sq ft wing, in order to locate the entire school on a single campus. “Having one spacious campus for students of all ages creates a rich and vibrant center of education and serves as a real-world model to facilitate Middot, Torah values and personal growth both in and out of the classroom,” explained Dr. Isaac (Yitz) Moss, chair of UCONN Department of Orthopedic Surgery and co-President of the school.
NEJA is located in the beautiful and leafy town of West Hartford, CT, about a two-hour drive from both New York City and Boston. West Hartford is home to a rich and warm Jewish community and boasts a vibrant Centrist Orthodox center. With lower costs of living, affordable real estate, numerous opportunities for employment – together with all the important Jewish communal amenities – the West Hartford Orthodox community and the Young Israel has experienced significant growth in the last five years, attracting families from all across the United States.
The New England Jewish Academy prepares its students to think critically and creatively, to conduct themselves in accord with the highest ethical standards of our tradition, and to live an engaged Jewish life in the wider world. The school’s core values speak to a school and a community that takes its Jewish commitment as seriously as its academics, its learning Torah as seriously as its responsibilities to the broader community, its cultivation of model behavior as seriously as its bond to the state of Israel. These values are reinforced inside the classroom, through the rigorous schedule of general and Judaic studies throughout the school, and outside of the classroom, with many programs with senior citizens, the Israeli emissaries, and regular visits to the Innovation Maker Space both on campus and in downtown Hartford.
Graduates have gone on to competitive colleges such as Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Barnard, the University of Michigan, MIT, Yeshiva University and the University of Maryland and to top yeshivot and seminaries such as Yeshivat Har Etzion, Orayta, Migdal Oz, Nishmat and Midreshet Lindenbaum.