Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) is partnering with the Ruderman Family Foundation to create the Morton E. Ruderman Inclusion Scholarship Fund to help make Jewish day schools more accessible and affordable for children with disabilities. The $3 million in new funding, paid out over five years, will allow Greater Boston day schools to significantly defray the cost of special education services (both school-based and ancillary services), for students of families in need of financial aid.
The funding will also support a new program aimed at building day school teacher capacity to more effectively serve all students, including those with special learning needs. The Response to Intervention (or RTI) program will involve up to five day school pilot sites throughout Greater Boston. It will be implemented through a partnership with CJP, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education, several day schools and the Ruderman Family Foundation.
Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, says the family has been looking for an appropriate way to honor their father since Morton Ruderman passed away in 2011.
“Everyone deserves a fair shot in life – that was a bedrock value of my father’s. It seemed to us fundamentally unfair that because they were born with a disability, some children were unable to get a Jewish education. My father’s investment [in philanthropy] transformed how Boston approaches people with different abilities. We felt that this was an opportunity to honor his legacy.”
All financial aid determinations and decisions are made by the individual schools using objective assessments and standards. Participating schools include: BAIS Yaakov of Boston High School for Girls; Cohen Hillel Academy; Gann Academy; JCDS, Boston’s Jewish Community Day School; Maimonides School; MetroWest Jewish Day School; New England Hebrew Academy; Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston; Striar Hebrew Academy; The Rashi School; and Torah Academy.