Late last year, the Jewish Community Board convened a strategic planning committee to prioritize and recommend specific initiatives to sustain and advance Jewish life here in Akron. One of its recommendations was the need to focus on engaging families and reduce the cost of Jewish participation at our Jewish institutions, particularly among young Jewish families who are our future.
Using funds from the Albert L. and Janet A. Schultz Endowment for Jewish Programming and consistent with the Schultz family’s stated areas of interest, the J-Ticket was born.
“The cost of Jewish participation shouldn’t be a barrier for families,” says Harvey Freedman, President, Board of Directors of the Al and Janet Schultz Supporting Foundation. “J-Ticket is a welcoming, innovative approach that sends a message to families that the Akron community values them and is willing to invest in their Jewish participation. The Schultz Foundation is thrilled to support this new program.”
The new J-Ticket will significantly reduce the cost of the Mandel Early Childhood Education program or The Lippman School tuition, and the Shaw JCC Jewish summer camp. It also includes a discretionary program credit and a membership at participating synagogue, for Jewish families who choose to enroll and purchase a J-Ticket.
The thinking is that by significantly lowering the overall cost of participation to a convenient “bundle of services,” young Jewish families will be better able to engage in multiple programs and find an easier path to organized Jewish life in Akron.
“I am very excited about the J-Ticket program,” says Rick Spector, president of the Jewish Community Board of Akron. “Increasing Jewish family involvement in the Shaw JCC, The Lippman School, the Mandel ECE Center, and our synagogues will help Jewish Akron to become a vibrant, highly engaged Jewish Community.”
The J-Ticket is open to all Jewish families, regardless of financial need. The cost for enrollment depends on the J-Ticket chosen (see below). J-Ticket can be purchased by the participants themselves or by family members, such as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Applications for J-Tickets are now available through JCBA, the Shaw JCC, and The Lippman School and at www.jewishakron.org/j-ticket. Apply now for the J-Ticket to take effect this August.