Two yet-to-be-opened Hebrew charter schools in New Jersey each received federal grants of $200,000 and were among only 23 charter schools nationally to receive the grants, totaling $5 million.
One of the schools, however, Tikkun Olam in Highland Park, N.J., has not yet obtained a charter to operate; its third application to the New Jersey Department of Education was recently rejected.
The other school, Shalom Academy Hebrew Charter School in Englewood, got a charter in January and was originally scheduled to open this fall. The school generated much interest from Modern Orthodox Jews in Teaneck and Englewood, many of whom registered for it and were disappointed when, in mid-summer, it announced that its opening would be postponed a year.
Shalom Academy’s founder, Raphael Bachrach, has declined repeated requests for an interview and, according to one founder, declined to share information even with other founders about plans for the k-5 school.
Neither school is affiliated with the New York-based Hebrew Charter School Center, which has provided funding and support to New Jersey’s only operating Hebrew charter school, Hatikvah International Academy in East Brunswick.
Citing unspecified “deficiencies,” the application for the Tikun Olam Hebrew Language High School became one of 56 charter school applications rejected by the education department on Sept. 30, the New Jersey Jewish News reported. Only four new charter schools were approved by the state.