I was surprised to note that there was no mention of tuition for the religious after-school program that pairs with the Hebrew charter schools cited in Julie Wiener’s article, “For Charters’ Jewish Cousins, So Near, So Far” (Dec. 31).
And while she quotes [Solomon Schechter Day School Association Executive] Elaine Cohen that it would be “demoralizing and counterproductive” for a day school to offer a religious after-school program, it is surprising that Wiener does not mention anywhere that one of the main driving forces behind the promotion of Hebrew charter schools is the current untenable tuition costs of a Jewish day school education.
I think parents are desperate to find some alternative way to finance a Jewish education other than the Jewish day school system. Let us keep in mind, that we are asking Jewish parents to finance, through their taxes, a public school education (which they are not using) and a Jewish day school education as well. My husband and I were average middle-class folks and were so drained by paying full tuition that we could not send our children to Jewish day camps, nor give our children the advantages of other cultural venues (museums, etc). My children, who earn more than we did, are now faced with such daunting tuition costs that I can only pray that a Hebrew charter school will open in Manhattan. I will even make cakes for their bake sales. And if there is a religious after-school program that comes with it, I will bake cakes for them as well.