Maintaining Toronto’s Position as a Leader in Jewish Education

Half a century ago, UJA Federation’s leadership took audacious steps to strategically invest in growing the Jewish Day School system. To this day, we continue to benefit from one of the strongest, most diverse and unified Jewish day school systems in the world. Our leadership, professionals, philanthropic endeavors, and Jewish character have all been strengthened as a result of UJA’s investment in Jewish day schools.

Unfortunately, growth and expansion in the Jewish education system is at a standstill. The status quo is unacceptable and cannot continue. From 2001 to 2011, tuition increased on average by 62% while household income rose by only 11%. The cost of rising tuition is forcing families out of the system. Over the last fifteen years, enrollment in Toronto’s non-Orthodox schools has dropped by over 20%.

We will make Jewish Education a key focus of this strategic plan in order that our educational infrastructure continues to strengthen our community into future generations. Our efforts will be concentrated on the issues of affordability, particularly for middle-income families, and increasing enrollment across the system.

MetricCurrent ValueTarget
Jewish day school enrollmentIn 2011, 34% of elementary aged Jewish children and 25% of high school aged Jewish children attended Jewish day school. Since 2011, enrollment had declined and market penetration has also probably decreased.Day School Enrollment: Achieve market penetration of 32% for elementary school and 22% for high school.
Annual attrition (from grades 1-6) Annual attrition (from grades 1-6) is approximately 6%.Attrition: Reduce elementary school attrition rate from 6% to 4% annually
Day School affordability For over a decade, increases in day school tuition have significantly outpaced increases in CPI and average household income. UJA’s tuition assistance program is not being accessed by middle-income families who instead, leave the system, or never enter. 90% of those receiving tuition assistance have a household income under $150,000.Make day school affordable for middle income families: Increase the number of students from middle income families (household income of $150k-$350k) accessing tuition assistance from 375 to 800. On a percentage basis, 30% of students accessing assistance will be from families in middle income brackets.