First Report: The news spread far and wide.
With the school year just days away, an outstanding mosad for chinuch habanos in Lakewood, NJ, would be forced to close its doors because of financial issues.
Ateres Tzipora, a school with an enrollment of 180 girls in primary through eighth grade, would shutter its doors, leaving these girls and their families with nowhere to turn.
For many years, Ateres Tzipora was supported by two families whose daughters attended the school. Eventually, those girls moved on to high school and Ateres Tzipora needed to find new funding. Since then, the school has teetered. It all came to a head with the approach of this coming school year. The school would not be able to open. The fiscal challenge was just too great to overcome.
Ateres Tzipora, it should be pointed out, is not just any school. It is a student’s home away from home known for its warmth and acceptance. Ateres Tzipora menaheles Mrs. Shulamith Insel has ensured that Ateres Tzipora isn’t a cookie cutter institution, but an all-inclusive mosad that embraces every talmidah with open arms. Every girl is nurtured in order to maximize her potential, and it makes no difference what background she comes from.
Ateres Tzipora would have to stay open. But how?
Letters, emails, online posts, a charity campaign… The efforts were varied. But they were still insufficient. There was no answer.
Who would step in to save the day? Who would ensure that the 180 students could put on their uniforms, pack up their knapsacks, and hold their heads up high, knowing that they have a place to go to?
One person heard the cries. One person saw the tears. One person felt the anguish.
And that one person couldn’t sit by and watch.
That person, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, has become synonymous with philanthropy within the frum community and beyond. In fact, he has completely redefined philanthropy, breaking new ground and going where no one else has gone before in terms of his tzedakah-giving and concern for the welfare of Klal Yisroel. He is a trailblazer of historic proportions.
When Shlomo Yehuda learned of Ateres Tzipora’s imminent closure, he could not allow it to happen.
As he’s done before, Shlomo Yehuda stepped in to proclaim that he will do whatever he can.
The fact that he resides in Los Angeles, thousands of miles away, never entered the equation, because Shlomo Yehuda’s heart is so expansive that it encompasses every Jewish community across the globe. When a child is in pain, Shlomo Yehuda is in pain. When a family is in crisis, Shlomo Yehuda treats that crisis as his own.
And when a yeshiva or school is on the brink of closure, Shlomo Yehuda takes it personally. He just cannot let it happen.
Details are still being ironed out, but Shlomo Yehuda has committed himself to providing the funding to ensure that Ateres Tziporah will open for the 2018 school year in a timely fashion. He will meet with board members of the school and others to ensure that going forward, the school will be able to operate on a firm financial footing, so that it can continue to educate its precious young charges b’derech Yisroel saba.
Also noteworthy is that Ateres Tzipora has graciously agreed to take in 20 students who were slated to attend Ateres Bais Yaakov, a school that recently closed. Thus, the salvation of Ateres Tziporah will ultimately provide these additional girls, under the leadership of Mrs. Insel, with the quality chinuch they deserve.
Once again, in a manifestation of heroic altruism and selflessness, and in a tremendous kiddush Hashem, Shlomo Yehuda showed the power of a yochid who truly cares about Hashem and His children.