A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY: ANCHORING JEWISH DAY SCHOOL EDUCATION AND JEWISH LIFE IN MORRIS COUNTY
In the 45 years since its inception, Gottesman RTW Academy, has grown into a thriving academic institution, supporting the notion that a Jewish day school education remains a cornerstone of continuity for the Jewish people—arguably, one that is needed now more than ever before.
Today, GRTWA is as strong as it has ever been, and at this unique moment in its history, the school is launching a concurrent capital and endowment campaign to create an optimal building and campus while at the same time expanding endowments to support the highest levels of educational excellence as well as accessibility for all Jewish families, regardless of income. The goal is to stimulate, and then accommodate, continued enrollment growth and ensure the school’s future as a competitive, inspirational, top-quality Jewish day school that is a thriving anchor of Jewish life for Morris County and beyond.
ENDOWMENT GROWTH FOR EXCELLENCE AND AFFORDABILITY
Thanks to the vision and generosity of long-time benefactors Paula and Jerry Gottesman, GRTWA has become a national pioneer in endowment development in day school education. As a result of the support of this family and other highly committed supporters, the school has approximately $6.4 million in endowment assets. In recent years, these endowments have provided the critical combination of middle income affordability as well as academic excellence enhancements that have fueled the school’s recent success. Thus, to support greater numbers of families needing assistance, as well as continued excellence enhancements—including the ability to attract, retain and nurture the highest quality teachers—the school seeks to almost double its endowment assets to approximately $12 million by 2015. Broad endowment support is a cornerstone of success for private independent schools, and GRTWA seeks to continue to be a national leader in this area among Jewish day schools. A larger endowment will help both stimulate and support robust enrollment, which—when combined with careful fiscal management and continued success in annual fundraising— will secure the long-term fiscal health of the institution.
REVITALIZATION OF THE BUILDING AND CAMPUS
The current building is crowded and aging; there is significant need for expanded space to accommodate enrollment growth from the lower grades. To compete with quality private and public schools in the area, GRTWA needs a vastly improved and expanded physical structure, and development of specific areas of excellence to attract and retain Jewish families.
Recently, the school undertook an extensive community-wide consultative process, gathering input from close to 100 individuals, including staff, parents, alumni, former parents, rabbis, Jewish community leaders, and officials from the surrounding community. This process found tremendous commitment to the institution and enthusiasm about the overall capital plans, as well as deep gratitude for the benefactors and leaders who continue to envision a greater future for GRTWA.
The community consultation confirmed GRTWA leaders’ current approach to create a modern, technologically advanced, impressive structure that still retains GRTWA’s warm, welcoming atmosphere and is reflective of our rich Jewish heritage. When feasible, the new building should be “green” (environmentally friendly) in order to contain energy costs long-term and to teach students vital lessons about respecting and preserving the earth. This community input, combined with the Capital Endowment Committee’s work to date, has crystallized around these main priorities:
- 21st Century Classrooms: large, flexible in use of space, fully wired to foster communication and learning from across the nation, in Israel and around the world.
- Technology/Science Center: designed to accommodate the teaching of multiple science disciplines as well as advanced computer learning
- Center for the Arts: space for ceramics and visual arts as well as a performing arts stage
- Modern Library: housing Judaic and secular printed books as well as digital technologies, reflecting both the past and future
- Beit Midrash: inspirational space with flexible walls to accommodate smaller groups as well as the whole school body
- Gymnasium/Cafeteria: with lockers and fitness and sports equipment, and easily transferable to cafeteria use
- Teaching Excellence Resource Center: with both advanced technology and traditional sources as well as meeting space for faculty to foster continued professional development among teachers
- Outdoor Athletic Fields: including basketball court, soccer baseball/softball fields, and play areas
- Impressive Entrance: both reflective of our Jewish heritage and the history of the institution, including modern features with a nod to the future
In addition, the building would include other standard school features such as administrative offices, a kitchen, and a conference room. Some areas, particularly for athletics or the arts, could also be used as community spaces, either after school hours or with appropriate separation. These community uses whould seek to strengthen the fabric of our Jewish community, to increase engagement with the school and, thereby, future enrollment and donor opportunities, and to be net revenue-producing for GRTWA to help secure the overall financial sustainability of the GRTWA
For more information about Gottesman RTW Academy's plans and giving opportunities, contact Naomi Bacharach, Director of Institutional Advancement, 973-584-5530, ext 3015, or firstname.lastname@example.org.