On Monday, Agudath Israel’s Government Affairs Division announced the winners of its School Choice Essay Contest. Over 3000 applications were distributed and 17 schools in five states participated in the contest.
“School choice programs have the potential to dramatically reduce the tuition burden our families are facing. This essay contest not only awarded deserving, talented young writers, but also raised awareness of Agudath Israel’s efforts on behalf of this worthy issue,” said Rabbi Dovid Schnell, President of Agudath Israel of Illinois.
The winners, from schools in four different states, most articulately shared why school choice programs – including scholarship tax credit programs and education vouchers – can benefit the Jewish community. This contest is part of Agudath Israel’s effort to promote the benefits of school choice programs to Orthodox communities across the country.
With programs currently in effect in 11 states and Washington DC, school choice has benefitted thousands of families, providing tuition relief and enabling parents to choose the best education for their child, regardless of financial considerations.
“We are proud to partner with Agudath Israel to promote school choice and offer the winners our congratulations,” said Andrew Campanella, spokesman for the Alliance for School Choice. “This contest is just another example of Agudath Israel’s commitment to finding common-sense solutions for the rising cost of a quality education.”
Agudath Israel offers its warmest congratulations to the winners, their families, and their schools.
The High School Division (Grades 9-12) winners are:
Grand Prize: Hannah Dreyfus, New Haven, CT, 12th grade, Bruriah High School, Elizabeth, NJ
1st Place: Joseph Rubin, Lincolnwood, IL, 9th grade, Fasman Yeshiva High School, Skokie, IL
2nd Place: Nechama Saltzman, Milwaukee, WI, 11th grade, Torah Academy of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
The Elementary School Division (Grades 4-8) winners are:
Grand Prize: Andy Frederick, Houston, TX, 8th grade, The Emery/Weiner School, Houston, TX
1st Place: Zahava Schuman, Chicago, IL, 5th grade, Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov, Chicago, IL
2nd Place: Aharon Dovid Soloveitchik, Lakewood, NJ, 6th grade, Lakewood Cheder, Lakewood, NJ
The grand prize winner in the High School Division will receive one year of tuition at an Orthodox school and the grand prize winner in the Elementary School Division will receive a camp scholarship. The first and second place winners in both divisions will receive savings bonds in the amount of $1,000 and $500, respectively.
“It was absolutely heartwarming to read the beautiful essays that were submitted,” said Agudath Israel National Director of Government affairs, Rabbi Yehiel Kalish. “Each one spoke honestly and seriously about the great need for tuition relief for our families. These essays, and the dialogue created by the contest, will only enhance Agudath Israel’s efforts on behalf of Jewish families across the nation.”