'We stem the tide of intermarriage'

Be'er Hagolah in New York gives children of immigrant Jews affordable Jewish education.

Eliran Aharon ,

Hafrashat challah at Be'er Hagolah
Hafrashat challah at Be'er Hagolah
Eliran Aharon

A private school in the US is a prohibitively expensive matter for people of limited means, and many Jewish children wind up studying in non-Jewish public schools as a result. Many of these children wind up marrying non-Jews.

Be'er Hagolah School in New York City is the product of a decision to fight this phenomenon and to fight over every single Jewish child.

Be'er Hagolah – which depends on donations for its existence – gives parents the opportunity to send their children to a private Jewish school, at a low price. They receive a Jewish Zionist education – and many of them decide to make Aliyah at 18.

I joined them for a day, in which the girls performed a particularly moving "hafrashat challah" ceremony.

Mrs. Tzipporah Holland, one of the founders of the school told us: "Every day means new excitement; we don't give up on a single Jewish child. We teach them Torah, Zionism and all about Eretz Yisrael".

Rabbi Mordechai German, the principal, explained that he feels a sense of shlichut, or mission. "We stem the tide of intermarriage," he explained.

Be’er Hagolah prides itself on a high level of education in both Hebrew and secular studies. Honors classes provide enrichment to gifted students, while resource rooms provide additional support to students.

Ninety eight percent of the students go on to universities and colleges and many of these go on to learn in yeshivos and seminaries. Despite the high cost of private education and funding cuts, Be’er Hagolah says it remains "unshakably committed to its founding core policy: no child is turned away because of financial reasons – ever."