Jewish Community Day School (JCDS) is thrilled to have been formally accepted into the prestigious Governance & Fundraising Academy Focus of the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE).

Supported by funding from The Avi Chai Foundation, the Governance & Fundraising Academy is based on PEJE’s many years of experience and knowledge of best practices in Jewish Day School sustainability. Designed specifically for small schools, the 18-month curriculum is constructed around targeted workshops and individualized coaching to create the short and long term initiatives needed to solidify the fiscal health of JCDS.

According to Dr. Harry Bloom, PEJE Strategy Manager for Day School Sustainability, the decision to accept JCDS into the program was influenced by the tenacity of its leaders in the face of adversity and their personal commitment to school and community as well as to completing a top quality comprehensive program and application process.

Some of the key selection criteria included having:

• Stable leadership in its Head of School position

• A highly functioning board of directors

• A respected and inspiring lay-professional team, including an experienced development professional on staff, to work with its PEJE coach and to participate in trainings

• A track record of working with community-wide teams of professionals and volunteers and successful face-to-face solicitations

“We at PEJE believe that JCDS’s eagerness, enthusiasm and team commitment will be a true asset to the success of this program for JCDS and the Governance & Fundraising Academy Focus Program at large,” Bloom said.

According to Sharon Pollin, Head of School, gaining entrance to the GFA Focus is a huge statement of belief in the viability of JCDS.

“Knowing that PEJE and Avi Chai believe in us, our participation in PEJE Focus will propel us to even greater heights in the areas of governance, professional leadership and fundraising,” Pollin said. “It will successfully serve to engage our leadership and steward our school towards strategic management of our fiscal health and long-term success in fulfilling our mission, vision, and philosophy.”

JCDS instills in its Pre-K to 5th grade students a love of learning invigorated by academic excellence. It is grounded in Jewish tradition where we foster spirituality (emunah), dedication to repair our world (tikkun olam) and commitment to the entire Jewish people (klal Yisrael). Located at 3747 West Esplanade in Metairie’s Goldring Woldenberg Campus, JCDS is a nurturing school where families of all backgrounds are welcomed and children are prepared to be engaged, compassionate leaders of their communities in the United States Israel and the world.

The mission of PEJE is to strengthen Jewish day school sustainability and affordability. Avi Chai is a private foundation endowed by Zalman C. Bernstein that is committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people.

For additional information, visit or call (504) 887-4091.

The Jewish Light