About the Initiative


The Los Angeles High School Affordability Initiative (LAHSAI) model is a partnership between BJE: Builders of Jewish Education, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Simha & Sara Lainer Day School Endowment Fund, and 5 Los Angeles Jewish high schools. The Initiative originated from the Jim Joseph Foundation’s (Foundation) commitment to Jewish education and its desire to address the challenges of middle income affordability, especially for high school aged students. Research indicates that attending day school is not only associated with the highest level of academic achievement, but also that individuals who graduate from Jewish high schools have deeper Jewish connections, exhibit more Jewish behavior, and have greater Jewish knowledge compared to their peers who do not graduate from Jewish high schools. However, the high cost of such an education in Los Angeles was making this ideal unaffordable for middle income families and threatening the financial viability of Jewish high schools. The Foundation and BJE: Builders of Jewish Education worked collaboratively to develop the initiative model with four overarching goals:

lightStabilize and incrementally increase enrollments of students from middle-income families attending five Jewish high schools by providing tuition assistance

lightHelp those five high schools build future capacity to support tuition subsidies for middle income families through the creation of endowments

lightStimulate $21.25 million of community fundraising (both communal and school-based)

lightCreate a model for high school tuition subsidy support that is adaptable to other communities

In addition, the initiative aims to achieve mid- and long-term outcomes for participating schools with a further eye towards ensuring sustainability by:

lightImproving each school’s capacity to enroll students from middle income Jewish families

lightIncreasing understanding of the importance of sustainable endowments

lightBuilding capacity to improve marketing and student recruitment and retention

This site is dedicated to telling the story of how the model was launched in LA, the process of change brought about through the model, and the lessons learned during model implementation. Various materials and interviews help to share each school’s story – highlighting challenges and successes – on the way to reaching goals. We also link to documents and resources that were created and leveraged throughout the grant period. Information is organized to describe the process of planning, creating, building, and evaluating the LA High School Affordability Initiative. By sharing our story, we hope that others can determine if adapting this model (either in parts or in its entirety) will help make Jewish day or high school education more affordable for middle-income families in their communities.

Learn more about the environmental factors leading to the genesis of the model.