The following assumptions informed the design of the LAHSAI and served as the underlying framework for the LAHSAI Model:
Faced with the financial realities of LA’s high cost of living, many middle income families are deterred from even considering – let alone enrolling – their high school age children in Jewish high schools while other families have their children begin Jewish high school but drop out before graduation. In many instances, there is a nearly 40 percent jump in tuition cost from Jewish middle school to high school.
Many middle income families do not believe that they can afford four years of a Jewish high school for each child. Among these families, some are either embarrassed to apply for financial aid or do not believe that they would qualify.
Substantial funding support for teens of middle income families will lead to an incremental increase in enrollment at the five Los Angeles high schools over a six year period.
Jewish high schools are deterred from accepting students without prior Jewish day school background due to the high cost of Mechina classes these students need in order to fully participate in high school-level Judaic programs.
Jewish families are deterred from applying to Jewish high schools because they do not believe that their child can succeed if they have not previously attended a Jewish elementary or middle school.
By providing schools with subsidies for Mechina programs, Jewish high schools will be more willing to accept and educate students from limited Hebrew language and Judaic backgrounds. Therefore, more families will consider enrolling their child in a Jewish high school.
Most Jewish high schools do not have the infrastructure for effective annual fundraising let alone the resources required to launch endowment programs. Funds that are raised are most often used to fund annual scholarships and/or immediate school operation needs.
If Jewish high schools are provided with funds to hire development professionals, and presented with financial incentives to create long-term endowments, they will begin to build their capacity and lay the groundwork for effective fundraising.
Based on research demonstrating the positive outcomes of an extensive (six or more years) Jewish education, especially in the high school years, ,entering day school and continuing to Jewish high school increases the likelihood of a young Jew choosing to engage in ongoing Jewish learning and choosing to live a vibrant Jewish life.