The ATT and it’s REACH program are proud and grateful to announce we have been selected to receive multi-year grants from the Northwest Home for the Aged (NWHA) and Park Plaza. This $5 million multi-year gift, earmarked for operational use for all Jewish Schools in Chicago, is in addition to the funding ATT received from NWHA and Park Plaza in 2019 to support and sustain Jewish day school education across the Chicago Jewish community.
Funding from the gift will be allocated in three ways:
1. Building well-resourced, highly effective support services departments in all of our Jewish day schools including hiring new resource staff.
2. Hiring occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists for full-time work in our system
3. Working with all school staff to ensure that student needs are being met in the most inclusive classroom setting.
This gift builds on NWHA’s ethos of service to the Chicago Jewish community for more than 75 years and its mission of providing high quality housing for Jewish seniors. NWHA’s flagship facility is Park Plaza, an independent living community located on the far north side of Chicago.
The ATT honored NWHA with the Crain Maling Pillar of Education at its annual dinner in 2019.
“The Hebrew words l’dor v’dor are literally inscribed into the doors at Park Plaza,” says Alan Caplan, president of Northwest Home for the Aged. “From generation to generation; that’s what we believe in, as individuals and as part of the Jewish community, and that’s exactly what this gift is: a gift that gives from one generation to the next, and the next after that. We at NWHA/Park Plaza are thrilled to make these gifts to support Jewish education in and around our communities.”
The NWHA/Park Plaza grant will have a far-reaching impact on ATT’s REACH program. Rusi Sukenik, REACH’s director of student services noted, “This endowment enables us to provide support to schools and teachers to teach struggling learners in a manner that best fits the student and addresses the needs and learning styles and needs of each student.” Rabbi Mordechai Raizman, ATT’s Executive Director of Operations added, “An endowment of this magnitude impacts our day school community in a profound manner. It ensures that no parent will worry that their child is falling through the cracks. This grant gives everyone a chance to succeed. Programs such as REACH are very costly to sustain. This grant is visionary in its nature and will allow us to provide for children for many years to come.”
Jewish diversity, inclusion, and acceptance are the hallmarks of NWHA/Park Plaza. The community’s residents span the spectrum of Jewish observance and experience. Many are lifelong Chicagoans. Others have moved to Chicago to be close to adult children and to enjoy a secure, supportive, and fully modern and updated facility. Park Plaza provides a rich Jewish life that includes broad based programming as well as kosher meal service. Park Plaza recently completed a major renovation to allow it to continue to provide a high quality of life to its residents.
The cross-generational aspects of Park Plaza are obvious the moment one enters. “Local school kids, grandkids, great-grandkids … they’re here all the time,” said Elly Bauman, Executive Director of Park Plaza. “Kids are here to celebrate Shabbat and holidays, to visit relatives, and to volunteer. It’s part of what helps us fulfill our mission of providing Jewish seniors with a life that’s not just comfortable, but which has dignity and meaning.”
“It’s just really what Park Plaza and Northwest Home for the Aged are all about,” added Alan Caplan. “We put ‘l’dor v’dor’ front and center, the first thing you see when you enter the building, whether you’re a resident or a first-time visitor. It’s what grounds the Jewish community.
Northwest Home for the Aged couldn’t be more pleased to put our primary principle into action with these gifts. They are investments in the future of our community.”