Community raises $479,324 for REACH

Thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Jewish community, as well as supporters outside of Chicago, the REACH team raised an unprecedented amount of money in only 30 hours on a Charidy campaign. Over 325 donors, matched by several generous REACH donors raised nearly $480K for REACH. We at REACH, as well as at the ATT staff are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the community that we serve.

REACH is Chicago’s coordinated effort to build Jewish day schools’ capacity to support students with a wide range of needs in an inclusive way. Our vision is to ensure that all Jewish students can attend the Jewish day school of their choice.

Executive Director Julie Gordon, MA says, “REACH has had unprecedented growth, and these funds will enable us to sustain the high quality services we provide.”

These services include the following:

  • Direct services to students
  • Partnering to develop best practice systems, strategies and protocols for the needs of each specific school
  • Professional development, training and coaching 
  • Community collaboration

Thank you to the families who laid the foundation for the REACH program to grow and have such an impact on our day school community: 

  • Oscar A. & Bernice Novick
  • Crain Maling foundation
  • The Walder foundation
  • Rabbi Morris Esformes
  • Gayle (z”l) and Eric Rothner
  • Robert and Debra Hartman
  • Robinson Family Foundation
  • The parent body that spearheaded the growth of REACH led by the Broner and Sheinfeld families. 

One of the most exciting parts of running this online campaign was hearing the stories that came in from our teachers, parents and partner schools.

Following are a few of the stories we heard during our fundraiser. These are only some of the stories of how REACH help students succeed in school every single year. 

“Thanks to REACH, my daughter’s learned better study skills in order to prepare her for tests and improved her reading comprehension. Her teacher has been extremely flexible and easy going.”

^JDBY parent

“I have so much gratitude for this Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) training. It has really enhanced my ability to connect and communicate. 

With parents, I use the CPS reflective listening skills and empathy tools, and I cannot begin to tell you what a breakthrough that has been. Parents have walked away from challenging conversations feeling that we have a  united and collaborative effort, thanks to CPS.

I’ve also brought it into the classroom when there’s a challenge, and the kids were responsive and collaborative. I truly appreciate what I have gained as an educator, parent and spouse!” 

^JDBY Assistant Principal Rena Levovitz

“One eighth grade student this year went from reading 12 correct syllables per minute in Hebrew to 44 syllables correctly. The student has a significant specific learning disability in reading.”

^Ellah Orevi-Greenberg, M.Ed., LBSI

“REACH has helped my daughter overcome a difficult learning disability in reading. In the beginning of COVID, we noticed our daughter was reading a lot more and asking us to take books out of the library that she was reading in only one session. It’s only because of REACH that she has the ability to read and only because of REACH that the passion for her reading was unlocked as well.”

^Rabbi Reuven Gottesman

“Giving every single child the chance not just to be in the school of their choice but to succeed in the school of their choice is invaluable. I can personally say for my wife and me that our daughter wouldn’t be able to be in a Jewish school if it wasn’t for REACH’s services at JDBY,” says Rabbi Uri Zimmerman, a REACH parent and the ATT director of development.

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors, REACH has the ability to continue doing the important work of ensuring that every Jewish child has the opportunity and tools they need to succeed in the day school of their choice. When one child in our community is empowered, our whole community is lifted up.

REACH is an affiliate of the ATT and a partner with JUF in serving our community. Learn more about REACH here.