In light of the decline of Russian Aliya, are Shuvu schools still necessary?

Although fewer Russian Jews are arriving in Israel today, the special needs of the Israeli Russian community are as great as ever. Their culture and mentality are very dynamic and passed on from generation to generation, making it difficult for their children to integrate into regular Israeli schools. Due to parents’ lack of Jewish identity and the reality that many immigrant families still living below the poverty line, this community cannot afford basic medical care or to send their children to summer camps. They still need Shuvu to meet their physical and spiritual needs.

Israeli schools are funded by the government, why does Shuvu require private donations?

Shuvu’s annual budget is roughly $20,000,000.

$15,000,000 (or 75%) is funded through Israel’s Ministry of Education, local municipalities and tuition, leaving Shuvu to raise $5,000,000 a year, or over $400,000 each month. Our budget is higher than average Israeli schools because of the additional benefits we offer, such as afternoon hours of education, the daily hot lunch, transportation for students who do not live near their school, and our lower-than-average teacher-student ratio.

Why don’t Shuvu parents pay for their children’s education?

Most Shuvu students come from very low income homes, close to 45% from single parent families and unemployment rates are high among Russian immigrants. Parents pay a minimal tuition fee towards the extra programs but due to their financial distress Shuvu cannot charge them higher tuition rates to cover all expenses.

Why is Shuvu education better than Israeli public school education?

Shuvu’s unique mathematics and science elementary school curriculum are among the highest standards in the country. Our upgraded technical and science high school programs are designed to enable students to succeed in Israel’s hi-tech sector. Shuvu publishes its own math textbooks which are often two years ahead of the standard texts and include topics which are not generally taught in Israeli schools. Standards of discipline are also much higher: in our Year 10 Survey, 84% of the parents said that there is less violence in Shuvu than other schools and 71% believe that students learn better behavior and have greater respect for teachers and parents, with better classroom discipline.

What do Shuvu graduates do?

The Shuvu Schools Network already has alumni representatives in every respected field in Israeli society. Many of our high school graduates enlist in the IDF after 12th grade and serve in elite units before attending university and/or undertaking intensive Jewish studies in yeshiva. Some enroll in prestigious programs as Machon Lev while others choose to study for a few years in Yeshiva before their national service. Our alumni have become leaders in the Israeli military, in the Jewish community, law, medicine, education and hi-tech.

Although they come from impoverished homes with no Jewish identity, as graduates of our top-notch educational program, our students find all career opportunities are open to them. They are raising proud families based on Jewish values.

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