CESJDS Has Annual Dial-A-Thon

Miriam Minsk, News Editor

The Dial-A-Thon, which is currently taking place, is an annual fundraising event during which students and volunteers call donors and ask for pledges to raise money for the Ma’ayan campaign. Ma’ayan, JDS’s fundraising initiative, covers the $1.5 million budget gap between the student tuition and the money needed to successfully run the school building and programs. Specifically, it provides funding for extracurricular activities, teacher and faculty salaries, school maintenance, electrical bills and supports the 42 percent of the student body who receive financial aid.

Last year the Ma’ayan campaign raised $1.6 million and Associate Director of Campaign Heath Jacobsohn hopes to meet that goal again. In order to reach this goal, Jacobsohn is striving to increase participation in the campaign.

“One of the things that we are focused on this year with [Ma’ayan], is that even families who are on tuition assistance, we are asking them to participate,” Jacobsohn said. “We are asking faculty and staff to participate 100 percent, and they are at a 75 percent participation rate right now. We are asking all parents to make a gift of whatever they are comfortable with to participate.”

Dial-A-Thon chair Lynn Morgan explains benefits of participating.

“We find that the more people who are invested in Ma’ayan campaign, and we are talking about as little as 18 dollars, but the more people who make that investment feel more a part of our school,” Lynn said.

In past years the Dial-A-Thon has raised as much as $30,000 for the school, and Lynn and Jacobsohn agree that student participation is a large contributor.

“A lot of older people love talking to the students rather than just another adult,” Lynn said. “We find that they often give more when they are able to hear an enthusiastic student who is currently enjoying our day school program, rather than a professional, or rather than a mom.”

However, alumna Tessa Silverman has different opinions about the event.

“I’ve found that generally calling people at home is not that effective a means of raising money because those who would donate regardless don’t need a phone call, and anyone else isn’t going to be persuaded to give more than a few dollars by a voice over the phone,” Silverman said. “Personally, I’ve never had anyone I called commit to donate. More often, people just get annoyed and tell me that they already give enough to the school and tuition is already really high.”

50 students participated in the Dial-A-Thon last year, and Dean of Students Roslyn Landy and Dial-A-Thon Student Chair Natalie Morgan have been working to promote this year’s event through Facebook posts and school-wide emails. Dinner is and raffle prizes are being offered at the Dial-A-Thon and students who attend receive community service hours for their volunteer work.