Kohelet Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Kohelet Foundation was founded by Renaissance Technologies veteran David Magerman. Kohelet's education grantmaking centers on supporting Jewish day schools in the Philadelphia area. The foundation also runs a fellowship program through other Jewish institutions. 

IP TAKE: While Kohelet prioritizes Philladelphia in its K-12 grantmaking, it also funds organizations across the United States. It also accepts LOIs by email or snail mail.

PROFILE: David Magerman founded the Kohelet Foundation in order to find a better and more affordable way to run Jewish day schools. The foundation supports Jewish day schools of all denominations, which serve the greater Philadelphia region. Currently, the foundation and severalJewish schools in Greater Philadelphia work together to "maximize the impact of current and new resources to the day school community in the form of joint academic and non-academic programs and funding." Kohelet hopes that these collaborations will ultimately create a "Jewish School District." Collaborative schools include: Abrams Hebrew Academy, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, Kellman Brown Academy, Kosloff Torah Academy, and Perelman Jewish Day School.

The foundation runs the Kohelet Fellowships Program, a "two-year Jewish learning experience" which focuses on the parents of Jewish day school students. Fellows study Jewish texts, and participate in community learning events, among other things. Fellows also receive tuition breaks from their schools, funded by the Kohelet Foundation and its partners as a grant to each school. Participating Jewish schools have included Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Boca Raton, The Epstein School in Atlanta, Denver Academy of Torah, and The Ramaz School in New York City.

Kohelet also inhabits the blended learning space. In concert with Affordable Jewish Education Project, and The AVI CHAI Foundation, the foundation helped launch a grant program called BOLD Day Schools or Blending Online Learning in Day School. So far, several Jewish day schools have been selected for the BOLD project. In addition, the foundation partners with Yeshiva University. In 2013, Kohelet gave a six-year $720,000 grant to provide scholarships to students from Jewish community day schools.

The foundation accepts letters of inquiry by email or snail mail. Per Kohelet's website, reviewing and responding to a letter of inquiry normally takes about four weeks. 

PEOPLE:

  • David Magerman, President and Founder
  • Nancy Bonner, Executive Administrator & Grants Manager
  • Holly Cohen, Executive Director

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