Dallas Doings: Priya meeting, student loans, Incubator grant

Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray

Community parlor meeting: Priya, a Fund for Jewish Reproduction of the DJCF

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples are impacted by infertility, and the average IVF treatment costs over $12,000? Infertility is a life crisis that affects couples financially as well as emotionally.
Please join a communitywide parlor meeting to learn about Priya, a Fund for Jewish Reproduction of the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation. The meeting will be held at the JCC in Fruhman A on Monday, May 9 from 6:45 to 8 p.m.
The Priya Fund financially assists Jewish couples who are struggling with infertility. Many couples cannot afford the high cost of treatment for this condition or for adoption.
Couples who apply for a grant from Priya must belong to an area synagogue as their grant awards are distributed through the discretionary funds of the rabbis in their synagogue. In the discreet application process, the couple must also share their plans for their future child’s ongoing Jewish upbringing. The grant committee reviews applications whose personal information has been removed so applicants can confidently know their identity is protected.
The Fund was started by Rabbi David and Annie Glickman. After they moved from Dallas, the Priya Fund committee was reorganized. It now has a senior advisory board (Amanda and Scott Beck and Joel Roffman) and a larger advisory board, with planned outreach to area day schools, synagogues and other Jewish organizations. To date, the Priya Fund has assisted in the joyous birth of six Jewish babies.
The volunteers of Priya are proud to be able to assist Jewish couples in growing their Jewish family and is grateful for both financial and volunteer help to assist in furthering this mission. If you would like to attend the May 9 meeting, please RSVP by calling 214-615-9351 or emailing mallen@djcf.org. For more information, please visit http://www.djcf.org/priya.
— Submitted by Mona Allen

DHFLA tackles student debt

Dallas Hebrew Free Loan has launched a new interest-free Higher Education Consolidation Loan program. It will allow graduates the chance to reduce the impact of interest on their lives. Clients borrow up to $25,000 to help consolidate and reduce the effective interest of their outstanding non-DHFLA education loans.
Education is the key to so many things, including a better job, health insurance, and home ownership. Yet the cost of education can place an extraordinary burden on many young adults. It is not uncommon to hear about student loan debt exceeding $100K.
Young adults who shoulder this amount of student loan debt oftentimes must delay decisions such as starting a family or purchasing a house or car in order to reduce these outstanding debts.
“I have a good-paying job as a professional but I had to take a second job” is a stark reality for some of these graduates.
The economic actuality of paying for the degrees that they worked so hard to achieve have long-term consequences, when student loans have interest rates between 6 and 9 percent per year. In order to afford the payments, the terms are as long as 25 years, which effectively increases the amount of interest they are required to pay back.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Aaron Friedman pursued a graduate course of study in industrial and organizational psychology. He earned his master’s degree in 2013 and was awarded his Ph.D. in August 2015. Aaron relied heavily on federal loans and a part-time job to cover his school and living costs during those years.
Aaron borrowed $22,000 from the federal loan program. Interest charges commenced from the first day he received the funds. With interest the total amount had grown to $26,194.
This federal program allows borrowers to spread their payments over 10 years. Federal payments are deferred for six months following graduation, but continue to accrue interest.
Aaron’s repayment term with the DHFLA program is $417 per month, which is a monthly increase of $117 over the federal loan program payment of $300. DHFLA’s interest-free Higher Education Consolidation Loan will help Aaron save up to $9,500 in interest, plus his obligation will be repaid in half the time.
Please contact the DHFLA office at 214-696-8008 or dhfla@sbcglobal.net for more information on this program.

Incubator Grant awards

The Center for Jewish Education (CJE) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas (JFGD) announces the recipients of $44,000 in its second cohort of Incubator Incentive Grants. The grants have been awarded to four local organizations: the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, Congregation Kol Ami, URJ Greene Family Camp and Torah Day School. These organizations, with the help of these grants, will continue to change Jewish education in innovative and creative ways throughout the greater Dallas area.
The funds for these grants were made possible by proceeds raised at the CJE’s “Night to Celebrate Jewish Education,” honoring local stakeholders in Jewish education. “The Incubator Grant program is the most exciting initiative in our community today,” said Jaynie Schultz, a past honoree. Alyse Eisenberg, one of the first recipients of the Incubator Grant, agrees, saying, “Because of the Incubator Incentive Grant I was able to take my dream of establishing an early childhood community of practice and make it a reality.” Eisenberg added, “Not only did this grant opportunity make my dream possible but it allowed me to inspire other early childhood communities to do the same.”
CJE Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Shelley Glazer and Deborah Niederman are equally excited about what opportunities the Incubator Incentive Grants will do for Jewish education in Dallas. “We are pleased to be awarding $44,000 to support innovation in Jewish education through programs that will serve a variety of learners and have a far-reaching impact,” said Niederman. Added Glazer, “The creativity and passion that was submitted in the applications was truly inspiring. We are lucky to be living in a community that places such a high value on Jewish education. “
All four recipients will collaborate with other Jewish institutions to ensure cross-pollination of their ideas in diverse communal settings. The CJE prides itself on its three-pillar approach to Jewish education: building and sustaining a community of educators, to support and encourage Jewish engagement and to serve as in incubator of new ideas and initiatives. All three are considered pivotal components to the overall success of providing quality Jewish education throughout the Dallas community. The Incubator Incentive Grants serve as an extension to the CJE’s mission by providing funding to help create and implement the third pillar, incubation. This important initiative ensures quality Jewish education is at the forefront in Dallas.
— Submitted by Nina Stenzler

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