Free School Tuition at B’nai Israel
by Joel Levitt
Congregation B’nai Israel in Danbury has announced an innovative program to expand its religious school. The synagogue, affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism will waive tuition fees for the 2009-2010 school year for families with school age children who become new synagogue members. With the tuition waiver of $300 for the first child and $250 for each succeeding child, coupled with a longstanding general membership discount for first-year new member families, the synagogue is offering a significant savings to prospective members in a program of outreach to Jewish families in the Greater Danbury/Putnam County region. The Religious School has both early grades and post Bar/Bat Mitzvah classes and has featured such special events and school programs as a shofar hike up Pine Mountain, a visit to Green Chimneys to learn about “Tzaar Baaleichaim,” Jewish precepts that promote sensitivity toward animals and a visit from a Torah sofer (scribe), among others. Congregation B’nai Israel, founded in 1897 and the area’s oldest Jewish congregation, is situated in a modern building on Danbury’s suburban west side. The synagogue is a former recipient of a Solomon Schechter Award Honorable Mention for Family Education, sponsored by the United Synagogue. Rabbi Nelly Altenburger, ordained at the Conservative movement’s University of Judaism in Los Angeles serves as synagogue rabbi and religious school director. For further information concerning the 2008-2009 free tuition program, please contact Congregation B’nai Israel at (203) 792-6161 or at

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