This past week the school welcomed our governor, Mrs. Gina Raimondo. She arrived with her security detail for a meeting scheduled to last for a half hour. She was joined by Mr. Adam Greenman, CEO of the Jewish Alliance of RI, Stephanie Hague, event organizer, and Ms. Wendy Joering, who serves as the local concierge on security for the entire community. Attending from the school were Vice President Reuven Schloss, Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, Mrs. Miriam Esther Weiner, Rabbi Aaron Lapin, and I.
The governor was very interested in learning about the effect of anti-Semitism on our school and community. The Alliance pointed out that in the past year there has been an upswing of antisemitic events, such as phone calls to local leaders, making the need for increased levels of security. The governor shared that she herself is always worried when she goes to her house of worship, as people know when and where she worships, and the doors are open.
She asked how she can help. We explained that we need additional funding to harden our facilities and to take additional preparedness measures. Last year’s federal grant was for $100,000 for the state and our school, which made an excellent presentation, was not selected.
We also shared with the governor that private school affordability is a major issue for the parents in our school. We thanked the State leadership for the SGO that has been very supportive of our school but that the cap needs to be raised so that additional applications will be funded.
The governor also met with NEAT Seniors Avigayil Lapin, Chavi Saklad, Bina Leah Haldorsen, Cheli Schochet, and Britanny Kushner. The students shared with the governor that recent events do leave them scared and concerned. She asked them about their plans for next year and was most interested in the concept of a year of study abroad in Eretz Yisroel.
The governor thanked us for sharing our ideas and concerns and told us that she would make every effort to help our community in this time of need as she prepares the budget.