Hundreds of Hasmonean parents logged into an “extraordinary” online call this week as they heard a “heartfelt plea to ensure the survival of the school” in its current form, given the parlous state of its finances.
Founded by Rabbi Dr Solomon Schonfeld in 1944, Hasmonean has long been part of the bedrock of Jewish education in the UK, but in the Zoom call 500 participants were told by trustees that the school was in a “very difficult financial situation”.
Hasmonean, which has both a girls’ and boys’ secondary school, is part of a Multi-Academy Trust, whose chair of trustees Gary Swabel and chief executive Andrew McClusky issued “a heartfelt plea to ensure the survival of the school”.
McClusky said the pandemic had “hit Hasmonean’s voluntary donations hard,” explaining that the schools need voluntary contributions and donations to survive because government funding does not cover costs.
“Imagine a Hasmonean with no Beis, no Midrasha, no small group classes for students who need more attention, no informal education and no funds to recruit and retain first class staff,” he said. “We owe it to Dr Schonfeld, to the children of the schools and their children’s children to keep the Hasmonean flag flying.”
Swabel urged parents to “preserve what’s precious” and unveiled a matched fundraising campaign was launched, with attendees urged to “cast the net wide and reach out to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours, to raise the much-needed funds to keep all of Hasmonean’s programmes going”.
The matched funding campaign begins at 10am on Sunday 28 June and continues until 10pm on Monday 29 June.