After spending nearly 30 years involved in the world of Jewish day school education, Chaim Botwinick has become director of institutional advancement at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston, a beneficiary agency of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ.
In his new role, he will head up fund-raising, development, public relations, outreach, and marketing.
“The school’s leadership wants to professionalize their whole advancement activity,” said Botwinick. “They wanted to put this under one umbrella.”
With tuition costs at Kushner ranging between $11,000 and $21,000 a year, Botwinick said, “affordability is going to be one of the major challenges facing the day school community. Schools need to think creatively and boldly about the ways they are going to leverage additional dollars through scholarship assistance and incentive grants.”
For the past 10 years, Botwinick was president and CEO of the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education in Miami, which coordinated programming and support for early childhood programs, congregational religious schools, day schools, and adult education in the area.
“Running an agency with a large staff and responding to the needs of 15 day schools as well as being a consultant to many day schools around the country gives me a good sense of what the needs and the challenges and the opportunities are that face day schools,” he said. Botwinick said he intends to develop relationships with foundations and philanthropic families to inspire more giving to the day school community. “That is absolutely essential,” he said.
He has already begun a series of conversations with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ, the federation’s planned giving and endowment arm. His aim, he said, is to partner with the foundation “so we are able to work together, plan together, envision together, and leverage dollars together.”
Botwinick said he also intends to “leverage government funding to alleviate other funds now being spent on technology and professional development.”
A graduate of education programs at Yeshiva and Columbia universities, Botwinick became director of Jewish education and culture at the UJA-Federation of New York.
He spent 13 years as president and CEO of the Center for Jewish Education in Baltimore.
He lives in West Orange. He and his wife, Sarah, have a son, a daughter, and five grandchildren.
“I view the Kushner Academy as a stalwart institution,” he said. “It really is a flagship school within the constellation of day schools in North America.”