A Commitment From The Heart And For The Future


דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְיִקְחוּ־לִ֖י תְּרוּמָ֑ה מֵאֵ֤ת כׇּל־אִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִדְּבֶ֣נּוּ לִבּ֔וֹ...וְעָ֥שׂוּ לִ֖י מִקְדָּ֑שׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּתוֹכָֽם


When the Israelites were building the mishkan, God told Moses, “Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him (yidvenu libo) … And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:2, 8).


God’s presence resides in the generosity of people. Just as the Israelites brought their offerings in the spirit of nedivut lev, gifts from the heart, Andrea and Ken Saffir have always led with their hearts. In turn, Torah, God’s presence and the Jewish people have thrived in our own mishkan of RZJHS.


We are honored to announce a major multi-year commitment by the Saffirs of $7.5 million dollars, in conjunction with a similar major gift to Solomon Schechter Day School – gifts they hope will inspire others to follow their lead and support these vital institutions. The gift will be used over the next twenty years to ensure that RZJHS meets the financial needs of our families and continues to fulfill our mission of creating “a culture of academic excellence that inspires and prepares our students to think critically, achieve their full potential, and live Judaism as responsible and involved citizens in the modern world.” Andrea and Ken are generous supporters of our Chicago Jewish community and were assisted in making this gift through the JUF Center for Jewish Philanthropy.


When asked why they have chosen to increase their support of the school, Andy and Ken responded:

“We wanted to give our community’s children an opportunity to actively engage and integrate a rigorously modern academic curriculum with the classic Jewish texts, in an environment where the rhythms of the school year echo the rhythms of the Jewish calendar, in an atmosphere permeated by Jewish values. We wanted opportunities for the students to participate in sports, clubs, music, arts and tikkun olam.


RZJHS has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams!”


As visionaries and key stakeholders in the foundation of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School, the Saffirs are an inspiration to all. We deeply appreciate and value the trust they have placed in the school. We are committed to maintaining that trust. The RZJHS community will continue to learn together, pray together, lead together and celebrate together -- today, tomorrow and well into the future. Together we thrive.