NJ Office of Agudath Israel Announces Historic Educational Assistance Program for Lakewood Residents


Earlier today, Rabbi Avi Schnall, director of Agudath Israel’s New Jersey office, unveiled a first-of-its-kind Educational Assistance Program for Lakewood, New Jersey, residents. The Educational Assistance Program (EAP) is a grant for educational costs available to Lakewood residents who have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and meet income eligibility requirements. This grant is the first of its kind in the State of New Jersey, in which government funding will be available for private school tuition, amongst other educational uses. The grant is sponsored by the Lakewood Township through the American Rescue Plan of 2021, and is being administered through the New Jersey office of Agudath Israel.

The EAP grant was proposed to the Lakewood Township by the New Jersey office of the Agudah when the ARP was signed into law. “From the day that we approached Mayor Ray Coles and the members of the Lakewood Township Committee and proposed this grant, they have been eager and excited to move ahead with this project,” said Rabbi Schnall, “and we, along with the recipients of this grant and the entire Lakewood are grateful to Mayor Coles, Deputy Mayor Miller, Committeeman Lichtenstein, Committeeman Ackerman, and Committeeman D’Elia for their leadership,” he said.

Rabbi Schnall also noted the significance of the grant. “The New Jersey office has engaged governing bodies to access funding for our schools since its inception. Now, for the first time ever in the history of the Garden State, there will be real money being allocated to families for educational expenses,” he said, adding, “We are proud that Agudath Israel will be administering this important grant.”

The grant is available to Lakewood residents whose 2020 income was lower than $198,000 for a married couple (or $99,000 for an individual), and who were adversely impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrable by a lower adjusted gross income in 2020 than in 2019. The eligibility limit is raised $10,000 for every qualifying dependent. (Thus, a jointly filing couple with five dependents will be eligible if their 2020 adjusted gross income does not exceed $258,000.00). Grants will be a minimum of $2,500 and will be awarded directly to families. Lakewood residents can apply for the grant at: www.agudah.org/EAP. Applicants will be asked to fill out information and submit a copy of their 2019 and 2020 tax returns, as well as an outstanding bill for educational expenses. If the number of applicants exceeds available funds, a lottery will be employed to determine winners.

For those without internet access, the New Jersey office of Agudath Israel of America has set up self-serve laptops at its offices at 930-B East County Line Road in Lakewood NJ, 08701, for applicants to submit applications. The office will be open from 10 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 10 AM to 1 PM on Fridays. If you need different hours, please call the New Jersey office at 732-806-9019, and we will do our best to accommodate.
The New Jersey Agudah is currently in talk with other municipal governments to bring the EAP to their cities, and we will publicize details if and when other such programs are finalized.
Any questions regarding the grant can be emailed to [email protected].

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