Gateways: Access to Jewish Education was formed in July 2006 by the merger of two Boston area community-based organizations—Etgar L’Noar and The Jewish Special Education Collaborative—which had each been founded to meet the needs of Jewish children and their families, schools, synagogues and other community organizations.
Our two boards were ahead of the curve: they recognized that both organizations shared a common goal and would be competing instead of collaborating if they continued on separate paths.
The merger has been an unqualified success: it streamlined resources, strengthened governance and fiscal oversight, created new fundraising opportunities, and enabled Gateways to expand and deepen its programs and services.
In 2009, Gateways’ footprint expanded further when CJP asked us to include in our mission the special needs consultation and support to both synagogue and community supplemental schools and Jewish preschools, (formerly overseen by the Bureau of Jewish Education) creating an even more welcoming Jewish educational landscape in Greater Boston.
Most importantly, the creation of Gateways gave the community a strong place in which to continue to build the continuum of services that are needed so that every child has access to a Jewish education.
About Our Founding Organizations
The Jewish Special Education Collaborative (JSEC), created in 1999, was formed to enable children to be educated in Jewish day schools despite learning, physical, behavioral or emotional special needs, which traditionally made dual curriculum schools harder environments in which to succeed. These programs enable children to get the services they need to thrive in the Jewish day school setting – on-track for their future success.
JSEC continues as the Gateways Jewish Day School Programs.
Gateways' other partner in formation was Etgar L'Noar, "The Children's Challenge." Founded in 1997 by parents who wanted a Jewish education for their child with multiple disabilities, the program provided a Jewish education for children with moderate to severe disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, hearing and visual impairment, pervasive developmental disorders, and a wide spectrum of other challenges. Few schools in the area were prepared to offer a Jewish education for this very special population.
Etgar L'Noar is now the Gateways Jewish Education Programs.