By COLlive reporter
Aid for the “Cheider,” the Jewish School of Amsterdam that reached a deficit of 120,000 Euro by the end of 2011, has come out of an unexpected source.
Bas Belder, a Dutch Member of the European Parliment, got word that the school with an annual budget of 2.5 million Euro was in financial trouble and could not pay its teachers.
Although the school has been in deficit before, it never reached a point that they weren’t able to cover the payroll, COLlive was told.
Seeing Jewish education in the Netherlands endangered, Belder started a campaign among his non Jewish friends, asking for small donations of $18 for the “Cheider School.”
Joining Belder in his noble endeavor was the pro-Israel organization and lobby “Christian Friends of Israel.”
Belder managed to fundraise 70,000 euro ($92,000), covering over half of the urgently needed amount for the school to continue.
On Tu Bishvat, Belder and a delegation of “Christians for Israel” came to the “Cheider” to hand the generous check to Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, who also serves as vice president of the school.
Jacobs, a Chabad Shliach who is the Chief Rabbi of the Inter-Provincial Chief Rabbinate (IPOR) and chairman of the Rabbinical Council for the Netherlands, thanked them to coming to the aid to Jews not only in Israel, but also in Europe.
He gave special thanks to Belder, who sits on the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and chairs its relations with Israel, for stepping up to the task and showing his appreciation for education.