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Jewish day schools to receive $3m for special-needs students

Jewish day schools in Greater Boston will receive $3 million over the next five years to make education more affordable for students with special needs.

Combined Jewish Philanthropies, a nonprofit organization, is partnering with the Ruderman Family Foundation to create the Morton E. Ruderman Inclusion Scholarship Fund, according to a statement from officials of the philanthropies.

The funding will support a new program to increase the level of financial aid available to students with disabilities and special learning needs. Funding will also support previously hired teachers so they can more effectively instruct students, including those with special learning needs, the statement said.


"The Morton E. Ruderman Inclusion Scholarship Fund changes the question from 'How can we maintain what we're doing to meet the needs of diverse learners?' to 'How can we do more?' " Rabbi Elliot Goldberg, head of school for the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton, said in the statement.

Jay Ruderman, president of the foundation, said his family has been looking for an appropriate way to honor their father, who died in 2011. Morton Ruderman cofounded the Westwood-based global health care technology firm Meditech and became a leading philanthropist in Greater Boston's Jewish community.

"Everyone deserves a fair shot in life — that was a bedrock value of my father's," Ruderman said in the statement. "It seemed to us fundamentally unfair that because they were born with a disability, some children were unable to get a Jewish education. My father's investment [in philanthropy] transformed how Boston approaches people with different abilities. We felt that this was an opportunity to honor his legacy."

Rebecca Fiore can be reached at