Rockville day school receives $5 million endowment pledge


The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville has received a commitment of $5 million to its endowment.

The gift from the Charles E. Smith Family Foundation, announced Dec. 21 in an email blast, is directed to the school’s Building Our Future endowment campaign, which was launched for the institution’s 50th anniversary year.

“It’s an endowment gift to set the foundation for the next 50 years,” said Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, head of the school. “This is a leadership gift to the campaign.”

The school has not set a goal for the endowment drive, he said. “We’re in the early stages of the campaign.”

The school has been in discussions about the gift “for a number of months” with the Smith and Kogod families which comprise the Smith Family Foundation.

“The Building Our Future endowment campaign will provide CESJDS with critical resources to support and strengthen academics and programming, provide increased accessibility for students and families, and further our commitment to Jewish life and continuity,” according to the email.

“We’re grateful for the Smith family’s ongoing involvement and support of the school,” Malkus said, adding that he hoped it will inspire others to strengthen Jewish education by supporting the school and other area day schools.

A decade ago, the foundation made a $10 million gift to the school for “technology and 21st century skills development,” Malkus said.

Founded in 1966, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School is a pluralistic K-12 school. Charles E. Smith was a Washington-area real estate developer and philanthropist. He died in 1995.

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