The Spetner Family of Ohio
Two of the Spetner children will receive vouchers
to attend CHDS. The state-funded EdChoice
program provides a limited number of scholarships
to students who attend underperforming public
schools and to children entering kindergarten in
Like many parents across the nation, Rabbi David Spetner and his wife, Chaya Gittle, greatly value school choice. They want a strong orthodox Jewish education for their nine children, and they would like such options to be widely available to families of all income levels.
Originally from St. Louis, Rabbi Spetner has a graduate degree in Talmudic law and rabbinic ordination from Ner Israel Rabbinical College. After serving as a pulpit rabbi in Richmond, Virginia, Spetner moved to Cincinnati to found the Cincinnati Community Kollel, a Jewish educational institution that, among other accomplishments, has been successful in recruiting young families to move to Cincinnati. Chaya Gittle, born in Jerusalem and raised in New York, has a B.S. in Nutrition from Brooklyn College and currently serves as a full-time homemaker.
The family has been living in Ohio since 1995. All nine children have attended Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (CHDS), which offers an education in which Judaic and general studies share equal time. The general studies curriculum at CHDS surpasses Ohio State requirements.
Rabbi Spetner is a supporter of the school choice movement and Ohio's EdChoice program in particular. “As the parent of nine children, I can personally attest that every child is different and that education must be tailored to the individual needs of each child,” Rabbi Spetner says.
Next year, two of the Spetner children will receive vouchers to attend CHDS. The state-funded EdChoice program provides a limited number of scholarships to students who attend underperforming public schools and to children entering kindergarten in those neighborhoods.
“EdChoice has been wonderful for us personally and for our community,” Rabbi Spetner said. “The program has resulted in bringing many people from out of town to our community. It is a good selling point, especially for people whom I’m recruiting to move to Cincinnati, for whom parochial education is a religious imperative.”
Rabbi Spetner believes that the program has had a significant positive effect on his children’s social and academic progress and personal achievements. “As deeply religious Orthodox Jews,” he said, “religious education is one of the bedrock values of our life. It would be unthinkable for us not to give our children religious education; it’s like not teaching them reading, writing, and arithmetic.”