Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Need money for school for the spring/summer 2020 terms?


August 23, 2019

Applications for Jewish Educational Loan Fund’s interest-free loans for higher education (college, graduate school and vocational programs) for Jewish students in the Orlando area (Orange and Seminole Counties) for the period January through August 2020 will be open September 1-30. JELF, in partnership with The Roth Family JCC of Greater Orlando, provides interest-free last dollar loans for higher education to Jewish students in need bridging the gap between a student’s total financial resources and the cost of attending school. To qualify, the applicant must be:

• A permanent resident of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carlina, and Virginia (excluding the greater DC area) but can go to any U.S. accredited school.

• Enrolled full time in a program leading to a degree or certificate and in good academic standing

• A U.S. citizen or have lawful immigration status

• Have a designated co-signer

• Able to demonstrate financial need (2019 FAFSA application required)

The funds help pay the educational and living expenses that other financial aid doesn’t cover, such as travel, rent, food and books. JELF’s “no-interest” loans help save borrowers thousands of dollars in high-interest bearing debt. Currently, there are 45 million Americans with some form of outstanding interest-bearing student loans. Eight million Americans have a balance of $50,000 or more according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The strength of the longstanding “Free Loan” model is funds are lent to those in need, yet once the borrower can repay, the repayment goes to the next student, and so on. Thus, the same funds are recycled indefinitely, and the organization can help future students in need. In addition, donors can see their donations continue to do good far into the future.

“This is the only type of organization I know of that when I write a check I know exactly where it’s going, and it keeps going. My dollars never die,” says Stan Lowenstein, a long-time JELF volunteer and current president of the Board.

There are many organizations that provide interest-free loans, but JELF is distinct in that it is the only Jewish organization in the U.S. focused solely on higher education. Students and their families can apply online at JELF.org.

Since 1961, JELF has provided over $12.5 million to 4500+ students from JELFs 5-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia (excluding metro DC). JELF is proud to boast a 99 percent repayment rate and strongly believes that money should not stand between a student and the education that he or she needs to excel in life. The JELF board and staff are active in supporting students and their families, and in attracting the financial resources JELF needs to meet an ever-increasing demand for loans.

The Roth Family Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando is the center of Jewish life in Central Florida and home to award-winning preschool, after school, summer camp, fitness, sports, arts and community programs. JCC membership and programs are open to the entire community.

For more information about JELF in Orlando contact Lisa Wayne at 407-645-0923 ext. 248 or Lisaw@orlandojcc.org.


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