In 2020, JELF (Jewish Educational Loan Fund) provided 394 interest-free loans to Jewish college, graduate, and vocational students. This jump in loans came from an increase of 66% more applications over the previous year.
JELF serves students in the five-state region of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia (excluding metro DC) as they pursue their higher education. In Atlanta alone, JELF helped 103 students with $410,045 in funding. The total student need for all the students in the JELF region was $2,352,906. Through student repayments, increased fundraising, and the generosity of the Marcus Foundation, JELF was able to allocate $1,553,739 in interest-free, last dollar loans to these students.
JELF’s mission is to help reduce a student’s financial burden so that they can pursue their higher education full time. JELF’s interest-free loans of last resort help students pay for crucial living and medical expenses, books, supplies, transportation, and many other costs. By borrowing through JELF, this year’s 394 student loan recipients are estimated to save nearly $1 million in interest payments over the life of their loans.
Since JELF first started providing interest-free loans in 1961, the organization has loaned $16 million to 2,400+ Jewish students. JELF is proud to consistently maintain a 99% student repayment rate, even during this difficult year. “What I love about JELF is that your contribution continuously pays it forward,” says JELF’s Board President, Jane Aronoff. “Dollars used for one student when paid back, are used for the next. Every dollar lives on and on…”
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