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Central Scholarship program offers a future for Pittsburgh’s Jewish students

In just a few weeks, many young adults will be heading off to college, perhaps for the very first time. As many students and their families know all too well, funding for higher education can be difficult to come by, and a scholarship, no matter the amount, can make all the difference for a young adult pursuing higher education.

Last week, Central Scholarship & Loan Referral Service (CSLRS) and Jewish Family & Children’s Service’s Sara and Tena Goldstein Memorial Fund awarded more than $407,000 in scholarships to approximately 200 area Jewish students at the annual check presentation ceremony held at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill.

Robin Elson, CSLRS committee chair, welcomed scholarship recipients and their family members to the ceremony and applauded their excellence. Guest speakers Rabbi Mordy and Rivkee Rudolph, directors of the Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh, spoke to scholarship recipients about leadership and finding ways to give back to the community, inspired by their efforts to create Friendship Circle when they moved back to the Pittsburgh community.

Also in attendance were Kathy Klein and Randi Sigal, co-chairs of the CSLRS allocations committee, Cheryl Cohen and Marc Silverman, check distribution co-chairs, as well as JF&CS staff, including Aryeh Sherman, JF&CS president & CEO, Alayne Lowenberger, scholarship program director and Dana Himmel, scholarship coordinator.

Rabbi Mordy and Rivkee Rudolph
Rabbi Mordy and Rivkee Rudolph


Robin Elson, CSLRS Committee Chair, with scholarship recipient Jeffrey Steiner, a senior financial economics major at Washington & Jefferson College.
Robin Elson, CSLRS Committee Chair, with scholarship recipient Jeffrey Steiner, a senior financial economics major at Washington & Jefferson College.

Founded in 1966, the nearly 50-year-old CSLRS is a needs-based scholarship program of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh administered by JF&CS, which coordinates the efforts of a group of organizations, agencies and scholarship endowment funds to provide scholarships to local Jewish students enrolled in accredited institutions of higher education and demonstrating financial need. Students apply once online through the CSLRS website www.centralscholarship.org and this one application offers access to the numerous scholarships administered by CSLRS. Any Jewish high school senior or student enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or technical school with financial need whose residency is in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington or Westmoreland counties can apply to CSLRS. Applicants must be a resident of one of these counties for at least two years before applying, and financial need must be demonstrated.

The CSLRS program represents an outstanding example of how the Pittsburgh region’s Jewish community has come together to create opportunities for our children’s futures, and JF&CS and the Jewish Federation are committed to helping local Jewish students pursue advanced education by easing the financial burden on themselves and their families.

Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be available online in November.

If you know someone who may be eligible and could benefit from a scholarship, please visit www.centralscholarship.org or contact Alayne Lowenberger at alowenberger@jfcspgh.org.