Did Chabad Chayil or Rabbi Moishe & Layah Kievman have any prior experience with after care programs prior to meeting with Aventura Waterways K-8 (AWK8) Principal Luis Bello in 2008?

 

No. When Chabad Chayil realized that there were children who were unable to access Jewish education due to cost or lack of special educational accommodations, they spoke to Dr. Karp, who directed them to speak with Mr. Bello about the possibility of working together. As a newcomer to the field of after-care, Chabad Chayil trusted Mr. Bello and the school’s other staff and followed all and any guidelines given.

 

Was Chabad ever asked by the school for any licenses or background screenings? 

Never. In fact, when Mr. Bello was told that Chabad Chayil needed to know which classrooms they were going to be using, so that they would be able to obtain a fire inspection in compliance with Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) requirements, he said, "I’m surprised; I didn't realize it was so official."

 

Did Chabad Chayil request a temporary use agreement and a fee waiver for the classrooms?

Absolutely not. For the first two years, Chabad Chayil signed an affiliate agreement that had no stipulations. After this time. Mr. Bello informed Chabad Chayil that they had to sign the new forms they were given. These included a temporary use agreement and a fee waiver. Chabad Chayil had no other source of information regarding which forms were required, and trusted the school and its principal. They were told by Mr. Bello that guidelines had changed and these were the new forms that were necessary.

 

 

Was Chabad ever given the option of of a long-term rental of classroom space with what district spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego now quotes would have been a cheaper rate than the going short-term rental rate for classrooms?

No. Chabad was misled into believing that these were the only options, and was never given the option of a more economically viable long-term rental.

 

Was Chabad charged fees by MDCPS overriding the fee waiver?

Yes - At AWK8 Mr. Bello made Chabad Chayil put one of his custodians on Chabad’s payroll. 

At Virginia A. Boone Highland Oaks Elementary School (VABHOE), Principal Scott Saperstein asked that Chabad Chayil pay the rate being discussed with an outside aftercare agency of $5 per child per month.

  

Do public schools charge for books and food?

Yes. Public School is free, but there are charges for books, food and trips. 

 

Did Chabad have a temporary use agreement or a fee waiver in 2008 when the OIG report states the advertised fee of $695 

No. At that time, Chabad had an affiliate agreement with no fee waiver stipulation.

 

Did Chabad Chayil charge a weekly fee of $39 for snacks?

No. $39 was to cover a full month of Kosher snacks. It charged a monthly 

 

Did Chabad charge for its program once it got the fee waiver?

No. The program was always completely donation-based. Chabad Chayil charged a one-time fee of $100 which included registration, books and supplies to help recoup part of the out-of-pocket expenses for these additional items. 

While running the program incurred significant expense to Chabad Chayil, including pay for teachers and caregivers as well as (often irrelevant and frivolous) charges and fees foisted upon Chabad Chayil by the schools they served, Chabad Chayil never charged a dime for its program. Parents who chose not to pay the optional fee for books and snacks — and there were many — were never turned away. 

This investigation brought to Chabad’s attention that these optional fees could be misinterpreted as program fees, and so Chabad Chayil has voluntarily removed those fees.

 

Did Chabad have all necessary licenses and background screening in place prior to the OIG investigation and subsequent closure by the schools?

Yes. Chabad has been fully licenced since 2015 — the time that current licensing requirements went into place —  and is in compliance and in good standing with Florida DCF. Chabad Chayil was chosen by The Children's trust as one of a select few exemplary after-care programs worthy of additional funding for the 2019-2020 school year. As mentioned, Chabad Chayil’s after-care program relies upon donations and grants — not upon fees — for its funding, and Chabad Chayil’s exemplary status has enabled it to obtain these grants, allowing it to continue to provide free after-care services to Miami-Dade area students.

 

Has the OIG made any recommendations against Chabad Chayil?

No. Although the IG report seems to be highly biased and slanted; full of inaccuracies, opinions and innuendos bent on defaming Chabad Chayil and its staff, the OIG’s recommendation was only against the way that MDCPS handles itself. No recommendation was made to cease doing business with Chabad Chayil. Despite this, school officials chose to end a beneficial decade-long relationship with Chabad Chayil — one that has benefited thousands of Miami-Dade students.