Saturday, January 20th, 2018

College Student Loans

College Interest-Free Loans Available!

Need funds for college? There are interest-free educational loan programs that may be able to help Jewish students with the last gap needed to attend school.  These loans are for post-secondary education — college, graduate school and vocational programs.  These loans are need-based and offer “last-dollar” financing, meaning that each loan provides the final dollars that bridge the gap between a student’s total financial resources and the cost of attending school. They are interest-free and no payments until after you leave school!

JELF (Jewish Educational Loan Fund) grants interest-free loans to Jewish students from a 5-state region, which includes Florida (also Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia) for higher education.   These loans can be used for study at a college or university, graduate school or professional/vocational school that leads to a degree or certificate. JELF has two loan seasons – March 1 – April 30 covers assistance for the following fall, winter/spring and/or summer terms, and Sept 1 – 30 covers assistance for the following winter/spring and/or summer only. To learn more or apply, visit Gulf Coast JFCS is the Local JELF Administrator (LJA) for Pinellas and Pasco counties.  Gulf Coast JFCS can assist the student with the application and will conduct the local interview.

The Trockey Loan Fund is available only to Jewish students from Pinellas County. This loan is also need-based and “last-dollar” financing.  For example, students have used these small loans to help pay for books or other consumable supplies after other resources for tuition and living expenses. Loans are granted on an annual basis and new application is required each year. Gulf Coast JFCS administers this loan fund; applications are available through Gulf Coast.  These loans are not time-based, and can be applied for at any time.

For both loans, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a program leading to a degree or certificate at an accredited institution that is located in the United States, be a U.S. citizen or have lawful immigration status in the U.S., and be able to demonstrate financial need (FAFSA application required).

Support for these loan programs is always welcome! If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Trockey Loan Fund, please contact us at 727-479-1800. For contributions to JELF, please check the JELF website at

Everyone Has A Voice To Share

Danielle Rodnizki, 23, has been leading many of our country’s Jewish youth and adults in song. When Danielle sings, your skin tingles and your heart melts. Danielle serves as Temple B’nai Israel’s current Cantorial Soloist. One of Danielle’s goals is to facilitate the congregation in song.   Danielle explained, “A lot of worship is interconnected with music.  I want everyone to sing, let go of the shame and embarrassment, express themselves and participate, no matter what their voice sounds like. By singing, we connect to something larger than ourselves.”

Danielle graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Spanish Literature and Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis last May.  When Danielle began her college search, the cost of an out of state school seemed unattainable without the help of student loans, scholarships and other funding. Danielle’s cousin received a JELF interest-free student loan, and suggested that Danielle apply. Danielle received JELF loans for 3 out of her 4 years at college. JELF closed the gap.

Danielle was very busy during her 4 years at college. She sang with Staam, Washington University’s Jewish A Cappella group. She also worked at 4 synagogues in the area as a song leader, service leader, and music specialist. When Danielle worked at Jewish summer camps in Texas and California, she was compelled to learn everyone’s name. One teen is now a song leader because of the inspiration that Danielle gave while she was the song leader at the URJ Greene Family Camp in Texas.  She always tries to make everyone feel wanted, special and valued. She continues that today with her Youth Choir, always getting to know the children and their parents.

One thing that stays common in Danielle’s life is following her passion to play music. Connecting with people through song is her way of giving back to the community. Along the way she has had an amazing journey. Her hope is to help the next generation find their voice.


For more information about either JELF or the Trockey Loan programs,
call 727-479-1806 or use the contact form below.


The Trockey Loan fund was the established in 1977 through a donation from the estate of Dr. Sidney N. Trockey.

The Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF) is based in Atlanta, GA and supports loans for Jewish students in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

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