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Connector Fall 2010 schechter Alumni Newsletter of Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union A New Na me for Schechter: GOlDA OCh ACADeMy Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union will Solomon be renamed in memory of Golda Och, a school founder Schechter and leader, following a ground-breaking challenge gift Day School “Jane and I are thrilled of up to $15 million through a grant made by The Jane and Daniel Och Family Foundation. Association. to recognize my “Most mother’s decades-long Golda Och and her important, husband, Michael, the Golda Och commitment to the “Golda personified co-founded the Academy Solomon Schechter everything that is best school in 1965 along with will carry forward the Day Schools of Essex several other families educational, social and in our school,” said and played a pivotal role cultural mission that and Union,” said Och. in Solomon Schechter’s it has embodied since Joyce Raynor, Head growth and development. 1965, ensuring that son Daniel Och, of School. “It will be Her chairman and chief the future generations of students enjoy the best possible Jewish education,” said Och. an honor for us to executive officer of Och- Ziff Capital Management Golda Och had an influential role in shaping Solomon Schechter, bear her name.” Group, a leading global taking on many positions in the school over the years. She institutional alternative served three terms as Board President from 1979 to 1982 and asset management firm and one of the largest alternative asset was the school’s business manager for 10 years. Mrs. Och managers in the world, was in the school’s first kindergarten also taught Jewish history and was a president of the Parents’ class. Association. “Jane and I are thrilled to recognize my mother’s “I am truly fortunate to In addition to her formal roles, decades-long commitment to the Solomon Schechter Mrs. Och was a valued advisor, Day Schools of Essex and Union,” said Och. “I am have been among the respected mentor and beloved truly fortunate to have been among the first students first students enrolled friend to generations of enrolled at SSDSEU and to be able to return the gift of Schechter leaders, families and my education by honoring both my mother’s legacy at SSDSEU and to be able students. “Golda personified and my alma mater.” to return the gift of my everything that is best in our school,” said Joyce Raynor, Golda Och passed away in January at the age 74 after education by honoring Head of School. “It will be an a long illness. The school will be renamed “Golda honor for us to bear her name.” Och Academy” at an official ceremony on December both my mother’s legacy 6th, but will retain its mission and affiliation with the and my alma mater.” Visit our new website www.GoldaOchAcademy.org to be launched on December 6, 2010 Message From Head Of School Message From The Development / Dear Alumni, Alu mni Office Our school has been extremely Dear Schechter Alumni, fortunate to have received a generous challenge gift from the Hello from school! These are certainly very Jane and Daniel Och Foundation. exciting times as our school prepares to In recognition of this gift, our accept a transformational challenge gift school will be renamed “Golda from Dan and Jane Och and be renamed Och Academy,” in honor of Dan’s the “Golda Och Academy” after a beloved mother, Golda Och, who passed founder, teacher and leader. away this past January. you are probably wondering if our school will be changing. The In addition to being one of our school founders, leaders and answer is no. We will still be the same school that you graduated teachers, Golda was a good friend of mine. She taught many from providing the same top quality secular and Jewish education of you and had a profound influence in shaping our school, and affiliation with the Conservative movement and Solomon impacting your Schechter experience even if you did not Schechter Association. This transformational gift will help ensure know her personally. I am honored that the school will bear affordability and academic excellence for our school long into the her name. future. There will also be a challenge campaign so stay tuned for While we will have a new name, I assure you that we will more details. We will need the support of our alumni! remain the same school that you know and love. The rededication gives us the opportunity to renew our Our Alumni Society will still be a major focus of connection that commitment to our original mission: to prepare our keeps the school in touch with you, our over 1300 strong alumni, graduates to take their place as dynamic, well-educated who are out in the world doing amazing things! We are looking leaders who will guide their community with Jewish values forward to adding professional networking to the activities of our as well as a deep knowledge of our texts and traditions. you, Alumni Society. our talented alumni, are our mission both fulfilled and in action out in the world. We are dedicated to supporting and It was quite inspiring for me to be present at this year’s Back celebrating your personal and professional endeavors. Our to School Benefit 2 on September 16 at Slate in NyC. What a school will always be your home. wonderful group of alumni you are! I was especially amazed to see three alumni from the West Coast who came in to be with us! I am extremely excited about this opportunity to both honor our past and to move into the future together as the We are looking forward to a wonderful future for our school “Golda Och Academy.” We will have an official renaming under its new name the Golda Och Academy.” on December 6th, in the spirit and value of rededication that Chanukah embodies. I hope to see many of you then, as we Kol tuv! celebrate the next chapter in our school’s history together. Sincerely, Stephanie Bash-Soudry Director of Development & Alumni Relations Joyce Raynor, PhD Head of School Shalom! Calling all Schechter Alumni in Israel: you are invited to a Schechter Alumni Mifgash in Israel on February 19, 2011, 7 pm in Jerusalem. A mission of faculty, administrators and board members will be traveling to Israel and they want to see you. Let us know if you or your children are in Israel- please contact Lilach Bluevise at LBluevise@ssdseu.org 2 Fellow Alumni: HDGA WZ IYA ,WCRT OA “If you will it, it is no drea m.” Theodor Herzl In just two short years, we have blossomed into a robust Alumni Society! We boast scores of active members, an Alumni Scholarship Fund that has raised over $100,000 for tuition assistance and an annual, well-attended Back SSDSEU Wins Six Awards to School Benefit for alumni and friends. Our impact has been both immediate and long-lasting. Our work has not including only been recognized by our SSDS community, it has spread around the country and the globe, reaching as far Excellence in as Australia! None of these great strides could not have Alu mni Outreach Award been accomplished without your continued and valuable support. On October 23-26, over 1,000 Jewish educators, day school professionals and lay leaders gathered for the The following are some recent pieces of great news that I PEJE (Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education) would like to share: Assembly in Baltimore. We were proud that our school • We held the Second Annual Back to School won a total of six awards including Excellence in Alumni Benefit in September. More alumni attended Outreach. We appreciated that Lawrence Elbaum came this year than last year and we managed to raise to PEJE to represent our Alumni Society and shared our some much needed funds for the school. The experiences at a session on Alumni Relations. event featured a wonderful silent auction as well as SSDS trivia. In the end, we created an infinite amount of good will for the Alumni Society, the Campaign and the School. Make a Difference • It is with special pride to impart that we recently accepted an award from The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) for to Students in Need! Excellence in Alumni Outreach. This is a direct Please join us in making a difference by result of and testament to our hard work. contributing to this year’s 2010 Alumni • We have been the subject of much press over Scholarship Campaign! the past two years and, most recently, we were the focal point of a major article in The Jewish Make your donations online at News on the role of funding campaigns in the changing cultures of Hebrew Day Schools in www.ssdseu.org support Schechter. the MetroWest area. you can access the article The students of today need us now. using the following link: njjewishnews.com/ Please say hineni! article/metrowest/funding-campaign-changing- day-school-culture This is yet another great reflection of our hard work. For more information, please call Mazel Tov to all on a job well done! (973)602-3612 or email to alumni@ ssdseu.org A special thanks to Stephanie Bash-Soudry. Without her undying inspiration and dedication, Thank You! the Alumni Society would not be where it is today. yasher Kochachem! lawrence S. elbaum, Class of ‘98 Donate now www.ssDseu.org Chair, Alumni Society 3 Alu mni Profiles Evan Majzner, Class of 2001, Lissy Carr, Class of 1999, Shares on Social Networking and How Schechter Asking the Important Questions and Alumni Communicate in the 21st Century Developing a New Website It’s no secret that online social networking has changed the world. lissy Carr, who lives in Manhattan With prospective, current, and recent with her husband, Ben, has developed Schechter students driving the change, a website that asks the all important our Alumni Society is using technology question: What do you do? to help members find, share and communicate with others. The concept for www.SoWhaddya At the helm of the school’s rising social Do.com came out of Lissy’s own job networking trend is Evan Majzner search. After seven years of bouncing (class of 2001), who began searching around in the music, film, television, and for better, faster ways to reach out to marketing industries, lissy felt it was time to figure out what career alumni while serving on the Schechter would truly make her happy. So, she turned to the web for guidance Alumni Scholarship Campaign Committee. he took over Solomon and realized that there was not a single resource out there that Schechter’s Alumni Facebook page last March and has upgraded featured professionals speaking candidly about their jobs, how they Schechter’s alumni relations status with the click of a mouse and some very innovative ideas. arrived at their positions, and what steps would help others get their foot in the door! Lissy, the determined and hard-working individual “We’re using Facebook to support our alumni committee efforts,” that she is, decided to create a resource herself. Majzner says. “It’s easy to become complacent and lose touch. There’s always talk of alumni programs but people loose a sense of Her website, So Whaddya Do, is mostly geared toward college community with high school and we are trying for a paradigm shift students and young professionals who are struggling with the so people will support the school they went to and send their kids there. Facebook helps create a positive sense of community toward question, “what should I do with my life?” Schechter.” How are you supposed to answer that question without being Schechter’s Facebook page connects alumni with each other and familiar with all the possibilities out there? At So Whaddya Do, Lissy the institution in novel, effective ways like ‘Flashback Friday,’ a and her team have done most of the work for you, by interviewing Majzner-inspired idea that ties in a memory or event to encourage people in a variety of jobs who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. communication between alums. Flashback Friday greets alums with memories, photos and trivia The goal is to get people on the path to career happiness. When pulled out of alumni archives to give Schechter’s Facebook you visit So Whaddya Do, you have the option of watching any community a sense of nostalgia. number of video interviews with professionals in a variety of “We do a variety of things to keep people informed and to get careers from fashion to finance, medicine to marketing. each people to remember,” says Majzner, who works as a litigation Infoview (informational interview) provides an overview of what attorney and lives in Manhattan. goes on in each profession. Instead of reading about what it’s like Since Majzner’s started working on our alumni Facebook presence, to work in the medical field, you’re actually hearing about the day the alumni page has grown from 200 members to more than 500 –to-day experiences of actual doctors (or lawyers, consultants, ‘friends.’ New members are joining daily. The popular page not only entrepreneurs, etc.) The main goal at the moment is to build up connects old friends and keeps track of alumni; it posts newsworthy the Job Archive, so we’re constantly interviewing professionals in information about the school, notifies the community about school all kinds of jobs. Many Schechter alumni professionals have been benefits and fundraisers, and serves as a vehicle to post exciting school news. featured! “We’ve gotten great feedback in terms of soliciting donations,” Lissy says, “The site has been approached by total strangers who he says. “We’ve had more people donate to the school by using love their job and want to help a broader audience understand Facebook in conjunction with our fundraising efforts and we’ve seen what they do, so we’re interviewing those folks. And we’re taking an increase in the array of people who have been donating.” requests, since a lot of our fans want to learn about jobs that aren’t Individual graduating classes have also created their own Facebook yet featured on the site. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I can page. If your class doesn’t have one, please contact Evan! be reached anytime at Lissy@SoWhaddyaDo.com . We’re also on FIND US ON FACeBOOK: Facebook and Twitter – just search for So Whaddya Do!” SOlOMON SCheChTeR DAy SChOOl OF ESSEX AND UNION ALUMNI Check it out: www.SoWhaddyaDo.com 4 Alu mni In Their Own Words My Schechter connection: Jessica abramson: Becky iSaacSon, claSS of 2004 ThoughTs on schechTer from at a recent Schechter alumni committee meeting, The back To school benefiT we were asked to share who our favorite Schechter teacher is. that’s an easy one for me – it’s Mrs. roth. After I left for college, a My fellow West orange lower School alumni all case of empty nest syndrome agreed that she is fabulous. after i left the meeting, encouraged my mother to take on Schechter memories started to surface and i a project. She decided to track decided to share with you why i love Schechter, and down her elementary school especially why i love Mrs. roth. classmates and plan a reunion. I alumni often center on the fact that Schechter couldn’t help but wonder what my taught them Jewish values, but there is another side first SSDS reunion might be like to Schechter that is also important and very close to and what friendships might be my heart. i was in 3rd grade when my parents got divorced, and it was a very difficult time for me. I restored on that day. thank my lucky stars that i was a Schechter student Now, four years later, I attended my very first SSDS at that time and that Mrs. roth was my teacher that year. reunion event-The Second Annual Back to School Benefit. On September 16, 2010, over 100 SSDS grads and Mrs. roth was, and still is, the sweetest, kindest and supporters came to Slate, a lounge in New York City, most caring teacher i’ve ever had. She took me under to reunite and raise money for SSDS. Schechter alumni her wing that year and didn’t give up on me. She watched out for me in and out of the classroom. She and other guests mingled and noshed as they answered called my mom frequently to find out how things SSDS-themed “Then and Now” trivia questions including were going at home and to tell her how i was doing “Who is the current principal?” and “What is the SAR in school. Mrs. roth knew that weeknight visitation (Student Activities Room) used for now?” On a large with my father was not easy for me, and it didn’t screen above the bar, a slideshow displayed nostalgia- leave me much time to do my homework. therefore, i was excused from doing homework for her class inducing photos of guests in their awkward stages. There whenever i had visitation. She told me to do what i were countless shots of smiling “tweens” huddled together could, but not to worry about it. i felt as though a in the Ulam, posing for the ever-popular lunch table shot. huge burden was taken off my shoulders. While the event’s main goal was to raise money for the Both Mrs. roth and Schechter provided me with future of the Schechter students, I couldn’t help but the nurturing and attention that i needed at that think about how the event would affect the relationships stressful time. had i been in public school, i believe i would have gotten lost in the crowd. instead, i was a of past Schechter students. There we were, older and member of a close-knit community that helped out wiser than at graduation where we stood nervously in in any way that it could. our blue caps and gowns, wondering about what life is the Schechter community was there for me even like outside the “Schechter Bubble.” Would people use after i graduated. i attended Boston University as the reunion aspect of the event to reconnect with old an undergraduate, a school much larger than what friends? I truly hoped that we can all use reunions to I was used to. During my first semester at BU, I strengthen old friendships and make the SSDS community discovered that there was a group of Schechter kids stronger. (class of 2001) who ate Shabbat dinner together at hillel every week. they welcomed me with open arms As part of a new undertaking of the Alumni Committee as i joined them for dinner with other BU-Schechter to bring SSDS grads together, graduating seniors will students. having this Schechter connection helped me be assigned mentors, older SSDS grads, who attend the transition into BU more easily. college they will be headed to after graduation. It’s my i received a wonderful education at Solomon sincere hope that programs like this, reunions, benefits, and Schechter, for which i am very grateful. i am forever other SSDS events will help keep our Schechter alumni thankful to the school for always being there for me, both inside and outside of the classroom. community strong. 5 College Alu mni Attention Classes of 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 SAve the DAte: College Alumni Basketball Game & Faculty Reception December 23, 2010, 1:30 – 4 p.m. eric F. Ross Upper School Campus 1:30 Reception 2:45 Basketball Game Please RSvP to Becky Kestenbaum at RKestenbaum@ssdseu.org or Janet herman at Jherman@ssdseu.org College Buddy Progra m: New alu mni see a friendly face on ca mpus This fall when Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and resources. Next, the buddies reached out to the new men Union 2010 graduates arrived on college campuses, there and women on campus, to invite them to Hillel on Shabbat was a cadre of Solomon Schechter alumni to support them. or otherwise introduce them to Jewish life on campus. The program is enhanced by the Finals Survival Kits sent each “College is daunting and confusing at first, especially coming year by Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union to from a small community like SSDS,” remarked NyU junior Jessica Abramson. “I thought a familiar face would be freshman in college or former students studying in Israel. comforting to new freshmen.” The Alumni Society thanks the college buddies who have Jessica partnered with Arielle Kramer, a junior at Muhlenberg volunteered to make this connection between our school College, and the idea of a College Outreach Program began and their colleges. Many of these alumni, and others who to take shape. This fall, SSDSEU graduates on 10 campuses don’t have new SSDS former students joining them on had a group of already established “buddies” on call to help campus, have also volunteered to host current students who them navigate their new surroundings and the challenges of are considering their college. college life. Outreach volunteers contacted the new freshmen before We are hoping that this new, volunteer-led program will school starts to ask them if they have any questions about continue to strengthen our relationship with our alumni for life on campus and give them tips about Jewish and general years to come. 6 Alu mni and Friends at the Great Auction, May 16, 2010 The Class of 2000 Ten Y ear Reunion Saturday May 8, 2010 at Antik in NY C. 7 The Second Annual “Our school is really a community. I keep in touch with many of T he second annual Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union Back to School Benefit was a great success, both for my Schechter friends, and I value my Schechter education. I didn’t want children to miss out on that experience because of lack of the Alumni Scholarship Fund and socially for the more than 100 funds,” he said. alumni and friends who attended! Schechter has given out nearly $2 million in assistance to students On September 16, 2010, SSDSEU supporters came to Slate, a for the 2010-2011 school year. The Alumni Scholarship Campaign is lounge in New york City, to reunite and raise money for the a great way for former students to connect with the school and school. Alumni enjoyed the crayons and apples on every table, the enable others to share the unique Schechter experience. video montage of old photos and trivia questions playing behind The Back to School Benefit brought the total money raised for the the bar, and the camaraderie of old friends. 2010 scholarship campaign close to $45,000. Since it was started The event also featured a raffle to benefit the scholarship fund. in 2009, the Alumni Scholarship Campaign has raised more than Tickets to a Jets game, private Pilates classes, several baskets of $100,000 for the school. fashion goodies and other items enticed the crowd. The scholarship campaign is still in full swing. We still need Lawrence Elbaum, chairman of the 2010 Alumni Scholarship everyone’s support! To find out more information, email Campaign, explained the reasoning behind the get-together. firstname.lastname@example.org or donate at our website at www.ssdseu.org 8 Back to School Benefit 9 6 Arts at Schechter Beyond the Classroom: Why Benja min Akselrad Arts Department Takes Talent to the Top Never Sits Down Benjamin Akselrad’s ‘Creativity takes courage.’ (Henri Matisse, 1869-1954) resume is full of An essential part of education, interests and the arts capture our world accomplishments. through multi-medium Published experiences that communicate playwright, and transcend to all cultures in all acclaimed filmmaker languages. For the past two years, and photographer, the school has been building a improvisational comprehensive Arts Department. comedian, thespian, New york Times From dance and music to theater Magazine essayist and avid traveler– and the visual arts, Schechter Akselrad hasn’t wasted a moment. offers students a unique means of expression, capturing their passions and emotions and A scuba diver with advanced adventurer allowing them to explore new ideas. certification, the 2006 Schechter “We are lucky that we have talented teachers and kids who are so invested in the arts,” says graduate has explored 17 countries and Arts Coordinator Jamie Mittleman. “We have an intense classroom curriculum at SSDSeU completed 19 dives in exotic locales like and this is where kids can share their creative side, where they can have fun and can explore Iceland, Australia, and Thailand. While themselves. Going to a Jewish school doesn’t mean you don’t have time for arts.” studying entrepreneurship and Corporate Mittleman recalls her first time seeing a student-performed show at SSDSeU and Innovation at Indiana University’s Kelley thinking that there was so much talent but not enough resources for the production. She School of Business, he traveled to India to instinctively knew there had to be a better way to emphasize the arts and proposed the explore its emerging economy and political arts department, which has since grown exponentially one of the more noticeable changes landscape. He also completed an economic include a dedicated music room that has been retrofitted with a wall of mirrors, enabling the fellowship in dance team to choreograph performances. “I am now Australia. While the school has always encouraged students to create new clubs and activities that benefitting Though Akselrad the student body will be interested in, the exciting arts program has become a breeding ground for new ideas and experiences. The student-created Arts Council meets weekly to from the absorbs all he brainstorm ways to improve the arts within the school. discipline, vision can from the world around “Kids are always coming to me with program ideas and thinking about where their particular and confidence him, he also art form can be best used,” says Mittleman. “I really appreciate “Schechter is Schechter’s students because they don’t take what they have that Schechter gives back. He an incredible for granted. They use their talents and creativity to better the gave me” has biked more than 400 miles world.” place,” says Inspired by students, the school is starting a new program raising money for charity and once spent every Saturday for five months building Mittleman. called ‘Arts for Change,’ where SSDSeU will have a different art houses for economically distressed families form go out into the community each month. She is particularly “The kids are excited to help her students run a drama workshop at a school with Habitat for Humanity. Since graduating college, he has directed so enthusiastic in Newark. and produced a music video (starring The incredibly talented staff in the department helps deliver and so active. the well-rounded arts curriculum. New multi-media teacher Jillian Rudnitzky—class ’04), created a production company that promotes the They’re always Jordon Herskowitz has his own one-man show and teaches Fair Trade Fashion of www.OfRags.com, students about marketing the arts by using tools like social working on media. Music teacher and Choir Director Joshua ehrlich, who is currently advising the growth strategies and Business plan writing for two charities. things they studied at yale, started a Music Theory club which teaches “I am now benefitting from the discipline, students about reading notes, music composition and decoding feel passionate the language of music. vision and confidence that Schechter gave me,” Akselrad says. about.” The importance of learning about what goes on behind the scenes of a production, how technology works with theater “Ironically, the book The Mafia Manager and marketing the arts is reflected in the multi-media and drama classes at Schechter. As succinctly captures one of the best innovative classes capture the boundless energy and creative ideas students put forth, a lessons Schechter teaches as it continually bright future lies ahead for the Arts Department and SSDSEU students. encourages its students to grow, but never “Schechter is an incredible place,” says Mittleman. “The kids are so enthusiastic and so lets them get too comfortable— the book active. They’re always working on things they feel passionate about. The amount of thank says: “There’s plenty of room at the top— you notes I get on a daily basis is unbelievable.” though never enough to sit down.” 6 10 Arts at Schechter Upper School Faculty Spotlight: Sandra Charlap Lower School Faculty Spotlight: Art teacher and artist Sandra Charlap infuses Cassie Krauss: Art for Decades creative energy into everything she touches. Remember Mrs. Krauss’ end-of- From local galleries who display her artwork the-year art show? If you’re a to high-end department stores like Barneys Schechter alumnus chances are and Bendels, which sell her decorative you experienced that moment ceramics, Charlap’s artistry adds color and of pride upon first seeing beauty to everything. It’s no wonder she’s your artwork decorating your turned her small classroom at Solomon elementary school’s walls. Schechter into a safe, artistic haven where Two decades. That’s how long art she uses art to inspire students’ creativity. teacher Cassie Krauss has worked “I like to think that my room has become an outlet and a forum for at Solomon Schechter, where all different kinds of kids,” she says. “Some already have an affinity she’s touched the lives of so many Schechter families for art. Others like to be around that energy and learn about art in a through her work in the art room. From the children to different way. Some come in and are open to new experiences. I try their parents and grandparents who have saved special to have an expansive curriculum that satisfies all of these needs.” art projects over the years, Krauss’ artistic enthusiasm has sparked creativity among the Schechter community for 20 To teach art is to learn art, and through Charlap’s thirst for constant years. creativity she continues to enrich Schechter’s art curriculum with input from her students, viewing her expectations in the art room “My entire life is art,” “I still have as a collaborative effort. says Krauss, who first worked at the Cranford students who tell “I listen to them as they listen to me. There’s a lot of mutual campus before moving respect. The work they’re doing is sophisticated and the ideas I’m to the Lower School in me they weren’t putting out there are ideas on a college level and they’re always hungry for more. I urge them to never limit themselves,” Charlap West Orange. feeling well but says. Though the art room is a place they knew it was The mother of two ‘tween girls, Charlap studied illustration at New york’s famed Parson School of Design. She is currently exploring where students are an art day so they encouraged to unleash the art of print making at Montclair State University. This is her third year teaching art at the Upper School. their creative side and had to come to explore out-of-the- school.” “I was a painter for 25 years but I was looking for something with box thinking, Krauss more continuity,” she says of her decision to begin teaching. treats her classes like “Schechter fits right into my life. The kids are phenomenal and an academic subject. Art appreciation and art vocabulary the parents are great. The whole experience has been incredibly come first. Projects, painting and productivity fall into amazing.” place thereafter. An avid animal lover with two “Every year I try to add some new things but keep dogs adopted from a shelter, what’s tried and true. I’m anxious to keep projects in my “The kids are Charlap uses her talent to capture curriculum that children are very successful in, so they feel phenomenal the essence of pets in custom watercolor portraits. Her work is good about themselves when they’re done,” says Krauss, whose staple projects include lessons on Picasso and an and the parents displayed on her website, www. Andy Warhol cat series for first graders. are great. Illustratedpet.com. The grandmother of four is a student herself, having taken The whole Comfortable in her classroom, she expresses the importance of watercolor classes for years. She hopes to soon display her work. experience has working with great equipment A graduate of Queens College with a Masters degree in and materials, noting that she been incredibly is always looking to expand and elementary Art from Brooklyn College, Krauss started her career as a third-grade teacher before exchanging the amazing.” upgrade in the art room. traditional classroom for the art room. “Kids find their self esteem and “This has been my dream job. I am surrounded in art. self worth in so many different ways. I love to be able to have this Every year as I move on, I still love it. I still have students art room for those kids who haven’t really found their place yet to who tell me they weren’t feeling well but they knew it was find a way to express themselves. I love having a kid who comes in an art day so they had to come to school. That makes me and says they aren’t a good artist – they’re my favorite kind. They feel really good about teaching. They love coming and I walk away at the end thinking they can’t believe they made that. love seeing their progress. It’s very satisfying.” That’s a total win for me.” 6 11 Class Notes: News From Our Alu mni Class of 2009 Good luck in your studies! Mazel tov to Jessica Meier on her engagement to Jason Werner. Natali Naveh, a sophomore at Franklin We recently enjoyed watching a PSA Marshall College in lancaster, PA was on girls and self image publicized by quoted in a national news story by Jewish Risa Kotek who works for The Creative Class of 2001 Telegraphic Agency entitled, “Small Rural Coalition. http://www.girlscouts.org/who_ We recently heard that Julie Bressman has Colleges Catering to Growing Jewish we_are/advocacy/watchwhatyouwatch/ gotten engaged to Andrew Kozumplik. Populations”. Mazel Tov, Natalie, you did default.asp Mazel Tov! us proud! Kudos to Josh Cooper, a student at the Class of 2004 Kudos to Ariel Fixler who recently launched a matchmaking service, Sweet University of Pennsylvania for his Israel Mazal Tov to Joel Yavelberg on his recent Fix Up, www.sweetfixup.com. They had advocacy in light of a humus protest marriage to Hana Suberi over the summer. their first mixer on Tuesday, November 9th against Israel on campus. He was featured yoel and hana are both elementary school at Inc lounge with proceeds benefiting in an article in the Philadelphia Jewish teachers. yoel teaches in South Orange, Autism Speaks. Exponent. We love to see our alumni as and Hana is teaches at Solomon Schechter leaders in Israel advocacy on campus! Kol in Marlboro. Class of 2000 hakavod Josh! The class of 2000 held a reunion in May. We recently heard that Shai Romirowsky The reunion was organized by Lauren Class of 2008 married Abigail Mintz in August. High Mechaly and Jodi Lipka. Mazel Tov on 10 school friends, Avi Spielman and Matt years! Ethan Chaleff has just received an award Engler were groomsmen at the wedding. given to sophomores at the Case School of Mazel tov to Shai and Abigail! We recently got word that Joshua engineering at Case Western in Cleveland. he maintained straight A’s for the first Reisberg is engaged to Rachel Carlton. three semesters. Kol Hakavod Ethan! Class of 2003 Mazel tov Joshua! We recently read an interesting article Mazel Tov to Nathaniel Wershultz and his Class of 2006 in the New york Times written by Jeff wife, Rebecca on the birth of their son We recently heard from Ben Herzberg, Yoskowitz, entitled “In Israel, a Pork Isaac Jacob who arrived in March. a Princeton graduate, that he will be Cookbook Challenges a Taboo”. attending Imperial College and University Yonit Golub Sirkin recently made aliyah College in london this year, to earn his Mazel Tov to Tara Strogov on her recent with Nefesh b’Nefesh. Until now, yonit masters degree in the History of Science engagement to Joshua Kipnees (Class of was an advisor to Michael Bloomberg. and Medicine. After London, Ben will 2002)! Bloomberg says: “If she were leaving attend Harvard University Medical School. for any other reason other than to make Mazel Tov, Ben and keep up the hard work! Mazel Tov to Mallory Goldberg on her aliyah, I would be a little upset, I’m sure recent engagement to Mark Fisch. yonit can do a lot of good things in Israel.” Jasmine Marcus recently moved to Good luck, yonit! Ashkelon, Israel and is working for a sports radio station. She moved, together with We heard that Jennifer Bercovici recently her boyfriend, who plays basketball for wed Farbod Shakouri. Mazel Tov! Ashkelon’s team. She is dusting off her Hebrew, and credits her Neshama trip for her language skills, and her love of the country. Enjoy Israel, Jasmine! Class of 2005 The Class of 2005 had a reunion on July Class of 2002 8 at the Willow lounge in NyC. We hear it was a great event with 35 alumni in Mazel Tov to Yael Offer on her marriage to attendance! Everyone had a great time Eli Sperling! catching up with old classmates and reminiscing about their time at Schechter Mazel tov to Jared Hutter on his recent and on Neshama. engagement! We got word that Emily Gray and Miriam Mazel Tov to Joshua Kipnees on his recent Langer will be attending the Sackler engagement to Tara Strogov (Class of 2003)! School of Medicine in Ramat Aviv, Israel. 12 Class Notes: News From Our Alu mni Mazal tov to Rena Kaufman on her Akselrad. Claire is still taking wonderful a new baby girl, Aliza Gavriela Pelavin. engagement. care of children at the Lower school as our She joins her big sister Liora. The family is School nurse. living in Teaneck and Rachel is serving as Director of Education and Outreach for Class of 1999 Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. Mazel Tov to Ethan Bortniker on his recent Mazel Tov! engagement to Alexis Finkelberg. Mazel tov to Meira Cohen who recently Elyssa Folk Friedland and her husband was married! William Friedland welcomed a daughter, Lila Sophia in April. She joins big brother Mazel tov to Ari Levine was recently Charlie. Mazel Tov to the growing engaged! Friedland family! Joshua Haber is living and working in Israel Class of 1996 at the Supreme Court as a law Clerk. Josh We recently heard that Dov Goldman and took the time to meet with Neshama Class of 1997 his wife Melanie welcomed a baby girl, students and give a tour. Thanks Josh, and Bryce Autumn, in September. Bryce joins keep up the good work! We recently heard that Dr. Rachel Pessah Pollack and her husband, David Pollack her big sisters Sadie and Emery as the newest edition to the Goldman family. Class of 1998 welcomed daughter Hannah Zoe Pollack Mazel tov! to their family. Baby Hannah is named Mazel tov to Jason Wilf and Cori Rothkopf after her great grandmother. Mazel Tov! We recently heard that Carly (Appelbaum) on their wedding in Massachusetts Mazel Tov to Anna Gershkovich Dulin and Goldberg lives in Philadelphia, PA with on Labor Day weekend. We heard her husband, Oleg on the birth of their son her husband Michael Goldberg and their from Lawrence Elbaum, Class of 1998, Rafael Lev! Rafael arrived in March. 3 1/2 year-old son Oren. Carly is a licensed that many Schechter alumni were in clinical social worker and is currently attendance including: Eric Lester, Class Mazel Tov to Natalie Ovadia Elizarov and pursuing a doctorate in social work at of 1998, Jocelyn Levine Klar, Class of 2001 her husband, Dave on the birth of their son the University of Pennsylvania’s School and Greg Klar, Class of 1998, Barry Levine, Donnie Joshua! Donnie arrived in March. of Policy and Practice. Additionally, Carly Class of 1998, Gonen Paradis, Class of has founded and is the director of the 1998, David Pantirer, Class of 1999, Eliot We recently heard that Jenny Labendz Women’s Collaborative Circle. Pines, Class of 2007, Justin Pines, Class of 2001 Marc Pantirer, Class of 2001, Nikki completed her PhD in Talmud from JTS this past May, after which she spent two months Mazel Tov to Marc Majzner and wife Pines Lieberman (2003) and her husband. in England as a visiting scholar at Oxford Jennifer who welcomed twin baby boys, and others. University. In the 2010-2011 academic year Alex and Max in the spring! Jenny will be an adjunct professor at Barnard College and at JTS. On July 25th, Jenny married Zalman Newfield, a PhD candidate in sociology at NyU, and the happy couple now lives in Hoboken, NJ. Mazel Tov to Jenny on all the exciting news! Mazel Tov to Aviva Akselrad Zierler and her husband, David Zierler on the birth of their daughter, Sadie Vella. Mazel tov Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster and her to proud grandparents Claire and Abe husband Paul Pelavin recently welcomed 13 Class Notes: News From Our Alu mni Rachael Goldman, having just completed Mazel tov to Margie Skeer on her Class of 1988 her dissertation on Color in Ancient graduation from Harvard University Roman Literature and Art, traveled School of Public Health with a doctorate We recently heard that Marc Leibowitz around Sicily. She was very excited to see in Public Health in May of 2010. She is is the president of the Columbia Club of Palermo, Segesta, Agrigento, Syracuse, currently pursuing postdoctoral studies at Northern NJ! It’s great to see our alumni and Piazza Armerina. Since graduating Brown University. Her area of specialty is in leadership roles in the state! from Schechter, Rachael has taught all teen substance abuse prevention. Keep over, was a Dean at Rutgers College, up the good work, Margie! Mazel Tov to Jeremy Sokolic, and his wife researched at the American Academy in Sarah, on the birth of their daughter, Rome and is resuming her teaching at We just heard that Jessica Gorbis Martin Arianna Eden. Arianna joins big brothers CUNy in the fall. She currently resides in and her husband Eric Martin have Isaiah and Coby. Jeremy also received the Bradley Beach, NJ. welcomed their second son, Colby Jason. first Distinguished Alumni Award at the Colby joins big brother, Spencer. Mazel Great Auction Celebration in May. Mazel Tov to the growing Martin family! Tov to the Sokolic family on all the good news! Class of 1987 We recently heard that Seth Schwartz and his wife, Alla have welcomed a new baby. Baby Jonah was born in May and joins older sister, Maya. Mazel Tov to the Schwartz family! Class of 1984 Mazel Tov to Jason Ben’Ous and his wife Class of 1993 We recently heard from Michael Safran, Leslie who welcomed a baby boy in April! We recently reconnected with Dr. Nadine “As for me, I’ve been living and working in Cohen who is a physician in Teaneck. She Australia for the past 10 years. I’m a well- Mazel Tov to Alison Joseph and family and her husband have a two year old established food writer based in Sydney, who welcomed a baby boy in July. daughter named Madeline. and am the contributing editor foe Australia’s largest food title, Master Chef Mazel tov to Ryan Enis and his wife, We recently heard from Daniel Magazine. My more recent news is that Alison Taylor, on this birth of their son Schlossberg who graduated from Hofstra I’ve been signed by the country’s largest Cooper Reid. School of Law on May 16, 2010. Mazel Tov and oldest literary agency, Curtis Brown, Daniel! and am currently in negotiations with Class of 1995 publishers to produce my first cookbook” Mazel Tov to Daniella Korman Weinberg Class of 1992 and her husband Andrew on the birth of Class of 1983 baby Jesse Daniel in May. Mazel Tov to Gianine Rothschild Handwerker and her husband, Gavin on We recently heard that Andrew Strauss the birth of their son Jacob Justin! Jacob married to Katie Buckels in Michigan in Class of 1994 arrived in June. August. Mazel Tov! We recently heard that Rabbi Tracy Kaplowitz and her husband Jonathan welcomed their second child, Jacob. Mazel tov to Tracy and Jonathan, and new The Class of 1992 had a gathering in the summer. big sister Jordana! 14 Class Notes: News From Our Alu mni Other Class News From faculty member Laura Roth, “My daughter Rachel was in the very first nursery class with Anne Brown back in 1984. She was at Solomon Schechter through the eighth grade and she had a wonderful experience. Rachel is now a chief resident in family medicine at New york Beth Israel Hospital. Rachel loves being a doctor and this has been her dream since the third grade. My husband, Alan and I are so very proud of her.” (Pictured: Rachel and her brother Michael) Mazel tov to Danielle Schwartz and Jonathan Auerbach on their recent wedding! OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO The Wingens family on the loss of Marion of Shira, (Class of 2006) and Jonathan, School Director of Athletics Janet Herman Wingens. Marion was the beloved sister of (Class of 2009) and grandfather of Rabbi Jason (Class of Gary Wingens and aunt of Andrew (Class 1995) and Dr. Richard (Class of 1996). of 2010), Jonathan (Grade 8), and David The family of Dr. Philip Brien, beloved (grade 4). father of Dr. Michael Brien and The Needle family on the loss of former grandfather of Keith (Grade 11), David SSDSEU Board President Emanuel Needle, The Gallin family on the death of Herbert (Class of 2005), Alexandra (Class of 2007) beloved father of Daniel (Class of 1985), Gallin. Herbert was the beloved father of and Samantha (Class of 2008) Joshua (Class of 1988) and former SSDSeU Frederic Gallin and grandfather of Cindy students Brenda and William. (Class of 2007) and emily (Class of 2010) The family of Herbert Gallin, beloved father of Frederic Gallin and grandfather The Jacobs/Kahn family on the loss of The family of Shimon Rosenzweig, of Cindy (Class of 2007) and emily (Class Shirley Jacobs, beloved mother of Rhonda beloved father of Lower School Judaic of 2010) Kahn and grandmother of Zachary (Class Studies Teacher Shoshana Hadef and of 1996), Rebecca (Class of 1999) and Ilana grandfather of Helena Hadef Amkraut The family of Ruth Robinson, beloved (Class of 2002). (Class of 1984) and former students mother of Russell Robinson and Rommy Hadef and Avi Hadef. grandmother of Alyssa (Class of 2009) Former Cranford lower School principal and teacher, Janice Naldi on the loss of The family of Noah Landis, beloved son of The family of Rita Butensky, beloved her mother harriet Childers. erica Kornspan landis (Class of 1986) and mother of Dr. Arthur Butensky and Hal Landis, and adored nephew of Darren grandmother of Daniel (Class of 2004), The Vinacour family of the loss of Kornspan (Class of 1985) Adam (Class of 2008) and former student Abraham Vinacour, beloved father of Rachel. Mia Vinacour Gerstel (Class of 1990) and The family of David Twersky, beloved former student Rebecca Vinacour. father of former students Michael and The Miller/Spinat family on the loss of Anna Twersky. Gilda Spinat’s mothers and grandmother of yael Miller, Bess Ingall Spiro, who was Our school The family of Mary Eig, beloved mother of in her 100th year. mourns the Cynthia Geller and grandmother of Jessica Gil Raviv (Class of 1988) and father Dan loss of friend Zimbard (Class of 1998), and Adam Geller. Raviv on the loss of their beloved mother and school The family of David Kempinski, beloved and wife Adina. benefactor husband of Eva Kempinski and father of Eric F. Ross. Sol Kempinski (Class of 1980) The Fliegelman/Warm family on the loss of Evelyn Warm, beloved mother of Janet We wish The family of Jane Appelbaum, beloved Warm Fliegelman and grandmother of J.J. condolences mother of Carly Appelbaum (Class of (Class of 2007), Oren (Grade 11) and Mindy to his children Barbara 1996) (Grade 10). Bermann and Peter Ross and The family of Walter L. Hecht, beloved The Herman/Rich family on the loss of his seven grandchildren. father of Michael Hecht and grandfather Joseph Rich, beloved father of Upper 15 We apologize for any errors or omissions. 1418 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, New Jersey 07052 Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID UNION, NJ Permit No. 811 schechter Connector Alumni Newsletter of Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union. SSDSEU is accredited by the NJ Association of Independent Schools and is a beneficiary agency of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ. It is affiliated with the Jewish Federation of Central NJ, the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, NJ Region. Upper School Eric F. Ross Campus 1418 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, NJ 07052 (973) 602-3600 Lower School Irving Laurie Building 122 Gregory Avenue West Orange, NJ 07052 (973) 602-3700 — ALUMNI PARENTS — Stephanie Bash-Soudry If you are receiving this newsletter addressed to your children Director of Development at your home address, please email us their current & Alumni Relations Donna Oshri mailing addresses to email@example.com Director of Marketing & Communications Thank you for helping us to stay connected! Jessica Glicker Alumni Newsletter Writer Rebecca Kestenbaum Development Associate/ SSDSEU ON FACEBOOK Keep in touch! Alumni Newsletter Writer SSDSEU has its very own Joseph Bier Chair, Board of Trustees Alumni Facebook Page! What’s happening in your life? Dr. Joyce Raynor Marriage? A promotion? A new job? Head of School Find us on Facebook: Julia R. Malaga Moved to a new region? Chief Financial Officer Solomon-Schechter Day School Honors and awards? New degree? Nancy Leaderman of Essex and Union Alumni and New additions to your family? Upper School Principal tell us how you’re doing on Gloria Kron Lower School Principal the ‘What have you been up to?’ Keep us posted! discussion board. Fill out the web form We welcome your feedback about this at www.ssdseu.org newsletter. Please share with us your comments and suggestions by sending an or send an e-mail to e-mail to Donna Oshri, Doshri@ssdseu.org. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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