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.
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
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’
“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
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.
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
Joyce Raynor, PhD
Head of School
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
HDGA WZ IYA ,WCRT OA
“If you will it,
it is no drea m.”
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
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!
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@
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.
lawrence S. elbaum, Class of ‘98
Chair, Alumni Society
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?”
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
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.
College Alu mni
Attention Classes of
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
SAve the DAte:
Basketball Game & Faculty Reception
December 23, 2010, 1:30 – 4 p.m.
eric F. Ross Upper School Campus
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.
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.
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.
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. email@example.com or donate at our website at www.ssdseu.org
Back to School Benefit
Arts at Schechter
Beyond the Classroom: Why Benja min Akselrad
Arts Department Takes Talent to the Top Never Sits Down
‘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
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
“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
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.”
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
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
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.”
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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,
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
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
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
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!
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
Mazel tov to Danielle Schwartz and
Jonathan Auerbach on their recent
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.
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Alumni Newsletter of Solomon Schechter
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