Most students go to school, graduate and get a job. But it’s not always that simple. As we heard in the weeks leading up to the SINAI dinner, some students need extra assistance. Enter SINAI Schools and Friendship Circle of Bergen County. Together, they have expanded SINAI’s vocational training into a practical program to help prepare students for life.
SINAI in the News
SINAI Schools has had such a strong impact on my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. I started SINAI when I was in first grade at Yavneh Academy, and transferred to RYNJ in third grade. I had some difficulty but then I moved to SINAI at Kushner, which is where my SINAI story really begins.
About three years ago, I started thinking about Birthright. I found the website for Taglit-Birthright Israel, also known as Birthright Israel or simply Birthright, a not-for-profit educational organization that sponsors free 10-day heritage trips to Israel for young Jewish adults, ages 18 to 32. Once I turned 18, I did a little more research and found that Yachad, an organization for people with special needs, sponsors these trips together with Birthright. I immediately signed up.
Ready for camping! Enter for excitement! Intelligent!
Really Excellent and Incredibly Interesting and Intriguing!
We vividly recall the unforgettable moment when the doctor told us that our child had Down syndrome. It felt like a horrific sentence meted out to us. The questions and fears loomed large. What kind of a life would our child have? How would this impact our family?
Last week, I found myself sitting in a circle of six girls, some of their teachers, the director of their program, and some other visitors, far more moved and infinitely more engaged than I had any reason to expect to be.
We were at Ma’ayanot, the girls high school in Teaneck; the six girls in the circle were part of the program the Sinai Schools runs there.
Cross River, a Bergen County-based financial institution, is SINAI Schools Community Partnership awardee, to be celebrated at SINAI’s annual dinner on Feb. 24.
“We have started the relationship this year with the creation of a scholarship fund at SINAI as well as the establishment of an internship program for SINAI students where we hope to provide them with, among other things, vocational training,” explained Drew Parker, a director a Cross River and longtime SINAI supporter.
SINAI Schools is a success story of collaboration, one that partners the students of its schools with the community that supports it. It is a healthy, vibrant partnership and it is changing lives for our community’s children with special needs for the better. But it’s not only success that SINAI aims for. SINAI’s goal is to enable each and every student to spread their metaphorical wings and fly toward their fullest potential, knowing that the support they enjoy today will always be there for them.
SINAI Schools will hold its annual Benefit Dinner on Sunday, February 24, at the Marriott Glenpointe Hotel in Teaneck.
This year’s honorees are Dr. Robert and Shari Alter, Dr. Bin and Penina Goldman and Rabbi Michael and Ayelet Hoenig. Cross River will accept SINAI’s Community Partnership Award, and SINAI will present a special tribute in memory of their beloved associate director, Rachel Schulman, a”h, and dedicate the Rachel Schulman Memorial Fund.
I love having SINAI students and faculty as part of our Ma’ayanot family. It is a testament to the culture of SINAI, Ma’ayanot, and the intertwining of the two that so many of us view the SINAI students and teachers as an organic part of our school. SINAI students regularly participate in our morning tefillot, eat lunch with us, take part in our chagigot and Shabbatonim, and chat with us. Sometimes they also cry, seem anxious, or laugh joyfully in the hallways - indistinguishably from other Ma’ayanot students.