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 in the News
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.
When Ilana Picker, one of the head teachers at SINAI’s Karasick Shalem High School at Ma’ayanot, heard about the upcoming Veterans Day Hero 5K Run at Bergen Community College, she knew immediately that the experience would be perfect for her SINAI students. SINAI at Ma’ayanot offers a functional academic high school program designed to prepare students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for rich and productive adult lives. The 5K run was an opportunity to combine adaptive physical education with personal goal-setting and inclusion in the broader local community.
On November 10, almost 100 SINAI parents gathered to socialize and to hear from Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, who spoke about how Torah can teach about life’s challenges. Pictured here are brothers Rabbi Larry Rothwachs, rabbi of Congregation Beth Aaron, and Rabbi Yisrael Rothwachs, dean of SINAI Schools.
After several years of planning, SINAI has arrived at SAR. By opening its doors to students with special needs this September, SAR became the seventh partner school providing a special-education yeshiva day-school program inside existing day and yeshiva high schools. SAR joins Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy/Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Torah Academy of Bergen County, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School and Heichal HaTorah in housing a SINAI school within its walls.
Sometimes things — ideals, education, skills — simply come together. They gel. They make sense. They just plain work.
These are the elements that combined this summer:
When SINAI Schools and Camp Shalom first partnered seven years ago, they laid the framework for a successful model of a camp chesed initiative. “I believe strongly in what SINAI does,” Rabbi Yehoshua Gold, Camp Shalom’s director told The Jewish Link. “They provide an excellent education for children with a range of abilities. Camp Shalom is proud to host this important fundraiser for SINAI Schools in our swimming pools,” he said. Rabbi Gold is also assistant director of SINAI’s Maor High School at the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School in Livingston.
Campers at Camp Shalom made a splash to raise money for SINAI Schools, kicking off the SINAI Schools “Swim for SINAI” summer fundraising campaign. This marks the seventh year that Camp Shalom has hosted this fundraiser, which now has multiple camps and even individual children participating. Campers swam to raise funds for SINAI Schools, which serves children with a wide range of developmental, intellectual and complex learning disabilities.
Sometimes, an individual can have a tremendous impact on the collective strength of his or her community. This was demonstrated recently at SINAI Schools at RYNJ, when Erika Sauerhoff, a child Holocaust survivor, spoke to SINAI’s middle school students about her experiences and reflections pertaining to the Holocaust. One of the teachers at SINAI at RYNJ is a fellow congregant of Sauerhoff’s at Congregation Adath Israel in Hillside. She seized the opportunity and recruited Erika to address her students as part of their observance of Yom HaShoah.