On Tuesday May 1, SINAI students, friends and family gathered at The Avenue in Teaneck for the sixth annual Unique Inspirations Art Show sponsored by BearGivers. BearGivers is a nonprofit organization led by Chairman and Founder Joseph Sprung and President Diane Lempert, dedicated to creating an environment where children who face challenges are empowered to bring happiness to others through acts of generosity and giving.
SINAI in the News
Students with special needs often feel overwhelmed and helpless; many roadblocks can appear to block their way to success and cause them to think that the world is against them. But Yaakov Guttman, an Israeli firefighter who served with distinction in the Israel Defense Forces, seeks to bring attention to the way his teachers built him up, enabling him to overcome the stigma about his own learning disabilities, and be able to thrive and serve in Israel, his chosen country.
SINAI Schools, a special-education yeshiva day school that runs its programs inside existing day and yeshiva high schools, shatters stereotypes about children with disabilities. Students weighed down by profound learning challenges have become glowing, inspired, college-bound students. Students facing immense physical challenges have had the support they need to blossom, enjoy school and look to their bright future.
Yaakov Guttman’s life has been about putting out fires, both metaphorically and literally.
We understand that the word literal often doesn’t mean literal any more, but here we are using it in its classic sense. Yaakov Guttman runs into burning buildings, rescues people, and even their pets, and fights the fire until it is out. Most of us run away from fires. He runs toward them.
Bergenfield’s Yaakov Guttman, 34, after a year at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah for his gap year, opted to stay in Israel and entered the IDF as a lone soldier, with limited Hebrew skills. He did well, working his way up to serving as a sniper commander in Jenin, Shechem and Ramallah. He was injured during a terror attack while saving the life of another soldier and endured a difficult recovery. Today, he is a firefighter in Tel Aviv. Firefighters are first responders to terror attacks, and of course they run into burning buildings, saving lives practically every shift.
A boy with cerebral palsy proves to his friends and family that if you refuse to give up, anything is possible.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Abigail Hepner Gross
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
It's all about the honesty of faces.
At its beginning, the children in the SINAI School’s new music video, “Prayers From My Heart,” stare out at us, reproachfully, angrily, with frustration. They are open, honest, vulnerable, and shinily wide-eyed. Always wide-eyed.
(Courtesy of SINAI Schools) On November 2, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools formally recommended SINAI Schools for reaccreditation. SINAI is the only Jewish special education school to be accredited by Middle States, and has held this distinction since 2004. The Middle States Visiting Team reviewed SINAI with an in-depth evaluation, reviewing all aspects of SINAI’s educational standards and practice over the course of a week.
As everyone winds down from summer and enjoys the last few weeks of vacation, SINAI’s business office has been buzzing with activity as they reflect on the expanded Swim For SINAI program. For those new to this program, each summer, campers raise money for SINAI by asking friends and family to sponsor them in a swimathon. In the past, Camp Shalom and Teaneck Chabad’s Kiddie Camp held successful events.