There is something special about a parent or a grandparent seeing their dreams of a happy, secure, confident child or grandchild emerge from a journey that they know could have taken a difficult turn. SINAI Schools has, for over 30 years, done this and more for well over 1,000 children, turning disabilities into possibilities.
SINAI in the News
Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck received a $10,000 donation from the Just Energy Foundation, to be used principally for programs run by the Sinai Schools.
For more than 15 years, Sinai Schools’ vocational students have volunteered at Holy Name Medical Center for workplace training. They have worked alongside medical professionals of many types and explored numerous vocational roles in a welcoming environment. In the last year however, the relationship between the two organizations has flourished to the point of great impact to both the special needs and local medical communities, as well as the greater Teaneck community at large.
“What is the higher priority, Talmud Torah or doing chesed?” Rabbi Yosef Adler, Rosh HaYeshiva of TABC recounted how this question was posed to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein z”l and Rav Aharon responded that “both deserve a 100 percent commitment of our available time.” Rabbi Aharon added that “at different stages of lives we need to reevaluate how to strike the appropriate balance between the two.” “During our talmidims’ years in yeshiva,” Rabbi Adler explained, “the primary focus needs to be on Talmud Torah.
Swim for SINAI, a fundraiser for SINAI Schools, will take place at two locations: at Camp Shalom on Monday, July 13, and at the Chabad Kiddie Camp in Teaneck on Wednesday, July 15. Created at Camp Shalom four years ago by Dvora and Dov Brandstatter, Swim for SINAI has raised thousands of dollars for SINAI. Malka Flamholz has also helped Dvora organize the program.
Jewish students with learning or developmental disabilities got to express their artistic talents for the benefit of the Sinai Schools scholarship fund last Monday in Teaneck.
More than 70 original artworks — from sunsets and self-portraits to animal and abstract motifs — were created by 60 7- to 16-year-olds during art therapy sessions at three Sinai locations. The artworks were framed professionally and displayed at an open student art show and sale at the Avenue, an event space.
Teaneck—Under the blue and pink lights of the Avenue Event Space, parents, teachers, friends and students milled about, pausing to marvel at the paintings displayed on easels atop tables and adorning the walls. Light classical music played in the background, as the attendees enjoyed an array of hors d’oeuvres and hot crepes.
SINAI Schools have always been a part of Jordanna Rothschild’s life. Her father is a Vice President on the Board of Directors, and both parents are deeply involved in supporting SINAI, a provider of education to Jewish children with special needs. She helps out at SINAI dinners and events. Jordanna has also been developing her love of art as a ninth grade student in the Frisch High School art track.
Imagine a place where Jewish children gather each day to learn, play, and grow as individuals committed to Torah ideals. Imagine boys high-fiving one another in the halls, girls waving over a friend to join their table at lunch, children inviting a quiet child to play with them on the playground, students in a classroom buzzing with conversation until the teacher tells them all to settle down. Now imagine that one of the children in each of these scenes has a disability–physical, social, intellectual, or academic.
With her flowing blond hair, saddle boots, and tattoo, Brooke – a consulting Occupational Therapist – was probably not expecting the challenge I posed to her the day she arrived at our school. “Avi needs your help learning to put on his tefillin,” I said, handing her a mess of boxes and straps that Brooke might have wished came with arrows indicating “This Side Up.” Addressing her unspoken concerns, I continued. “The teacher will show you how they are supposed to go. What we need from you is to figure out why Avi cannot seem to make them work.”