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.
SINAI in the News
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.”
River Edge—SINAI Schools and Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey (RYNJ) have entered into a long-term lease-renewal agreement, cementing the relationship between them, and ensuring that elementary school students with significant or complex special needs will continue to receive a top-quality education in a Bergen County Yeshiva.
Summertime! Parents around the world breathe a sigh of relief as the everyday stresses of long school days, hectic schedules, and tense nights of homework ease up. Yet, at the same time, many parents hesitate to completely relax during the prolonged summer school break, especially if their children have learning difficulties or disabilities.
At the time that we were working diligently to establish Maison Shalom, the group home that our daughter Naama lives in, we received amazingly unsettling telephone calls. There were those in the community surrounding the prospective new home that called and complained that they were worried that the real estate value of their own homes would go down. Their concern, supposedly, was that the residents of the home would be disturbing the neighborhood.
Teaneck—“We didn’t know what to do for Binyamin,” Teaneck parents Susan and David Richman told JLBC. At the time, their son was graduating from a special ed. high school and unsure of his next move. For 22-year-old Binyamin Richman, there were few options. He wanted to integrate into a community, but was not able to find his place. Fortunately, in September of 2013, Sinai opened the doors to the Netivot program for young adults, and Binyamin became one of its first participants.
Actually, our Pesach cleaning story starts right after Purim. It’s not just about getting rid of all the nosh from our kitchen; the issue is where the nosh goes. Of course, this is the case for everyone with children, but it seems that when you have several children with special needs the “where is the chometz hiding?” cleanup game is even more challenging.
Teaneck—Many who viewed the 2013 Sinai Schools video Heroes felt the powerful strength of emotion conveyed by the Minchenberg family. With Sinai’s help, a child with profound learning disabilities developed into a strong young man able to take his place in the community as a bar mitzvah. With over 10,000 hits on YouTube and other social media channels, the video was a viral success.
Contest for students highlights the unity designed into school’s diversity
The Kushner students “were always nice to him, but it was very difficult to engage him,” Rabbi Rubin said. There were no specific problems, more a kind of failure to thrive.