Posts by SINAI Staff

By Abigail Hepner Gross for The Jewish Standard on Jul 16, 2020
In early March, as the realization set in that we at Sinai Schools would have to move to online learning at all of our schools, it became apparent that we were living through history. Sinai operates seven schools across New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area; all of them serve children who have a broad range of complex learning disabilities and special needs. At first, as our schools moved one by one to remote learning, it was impossible for us to envision how we would serve our children under the current circumstances, provide them with the therapies each of them need, and keep...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs on May 20, 2020
It’s been over 2 months since we initially began to socially distance.  As an educator, as a parent, and as a son, I can attest that this has been an extremely trying time. What so many of us took for granted a short while ago has now become so treasured: social interaction.  Zoom classes (as heroic as the teachers are!) cannot replace face-to-face interactions.  Celebrating smachot without close friends and family is something that we never would have considered before.  And of course, mourning those we’ve lost without the in-person consolation of others is a challenge...
By Miriam Nekritz on May 14, 2020
On Tuesday, April 28, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds performed a stunning show to honor the first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Flying in formation over Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, our country expressed our collective gratitude to and admiration for this exceptional group of people. Cheering for medical workers has become a new national institution. In coordinated efforts, neighborhood by neighborhood, people step out on their porches and doorsteps to give a round of enthusiastic applause for medical staff that can be heard...
By Dena Mayerfeld for The Jewish Link on May 30, 2019
The great musical maestro, Arturo Toscanini, was once listening to a very complex concert with a friend. Toscanini, known for his photographic memory, intense personality and superb ear for detail, asked his companion if he had noticed anything unusual about the rendition of the orchestral piece. The friend replied that he had not and wondered what Toscanini had found unusual and noteworthy. Toscanini replied with an outstanding observation: “There should be fourteen violins in that orchestra. I only heard thirteen!” Every note, every instrument and every musical arrangement struck a chord...
By Aura Lurie, Director of SINAI at SAR Academy on Apr 9, 2019
This blog post was originally published on SAR's Divine Sparks blog.  It was the first recess on the first day of school, and Shlomo’s (not his real name) first day at SINAI at SAR Academy. Shlomo was very social, and had many friends, but his academic challenges were complex and he struggled in many parts of his day.  Although they knew that SINAI was the right academic setting for him, Shlomo’s parents were apprehensive that he would not be able cultivate and maintain friendships with the SAR students. Shlomo went out to recess with all the other children, including SINAI...
By SINAI Schools on Mar 18, 2019
SINAI at SAR students proudly celebrated a Siddur Presentation ceremony. Whether students were receiving a siddur for the first time or not, all of them joined in the celebration.   Some students gave short speeches which included an idea from the tefillah unit that we have been studying with Morah Zahava Wapner. We explained the many stages that went into creating our siddur cover. We also reviewed concepts that formed the basis of the three tefillot a day which were created by the Avot, and are parallel to the korbanot given in the Beit Hamikdash.  Mr. Glazer, SAR Music...
By Dena Mayerfeld for The Jewish Link on Feb 21, 2019
Ready for camping! Enter for excitement! Intelligent! Really Excellent and Incredibly Interesting and Intriguing! These were just some of the sentiments generated by my students about our January 15 trip to the REI store on Forest Avenue, about a ten minute drive from SINAI at RYNJ. REI—Recreational Equipment Inc.—sells high-end camping gear and equipment in stores around the country and on their website, including everything you would need to spend “a week in the woods.” The SINAI at RYNJ middle school boys were reading “A Week in the Woods”...
By Chaim Sussman, former SINAI Schools teacher on Jan 8, 2019
A few days ago my wife and I celebrated the bris of our son.  We named him Shmuel Tzvi in memory of someone who had a big impact on my life. Tzvi was the middle name of Naftali Tzvi Hakohen, Nathaniel Cohen z”l. Nathaniel was the first student I worked with after I graduated college, in my first job at SINAI Schools….and at the risk of sounding corny and cliche, I can guarantee you that I learned much more from him than he ever learned from me. Nathaniel was a big Mets fan, and as seems to often be the case in my life, that leads to an instant connection! I distinctly remember a...
By Chana Shestack and Kayla Silow-Carroll in The Jewish Link on Dec 17, 2018
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.  ​​Mrs....
By Frada Stone for The Jewish Link on Jun 18, 2018
Consider the following scenarios: Debbie is an academically challenged 15-year-old who, after suffering through negative experiences in two different elementary and middle schools, has now started her freshman year of high school. Debbie struggles with self-confidence. She is capable of achieving at a level far greater than she demonstrates, and her teachers are looking for ways to motivate her to put more effort into her studies so that she can reach her potential, but the casualty of the struggles of her past has been her bright vision of the future. The consensus is that Debbie is in a...

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