Posts by SINAI Staff

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...
By Dena Mayerfeld on May 24, 2018
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. As with each of SINAI’s schools, the...
By Jewish Link NJ Staff on May 23, 2018
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. In 2012, Steven and Laura Paley established the Paley-Mironov Art Therapy program at SINAI Schools in honor of their parents, Selma and David Mironov, a”h, and Florence...
By Jordan Silvestri, Director, Karasick Shalem High School at Heichal Hatorah on Mar 19, 2018
As part of SINAI's year-long Core Leadership program partnership with Yeshivat HaKotel, I was recently privileged to present a webinar for the HaKotel students in Israel on leadership. We discussed four key elements of leadership for the students to incorporate into their educational lexicon: Being Personal, Having Self-Awareness, and being Selfless and Compassionate. These elements are some of the key ideas that make up effective leaders, and the leadership core of SINAI Schools.  Leadership is oftentimes incorrectly correlated to management. Management refers to the idea...
By Sam Fishman on Dec 19, 2017
When I was a younger man, and the father of a small child with special needs, I found that there were certain prayers that I said with more “kavanah” – deeper intention and feeling.    One of those prayers was “Birkat Hachodesh,” the prayer said on the Sabbath before the beginning of each new month, in which we ask God that the upcoming month should bring blessings -- and all good things.     I remember standing in the synagogue with my young son beside me.  My SINAI child.  I would put my arm around his shoulder, draping my tallit – my prayer shawl...

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