SINAI in the News

By Joanne Palmer, The Jewish Standard on Aug 24, 2020
It’s never been an issue before, certainly not in living memory. But none of us has lived through a pandemic. We’ve never had to worry about our children getting covid-19, an infectious disease that until recently seemed definitely not to attack children very often, but a disease for which there is no cure. We haven’t had to worry about teachers and other school staff members getting it, and we haven’t had to worry about kids bringing the disease back home and infecting their families. We’ve never had to worry about safety in this way before. With new worries, there are new questions...
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 Eric Berger on Jul 6, 2020
When Racheli Friedbauer, now 11, was enrolled four years ago in a Jewish special education program, it changed her life. Due to a rare genetic disorder, Racheli has developmental delays and some medical problems, and she is extremely shy. But she thrived within the program, which is run by Sinai Schools, a network of special educational schools that operates within regular Jewish day school settings. “It was an environment where she finally was comfortable, and she felt very loved and accepted for who she was,” said her mother, Jill Friedbauer. Then, in March, the coronavirus...
By The Jewish Standard on Jun 26, 2020
Art therapy is a powerful tool for working with children who have special needs. It reduces their stress and anxiety, improves their self-esteem, and provides children who have difficulty expressing themselves in conventional ways with a nontraditional medium to communicate their thoughts and emotions. Sinai’s Paley-Mironov Art Therapy Program was established in 2012 by Steven and Laura Paley, and thanks to their generosity, it continues to enrich the lives of Sinai’s students. Sinai’s annual Unique Inspirations Student Art Show has been sponsored by Bear Givers, a non-profit dedicated to...
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 Elizabeth Zakaim for The Jewish Link on Apr 27, 2020
As schools adjust to the new realities of remote learning, they are faced with obstacles of unfamiliar digital platforms and the challenge of engaging students from afar. SINAI Schools, which operates within different yeshivot in New York and New Jersey to serve students of all ages with special needs and complex learning disabilities, faces the challenge of needing to remotely support its faculty, parents and students, who are accustomed to learning in highly individualized classrooms. Students also receive physical, occupational and speech therapy, all of which are difficult, but not...
By JLNJ Staff on Apr 3, 2020
As all schools began to shut down due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus two weeks ago, NCSY 4G (a division of NJ NCSY, focused on all girls programming) got together via Zoom to discuss what we can do to aid our communities being affected by this disease. After much discussion, 4G decided to partner with SINAI Schools and Yachad Virtual Buddies program to create weekly virtual playdates over Zoom, called Zoommates. Zoommates partners high school teenagers and SINAI or Yachad participants to have daily 45-minute playdates, where the two participants meet up to do whatever it is they may...
By SINAI Schools on Apr 3, 2020
It might seem like a lifetime ago, but we want to wish a huge yasher koach to Elisheva Benisz, a sixth grader at SINAI at RYNJ who raised $700 for SINAI Schools in honor of her bat mitzvah! Chesed projects and community engagement are important components of SINAI’s bar/bat mitzvah program, which is funded in its entirety by Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, and which teaches SINAI students the value and importance of giving back to the community. For this fundraiser, Elisheva created a bake sale. She not only baked delicious cookies and other pastries from scratch, but also hand...
By Joanne Palmer on Feb 7, 2020
Worrying is part of a parent’s job. So is planning. So is hoping. When you have a baby, part of you is entranced by the unbearable beauty, part of you is nearly felled by exhaustion, and part of you is mapping out the future. All this strategizing is expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating, but part of being a parent is ensuring that your child has the best possible chance for a successful life. It is the rare child who flawlessly fulfills a parent’s expectation — Ivy League college, medical or legal degree, brilliant and gorgeous spouse, stunningly smart and terrifyingly beautiful...

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