SINAI in the News

By JLBC Staff on Jul 18, 2014
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.SINAI was founded more than 30 years ago at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy (JKHA) where, according to Sam Fishman, SINAI’s Managing Director, “SINAI still thrives and has its largest number of students, thanks to the extraordinary vision, commitment and sensitivity...
By Dr. Karen Wasserman on Jul 7, 2014
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.We are all familiar with the studies that show that children experience a natural re­gression of academic skills during the sum­mer months due to being out of school. But how can parents minimize this regression and keep their...
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick on Jun 19, 2014
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. There was a well-known Rav in the area who knew that we were involved with the in­ception of Maison Shalom, but did not know that we...
By Jenny Gans on May 8, 2014
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. A day habilitation program housed in the Teaneck Jewish Center, Netivot is designed for post- high school young...
By Rabbi Yehuda Minchenberg on Apr 11, 2014
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.Forget about the fact that Pesach is charging towards us on the calendar. Chometz continues to travel throughout our house. One child takes pretzels upstairs where they are eaten in one of our beds. Another child takes a good piece of cake...
By Jenny Gans on Mar 6, 2014
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. Sam Fishman, managing director of Sinai Schools, who also serves as its filmmaker with film editor David Jasse of DMJ Digital Media, said he felt the connection viewers made to the 15-minute video contributed...
By Joanne Palmer on Jan 31, 2014
Contest for students highlights the unity designed into school’s diversityThe 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.The student enrolled in the drama club, the rabbi continued. And then, yes, it happened, just like in the movies. “When he was comfortable performing and reading a scripted part, his performance was just exceptional. It was a moment of complete communal crying. The students at the school stood up and gave him a standing ovation.”It is important to...
By Elizabeth Kratz on Jan 24, 2014
Teaneck—There is a boy who calls his grandmother on his bus ride home each day from school, of course to tell her that he loves her, but also to tell her, with unabashed glee, what he had for lunch that day. Until this fall, this child with special needs was in public school, before switching to Sinai Schools. “There can be so many barriers to normalcy for a Jewish child with special needs in a public school. Just to be able to have a kosher lunch in the lunchroom with all the other kids in the school, it made him so happy,” said Sam Fishman, managing director of Sinai Schools. The...
By Esther Klavan on Dec 2, 2013
As both a parent and educator, I find myself using the phrase, “What’s your plan?” countless times throughout the week. Whether in response to my own child remarking that he left his math textbook at school and cannot do his homework, or a student coming to let me know that he has two Shabbatonim on the same weekend, my response is typically, “What’s your plan?”These simple words are empowering. They inherently validate the individual’s concern or dilemma by virtue of merely being heard, and simultaneously shift the responsibility back on him to become a problem solver. Quite often the...
By Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs i on Oct 21, 2013
From the first day you put your preschooler on the bus until the day he or she graduates from high school, communication with school is central to understanding your child’s progress. For most parents, communication with teachers is reserved primarily for formal conferences. Parents of children with special needs, however, often seek more regular communication with teachers. The stakes are simply higher when a child experiences academic or social challenges. Sometimes, parents’ emotion or passion can be misperceived as misplaced aggression or lack of confidence, when in fact their intention...

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