Get Involved!: The Schechter Manhattan Parents’ Association is Excited for 2019

Special Guest Columnists This Week: Jennifer Abrams and Lisa Schmutter, Schechter Manhattan Parents’ Association Co-Presidents

Last month I arrived at Schechter Manhattan after sundown on a Saturday night and found the school building bustling with activity, as a group of parents used the short minutes between Shabbat and Family Night Out to ready the school for this casual community-building event. Teamwork was evident everywhere. In the lobby, parents organized name tags and prepared to greet eager families. Upstairs, moms arranged festive decorations while dads plated appetizers. Children zipped around helping set up, checking out the programming, and adding to the general atmosphere of excitement. As I climbed the stairs to make a final check on the progress in the Ulam, an energetic first-grader raced past me, saying, “This it going to be the BEST night EVER!” When I asked him to tell me what was SO exciting, he breathlessly replied, “My mom is, like, in charge of the whole thing, so it’s going to be AWESOME!” In that moment, I was energized. Energized by my fellow parents working hard at building our community, and energized by our students who are just SO EXCITED when we get involved.

How will you get involved this year?

Our first-ever Winter Open Parents’ Association Meeting is this Monday 1/7/2019 at 7pm in the Ulam at Schechter Manhattan. This meeting is a great way to get involved for the first time or to deepen your connection to the Schechter Manhattan Parents’ Association. Our agenda is simple: we will talk about our previous programs, work on planning upcoming events, and brainstorm new ideas for the future! To give you a preview, here are a few upcoming events with opportunities for your engagement.

  • Community Shabbat Dinners on January 25th are a great opportunity to come together in a more casual environment and get to know new families. Last year, more than sixty families participated across 4 locations!  If you’d like to help with set up or clean up at the dinner in your neighborhood, email [email protected]
  • Annual Gala and Auction Committee helps organize auction donations and ad sales and plan our annual gala fundraiser. If you’d like to get involved, email Jennifer Abrams at [email protected]
  • Shabbaton is the culminating event of our school year. This event truly lives up to the mantra “it takes a village.” The Shabbaton Planning Committee Kickoff meeting will be January 22 from 8-10pm. If you’d like to join the team, email Lisa Schmutter at [email protected].


The Schechter Manhattan Parents’ Association strives to meet the needs of our families and offers a flexible platform for parent engagement. We welcome your feedback, suggestions, and questions. You can hear more about what we do at the Open Meeting, or by emailing us at [email protected].

Every Schechter Manhattan parent has a different reason for sharing their time, effort, or money with the school. Some volunteer to meet other parents and make new friends. Other parents are moved by a commitment to tzedakah, or want to give back to a school that’s giving their children a strong education. Others see opportunities for improvement and want to be part of positive change. Some do it simply because it makes their kids feel special.

As we begin a new year, we invite every parent to join us, whatever your reason. We welcome your contributions to our community in whatever capacity is meaningful to you. We appreciate all the time so many of you have already given and look forward to connecting in 2019!


Shabbat Shalom,


Jennifer Abrams and Lisa Schmutter