20 May Partners in Sustaining our School: The Annual Campaign Spring Match

In my many years as a teacher and division head I had the opportunity to partner with parents in educating their children, working together to think about each child’s needs and healthy development. Those partnerships were deeply rewarding, as I was privileged to share in parents’ pride in their children’s growth and accomplishments. Now, in my role as head of school, I have the opportunity to partner with parents in a new way, to build and sustain Schechter Manhattan.  Our parents want our school to thrive, both so that their children will continue to have such an excellent school experience and so that we can fulfill our mission to nurture the future leaders of the Jewish community.


This week, four families have stepped forward to lead us in sustaining Schechter Manhattan by pledging $75,000 as matching funds for the spring appeal of our annual fundraising campaign. I am truly inspired by each of these parents’ dedication to Schechter Manhattan and to Jewish education. The variety of reasons they chose to make this large matching pledge remind me of what is so important about our school. Julie Sissman and Phil Richter pledged because, at Schechter Manhattan our children are appreciated for who they are and how they learn. Their teachers are amazingly creative, thoughtful, and caring – able to provide students with both learning challenges and supports as needed.”  Rosita and Philippe Weisberg expressed that they are contributing because, “Schechter Manhattan has shown us that a school can, with talent and dedication, create a program where every child can develop socially and academically to their full potential. The school’s ethos is truly built on a philosophy of inclusiveness and community.” Idit and Eran Polack are participating in the match because, “Schechter Manhattan is a very welcoming school, that sets and inspires high educational goals for its students, supports all students as individuals and creates a warm and close community that feels like a family.” Past President of the Board of Trustees, and recent annual benefit dinner honoree, Dan Labovitz is giving to the match because, “at Schechter Manhattan, Jewishness isn’t an activity, it’s part of the fabric of my kids’ lives. My kids can be Jews and athletes, Jews and drama kids, Jews and Lego roboticists. Schechter Manhattan gives them that integrated whole, and with it, the freedom to bring their Judaism into the rest of their lives.” These parents value the things that make Schechter Manhattan so distinctive and important- caring teachers, a focus on healthy development of each child, high educational aspirations, and an integrated, holistic Jewish learning and living experience.


I join with these four families in encouraging you to give today. This amazing $75,000 match is a terrific way to see your gift of $18, $180, $1800 or more go even further! Double the impact of your gift by giving between now and Schechter Manhattan graduation on June 16th.

Thank you to all those who have already given!

Partnering with parents like Julie and Phil, Rosita and Philippe, Idit and Eran, and Dan to support and build Schechter Manhattan is deeply rewarding. I am moved by this expression of our shared values. Thanks to all of them for their leadership. I hope that you are also inspired and will join them in supporting Schechter Manhattan today.

Shabbat shalom

Benjamin Mann

Author’s Chair




Kitah Aleph students have been learning about Derech Eretz — the way we treat one another with kindness and respect. This week the students learned an idea from the mishna — “K’neh lecha chaver”.  Literally, this means “Buy yourself a friend”.  The children agreed that this was a ridiculous idea, that friends can’t be bought and settled on the interpretation: “Get yourself a friend”. Each child then made a book of tips on how to make friends.


Say hello; Be nice; Ask if they want to play; Play with them if they say yes; Smile; Now you have a friend



Go ovre to them; Shake ther hand; Ask if theae wont to pllae; Pllae with them; you made frens.



Say hello; Say can you play with me; Be nice



Let the persin play with you; Ask for a play date; Play togathe; Play drasup (dress up); Play gaga; play food.




The students of Kitah Gimmel have been participating in Writing Clubs. Each club studied the features of one of four different types of writing (realistic fiction, science-fiction/fantasy fiction, poetry and how-to’s). After a close look at what made each genre unique, we practiced writing in our club’s genre. Below are excerpts from our finished pieces.


Metal Human

By Ari

It was the year 2200 and 9 year old John was on vacation  with his family. A tsunami hit the island they were on and John’s family died. He became an orphan. John’s body was really injured and the doctors replaced his limbs with metal, so he had metal arms, legs, feet, toes, fingers and hands. The metal that replaced his limbs had super powers. He could fly because he had jets on the bottom of his feet and on his psalms. He also had a small rocket launcher on the top of his left hand. He could see things from far away with his left eye, it was a super eye.


Getting to know New York

By Yoav 

N – New city, new house, new friends
E – Eat everything here! We eat Chinese food, Israeli food, and American food.
W – What is special about NYC is that there are a lot of candy shops here.

Y – York Avenue is on the East Side.
O – Outside during the night, you can see a lot of lights.
R – Restaurants are everywhere, especially in Times Square.
K – Kids in NYC play in the playgrounds in Central Park.



By David

Snack’em           pack’em

Stack’em          eat’em

Crunch’em          pretzels!


How to make pizza

by Maya

In my family we make pizza. Sounds like a good idea, right? We all choose our own toppings and our mom puts them on a section of the larger pizza pie. I’m going to teach you how to make your own pizza.

First buy or make the dough. Then, flatten it out. Then, put the sauce on. Make sure the dough does not get soggy. After that, put some cheese on. Finally, put it in the oven at 450 degrees for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, you have yummy pizza! Enjoy!


How to make salmon burgers

By Sarah Cohen

You’ll love these delicious salmon burgers. They’re super easy to make, and you hardly need any ingredients. You can serve them at a party, or just have them for lunch.


Burger buns
2 cans salmon
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 slice cheese

  1. Get a bowl and put in salmon, eggs and breadcrumbs. Mix with a fork until the mixture is one color.
  2. Take balls of the salmon mixture and flatten them out so they look like patties.
  3. Cook the patties with a pan and flip them over every now and then with a spatula until the patties aren’t mushy
  4. Lay out burger buns and put ketchup and mayonnaise on one burger bun and cheese on the other.
  5. Put the salmon patties on the buns, close it up, and enjoy!

To make more burgers repeat steps 4-5 with leftover patties. If patties get stuck to the pan, pry them out with a spatula.


The students of Kitah Heh have completed their immigration papers. Here are some samples from their introductions. 


Dutch immigrants have been coming to the United States since 1609. In 2011 there were over 4,810,511 Dutch Americans in the United States. A major wave of Dutch immigrants came beginning in 1845. In the 19th century, the Netherlands was in a lot of conflict. Some of the struggles were religious problems, less jobs, and overpopulation. The Dutch mostly came to the United States in 1849, and many wrote to their old country describing the freedom and the better new life.



Imagine that you lived in Japan and life was pleasant and orderly. Then, people lost their jobs such as farmers, growers, and grocers to industrialization. This is because many lost their land and shops to factories and mass producing businesses. In addition, modernization changed the army, schools, and certain jobs. They changed because things became more technologically advanced. Also, new ideas and concepts were introduced to the Japanese people. Beginning in 1854 and continuing on until 1924, approximately 206,000 immigrants came to America from Japan. Japanese people pondering immigrating to America were sort of playing one sided tug of war. They wanted to leave Japan and America seemed like a great place to go.  In reality, which they learned once they arrived, is that life was still difficult once they arrived in America.



Imagine you lived somewhere where you couldn’t practice your own religion, not only that but you did not have any privacy from the government. You feel like you cannot live safely and you want to leave your country. This was what Russia was like in the late 1980’s.  In Russia there was a lot of anti-semitism and poverty, so the Russian Jews migrated to America. They came to America to soon figure out that life here in America wasn’t as easy as they thought, but much better than their old life in Russia.