27 Apr Join me at the Schechter Manhattan Gala!

I am very excited for the upcoming Schechter Manhattan Gala.  I hope that you will join me at was is sure to be a terrific evening on Monday, May 14.  An amazing group of over 15 volunteers has come together to plan the Gala and Auction, and their collective creativity and energy is adding wonderful new dimensions to the biggest fundraising event for the Schechter Manhattan annual fund.  Here are a few great reasons to come to the Gala.

First, at the Gala we will be honoring very deserving people who reflect the Schechter Manhattan community’s deepest values.  Dr. Ismar Schorsch was the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America from 1986 to 2006 and we will present him the Schechter Manhattan Vision in Leadership Award.  Dr. Schorsch is a role model to me of commitment to sustaining Jewish tradition through a lens of the highest scholarship. When I studied at JTS in the 1990s, Dr. Schorsch’s teaching and leadership had a personal impact on me, and when I encourage our students to ask critical questions of Jewish texts and also find the Jewish commitments that they are ready to make, I feel I am furthering Dr. Schorch’s work.

Along with Dr. Schorsch, I am thrilled that we will be presenting Avital Morris (Class of 2008) with the first ever Schechter Manhattan Alumni Impact Award.  During her time at the University of Chicago, Avital was a co-founder of the Hyde Park Teen Beit Midrash at Rodfei Zedek, a program for middle and high school students to develop literacy in reading core Jewish texts and to motivate excitement about Judaism through the creative energy of Torah study.  I am so proud of the positive impact Avital is having in the world and on the Jewish communities, she joins. Avital will begin doctoral studies in Jewish history this fall, so it will be especially beautiful to honor her along with a renowned scholar of Jewish history. Come to the Gala to honor Dr. Schorsch and Avital!

Second, the Gala is going to include Broadway theater stars performing for us.  Talented and artistic members of our parent body have reached out to their networks and arranged for this special performance.  This is going to add to an event already filled with fun socializing, good food and drink, and celebrating the school we love. Come to the Gala to enjoy a theatrical performance!

Third, the Gala raises funds to support the unique and powerful Schechter Manhattan Jewish education.   Overall, the tuition that comes in does not cover the full costs of educating all the students at Schechter Manhattan, and each year Schechter Manhattan’s mission is sustained by many people who care about our school and donate to support the annual fund. Buying a ticket, a journal ad, or bidding on an auction item (details about the auction to come) is an investment in the amazing students in our school – their future as leaders of the Jewish community and as agents of positive change in the world.  Come to the Gala to support and sustain the mission of Schechter Manhattan – to ignite within our students a passion for learning and to cultivate their Jewish identities.


I hope to see you on May 14th.


Shabbat Shalom

Benjamin Mann

Author’s Chair

Each week we will feature the written work of our students. We hope that you will stop back next week and see what they are writing and thinking about.


Students had the opportunity to engage in “free writing” during writing workshop time.

iamgointodisnye world. I am go in to have fun.
(I am going to Disney World.  I am going to have fun.)
  – Julian

a Yoonucorn was meycing a raynbow.  It was fool ufculrs.
(A unicorn was making a rainbow.  It was full of color.)
  – Danielle

I wet to a jupig pleas it wus fun.
(I went to a jumping place.  It was fun.)
  – Adam

I went to isryel. i had fun.
(I went to Israel.  I had fun.)
  – Arielle



In Kitah Bet, we worked hard on our poetry unit. Poetry is different than many forms of writing, and we practiced applying different capitalization and punctuation rules during our poetry unit. Additionally, we had the opportunity to incorporate visual art into some of our poems by writing a poem in the shape of a picture related to our poem’s content. In this round of highlighted student work, you’ll find both conventional and “picture” poems. Students enjoyed writing “senses” poems (describing something through our five senses), using other poems for inspiration, using rhyme schemes and writing non-rhyming poems, and taking inspiration from the environment around us. Enjoy Kitah Bet’s wonderful work!

Click here to view work by Nava, Jonah, Charlie, Arielle, & Ava



The fifth graders read historical fiction books in book clubs and worked together to summarize what they read


The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Shirley Temple Wong immigrated to America from China. While in America she discovered her love for baseball and Jackie Robinson. It was hard for Shirley to fit in and make friends, but after discovering her love her love for baseball it got easier. Now that she loves sports it is easier for her to make friends. Shirley also happens to make some friends that don’t particularly like sports. When Shirley thinks that everything is going for her, she is having difficulty that she is slowly forgetting China and its culture. How can Shirley figure out a way that she can fit in, use Chinese culture, and on top of all that keep up with baseball and maintain her love for sports? Shirley dealt with her difficulties by repetition, she kept on playing baseball and listening to the radio for the latest sports news with her friends, she spoke Chinese with her mom, and made sure to hang out with her friends at lunch and free time to fit in and have fun as well. In conclusion, Shirley Temple had a hard time in New York but found a way to get past her difficult times.

by Shlomo, Rafi, Maya, Nina, and Ella C.


Shooting Kabul 

In Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai, a family immigrated from Afghanistan to America. In the process Fadi, the main character, loses his little sister, Mariam. Throughout the book his family struggles with discrimination, guilt and thoughts that it was their fault that Mariam is gone, and that she may never come back. Throughout the ordeal the family holds on to hope and Fadi enters a photo competition where the first place prize is a trip to India which is very close to Pakistan. If he wins he hopes to find Mariam in Pakistan. His friends help him get a picture that hopefully will be good enough although, in the end, he loses and another kid wins the prize. Fadi, trying to be happy, goes to the celebration thrown for the people who had won. At the party one of the judges shows him some of the pictures that he had taken on a trip to Pakistan. In one of the pictures is a picture of Mariam. When the judge sees this and Fadi tells him what happened the judge helps track Mariam down immediately. Mariam is found and is brought to America, and in the end we all learn the lesson that family is very important, and to never give up.

by  Talia, Hannah, Sam, Ben, Annabelle



In this unit, seventh-grade students worked to craft, edit, workshop, revise, and finally publish a full-length short story. Here is a selection of four of these stories. Enjoy the read!

Click here to view work by Maya

Click here to view work by Sammy

Click here to view work by Valentina

Click here to view work by Caleb