April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Moriah’s annual middle school Moriah Reads program is an interdisciplinary unit of study, designed as a way to bring all three middle school grades and teachers together through reading and discussing the same novel. This year’s selection, “Out of My Mind,” by Sharon Draper, focuses on the life of Melody, a young woman with cerebral palsy. The program was strategically scheduled for Martin Luther King Jr, Day, as the day’s theme was: Inclusion Comes in Many Forms. The day of learning included a variety of theme-related multidisciplinary workshops and presentations that kept middle school students on the go, challenged and engaged.

The morning began with a STEM competition created by Mrs. Knoll that had everyone feverishly designing wheelchairs. The remainder of the morning was divided into a session with Cheryl Hall, chairperson of the Advisory Board on Community Relations in Teaneck. This was followed by three round robin sessions. One was a training by Jamie Lassner from Accessibility Accelerator, a shiur by Moriah’s Rabbi E on disability portrayals in Tanach and What does it mean to be a friend that was led by Mrs. Brickman.

During the afternoon students participated in a series of classes connected to the novel. Our students moved from classroom to classroom to hear from and participate in workshops designed by our teachers. Topics included: The Power of Language, Giving the Benefit of the Doubt, Is Competition Healthy? The Americans with Disabilities Act, Siblings and Their Relationships in Tanach, What is CP? and more.

Moriah was then graced by the presence of Zack Pollack. He is a motivational speaker who focuses on anti-bullying, inclusion, living with a disability and staying positive. He is a wheel- chair-confined young man in his late 20s, born with CP, which left him a quadriplegic, without most of the function in his arms and legs and, despite this, is a YU RIETS student.

Mincha was followed by a school-wide GimKit that challenged students to recall the details of the novel followed by a Whiz Kids trivia competition. Moriah Reads Day 2024 was unforgettable.

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