July 25, 2024
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New Gifts Help Yeshivat Noam Expand ‘Chazak B’Noam’

This past spring, a Yeshivat Noam family made a generous multi-year pledge to launch the Chazak B’Noam program, which is providing a dedicated inclusion class in kindergarten, first and now an accelerated literacy program in second grade. This gift also enabled Yeshivat Noam to hire a full-time speech and language pathologist to work with students who require additional learning strategies, and train teachers to meet more language needs directly in the classroom.

Now, two more major gifts totaling more than half a million dollars are enabling Yeshivat Noam to increase services provided in both early childhood and middle school.

Sensory Gym

The Schwimmer family recently enrolled their son Azi and felt that he and other students would benefit from a sensory gym on campus. Thanks to contributions from the Schwimmer and Weiss families, Yeshivat Noam now has a state-of-the-art sensory gym.

According to Morah Amy Kagedan, director of early childhood support services, “There are many students in our buds, kindergarten and first-grade classes who benefit from occupational therapy, and they will now be able to access that service during the school day in an environment created to support their growth and development.”

The new sensory gym is a dedicated space for students in buds through first grade to receive occupational therapy services, either privately or through Bergen County Special Services. Additionally, students enrolled in the Chazak B’Noam inclusion class in kindergarten and first grade will also utilize the sensory gym with their teacher, when appropriate. It is creatively designed, offering a variety of activities to help students develop fine and gross motor skills, as well as sensory integration skills. Some of the highlights of the new space include climbing walls, crash mats, a loft and swings.

Middle School Learning Specialists

Pre-adolescence is a time of great growth and change; schools must be prepared and have the resources to support students in middle school academically, socially and emotionally as they experience this change and growth.

A new, additional, generous anonymous grant of $500,000 enabled Yeshivat Noam to expand its groundbreaking Chazak B’Noam program into its middle school this year with the addition of two brand-new full-time professionals. The Chazak B’Noam program specializes in assisting students with multi-faceted learning profiles to ensure complete academic and psychosocial success. This grant has enabled Yeshivat Noam to hire a behavioral specialist, Dr. Rachel Cohen, and a special educator, Mr. Yosef Trinz, to join the educational team this year.

Working under the supervision of Dr. Alex Mondrow—middle school psychologist, Dr. Rachel Cohen, who has degrees in special education, educational psychology and school psychology, consults with school staff on student behavior, social skills groups and support for individual students. According to Dr. Cohen, “Oftentimes, students struggling academically are misunderstood and require additional attention to better understand their thoughts and concerns. In my capacity, I am developing relationships with these students and creating and implementing individualized plans to ensure their overall success.”

Mr. Yosef Trinz, who hold a master’s degree in special education, is working with students on writing and executive functioning skills. “I am very excited to join Yeshivat Noam and be part of a program that not only provides excellent academic support but that also recognizes the importance of teaching students organizational and writing skills,” says Mr. Trinz.

According to Rabbi Chaim Hagler, principal, “These visionary donors are expanding our ability to provide students with supports that until now were only available privately and outside of school. We are grateful that these families have chosen Jewish education as the focus of their tzedakah dollars. We are confident that both the sensory gym and the expansion of the Chazak B’Noam program into the middle school will have a tremendous impact on our students’ overall success.”

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