Saturday, March 25, 2023

Elizabeth—They call him a “Builder,” because Danny Kahane is known for his buildings. Chris Bollwage, the mayor of Elizabeth, can tell you about Danny’s buildings in town. Numerous neighboring municipalities are also graced with structures built by Danny Kahane. In the Elizabeth Jewish community—and in particular this week at Bruriah High School—Danny Kahane is a very special and different kind of builder. The Kahane family graciously donated a major portion of the funds required for updating and renovating the science lab facility and equipment.

Danny Kahane is a builder of things as well as people and opportunities. This past Sunday, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony lead by Mrs. Claire Kahane, and assisted by one of her granddaughters, the newly renovated and state-of-the art science lab was opened and dedicated by the Kahane Family in honor and in loving memory of their close friend, Mrs. Dalia Levy, a”h. The new lab is certain to be a springboard to thousands of Bruriah students as they “build” a foundation to embark on careers based in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Also in attendance were Phil Levy, son of Dalia Levy and close friend and associate of Danny; Elizabeth mayor Chris Bollwage; Councilman Kevin Kienery; Rav and Rebbetzin Elazar Teitz; Dr. Steve Singer, Board President; JEC dean Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz; and major donors Larry Diener and Elliot Fishkin, among others who also worked behind the scenes raising funds in addition to their personal contributions.

“STEM” is the new buzz-word in the science department at Bruriah High School in Elizabeth. No, they are not talking about stem cells. STEM education has just taken a colossal step into the future of cutting-edge preparation for Bruriah students in the fields of science-related careers, leadership and research. The new lab could compete with many major university facilities, and the long-awaited renovation is the first major upgrade since the original lab was installed over 40 years ago in 1972. It is also interesting to note that Rebbetzin Elisheva Teitz, who completed her teaching career with the JEC Bruriah High School, began it as the first biology teacher in 1963.

Other major donors include: Larry and Adele Diener, Erwin and Lynn Fisch, Jonathan and Anat Stein, The Hyde and Watson Foundation, The Karma Foundation, The Arie and Eva Halpern Family Foundation, Dr. Brian and Shoshana Allen, Mendel and Ariella Balk, The E.J. Grassmann Trust, The Jewish Women’s Foundation of NJ, Mark and Chava Finkel, Dr. Elliot and Jennie Fishkin, Dr. Moshe and Leya Strauss, and Dr. Daniel and Deborah Sheinbein. Other significant donors wished to remain anonymous, but are gratefully acknowledged by the JEC.

The nearly half-million dollar project was also funded by a 33% matching grant challenge provided by a national science upgrade organization, and expertly enabled by Evelyn Wolgin of the JEC. Her work was supported by a diligent team of JEC personnel—not the least of whom was Steve Karp—and includes Shlomis Peikes and Dr. Bracha Erblich, director of the science department at Bruriah.

According to Rabbi Oratz, Principal of Bruriah, the mantra of this amazing team was, “We are just going to make this happen!” Testimony to their determination and dedication is the beautiful and exceptional science lab which now replaces its archaic predecessor on the lower level of Bruriah High School. Rabbi Oratz also stated that, “science teaches love of G-d through the love and appreciation for all His creations on Earth.”

If you are a “STEM”-oriented parent or student of the present or future, it behooves you to check out this incredible new facility, and experience first-hand what awaits your child (or you as a student) in science education at Bruriah. Essential equipment has yet to be purchased, and donor opportunities are available and encouraged. Donor opportunities range from a modest $100, to $2500. Contact Mrs. Evelyn Wolgin at the JEC for additional information.

By Ellie Wolf

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