Every institution starts out small and dreams of the day when it will max out on its current space and need to grow. The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey is experiencing another year of record enrollment, serving over 1100 students. Although the school’s growth is a bracha, it does come with logistical challenges, as the administration has to find additional room to meet the needs of all the students. The school needed additional classroom space, but another need was more facilities for physical education and performance space.
In a post-construction statement released by RYNJ’s vice president, Rachelle Mandelbaum, “The gym has been increased by 30% or close to 1600 square feet, allowing the area to be divided by retractable court curtains. When lowered, the curtains will separate the gym into three smaller gyms with enough space to safely and comfortably serve three individual classes each period. Bleachers (seating for over 200 spectators) and boys and girls restrooms have been added on either side. The expanded gym features a large portable stage and new audio and video equipment that will provide us with a comfortable performance space for large school events, including Chumash plays, Chanukah performances and graduation. Behind the gym, four large classrooms have been added to accommodate our growing student body. The expansion also includes one administrative office, a resource room, and two rooms for Bergen County Special Services.”
During the construction, the RYNJ Jaguars have been the recipients of some amazing hospitality. The girls 7th and 8th grade teams have been practicing at Yeshivat Noam. All three boys’ teams–6th, 7th, and 8th–have been practicing at the Torah Academy of Bergen County.
RYNJ coach Steve Gutlove told the JLNJ, “Words cannot express our gratitude to the administrators of TABC and Yeshivat Noam. Personally, I was so impressed by the way TABC went above and beyond to shuffle its many teams around so we could have weekly practice. With all the teams and activities that need gym space, this was nothing short of a herculean juggling act by Bobby Kaplan and Rabbi Kahn. I hope one day we can repay the favor.”
On Monday night, January 5th, the 8th grade Jaguars had the opportunity to test out the new rims in a rematch of last year’s championship game when the undefeated Moriah 8th graders came to visit. The first Jaguar points in the new gym came on a free-throw by RYNJ big man Avi Wolk, but much like last year’s championship game Moriah walked away with the victory.
Official opening ceremonies and the unveiling of last year’s banners are still to come.