May 28, 2024
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SSDS of Bergen Celebrates International Baccalaureate Designation

(Courtesy of SSDS) More than 400 parents, grandparents, alumni and friends celebrated Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County’s 44th year at its annual community event on May 6 at the Hilton Pearl River. The event followed on the heels of the nationally accredited 3s-through-eighth-grade school becoming the first Jewish day school in the tri-state area to be officially authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for the Middle Years Programme (MYP). SSDS joins a short list of three Jewish schools in North America and six public and private secular schools in the state of New Jersey to have achieved the prestigious accreditation.

Schechter is also the first Jewish day school to take the IB Middle Years Programme one step further: It tailored this gold-standard educational framework to its Judaic studies curriculum, creating a uniquely Jewish experience for students to connect their Jewish learning and values to the world around them and to turn their learning into action. The school chose the IB because it offers a powerful lens through which general studies and Jewish text, traditions and Hebrew language can be better integrated and taught.

The evening program featured a performance by the “Schechter Singers,” a group led by violinist and music educator Carey White; a silent auction; and the presentation of several awards. Among this year’s honorees were Schechter parents Susan Kardos (senior strategist for the Avi Chai Foundation) and Guy Baracassa, winners of the Tree of Life Award; alumni parents Marlene and Philip Rhodes of Teaneck, recipients of the Shirley and Harris, z”l, Community Award; and Schechter parents Dana and Golan Yehuda of Tenafly, recipients of the Hai Award.

“[Israeli Historian] Fania Oz-Salzberger… said that the Jewish people are and have always been powered by two engines: the book and the child,” Kardos said upon receiving her award.

“Schechter brings the two together. It puts the book in the child’s hand and says to its students:

‘Go and be part of Jewish history as it unfolds.’”

For more information, please contact Ezra Messinger at [email protected] or 201-262-9898 ext. 258.

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