April 14, 2024
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Yavneh Dedicates Middle School Gym in Memory of Frances and Manny Freed

The Yavneh Academy family is thrilled to announce the dedication of the middle school gymnasium in memory of Frances and Manny Freed, maternal grandparents of Yavneh parents Moshe and Arianne Weinberger and Sari and Shmuel Jacoby. Yavneh is incredibly grateful and indebted to the Weinberger and Jacoby families for their generosity to the school, and most importantly, for providing the students of Yavneh Academy with additional indoor gym space, allowing the students to play and attend physical education classes regardless of the weather. The Freed gym reflects Yavneh’s commitment to educating the whole child, ensuring ample space for our growing athletic department, and reflects the importance of health and wellness of our parent body.

Below is a personal letter to Yavneh Academy from the Weinberger and Jacoby families:

It is with great joy and hakarat hatov that we are writing this short letter to the Yavneh Family to thank Yavneh for allowing our family to dedicate the recently completed middle school gymnasium in memory of our cherished maternal grandparents, Frances and Manny Freed. As this Shavuot marks the first yahrzeit of our beloved grandmother, Frances, our family felt that this was the most appropriate time for this dedication.

Many of you, our friends, who live in the greater Bergen County community, were fortunate enough to have known our grandparents, as they spent the final years of their lives living in Teaneck to be close to their only daughter, Mona Weinberger (Mom to us), their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For those who did not know them, please indulge us a few minutes to share a little bit about each of these special people and why we think that linking their memory to Yavneh Academy, and the gym specifically, is so appropriate.

Manny Freed was born in Canada, but spent the vast majority of his life as a pillar of the Brookline, Massachusetts orthodox Jewish community. As the youngest of seven children who grew up with very little in the way of monetary means, he was the first of his family to attend college. He cherished that gift, born of the sacrifice of his older siblings and parents, and rarely did a day go by that he didn’t try to learn something new. Education, both secular and limudei kodesh, ranked near the top of his life’s view on what is most important for a Jew, both young and old. He constantly demanded of us, his grandchildren, to report back to him both what we learned in school on any given day, and, of course, what we taught others. Zadie was also a rodef shalom of the highest order. Nothing made him happier than watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren making new friends. He loved seeing the many school friends we made as young children and he would make sure to introduce us to all of the kids in Brookline when we went to visit him up north. Having his name on a gym, inside of which young friendships are born, at one of the finest yeshiva day schools in the country, seems most appropriate.

Frances Freed was born in a small farm town in Massachusetts. There she lived in a farmhouse, shared with her siblings and many cousins, and, perhaps unusually so for a girl growing up at that time and in that place, developed a pure and true love of sports and athletics. All of her grandchildren can recount the many hours we spent watching and discussing ball games together with her, frequently interrupted by our grandfather imploring us to go learn something and stop wasting our time with sports. Yes, opposites clearly do attract. Of course, she also valued our education, and like most grandmothers, took great pride in our various academic accomplishments. But her love and passion for sports is one of the many qualities that made her unique. Having her name on the gym of the school where 11 of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren (and counting) attended and competed athletically is something that we believe is a most fitting tribute.

It is our collective hope and prayer, in the zechut and memory of our grandparents, Frances and Manny Freed, that Hashem continues to bless the educators, administrators and coaches at Yavneh as they continue in their important work in molding our community’s most precious gems into productive, Torah-loving children.

Moshe and Arianne Weinberger; Sari and Shmuel Jacoby; Josh and Tal, Dov ’99 and Tamar, Yosef ’03 and Aviva, and Dani ’05 and Naomi Weinberger

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