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Yeshivat Noam Celebrates 20 Years at Upcoming Virtual Celebration

(Courtesy of Yeshivat Noam) Yeshivat Noam invites the community to attend its Virtual Celebration on Wednesday evening, March 17 to celebrate the 20th anniversary. The event is a celebration of the school’s accomplishments, an opportunity to recognize deserving honorees, and a fundraiser for essential funds. The increased demand for scholarship funds as well as $350,000 in unexpected COVID-related expenses has made the success of this campaign imperative.

The theme “20 Years of Blessings” is a reflection of appreciation for the past, present and future of Yeshivat Noam. According to Rabbi Chaim Hagler, head of school: “The dedication of our talented faculty has enabled us to provide in-person learning, virtual learning and hybrid learning—all while maintaining our commitment to educational excellence. I am personally in awe of our teachers and staff for their ability to maintain our warm environment despite these challenges and changes.”

One of the goals of the evening is to pay tribute to amazing honorees who give of themselves to ensure the future of Yeshivat Noam and the success of each student. The guests of honor are Maren and Robbie Scharf; the community service awardees are Amy and Chaim Birman; and the faculty recognition awardees are Morah Jessica Heller and Rabbi Elie Kurtz. Yeshivat Noam will present the inaugural Bonei Noam Award to Aliza Chanales. Yeshivat Noam is truly honored to highlight the many outstanding contributions of these distinguished honorees.

Maren and Robbie Scharf are the guests of honor at Yeshivat Noam’s 20th Anniversary Virtual Celebration. Their selfless commitment and unwavering support to the school has enabled Yeshivat Noam to reach this great milestone of 20 years. Their dedication of time and talent to Yeshivat Noam for the past 15 years has been extraordinary.

Since the moment their eldest daughter, Nili, started Buds in 2006, Maren and Robbie have been committed to the mission and growth of Yeshivat Noam. Whether it was being a class mom, volunteering at countless events or serving on the health committee, Maren is always all smiles and excited to volunteer her time. Additionally, Maren, otherwise known as Dr. Scharf, taught Science at Yeshivat Noam from 2009 to 2013, and was instrumental in creating the seventh-grade science curriculum. As a teacher at Yeshivat Noam and now Yeshivat Frisch, she is known for equipping her students with the tools and skills to exceed their potential.

Robbie is known as a thoughtful, empathic and dedicated leader. He has served as an integral member of many committees, including strategic planning, financial aid, parent school partnership (PSP), security and as the chair of the site committee. Robbie was instrumental in working with a team of parents on the design, construction and building of the middle school building. Additionally, from 2016 to 2018, he served as co-president of the Yeshivat Noam Board of Directors.

Together, Maren and Robbie’s generosity and commitment to Yeshivat Noam, and to the larger community including Project Ezrah, Tomchei Shabbos and Yeshivat Frisch, is something we are proud to honor and celebrate. Their children, Nili (’16), Alex (’19), Yakir (’19) and Orli (seventh grade) truly exemplify the shared values of Torah and chesed that embody the mission of Yeshivat Noam.

Amy and Chaim Birman are truly deserving of the Community Service Award at Yeshivat Noam’s 20th Anniversary Virtual Celebration, for their many years of volunteerism and dedication. Amy and Chaim became involved in Yeshivat Noam after enrolling their oldest child in Buds in 2006, and their commitment has only grown since.

Amy served on the YNPA board, and then participated in the student development committee, including co-chairing this committee. One of Amy’s signature accomplishments was the development of the middle school Veterans Day program. Amy exudes warmth and kindness, which makes it that much more befitting that she has co-chaired the chesed committee multiple times over the years.

Chaim generously donated his time and expertise in real estate management and project development by joining the expansion committee in 2007. Working on the committee that designed the Middle School building, Chaim was instrumental in the acquisition of the Beit Knesset’s Aron Kodesh from Lincoln Square Synagogue. Chaim joined the Yeshivat Noam Board in 2012, and then the executive board in 2015, overseeing the site, technology, and security committees. Chaim served as the vice president of operations from 2017 to 2019. Amy and Chaim are the proud parents of Jakie (’16), Leora (’19), Eliana (’19), Ari (sixth grade) and Taneli (third grade).

The Faculty Recognition awardees will be Morah Jessica Heller and Rabbi Elie Kurtz. Morah Jessica Heller, affectionately known as Morah Jessica, embodies all that Yeshivat Noam is. Her smile radiates in every room she enters; she provides warmth and love to her students; and her dedication to their growth and development is limitless. Morah Jessica has been part of the Yeshivat Noam family since its inception, when she began substituting as a Buds teacher in 2001. This experience led Morah Jessica to discover her passion for educating young learners and launched her career and commitment to Yeshivat Noam. She continued to substitute as she pursued her degree in education, first at Rutgers University and then at William Paterson University.

In 2005, Morah Jessica became a full-time kindergarten teacher, where she has been a source of inspiration ever since. She is passionate about teaching early literacy and writing skills to young learners, and for many years after being in her class, they continue to remember her smile, energy, and devotion. She lives in Teaneck with her husband, Jon Kronenberg.

Rabbi Elie Kurtz has been an integral part of Yeshivat Noam since 2012. After graduating from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Graduate School and receiving semicha from YU’s RIETS, Rabbi Kurtz’s first job was at Yeshivat Noam, where he has been an outstanding, inspirational teacher ever since. Rabbi Kurtz loves teaching Gemara, Navi and Halacha to middle school students as they start to ask deeper questions, challenge ideas, and grow in their connection to Torah.

Rabbi Kurtz is known for making learning fun and engaging, as well as having a long-lasting impact on his students. He is proud of his Yeshivat Noam wardrobe, and will challenge anyone to see who has more blue and orange in their closet. The Kurtz family is the true definition of Yeshivat Noam family as Rabbi Kurtz and his wife, Elana, met here and are proud to be the first Yeshivat Noam couple. Rabbi Elie and Elana Kurtz live in Highland Park with their children Esther Gitty, Shmuel, Ephraim and Racheli.

Yeshivat Noam is excited to bestow its inaugural Bonei Noam award to Aliza Chanales. She has devoted the last 13 years to Yeshivat Noam, building and cultivating all aspects of our wonderful middle school. In her early years at Noam, Aliza’s innovative approach to the teaching of science and math brought her classroom to life, and she quickly became a beloved teacher among her students. She formed and fashioned vibrant curricula that brought her students out of their seats, propelled their thinking, and transformed them into budding scientists and mathematicians. Creating the very first Earth Expo at Yeshivat Noam, Aliza challenged the middle school students to delve deeper into their studies, and then proudly showcase their accomplishments together at an event that has become a hallmark of the school year.

In September 2015, Aliza became the general studies principal of the Yeshivat Noam Middle School, assuming a variety of leadership roles and responsibilities. In this capacity, she works to ensure that our students excel in all areas and develop a curiosity and creativity for learning. Most notably, she promotes a culture of kindness that is at the core of everything she embodies.

In fact, it is Aliza’s sensitivity to all children and her deep insight into their needs as well as the needs of the teachers who work so closely with her, that truly makes her so beloved by students and faculty. Aliza’s door is always open for anyone who seeks her help or guidance, and her unconditional support is what empowers the students and teachers in the middle school to strive for excellence. Her educational leadership has become an integral part of the foundation on which the middle school rests, and this Bonei Noam honor is a true recognition of her immeasurable contributions.

To make a reservation or donation in support of Jewish education, in-person learning and to provide scholarship funds, please contact Amy Vogel, director of development and communications at [email protected] or call 201-261-1919 x126. Every dollar makes an impact on the yeshiva’s ability to deliver academic excellence and financial scholarships. We look forward to seeing you at our Virtual Celebration.

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