Jewish Day School

Mazel Day School: An Inside View

A series of moments, big and small.

06/07/2016 - 14:45
Staff Photographer

Mazel Day School was founded in 2002 by parents in Brighton Beach’s Russian community who were looking for academic rigor and a Jewish education that would support children from diverse Jewish backgrounds.

The non-denominational school includes students from across the spectrum — from secular to Modern Orthodox. The curriculum includes a strong secular component, reading and writing in Hebrew, English and Russian, and an emphasis on Jewish values and communal responsibility. 

Mazel Day School. Michael Datikash/JW

A ‘Jewish Tiger Mom’ In The Spotlight

Russian-Jewish family’s grueling path to a top N.Y. high school is part of new documentary, ‘Tested.’

11/30/2015 - 19:00
Editorial Intern

On a chilly October weekend, about 30,000 eighth graders waited in line with their parents for what could be the most important day of their lives. On those two mornings, students took the Specialized High School Standardized Admissions Test (SHSAT), the sole determinant of whether they would enroll in a specialized high school next fall; only 20 percent of them would make the cut.

Inna Fershteyn, left, her husband Alexander Ayzidor, twins Peri and Ari at the premiere of "Tested." Rivka Hia/JW

Why Some Public School Parents Are Switching To Jewish Schools

Data suggests that hundreds of students are making the change, whether 'pulled' to day schools or 'pushed' from public.

08/30/2015 - 20:00

When Ali Martell’s eldest daughter reached school age, Martell and her husband both assumed she’d go to a Jewish day school, as they had.

An “outside classroom” at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit. JTA

What You Need To Know About New York’s Proposed Education Tax Credit

05/26/2015 - 20:00

When Rhode Island adopted an education tax credit program a few years back, it resulted in a windfall for the state’s two Jewish day schools. Between them, their students received some $400,000 in scholarship money in the program’s first year.

Jewish School Enrollment Up 12 Percent, Fueled By Haredi Orthodox Growth

11/02/2014 - 19:00

Jewish day school enrollment in the United States is up 12 percent from five years ago, primarily due to growth in haredi Orthodox schools.

One Year Later: It's All About Lucy

Just over a year ago I wrote on this blog about my daughter, Lucy, who was leaving our local Jewish community day school after first grade. I have been planning this “one year later” blog post for quite some time – and yet, when I go to put pen to paper, I don’t know where to begin.

So I’ll start with this: Lucy is doing great. She adjusted quickly and easily to public school. She is happy and confident and more than a few adults who know her have commented that “she is a different kid”. 

Meredith Polsky

Lucy, Grade 2: 'I'm Okay,' And 'I Need Help'

For the first time in 115 years, Rosh HaShanah occurs just after Labor Day and coincides with the beginning of school for children and teachers in many states across the country. While Rosh Hashanah is always a time for reflection, this Jewish New Year provides us with a unique opportunity.

Meredith Englander Polsky

Must-Read Response: At Jewish Schools, Inclusion Should Trump Local Rankings

Editor's Note: Yesterday, we highlighted a response to regular blogger Meredith Englander Polsky's piece about how she pulled her daughter out of Jewish day school. Click here for the original post and here for the comment; below is Meredith's response to the comment.

Thank you - I appreciate your response. I agree that this school (and probably Jewish Day Schools in general) face a real challenge as pressure grows to be as academically challenging as a Sidwell Friends or a Georgetown Prep. I would argue, though, that a day school's mission, then, needs to be clear. If that's the goal - to attract and retain families who would otherwise choose a Georgetown Prep - then make that explicit. Then parents know what they are choosing, and the school rejects students who will not rise to those academic challenges - probably (statistically speaking) 20 percent of currently enrolled students. (Clearly, this is not something I'm advocating.)

Meredith Englander Polsky

Must-Read Comment: Do We Ask Jewish Schools To Do The Impossible?

Editor's Note: An anonymous commentor wrote this in response to Meredith Englander Polsky's piece, about how even she, the founder of an organization that fights for the right to a Jewish education for every child, had to pull her own daughter out of Jewish day school. Tomorrow, we'll post her answer to this comment.

As a parent with children in the Jewish day school Meredith is referring to, CESJDS, we have had a very positive experience, even though our kids are also not round pegs going into round holes either. Each parent knows their own child best and I have no doubt about that the frustrations many have expressed here are real.

A complicated question: Do Jewish communal values come into conflict at day schools? Fotolia

Jewish Week Editorial: Day Schools For All Children

About 15 years ago, Meredith Polsky co-founded Matan, a nonprofit that advocates for the right of Jewish students with disabilities to receive a Jewish education.

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