Maybe if lunch was longer than 42 minutes, and the parking lots lining Route 4 in Paramus were not so deep, then the malls would have appealed to the young women of Bat Torah”“The Alisa M. Flatow Yeshiva High School, located since 2008 in the old Frisch School building.
But the lunch breaks were short, the malls were distant, and the girls longed for the 7-11 located across the street from Bat Torah’s former home in Monsey, N.Y.
Come September, there will again be a convenience store conveniently near the high school, as Bat Torah is moving into the classroom space in the Teaneck Jewish Center renovated by the Metropolitan Schechter High School, which occupied the facility for four years until it closed in 2007.
Besides the neighborhood, the Jewish Center offers other amenities lacking in Paramus, notably an Olympic-size swimming pool, which, said Miriam Bak, the school’s principal, will enable the school to field a swim team.
Bak said she feels “very appreciated” by her new landlord.
“Now that they’re becoming an Orthodox synagogue,” said Miriam Bak, the school’s principal, the Jewish Center “wants to show the community that they have an Orthodox girls’ school there.”
For his part, the Jewish Center’s Rabbi Lawrence Zierler is looking forward to having students in his shul again.
“When you have an educational plant, it spills over into the atmosphere of the building,” he said.
“It’s a good place to showcase fine Jewish education. We’ve incubated other schools,” he said, noting that at various times the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, the Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, and Yeshivat Noam all held classes at the Jewish Center before outgrowing the space.
Three years ago, when Bat Torah first prepared to relocate to Bergen County from Rockland County, the Jewish Center was one of the first spaces the school looked to rent.
But the space had been rented to Ben Porat Yosef Yeshiva Day School, which planned to house its middle school there.
Instead, Bat Torah rented the former Frisch building and Ben Porat ended up subletting space from Bat Torah. Subsequently, Bat Torah decided it would prefer to sublease from Ben Porat, which took over as Frisch’s direct tenant.
In its three years in Paramus, Ben Porat has grown. From 170 students, it expects more than 260 in September, including its new junior high school.
“We’re going to miss the Bat Torah girls,” said Rabbi Tomer Ronen, Ben Porat’s head of school. “They’re great girls.”
Ronen hopes his school will expand to fill the entire building. In the meantime, he’s looking for a tenant who wouldn’t mind being closer to a mall than to the 7-11.