The faint sound of Israeli music wafted through the halls at Shops At Riverside one Sunday last month, emanating from Barnes & Noble, as the Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies held a fundraiser at the bookstore April 9, using the event to showcase the school’s artistic side.
"We always look for venues to perform in," said Principal Fred Nagler, explaining that while the school is devoted to the area of Judaic scholarship, it does have a blossoming arts program.
PHOTO by Josh Lipowsky
Barnes & Noble allows for fundraising programs in its stores twice a year. And during those events, the store donates 15 percent of its sales to the group holding the event. Patrons were required to present a voucher at checkout to make sure that 15 percent of their sales would go to the school.
To help the sales, BCHSJS held an array of programming throughout the afternoon, which included student Israeli dance performances, a performance by a student choir that sung Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, poetry readings, and a performance by BCHSJS teacher and musician Seth Nadel, who played a selection of Passover songs and his own music.
Overall, the school raised $’,600 from the day’s sales.
"I think we got good exposure," said Rabbi Lori Forman-Jacobi, the vice principal of BCHSJS and the event’s organizer. "It was very beneficial for the staff and the kids and the faculty members and the people in the store."
This was the first time that the school used the Barnes & Noble fundraiser, but Forman-Jacobi hopes to return just before Hanukkah with the school’s choir, dance troupe, and improv group.
"We did bring people into the store. People enjoyed Seth Nadel’s music and seeing the kids dance and sing and we’re going to try to do it again," she said. "It was nice to bring that sort of community spirit into the store right before the holiday."