Schechter holds 44th community celebration
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Schechter holds 44th community celebration

Adi Rabinowitz, president of the SSDS board of trustees, left, and head of school Ruth Gafni, right, flank Susan Kardos and Guy Baracassa in the first photo; flank Marlene and Philip Rhodes, in the middle photo; and flank Golan and Dana Yehuda in the right photo.

More than 400 parents, grandparents, alumni, and friends celebrated the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County’s 44th year at its annual community celebration on May 6 at the Hilton Pearl River. The nationally accredited school recently became the first Jewish day school in the tristate area to be authorized as an International Baccalaureate World School for the Middle Years Program. SSDS joins three Jewish schools in North America and six public and private secular schools in New Jersey to win this accreditation.

The IB was envisioned to create diploma programs that would be accepted by the world’s leading universities. There are more than 5,000 IB World schools with authorized primary, middle, high-school, or career-related programs throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Over time, the program has emerged as a globally minded, rigorous framework centered on challenging students to make authentic, real-world connections in every subject, taught by trained faculty members who incorporate higher-level concepts in each unit of study they plan. It also provides ways for teachers to track student progress from year to year and across subjects and grade levels so they may better guide an individual student’s academic journey.

Schechter also is the first Jewish day school to take the IB Middle Years Program one step further by tailoring the gold-standard educational framework to its Judaic studies curriculum, creating a uniquely Jewish experience so students can connect their Jewish learning and values to the world around them and to turn their learning into action.

The celebration featured a performance by the “Schechter Singers,” led by violinist and music educator Carey White, a silent auction, and the presentation of awards. Among this year’s honorees were Schechter parents Susan Kardos and Guy Baracassa of Englewood, winners of the Tree of Life award; alumni parents Marlene and Philip Rhodes of Teaneck, recipients of the Shirley and Harris z”l community award; and Schechter parents Dana and Golan Yehuda of Tenafly, who won the Hai award.

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