Yavneh Academy celebrating 80th anniversary

Yavneh Academy celebrating 80th anniversary

Laya Levine, top left, Michelle Frohlich, right, and Robbie and Adam Fried, bottom left. (Photos courtesy Yavneh Academy)
Laya Levine, top left, Michelle Frohlich, right, and Robbie and Adam Fried, bottom left. (Photos courtesy Yavneh Academy)

Yavneh Academy in Paramus will celebrate 80 years at its annual dinner on motzei Shabbat, January 7, 2023, at the Teaneck Marriott at Glenpointe. Robbie and Adam Fried are the guests of honor, Michelle Frohlich is the service award recipient, and Laya Levine will receive the faculty award.

Robbie and Adam Fried have lived in Teaneck for 21 years and are the proud parents of four daughters, Rachel (’14), Elianna (’15), Julia (’18) and Maya (’22), all Yavneh graduates.  Adam is a senior account manager and vice president of private wealth management with Ayco/Goldman Sachs, where he has worked with high-net-worth clients for 27 years. Robbie is the chief of staff at Amit Children, where she has worked for the past three years; before that, for 17 years, she was the membership director at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. The Frieds have served in a variety of roles during their time as Yavneh parents.

Ms. Fried chaired the recruitment committee, was a member of the dinner committee, and provided guidance and leadership in board training, development, and recruitment.  Mr. Fried, a member of the board of directors since 2007, has held many leadership roles; he has been chair of the finance committee, treasurer, and a member of the executive, employment, endowment, and strategic planning committees.  He was the board president from 2018 to 2022. Beyond Yavneh, the Frieds are involved in many other organizations, including Midreshet Amit/Beit Hayeled in Israel, and other educational initiatives in the community.

“The Yavneh community is incredibly fortunate to have Robbie and Adam as dear friends and extraordinary leaders,” Yavneh’s head of school, Rabbi Jonathan Knapp, said. “Together, over the past decade plus, they have shaped and guided so many aspects of the Yavneh experience.

“Robbie and Adam have been a tremendous difference in the lives of our Yavneh students. I hope they derive great satisfaction from the days, evenings, months and years of their intense and selfless dedication to the children of Yavneh.

“They have become true and trusted friends. They are a true team, and Yavneh has been a labor of love for them. They are most befitting our accolades and gratitude as our guests of honor this year”

Michelle and Richard Frohlich moved to Bergen County in 2016. A main reason for that move was to enroll their children Aiden (’21) and Hailey (’22) in Yavneh Academy, where they thrived. Ms. Frohlich offered her talents to the Yavneh administration and to the Yavneh Parents Association & Auxiliary, where she volunteered for almost every event and committee. While working full time as a pediatric physical therapist, she has served as a YPAA board member, where she co-chaired the Mishloach Manot and Supper Quiz committees and was the co-creator of the first Yavneh Parent Color War and Family Yom Ha’atzmaut event. She’s volunteered for the Yavneh dinner journal and videos, Fun Run, 8th Grade dinner, lawn signs, quarantine deliveries, bar mitzvah car parades, Holocaust play, open house, parent ambassador, and the chesed team.

“One of the hardest parts of this year’s dinner is not having Michelle as one of the forces behind the scenes,” Rabbi Knapp said. “Ever since the Frohlichs joined Yavneh, Michelle jumped right in and has been a volunteer extraordinaire ever since. She has a vision that reflects a creative flair and also the skill and knowledge to bring those ideas to fruition.

“Every event benefits from Michelle’s fingerprints.”

Since the creation of the 1A transitional class over two decades ago, Laya Levine has dedicated herself to forming and shaping a program built around nurturing the success of each child. Her energy, devotion to her students, and creativity motivate the students and give them opportunities to grow. She uses a multisensory approach in every area of learning, bringing her classroom to life and helping each child learn. Her yearly Harvest Festival sees the room transformed into a Native American teepee with a great celebration. The KIBO Robotics program, which she integrated into the curriculum, gives each child opportunities for creating and programming. She presented her robotics innovations at the International Society for Technology in Education Convention and helped bring the Global Read Aloud and Dot Day programs to Yavneh, connecting students with others all over the country.

Laya is a mother of four, including two Yavneh graduates, and a grandmother of nine, six of whom attend Yavneh. A seventh is a Yavneh graduate.

“It is inspiring to take pause and reflect on the tremendous impact Laya has had on her students over the past quarter-century at Yavneh,” Rabbi Knapp said. “She has shaped lives through her unique talent, style and passion.

“Laya brings her full self to the classroom every day. She is literally the first one in every day, often waiting for the doors to open. She brings her full and best self to Yavneh every day. She invests every part of her essence into her students. She treats each one as if they were her own. She wonders about them, thinks about them, davens for them and helps them to become the best version of themselves.

“Laya continues to evolve as an educator and is an inspiration to her colleagues.”

To RSVP for the dinner, go to yavnehdinner.com. For giving opportunities, email Yavneh’s development director, Ariella Shaffren, at Ariella.shaffren@yavnehacademy.org.

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