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Winter 2013


Alumni Society Alumni Newsletter of Golda Och Academy

What’s Inside 2 Message From The Head of School 2 Message From The Development/Alumni Office 2 Message From The Alumni Committee 3 Eleanor Brooks ‫ ז"ל‬Tribute 4 Students Remember Mrs. Brooks ‫ז"ל‬ 5 In Their Own Words 6 Welcome New GOA Teachers 7 Alumni Basketball Game 7 Messsage from the Associate Director of Development 8 Day School Showcase 9 Class Notes

First Day at the New Wilf Lower School Campus


he first day of school at the Wilf Lower School Campus there were a lot of oohs and aahs from teachers, parents and students when they came into our newly renovated building. Driving up to the campus, one first enters the beautiful new circle driveway that leads to a large lobby entrance. Straight ahead is a beautiful new conference room with gorgeous Judaic art panels. To the right, the new 20,000 foot wing addition houses on the first floor the new Horace Bier Beit Knesset, two new classrooms, a music studio and nurse’s office. On the second floor, some highlights include the new Library, Science Lab, and Technology Center. A walk through the Technology Lobby outside leads to our new Outdoor Science Classroom and Garden and then we arrive at the beautiful new playground dedicated by our Alumni Society. The sign reads: “Playground, Dedicated by the SSDS/GOA Alumni Society.” Recess has become more fun than ever as the children enjoy their new playground. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this project a reality. The education at our Lower School has always been stellar but now we have the facilities to match it! It is extremely exciting that so many of our Lower School students are the children of alumni and former students. Check it out for yourself! For a tour of the great new Wilf Lower School Campus (serving children from PreK - fifth grade), please contact Karen Spector, Director of Lower School Admissions at or (973) 602-3711.

Many alumni were in attendance at our Wilf Lower School celebration on October 15. From L-R: Rachel Fink (Class of 1997), Paula Spack (Class of 1984) Lower School Faculty, Atara Jacobson (Class of 1987), Mark Wilf, Jane Wilf, Mindy Schall (Class of 1997), Alan Schall (Class of 1992), Carrie Zucker-Siegel (Class of 1992), Lower School Assistant Principal and Judaic Studies Director.

Message From Head Of School Dear Alumni, Just a few weeks ago, two alumnae (Dani Gorshein, Class of 2011 and Sarah Rothenberg, Class of 2006) spoke at our high school open houses – and they were the stars of the show!! For parents of eighth graders to see the potential that their children can achieve and to see the “end product” of a Schechter education was important and impressive. At the other end of the spectrum, it was gratifying to greet 4-5 alum recently as they returned as prospective parents of PreK and K students – and in essence to welcome them back home. In fact, we often speak with prospective and current families about how proud we are to have a large number of alumni involved in school. This involvement takes many forms: from alumni speaking at open houses, alumni as members of our faculty, current parents, supporters, members of our Board of Trustees and its committees and our dedicated Alumni Society Leadership Committee. You enrich our community in myriad ways and we are a better school because of your presence. We welcome each of you to get involved in school in the way that best fits you; come to an event, give a gift, join a program or just be in touch. B’yedidut,

Dr. Joyce Raynor Head of School

Message From The Development/Alumni Office Dear Alumni, I was visiting the Wilf Lower School Campus just recently at recess time and walked by the fabulous new playground. I heard children laughing, saw them playing, jumping and having a great time on their new playground equipment. It is exciting to share that more and more of our students are the children of alumni and former students. I had to smile knowing that this has been made possible by our SSDS/Alumni Society Playground Campaign. Our amazing and active SSDS/GOA Alumni Society continues to respond to our school — ­ no matter what the needs are — an open house speaker, a playground donation, or a reunion organizer. So thank you to all those of you who have participate in our SSDS/GOA Alumni Society. Recess has just become a lot more fun thanks to your support! Warmest regards,

Stephanie Bash-Soudry Director of Development & Alumni Relations

Message From The Alumni Committee Dear Alumni, Many of you probably opened this newsletter and went straight to the class notes section. Our alumni newsletter serves many purposes, but first and foremost, it is a snapshot of what is going on in the lives of our classmates, near and far. Some of them we speak to daily, while others we lost communication with long ago. Whatever the case, our Alumni Society strives to bring everyone together under the SSDS-GOA umbrella. As the co-chairs of the alumni committee, our goal, simply stated, is to help alumni retain some connection to the school. Whether that connection is something as effortless as checking our newsletter to see who from your class got married, or if your level of involvement runs deeper -- we strive to provide a forum for your participation. Several of our alumni are in leadership positions on the Board of Trustees. Others are parents of current students. Some alumni are the first to “like” a Flashback Friday on our Facebook page. While many alumni support school generously through donations. Most importantly, even more of us continue to promote SSDS-GOA by living the values the school instilled in us. No matter the level or degree of involvement, the lessons learned at SSDS-GOA are prevalent in our lives. Our alumni sit on other community and agency boards, serve in leadership roles for wonderful organizations like the Friends of the IDF, and yet others volunteer on a frequent basis. We want to continue to play a role in your lives. Can we help you network and find a job? Do you need to be connected to other alums? Have a funny run-in with a former teacher that you want to share? Please contact either of us or the development office and let us know so that we can help SSDS-GOA continue to be a part of your lives. Lawrence Elbaum, Class of 1998, Co-Chair • Evan Majzner, Class of 2001, Co-Chair

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misrepresentation, and downright falsehood hold sway, Eleanor was a bastion of integrity and trust. As other students wrote, “she was venerated because she cared. Few others embraced their subject with such enthusiasm, and had the power to imbue their pupils with the same unfettered ardor… she was a teacher, who after 30 years, never forgot why she became a teacher.”

Eleanor Brooks ‫ז"ל‬


There was a soul that vanished before her time leaving her song unfinished She had another song to sing, and now it’s gone, gone forever.


his paraphrase from the Hebrew poet, HN Bialik, expresses the sadness that pervades the corridors of Golda Och Academy, a pain felt by students, parents, faculty, administration and anyone who had the privilege of having been in Eleanor’s presence. Our colleague, Melinda Udell reminisced: “Eleanor was passionate about her students and about her teaching. Eleanor was never too busy to listen and to help a student, a colleague, friend or an acquaintance. She contributed to the life of the school, whether it was planning for prom, mentoring students for model UN, or serving as chaperone for student council events. Her beloved friend, Susan Bakerman admits that the first impression that Eleanor presented to all was that of a “tough cookie”. But as you interacted with Eleanor you were able to break through that hard exterior and get to know the real Eleanor, the voice of reason for so many of us . As one student said, “I think that what was distinctive about the way Mrs. Brooks taught history was her “nothing happens in a vacuum” approach. Whereas my previous history classes involved just memorizing chronological events, Mrs. Brooks taught her students to view history less as a time-line, and more as an interconnected web of events, each

affecting one another in his/her own way.” None of us in the school can ever pass the cookie aisle in ShopRite without taking note of the imitation oreos and shedding a tear or two. Our Mrs. Brooks was our mentor and our friend. Perhaps the quality we will miss the most is the value of trust. We could truly trust Eleanor Brooks… we could trust her to be our mentor whether we wanted to hear her, whether we had the strength to accept her criticism or not, we had the trust in Eleanor as our friend to whom we came with our secrets and our self-doubts. We could trust Eleanor as an advocate for students, for colleagues, and for the good and welfare of the school. Our Mrs. Brooks not only taught history, but she also wrote the history of modern education. In a world where equivocation,

“Mrs. Brooks had a way of reaching me like no other teacher I’ve ever had; her true love of teaching and of the material made it fun and exciting to come to class each day Mrs. Brooks was kind and selfless in a unique way, always giving of herself and pushing others to do their best.” Even in the throes of her most recent illness, she would call the school to teach a lesson over the intercom. Her dedication included countless hours of preparation, going beyond what was expected by her students. If there was any teacher in the school that Eleanor’s colleagues would want their own children to have, it would be Eleanor Brooks. Eleanor Brooks had the courage of her convictions and the indomitable will to follow through; and the true concern, compassion, and respect that earned her the love and admiration of her students and her colleagues. Many of us live with intimations of immortality. We each hold on to our fragile lives fearful that we may disappear and be forgotten. Eleanor Brooks is one of those few people who achieved immortality in her lifetime. Her legacy is represented in the hearts and minds of the family of students, parents, and teachers; in their achievements, in their love of learning, in their respect for the value of education, in their regard for one another. It now becomes our challenge to live up to this awesome responsibility, to be a living legacy of Eleanor Brooks… after all Eleanor was both a teacher of history and an architect of history. May the memory of our dear, dear friend, colleague, mentor, teacher conscience, and role model continue to define for all of us what education is all about and what a teacher can and should be. May her memory be a blessing. WINTER 2013

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Students Remember Mrs. Brooks ‫ז"ל‬

Jamie Polinsky, Class of 2014 “In Mrs. Brooks’ class compliments were few and far between, yet I worked harder in her class than ever worked just that she would be proud of me.” Daniel Shpilsky, Class of 2014 “Mrs. Brooks treated her students as her extended family... Her legacy continues to live on through the many lives she touched.”

CLASS OF 1992 NER TAMID CAMPAIGN IN MEMORY OF BRAD NUSSBAUM ‫ ז"ל‬and JASON FOLK ‫ז"ל‬ In early November, six members of the Class of 1992 sent out an email letter to classmates and other alumni telling them about the launch of a special Class of 1992 Memorial Campaign. They are raising funds to dedicate the Ner Tamid in the Horace Bier Beit Knesset at the Wilf Lower School Campus in memory of classmates Brad Nussbaum ‫ז"ל‬ and Jason Folk ‫ ז"ל‬who are truly missed by their classmates and friends.

Jennifer Greenberg, Class of 2014 “Little did we know that her pop quizzes would prepare us in the best possible way. Mrs. Brooks was the most practical and well-meaning teacher I’ve ever had, taking care to make sure her information wasn’t ever boring.” Genna Karp, Class of 2014 “Mrs. Brooks affected me more than I could ever put into words. I have never before had a teacher who was so personally invested in me.”

For more information on participating in this special project, please contact Stephanie Bash-Soudry at (973) 602-3612 or

Jason Mast, Class of 2014 “Few others could meticulously work to bring the struggling student up to speed, and challenge the precocious front-ofclass know-it-alls to meet their potential.” 4 Alumni News

WINTER 2013 or Jason Silberfein at (973) 602-3618 or

In Their Own Words Why Wouldn’t I Give to GOA? Danielle Rockman, Class of 2012

How the SSDS-GOA Bubble Helped Me

pon graduating from Golda Och Academy, a classmate stated that she could not wrap her head around why I would want to donate money to GOA as a senior in high school. She said, “I mean, I don’t know, it’s just your school.” My response to this was, “You’re right. It is my school. I don’t know why I made a gift. Why would one not want to make a donation?”

etractors of the education provided at Golda Och Academy consistently bring up the perception of the “Jewish bubble.” The concept states that the school is very small compared to public schools and does not have some of the same resources available to students. I graduated from the small school in West Orange along with 66 of my classmates to Rutgers University, one of the largest public universities in the country, and the Jewish bubble was, and continues to be, my best support system throughout my college career and beyond.


At that time, that was the only answer I could come up with. From the moment I was asked that question up until now, I have struggled to come up with a more concrete answer. It was during a casual (phone) conversation that I had with my father when I realized why I made a gift to the school that I had called home for thirteen years. He pointed out the obvious, which is that I have had a “love affair” with “my” school since I was five. I love the space, the scent, the learning. Simply stated, I love the GOA community. Many people are familiar with my often expressed affection for the school. What they might not know is that I am often asked why I love Golda Och Academy as much as I do. My standard response is that “It’s just so amazing.” But what makes GOA so amazing? From my first day of kindergarten I have wanted to be a teacher - specifically a teacher at GOA. Intuitively I understood that I was in a place that was more than a school. I was in a special community. Some call me crazy; some call me weird for having such a dream. So, maybe I am crazy, but why give up something you love so much? At Golda Och Academy, I learned to be an independent thinker who loves to learn for the sake of learning. I learned what it means to be a young Jewish woman in the larger world. I was taught about responsibility and values and why they are so important. I learned about being cared for and about caring for others. Those are just some of the reasons why I have such tremendous regard for the school. I think about current GOA students and the type of individuals they will have become when it is time for them to put on their royal blue caps and gowns. I think about the experiences they are having as I write this. And then I think about the future students of Golda Och Academy. My Golda Och experience was an incredible journey that helped me grow into the person I am today. I am proud to say that I am a graduate of GOA. Present and future students deserve the kind of opportunity that I had; and to feel the pride that I feel. For that to happen, I realize that it is never too soon to give back.

Ben Yavelberg, Class of 2009


I went through college as a journalism and media studies major primarily because I love to write. Though I honed this skill in my four years at Rutgers, I initially developed it as a student in Mrs. Steinberg’s class in 10th and 11th grades. In addition to writing essays and exploring the works of Fitzgerald and Twain, we worked on poetry and theater as well. I still remember an in-class assignment in which Mrs. Steinberg asked us all to write the worst possible poem we could think of. As it turned out though, none of us could write a terrible poem no matter how hard we tried. I suspect that she expected that outcome all along. GOA (though it was still just Solomon Schechter when I attended) provided an intimate environment in which I learned how to accept people on a personal level. I had Dr. Goldman as my history teacher in 11th grade, and he joined us on our tour around Poland the first week of Neshama. I found myself fascinated by the different intricacies of the concentration camps and of the Nazis’ methods of the time. I have the image of Dr. Goldman standing with me inside Auschwitz discussing some of the aspects that enthralled me about the situation. The fact that we were not, at that time, listening to our guide was irrelevant. He showed me that everyone is entitled to their views and reactions, no matter how closely they mirror those of their peers. The Hebrew language abilities I picked up in high school and refined on Neshama have still been beneficial to me. After going through six and a half years of class in school, I went to Israel and had a much easier time communicating and finding my way. Not only that, but those assets have not stopped since graduation. I have been offered interviews for full time positions and other part time jobs in part because of my command of the language. The efforts of Morah Sari, Morah Bluevise (twice!), Morah Ziegler, Morah Yuchaev and Morah Besner (twice!) were not in vain, and I still put their lessons to good use. Since graduating, my foundation in the Jewish world has kept me afloat. I teach regularly at one synagogue, am on the substitute list for two others, and have been freelancing for the New Jersey Jewish News. I came into these positions because of the vast Jewish network that is constantly at my fingertips. Though I have continued to build off that base in my years since graduation, I would not have had these opportunities in the first place if not for GOA. WINTER 2013

Alumni News 5

Welcome New GOA Faculty

Ms. Anna Caplan – Music

Ms. Caplan grew up in a small town in Maryland, where she fell in love with music after starting piano lessons at age five. In addition to years of classical vocal training, she has sung in numerous choirs, acted in plays and musicals, and directed several theatrical productions. Previously, she organized teen visits to the elderly at DOROT, lead Harvard Hillel’s Birthright trips, and worked with teens at Genesis at Brandeis University.

Ms. Amanda Cohen – Theatre/Dance

Ms. Cohen is an up-andcoming theatre director and choreographer, splitting her time between teaching theatre arts curriculum to children and also working on projects in NYC. Recent directing projects include Bootstraps with Strangedog Theater Company and Into the Woods with St. Paul’s Interparochial School. Ms. Cohen spent her summer as the Dance Specialist at Camp Yomawha of the YM and YWHA of Washington Heights. Her dance background is in Hip Hop, Latin dance, and African dance. Proud alum of The University of Michigan!

Ms. Alexis Gruber – Jewish Studies

Ms. Gruber has more than 15 years of experience in the field of Jewish Communal Service. Since 2005, she has been working as a Jewish educator, teaching Hebrew and Jewish Studies in a Reform Temple in Livingston, served as the Jewish Educator for Families and taught Hebrew at the JCC in West Orange. She has an MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work and a BA in Psychology from Indiana University. She is most proud of her accomplishments outside of school: her husband, Matt Fischer, and daughters Sophie (Grade 3) and Marley (Gan).

Ms. Sari Keren – Hebrew

Ms. Keren was born in Ashkelon, Israel. She has a Masters Degree in Education from the Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. This will be her 26th year in teaching. She has two sons and a daughter, two cats, Tula and Friday, and one dog named Teddy. Ms. Keren is very excited to be a GOA Hebrew teacher!

Ms. Sarah Kilic – Science

Ms. Kilic holds a BA and MA in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Wesleyan University. She is a new resident of New Jersey, having previously lived in Connecticut. She loves cooking, especially

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finding healthy alternatives to her favorite recipes—black beans make for excellent brownies!

Ms. Neta Goren – Hebrew

Ms. Goren went to school at Hebrew University and majored in literature and art; Ms. Goren is also a Bar-Ilan University graduate who majored in Linguistics. Ms. Goren lived mostly in Jerusalem and Haifa. Ms. Goren was born on Kibbutz Nahal-Oz and attended a regional school; at the age of 12 she relocated with her parents to South Africa, where she attended King David Linksfield in Johannesburg. Ms. Goren also speaks Italian, and has a fair concept of European languages such as German and French.

Ms. Navah Kogen – Coordinator of Experiential Education

Ms. Kogen graduated from Barnard College with a BA in History, and from the Jewish Theological Seminary with a BA in Talmud and Rabbinics, and an MA in Jewish Education. Following her undergraduate studies, she served as Program Director of Hillel at the University of Florida, and Alumni Programs Coordinator for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships. Ms. Kogen is an alumna of the Nativ program, as well as Midreshet Bruria. Currently, Navah is an Avi Chai Fellow in the doctoral program in Education and Jewish Studies at the NYU Steinhardt school. She is a 2004 graduate of GOA, and is excited to return after interning at GOA last year.

Mr. Andrew Mittleman Multimedia

Mr. Mittleman was born and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. He studied at The College of New Jersey and earned his MFA from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, where he worked as an Assistant Editor for TV and commercials. Mr. Mittleman was a college wrestler and studies improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade.

Mr. Mike Stern – Social Studies/Language Arts

Mr. Stern is originally from Manalapan, New Jersey. He graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in History and a MA in Education. He is married, has two dogs, enjoys playing golf and hockey, and reading comic books. Mr. Stern is an alumnus of Solomon Schechter of Marlboro.

Rabbi Iscah Waldman Judaics

Rabbi Waldman holds two BAs in Ancient Studies and Talmud from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also has an MA in Midrash and Rabbinic ordination from JTS and is pursuing her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies at NYU. Rabbi Waldman has taught in a variety of settings, including Hebrew schools, synagogues, JTS, the Academy for Jewish Religion, and leads Jewish Art workshops in various Jewish educational settings. She lives with her two children and her husband at their home in Teaneck, NJ. Her dog is named Moshe Kalbeinu (Moses, our dog) and he will shake if you say, ‘Yasher Koach.’

Mr. Austin Murphy-Park – Language Arts

After graduating from Vassar in 2005 and Columbia in 2009, Mr. Murphy-Park is excited to begin his fifth year teaching English (and his first outside of New York City). Mr. MurphyPark grew up in Maplewood, and is excited to finally come home!

Mr. Raffi Manjikian – Science

Mr. Manjikian received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Seton Hall University in 2009 and his M.S. degree in Chemistry from Seton Hall University in 2011. Mr. Manjikian is also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University for both the Physics department and the University Core. He is currently working on receiving his doctoral degree (hopefully by 2016) in Chemistry at SHU.

Ms. Bethanie Watson – Art

Ms. Watson is originally from Birmingham, Ala., where she completed her undergraduate degree at Troy University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in both two-dimensional art and theatrical design. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Mr. Justin Zelenka Social Studies

Born and raised in South Orange, Mr. Zelenka graduated with Honors from Rutgers University and received his Masters from NYU in Political Science. He has previously worked as a swim coach, at an arms control NGO, and a New York Law firm.

What’s Going On With You? Dear Alumni, Life is a series of stories as is a school’s history. SSDS-GOA is steeped in so many memories that you have all shared. We need your help telling the amazing stories that make up our growing group of Alumni’s history (more than 1,500 now). Some of the stories took place while you were here, some in college and others as professionals and families. Please email and let us know what you are doing now so we can weave the story of Schechter’s alumni. I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible. Regards, Jason Associate Director of Development

10:00 a.m.

Welcome Back Reception & Brunch Join members of our faculty anytime from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

11:00 a.m.

Alumni vs. Boys Basketball Team, Solondz Gym

We hope you can join us!


Alumni News 7

Dayschool Showcase: Spotlight on Alumni Children In May of 2013 the MetroWest Day School Council held a showcase where community donors visited each of the three day schools in the community to see them in action. There are currently over 50 Lower School students who are the children of alumni and former students. Alumni Society Co-Chair Lawrence Elbaum, Class of 1998, spoke on behalf of the SSDS-GOA Alumni Society. Some parents of alumni were in attendance. Students of alumni shared the names and class years of their parents in a cute program. Below enjoy some pictures from the day.

Living in the city? Kids ready for school? Thinking of moving back to the ’burbs? The preeminent prepAratory school in new jersey for Pre-K through 12th grade jewish education

Email or call 973-602-3601 to set up a tour of our state-of-the-art Wilf Lower School Campus.

Growing Minds • Nurturing Hearts • Strengthening Tradition 8 Alumni News


Class Notes: News From Our Alumni Class of 2013 Mazel Tov to Sam Rubinstein, freshman at Brown University, on recently interviewing Michael Oren, former Ambassador to U.S. from Israel, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, for the Brown Political Review. Class of 2011 Welcome back to Lev Gerstle who is returning from a semester abroad in Australia studying Marine Biology and diving the Great Barrier Reef. Class of 2009 Mazel Tov to Erica Rabner, who sang the national anthem at Brandeis Graduation this past May. Class of 2008 Congratulations to Michael Hochberg on his selection to the Fulbright Program upon graduation from Tulane University. The Fulbright Program is one of the most prestigious awards programs worldwide, operating in over 155 countries. Recipients are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Congratulations to Micahel and we look forward to hearing details (this was a correction from previous edition). Shira Kleinman made aliyah in August. Shira is living in Jerusalem and teaching Jewish History in EIE on Kibbutz Tzubah. EIE, the Eisendrath International Exchange, is an American high school semester in Israel program sponsored by NFTY and the Union for Reform Judaism.

Congratulations to Ethan Chaleff, a Nuclear Engineering PhD student who has been awarded a Department of Energy-Nuclear Energy University Programs (DOE-NEUP) Fellowship that will provide $50,000 annually for three years of research and study. Class of 2007 Rebecca Heller was recognized as a volunteer at Dorot for outstanding dedication and achievement of enriching the lives of the elderly by visiting, delivering holiday packages and birthday cakes, and much more. Congratulations to Jonathan Cohen (Class of 2007) and Alyssa Nydick (Class of 2008) on their engagement Class of 2006 Mazel Tov to Jonathan Izak on the success of his Autismate app! Mazel tov to Michelle Klein and Matan Moser on their marriage on August 29. Michelle

met Matan while studying abroad at Tel Aviv University and decided to make Aliyah a year later. The wedding took place in Matan’s hometown of Jerusalem at Beit Shmuel overlooking the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City. Class of 2005 Hope Eisdorfer, a 2005 graduate of Solomon Schechter, helped to start Riverside Coming Home which seeks to empower men and women who are returning to the community from incarceration. Participants engage in twice-weekly evening meetings over the course of 13 weeks. Each session begins with a group meal, followed by a session on life skills, the sharing of personal stories in the context of a supportive group process, and one-to-one mentoring. Contact Hope Eisdorfer form more information at or 212-870-6876. Mazel Tov to Sally Elbaum, who was married the weekend of December 6 to Mark Friedman. Thirteen alumni were in attendance:

Lawrence Elbaum (Class of 1998) Eric Lester (Class of 1998) Greg Klar (Class of 1998) Jocelyn Klar (Class of 2001) Barry Levine (Class of 1998) Emily Gray (Class of 2005) Hilary Aaron (Class of 2005) Ilena Silverstein (Class of 2005) Michelle Hirsh (Class of 2005) Miriam Langer (Class of 2005) Melissa Hutter (Class of 2005) Matt Kandel (Class of 2005) Deborah Edell (Class of 1995)

CLASS OF 2003 10-YEAR REUNION Held on June 6 in NYC at Side Bar. A great turnout and lots of fun seeing some old friends. Thanks to Michelle Bandes for organizing.

Visit for photos from alumni events. WINTER 2013

Alumni News 9

Class Notes: News From Our Alumni Class of 2004 Mazel tov to Noah Needleman on his engagement to Lisa Klubock. Mazel Tov to Elana Spector who married Ehud Ben-Ari on October 13. Mazel Tov to Nikki Solomon on her engagement to Jared Engel. Mazel Tov to Deena Heller who married David Polsky on May 19th in Chicago. Class of 2002 Mazel tov to Renee (Taffet) Nabatian, her husband Josh, and big brother Ethan (3 yrs old) who welcomed baby Layla Brooke on 7/13/13 weighing 7 lb 7 oz.

recently joined Lifeline Medical Associates in Springfield NJ. A graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Sara completed her residency in June at Montefiore Medical Center. Raphael (Raphi) graduated from Cornell University and George Washington University Law School. He is a managing partner of a private investment fund. Mazel Tov to Blair Kaminsky on her engagement to Daniel Klingenstein. Class of 2000 Mazel Tov on the birth of Keira Gila born December 15, 2012 to Rachel Levy Konik (Class of 2000) and her husband Konrad Konik

Mazel tov to Eric Rubin on his engagement to Stephanie Koslowitz. Class of 1999 Mazel Tov to Daniel Muth and Rebecca Siegel on their marriage. Mazel Tov to Sam and Lisa Seiden on the birth of Jarrett Marcus Seiden on May 24. Class of 1998 Mazel Tov to Candece Milwicki (Class of 1998) and Zev Svirsky (Class of 1997) on their marriage. Class of 1997 Mazel Tov to Gabe Saporta and Erin Fetherston who were married in an intimate ceremony in Barbados on Sunday, May 26. Class of 1994

Class of 2001

Mazal Tov to Sara Schonfeld MD on her marriage to Raphael Rabin-Havt on November 23, 2013! Sara is an OBGYN who

Mazel Tov to the Reisberg Family on the birth of Benjamin Harold Reisberg, born on Sept. 22, to Rachel and Joshua Reisberg (Class of 2000). The proud grandparents are B.J. (Class of 1977) and Linda Reisberg, and Benjamin’s proud aunts are Jessica Reisberg, class of 2006 and Julie Reisberg class of 2009. Benjamin Harold is named in honor of B.J.’s own parents, Naomi Benjamin and Harold Reisberg.

Mazel Tov to Jessica Gorbis Martin and Eric Martin who welcomed Samantha Lily born on April 19. Class of 1992 Congratulations to Dafna Gold McCarthy who recently opened Swirl Whirl Yogurt Buffet on the Upper East Side of NYC. Complete with a hechsher, we hope to see former SSDSers and GOA graduates at our location on 78th and 3rd!

Don’t miss your chance to support your school in 2013 Ensure that finances are not a barrier to any family wishing to join our community— support the Alumni Scholarship Campaign!

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Class Notes: News From Our Alumni

Alumni from the class of 2009 having dinner in NYC with Rabbi Wernick. From left to right standing: Aaron Czinn, Raffi Mark, Yoni Kaplan, Derek Picker, Joe Gutowski, Jon Ginsburg, Eli Shapiro From left to right sitting: Ben Rosenbach, Rabbi Wernick, Aaron Feinblatt, Elan Bortniker.

Our Sincere Condolences To the family of Martin Arbeit, beloved brother of Rhonda Lillianthal, uncle of Ethan (Class of 2008) and Rebekah (Class of 2012). To the family of Mordechai Menachem Ben Akiva, beloved father of Einya Aaron, father-inlaw of Michael Aaron, and grandfather of Abby (Class of 2013). To the family of Vivian Bergman, beloved mother of Nancy Bergman Pantirer and motherin-law of Larry Pantirer, grandmother of David Pantirer (Class of 1999), Marc Pantirer (Class of 2001), and former student, Elizabeth Pantirer. To the family of Alex Biller, beloved father of Rabbi Mark Biller, father-in-law of Ellen Biller, and grandfather of Mira (Class of 2010) and Julian (Grade 11). To the family of Toby Coppleson, beloved sister of Victor Coppleson, sister-in-law of Upper School teacher Linda Coppleson and aunt of Micah (Class of 1997) and Yael (Class of 2000). To the family of Betty Gliklich, wife of Morris Gliklich, mother of Lower School Guidance Counselor, Donna Gliklich Karp, mother-in-law of Michael Karp, grandmother of Adam (Class of 2010) and Genna (Grade 12).

To the family of Sam Halpern, beloved husband of Gladys Halpern, father of David Halpern, grandfather of Jeremy Halpern (Class of 1994) and Mindy Schall (Class of 1997), great-grandfather of Emily Schall (Grade 4), Sophie Schall (Grade 1) and Brandon Schall (Gan) and uncle of Shelly Paradis. To the family of Frieda Toby Himmelstein, beloved grandmother of Middle School Director Jamie Himmelstein. To the family of Annette Kurson, beloved mother of Ken Kurson, mother-in-law of GOA faculty member Rebecca Kurson, and grandmother of three current students. To the family of Lois Lesser, beloved sister of Stephen Gruhin and aunt of Whitney (Class of 2007), Melissa (Class of 2008), and Seth (Class of 2011). To the family of Conrad Mahler, father of Alfred Mahler and father-in-law of Dr. Jeanette Paktor and grandfather of Ian Mahler (Class of 2008). To the family of Dan Raviv, beloved father of Gil Raviv (Class of 1988). To the family of Judith Rowe, beloved mother of Samantha (Class of 2009) and former Upper School teacher, Matthew.

To the family of Judy Rubin, beloved wife of Alan Rubin, mother-in-law of Edward Leibowitz, and grandmother of Steven (Class of 2002) and Scott (Class of 2005). To the family of Joseph Martin Schor, beloved father of Joshua Schor, grandfather of Noemi (Class of 2008), Shayna (Class of 2010), and Rafaella (Class of 2013). To the family of Mildred Shields, beloved mother of Jayne Sayovitz, mother-in-law of Sidney Sayovitz and grandmother of Jared (Class of 1999). To the family of Jennifer Amy Silverstein, beloved daughter of Donna and Eric Silverstein and sister of Ilena (Class of 2005) and Ariella To the family of Scott Sokolic, brother of Jeremy Sokolic (Class of 1988), Robert Sokolic (Class of 1987), and David Sokolic (Class of 1985). To the family of Steven Southwood, beloved husband of former Upper School teacher, Helen Southwood. To the family of Sylvia Wein, beloved mother of Upper School teacher Melinda Udell.


Alumni News 11

1418 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, New Jersey 07052

GOA is accredited by the NJ Association of Independent Schools and is a beneficiary agency of United Jewish Communities of MetroWest NJ. It is affiliated with the Jewish Federation of Central NJ, the Solomon Schechter Day School Association, and United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, NJ Region. Eric F. Ross Upper School Campus 1418 Pleasant Valley Way West Orange, NJ 07052 (973) 602-3600 Wilf Lower School Campus 122 Gregory Avenue West Orange, NJ 07052 (973) 602-3700 Stephanie Bash-Soudry Director of Development & Alumni Relations Jason Silberfein Associate Director of Development Glenn Slavin Director of Marketing & Communications Carly Wolkoff Marketing Associate Sheryl Pearlstein Chair, Board of Trustees Dr. Joyce Raynor Head of School Adam Shapiro Associate Head of School & Upper School Principal Julia R. Malaga Chief Financial Officer Gloria Kron Lower School Principal We welcome your feedback about this newsletter. Please share with us your comments and suggestions by sending an email to Carly Wolkoff,

Alumni Society News - Winter 2013