The last few years have been particularly taxing and challenging in ways that we never could have imagined. The fortitude and resilience of our entire Moriah community; teachers, parents, donors, and especially our students, has been breathtaking. Our strength as a community is defined not only by the character and fabric of our community during good times, but also, and more importantly, at challenging times.
And we have passed this test with flying colors.
Our annual dinner provides us with an opportunity to reflect on all of our achievements, and specifically to celebrate a number of individuals who personify many of the traits that make Moriah such a unique institution.
Alex and Sandy Solomon have shown incredible devotion and dedication to Moriah for so many years. The list of areas where they have made a huge difference in the life of our school is substantive- from support of holiday programming through the Purim Carnival, to inclusion of STEM through the STEM lab, to building and developing a highly functioning IT department with hands on support and guidance in shaping this department, to our annual fundraising drives which are largely successful due to Alex's sheer determination- the list goes on and on. Their positive, can-do attitude and their problem solving approach has helped shape Moriah and made the school a far better place. On a personal note, I have always appreciated the guidance, support and advice that I know I can always receive from them any time I turn to them.
There is rarely a day where I don’t speak to Leiah Moskowitz. In fact, we often talk numerous times per day. Her wholehearted support, involvement and passion for every aspect of our schools health and well being is spectacular. I am in awe of her ability to treat Moriah as a full time job (plus) and then still find time to run her family and work! She took on her role as Chairman of the Board at what would prove to be an incredibly difficult time period, but managed each and every challenge with grace and wisdom. Over the last few years, she has been a meaningful partner, confidante and advisor to me on a daily basis and has been one of the main reasons that we have been so successful in recent years.
This year, we are excited to honor two stellar faculty members- Davida Greenberg and Deborah Pechet. As two of the senior members of our student support team, they have helped countless students in immeasurable ways. The skills and ability to succeed that they give to our students (both past and present) who need extra support, allow these students to become successful and have transformed so many lives. Our Gesher Yehuda and Maximum support programs have been such strong programs because of individuals like Debbie and Davida who care deeply about their students and are willing to devote their time, attention and love to ensure that they are all successful. Davida and Debbie are a testament to the fact that a skilled, caring and loving teacher can literally change children's lives.
Thank you to all of our community members for their support of our school. We are privileged to be part of a unique and extraordinary school, community and family.
We are often asked by community members and new parents: what makes Moriah special? This is a question that forces us to think deeply about the essential qualities that define Moriah. To us, nothing is more essential, nothing is more important than our people: the parents and faculty who contribute their time and devote their professional talents to our children.
פְּלִיגֵי בָּהּ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה נְשִׂיאָה וְרַבָּנָן, חַד אָמַר: דּוֹר לְפִי פַּרְנָס, וְחַד אָמַר: פַּרְנָס לְפִי דּוֹרוֹ
"Rabbi Judah and the Rabbis argued: a generation according to its leader, or a leader according to its generation?"
As parents, educators and community members, we all play a vital role in educating the next generation, and Moriah's achievements are the result of the collective efforts of faculty and lay volunteers alike. The greater the effort that we expend on our children, the broader is their potential for achievement; and we are deeply fortunate to have produced great communal leaders and educators in our generation. The Annual Dinner is the moment when we thank exceptional community members and faculty for their efforts on behalf of our school.
We are thrilled to recognize Sandy and Alex Solomon as Guests of Honor at this year’s dinner. Sandy and Alex have been pillars of the Moriah community for nearly two decades. Sandy has co-chaired our Purim carnival since 2013, served as a Names, Not Numbers mentor, and has been instrumental in many Moriah-related volunteer efforts including our Summer Outing, Sports and Dinner committees. Alex has served as Executive Committee member, Technology Committee member, Annual Campaign Chair and a member of the Board of Trustees since 2014. Driven by his passion for making Jewish education accessible to all, Alex has been the driving force behind Moriah’s consistent and successful scholarship fund raising campaigns. Sandy and Alex are the proud parents of Evan (’16), Kira (’18), Darren (’21) and Olivia (’22).
I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of our Hakarat Hatov award than our Chairman of the Board of Trustees and my dear friend, Leiah Moskowitz. Her selfless contributions to Moriah and our community are immeasurable. Beginning her community work 15 years ago as a MAP volunteer she quickly took on additional responsibilities such as chairing the student life committee, as well as the Lower School and Middle School Parent Councils. After joining the Board of Trustees in 2014 it quickly became obvious to all board members that she should ascend to a leadership position. Following her assumption of the Chairman role in 2019, Leiah guided the Moriah community through one the most challenging periods in its history. Leiah along with her husband Rafi are the proud parents of Cara (’16), Jared (’18) and Avery (’22).
We are lucky to count amongst the Moriah faculty a vast number of teachers who are deserving of recognition for their merit and longevity of service to our school. We are presenting this year's Rabbi J. Shelley Applbaum, Z"L Service Award to two long term members of the Moriah family: Mrs. Deborah Pechet and Morah Davida Greenberg.
Both have served Moriah for decades, and have impacted literally hundreds of Moriah students and alumni. Mrs. Pechet is a leading instructor in our renowned Gesher Yehuda program, where students with learning challenges are supported and receive extra help in the context of a broader classroom. Morah Davida has had many roles at Moriah including teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grades and for the last nine years has been our Sixth Grade Case Manager, responsible for ensuring that each child’s Individual Education Plan is carried out according to their learning style. Both Deborah and Davida are proud parents of Moriah alumni.
The Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday night, March 5th at the Meadowlands Hilton. Not only do we encourage you to attend and contribute, but we also encourage you to get involved in the planning of the event. You can do so by contacting our wonderful committee of volunteers: Our Dinner Co-Chairs Emily Adler, Sury Helwani, Racheli Heumann, Dania Lauer, Jordanna Nadritch, Shevy Solomon, Jennifer Wasserman and Lynne Yunis; our Campaign Co-Chairs Evan Borenstein, Noam Heller, Jonathan Schechter, Edward Solomon and David Ulmer. We look forward to celebrating with you.
Thank you for your support!
Steven Bleier, President