Schechter Day Schools Reinvent Identity


May  12, 2011,

CONTACT: Samantha Friedman Rabinowitz / Dorf Communications
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NEW YORK—The Solomon Schechter Day School Association—rebranded as the Schechter Day School Network—is proud to announce the launch of a renewed sense of purpose as it embarks on a future that will further engage parents and alumni in Schechter students' learning process and the overall Schechter experience and attract new enrollment. With a history of quality education and critical inquiry inherent to Conservative Judaism, Schechter schools foster a commitment to lifelong learning and create an educational environment tailored to individual students' needs that encourages students to discover their strengths and talents and become actively involved, invested Jewish citizens. At Schechter, children are educated holistically—academically, spiritually and emotionally—and prepared to become leaders in their own communities and advocates for Israel.

Eleven Schechter schools in the Tri-State Area formed a collaborative consortium involving Schechter schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. They teamed up Wednesday to launch an initiative honing in on the schools' signature pedagogy: preparing students to engage the world. Along with developing its new identity, the association changed its name to the Schechter Day School Network.

On Wednesday, association leaders gathered at The Jewish Theological Seminary to explain in greater detail Schechter's exciting new focus to an audience of Schechter parents, alumni, board members, staff and faculty, friends in the field of Jewish education, and supporting partnering agencies. From last night forward, the association will continue to introduce Schechter schools across the continent to this initiative. View photos from the event.

"This exciting grassroots initiative is great for all the Schechter schools in the consortium," said Dr. Elaine Cohen, executive of the Solomon Schechter Day School Association. "Though we're launching our revitalized message and new branding in the Tri-State region, we invite Schechter schools across North America to join us in this project. The high quality work of the consortium demonstrates effective collaboration among various agencies, including the Jewish Education Project, UJA-Federation of New York, United Synagogue, and The Jewish Theological Seminary, and exemplifies a very positive partnership between the Schechter Association and its member schools. We are continuing the important work of revitalizing the essential principles of Conservative Judaism as we make our day schools ever more welcoming environments for a wide spectrum of families and their children."

Elaine Suchow, a member of the Tri-State Consortium's steering committee and director of development for Solomon Schechter School of Queens said, "After a long, comprehensive exploratory process, mah tovu—how good it is—that we can share one voice and one vision to benefit all Schechter schools collectively. Working together for the future of our children, we have learned, discovered, and become strengthened. Welcome to Schechter."

Rabbi Steven Wernick, chief executive officer and executive vice president of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the school network's parent organization, said the schools provide an integral foundation for many future Jewish and civic leaders.

"To be the people of the book has always meant that we value education," Wernick said. "Jewish education, however, is more than just the acquisition of facts; it is also the acquisition of timeless values for sacred living. The Schechter Day School network continues to be a prime source for Jewish education at its very best. This branding initiative will go a long way in communicating that inspiration for a broader audience and will inspire many more to be meaningfully engaged in the highest forms of Jewish learning."

The Schechter Day School Network is an association of Conservative-affiliated Jewish day schools spanning 19 states in the United States and two provinces in Canada. The Network operates under the umbrella of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

More information is available at www.schechternetwork.org and www.ssdsa.org.


2011, Schechter Day School