Head of School
Message from our Board of Trustees  
 
Head of School's Message
 
At the beginning of Parshat Vayakhel, Moshe lists all the materials that the Jewish people were to donate for the Mishkan to be built.  Immediately following this list we are told
 
וַיֵּֽצְא֛וּ כָּל־עֲדַ֥ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מִלִּפְנֵ֥י מֹשֶֽׁה׃
"The entire community of the Jewish people left Moshe's presence."
 
When one considers that the next verse describes how all the Jews immediately began bringing donations to the Mishkan, our verse seems superfluous.  Why the need to state that the Jewish people left Moshe's presence? Rav Chaim Ibn Attar, in his Ohr Hachaim commentary, argues that this pasuk has a distinctive purpose.  It teaches us that each and every Jew left with a specific purpose in mind. They ran out of their meeting with Moshe inspired to immediately contribute to the Mishkan. I believe that this is why the Torah found it necessary to mention Moshe in this verse.  Moshe's inspirational leadership motivated every single person to become involved in the building of the Mishkan. Certain leaders have the ability to create an enthusiasm and excitement about a project in a fashion that inspires others to act, to sacrifice, to imitate, and to work on behalf of the community.
 
This message is apropos to our celebration tonight.
 
The Gribetz name is one that is synonymous with the values we stand for and the legacy our school strives to promote.  Rhonda and Michael Gribetz played important leadership roles in Moriah for many years. Their personal mission continues with the next generation.  Mention the names Seth and Orit Gribetz to any of our faculty and their eyes light up. Seth and Orit have spearheaded the efforts to create a culture in the school that values teachers and recognizes the vital work that they do for our children.  Any teacher who has taught one of the Gribetz children will tell you that this is no surprise. The sense of Hakarat Hatov that they show to everyone in the school who works with their own children serves as a model for how we should all behave in life.  The Gribetz's are incredibly generous, are mission driven, align themselves closely with the values of our school, and are always looking to make a difference. They inspire us all to be better people and work harder for our school as a labor of love. I am personally grateful to Seth for his incredible support when I first arrived at Moriah.  I am proud of the unique and strong Head of School- Board President relationship that was nurtured by Seth and continued by his successor Aaron, and the role that this relationship has played in furthering the mission of our school. I am also grateful to Orit for her contributions to Moriah and involvement in so many areas of the school, as well as her allowing her husband to take on an incredibly time consuming role over the last few years.   Orit and Seth have cultivated an era of collaboration and respect, and their efforts will undoubtedly continue to guide the leadership that succeeds them for many years to come. The Gribetz's inspire all of us to strengthen support of our school.
 
I have been privileged to work with Livia Marcovici for over two years now.  Livia brings an energy, a passion, a work ethic, and thankfully for us, a competitive edge to her work.  Her magnetic personality and infectious enthusiasm are evidenced by the astounding success she has seen in growing the Moriah family. Both Elias and Livia model the warmth and compassion that characterize our school culture. Their charismatic charm makes everyone feel welcome,comfortable and and cared about.  
 
Janet Stavsky is Moriah's resident Tzadeket.  She sees only good in everybody she comes in contact with.  This is one of the reasons she has been such an outstanding teacher for over two decades.  She truly sees the best in every child and the potential that each child has to succeed and thrive.  Her students sense and feel her love for them and respond in kind. She is a modest person by nature, never focusing on herself.  For her, it is always about the students and about the colleagues she admires and collaborates with to spread her special brand of goodness.  Her kindness and compassion inspire all of us to lead kinder, more selfless and more caring lives ourselves, in the classroom and beyond.
 
Rachel Schwartz possesses boundless energy.  Whether running “Names, Not Numbers” and teaching our students to embrace the legacy of the Holocaust, running our annual Heritage Fair and deepening our student’s connections to their own family history, crafting our Moriah Reads experience year after year, exciting her students about learning English or History, or being the number one cheerleader for Moriah, Rachel's energy and enthusiasm shows no limits. Rachel is an incredibly creative individual and has generated and initiated all types of important programs and curricular additions. Some people are the type who never say no when asked to do something.  Rachel is the type of person who volunteers to do everything before she is even asked. Her excitement about each of the projects she works on, moves her colleagues to step up and offer the students ever greater versions of themselves. Her personality and fervor lay the groundwork for meaningful parent-school partnerships. Her enthusiasm inspires us all to be more passionate about the work we do for Moriah and our love of our school.
 
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to ensure that this year’s dinner would be a success.  Moriah is a special place because of the devotion and inspiration of all its stakeholders.
 
 
 

Message from our Board of Trustees

 

A common question directed to us is, what makes Moriah special?  This is a question we hear mainly from new parents, and more than any question we hear, it 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 teachers 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 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; so 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 Orit and Seth ‘89 Gribetz as Guests of Honor at this year's dinner. Orit and Seth have been pillars of Moriah and the Englewood Jewish community for nearly 2 decades, and they are unsurpassed supporters of Moriah.  They have inspired many with their generosity and their outstanding commitment to Torat Yisrael, Am Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael. Orit, originally from Israel and then Boston, and Seth, a Moriah graduate from Teaneck, have lived in Englewood since 2004.

 

Seth is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Walnut Court Capital, a finance firm based in New Jersey. Orit and Seth have been involved in a variety of leadership roles at Moriah. Orit has served as a Class Liaison, Barnes & Noble Event Chair, “Names, Not Numbers” mentor, Chessed Committee Member, and most recently, as the inspiration behind our new Educational Garden. Seth has served as the Annual Dinner Chair, Finance Committee Chair, Capital Campaign Chair, Construction Committee Chair, Executive Committee Member, and Board President. He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Overseers. Perhaps Seth’s most notable accomplishments are his successful initiatives and focus on staff and faculty morale.

 

Beyond Moriah, the Gribetzes are involved in East Hill Synagogue, where Orit is a former Co-President of the Sisterhood, the Englewood Mikvah where Orit was a former board member, as well as Englewood Hospital where Orit is involved with the Kosher Kitchen.  In addition, Seth has served on the board of Project Ezrah.

 

Orit and Seth’s deep involvement in communal life, commitment to Zionism and lifelong dedication to Jewish causes are surely a sterling example for their children, Tali (‘18), Maya (‘19), Nicola (‘21) and Joseph (‘24).

 

We are excited to recognize Livia and Elias Marcovici with our Young Leadership Award.  Livia and Elias have been proud members of the Moriah Family since 2012, and they have been active supporters of Jewish life in Bergen County since they first moved to Englewood in 2010. Together, they have held leadership positions with East Hill Synagogue, Yeshivat Ohr Simcha, Amit, and Shaare Zedek, and are involved with numerous other charitable causes as well.  (And, if you are really lucky, you get to hear Elias lead High Holiday davening at East Hill Synagogue.)

 

Elias is a Managing Principal of Blake Partners, a real estate investment company based in NY. Livia currently serves as the Director of Admissions at Moriah, where for three years she has worked closely with the Moriah faculty, administration and board to help ensure Moriah’s continued growth and success.   Since their early days at Moriah, Livia and Elias have served as co-chairpersons for the Moriah Summer Outing. Elias has been a member of the Fundraising Committee for both the Moriah Annual Dinner and Summer Outing, and Livia has volunteered in multiple other capacities including working on the Open House and on a number of admissions initiatives – all of which laid the groundwork for her career at The Moriah School.

 

Livia and Elias are proud parents of three children, all of whom are Moriah students: Ezra (’23), Sofia (’25) and Henry (’28).  Together this extraordinary couple has made an indelible mark on our school, and their unwavering dedication to the advancement of Moriah has benefited us all.

 

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. Rachel Schwartz and Morah Yehudit Stavsky.

 

Both have served Moriah for decades, and have impacted literally hundreds of Moriah students and alumni.  In addition to being a beloved Middle School English and History teacher, Mrs. Schwartz is renowned for her work on Names, Not Numbers, Moriah’s powerful and life-changing Holocaust curriculum for Eighth Graders, which, thanks to her efforts, has become a marquee event for Moriah.  Morah Yehudit Stavsky has taught generations of Moriah Second Graders, showing them their Chumashim for the first time, and creating lifelong love of parshat hashavua for so many of them.  Any Moriah parent who has kvelled at their child’s Chumash celebration, or has listened to their daughter or son recount the parshah with pride, owes a debt of gratitude to Morah Yehudit Stavsky.  

 

The Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday night, March 2nd at the Meadowlands Hilton.  Not only do we encourage you to attend and to contribute, we also encourage you to get involved in the planning of the event.  You can do so by contacting our wonderful committee of volunteers, whom we thank in advance for making this the most successful dinner yet: our Dinner Co-Chairs, Rachel Heumann, Shira Forman, Nira Feldman, Lisa Schechter and Aliza Schwalbe, and our Campaign Co-Chairs, Alen Gollender and Alex Solomon. We look forward to celebrating with you as a united community.

 

Thank you for your continued support,

 

Aaron Yunis, President

Zvi Rudman, Chairman

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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