Imagine how frustrating and embarrassing it is for a child to sit in class and not be able to read and write like her peers.  How discouraging to not be able to learn and keep up with your friends because you have a language learning disability.

The founders of TAL (Torah and Language) Academy, which is opening in September 2023, G-d willing, saw a need in klal Yisrael and decided to create an outstanding school that would form a bridge for children with language-based learning disabilities to receive the research-based remediation they require to then return to their neighborhood schools equipped with the skills and confidence to succeed academically in both limudei chol and limudei kodesh subjects.  There is such a need for a school like this that offers a Jewish and secular education for children with language challenges.

The school focuses on disabilities like dyslexia, receptive and expressive language difficulties, comprehension difficulties, and difficulties in expressing oneself in writing.

“We want children to be able to go back to their neighborhood schools, feeling competent and confident,” Mrs. Sara Taib, Principal, explained.  It is so difficult for these children to move through school, year after year, continually feeling that the academic expectations are beyond their reach, but for this group of children who have average to above-average intelligence, the expectations are not beyond their reach.  They just need to learn differently, using an explicit multisensory approach within an immersive language-rich environment, and they can succeed.”

The school will be opening in September 2023, for girls and boys in grades 2-4, with plans to grow in subsequent years to service students in grades 1-8.  The school will offer academic excellence in a warm, nurturing Torah environment where speech language pathologists will be in the classroom working alongside special education teachers so students can thrive.

The goal is to remediate weaknesses while children are younger to change their trajectory, so they won’t fall farther and farther behind, feeling worse and worse about their academic ability.  This school provides a way for children to get back on track with their peers.  The learning program is geared to help students move at their own individual pace.  The school looks forward to working with local schools to help children reintegrate into regular education classes at the right time.

“We want children to feel successful and happy about coming to school,” Mrs. Taib said.  Learning in limudei chol and limudei kodesh is hands-on and active learning that students will enjoy while developing mastery of skills and content.  The school will also include specials like gym and art.

TAL has put together an outstanding staff.  Mrs. Taib has extensive experience in supporting students in both general education and special education settings, with an expertise in literacy and creating Judaic Studies curriculum.  Dr. Lydia Soifer, a world-renowned language pathologist, will direct the teachers in her Classroom Dynamics program, which she developed to guide teachers in how to speak to students to elicit their language development.  TAL Academy is also very excited to have Mrs. Brocha Kresch on their team as Director of K’riah Instruction.  Mrs.  Kresch developed a very successful multi-sensory k’riah program, which is used in many schools across the country, and she will be directing all of the k’riah teachers.

TAL Academy is conveniently located in Belle Harbor, a small residential neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, located on the western half of the Rockaway Peninsula.  It is accessible to students from all boroughs.

TAL will offer special information sessions for parents to answer questions and to explain the school’s program in more detail.  The mission of the school as stated on their website says: “TAL Academy seeks to equip students with tools to access an outstanding Judaic and general studies curriculum.  We strive to provide children with language challenges the research-based, high-quality instruction they require to achieve academic success and to develop their individual strengths and talents in a Torah environment.”

For more information, go to or call 516-218-1189.

By Susie Garber