On Sunday evening, May 22, Yeshiva Primary partnered with Chazaq for a beautiful open house at the school in Holliswood. Rabbi Avner Yusupov, Director of Development, welcomed everyone to this historic event in the school’s spacious ballroom. He pointed out that Chazaq initiated this event, and alumni of Yeshiva Primary, students, current parents and prospective parents, teachers and Chazaq staff, including Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Chazaq Operations Manager, and Ephraim Rubinov, Director of Public School Transfer to Yeshivah, all joined together to show support for Yeshiva Primary. He then introduced Rabbi Zalmen Deutscher, Founder and Dean.
Rabbi Deutscher shared that the school was founded in 1969. “The objective was to take children in public school or children starting yeshivah in kindergarten and afford them a fantastic general education and to expose them to their beautiful Jewish heritage. We wanted the students to know that they are part of a chain going back 3,000 years.”
Rabbi Deutscher explained that yeshivah tuition was an obstacle for parents to transfer their children, so he wanted to create a school where the tuition was low. It really costs around $12,000 per child to attend a yeshivah, but Yeshiva Primary offers a high-quality education for $3,100. To be able to keep the tuition low, the yeshivah has supporters who help with scholarships. “We want to make it possible for parents to transfer their children to yeshivah and to give them an excellent education. If a person feels confident and knows who he is, then he can relate to others.” Some 97 percent of Yeshivah Primary graduates go on to higher education degrees like MBA, doctorates, MD, etc. Rabbi Deutscher thanked Rabbi Rubinov of Chazaq for his tireless work in transferring children to yeshivah. He thanked Mrs. Judy Klein, longtime principal, Mrs. Anne Douglas, Assistant General Studies Principal, and all the moros and teachers.
Morah Yocheved Abramovitz, fifth through seventh grade Limudei Kodesh teacher at Yeshiva Primary for nearly 15 years, shared that every year at the school is so exciting, with new opportunities to teach Jewish children about Torah and mitzvos, as well as the Hebrew language. She noted that she loves hearing that her students share their weekly parshah sheets at the table on Shabbos, and she loves seeing their excitement about all the Jewish holidays. “The holidays are such an exciting time at our school, with Chanukah celebrations, a Purim masquerade and carnival, and much more. Yeshiva Primary offers such an enriched education, that by the time the students graduate, they are ready for any yeshivah high school.”
Morah Robyn Rosenberg, long-time kindergarten and first grade teacher, shared that her students love coming to school. Rebbetzin Channah Hecht, second and third grade Limudei Kodesh morah at Yeshiva Primary for over 20 years, noted that “it is a wonderful school with lots of individual attention. It is a warm environment, and kids make a lot of friends here. It changes their lives.”
Morah Adira Lew, sixth grade morah, noted, “Students are very friendly and personable.”
Rabbi Yusupov shared that he is a graduate of the yeshivah, and he has been teaching at Yeshiva Primary for eight years. “The school has superb teachers par excellence. The teachers care for every single student.” The school offers small classes with qualified teachers, and technology is taught as a tool to enhance the education. He shared that the school boasts academic excellence with a brand- new science lab, smart boards, laptops, and Chrome Books. There is also an outstanding writers’ workshop program headed by this writer in grades 1-5 and headed by Dr. Anne Douglas in the junior high, that prepares children to write across the genres with confidence, skill, and enthusiasm. The school offers a balanced education of Hebrew and English subjects. Rabbi Yusupov shared that Dr. Douglas was his teacher, and she taught her students high-level literature like Shakespeare and works of Edgar Allen Poe, so he was thoroughly prepared for college.
Rabbi Avraham Garber, rav of Yeshiva Kesser Torah and Founder of Our Jewish Children (organization that helps with tuition for children transferring from public school to yeshivah), then spoke. He shared how we read Megillas Rus on Shavuos, and Rus was a Moabite princess who chose to leave behind her royal lifestyle in favor of following her mother-in-law, Naomi, towards a spiritual life as a Jew in Israel. She saw the regal bearing and beautiful, refined character traits of her mother-in-law, and how Naomi was an honest person of integrity, and Rus wanted to be part of a people that produces such beautiful character traits.
“We want our children to not just get an education, but we want them to become people with sterling character traits who care about others. We want them to be excited about being a Jew and about Torah. The single most crucial factor in a person retaining his Jewish identity is a Jewish education. The Torah teaches a value system that the world lacks. A student’s surroundings are so important. It’s important for our children to be in an environment with people who are upright and just.”
A former student, Mr. Zalman Katanov, shared that “Rabbi Deutscher set me up for success. Yeshiva Primary is more than a school; it’s a community.” After Yeshiva Primary, Rabbi Deutscher helped him to be admitted to Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway. After that, he attended Queens College and earned a degree in psychology. “Rabbi Deutscher looks at the big picture – the future.”
A parent of two girls who currently attend the school noted, “We originally transferred our daughters from public school during COVID, so they could have in-person learning. Now, they are here for a dramatically different reason. We are so happy with the yeshivah education.” She shared that, the other day, her daughter looked up at her and said, “Mom, I love Yeshiva!” This mom added, “I knew I made the right decision!”
Mr. David Tchatchanashvili, an alumnus of Yeshivah Primary, stated, “I can’t think of a family more loving and caring than this school.” He noted that when he went to college, he was exempt from all English and Math requirement classes because of the superior education he received at Yeshiva Primary. He also got into law school. He values the relationships he forged here with teachers and friends. “A parent has to think about what influences they want their child exposed to. You want to make sure they have the proper influences to end up in the right place. When you make the choice to send your child here, the whole atmosphere of the school is such that you can’t go wrong.”
Mrs. Douglas, Assistant General Studies Principal, stated, “Yeshiva Primary gives you roots and wings!”
By Susie Garber