About our family: We are both working parents (Marc is in finance and Leslie is a lawyer). Beyond the amazing community, we love that Rodeph Sholom School integrates Hebrew and Jewish studies seamlessly into the curriculum.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: Too many to name! Any Rodeph Sholom event that brings the community together is one that we cherish. All School Shabbats are particularly amazing as these are times when the connection between families, faculty, and administrators is deeply felt. The annual 4th Grade Poetry Reading/Moving Up Ceremony is another remarkable event in that it not only showcases the growth of each graduating elementary student, but it also demonstrates how Rodeph Sholom School makes learning fun and rewarding.
About our family: I’m a Cantor. I’m currently raising my child as a single mom and I’m an older mom. I was raised in Manhattan and went to an independent all girls school. I chose Rodeph Sholom School for my child because it provides the perfect combination of a superior private school education and Jewish values. My Father was confirmed at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in the mid 1940s so the connection to this community is important to my family.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: I was so bowled over with pride seeing my son, as a Kindergarten student, get up in front of 1,000+ people and comfortably grab the microphone, with his teacher guiding him, to talk about Shabbat and the Rodeph Sholom community. His confidence and self-esteem is being nurtured every moment of every day at Rodeph Sholom School and I couldn’t be happier.
About our family: We have loved being part of the Rodeph Sholom Community for the last several years and are so proud to be able to watch our children not only grow but thrive at Rodeph Sholom Sholom School.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: The Kindergarten Central Park Unit presentation was amazing. To watch the students proudly and confidently present what they learned about the park to the groups of visiting adults was truly impressive. We even learned a couple things!
Started at Rodeph Sholom School in: Twos
Class year(s): 2034, 2032, 2030, and 2028
About our Family: We often get asked what it is like to have 4 boys at home? Our favorite answer is – busy! Amongst the controlled chaos of our lives, we prioritize what is important to us: family, education, and maintaining a strong Jewish Identity. While our Jewish Identity is more conservative than reform, we fully embrace the Jewish practices our children are learning about in school. Our boys love to learn and share what they are learning at school with the rest of our large, extended family. We enjoy cooking and eating, running and roller blading. We can often be found out and about on the UWS, we are the ones with 4 boys zipping along on their scooters!
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: When we were distance learning during the spring of 2020, our oldest son’s class was learning about Central Park (a Kindergarten tradition at Rodeph Sholom School). He really connected with this lesson as we live very close to the park. We spent hours as a family exploring new locations throughout the park and really felt the school/home connection.
About our family: We are both working parents living on the Upper East Side who identify as more traditionally Jewish than Reform. Elyssa is a product of Jewish Day School, William is not. We love Rodeph Sholom School and have always felt comfortable as part of this community.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: We love the ArtsFest! The talent and passion the teachers bring to the classroom is clearly demonstrated during this annual, engaging, all school festival. Getting to witness the incredible creativity of the students and how excited they are to share their hard work on their school projects is always a thrill. We also love the All School Shabbats that bring the entire community together in celebration and gratitude.
Started at Rodeph Sholom School in: 4th Grade and 6th Grade
Class year(s): 2026 and 2022 (twins)
About our family: We each come from traditional Jewish families and have tried to instill similar values in our children, including keeping a kosher home, having Shabbat meals, and observing the major Jewish holidays. We love traveling and have schlepped our kids across the globe to experience new cultures. When possible, we try to visit local Jewish communities and have attended services in many different cities around the world including Jerusalem, Johannesburg, São Paulo. and Santiago. No matter where we are the prayers always sound the same, which makes us feel at home even though we are physically thousands of miles away. Our kids spend much of their free time participating in various team sports or trying desperately to break high scores in the video games they play with their friends. We love everything about living in NYC, from the parks to the entertainment to all the fascinating people that you meet on a daily basis. More than anything, we feel incredibly fortunate to have developed so many close friendships with the families of our kids’ friends and believe our kids are very lucky to have so many great role models in this community that they can look up to.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: For us it is not a particular moment but rather a feeling. We arrived right before the pandemic so initially opportunities to meet other parents and kids were very limited. But right from the beginning, from the conscientious way the school handled the shutdown to the way the other students quickly welcomed our boys as friends, we knew we had found the kind of close-knit community with similar values that we were looking for–we found another family. Our boys have since made lifelong friendships and continuing to see them thrive as members of the Rodeph Sholom community and beyond has been invaluable.
About our family: We met on a group trip to Israel in 2007 and moved to the Upper West Side in 2010. As we prepared to start a family, we joined Congregation Rodeph Sholom. When our eldest child was born in 2013 and we began to explore pre-schools, Rodeph Sholom School was an obvious choice to continue our growing family’s connection to the community and start on a new educational journey. That journey has continued with two more children, all joining the school in the Twos.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: Preschool pickup has always been a highlight of our days. It’s great to mingle with other Rodeph parents while waiting for the kids to be dismissed, and it’s so heartwarming when your child sees you after a few hours of separation and joyously rushes over to proudly tell you about the day’s events. Whether it be displaying the day’s art project, singing a new song, or telling you about the latest book, the ritual always brings a smile to our faces.
About our family: We moved to NYC from Miami and immediately fell in love with the Rodeph Sholom Community. We feel so fortunate to be able to have the close community connections that the school provides while living in a big city. It is important to us that our kids are able to grow up learning and celebrating Jewish religion, traditions, and values on a daily basis and the school integrates these into the curriculum beautifully.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: One of our favorite moments was the 4th Grade Poetry Reading. It was the first big event after returning to the school building after COVID and the kids were not only impressive, it was also incredibly joyful to share the space and reunite with faculty, staff, peers and the children. We are looking forward to celebrating many more memorable milestones with this community in the years to come.
Started at Rodeph Sholom School in: Twos and Threes
Class year(s): 2032 and 2029
About our family: Our family is the definition of blended and balanced. Caribbean and Jewish. Black and White. New York, California, Antigua. Secular but super connected Jewishly. We’re certainly not predictable!
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: There is not just one favorite moment, but a combination of many large and small moments that continue to reinforce our decision to join this community: When our children learned to read and write. When our oldest gets excited to be able to use her Hebrew language skills. When our youngest had her first school Shabbat with challah. The many ways the school goes out of its way to know each child and understand their individual needs. In addition, at one point we remember the school telling us that “we’re here to help raise your children,” and we’ve learned over the years just how true that is and how much we have appreciated that support.
Started at Rodeph Sholom School in: Twos and Pre-K
Class year(s): 2033 and 2029
About our family: We are a super warm, close-knit family with multi-faith (Jewish and Catholic) and bi-national/bilingual (US and Spain) backgrounds, whose lives are continually enriched by treasured grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, and beloved cultural traditions on both sides of the Atlantic. We’re raising our children Jewish and hope to provide them a strong foundation, grounded in the values and commitment to community and social justice that are hallmarks of our heritage. And we’re a same-sex couple — moms whose greatest goal is to raise our two kids to be good people who care about each other and the world, and whose interactions with others exemplify the phrase on our daughter’s favorite t-shirt: “Love is love.” (It’s cuter than that, actually… our two-year-old sees the word “love” anywhere and automatically chirps the whole mantra “love is love”… one day, the world may see the same three words in those four letters!)
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: There have been many wonderful moments in our brief tenure at Rodeph Sholom… but if we have to choose one, it would be experiencing the All Pre-K Kabbalat Shabbat, with Louie playing guitar, the kids singing along and then saying the blessings together. The kids’ and teachers’ joy is palpable!
About our family: As parents, we have a strong commitment to raising our children with integrity, values, and a sense of self–all things Rodeph Sholom School is amazing at fostering. We also wanted to give our family a warm and tight-knit community to rely on within this busy, chaotic city. Our experience has far surpassed our expectations.
Favorite Rodeph Sholom School moment: So hard to choose! If we have to pick one, it would likely be the culmination of my daughter’s Kindergarten Central Park Project and the students’ sculptural recreation of the park. We also will never forget the warm welcome our older daughter received on her first day back after missing the first two months of the 2020-21 school year. We get the chills thinking about it!