by George J Elbaum
Rodeph Sholom School (RSS) is a coeducational Nursery-through-8th Grade Reform Jewish Independent School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I spoke to approximately 120 students in grades 6 through 8th of the Middle School, whose curriculum recognizes that those years are a transformative time of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. At its core, the Middle School is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to learn how to evaluate themselves and the world around them.
RSS was the first reform movement Jewish Day School in the United States: sponsored by Congregation Rodeph Sholom, the school started as a pilot project with Kindergarten and 1st Grade in 1970. Today the school is completing its 52nd year, has a student-to-faculty ratio at an admirable 4:6, and strives to raise purpose-driven leaders who are confident, socially responsible, informed, intentional, and passionate.
My talk was organized by Ira Glasser, the school’s Director of Jewish Life and Learning, and arranged by Jeff Smith, Resource Speaker Coordinator of Facing History and Ourselves.