A Growing School for Girls Builds a New Home Thanks to Generous Donors

20 March 2023

The Mosdos Sanz School of Monsey strives to provide a high quality education to Orthodox Jewish families in the Spring Valley area of New York State, USA. Thanks to the Rosenberg Family Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal, Myriad Canada was able to support the construction of a new building for this rapidly growing school for girls to call home.

“We want to create a positive atmosphere for the students, we want students to be proud of their school, we want them to have community pride,” said the school’s president and executive director, Gavriel Rosenberg. “The goal is to have happy kids who are happy with themselves and their accomplishments.”

An Evolving Community
Over the past decade, many families have relocated from urban Jewish communities in Brooklyn to the suburbs of Rockland County, New York. As for most parents leaving the city behind them, one of the main reasons is to offer their children more space and a more tranquil lifestyle. Established in 2012, Mosdos Sanz of Monsey was founded to provide these families with the highest possible quality of education for their girls. “There are other schools in the area, but our school is a notch above,” said Rosenberg. “We’ve reached a lot of our goals in how we want to educate our kids and the culture we want to develop with them.”

The curriculum closely aligns with New York State requirements and students deliver high standards of work in all areas, from math and science to history and geography. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) school, it also has a strong focus on phonemics and reading.

Preparing for a Lifetime of Learning
The school is determined to ensure that each and every student grows into a healthy and confident individual who will make a positive contribution to society. Mosdos Sanz strives to meet the needs of pupils of every ability while instilling important values such as respect, joy, modesty and an everlasting desire to learn and grow. “The most important value that we try to give our kids is that they should believe in themselves, they should believe that they have the capability to grow and to face challenges,” said Rosenberg.

Instilling this growth mindset is what truly makes Mosdos Sanz stand out, he said. “It’s really important that kids understand the difference between ‘I can’t’ and ‘I can’t yet,’ he says. “That you can stretch your brain muscles, to think positively and accomplish more. Not everyone has the same capabilities, some kids really have to work hard to achieve their basic academic goals. And through this environment they know they can do it.”

Not only students, but also teachers are encouraged to always keep learning and growing. Professional development is a top priority and training is provided to keep teachers updated on the most recent pedagogical developments. They are constantly networking with other educators and finding new ways to motivate and engage their students.

The Need for More Space
From a fledgling institution of 27 pupils, Mosdos Sanz is now a highly acclaimed educational establishment with 335 students. It has a full pre-school and kindergarten program, an elementary school running from grade 1-5, and it has just finished building up its junior high of grades 6-8. The school also has extensive special education facilities for children requiring various levels of learning support. “Every single child should feel wanted, should feel accomplished, and should shine in their own way. No one falls through the cracks,” said Rosenberg.

The school purchased the property it stands on just a year after it was founded. A few years later, the small building the school was housed in was supplemented by modular units to accommodate its growing student body. Given the scarcity of places in Jewish schools in the area and the school’s excellent reputation, the school had been forced to disappoint dozens of families hoping to enroll their children each year.

During the construction – the new building in the background and a mobile classroom in front of it.

Far from being an adequate long-term solution, the modular units had insulation problems which made temperature control difficult. The school needed room to grow and was eager to add facilities including a cooking room, a large outdoor playing field, a music suite and an IT area. It also wanted to create space for an expanded remedial and special education department comfortable for those who are especially sensitive to their learning environment.

New Foundations, Bright Future
The school building project f had a budget of just under USD 4.5 million, well over half of the total cost of building the new school. These funds were used to complete the interior: installing plumbing, electricity, insulation, windows, doors, stairs, and everything else needed to make an exterior shell into a building worthy of being called a school.

This school year Mosdos Sanz is happy to call this brand new, state-of-the-art building home. Teachers and students are thrilled and relieved to have enough space, light and adequate facilities to make the most of their education. There is also more room for dining, office space, a great auditorium, a gym, a playground and a dignified setting for the fantastic library community members had worked so hard to stock.
The school’s first junior high graduation will be taking place this spring, a major milestone. The graduating eighth grade class includes Rosenberg’s daughter. After graduation they will go on to pioneer the school’s next step: forming a New York State accredited Mosdos Sanz High School so that they can achieve a secondary education in the Mosdos Sanz tradition.

There is a lot to be proud of, but for Rosenberg the school’s biggest achievement is the culture and mindset it has cultivated. “Having a graduation is a milestone,” he said. “But when you see one of your teachings, one of your core values reach the heart of a child and it overflows with kindness, that’s something bigger than us, bigger than what we do.”

For more information, please contact us at info@myriadcanada.org