Westchester Day School Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Westchester Day School Head Rabbi Daniel Rockoff

By Stephen E, Lipken


Westchester Day School, 856 Orienta Avenue, Mamaroneck, celebrated their 75th Anniversary, (westchesterday.org), with a dinner at Hyatt Regency, Greenwich on Saturday, December 17th, honoring Steven and Malka Helft, Ayala and David Lallouz, Jordana and Rabbi Jonathan Morgenstern and Mrs. Barbara Seader, Educator Award Recipient.


“One of the leading founders was Mortimer Propp,” Head of School Rabbi Daniel Rockoff began.  “It was 1948, shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, in the years following the Holocaust, a time when the Orthodox Jewish community was starting to gain some traction.  


“There was a need to have a Jewish Day School, combining the best of General Education as well as Judaic Education, to connect young American and Jewish American children to their heritage, while being active engaged citizens of this country.  


“The school is split between General and Judaic studies; half the day is General Studies; the other half, Judaic studies.  We have an Early Childhood Program that starts at age 2, finishing with Grade 8.  Primarily, there are academic subjects, including math, language arts, social studies, science as well as Judaic subjects such as the language, Chumash, Navi, Gemara/Talmud.


“There is a building occupied by Westchester Hebrew High School, which is a separate school. Most graduates go to other Jewish High Schools in the region.  We are preparing our students to be contributing members of Jewish-American society.  


“In recent years our school has focused on meeting the needs of diverse learners, meaning that every student learns differently, whether they need extra support or enrichment to make them successful.  We have a STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).  Faculty, Administrators and Staff total 85; there are 325 students, Modern Orthodox studies with commitment to religious observance, Hebrew language and importance of Zionism.


“There are six teachers from Israel, Schlichim from Jewish Agency for Israel in conjunction with World Zionist Association, plus a boy and girl Shinshinim coordinated though Westchester Jewish Council, with two girls from Bnei Akiba, a religious Zionist youth group in Israel and around the world.” Rockoff said.


 Rachel Fischer, the school Development Coordinator noted, four hundred guests attended the successful dinner including parents, grandparents, alumni, community rabbis, lay leaders and faculty. A tradition at Westchester Day School is to invite the 8th grade graduates to the event and enjoy a special evening.