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The Beauty and Strength of our School's Diverse Population

October 27, 2017

Dear RPRY Community,

In this week’s parsha, Hashem promises Avram that his children will be like the stars in the sky (15:5). Each star shines with its own unique brilliance, and that is true of RPRY students as well. One of the realities that enriches RPRY is that our student population is quite diverse. This is true in many ways:

Academically - Our students have a wide range of academic ability. We have students who need support; we have students who need acceleration or enrichment. We also have students who need both support in some areas and enrichment in other areas. RPRY students exhibit a broad diversity of talents, as elaborated, for example, in Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Religiously - Our students come from families with a range of halachic observance. They belong to seventeen different shuls, with some families not affiliating with any synagogue.

Socio-Economically - Every tax bracket is represented at RPRY! Our families span from those who are on significant scholarship to those who make significant donations to the school each year above their tuition commitments.

Geographically – Most of our families live in East Brunswick, Edison or Highland Park. We also have students who live in nine other zip codes.

Family Background - Our families come from a wide representation of racial and ethnic diversity; they have Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions, and they hail from countries from the former Soviet Union, Israel, Iran, Canada, South Africa and other countries.

Developmentally – We have two-year-olds and eighth graders in the same building and their academic, social/emotional, and spiritual needs are very different!

It is a challenge to meet the needs of such a diverse population. I thank Hashem that I work with talented and devoted professionals who make sure that we succeed.

Even more significant than the challenge that diversity poses is the tremendous strength that it affords. I love to see activities that pair middle school students with early childhood classes, or to see friendship blossom between two students who might not get to know each other in another environment. We can learn much from people who have qualities unlike our own and see the world from a different perspective. That is just one characteristic that makes RPRY such a rich learning community.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Daniel Loew
Head of School