About

Head of School Search Underway at RPRY

It is an exciting time at RPRY, as we are in the process of a Head of School search. We have Hakarat Hatov to Rabbi Daniel Loew on his years of service to our Yeshiva and wish him much Hatzlacha as he heads into the next stage of his career. 
The Yeshiva engaged Scott Goldberg Consulting for this search. The Yeshiva has been working closely with the consultants since August 2021 to ensure that the RPRY community is able to attract and hire a highly qualified person who will set the vision for and inspire the entire institution – students, teachers, administrators, and the broader community, while maintaining the yeshiva’s core values and legacy. The Head of School will manage the Yeshiva proactively to provide an exemplary religious and general education to all students and create a dynamic learning and growth-oriented environment for both children and faculty. The Head of School will also be responsible for the financial management of the Yeshiva. The new Head of School will be hired for a Summer 2022 start. This is an exceptional time for RPRY!
Below we provide answers to FAQ and copies of our public communications. At any time, please feel free to reach out to the search committee at search@rpry.org or the consultants at search@scottgoldbergconsulting.com.

FAQs About the RPRY HOS Search

When will the new Head of School begin in the position?

Rabbi Loew will continue in the position through the middle of summer 2022. We expect the new Head of School to begin the position in summer 2022.

Who is the consulting firm that RPRY has hired, what is the role of that firm in the search process, and how does that firm work with the search committee?

After interviewing search firms and following up with their references, RPRY decided to engage Scott Goldberg Consulting for our search.

Scott Goldberg Consulting (SGC) brings to its clients years of experience in the field of leadership development and searches, as well as practical, hands-on experience in education and school management. This combination elevates the quality of their searches and results. Dr. Scott Goldberg, has served on the faculty at Yeshiva University's Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education for close to two decades, was the founding director of the YU School Partnership (YUSP), and has consulted with numerous Jewish Day Schools in the United States and around the world. He is a teacher and consultant in many areas, including school leadership, governance and finance, strategic planning, multilingual literacy development and assessment, and differentiated instruction. In his role at the YUSP, Dr. Goldberg worked closely with schools to develop the quality of their faculty, support the heads of school, promote educational excellence, and protect their financial stability. He is also a sought-after leadership coach for school administrators, employing a unique approach to coaching school leadership teams and boards to ensure a positive and productive school culture and healthy working relationships. Dr. Goldberg – working with a team of associates who have the professionalism and training to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently – applies this varied and extensive experience and his vast network of contacts to his leadership searches, providing him with unmatched insight into schools’ needs and allowing him to find the best fit for any particular school.

In the first phase of our search, Scott Goldberg Consulting will conduct focus groups and will distribute surveys to various RPRY constituencies. From the input gathered, SGC will identify themes and articulate characteristics which will inform the position’s specifics. The search committee and SGC will then articulate a job description which will be posted in appropriate venues. In addition, SGC will proactively seek candidates whose credentials, experience, vision, and personal characteristics align for our yeshiva’s position.

In the final phase of the search, SGC will guide the search committee through reviewing resumes and interviewing of candidates. Through a variety of interview strategies, the applicant pool will be narrrowed. All applicant names for our position will remain confidential; only the names of finalists, those who interview on-site, will be made public.

Throughout the search process, the search committee will be in close contact with SGC. While protecting the privacy of applicants and the integrity of the search, the search committee will maintain a transparent process which engages the community at appropriate times.

What is the role of the Yeshiva’s Board in the search process?

According the Yeshiva’s constitution, the Board of Governors hires the Head of School. The search committee will keep the Board of Governors apprised of progress throughout the search process, and then provide the Board with the strengths and specific opportunities for growth for each of the finalists.

What is the projected timeline for the search?

In September, The Board of Governors hired SGC and approved the search committee membership. The search committee immediately began working with SGC. To ensure that RPRY’s constituencies would have a voice in articulating the needs of the Yeshiva and the attributes sought in a new Head of School, focus groups were scheduled for early November and surveys were sent out concomitantly. Members of the search committee who are also members of the Board of Governors participated in the focus group for that Board. Other than that, no members of the search committee participated in or saw individual survey responses. SGC used the confidential information collected to identify the needs of the school and the position. Then, in conjunction with the search committee, a job description willl be articulated and posted.

Resume reviews and various levels of interviewing will take place in late November, December, and January. We expect to bring finalists to the Yeshiva after the Yeshiva Break. Our goal is to make an offer in February.

How can I participate in the search process?

Participate in a focus group.

Respond to the online surveys.

Email SGC at search@scottgoldbergconsulting

Email the search committee at search@rpry.org

8/27/21 Communication


Dear RPRY Family,

I am writing to share with you the news that this will be my last year as Head of School at RPRY. Over the last few months, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to search for my next professional opportunity and have shared with the Board of Governors that I will not seek a renewal of my contract.

RPRY is a very special yeshiva with an impressive history and beautiful culture. Serving as Head of School has been a privilege and a blessing and it is with mixed emotions that I make plans to move on. I am proud of all that we have been able to accomplish together in my seven years with the school. I also feel tremendous hakarat hatov for the privilege I was afforded in leading an institution with such an important mission and with such noble values.

I will forever be grateful for having worked with a fantastic faculty and administrative team for whom I have so much admiration. I also want to thank Leslie Ostrin and Tova Renna, the presidents under whom I have served. I am looking forward to continuing our avodat Hashem this year to make RPRY even stronger as the Board prepares for the transition to my successor.

Thank you,

Rabbi Daniel Loew


Dear RPRY Family,

As you have just learned, Rabbi Loew has shared with the Board of Governors that this year will be his last as Head of School of RPRY.

Rabbi Loew has added great value and continued to reinforce and advance academic excellence within our Yeshiva, making us stronger over the last 6 years. Under his leadership, we have seen the strengthening of our faculty and the hiring of several strategic positions, the creation and development of the RPRY Think Tank, the implementation of updated security protocols, the professionalization of our admissions and recruitment processes, improvement of fiscal oversight, as well as the advancement of hundreds of graduates who are excelling in high school, Israel and college. Over the last year, Rabbi Loew was at the forefront of our community on leading the response to COVID-19, and setting policies to keep our community, families, and students safe, while learning in person. We thank Rabbi Loew for his leadership and incredible dedication to RPRY and wish him much Hatzlacha as he heads into the next stage of his career.

During the coming school year, Rabbi Loew will continue to serve as Head of School and lead the school as he has done for the past 6 years.

We have formed a Search Committee that will identify and hire the candidate who will continue to build on our success and lead RPRY into the future.  I will share more information in the coming weeks.

We are looking forward to welcoming all of our students back to school next week and to a wonderful and productive school year. Until then, enjoy the last few days of summer, and wishing you all a Shana Tova!

Sincerely,

Tova Renna

President, Board of Governors 


10/25/21 Communication


Dear RPRY Community,

As you know, RPRY is embarking on a search for our next Head of School; a person who will inspire our students and advance our yeshiva and community. The new Head of School will build on the advancements that Rabbi Loew made in the areas of faculty recruitment, security, professionalism, and admissions. A special thank you to Rabbi Loew for keeping us open and safe during the pandemic. On behalf of the RPRY community, I express hakarat hatov to him and the school's heartfelt best wishes in his next endeavor.

To lead our search, RPRY has selected a search committee composed of individuals who are highly committed to the school, our community, and the future of Jewish education. The Board of Governors and Search Committee highly value our yeshiva’s faculty and consider the faculty voice in the search process to be extremely important. To that end, we have two current faculty members on the search committee. I encourage the faculty to email the search committee at search@rpry.org and/or directly contact the faculty representatives at any time. Our goal is to have the new Head of School begin in summer 2022.

To facilitate the search, I am pleased to announce that the Yeshiva will be working with Scott Goldberg Consulting LLC in conducting our search for a new Head of School. Dr. Goldberg has served on the faculty at Yeshiva University's Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education for close to two decades, was the founding director of the YU School Partnership (YUSP), and has consulted with numerous Jewish Day Schools in the United States and around the world. He is a teacher and consultant in many areas, including school leadership, governance and finance, and strategic planning. Dr. Goldberg, working with a team of associates who have the professionalism and training to ensure the process runs smoothly and efficiently, applies his varied and extensive experience and his vast network of contacts to his leadership searches, providing him with unmatched insight into schools’ needs and allowing him to find the best fit for any particular school.

In the first phase of the search Dr. Goldberg and his staff will use multiple approaches to connect with and hear from RPRY's constituents. I encourage you to respond to the requests to participate in focus groups and to complete surveys you will receive.

Members of the Head of School search committee are:

 

Dr. Brondy (Barbara) Strassman - Chair - Brondy has lived in Highland Park for 36 years and is the parent of 3 RPRY graduates. She has previously served on the RPRY Board of Education.

Jordan Kaplan - Co-Chair - Jordan and his wife, Shoshana, are RPRY alumni and have 4 students in RPRY. Shoshana is also a Limudei Kodesh teacher in RPRY. Jordan and his family reside in Edison. Jordan is a member of the RPRY Board of Governors.

Binyamin Cooper - Binyamin is the father of 2 current RPRY students and lives in Highland Park.

Andy Gross - Andy has 3 children in RPRY and has lived in East Brunswick for 15 years.

Yehuda Hecht - Yehuda has 2 children, one an RPRY alumnus and the other a current student in RPRY. Yehuda has lived in the community for 15 years. Yehuda is a member of the RPRY Board of Governors.

Emily Menasha –RPRY Faculty Member - Emily has taught in RPRY for 20 years. She currently teaches Social Studies and Science in our middle school, and has previously been a general studies teacher in the lower school. She also works in Camp Kulanu as the lead/director of the Maccabi Girls Travel Program. Emily has 2 children - one RPRY graduate and one current student. Emily lives in Highland Park.

Rabbi Steven Miodownik - Rabbi Miodownik taught at RPRY for 20 years. He is the Rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Achim and the father of 4 RPRY graduates. Rabbi Miodownik lives in Highland Park.

Leslie Ostrin - Leslie has been part of RPRY’s lay leadership for over 15 years, is the immediate past president of RPRY, and has 4 children who graduated from RPRY. She lives in Highland Park.

Tova Renna - Tova Renna is the current President of RPRY Board of Governors. She has 2 RPRY graduates and one current student. Tova lives in Highland Park.

Ahuva Tsibulevskiy – RPRY Faculty Member - Ahuva is a teacher in the lower school and also technology coordinator. She has 3 children who are current students in RPRY and one prospective RPRY student. Ahuva lives in East Brunswick.

 

As partnership with you is important to the success of our yeshiva and this search, the search committee will periodically share updates. We welcome your input throughout.

Sincerely,

Tova Renna

President, RPRY Board of Governors


11/24/21 Communication


Dear RPRY Community:

With the lights of Chanukah approaching, there is a great deal of excitement in the air. The Head of School Search Committee is very excited too, as we have been making great progress and want to take a moment to share this update.

Our consultant team’s focus over the last few weeks has been to gather information and to hear the perspectives of stakeholders from within the RPRY community. We want to thank everyone who participated in a focus group and/or filled out the search survey, which had a seventy percent response rate; we value and appreciate your feedback. The consultants reported that the community's engagement provided them with a wealth of critical feedback, giving them a comprehensive understanding of the community and our needs, which will be invaluable as the search proceeds.

After conducting about twenty focus groups and small meetings with parents, faculty, search committee members, and other community members to get to know the school and community, and after studying the extensive survey data, the consulting team saw a number of common themes and sentiments emerge. Among others, these included:

  • The warmth and uniquely friendly feel of the Highland Park/Edison/East Brunswick community and RPRY.
  • The community’s pride in RPRY as a modern Orthodox yeshiva that imbues students with Torah knowledge and values, a commitment to kindness and chesed and a love of Israel.
  • A steadfast commitment to excellence in education - both general and Judaic studies - and a determination to meet the individual learning needs of each and every student, balanced with a focus on the whole child, including social-emotional and physical health.
  • As the chief ambassador of the Yeshiva for internal constituents including parents and faculty as well as for the wider community and prospective families, essential characteristics include: dynamic leadership skills, strong relationship building abilities, and effective communication skills. Additional skill sets include strong management, fundraising, and budgetary experience.

Our consulting team, in cooperation with the Search Committee, has put together a detailed job description and an opportunity statement that reflect the qualities, experience and qualifications that the RPRY community would like to see in our next Head of School.

Our consultants have already begun to seek out and vet candidates, and they have already received a number of resumes from promising candidates whose profiles align well with our priorities and ideals. The consulting team will continue to meet with many candidates over the next few weeks, as they narrow down the field to the individuals who would be most appropriate for our yeshiva. The Search Committee is scheduled to conduct first round and second round interviews with these candidates at the end of December, with finalists visiting the school soon thereafter. As the process continues, please email search@scottgoldbergconsulting.com if you have any additional thoughts or feedback that you were not able to convey in a focus group or the survey. We will continue to communicate with you as to the progress of the search in the coming weeks.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Sincerely,

Brondy Strassman and Jordan Kaplan

Search Committee Chair and Co-Chair

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