2016-2017 Blackboard Awards Honoree: Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan

Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein

Editor’s note: To read profiles of all 2016-2017 Blackboard Awards honorees, click HERE! Plus: Scroll down for video from the Awards.

Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan
Head of School: Benjamin Mann

805 Columbus Avenue

Award: Outstanding School

Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.

At Schechter Manhattan, we believe that people learn best when given the opportunity to engage directly with ideas, phenomena, texts, and problems and then to figure them out together. At Schechter Manhattan our students and families are part of a warm Jewish community, in which we live a vibrant Judaism, which is joyous, rigorous, intellectually stimulating, spiritually uplifting, and grounded in the ancient texts and heritage of the Jewish people. Schechter Manhattan graduates develop strong Jewish identities and confidently go forth to meet the intellectual, social, and moral challenges that lie ahead.

Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.

The greatest achievements of Schechter Manhattan are our amazing alumni. The 5 year olds who join us in Kindergarten grow into self-reflective, motivated, thoughtful, accomplished, caring, and respectful teenagers, and then young adults. They attend an array of excellent high schools and universities, and some of our earliest graduates are now pursuing their careers. They are leaders in their communities, committed to their Jewish identities and to making a positive impact on those around them.

Photos by Andrew Schwartz

What’s new?

Last year we saw a 30 percent increase in applications and enrolled our largest Kindergarten class in over a decade. It is amazing to welcome the smiling faces of the class of 2025. Thanks to the generosity of Schechter Manhattan grandparents, Jerry and Eileen Lieberman, we launched the Lieberman Family STEAM Center in the fall of 2015. We have enhanced the integrated study of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math throughout the school, with design challenges, computer coding, and interdisciplinary problem solving.

What do you love about your school?

I love that when I walk through Schechter Manhattan I see a uniquely consistent approach to teaching and learning. I love sharing meaningful Jewish experiences with our students, such as singing together in our monthly shira btsibur, communal singing, or celebrating holidays together. I love that our oldest students know our youngest students by name, welcome them, and create a caring community. I love partnering with parents to help their children grow in best healthiest ways and build a welcoming school community.