Middlesex Schechter day school to close, despite last minute push
Community rallied, but not enough returning students
August 19, 2013
The Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley in East Brunswick won’t open this fall, despite a surge of enthusiasm and donations in the week following an announcement it was closing.
An email late Friday afternoon announcing the closing came within hours of an announcement that a rescue plan was in place.
Officials said they couldn’t entice enough families to return.
“It saddens me to have to share with you that after over three decades of educating our children, SSDSRV will not be opening its doors in the fall,” said former school president Mickey Kaufman in an e-mail to parents, alumni, rabbis, and community leaders sent shortly before Shabbat on the evening of Aug. 16.
”This, despite the heroic efforts of many this past week and the outpouring of interest and support from the rabbis in Middlesex and Mercer counties, community leaders, parents, grandparents, former parents, alumni and friends,” he said. “We sincerely appreciate that energy and the extraordinary support that materialized.”
The announcement came less than 24 hours after a meeting that drew about 150 parents and supporters, which was followed by an announcement the next morning that a plan was in place to reopen.
However, subsequent calls made by volunteer parents and head of school Rabbi Stuart Saposh on Aug. 16 to Schechter families proved disappointing.
“After putting in place an educational plan endorsed by parents as recently as last night and raising close to $150,000 since Monday night, the tally of returning students just wasn’t there and fell significantly short of our most recent expectations,” said Kaufman. “Thus, as much as the most committed wanted to keep the doors open, the enrollment numbers fell well short of allowing for a feasible plan.”
School supporters began meeting Aug. 8 following an announcement that the K-eighth grade Conservative school would close if it could not resolve its financial and enrollment challenges.