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Yeshivat Lev Torah’s new, diverse faculty and administration are raising the bar of yeshiva education in our community.

“They’re happy to come to school, happy throughout the day and excited about their learning. They love bringing work home and have an innate will to learn more – they appreciate when teachers push them.”
This description of children’s attitude toward school sounds to many parents like a wild, dreamland fantasy. But according to Rabbi Yair Alfih, Menahel of Judaic Studies at Yeshivat Lev Torah, this is the experience of his yeshiva’s students.

Yeshivat Lev Torah takes great pride in the excellent education it provides in a warm, homey atmosphere infused with both spirituality and academic rigor. Its administration strives to partner with parents to ensure that its students – from the littlest charges in the preschool to the graduating eighth grade class – are receiving everything they need to succeed and reach their full potential.
After educating our community’s children for five years, since 2009, Yeshivat Lev Torah is thrilled to announce the new developments that have occurred over the last year, which will be bringing the quality of its education to even greater heights of success and achievement.

“A Love For Learning” Yeshivat Lev Torah’s faculty consists of outstanding and devoted professionals, led by one of our community’s most respected figures, Rabbi Raymond Beyda, who serves as Rosh Yeshiva. Rabbi Yitzchak Greenblatt, who worked as Principal in Magen David High School for over 20 years, now serves as school director, and Mr. Leonard Zeplin, longtime General Studies principal in Yeshivah of Flatbush Elementary School, now serves in the same capacity at Lev Torah. They join Rabbi Alfih, from Yeshivat Ateret Torah, who has served as Menahel of Judaic Studies for five years.

“The school aims to offer a challenging academic and spiritual program for students from nursery through the eighth grade,” says Rabbi Greenblatt, “which is why we’ve culled all of these personnel together.” The new heads of school hail from not one, but four, diverse community institutions, making for a unique blend of approaches and ideas.

Yeshivat Lev Torah teaches a strict adherence to Sephardic halakha and hashkafah, while providing a rigorous secular education, as well. “Students develop a love for learning Torah and performing mitzvot,” says Rabbi Raymond Beyda, “and they also develop self-esteem, with a strong sense of who they can become.”

Making Education Affordable Lev Torah is committed to providing a first rate education without overburdening parents with high tuition costs. Ensuring affordability is one of the yeshiva’s top priorities. The administration understands that families in our community are buckling under staggering tuition expenses, and has worked determinedly and effectively to be part of the solution.
“We’re investing in the latest educational tools but being mindful of the costs, and putting the money we do receive into the best educational decisions,” Rabbi Greenblatt says. “We’re giving ourstudents a well-rounded education, but we’re being responsible about where the money is going.” Lev Torah proudly boasts the lowest tuition than among all community yeshivas.
Beyond its concern for the parents of today, Lev Torah seeks to help the parents of tomorrow by leading its charges along the path to professional success. The yeshiva’s curriculum aims at fostering independence and discovery. Peppered with educational technology, the program is designed to prepare students for the future.
“Grade-level Common Core standards are strictly consulted,” says General Studies Principal Mr. Zeplin. “The children are treated to fun, with interactive software like Brain Pop to enhance the content areas and to make learning enjoyable.”
In their English classes, children are assessed according to the Fountas and Pinnell system and given guided reading levels, which are then closely monitored throughout the school year. Students are also taught how to read analytically through the Close Questioning technique, in which material is closely read to unearth its many different layers of meaning. In addition, by practicing test sophistication, students spend in-class time learning the skills of taking standardized tests like the SATs. Talk about futuristic thinking!
Current events are reviewed with the students weekly through the use of dynamic interactive programming, so that they are kept abreast of worldly affairs. Rabbi Alfih adds, “On the spiritual end, middot are emphasized developmentally, according to grade level.” In addition, Lev Torah provides guidance counseling for students who need direction in dealing with whatever personal challenges they might encounter during their formative childhood years.

“Phenomenal”

Classes at Lev Torah are kept relatively small, with most classes consisting of approximately 20 students. Many head teachers are paired with teaching assistants to help ensure that all students receive the attention and help that they need.
“The faculty is phenomenal,” enthuses Rabbi Greenblatt.
Most of the Judaic Studies staff comes from the community, and the rabbis build a special connection with students both in and out of the classroom. Rabbis with names like Dweck, Ozeri, Shalom, Mizrachi, Cohen, Azatchi, and Alfih, born and raised in our community, relate to our boys individually, bonding with them as life coaches and mentors for the challenges they will face as they grow into adulthood. The secular studies staff has been hand-picked and works closely with the administration to ensure that they are teaching at the highest possible level. All faculty members attend monthly staff development sessions to remain current and continuously hone their skills and techniques.
Rabbi Alfih speaks with pride as he reflects upon the changes recently implemented in the yeshiva. “The students have been pushed anew this year – with six hours a week being added to the General Studies portion of the day, in addition to Judaic Studies and Sunday school hours.” Hebrew classes run from 8:15-12:15 and English classes run from 12:30 to 4:30. The students are reveling in the challenge of an intensified secular curriculum, alongside their rigorous Judaic Studies program. They are continuing to thrive spiritually within Lev Torah’s doors, in the warm environment that the yeshivah is known for.
Rabbi Beyda proudly declares, “Under Lev Torah’s guidance, children from nursery school through 8th grade are rediscovering themselves on every level.”

The Gold Standard in

Early Childhood Education

Lev Torah’s preschool is thrilled to unveil their new home at875 Avenue Z, having separated from the main building for the first time this year to enjoy the bright and spacious accommodations of the brand new facility. Equipped with more classrooms, a gym and a playground, the school is the ideal place for its boys and girls to mature and grow.
“Lev Torah Preschool is amazing,” says Mrs. Khallouf, a happy parent. “I am thrilled with the learning they provide. The teachers are so helpful and understanding. I would recommend Lev Torah to any parent looking for the right school.”
Throughout the day, which runs from 9:00-3:30, children build their self-esteem and improve their socialization skills. The children thrive on a routine that provides a balance of activities and lessons that promote discovery of the world around them. They learn strategies and skills for handling new experiences, following directions, and mastering transitions. Language development is a crucial point of emphasis, as it is the key tool for success and problem solving. All of these new expectations of a preschooler might appear daunting, but Lev Torah’s high teacher-to-student ratio ensures that each child receives the guidance and attention he or she needs. “The students feel good about themselves,” says Diane Schweky, the Preschool Director, who brings to the classroom 20 years of experience. “They’re confident. We use a lot of positive reinforcement to help our kids enjoy doing ‘good things.’ They know they’re in a safe place. They’re happy to be in school and they’re excited to learn.”
And what a jam-packed day of learning it is! Mornings begin with the beautiful sound of the children’s tefillah and the giving of tzedakah, which are followed by a structured day of learning in which the power of play is used make learning fun. Children are taught everything from early reading and math skills to Hebrew language, the coming holiday and weekly parashah. When it’s time for interactive play, children visit centers, where they can choose between an art project that reinforces the curriculum, blocks, dramatic play and puzzles. They are required to sign in and out of this space, teaching them personal responsibility. Then the children converge upon the gym where they move around, develop their gross motor skills and socialize with friends using a range of fun equipment. Inside the classroom again, the children are read a story, helping them relax after the previous period of intense physical activity.
“Love of reading is vital,” says Mrs. Schweky. “Books are read throughout the day. Our children are very excited about books. It’s a natural way for us to connect many of the ideas that are introduced and integrate them into our lives.” Lunch, birkat hamazon, and rest time for the nursery students is followed by Tehillim reading and other meaningful activities. The children’s fun-filled day at the preschool ends with music and movement, another mini-lesson, and a final snack.
“We aim to prepare our students for the elementary grades in an enjoyable and non-threatening way, while giving them the tools to learn,” says Mrs. Schweky. “We help them learn how to learn.” And because of Lev Torah’s small size, the level of individualized attention is second to none. “We get to know them very well and get very close to them,” Mrs. Schweky says. “We also keep in constant contact with our parents. Our parents want the best for their children; together, we double our strength to have our children reach their potential.”
“The kindergarten class is fantastic,” adds Morah Lisa Chams. “The kids are always eager and ready to learn. As a teacher, it is meaningful to watch as our children are instilled with a love of Hashem and His Torah.”
At each and every stage, from the very beginning at the preschool level and ascending up through the elementary school, Lev Torah students are educated with the greatest level of care and attention. By the time graduation rolls around, they are proud, confident and fully prepared for the next stage of their lives as educated, well rounded bene Torah, equipped with the academic, emotional and spiritual tools they need to succeed in high school and well beyond.