(Courtesy of SINAI) SINAI Schools is proud to welcome Aliza Strassman as the new director of SINAI at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, which serves children with a range of learning disabilities and special needs in grades one through eight. She succeeds Judi Karp, who stepped down as director after over 25 years but who remains SINAI’s associate dean.
As director of SINAI at JKHA, Strassman joins a cohort of directors of all eight SINAI schools who meet regularly to collaborate under the direction and guidance of SINAI’s dean, Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Rothwachs. She will lead the professional team of teachers, therapists and administrators at SINAI’s elementary school at JKHA and will be responsible for the creation and oversight of curriculum and IEPs; oversight of admissions; collaboration with partner school personnel; and parent communication and programming.
Strassman is highly impressed by educators and students at SINAI at JKHA. “The teachers are just so dedicated to their students and to each of their strengths and needs and interests,” she said. “I could see from my first visit how much the students wanted to be in class and wanted to be learning.”
She added, “I really love the work of supporting teachers.” With a focus on collaboration and communication, she appreciates “when all the adults are on the same page and working together and collaborating on the next steps.”
Strassman brings a wealth of experience in both general and special education to SINAI. She spent almost 10 years at Ben Porat Yosef in Paramus, where she served as a head second grade general studies teacher before becoming director of student services, where she oversaw BPY’s learning center for students with learning disabilities.
Prior to joining BPY, she was a teacher at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, SAR Academy, and Camp HASC, and was an activities coordinator at Yachad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities.
Strassman earned a master’s degree (M.S.Ed.) in general and special education from Bank Street College of Education, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business, both in New York City. She has participated in the Jewish New Teacher Project’s new administrator cohort, a mentoring and training program for new school administrators, and she received the Northern New Jersey Grinspoon Award for Excellence in Jewish Education in 2019. She was also part of Prizmah’s inaugural Rising Leaders cohort for Orthodox female educational leaders.