When I went to SINAI in sixth grade, it was a huge leap from public school, where I went for elementary. I had to wake up much earlier than before. It was a big adjustment, but the SINAI classes were as small as three students to a teacher and I was learning things I never really did before: not only Chumash, about the holidays, Jewish laws, and how to read Hebrew, but advancing in my secular studies as well, with a lot of personal attention.
All the teachers were amazing. I felt that I was getting the help I needed in both the secular and Jewish curriculum. The thing that makes SINAI so special is that it is part of Kushner, so if you and the school feel that you’re capable, you can go into a mainstream class. Also, the fact that it’s part of Kushner means you can make friends from both SINAI and Kushner. I made plenty of friends from SINAI and Kushner, some of whom I’m still in contact with today.
Going to Maor, which is the high school version of SINAI at RKYHS, wasn’t as intense for me as going from public school to SINAI, because the staff prepared me and helped with the transition. But it was still different. You have more pressure and responsibilities.
I graduated with my Kushner class with a true sense of achievement. Without SINAI not only do I think I would have struggled terribly in public school, but I wouldn’t have had the confidence, which my teachers, rebe’eim, and counselor instilled in me, to be where I am today—just back from two incredible years in Israel and ready to take on my next challenge: college, at Touro.