To the Next 30 Years!
This year marks Yavneh Day School’s 30th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, celebrations have been taking place within the school and the Jewish community.
Students Create Moving Presentations to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary
On Friday March 16th, the entire Yavneh student body and faculty gathered for a special Kabbalat Shabbat. Each class composed a unique tribute dedicated to the school’s 30 years. Students, employing their creativity, skill, and heart, put forth amazing presentations that told of what Yavneh means to them. For example, the second grade class created a 30 page, accordion-style book entitled “We Are Yavneh.” Filling the pages were students’ own sentiments about the school such as “we believe in each other.”
Yavneh’s Most Excellent Adventure
The anniversary celebration continued on the following Sunday with an 80s theme party and fundraiser, "Yavneh's Most Excellent Adventure". RSVPs returned at an overwhelming rate and the tickets sold out more than two weeks before the party with a far greater number of attendees than anticipated. Organizing the party incorporated a remarkable show of community support which helped make the event one of the most well attended and successful events not just of the school’s, but of the local Jewish Community’s.
Commenting on the party atmoshphere, Steve Bogad, Head of School for Yavneh, said “There is a special feeling here tonight, one of energy and excitement, community and belonging, and pride. It is wonderful to see a convergence of Yavneh communities from past and present. This energy is something that comes from the students who display this feeling all year long, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
The event drew decades of Yavneh supporters, from current and former board members, current and former school parents, staff, teachers, and many others in the Jewish Community. This group included: Rabbi Jerry Danzig, a Yavneh founding member; Bonnie Slavitt Moore, Yavneh’s first Head of School; Jyl Jurman, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley; Hal Bordy, the CEO of the APJCC; Steve Ellenberg, President of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley; Judy Levin, President of the JCC Board of Directors; Cyndi Sherman, Director of the JCC Early Childhood Center; Jeff Rosen, the District Attorney of Santa Clara County; and Rabbis Leslie Alexander, Josh Berkenwald, and Adam Rosenwasser.
The party kicked off with a lively and popular silent auction which included items such as a trip to Cabo, a hand-crafted copper Hannukiah, and Aquarium passes. Crowds gathered around each auction item bidding and showing their support for Yavneh as well as their interest in the many wonderful items from generous donors.
After the auction and an elegant dinner, presentations were made to the evening’s honorees which included Yavneh’s past presidents of the board of trustees: Cheryl Bader, Joel Rubnitz, Susan Ellenberg, Mishy Balaban, Karen Ceppos, Barb Tobias-Chappell, Phil Kipnis, Michael Leitner, Art Brodie, Cyndi Sherman, Howard Klein, Sandy Mayer, Lynda Kleinman, and Ted Stengel. The group was recognized for their support, guidance, and leadership over Yavneh’s 30 year history.
Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, Yavneh’s Director of Jewish Studies and School Rabbi, addressed the honorees as they came up to light a candle: “For Yavneh to have reached our 30th year, and us to continue for another 30, it has required and will continue to require the heart ]inspired involvement of all of its members, as well as all of our skillful and inspired leaders. They have given us true gifts from their hearts, and played a major role in building our community. In your work as Presidents of the Yavneh Board of Trustees, you have helped to illuminate the souls of our students, the words of Torah, and the performance of mitzvot and good deed’s in our community. “
Also being honored was Ilana Friedlander, Yavneh’s much-loved Hebrew and Jewish Studies teacher for the past 22 years. Morah Ilana joined the Yavneh faculty in 1991 as a part-time Jewish Studies teacher in first grade. Currently, she is the Hebrew Language Coordinator for the school as well as a first, second, and third grade Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher. After a touching tribute, Ilana addressed the audience, “Yavneh has always been my home away from Israel. This honor isn’t just for me. It’s an expression of your appreciation and gratitude for every Yavneh teacher’s hard work. I’m grateful for reaching this moment and I’m looking forward to many more years of teaching, maybe another 22??”. Steve Bogad noted “Hundreds of children have passed through Ilana’s classroom. She is a gifted teacher and a wonderful colleague and I honor her.”
Helping to make the evening a rare and special occasion was the tremendous work of Yavneh parents Andrea Rubnitz and Sandi Gaertner along with the “Totally Tubular 30th Team”. They worked hard orchestrating all the party details from the auction to the decor to themed cocktails with names like “The Miami Vice” and “The Valley Girl”.
Looking to the future
Yavneh Day School has covered a lot of ground in the past three decades. They offer rich programming that incorporates art, music, technology, Hebrew language, physical education, and science lab into the daily and weekly schedule. Recently, Yavneh adopted the highly acclaimed Singapore Math curriculum, setting it apart from other schools in the area.
Speaking of the schools 30 year history, Steve Bogad comments, “Yavneh was founded with the belief that this school would embody the best of general education with the richness of our Tradition. Thirty years later the message of Think, Care, Belong is a strong legacy that we carry and that guides us.”
Here's to the next 30 years .
Here's to the next 30 years