Celebrating 130 years of Jewish life and learning!

Religious School

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Religious School

KTI is like the tree of life; eitz hayim. Just as water, sunlight and strong roots are essential to the health and well being of a tree, a strong and vibrant KTI Religious School is essential.  KTI is a growing and thriving community. We are passionate about our commitment to Jewish learning and living. We seek to instill a strong sense of Jewish pride and identity in our congregants, students and their families through the study of Torah; t'fillah (prayer); the Hebrew language; Jewish history, ethics, values and culture and chagim (holidays).

In our school, we strive to build a place where:

  • Parents and children study and learn together;
  • Families are encouraged to learn, interpret and cultivate tradition;
  • Children view our Religious School as a thriving social center;
  • Students engage in interactive, multi-sensory, multi-media learning;
  • Respect and tolerance is taught and practiced;
  • Our students lead us, influence us and nurture KTI's eitz hayim!

Curriculum

Our curriculum focuses on Hebrew language learning, the study of Torah,  Jewish identity, customs, and values. Throughout their years in KTI's religious school, children learn to lead their peers in prayer. Some other program highlights:

  • Students participate in their class service and in learning to lead prayers.
  • Students are exposed to disability awareness through the Gateways Inclusive Education program.
  • Students get to participate in our Chanukiyadah and Purimkiyadah team competitions. 
  • Students have opportunities to participate in our Havdalah Sleep Under, Mitzvah Madness and various Hesed and Tzedakah programs.
  • Students participate in our Jewish art program where they make mezuzot, tzedakah boxes, challah boards, and matzo boxes.
  • Students in 5th, 6th and 7th grade get to participate in Bechira, our elective program where they choose to focus on Jewish cooking, Modern Hebrew language, art, acting out the parsha (Torah portion), Hebrew Yoga, and Israeli popular culture.
  • Our Vav students (6th graders) make their own Tallit and, in the process, better understand why this ritual object is what it is--demystifying it and personalizing it.  They learn to don Tefillin and to understand what Tefillin are, how they are a tool of worship--whether or not they come from homes where these are familiar.
  • Our B'nai Mitzvah students learn about the Holocaust and become paired with a Holocaust twin through Remember a Child from the Generation After.
  • Families participate in programs like Moving Traditions in the Zayin (B'nai MItzvah, generally 7th grade) year to prepare students to transition into adulthood--to ask their parents questions about their own transitions as students are put in positions where they must decide both who they are and who they want to be.
  • Stand with Us high school outreach program helps rising high school seniors prepare for the dynamics of the college campus. Stand with us trains, empowers and inspires students as they embark on the next chapter of their lives as independent Jewish adults.

Class Days/Times

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Class Day Time
KTI Kindergarten Thursday 4-5:30 pm
Kitah Aleph (1st grade) Thursday 4-5:30 pm
Kitah Bet (2nd grade) Thursday 4-5:30 pm

Kitot Gimmel, Dalet, Hei, and Vav 

3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades

Tuesday

4-6 pm
Saturday 9:30 am -12 pm
Kitah Zayin Tuesday 4-6 pm

Thursday

(once per month)

6:15-7:30

 

Religious School Faculty

Religious School Director

Cantor Alexis Sklar

Cantor Sklar began directing KTI’s Religious School in July 2017, after 7 years of already being a vital part of the school’s music and Tefillah program.  She brings a great sense of enthusiasm, organization, and fun into our Religious School, aiming to inculcate in every child a true love and knowledge of Judaism that will serve as a lifelong foundation for their Jewish education. 

To contact Cantor Sklar and learn more about our Religious School email [email protected]  or call 914-939-1004 ext.207.

Yona Ashany

Yona has been teaching our Gimel (3rd grade) class at KTI for over 30 years. Many of her students have brought their children, the next KTI generation, back to her for her expertise. Now, Yona has returned as our Hebrew Reading Specialist and is available to work with our students for one-on-one and small-group tutoring in Hebrew reading.

Elaine Atzmon

Gimel/3rd-Grade 

Elaine Atzmon has a great deal of experience teaching children of different ages and learning styles. She completed her education in Israel where she lived and taught English as a second language in the public schools there. A teacher at Solomon Schecter in White Plains for over thirty years, she received the Gruss Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is also a veteran Hebrew School educator who has taught grades 3-6. She is adept at working with those needing remedial or enrichment courses and has even worked with adults. Needless to say, she looks forward to every new challenge and loves teaching!

David Glukh

Hei/5th grade

David Glukh headshot If ever a teacher had something to teach about the importance of our connection to Judaism, David is that teacher! Growing up in the former Soviet Union, his only introduction to Judaism and Hebrew language was through an underground Jewish school which was run by a group of refuseniks. After immigrating to Israel in 1990, David finished high school and served in IDF Army Band. In 1996 he came to New York City to study trumpet at Juilliard. After deciding to settle down from life as a touring musician, he taught religious school in Chappaqua and then several others.  He has loved it since!

Ayala Rybak

Bet/2nd-grade

Dalet/4th Grade 

Ayala Rybak has been teaching at KTI for nearly 30 years,
and is still an enthusiastic and vital member of our faculty.
She is an expert at teaching our children tefillah, helping
them to excel on the bimah. Our youngest students love
her creativity with classroom games and projects and
enjoy learning the foundations of Jewish education. We
are so lucky to continue to have Ayala’s experience and
expertise to enhance KTI’s phenomenal Religious School
program.

Jeff Siegel

KTI Kindergarten

Aleph/1st grade

Jeff Siegel Headshot For the past 30 years, “Moreh Jeff” Siegel has been teaching all ages in religious schools and has worked in the early grades in Greenburgh Central School District and in Camp Mohawk. He holds Master’s degrees in Elementary Education and Social Work. Jeff lives with his wife and two of his four children in Rockland County. Jeff loves teaching children through stories, games, and interactive experiences. 

Karen Stamatis

Art and Resource

Karen has been teaching at KTI for over 20 years and enjoys inspiring and being inspired by our students. She focuses on the Hebrew language in Art classes, its beautiful calligraphy and all aspects of Jewish Art. She tries to encourage the classes to appreciate the earth's beauty and its maintenance through recycling (Ba'al Tashchit) repairing the world (Tikkun Olam) and helping those in need (Tzedakah) with various art projects.


Karen also teaches the very popular cooking (Bishul) elective in our Bechira Program, where students explore the cuisines of Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Romaniot Jews, and create dishes that are an integral
part of the Jewish holidays.

Bonnie Stern

Vav/6th-grade

Zayin/7th-grade 

Bonnie Stern headshot Bonnie has been in the field of education for over 20 years, both at secular and religious schools. She received her Masters in Elementary Education (grades PreK-6) and holds a Montessori Early Childhood Credential. She enjoys time with her husband, children and their dog, Biscuit.

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