[COMMUNICATED] Tonight, Bais Yaakov of Ocean County will be hosting their Inaugural Reception- 8-10:30 at the Chestnut Shul at 105 Chestnut Street.
Special Remarks by Rabbi Moshe Rotberg along with entertainment by Yosef “Joey” Newcomb. The Founding History of Bais Yaakov of Ocean County
Bais Yaakov of Ocean County was founded with the support of community rabbanim and selfless askanim. The school, which just recently opened its doors for its first year, has been established with a carefully planned approach combining excellence in academics and a warm, individual chinuch approach of chanoch l’naar al pi darko. A high standard of ruchniyus and hashkafah is part and parcel of the ruach that permeates the nascent school, which counts among its parent body upstanding Torah familieswho reflect the values and ideals every parent looks for in selecting a mosad hachinuch for their children.
Bais Yaakov of Ocean County is committed to academic excellence in a unique way. “We take a holistic view of a child – not just the learning, but the social components, the need for warmth, everything that it takes to produce a well-rounded young adult,” says Mrs. Meira Zisowitz, principal of BYOC.
The school teaches the core skills that form a successful academic career for each student, providing a strong foundation in core Chumash skills, reading, math, and other subjects.
“An experience of success in the classroom for each child translates into a desire to do more of it, and to appreciate the classroom, enjoying being where they are,” says Mrs. Zisowitz.
This approach is partnered with a strong focus on the arts. Bais Yaakov of Ocean County already has art classes set up and is actively working on setting up computer classes, physical education classes, music classes, and more, giving students the ability to express themselves, which, the principal avers, “is such an important part of education.”
“It’s not just about the ability to answer questions on a test and amass information,” she says, “but about giving the whole child an ability to grow and be successful.”
Mrs. Zisowitz brings a wealth of experience and know-how to her position at Bais Yaakov of Ocean County. She attended Yavne Seminary and Teachers College where she received a Bachelor’s degree and then continued with a Master’s in Education with a focus on literacy development. She taught grades 4-8 in Los Angeles and then, upon getting married, settled in Baltimore, where she continued her teaching career in both elementary and high school. In 2015, after years of volunteering for Oorah, she left the classroom and was hired by Oorah to run its girls camp, TheZone, where she served as director for three years.
Ultimately drawn back to the classroom, which is her true calling, Mrs. Zisowitz was recruited to serve at the helm of the newly founded Bais Yaakov of Ocean County, and her impact is already palpably felt throughout the school.
“Mrs. Zisowitz brings an energy and a passion to the school that are simply unparalleled,” remarked Mrs. Schwarz. “There’s nothing like it. And her understanding of education and what every girl needs to succeed is the secret behind the fast start of the school. Parents and students are infused with the positivity and excitement exuded by the principal.”
“I love the classroom,” says Mrs. Zisowitz, not hiding her enthusiasm. “I love school. I love the ability to reach and teach every child, tapping into their inner success.”
It’s that feeling that ultimately drew Mrs. Zisowitz from camping and kiruv back to the educational sector, where she is a sterling role model to the teachers who work under her direction.
Bais Yaakov of Ocean County provides a strong support system for its stellar teachers. As an example, the school recently sponsored a six-week professional development training session led by noted educator Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg, who shared tips and advice on reaching the whole child in addition to practical guidelines on classroom management, lesson planning, and communication.
One of the core understandings that Mrs. Zisowitz wishes for teachers at Bais Yaakov of Ocean County to possess is that “rules without relationship equals rebellion.”
“It’s the relationship that the teachers create with the students that is paramount,” she explains, “because until teachers have a relationship with the students, the students are not going to be fully tuned in. And it takes time. Even students who tend to question authority or who don’t like learning are going to want to please their teacher when they have a positive relationship with her. They are going to then want to feel successful
“I love the classroom,” says Mrs. Zisowitz, not hiding her enthusiasm. “I love school. I love the ability to reach and teach every child, tapping into their inner success”
The second principle that governs the education of Bais Yaakov of Ocean County is, “We teach students, not subjects.”
“Whatever subject one is teaching, one is teaching the child,” explains Mrs. Frommer, teacher at Bais Yaakov of Ocean County. “Whether it is Chumash, Nach, sharashim, Ramban, or, l’havdil, science, math, history, social studies, phonetics, or anything else, we’re teaching the students so that they will learn.”
The goal is to ensure that the students aren’t just sitting there and listening.
“Bais Yaakov of Ocean County is not a ‘chalk and talk’ kind of school,” says Mrs. Zisowitz candidly, “but an interactive learning experience where the students are able to tap into what they are good at, in a language they understand, and then be able to internalize the information they are being taught.”
Tapping into a child’s ability to learn rather than just a teacher’s ability to teach lies at the core of accomplishing this goal.
The school’s incredible staff includes teachers Mrs. Faiga Leah Cohen, Mrs. Elisheva Frommer, Mrs. Elisheva Mizrahi, Miss Dena Fried, Mrs. Miri Mendell, Miss Malkie Birnbaum, Miss Naomi Hirsch, Miss Nechama Mashie Falk, Miss Sarala Abraham, Miss Leba Friedman, Miss Nechama Schwebel, Miss Faigy Marcus, Miss Rochel Marcus and Miss Chayala Biala.
What are some of Mrs. Zisowitz’s goals for this year and in the future?
“It’s important to get back to the basics,” she says. “We don’t skip steps. The students must have every educational and hashkafic building block that they need to learn and to grow as a person. Our goal is to instill in our students a love of Hashem, His Torah and mitzvos, and to mature with confidence and pride.”
After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Well, at Bais Yaakov of Ocean County, this goal is being brought to fruition, one student at a time.