Monday, October 08, 2001

School completes $10M project


New gym part of Yavneh's renovations

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — Joshua Bernstein has learned the importance of a Jewish education at Yavneh Day School. And now that Yavneh has a full-size gymnasium, he's learned the joy of competitive basketball.

        Although last season was a mixed bag for Yavneh's spunky team, it was memorable nonetheless.

        “This experience taught me working together as a team and maintaining a good attitude is important for success,” the 13-year- old eighth-grader told hundreds of people gathered Sunday for the dedication of the school's addition.

        The $10 million project includes a middle school complex, full gymnasium, multimedia center, science lab, music center, art studio and donor recognition wall with seven mosaic panels.

        The improvements are important for attracting and maintaining students, said Joshua's father, Dr. Jonathan Bernstein of Indian Hill. “What it does is it makes us a complete school and allows us to compete for students to come here because we offer athletics and an excellent academic program that includes Judaic studies.”

        Sharon Nelson, mother of first-grader Arieh Venick, likes the school's new physical appearance, but more important, what it stands for. “It's a symbol for me of a strong commitment to our children's Jewish education and growth,” the Amberley Village woman said.

        The addition was the brainchild of Dr. Jeff Zipkin, who was president of the school when he envisioned a building project in 1997.

        “The school was growing by leaps and bounds, growing 5 to 10 percent a year. We were too tight on space,” he said. “This has allowed us to add the amenities — an art room, a music room and a new gym.” The school's old gym was three-quarter size, preventing competitive play.

        Yavneh has already attracted 20 new students this year, Dr. Zipkin said. The school's enrollment is 413 students in preschool through grade 8.

        The trend, he said, is education with solid, moral values, not just among people of Jewish faith, but all faiths. Research shows that children who attend a Jewish school are more likely to raise their children in the faith. “This helps us secure the Jewish identity of future generations.”

       



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