If you are viewing this page on your phone, we recommend turning your phone to landscape orientation for a better experience.Due to the current pandemic and limited available space in our Nursery (4 year olds) and Kindergarten (5 year olds), we are not having a traditional open house this year. Instead, we invite you to learn more about Yeshiva Har Torah below and on our website. If you are interested in having your child be considered for admission, please fill out the form below to register your interest. We will be in touch with you and, if we believe we have a spot available for your child, let you know about the next steps in the admissions process. If you have any questions, please contact our Director of Admissions, Mrs. Sara Pollak, at (718) 343-2533 or email@example.com.
REGISTRATION OF INTEREST
ABOUT YESHIVA HAR TORAH
One of the many unique things about YHT is that we're not a community school. Rather, we draw families from all over Queens and Long Island, brought together by common values and a desire to give our children the best possible Jewish education. At YHT, our children certainly have friends from their own community, but also from places and backgrounds they likely would not otherwise meet. We want our students to appreciate that, as part of the Jewish people, we recognize and respect each other's differences while still being part of a common whole. We believe we're better together.
EMPHASIS ON TEACHING
We put a premium on exceptional teaching. We feel so strongly about this that every educational administrator, up to and including our Head of School, teach classes on a regular basis. We're really proud of the depth and quality of our faculty, and others havenoticed too.
Many of our teachers and administrators are certified in Responsive Classroom and we use Responsive Classroom techniques school-wide. Responsive Classroom is a nationally acclaimed, evidence-based approach to elementary school teaching, developed by classroom teachers to foster both social and academic competencies. Social skills -- self-control, empathy, cooperation, assertion -- are taught directly and indirectly through non-punitive strategies, like morning and end-of-day meetings, logical consequences, classroom set-ups that encourage academic exploration, and organized play. Guided discovery, offering academic choice to encourage exploring personal interests, and parent communication and partnership are also prioritized. This focus on social growth is critical, with research showing that one of the best predictors of a child's academic success in eighth grade is her or his social skills in third grade.
As a value, we prefer not to use rewards and punishments to control students’ behavior but rather encourage them to evolve with strong character and sense of self. This type of learning takes more time, but pays off in the long run by cultivating intrinsic motivation, develops a genuine love for learning, and helps students learn how to make values-based decisions.
Alumni who graduated YHT before we were in our current building will tell you that the facilities back then were sub-optimal (to put it mildly) but what made the school special was its warmth. That warmth is something on which we still put a tremendous premium. All our students are under one roof, and it's not uncommon to see a middle school student high five a kindergartner in the hall (pre-COVID, of course). We love that! That warmth is manifest in a million ways, big and small. It's 8th graders mentoring 6th graders through the Leeor's Legacy Peer Mentoring Program. It's middle schoolers reading and singing with early childhood students through intergrade exchanges. It's 8th graders showing up unsolicited to kindergarten lunch to put on puppet shows. It's students making homemade videos for teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. It's alumni coming back to visit on their days off from high school and college. It's alumni coming back every single year to memorialize a former classmate. It's making "buddy benches" through our middot curriculum so that everyone has someone to sit with. And it's so many other things, many of which never get noticed or (gasp!) don’t make it to social media.
Commitment to Religious Zionism and Medinat Yisrael isn't just a thing we do, it's right in our mission statement. We take great pride in the fact that many of our graduates serve in the IDF and that so many families and graduates make aliyah.
If our students graduate fully prepared academically but without good middot then we will have failed. The actions of our students, how they participate as citizens of the world, how they contribute to the Jewish community and society at large, matter tremendously to us. We derive great pleasure from watching our students develop into compassionate, thoughtful Jews. Maybe it’s doing a group hair donation to Zichron Menachem. Maybe it’s making monthly visits to the Parker Assisted Living Center (which we can't photograph or video). Maybe they're preparing decorations and gifts for the bat mitzvah of a girl with special needs who they've never even met. Maybe it’s taking part in a Yachad Shabbaton. Maybe it’s collecting toys for children in Ohel homes. Maybe it's the extremely comprehensive, in-house middot curriculum. Actually, it's definitely the extremely comprehensive, in-house middot curriculum. Maybe it's raising tons of money for Chai Lifeline. Maybe it's a tiny moment of kindness on the playground. Maybe it's the... we'll stop for your sake but, needless to say, we take character and middot extremely seriously.
Our education is purposefully progressive, rooted in research and best practices. Homework is limited in younger grades and when we do assign it, it's about the quality, not the quantity (don't worry, there's plenty in middle school). We favor project-based learning, and differentiated instruction and assessment. Good luck finding rows of desks in any classes under the middle school. We work collaboratively at tables. If we don't think a good curriculum option exists, our Director of Curricular and Professional Initiatives will combine several or create a new one. Design Thinking? Responsive Classroom? Independent study options? Growth mindset? Makerspace? Student-chosen electives? Yes to all.
We're a school with big spirit. We like to win but support each other when we don't. You'll see our awesome spiritwear everywhere (Thanks, PTA!) and we wear our jerseys to school before and after games. We pack gyms for big games and occasionally get asked by the refs to quiet down. And when we win, we storm the court.