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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 2, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 2, 2013

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PAGE 2B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 2, 2013 Jewish Academy of Orlando to Celebrate Double Chai Anniversary When Jewish Academy of Orlando opens its doors for the 2013-14 school year, it will be with a little more excitement and pride then in years past. This year, Orlando's only Kin- dergarten-eighth grade Jew- ish day school celebrates its Double Chai anniversaryyear, commemorating 36 years as a premier academic institution in the Orlando area. The school was founded in 1977 to provide children in the Orlando area a private school environment that focused on imparting a strong academic foundation with an equally strong foundation in living Jewishly. For 36 years, the school has stayed true to the original mission by providing academic excellence within a culture of Jewish values. Its goal remains to produce excel- lent students who are filled with self-confidence and are comfortable with their Jewish identities. Dr. Edward Zissman, one of the school's founding members, said, "Phyllis and I, along with a group of other Jewish families with school age children, decided that we wanted to establish a Jewish school that would provide excellent general and Judaic studies in a family-friendly, Jewish atmosphere. Our four children attended, as have many other students who have matriculated at the finest universities and matured as wonderful human beings-- very attuned to their Jewish identities." At the helm of Jewish Academy, for its Double Chai anniversary year, is interim head of school, Shari Wladis. For nine years, Wladis has been an integral member of Jewish Academy's staff, spend- ing six years as a Kindergarten teacher and three years as as- sistant head of school, where she worked hand-in-hand with former head of school Lynne Shefsky to execute the school's mission. Wladis shares that she plans to continue the strong example set by Shefsky in making JAO a premier academic institution that incorporates Jewish val- ues and continues the unique culture of community that sets JAO apart from other private schools in the area. She also states that being Jewish Acad- emy's assistant head of school has afforded her strong leader- ship experience, as well as the opportunity to see the school from a bigger picture, rather than just from the classroom perspective. "The 2013-2014 school year will see a rise in our enrollment," Wiadis said with enthusiastic optimism,"and I plan to direct the continuation of this trend. Coupledwith the dedicated efforts of our devel- opment office and the board of directors, I will endeavor to increase investment in our school through an active Double Chai annual campaign and avariety of efforts thatwill bring Jewish Academy to the next level, as it embarks on another successful 36 years in the Orlando area." Shari Wladis Orlando Torah Academy welcomes students of all affiliations Orlando Torah Academy is looking forward to be- ginning its fourth year of excellence. With a unique and challenging dual cur- riculum program OTA has attracted families looking for an excellent general studies program in addition to giving their children the foundation in Torah and Jewish values that they will need to excel in life. Beginning with pre- school, students of OTA are immersed in a warm, caring and safe environ- ment staffed by teachers who care for the total de- velopment of each student. The dual program of study includes a genera studies department that covers the State of Florida core cur- riculum in all its aspects. As announced at its recent dinner celebration, OTA students scored amongst the top in the nation on re- cent Stanford Achievement Tests. Thanks to a gener- ous donor, Google chrome- books were purchased and will be integrated into the daily lessons giving the students the necessary tools to thrive in today's digital workplace. The other part of the daily curriculum is designated for Judaic studies. The program, which includes Hebrew language, Shabbat and Jewish holidays, and Torah study, is an essential part of the day, instilling within the children the lessons and values that will guide them throughout their lives. In addition to the educational component of the curriculum, special focus is placed on the character development of the children empowering them to become upstanding members and future leaders of the community. Visit www.orlandotorah. corn and watch the latest video that has garnered national attention. Contact OTA to schedule a tour of the school by calling 407- 778/1929 or email office@ or[ / Congregation Beth Am is different, in a good way. As one of Central Florida's fastest growing conservative synagogues, we have the region's largest Religious School program where we teach: Our shared Jewish heritage What it means to be a Jew in today's world B'nai Mitzvah preparation Judaism is to be discovered and cherished Tikkun olam, "to heal, repair, and restore the world" We invite you to join us at our Annual School Synagogue Open House On Sunday, August 11th 2013 come meet our teachers Rabb Rick and our programmng staff Enjoy bagels, snacks coffee and lots of activities from 10 am unti 12 m Ever, 'one is welcome regardless of faith level of observance or affiliation. Classes taught Longwood and Winter Springs 00,-ing this ad fora free challah! Limi er lhmily., For more information, visit or call us: 3899 Sand Lake Road Longwood 32779 Beth 407.862.3505