Teaneck - When the students of Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC) start the 2013-14 school year, they will enter a building that doubled in size over the summer. The new addition, going up now, will give the Teaneck-based yeshiva high school for boys a new academic wing with a Beit Knesset large enough to hold the entire student body at one time, new administrative space, seven technology fitted classrooms and a new gym. Improvements will also be made to the existing building.
Yisrael Gottesman, president of the TABC Board of Directors, said the board first solicited architectural drawings and township approvals in 2011 with the school “running at capacity—using every nook and cranny of the building.” In early 2012, the board did research to project enrollment. “We went to our feeder elementary schools and asked for their existing class sizes down to the first grade. We determined that there was a very significant increase in the number of boys in our feeder schools,” he said. The board then proceeded with the construction documents, general contractor bids and obtaining required building permits. The school broke ground for the expansion at the end of the year.
The construction is being supervised by a professional, hired by the board, who has represented other local yeshivot and shuls. Gottesman said the construction plans were developed “based on a wide range of input from students, faculty, administration and parents.”
Capital fund raising also began in 2011 and is continuing. The cost is estimated at $8 million and $2.6 million has been raised. Gottesman said the board needs to raise an additional $1 million to secure the best terms for financing the rest. He does not know at this point if the cost of the expansion will affect tuition but said TABC has always been sensitive to costs and will set tuition for next year after a complete review of the budget.
Torah Academy moved into its current facility 20 years ago with 65 students and now has 275. The students come from Bergen County and more distant areas including New York City, New Rochelle, Monsey and Highland Park. TABC is headed by the Rosh HaYeshiva Rabbi Yosef Adler, a talmid of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, z”l, and the principal, Mr. Arthur Polyeyeff.
According to its mission statement, TABC strives to instill within its students a love for the study and practice of Torah, an appreciation of Israel and an opportunity to excel in the study of sciences and the humanities in a nurturing environment that fosters a close and supportive relationship among students and faculty. The school has a wide selection of extra-curricular activities including clubs, chesed opportunities, varsity and junior varsity sports teams and learning initiatives. TABC also hosts the Sinai Shalem High School for boys, an educational program for Jewish children with learning disabilities that cannot be managed in a regular classroom environment, and an independent Outreach Hebrew School serving the Bergen County Jewish Community. For more information, visit www.tabc.org.
By Bracha Schwartz