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Building for Our Future

This September, when students entered the Joel Braverman High School, they walked through the Laboz Lobby of the Chehebar Family Building into the newly expanded Al and Sonny Gindi Campus and the home of 
the Yeshivah’s brand new state-of-the-art North building. With the Stein Student Commons, Library and BenHaim Bet Midrash, the new spaces offer creative and innovative learning opportunities with cutting-edge technology and architecture, natural light and a modern and uplifting design. These versatile facilities provide students with flexible, interactive gathering areas where ideas are sparked and information is exchanged, transforming their religious, academic, social and extracurricular experiences. 

A result of the Yeshivah’s Blueprint for Excellence Capital Campaign led by Trustees and campaign co-chairs Jack Mann and David Oved, former presidents Robert Frastai, Mark Goldstein, Jack Rahmey and current president Abie J. Hidary, the North building represents many years of planning and a forward-looking investment in the educational experience. “As an alumnus, a current parent and the president of the Yeshivah, it was amazing and humbling to see our community come together to accomplish this tremendous project. In today’s fast-paced world, we continue to adapt what and how we educate our students, and all the new spaces help advance our goal of preparing our students for a life of Torah, Misvot, community service, and success in all their future endeavors,” said Mr. Hidary. The new space is part of a larger expansion project going back many years; it began with the modernization of the Stein Science Wing, Laboz Lobby, Laniado Auxiliary Gym, Khezrie Auditorium, BenHaim Auditorium Lobby and the Dwek Student Lounge.

The new building draws its inspiration from the most current approaches and techniques in architectural and interior design to stimulate High school girls playing in the librarythought, collaboration and creativity. “A top-tier education always needed a top tier facility. The best colleges and companies have shown repeatedly that natural lighting, flowing spaces for collaboration, and integrated access to the most updated technologies and recreational spaces are the new gold standard. Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School is now on par with these elite institutions in providing an uplifting and functional environment fostering the excellence that we have always pursued,” said Mr. Oved.

Mr. Rahmey, Trustee and former President of Yeshivah of Flatbush, who was instrumental in the creation of this project, remarked, “I am so happy and excited that after so many years of hard work by so many people the new building is open. We now have the physical space to ensure that the Yeshivah of Flatbush maintains its position as a first-class institution for many years to come.”

The Stein Student Commons encourages independence and team building and has become the Yeshivah’s social hub. The long, wide passage with natural light and informal seating provides all members of the school with a comfortable space to congregate, study or relax. The Stein Student Commons extends into the Plaza where there is a fully stocked café run by Crawford's Coffee and Café, and the outdoor Terrace. The small groupings of tables and chairs both indoors in the Plaza and outdoors in the Terrace offer further opportunities to engage and reflect. Students are able to do homework, meet with friends and faculty, and enjoy meals in the vibrant open space with a college-like feel. At the end of the Stein Student Commons is a magnificent library on one side and the majestic BenHaim Bet Midrash on the other. This design layout highlights the Yeshivah of Flatbush philosophy of Torah U’Maada, merging Torah studies and secular knowledge, to inform and enrich students’ lives. The cafe is open not only during the day but also after school in conjunction with evening learning programs in the library and the BenHaim Bet Midrash.

High school boys raising their hands in classWith programming and classes for the entire school community, the new university-style library has become the center for independent and group study at the Yeshivah. Filled with our world-class collection of printed books, periodicals, and digital media, including digital books and special databases, the library is a bright and comfortable place to read, study and explore. It offers extended hours for after-school study and exam sessions, workshops, homework, and projects. The library supports our vast array of elective courses, such as traditional electives, Advanced Placement classes and numerous Tsei u’Lemad classes (independent study). The library also contains several flex space conference rooms for group study, small classes, extracurricular meetings, and student-teacher consultations. Students are able to take advantage of the seven study rooms and alcoves where they can meet in groups for exam study and discussion-based learning. The two-floor library boasts an open staircase with floor to ceiling windows looking out on a landscaped garden accessed from the library’s first floor. The lighting, landscaping, and indoor and outdoor furniture all blend together to create a balanced, harmonious, and stimulating learning environment.

The new BenHaim Bet Midrash has become the spiritual center of the Yeshivah. Each morning and afternoon, student prayers are uplifted by the beauty of this makom kadosh. With twenty foot ceilings, a stunning wooden lattice canopy designed like a chuppah, and huge windows, the BenHaim Bet Midrash is a spectacular representation of modern architecture. Throughout the day, in between prayer, and into the evening, the room is filled with intensive chavruta learning, dynamic classes, and the newly launched Torah education classes for adults and alumni. With tables and chairs that fold up quickly and tuck into closets, the BenHaim Bet Midrash easily converts from a collaborative learning space into a space for prayer.
high school students walking in the hallway As part of the expansion, six new state-of-the-art naturally lit classrooms with bright furniture and up-to-date technology give our teachers 
the opportunity to experiment with new modalities of learning. A new faculty area, replete with computers, workspaces, and dining and comfort amenities, also provides a place for students to meet with teachers.

The North building already has made a profound impact on the students. According to Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari, Joel Braverman High School Head of School, “The expansion of the high school building is a game-changer. It is not only beautiful and breathtaking. The new spaces afford our students opportunities to study Torah in an exquisite Bet Midrash, research and access all types of media in a state-of-the-art library, collaborate with teachers and peers in the wide open venue of the Commons and simply enjoy being in the Yeshivah of Flatbush.” The new space has had an effect on all areas of the student experience. “Our new building has uplifted the student experience in ways even greater than we had hoped. The impacts have been felt spiritually, academically, and socially,” said Rabbi Joseph Beyda, Joel Braverman High School Principal.
High school students studying outdoors
“The opening of our new building is the culmination of years of work, a real partnership of our lay leadership and professional staff. Our lay leaders worked to raise the funds to make this a reality and the staff moved the project along and got us in for the start of the school year,” noted Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Rothman, Yeshivah of Flatbush Executive Director.

Mr. Mann reflected on the passion and dedication that underlie the shared vision and goals, “Our team of professionals, educators and volunteers all understood very clearly that everything we thought about for this project was to enhance the experience of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We committed ourselves to space that would inspire them. Spaces that are light, airy and filled with aspiration. We committed ourselves to be fiscally responsible. We committed to the next generation: a school filled with Torah, Art, Science, music and physical spaces that they can feel stimulated by on a daily basis. We committed to our staff spaces where they can collaborate with our students. We look forward to many successful years of graduating students who are proud to call themselves graduates of the Yeshivah of Flatbush.”

Next phase of the modernization will include an update to the exterior facade, a new Arts Wing, enhanced Music and Orchestra space, and a new fitness and dance room, among many other improvements.
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