|60 East 78th Street (upper school)
114-125 East 85th Street (lower school)
New York City, New York
|Type||Private coeducational primary, middle, and secondary|
|Founder||Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein|
|Principal||Rabbi Haskel Lookstein|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Mascot||The Ramaz Ram|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New York State Association of Independent Schools|
The Ramaz School is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. It consists of a lower school (nursery-4th grade), a middle school (5th grade-8th grade), and an upper school (9th grade-12th grade).
The Ramaz Upper School is a college preparatory school. It is located on East 78th Street, seven city blocks (0.5 km) away from the other two school buildings, located on East 85th Street, and draws students from throughout Manhattan, as well as commuters from throughout the New York Tri-State Region. The school combines a broad academic curriculum taught in English with Judaic studies courses taught in Hebrew.
The school was founded in 1937 and is affiliated with Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun ("KJ"), a synagogue located on East 85th Street, which shares a building with the lower school and is across the street from the middle school. The congregation and its rabbi, Joseph Lookstein, helped to found and finance the school.
Founded in 1937 by Rabbi Joseph H. Lookstein through the generosity of New York lawyer and philanthropist Max J. Etra, Ramaz takes its name from the initials of Rabbi Moses Zevulun Margolies, the grandfather-in-law of Lookstein. The current principal, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, is the son of Joseph Lookstein and was a member of the first class of six students.
Classes were held in many locations over the years, including the vestry rooms of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. After the closing of Finch College, Ramaz bought the college's campus and renovated the buildings.
On November 30, 2007, The Wall Street Journal listed Ramaz as one of the top schools for graduates entering the top eight universities in the country, with 10 out of a class of 100 (class of 2007) going to these schools.
The Ramaz School had proposed a 28-story project to be built in place of the Lower School during 2008–2010. The building would have replaced the current school with a new building split into ten floors used by the school and topped by 18 floors of condominiums. Air rights of the adjoining synagogue would be transferred for use by the adjoining school/condo structure. The project may have had to be scaled back following a review by the City's Board of Standards & Appeals because the height is more than what is permitted at this site. The plans were withdrawn by the school in July 2008. However, due to a fire in the adjacent Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun building in July 2011, the Lower school began to undergo repairs and refurbishments for water damage. Since the building was not ready to welcome students that September, the Temple Emanu-El of New York and Park Avenue Synagogue volunteered their facilities for students until November 2011. On November 8, 2011, the Lower school reopened its doors.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein scaled back his role as Principal of the Ramaz School at the end of the 2005–2006 school year, but he remained the rabbi of the associated Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue. He appointed Judith Fagin, formerly the headmistress of the Middle School, as Head of the Ramaz School. At the end of the 2011–2012 school year, she passed on the role of Head of School to Mr. Paul Shaviv, who hails from Canada.
The Head of the Lower School is Rabbi Tavi Koslowe, the Head of the Middle School is Smadar Seinfeld, and the Dean of the Upper School is Ira Miller. Rabbi Shlomo Stochel is Associate Dean and Dr. Renee Koplon is Assistant Dean. Rabbi Kenneth Schiowitz is the Talmud Chair. Rabbi Joshua Bakst retired in 2003 and is currently the Dean, Emeritus.
The Ramaz School's team name is the Ramaz Rams. Ramaz fields a number of competitive and recreational athletic teams throughout the school year, such as basketball, swim, volleyball, baseball, softball, hockey, track, soccer, tennis, and dance. In most cases, their teams are members of the Yeshiva High School Athletic League which represents many of the Jewish day schools throughout the New York metropolitan area. In addition, they play exhibition games against other schools both in the Jewish day school and non-Jewish private school communities.
Ramaz's academic teams include the Model Congress debate, College Bowl, chess, Torah Bowl, and Model United Nations, which compete solely against other Yeshiva high schools, and the mathematics, mock trial, and Model Congress, which compete against both public and private high schools. Ramaz Upper school students have also succeeded in numerous academic competitions in both the arts and sciences, including the 2004–2005 Siemens Westinghouse Competition and the 2007 NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing.
Ramaz's publications include:
- Breakthrough - a science publication
- El Ramillete - the Spanish student newspaper
- Lambpage - the Middle School newspaper
- Likrat Shabbat - the only weekly publication, devoted to Shabbat
- MegaRAM - the technology student publication
- Parallax - literary magazine
- Ramblings - the current events newspaper
- Rambunctions - Satirical Newspaper
- Rambytes - the school's emailed newsletter
- RaMedz - the school's Medical Journal
- Ramifications - the school yearbook
- RamPage - Student Paper
- Rampost - The Political Affairs Newspaper
- RISE- art magazine
- SFAC News - Student Faculty Administration Committee meeting minutes
- La Gazette - the French student newspaper
- The Sports Report - a sports publication
- XeVeX - the mathematics magazine
In 2007, Joyce Villarin, a former nurse at the school, treated a child for an injury that he claimed his father caused. Villarin contacted the father who admitted to injuring his son. The Ramaz administration said to Villarin not to report this to secular authorities. Villarin did report this and was fired in 2008 because the school thought that she was "not a team player".
Villarin sued the school in Manhattan Supreme Court in 2009, arguing that the state’s Social Services Law obligated her to report the potential abuse. Under the law, school faculty is required to report to state authorities a suspicion that a child is being abused or mistreated.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2009)|
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