Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy

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Coordinates: 40°54′14″N 73°54′40″W / 40.90389°N 73.91111°W / 40.90389; -73.91111

Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (SAR Academy)
ישיבת סער
SAR Academy (logo).jpg
TypePrivate coeducational primary, middle, and secondary
PrincipalRabbi Binyamin Krauss
Enrollmentapprox. 1,250
Color(s)Yellow and Black
AccreditationThe Blue Ribbon Award (For academic excellence)
AffiliationModern orthodox

Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy, better known by the acronym, SAR Academy, is a coeducational, private Modern Orthodox Jewish day school. The school is located in the Riverdale section of the New York City borough of the Bronx.

Its name derives from the three schools which merged to form it, Salanter (named after Rabbi Yisrael Salanter), Akiba, and the Riverdale Academy, all Orthodox yeshiva day schools. The three schools merged in 1968 and adopted the current name. The school is situated on the former estate of the Italian operatic and symphonic conductor Arturo Toscanini. The land for the school was purchased in 1968. The school moved into its new building in 1974. Designed by Caudill Rowlett Scott, the building was given the prestigious Albert S. Bard Award in 1975.[1]

The school's founding principal was Rabbi Sheldon Chwat, who was followed by former Assistant Principal Rabbi Yonah Fuld, who was then succeeded by then assistant principal Rabbi Joel Cohn, all of whom subsequently moved to Israel; the principal since the 2005–06 academic year has been Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, who is helped by associate principals Sharon Richter, Beth Pepper, Jonathan Skolnick, and Rebbeca Ostro Nagata.

SAR Academy has a documented history of multiple cases of sexual, physical and mental abuse of its students. There are published extensive internal investigations confirming at least 12 cases of sexual abuse by a former principal Stanley Rosenfeld and teacher Rabbi Sheldon Schwartz. The investigative reports confirm the school and all of its principals and other faculty were aware of this abuse and effectively allowed it to continue for 30 years. In fact, the school knowingly re-hired Stanley Rosenfeld who had abused hundreds of boys at various schools and camps. Despite the results of the investigations confirming the school's knowledge of these heinous acts on their students by their faculty, the school and its current principal (Rabbi Binyamin Krauss) and board refused to acknowledge their wrongdoing and offered no apology to the victims. [2]"Important Message from SAR (Oct. 5, 2018)[3]

The school is closely affiliated with SAR High School, which is headed by the former assistant principal of the Academy, Rabbi Naphtali (Tully) Harcsztark. Slightly more than half of the High School's student body is made up of students from the elementary school.

SAR requires students to take a dual curriculum, taking both General Studies courses as well as Judaic Studies. General Studies classes include Math, Science, English and Social Studies. The Judaic Studies courses are Hebrew language, Mishnah, Talmud (Gemara) and Bible studies (Tanakh).

During the 1991–92 school year, Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education,[4] the highest award an American school can receive.[5][6]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Fowler, Glenn. "Bard Awards Honor 8 Examples of Good Urban Design," New York Times (June 12, 1975).
  2. ^ "T&M Protection Services,LLC" Report to the Board of Trustees of Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy (Oct. 4, 2018)
  3. ^ "The Forward" by Ari Feldman (Oct. 5, 2018)
  4. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
  5. ^ CIBA cited as one of the best by Education Department Archived 2007-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Journal Inquirer, November 16, 2006. "The Blue Ribbon award is given only to schools that reach the top 10 percent of their state's testing scores over several years or show significant gains in student achievement. It is considered the highest honor a school can achieve."
  6. ^ Viers Mill School Wins Blue Ribbon; School Scored High on Statewide Test; The Washington Post. September 29, 2005 "For their accomplishments, all three schools this month earned the status of Blue Ribbon School, the highest honor the U.S. Education Department can bestow upon a school."
  7. ^ Gross, Michael. "Genuine Authentic", via Google Books, p. 41, HarperCollins, 2004 ISBN 0-06-095848-0. Accessed December 31, 2008.

External links[edit]