This summer, Yeshiva at the Jersey Shore will bid farewell to the JCC of Greater Monmouth County in Deal, where the school has operated since it was founded six years ago. After the academic year ends, YJS will relocate to an interim home at 1515 Logan Rd. in Ocean, which once served as an early home of Hillel Yeshiva, now in Ocean, and, more recently, Deal Yeshiva.
The move was prompted by the school’s growth and a need for a dedicated school space that will allow for additional expansion, said YJS head of school Rabbi Dr. Elie Tuchman. “It’s good news for YJS, and something we have been talking about for quite a while. We’ve had six great years at the JCC, and we appreciate everything they have done for us,” Tuchman said.
YJS, which currently uses 7,500 square feet of the JCC facility, will have 22,000 square feet at the Logan Road property. The new school includes full-service classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a beit midrash, and a large outdoor yard. It is situated across the street from the David Dahrouge municipal park and tennis courts.
YJS intends to remain at the JCC through the remainder of the school year, except in the unlikely event that JCC’s bankruptcy issues require them to vacate sooner, Tuchman said. The JCC is mired in debt negotiations with TD Bank after the bank initiated foreclosure on the facility this past spring.
The school intends to lease the new facility for a period of two to three years as it continues to search for a permanent site in western Monmouth County that is convenient for families from both Monmouth and Middlesex counties. A capital fund-raising effort for a permanent site is under way, and a sizable percentage of the school’s $7 million goal has already been reached, Tuchman said.
“We are very proud to serve the Jersey Shore area, but we have also become a regional school with a large number of students from the East Brunswick and Highland Park areas. We’ve been involved in the past three years in a very thorough search for a long-term site that serves both regions, and we notified the JCC two years ago that we would eventually be relocating,” he said.
The school currently has 58 students, from two-year-olds through seventh graders. The “Ketanim” program for two-year-olds was launched this year, and a second preschool program, “Haverim,” will be launched in the fall for three- and four-year-olds.
Lisa Shapiro of Ocean Township, president of the YJS board of directors, said the school’s growth is a testament to its success and appeal. “When my daughter Amy started in first grade, she was one of four students. This fall, she will be in seventh grade in our own building with close to 75 students,” she said. “It is tremendously exciting for me as a parent.”
David Friedman of Highland Park, who has three children at YJS, said he looks forward to the move. “The YJS staff has been able to do so much with the JCC space to make it an exceptional environment for educating our children,” he said. “Now that they have this new space, which is a perfect fit as far as layout, it will be very exciting to see what kind of even better things they can do to make it our own.”
Having its own site helps establish the school as an independent institution, said Cipora Winters of Elberon, the parent of two YJS students. “We have a very dedicated and involved administration that has established a school with a wonderful curriculum, excellent teachers, and well-run programs,” she said. “Just as I trust the school to make the appropriate decisions regarding my children’s education, I trust that the school has made the right decisions as to when and where to move. The move provides credibility to the school’s viability, growth, and permanence.”