A rabbi and educator with more than 25 years of experience in the Conservative movement’s day schools will take over the reins of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Raritan Valley in East Brunswick.
Rabbi Stuart Saposh of Teaneck, formerly head of school at the SSDS of Bergen County in New Milford, will begin in the new position on July 1.
Saposh will succeed head of school Dr. Howard Rosenblatt, who is leaving after four years of a challenging commute from Philadelphia.
“I’m a community-builder,” said Saposh during a visit to the East Brunswick school on April 22, where he joined students in a Yom Ha’azmaut celebration. “I see the school has a great relationship” with the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex Federation, he said. “I want to see us partner with other schools, agencies, and other Jewish organizations. We are all partners in the Jewish community and should be working together to help each other.”
Saposh will also assume the duties of Dr. Stephen Charton, the school’s general studies principal, who left over the winter for health reasons.
Saposh expects to spend about a day each week at the school with youngsters and Rosenblatt until the school year ends.
“It’s an opportunity for me to meet the administrators and begin the transition process,” he said. “I will be here learning the community and meeting the people. It’s silly not to take the opportunity to learn the facility. On July 1 there’ll be lots of time to do paperwork, but to really know a school, it’s best to see how it functions with students.”
Neil Weiss, the school’s board president, said Saposh had seen other schools through from their inception through growth and expansion.
“Rabbi Saposh is uniquely qualified to meet the challenges we face,” he said, “and I am excited about the passion, energy, and enthusiasm he brings to our school and the greater Jewish community.”
In addition to his 17-year tenure at the New Milford School, Saposh previously served nine years at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Suffolk County on Long Island. He and his wife, Linda Holof-Saposh, met at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and have three grown children, all graduates of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union in West Orange, and three grandchildren. Holof-Saposh is assistant head of school at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School in Manhattan.
Saposh said he was impressed with the dedication and devotion to the East Brunswick school of members of its search committee and board. He said he has always heard positive things about the school through the Schechter system.
“I plan to build on the many strengths here and look to see if I can build for myself another great adventure in the day school world,” said Saposh. “This is an opportunity to do something fresh, different — I’m learning obviously — but I hope to apply my skills to different areas of the school’s curriculum,” he added. “I want it to be a celebration of Jewish beliefs and menshlichkeit.”
Saposh said he plans to dive into marketing, recruiting, and fund-raising as well as education within the school to give students “the gift of a lifetime, a Jewish day school experience so they understand the joy of Jewish living.”