The Mark Nordlicht Connection… Following the Money?
Mark Nordlicht is a board member of the Westchester Torah Academy in New Rochelle and is still listed as such on the website, or he was. Today the website appears to have been hacked. We asked people from around the world to try and no one could find the donors’ page.
Mark Nordlicht personally gave $1 Million to the school directly (as evidenced by the donors page on the WTA website – well, it was).
Thankfully, his wife is so supportive of the school on her Facebook page:
Mark Nordlicht also is part of an organization called Friends of Westchester Torah Academy. Nordlicht gave substantial money to the school through that organization too.
This is public record.
Westchester Torah Academy recently bought land (8.5 acres) in New Rochelle for a new campus.
There are videos online at: http://www.newrochelleny.com/999/Watch-Council-Meetings.
The May 24th Planning Board Meeting 32 minutes into video
The June 28th Planning Board Meeting 30:33 minutes into video
Westchester Torah Academy, the Jewish school with a unique blended learning program, will be moving to a new magical location in the heart of New Rochelle. Earlier this month, WTA’s head of school, Rabbi Rami Strosberg, and Board Chair, Kevin Shacknofsky, jointly announced that WTA had purchased a brand new 8.5 acre campus as its permanent home.
When WTA was established three years ago, the board set up an arrangement to utilize the classrooms in Temple Israel of New Rochelle’s school building. Classrooms were erected for a Torah education and to support the blended learning model, but the board and administration expected it only to be a “temporary place to incubate this program,” Rabbi Strosberg said. “We discovered how immediately successful this endeavor was, with enrollment growth over the past three years far exceeding anyone’s wildest expectations.” As such, with such sizable growth–in the last year alone, enrollment increased 74 percent–a new campus search went under way almost immediately.
Initially, WTA thought they were going to remain and grow at the Temple Israel location, building upon the facilities available to them to create a successful program that would scale with enrollment growth. However, the flexibility to grow at the TI property was limited. Therefore, for nearly two years, the WTA board had their eye on St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, located off Stratton Road in New Rochelle. Conversations ensued, including correspondence with Rabbi Reuven Fink of the Young Israel of New Rochelle and Rabbi Baruch Simon at YU to ensure that the school’s growth followed halachic guidelines, in that the school was being moved into a religious non-Jewish establishment. Negotiations continued until the sale was finalized earlier this fall. In an ironic twist, St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, the only Armenian Seminary in the Western World, relocated to Armonk, NY, building on property purchased from a Jewish synagogue, Congregation B’nai Yisrael.
There is a lot of growth potential for the new facility. Not only is it centrally located to main hubs of Jewish life in Westchester and Riverdale (it is 20 minutes away from Riverdale, its furthest point, 10 minutes from White Plains and five minutes from New Rochelle and Scarsdale), “it is zoned as a school, and it is not easy to find properties like that,” Shacknofsky said. A committee of parents to help shape the future of the school building, is currently being formed. Dedicated classrooms as well as offices for the administration are planned. The objective will always be mindful of the WTA mission, in creating “purpose-filled classrooms to implement the rotational blended learning model,” Shacknofsky said. Rabbi Strosberg agreed, “What’s exciting about this is we can be mindful of our mission as we lay the foundation. The space is going to be not just rooms but centers of learning. We can think of how to use the building for the best focus and to maximize a child’s ability to explore and reach academic and spiritual heights.”
In staying true to the idea of adhering to the affordable education movement, WTA is also assuring parents that its current building fund campaign is voluntary and will not be passed on in tuition fees. With generous contributions from prominent members of the community and the Affordable Jewish Education Foundation, the school’s permanent foundation has come to fruition.
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