Go for the gold! That is what the administration of Torah Academy for Girls had in mind to help commemorate their 50th anniversary dinner. And strike gold they did, with the choice of Yussi and Zahava (Twersky) Nussbaum to serve as the generations awardees at the forthcoming annual dinner being held, iy’H, on Tuesday evening, February 19 at the Sands in Atlantic Beach.
Zahava, who graduated from TAG in 1994, went on to learn in Seminar Yerushalayim and obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Touro College and a master’s degree in social work from Adelphi University. Zahava is currently working as a consultant in several area nursing homes, and her warmth and people skills are key to her success. Zahava truly values her years at TAG and maintains friendships with many of her classmates.
Zahava came to TAG in the fifth grade (1986) when her family relocated from Brooklyn to Lawrence. She treasures her memories of her many teachers, and has fond memories of her high school general studies principal, Mr. Aufrichtig, a.k.a. Mr. A. Memorizing the famous “to be or not to be” oration from Shakespeare was proving difficult for Zahava, and Mr. A sat with her every day in his office until she had it down pat. Nowadays, Zahava certainly knows what it takes “to be” a wonderful wife, daughter, mother, friend, and active member in her children’s school.
Every year, TAG is indebted to Zahava, who has produced the important TAG school calendar. Zahava has also lent her organizational skills in coordinating the Chanukah gelt project for TAG’s devoted staff, and served with dedication as vice president of the TAG’s women’s league.
Zahava married Yussi Nussbaum in 1999 and, baruch Hashem, they have built a beautiful Torahdik home for their children. Their TAG talmidos include Tzipora in sixth grade, Esther Chaya in fifth grade, and Malka in second grade. TAG eagerly awaits the arrival of Tova, who will iy’H start TAG next year. Their son, Chaim, is currently in kindergarten in Yeshiva Darchei Torah.
Yussi Nussbaum is a musmach from Torah Vodaath and graduated with an accounting degree from Touro College and then went on to law school at Fordham University. He is currently employed as an attorney at J.P. Morgan Chase, but his true assets are his beautiful mishpachah. Yussi also serves as a gabbai in the prestigious nusach Sefard minyan of Shaaray Tefilah, where he has a penchant to share a short vort from the works of the Chasam Sofer after davening. He is a loyal daf yomi participant and delivers a weekly shiur on the parashah in Flatbush to fellow Torah Vodaath alumni and other yungeleit. Despite his busy schedule, he always finds time to be “kovei’a itim” and work on communal projects.
The story of Zahava and Yussi Nussbaum is the story of TAG. For over 50 years, TAG has educated thousands of talmidos and provided a solid foundation in all areas. TAG graduates have married and enrolled their own daughters in TAG, so they too can be the beneficiaries of the special TAG chinuch. Zahava and Yussi feel that this dinner is a golden opportunity for them to help the school and show their appreciation.
The dinner will also be an opportunity for TAG to make a special presentation to Mr. Gary Schall, Superintendent, Lawrence Public Schools. Prior to his years in Lawrence, Gary Schall served as chairman of the arts department for an elementary school of the performing arts in the South Bronx. For his work in creating this nationally recognized program, he appeared on Fox’s Good Day New York, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS’s 60 Minutes, and the PBS documentary film and winner of a Sundance Film Festival Award, Something Within Me.
Mr. Schall became the director of music for the Lawrence Public Schools in 1996. Over the years, he spearheaded numerous programs and initiatives for the school district. In his first year, with the support of the board of education, he secured a legislative grant for new marching band uniforms that helped to transform the Lawrence High School pep band into a marching band. Now it performs among the finest bands in the nation, in a variety of high profile events.
Under his direction, the Lawrence philharmonic, our very own community orchestra, has provided extraordinary musical opportunities for community residents, high school and college students, local music teachers, and professional musicians. The orchestra has performed for numerous community events including the Kulanu Fair and a celebration of Jewish music featuring Israeli conductor and virtuoso violinist Yuval Waldman.
Mr. Schall spearheaded the Academy of Fine and Performing Arts at Lawrence High School, a school within a school, offering a rich array of courses in dance, music, musical theater, drama, technical theater, and the fine arts. As part of the academy, Mr. Schall developed a partnership with an internationally renowned collegiate chorale. This summer, two Lawrence students performed with the chorale in Israel with Zuben Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic.
As the superintendent, Mr. Schall brings years of district level experience and a practical understanding of the role of the school in uniting and serving the community. His initiatives include expanding universal pre-K to include a partnership with our local yeshivas; developing a university partnership model for pre-kindergarten; initiating a new high school schedule with increased instructional time; establishing a builders vocational program; establishing an alternative center for students previously placed out-of-district; establishing one of Long Island’s first online blended learning instructional models; maintaining the lowest tax levies on Long Island over a five-year period; maintaining all academic and extracurricular programs by reducing costs in non-instructional areas that includes the restructuring of administrative staff; implementing a new business software platform for all business office operations; piloting a new iPad program for autistic children through NYS legislative grant; and facilitating the district strategic plan.
Mr. Schall also established a council that meets regularly, bringing together key representatives of his administration, members of the district’s school board, and representatives of all the yeshivas in the community. The dialogue at these meetings has nurtured a closer relationship between the public and private sectors with the focus on providing the best educational experience possible for all the students of the community. He recently completed a grant proposal that will potentially provide afterschool enrichment programs to the yeshivas. Our shared vision for school and community will be built upon this strong foundation.
TAG invites the entire community to join in celebrating this milestone dinner. For further information, please contact the school at 718-471-8444 or visit www.tagdinner@org. v