(Courtesy of The Moriah School) The Moriah School (Englewood, New Jersey), one of the nation’s premier Jewish day schools, educating more than 700 students across Bergen County, will be hosting its 53rd annual dinner on Saturday night, March 3. The dinner will take place at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, at 8 p.m., Motzei Shabbat. This year’s honorees are Abby and Scott Herschmann (Guests of Honor), Dana Septimus and Joseph Feldman (Young Leadership Award), and Morah Nini Berger and Morah Shoshi Hason (Rabbi J Shelley Applbaum Award).
As pillars of the Englewood community, Abby and Scott have never shied away from taking on leadership roles. Scott has served as a board member at Moriah and he has also held leadership positions with AIPAC and NORPAC. Abby has served at the finance and religious services committee, bikur cholim, and community services committee at Congregation Ahavath Torah. She was also a MAP board member and a past president of Emunah. Together they have served on the Frisch board, co-chaired the Moriah golf outing and the Frisch annual dinner, worked with Partners in Torah, been past honorees at Ahavath Torah and Sinai Schools, and volunteered for various other causes.
Perhaps Abby and Scott’s most significant and impactful contribution to the Moriah community has been their work on the “Names, Not Numbers” © program. Abby and Scott were the lead program donors and spearheaded the “Names, Not Numbers” © project at Moriah. Abby is the driving force behind each year’s movie, helping select the survivors, preparing the students and parent mentors, and working day and night on the project’s every detail.
Abby and Scott are the proud parents of Emily (Moriah ‘13), Julia (Moriah ‘15), Sara (Moriah ‘18) and Rae (Moriah ‘21).
Dana Septimus and Joseph Feldman (Moriah ’96) live in Tenafly, New Jersey, and are the proud parents of Aaron (Moriah ’23), Evie (Moriah ’25), Charlie (Moriah ’27) and Eliana (Moriah ‘31). Both Dana and Joe have been active members of the community since they moved to Tenafly in 2013.
Dana is a psychologist in private practice in Cresskill, which leaves time for volunteering at Moriah. She serves on the lifecycle committee, MAP board, has volunteered at numerous Moriah events, and is currently the third-grade parent council liaison. Dana also serves as the co-chair of the youth department at Kehilat Kesher. Joe is the vice president at LPZ Management, a real estate management company based in Chatham, New Jersey. He is currently on the executive committee at Moriah and has been involved with the admissions and young families committees. Joe is also the adult education co-chair and a member of the house committee at Kesher.
Dana and Joe are proud Moriah parents and are grateful for the partnership they have with Moriah and its parent community in raising their children.
Morah Nini was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, and moved to Cape Town, South Africa, with her family in 1967 where she attended Herzlia High School, and then graduated from the University of Cape Town with her BA in teaching, majoring in Hebrew and psychology and minoring in biology. From Cape Town, the next move was to Teaneck in 1980.
Morah Nini has been part of the Moriah family of teachers since 1980-1984 and then again from 1990 to the present. She joined the Moriah staff as a kindergarten teacher and then moved on to teaching first, second and fourth grades. In 2001 she “graduated” to middle school where she remains today as a very popular morah l’Ivrit. In addition to her training in South Africa, Morah Nini attended a teachers’ seminar in Nahariya, Israel, under the auspices of the Federation, as well as professional development at CIE/Avichai seminar in Atlanta focusing on Israel education.
Morah Nini is much more than just a morah; she is a very passionate teacher who promotes and instills in her students a love for Ivrit and Medinat Yisrael. With her unique sense of style and most appealing flair, she serves as a mentor for each and every student she comes into contact with, both as a teacher and as a confidante. This relationship extends well past the years that the students are in her class. They are so happy to meet her and catch up whenever they see her in all settings.
Morah Nini has been married to Steve Berger for 37 years and they are the proud parents of Tali (‘98) Josh (‘00) and Gavi (’06) and grandparents to Yehuda, Rivka, Ezra, Eitan and Nechama Puah. They are members of Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck.
Shoshana Hason, better known as Morah Shoshi, is a pre-k Hebrew immersion teacher who has been at Moriah since 1990. She began her career here as a part-time Hebrew assistant in pre-k and kindergarten. She soon became a pre-k teacher, introducing the then-new Israeli Hebrew language programs of Maale and Chalav U’Dvash. From there, she created her own program for the entire early childhood department, including nursery, pre-k and kindergarten. Shoshi recreated a little Israeli village called Yisrael Sheli, complete with a shuk, a kotel, a sifriyah, a restaurant and a home. Walking into Yisrael Sheli, the children were transported to the sights, sounds and feelings of Israel. Only Hebrew was spoken and the children loved coming to “visit” Israel without ever boarding a plane!
A native of Netanya, Shoshi grew up in a warm and close family of seven sisters and four brothers. She is number nine in the family order. She met her husband Eli, also from Netanya, in Israel and they have been happily married for 41 years. They are the proud parents of three children, Chana, Neer and Oren, and the proud grandparents of nine grandsons and two granddaughters.
Eli and Shoshi have been living in Fair Lawn since 1979 and are very active in their synagogue, The Fair Lawn Sephardi Center. Shoshi has been involved in many of the synagogue’s functions, including home hospitality and helping to organize the weekly seudah shlishit meals. She was a Hebrew-school teacher at Temple Israel in Ridgewood for 10 years and ran a summer day camp for seven years in Fair Lawn and Teaneck.
Shoshi’s love of children and her strong desire to instill a love of Yahadut, Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael are what drive her to be such an inspirational and devoted educator.
For more information on Moriah or the annual dinner, please contact Ari Lewis, events and marketing manager, at 201-567-0208 ext. 393 or [email protected]. To register for the dinner, go to www.themoriahdinner.org. If you would like to schedule a tour of the Moriah campus, please contact Mr. Erik Kessler, [email protected] or 201.567.0208 ext 376.