Bruriah remembers ‘preeminent educator’

Bruriah remembers ‘preeminent educator’

Close to 400 alumni, faculty members, and friends of Bruriah High School for Girls came together Dec. 2 for a memorial in honor of Chaya Newman, the school’s former principal who passed away in September.

An additional 100 people reportedly viewed the proceedings via live streaming through the school’s website; close to 500 people have viewed the video of the ceremony on-line.

Newman began her 37-year career at the Jewish Educational Center’s Bruriah in 1971. Her appointment as principal marked the first time that the JEC’s girls’ high school division had its own administration.

“Mrs. Newman was the preeminent educator for Jewish girls and is responsible for growing the Jewish Educational Center’s well-known Bruriah High School from a small basement classroom of several students into North America’s most prestigious Orthodox institution for girls,” said JEC dean Rav Elazar Mayer Teitz. “Her educational system and methods have been copied the world over and — as evidenced by the turnout at the memorial and reported viewers from as far away as Israel — her influence is felt in families across the globe.”

The range of alumni in attendance reflected the four-plus decades of Newman’s service to the school.

Memorial magnets distributed to attendees were inscribed with: “When you educate a man, you educate an individual, but when you educate a woman, you educate a family.”

Also appearing on the program were Bruriah principal Rabbi Joseph Oratz; Shlomis Peikes, Newman’s daughter and current Bruriah associate principal; Rabbi Eliyahu Newman, Newman’s son and rosh yeshiva of the Mir Mesivta in Lakewood; and Hanna Dreyfus, Bruriah alumna, class of 2008. A video clip was shown in which Newman expressed her gratification at being able to spend her life educating the next generation.

The memorial, said JEC associate dean Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz, “was truly a fitting and dignified tribute to a woman who dedicated her life to Jewish education.”

The full video of the memorial may be seen at

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