PHDS celebrates completion of renovations


Friends and supporters of the Providence Hebrew Day School gathered at the school on Jan. 22 to celebrate the completion of renovations throughout the building.

Tables in the school auditorium were set with elegant cloths and flowers, and guests enjoyed a beautifully presented sushi and poke-bowl buffet.  During the reception, brief remarks were made by the master of ceremonies, Russell Raskin, past executive committee member; Rabbi Gidon Goldberg, the head of the school; and Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, dean.

Rabbi Scheinerman then thanked all the donors who contributed to the PHDS building campaign, which raised over $2 million.  He highlighted the following families and their contributions:

Charles Fradin received a standing ovation in recognition of his family’s dedication of the Paul and Janet Fradin school entryway, on Elmgrove Avenue.  When Scheinerman asked Charles Fradin if he would like to say a few words, he responded, “The Fradin family says little but does much, with love.”

Thanks to the generosity of the Goodblatt family, the main lobby of the school was completely rebuilt. Sherwin Goodblatt described his father’s devotion to establishing and maintaining the Providence Hebrew Day School: In his last directive, Sherwin’s father, Alta Hillel, charged his son to, “Take care of Mom.  And take care of the school.”

Karen Hurvitz spoke eloquently about the important role that the study of science plays in the development of capable, creative students.  She expressed hope that the dedication of the fully refurbished Hurvitz Family Science Lab will motivate and excite the students of PHDS and the New England Academy of Torah high school.

Thanks to the Adler family’s contribution in memory of Betty and Carl Adler, the old school library has been transformed into a warm and inviting space with an open layout, new outer walls and storage.  The Adlers also provided donations for window treatments throughout the school, to complement the new energy-efficient windows.

The Salmanson family was recognized for its support of Jewish education and the dedication of the Salmanson wing a few years ago.

Members of the school’s lay leadership were also recognized for their tireless devotion to PHDS and to the renovation project.

Assistance from the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island and the state Emergency Management Agency Office of Homeland Security, funded many improvements to building security, including upgraded security systems.

The evening ended with tours of the school, showcasing the science lab, the library, the main entryway and lobby, and the beautifully remodeled pre-K classroom, which is brightly lit and has wonderful skylights and open space for children to learn, play and grow.

RUCHAMA SZENDRO lives in Providence and is on the board at Providence Hebrew Day School.

PHDS, Charles Fradin, Karen Hurvitz, Adlers, Salmansons