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Brooklyn’s Shulamith School to Remain Open

In April of this year, the Board of Shulamith School voted to sell the Brooklyn campus for approximately $20 million and to use the proceeds to help build a campus for their sister school, Bnot Shulamith, in Inwood. The announcement has caused an unprecedented groundswell of opposition from parents of the school. Close to 100 parents coalesced under attorney Robert Tolchin of Jarolslawicz & Jaros, LLC. to try to save their school from the sale. Parents have claimed that they are legal members of the Shulamith corporation and have a say in the dealings of it’s organization. They have asked to see a copy of the corporation’s bylaws, but were told that they are not entitled to them. The parents then tried to negotiate with the administration but were rebuffed. After serving the Board with two Hazmanot (summonses) from the RCA’s Beth Din of America, Mr. Tolchin filed legal action with the New York State Supreme Court. On July 30th of this year, Justice James Starkey ordered that the Shulamith lawyer release a copy of the bylaws to the parents. It was at this point that the Board’s plan to sale the building started to unravel. Apparently, after several written affidavits and oral arguments of perjury to the courts and the media, the bylaws which were eventually released, indeed state on page 2: “any and all parents of students in the school…are deemed members of the corporation.” The Board’s next fall came when Josh Guttman, the buyer, announced this past September, that he wishes to withdraw from the sale. At this point, the parents decided to take a more active role in helping run the school. Parents interviewed for this article have explained that they have already taken steps to ensure that Shulamith will always remain in Brooklyn. They have arranged with Rabbi Moshe Zwick, executive director of Shulamith, to organize the upcoming High School open house. In addition, for the first time in many years, plans are being made for a preschool open house. On November 5th, ads have been placed in many of the major publications in Marine Park and Flatbush to attract new students. Parents are gearing up for the transition to the new administration that is scheduled for this January. Parents interviewed have unanimously expressed optimism and enthusiasm “This is a good time for Shulamith,” said one parent.