Joshua Lookstein, scion of Ramaz family, to lead Westchester Day School

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Joshua Lookstein, scion of the family that founded and leads the Ramaz school in Manhattan, will be the new head of Westchester Day School.

Lookstein will succeed Rabbi Joshua Einzig as head of the Modern Orthodox school in Mamaroneck, N.Y., this fall.

The Lookstein family founded Ramaz, often likened to a Jewish prep school, in 1937, and is currently led by Joshua’s father, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, who also is the rabbi of Ramaz’s affiliated synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Kehilath Jeshurun.

Joshua Lookstein has been the lead fundraiser for a proposed $300 million Day School Challenge Fund to facilitate endowment fundraising by New York-area Jewish day schools. He also works as a major gifts officer at the UJA-Federation of New York.

Ten years ago, Joshua Lookstein worked for four years as a Jewish studies teacher at Ramaz. He also has served as an assistant rabbi at Kehilath Jeshurun and as executive director of the S. Daniel Abraham Foundation.

Westchester Day School was established in 1948 and for many years was the primary destination for Modern Orthodox children from the county. In recent years, however, the school has seen competition for students from SAR Academy in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, which is Orthodox, and Carmel Academy in Greenwich, Conn., which is pluralistic. Westchester also has a Conservative day school, Solomon Schechter in Hartsdale.

Another Modern Othodox school, the Westchester Torah Academy, will be opening this fall in the county. The New Rochelle school will utilize so-called blended learning techniques to keep tuition under $10,000 a year — a rarity for Jewish day schools in the New York area.

Westchester Day School recently lowered its tuition costs to be more cost-competitive with the Westchester Torah Academy.

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