Sephardic Academy of Manhattan Appoints Mary Peldman Elementary School Principal


Mary Peldman

The Board of Directors of the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Setton Peldman as principal of our elementary program. Mary will spend dedicated time planning program details during the remainder of this academic year and will fully join our leadership team in July 2018.

Ms. Peldman comes to the Academy with training in developing and implementing innovative curriculum, assessing and individualizing education, and creating positive school culture. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the Hunter College Honor's program and a Master of Science in Education from the Bank Street College of Education. Ms. Peldman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, as a member of the Sephardic community, and was educated there as a child and young adult. She has been actively involved in Jewish education for more than a decade.

Ms. Peldman joins us from Beit Rabban Day School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where she is completing her fourth year as Principal. She also worked as a teacher, curriculum coordinator and director of admissions, earning a reputation as a talented educator, thoughtful decision maker, and collaborative school leader.

"We are fortunate to have found in Ms. Peldman not only the skills and experience to lead our school, but someone who embodies the values and virtues we seek to cultivate in our young students," stated Rabbi Elie Abadie, Head of School. Chary Fox, director of the Academy's Early Childhood program continued, "From the moment Mary brought her son into the Toddler's program, it was obvious that she understood the ethos of our school. It's wonderful that our children will now be able to continue with us through elementary school."

"I am simultaneously humbled and excited to accept this position," Ms. Peldman said. "It is an incredible opportunity to contribute to my community, and to impact the Jewish and education communities at large. It feels as though the combination of my life circumstances and professional experiences have led me towards this purpose."

About the Sephardic Academy of Manhattan

The Academy is founded upon a model of whole-child education and implements an integrative approach that is influenced by the Franchetti-Montessori Method[1], Reggio Emilia and other humanist and progressive philosophies. The Academy grounds its students in the beauty, artistry, academics and traditions of Sephardic Judaism. It is the newest link in an unbroken chain of educational values that have been developed in communities around the world and transmitted in every generation for over a millennia, since the closing of the Babylonian Talmud and the subsequent rise of Spain in its Golden Age.

The Academy aims to reinterpret the word Sephardic, so that it is not merely a geographic designation or lineage appropriation, but is synonymous with a universalist approach to education and an unmatched standard of excellence. It will use research-based methodologies to thoughtfully integrate Judaic and general studies and to develop the moral, intellectual and academic capacities of its students, priming them to be successful scholars, leaders and role models in Jewish and world communities.

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