Bruce S. Ticker
After 27 years with Delaware Gratz Hebrew High School, Marlene C.
Milunsky now has her own office.
Her first 19 years with the school she was a part-time teacher. For
the past eight years as the school's fulltime director, or
principal, she and her staff shared office space with Albert
Einstein Academy's principal in an old wing of the JCC. Einstein is
a full-time elementary day school.
Her teen-aged students can now attend classes furnished in
adult-sized chairs and desks rather than seats meant for
elementary-school students. "Their knees would be up to their chins," Milunsky recalled.
In its 41st year, the school has sufficient space after extensive renovations which provided an office for the director, office space for her employees and markedly more comfortable seating for her students.
The school is benefiting from a $23 million capital campaign to expand and renovate its host facility, the Bernard and Ruth Siegel Jewish Community Center on the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus on Garden of Eden Road in Wilmington. Funding for the renovations was provided by the Jewish Federation of Delaware, the Harry Cohen Foundation, the Kutz Foundation and the Margules Fund.
Construction of two new wings at the JCC freed up space for the high school, which is affiliated with Gratz College of Melrose Park. Gratz moved to the second floor of the JCC's main building. The students now attend class in the JCC's community room, Milunsky said. Gratz students will also have access to a small library - called the Milunsky Library - thanks in part to the fundraising efforts of the Gratz Auxiliary, spearheaded by Annette Chason, who is Milunsky's mother, and Yetta Chaiken. The auxiliary raised $5,500 for bookcases.
Under the school's program, high school students can earn college credits and teaching certificates which make them eligible to teach Hebrew school. This will
allow them to obtain good part-time jobs while they are attending college.
67 students taught by 23 part-time teachers attend classes Tuesday and Thursday nights and Sundays.
"We have a home of our own," said Milunsky, who moved into her new office in late December. A grand open house featuring speakers, an art display and sales, a student skit on the Book of Jonah, and food and festivities was scheduled for Jan. 22. Four teachers and 12 students were to be honored for community service.
Milunsky pointed out that she was inspired to become a Hebrew school teacher growing up in a remote community with a very small Jewish population, which was Bangor, Maine.
This is the first year that the school has scheduled a retreat so that students can visit colleges in the Baltimore and Washington,
D.C.areas to consider for their college education, she added. "We look forward to focusing on educational