The Orthodox community along the Main Line is planning to open a new high school for boys.
Organziers have already purchased a property for the school, the site of the United Methodist Church of Bala Cynwyd. The high school would initially start with at least ninth grade — perhaps 10th also — next fall, according to Abba Krieger, a Lower Merion resident who is on the planning committee of the school. The committee estimates that there could be 12 to 15 students in the first class.
The proposed school, which does not yet have an official name, would serve many of the same Orthodox families who send their daughters to Kosloff Torah Academy Girls High School in Bala Cynwyd, Krieger said. The professor of statistics and operations research at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School said he expects there to be little overlap with Kohelet Yeshiva High School, a modern Orthodox institution in Merion Station that serves both boys and girls.
Many Orthodox families in the Philadelphia area currently must choose for their sons among Kohelet, the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, which is very competitive and attracts students from across the country, and Orthodox schools in New Jersey.
Prospective families are people "who want a classical yeshiva high school where" Talmud "is the centerpiece," said Krieger, who belongs to both Lower Merion and Young Israel of the Main Line. This school "will help the community grow."
Organizers still must raise money for the project, but some of the staff are already in place. Rabbi Avraham Steinberg of Young Israel of the Main Line would run the school along with Ray DeSabato, a retired principal of Friends Central School in Wynnewood.
Organizers were holding a meeting to discuss the new school on Nov. 13 at Lower Merion Synagogue.