History

Teacher Reading to Class

In the fall of 1966, two Morristown couples, Morty and Beatsy z"l Wertheimer and Charlotte and Alvin z"l Turner, looking to give their children a Jewish day school education, decided to create a school in Morris County. They joined with Michael Rubenstein z"l and other dedicated families, area rabbis, and Jewish leaders to build support for their concept. The school would be a community day school, welcoming families from all branches of Judaism. With little experience or money but a lot of hard work, tremendous commitment, and a little bit of luck, the founding families' vision became a reality.

  • September 1967 ~ Hebrew Academy of Morris County (HAMC) opens with 18 students in the basement of Morristown Jewish Center. Over the next decade HAMC moves from venue to venue, and it becomes clear that to survive and thrive, the school needs a home of its own.

  • Late 1970s ~ The site on Dover Chester Road is secured with the help of community leader, Horace Bier z"l.

  • September 1980 ~ Through support from many families, including Ruth and Marty Welt, a new school building is ready for the 121 students enrolled. The building is named in memory of Nathan Bohrer and Abraham Kaufman, the fathers of the lead donors for the building project, Esther z"l and Bernie Bohrer z"l.

  • Early 1990s ~ The building expands with a new classroom wing.

  • Mid 1990s ~ A computer center, a new administrative wing, a beautiful new sanctuary, and an expanded library are added.

  • 1998 ~ The Base Grant, an innovative tuition subvention program, is introduced, conceived by Jerry z”l and Paula Gottesman to assist middle income families afford the increasing cost of a private Jewish day school education. It is the first program of its kind in the United States and becomes the model for similar programs around the country.

  • 2003 ~ HAMC celebrates its Double Chai (36 year) Anniversary with a gala dinner honoring its founders.

  • 2004 ~ The first five-year strategic plan is implemented to organize parents, administration, and the board around academic, financial, enrollment, and community goals and objectives.

  • 2006 ~ HAMC achieves National Blue Ribbon status for academic excellence. Jerry z”l and Paula Gottesman generously fund the Base Grant with a $6 million endowment.

  • 2008 ~ The early childhood center is renamed the Lillie Brandt Early Childhood Center, a result of a generous gift from Ron and Lillie Brandt. Through a continued focus on strong education and by formalizing its rigorous curriculum, HAMC becomes accredited by the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools.

  • 2009 ~ HAMC joins RAVSAK, the Jewish Community Day School Network to support its mission as a true community day school open and accessible to all Jewish families.

  • 2013 ~ After several years assessing an aging infrastructure and the need for more room to support growing enrollment, the Our Future Together Capital and Endowment Campaign is launched. Campaign Chairs Steve and Beena Levy purchase and gift a house on an acre of land adjacent to the school. Later in the year, a 4-acre property on the opposite side of the school is purchased to provide the land for the construction of a new school building and enlarged campus.

  • 2014 ~ The Gottesman Family Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater MetroWest NJ (JCF) offers a $15 million challenge gift which helps to raise the funds for the school’s new building. In honor of the generosity and support of Jerry z”l and Paula Gottesman and in recognition of the founding families – Rubenstein, Turner and Wertheimer – the school is renamed Gottesman RTW Academy. Groundbreaking for a new 34,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art green building occurs on March 2nd.

  • September 2015 ~ The community celebrates the grand opening of the new building and campus as students ceremoniously marched with the Torah to kick off the new school year.

GRTWA’s current building, powered by more than 500 rooftop solar panels, is an award-winning educational center with beautiful modern touches, contemporary classrooms and labs, a regulation sized gym, state-of-the-art stage, art and music rooms, and a community garden. Its indoor and outdoor facilities engage students. prepares them to excel, and allows for individualized attention that has been a vital hallmark throughout the school’s history.

Known as the “Jewel on the Hill,” GRTWA offers a progressive education to over 200 students from early childhood through 8th grade and serves as a model for how to develop and educate Jewish children in the 21st century. More than 500 GRTWA alumni have excelled at the highest levels of public and private high schools and colleges and have become engaged citizens who put into practice the values and ethics they have learned as Jewish day school graduates.

GRTWA has always retained a strong sense of family, enriching the lives of hundreds of families throughout the years, drawing them together in life-long friendships and becoming the anchor of a vibrant Jewish community in Morris and Sussex counties.