Press Releases

Golda Och Academy Celebrates Opening of the Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Center


On October 1, Golda Och Academy officially celebrated the opening of its brand new, state-of-the-art Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Center with a ribbon cutting attended by Mayor Robert D. Parisi of West Orange, community leaders, Golda Och Academy board members, school faculty and student leaders at the Eric F. Ross Upper School campus.

The 4,000-square-foot center is named in honor of Dr Lynne B Harrison, community philanthropist and school grandparent, who generously committed $1 million toward the facility. During the ceremony, Dr Harrison held the inaugural ribbon along with Adam Shapiro, Head of School at Golda Och Academy; Jeffrey Landau, Board Chair at GOA; and Mayor Parisi. Making the actual cut, however, was a robot designed by members of the high school robotics team (the CodeRunners) that drove down the aisle of guests to cut the ribbon with an actual pair of scissors.

Dr Harrison then helped affix the mezuzah to the doorway of the STEM Center with STEM Coordinator Dr Shira Kelmanovich and leaders of the high school student council. In a fitting tribute to the STEM work already being done at the school, all of the mezuzot in the center were designed and printed by GOA students using a 3D printer.

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“STEM education is an apt acronym,” said Dr Harrison. “It is the stem, the stalk, from which many good things will flower.  The health and the prosperity of our community, our nation and the world depend on the innovations and products that will come from STEM research.  It is a privilege to enable our wonderful, bright students to receive a quality education in well-equipped, well-designed classrooms in their excellent Jewish Day School, Golda Och Academy.”

Following the ceremony, guests toured the three-story Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Center, viewing the robotics and STEM labs on the first two floors. On display were a RoboCupJunior USA field, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robot, 3D printers, student projects, a soldering station, tools and workstations. The center’s third floor is used as a multipurpose space for students to collaborate with one another as well as attend lectures and demonstrations.

“We now have the room we need to engage and enhance student learning for the robotics and STEM programs,” said Dr. Kelmanovich, who has a PhD in chemical engineering from Stanford University. “The new lab space has already allowed us to expand our offerings to include a high school elective on programming sensors, a middle school STEM club and a 3D-printing elective to be offered in the spring.”

Upper School Principal Christine Stodolski also acknowledged the infinite opportunities the students will have thanks to Dr Harrison’s contribution and vision. “Within this dedicated space, students will have access to materials and technology that will greatly enhance their STEM education, allowing them to discuss and tackle the technological and engineering challenges that face us today.”

Construction on the three-story Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM Center began on June 17, 2015, one day after school ended, and was completed in time for the first day of school on Sept. 3. The new center is an extension of the Dr Lynne B Harrison STEM program, which broadened GOA’s STEM initiatives in 2013 thanks to a $480,000 grant from Dr Harrison and enabled the school to hire a new STEM Coordinator and fund an intensive high school STEM class, high school robotics team, computer science electives, 3D printers and a new Macintosh lab.

“This gift that Dr Harrison has given to our school is transformative.” said Shapiro. “Our students, many of whom have already been focused on STEM, now have an incredible new space that allows them to dream bigger and create things they may have once thought to be out of reach.  We look forward, with great anticipation, to what our school and students will be able to accomplish next.” 

Dr. Harrison is the president of Harrison Research Laboratories, Inc., which she founded in 1981. The company tests products for safety and efficacy for major companies worldwide. Additionally, she is a member of the board of Space Israel and the newly-appointed chair of the USA Board of Space Israel. Dr Harrison has served as vice chair of the Hillel International Board of Directors as well as a member of the Hillel International Board of Governors. In 2009, Hillel named Dr Harrison “Woman of the Year,” honoring her with the Founders’ Award. She is also an officer of the United Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, a member of the Day School Council and board member of Friends of Israel Sci Tech. In addition, Dr Harrison founded and funded the Dr Lynne B Harrison Science Center at the New Jersey “Y” Camps, which offers specialty science education to young Jewish campers. She is a mother of two daughters and the grandmother of a GOA 9th grade student.

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A Tale of Two Very Different Town Administrator Searches

Both Maplewood and South Orange are looking for new town administrators at the same time, a rare occurrence.

And their approaches couldn’t be any more different.

Maplewood, whose long-time administrator Joseph Manning is retiring May 31, launched its search last month the old-fashioned way: hiring a recruiting firm and letting them do the heavy lifting (or more appropriately the ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Teens Arrested for Theft from Auto

February 20, 2018

February 12 - Theft; A resident from Burroughs Way reported that sometime over the past day, a snow blower was stolen from an open garage.

February 17- Theft from Auto; At approximately 5:15 p.m., two males were observed going through vehicles on Hillcrest Rd.  Officers responded to the area and were able to locate two males fitting the description. The males, 18 year ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrested for Robbery in South Orange

Adult Arrest - Robbery - Shawn Ray Newsome, a 20 year old Newark resident and a 17 year old juvenile were arrested on Saturday, Feb. 3, at approximately 10:45 p.m. for robbery. Two male victims reported that as they were walking on South Orange Ave near the Newark border, they were approached by three actors (described as black males wearing dark clothing and black masks) who ...

Blood Drives in SOMA: Maplewood on Feb. 22 and South Orange on Feb. 26

February 19, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Due to winter storms and flu disrupting blood donations, the Red Cross is urging donors to donate and help maintain blood supply, according to a press release from the organization.

In January, severe winter weather forced about 600 blood drives to cancel, resulting in more than 17,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. And, ...

Maplewood Seniors Enjoy a Visit from Alfalfa the Alpaca on Valentine's Day

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - If you were at the Maplewood Senior Center on Wednesday - which happened to be Valentine's Day - you would have seen the somewhat unusual sight of an alpaca. Alfalfa the Alpaca to be precise.


The visit from Alfalfa was the first in the "creature comfort" series from the Maplewood Recreation Department.


Maplewood Recreation Director Melissa ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23, 12:00 PM

St. Andrew & Holy Communion Parish Hall, South Orange

Lenten Friday Fish Fry Dinners

Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, February 23, 7:30 PM

Maplewood Middle School Auditorium, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School Presents Rogers & ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Indictment Handed Down in Millburn Carjacking

February 21, 2018

TRENTON, NJ – An indictment was handed down in the November carjacking in Millburn where a 13-year old girl was allegedly grabbed by the neck and the suspect threatened to kill her. 

The 11-count state grand jury indictment charges Ahmed Anthony, 30, of Newark with conspiracy, carjacking, robbery and making terroristic threats among other charges. The conspiracy in the first-degree ...

Illegal South Ward Rooming House Closed for Life-Threatening Conditions, 12 Relocated

Newark, NJ—An illegal rooming house in Newark's South Ward has been shuttered and 12 people relocated after Newark fire inspectors discovered life-threatening conditions inside the property on Friday.

Newark Fire Inspectors responded after citizen complaints to a one-family house at 46-48 Van Ness Place and found “deplorable conditions” inside the ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Police: 15-Year-Old Westfield Boy Arrested in Strong Arm Robbery, Car Theft

WESTFIELD, NJ — A 15-year-old Westfield boy has been charged in the assault and robbery of another teen and, separately, car theft, according to Westfield police.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was first arrested Jan. 9, along with a 16-year-old boy from Newark, when the two were caught by police Newark with a stolen Dodge Charger from ...

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate in Maplewood on Feb. 27

February 21, 2018

Join Tullamore Dew and St. James's Gate for a 5 course whiskey dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

5 courses with 5 whiskies.

The menu is as follows:

Sea Urchin 2 ways
Scallop crudo in shell
Whiskey injected oysters
Squid ink gnocchi, head on prawn and kobe beef
Whiskey creme Anglaise filled chocolate dipped ricotta doughnut

Call 973-378-2222 to reserve your ...

SOMA Film Festival to Host World and US Premieres

For the first time in it's three year history, SOMA Film Festival will be offering films that will be seen for the first time ever in America, and the world. 

The first of the two world premieres is the profound Fatherhood, a documentary feature about young people from Memphis, LA, New York and London that speak the truth about their absent fathers and perform music videos of original ...

Atlantic Health System Earns Spot for 10th Year on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ List

Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today celebrated a decade of excellence after it was recognized among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking number 74 in its 10th consecutive year on the prestigious annual list.

It is the only health care delivery system from New Jersey, and the top-ranked New Jersey based company on the ...