The Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia is being renamed in honor of Morris and Rose Caskey, two longtime proponents of the Wynnewood institution.
The school announced the change at a banquet on Feb. 26 attended by more than 440 people. At the banquet, “we were privileged to hear Dr. Herb Caskey’s story and honored to memorialize the legacy of his parents by renaming our school The Morris and Rose Caskey Torah Academy,” according to a letter to supporters.
About $7.5 million of the $10 million goal has been pledged thus far, and the school said an anonymous donor has agreed to match any new pledges contributed in the next three weeks. The campaign — the first of its kind in many years — began in February 2016.
“We’ve made significant inroads into our fundraising,” said Rachel Mazurek, director of communication and community relations.
It’s not clear how much was donated in the Caskeys’ name, although a page on the school’s website lists $2.5 million as the naming opportunity for the campus. There already is a Gan Israel day camp named in his parents’ honor.
Large donors listed include Amir and Stacey Goldman, who gave $500,000 for a new addition; Jonathan and Hili Zimbalist, who contributed $100,000 for an administrative wing; and $100,000 from Menashe Kohn for a grand foyer entrance.
The capital campaign is slated for use on building renovations and improvements including a secure entrance, lobby and classrooms; an exclusive beit midrash; a state-of-the-art science lab, library and music room; air conditioning; and new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.
The building updates are tentatively scheduled to begin in the summer, Mazurek said.
“Our boiler’s really, really old,” she said, noting that the change will lead to an environment more conducive to learning. “We don’t have air conditioning in many of our classrooms.”
Aside from the security changes, most of the work done won’t be visible. The work will also include changes so the building complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other codes, Mazurek said.
Founded in West Philadelphia in 1964 as the Wynnefield Hebrew Day School with nine kindergarten students, the school was renamed the Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia in 1970. It moved to its present home in Wynnewood in 1979. More than 300 students from nursery school through eighth grade are enrolled.
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