The story began in September 1991, when Mr. A. Joseph Stern helped several families open a nursery in the building where he rented space for the then new Agudath Israel of Highland Park/Edison. There were 14 happy children and two wonderful teachers in one room, with a budget of $17,000.
Word of a good thing spread quickly and in March 1992, requests for spots in the nursery quadrupled for the fall. “I didn’t think we had so many children in the community,” he recalls, but he asked for a deposit of $100 per child and waited. Just days after the opportunity to purchase the Agudah building in a foreclosure sale came out of the blue, he held more than 50 deposit checks in his hands.
Mrs. Cyrel Brudny, the force behind the establishment of the Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion school system, was its first principal. Mrs. Brudny served as the beloved principal of the Girls School until her retirement in June 2022. With her vast expertise and penetrating wisdom, Mrs. Brudny continues to serve in a consultancy role.
The school quickly grew into a three-campus system with a Preschool, a Girls School, and a Boys School, serving families from communities throughout Central New Jersey. YST is Highland Park/Edison’s only Jewish community school to offer separate boys and girls elementary education.
YST’s devoted cadre of rebbeim, moros, and educators – working in partnership with the home, the local Vaad Hachinuch, and the Board of Education – is committed to creating a warm, nurturing environment in which all our students have the opportunity to fulfill their academic, spiritual, and personal potential. Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion is dedicated to achieving excellence in both limudei kodesh and general studies, and to instilling in each student a lifelong love of Torah, a strong sense of belonging to Klal Yisroel, and a lasting bond with Eretz Yisroel.