The Giving Tree

January 23, 2015

The year was 1972. Mordecai and Dr. Monique Katz had just moved to a new home in Englewood and joined Congregation Ahavath Torah, where they met Al and Ethel Frisch, the founders of the Frisch School. When the Katzes heard that the school was holding its first annual dinner at their shul, they decided to go and see what it was all about. Since their oldest daughter, Rachel, had just started first grade at the Moriah School, they figured they wouldn’t have to worry about high school for another eight years. But that turned out to be the first chapter of their Frisch story – one that would eventually span an entire generation.

katz pic - croppedThe Katz and Frisch families shared a special relationship for many years. When Rachel entered ninth grade at Frisch, Morty was soon asked to join the school’s board, and he never looked back. He served as inaugural Chairman of the Board of Trustees and remains an active board member today. The Katzes have donated generously throughout the years. They helped fund an expansion at the original Frisch Court location, and were among the first benefactors to pledge money for the new campus on Century Road, dedicating the Mordecai and Monique Katz Academic Building.

The Katzes have also had the unique pleasure of seeing the school grow in leaps and bounds since its inception, while still maintaining its stellar academic reputation and attracting the top students. Monique remembers when Frisch started with just 24 students. Today, there are hundreds and the school is just as wonderful. “The greatest thing about the school is that even though it has grown dramatically, it retains the same spirit and enthusiasm that it had when there were only a few dozen students,” she said. “The faculty and Rebbeim are talented and dynamic, and the education today is even better than it was years ago because there are so many more opportunities available to our students inside and outside the classroom.”

The Katz’s four children all attended and graduated from Frisch and their daughter-in-law is an alumna as well. Now, a new generation of the family is continuing their story. Morty reflects, “We are thrilled to already have two grandchildren attending Frisch. It validates the fact that this is a school we should be involved in. We’re happy to be able to build for the next generation so they can continue to get the best state-of-the-art Jewish and secular education.”