Hidden Sparks

Partnering with Jewish day schools to cultivate internal expertise, systems, and a school culture to foster success for all students 


Be proactive, not reactive: This is the foundation of Hidden Sparks, which helps children with learning di erences reach their full potential in school and life. Hidden Sparks creates tools for success so kids don’t fall through the cracks. By enhancing the skills of mainstream Jewish day school teachers and leadership, the organization equips teachers to ensure that the “hidden sparks” in students are uncovered, understood, and supported. Hidden Sparks’ five-year teacher-training model and school-change approach impact not just students but also school leaders. Hidden Sparks makes a long-term investment through 

its program, which helps schools set and review annual benchmarks and strategize goals. It also provides coaching to individual and teams of teachers in their classrooms on a weekly basis, trains faculty through monthly workshops, and coaches parents to understand diverse learners. The program can be turnkeyed and works for a full range of teachers from novice to seasoned, for a variety of schools from “resource rich” to “resource poor,” and across the affiliation spectrum. To achieve a greater geographic reach, including underserved communities, Hidden Sparks has implemented online professional development opportunities and free webinar programs. Hundreds of teachers and parents from across the country participate in the webinars annually. Recently, Hidden Sparks developed training opportunities for continuing education for teachers. 

The proactive approach has proven successful. What began as a pilot in 2007 in seven Jewish day schools has expanded to 65 schools. Hidden Sparks has trained 190 coaches, who have mentored 1,600 teachers and continue to impact thousands of students annually in Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, even across the world in Israel, where the blended learning course curriculum has been translated into Hebrew and Arabic and is used in three Israeli-Arab schools. Hidden Sparks makes Jewish day schools more inclusive and friendly to students with learning challenges, and that is sparking a big change
in how the Jewish community serves its students. 

  • Region

    New York
  • Population Served

    Children Disabilities Educators
  • Program Area(s)

    Children Jewish Education Professional Development Disabilities
  • Life Cycle Stage

  • Contact

    Debbie Niderberg
  • Email

  • Phone

  • Website

  • Facebook

  • Address

    452 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10018
  • Founded

  • Board Chair

    George Rohr
  • 2017 Expenses

  • Project Of

    The George Rohr Foundation
  • Parent Org founded


  • '18

  • '17

  • '13-'14 Disabilities & Inclusion Supplement

  • '13-'14

  • '12-'13

  • '11-'12

  • '09-'10