Thank to everybody who joined us for this special evening. Here a wonderful piece written about it by Claudia Haj Ali.
A cobblestone path led to a secluded area on the Hudson River. For a moment it felt as if you were stepping through an iron gate into another world. Into a movie set of the mid-19th century à la „Gangs of New York“, sans the hustle and bustle of the dock scene. From afar you could see the corner of a white tablecloth lifting ever so gently in the breeze that swept across the river.
The German School Brooklyn (GSB) celebrated its first annual gala at the end of the school year in Red Hook’s historic shipyard. At “The Liberty Warehouse” parents, teachers, principals and guests were dressed to the nines for an evening that promised to leave lasting memories.
This night was the culmination of two years of hard work and steadfast dedication which all began in 2014. Over the span of a few months, Kathrin Nagle and Muriel Plag were able to fulfill their dreams; to open a German-American school in the heart of Brooklyn – in cooperation with Schulexpert and two German kindergardens, “Wortspiele” and “Kinderhaus”.
The parents of 15 children which had been uprooted from established schools came along for the ride, for they could not resist the promise to be part of an international community that included all the colors of the rainbow.
Their instincts proved them right. Within 2 years, the school grew from 15 to 100 children in grades K through 4, growing one grade per year until they graduate. They will have the priviledge to receive a bilingual education, learning German and English in equal parts. By the end of 12th grade they will get both, the U.S. high school diploma and the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma in English and German.
150 people attended the gala, which was organized by Jonathan Dorman, the school’s chair of the Board of Trustee, and held under the auspices of the German Consul General Brita Wagener. The German-Austrian author Daniel Kehlmann (“Measuring the World”, “Me and Kaminski”), representatives of the Swiss and Austrian embassies, the spiritual leader of the Union Temple, Rabbi Linda Henry Goodman, as well as board members of the synagogue, where GSB’s school is located, were among the Guests of Honor.
After a cocktail reception on the waterfront patio, with views of the New York Harbor & the Statue of Liberty, dinner was served in a room that was lit by crystal chandeliers and surrounded by large windows, featuring original wooden beams & exposed brick. Chitchat and the sound of silverware clanking against the plates filled the room, interspersed with several speeches, one given by Maya Feller, who in her capacity as GSB’s PA president has worked tirelessly to support the school, and a reading by Daniel Kehlmann.
When the band “The Engagements” began to play songs such as “Ain’t no mountain high enough”, “I feel good” and “Let’s dance” , almost everyone got out of their seats and filled up the dance floor.
What’s more, an auction was held as a way to support the school financially. Among the items auctioned off were a weekend at a beach house, Tribeca Film Festival tickets, a Magnolia Bakery party, a Bruno Paul Chair, a watercolor portrait and a photograph of a tomb interior taken in the Valley of the Nobles in Luxor, Egypt.
It was a fun-filled evening that started with a glorious sunset and ended with Daniel Kehlmann’s encouraging remarks: “ What a wonderful school! Can we please have one in Manhattan too!”