With the growth of the Muslim community in the seventies and eighties, there arose a need for Islamic education . Islamic Education meant teaching a curriculum of high academic standards in addition to Arabic, Quran, and Islamic Studies. Our goal then, as it is now, is helping the whole child to develop within an environment that encourages moral values, righteous conduct, and pride in our Islamic identity.
Alhamdullilah, our community answered this need by collaborating together to establish the first Islamic school in the state of NJ, Al-Ghazaly School, in 1984. This important institution is still operating in the same location, 17 Park Street in Jersey City, 25 years later! In its early years, the school had to double as a middle school and a high school until 1995.
As the need to expand became obvious and with numerous Muslim schools beginning to rise, the three most active Islamic Centers in Northern New Jersey (ICPC, ICJC, and NBIC) agreed to establish the Islamic Education Foundation of New Jersey (IEF), whereby any school established by the three centers would be managed by the IEF. The Islamic Education Foundation came into being in 1995, with the acquisition of Al-Hikmah Elementary in Prospect Park and Al-Ghazaly High in Teaneck, New Jersey.
The IEF, currently the largest and most established Islamic School system in New Jersey, runs three schools with close to 700 students. Over the years, the IEF has secured a reputation of academic and Islamic excellence, thanks to our highly-qualified and dedicated teachers, some of whom have been in the system for over 15 years. Many of our Al-Ghazaly High School graduates have also returned to the IEF as teachers to carry on the legacy of this cornerstone of the Muslim community. The IEF is well known for providing quality education, rivaling that of the best parochial schools in our region. Our students test scores exceed the state and national averages and our graduates are accepted into the best universities including Columbia, Harvard, Rutgers, NJ IT, and, MIT. Many of our alumni are professor, doctors, pharmacists, and engineers. In addition, our 2009 graduating class secured $2.7 million dollars in scholarships last year,thanks to their hard work and the gracious efforts of the High School Guidance Department. Alhamdullilah, our parents feel that an investment in an IEF education truly secures their children's academic and financial futures.
We agree and believe that our biggest accomplishment is that we graduate civic-minded, spiritually-guided students who are proud of their identity and equipped to handle the challenges of today's life without compromising any of their core values.