Yoko Sobel and Maya Jonas-Silver founded the School of Bridge in August 2023. Located in New York, NY, the school’s main objective is to introduce beginners to the game of bridge through their specially created course. Despite being in its early stages, the school has already devised innovative sales and marketing strategies with the goal of fostering a flourishing bridge ecosystem that can propel the growth of the game and present it in an appealing manner.
Tell us more about the School of Bridge and how is it different from “ordinary” classes in bridge clubs…
As huge bridge fanatics, we both keep coming back because we think bridge is enormously fun, and we love this community of bridge players we have the pleasure of competing with, learning from, and getting to know.
With that in mind, our focus is on making sure that students get to play in a fun and social environment that keeps them coming back. Our curriculum is founded on the idea that after 1 semester of classes, students can play duplicate bridge. We don’t believe in gatekeeping the most fun part of being a bridge player!
Considering the short existence of the School, what is your biggest success?
Though the School of Bridge is only one semester in, we already had 9 students playing in our end-of-semester duplicate bridge game, and have even had students play in limited duplicate games at the Honors Bridge Club in Manhattan. They might not know Jacoby transfers, but they can sit at a duplicate table and play a hand! This is the best way for them to learn and get them hooked on bridge!
Our second 10-week Intro To Bridge course will start on the 6th of February 2024 and entries are still open.
Tell us more about the innovative idea of sponsorships for students and whether is it getting traction…
We’ve been having really positive conversations with a variety of people and organizations in the bridge world to make sure that School of Bridge is available for anyone who wants to learn, regardless of ability to pay. We’ll look forward to letting you know with any future announcements once things are cemented. (And certainly are open to more conversations, if anyone out there is interested in getting involved!)
Is there a specific age requirement to join the School of Bridge?
There is no age requirement for the School of Bridge! Students in our first semester ranged from their 20s to their 70s and everywhere in between. The most common age range for our students is 25-45, which does create a somewhat unique atmosphere compared to a lot of other bridge classes out there.
You recently introduced special bridge-themed calendars, tell us more about this project and where can we find them…
Yoko is a seasoned photography professional with a master’s degree and years of experience under her belt. Our philosophy revolves around the idea that the bridge world could use more art, both as a way of enhancing the game’s allure and of showcasing “bridge art” in everyday society. Art creates culture, and we firmly believe that it can act as a powerful driver in bringing bridge back to people’s homes and solidify its place as a cultural treasure. To celebrate and promote the talent of aspiring bridge professionals, we have developed the 2024 Bridge Pro Calendar. This calendar showcases 12 individuals from diverse backgrounds who are outstanding ambassadors of the game. Their unique origins and remarkable demeanor add to the appeal of this calendar. The calendar also includes bridge hands, anecdotes and dates for major events. 25% of the profit from the calendars goes to School of Bridge.
To read more about School of Bridge and to purchase the Bridge Pro Calendar, please visit their webpage: https://www.schoolofbridge.com
And don’t forget to have a look at the beautiful calendar: