"We are in the business of developing human beings."

Dr. Susie Tanchel, JCDS Head of School

From Our Head of School

ממנהלת בית הספר

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Welcome from Dr. Susie Tanchel

Four aspects of our students' educational experience combine to drive our students' journeys each day:

  • Intentional Pluralism. Our commitment to intentional pluralism is both the principle by which we mindfully create our diverse Jewish community and the frame through which we help our children develop the habits of heart and mind to engage across difference, building self-awareness and reflection, cultivating curiosity and empathy and fostering strong identity.
  • Benefits of Dual Language Learning. We foster an environment in which students learn and live in both English and Hebrew, accelerating their acquisition of a second language, which research shows benefits brain development and facilitates the learning of additional languages. Our students' intimacy with Hebrew also opens up a world of Jewish literature and culture that deepens and enlivens their Jewish identities and strengthens their connection to Israeli society.
  • Thinking Like Engineers. Our science program begins with three years of an engineering-focused curriculum in partnership with MIT and Tufts University. Students' hands-on practice with the engineering design process informs their approach to solving problems and offers them rich opportunities to develop perseverance in the face of challenges.
  • Integrated Learning. Throughout the K-8 years, our faculty use authentic opportunities to powerfully integrate general and Judaic Studies in mutually reinforcing ways. For example, engineering projects help students creatively engage with Jewish ritual and practice, while skills developed studying Jewish sources help students analyze a piece of American literature. These interdependencies across disciplines model for our students the integrated nature of their identities as Jews and as Americans.

Our capacity to provide opportunities for our students to learn how to think, to build strong moral characters and to develop the capacities to engage with difference distinguishes JCDS from other schools. In the 21st century, strong academics are necessary, but not sufficient. Information is available to children at the click of a button, so schools must be places of learning that provide more than the transfer and memorization of content. JCDS students experience excellent and innovative academics, while being inspired to persevere with challenges, to apply knowledge and strategies to creatively solve problems, to collaborate effectively with peers, and to live joyous, meaningful, integrated Jewish lives. I welcome you to to walk through our school yourself so you can fully appreciate this warm and vibrant community that nurtures and challenges our children to happily grow each day.

B'ruchim ha'baim (welcome) to JCDS!

Dr. Susie Tanchel, Head of School