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גיוס מנהל/ת


Dear Jewish Community Day School Community,

I hope that each and every one of you, our JCDS community members, is as well as can be during this unsettling time. I am very pleased to have good news to share about the future of JCDS.

As President of the JCDS Board of Trustees, I am thrilled to announce that the Board has voted unanimously to name Shira Deener as our next Head of School.

The Board's unanimous decision to appoint Shira was based upon the enthusiastic recommendation of the Head of School Search Committee, which embarked on a nationwide search process starting this past summer. The Search Committee endeavored to find an experienced educational leader deeply aligned with the school's values and mission, enthusiastic about our intentional pluralism, possessing the ability to build authentic relationships, with a disposition marked by positivity, flexibility, and an appreciation for Jewish Day School education.

I am extremely proud of the entire community's efforts in searching for our next Head of School. The active engagement and thoughtful feedback from the entire school community – parents, faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, and friends – was the hallmark of our successful search. It was your combined support of the process and your meaningful involvement that helped the Search Committee identify, vet, engage with, and, ultimately, enthusiastically and unanimously endorse Shira Deener to theBoard.

Currently, Shira is the Director of the Jewish Education Program at Facing History andOurselves, an international educational organization whose mission is to use the lens of history to challenge teachers and students to fight bigotry and hatred. As Director, she oversees and manages the integration of Facing History's pedagogical structure, resources, and mission in Jewish Day Schools across the country. Along with her team, she works closely with teachers and administrators to actualize these goals within the framework of Facing History's Jewish Education Partner School Network (of which JCDS is a longstanding grantee). Shira is also involved in operations, fundraising, curriculum development, program evaluation, and outreach. Under Shira's leadership, her program recently received the Lippman-Kanfer Prize in Applying JewishWisdom to Democracy and Civic Engagement.

Prior to joining Facing History in 2005, Shira was a teacher (Grade 1 and Grade 3) at the Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan, was a Fellow in the Day SchoolLeadership Training Institute, and worked at JCDS (2000-2005) as a history teacher and co-coordinator of the middle school. Shira has been a part of the JCDS community for 19 years. Shira and her husband, David Chodirker, have four children, all of whom have attended JCDS.

In her letter of interest regarding this opportunity, Shira shared: “As I write this letter, I am reminded of the words of a favorite mentor of mine: 'Make sure the place in which you work is life-giving.' I have seen JCDS grow from its earliest days into the vanguard of progressive Jewish education. I am attracted to the school's genuine commitment to intentional pluralism within a joyful collaborative learning community, and would relish the opportunity to lead the school in its next phase of development. It would be a labor of love."

Shira's references underscored her strengths as a strong relational leader and community builder. During Shira's visit, our own community clearly felt her warmth, openness, and authenticity. Please join me in welcoming Shira now and more formally when she begins her tenure in July.

Special thanks are in order to my fellow members of the Head of School SearchCommittee: Marci Borenstein and Howie Rodenstein who co-chaired the search committee, and committee members Joshua Foer, Chavah Goldman, Sharon Levin, Avi Minder, Raffaella Sadun, and Shiri Segev. The committee well represented theJCDS community, taking very seriously their responsibility and role in conducting this search. I hope you will join me in thanking this group (and their patient families) for their tremendous dedication and the countless hours they have devoted to the school during this search. They have served us well.

I also want to recognize Dr. Susie Tanchel for her tremendous service to JCDS, which is a better and stronger school thanks to her. There is no better way to thank Susie than to move forward in a way that honors her remarkable dedication to and influence on our school. In Shira, we have a capable and humble leader who will do just that.

Elizabeth Waksman

President, Board of Trustees


May 28-29, 2019: Independent Thinking, the search firm engaged by the board of trustees to conduct the search for a new Head of School spent two days on campus meeting with parents, faculty, staff and board members.

July 15, 2019: the search committee is announced

July 23, 2019: opportunity statement is released

August-September 2019: Search consultants publicized the opportunity and spoke with over 50 educational leaders about the opportunity to attract and vet a strong candidate pool.

October 2019: Search committee reviewed applications and invited five candidates for in person interviews.

November 2019: Search committee identified a top candidate and did extensive, confidential reference checking, speaking with some 20 individuals who know this leader's work (board members, teachers, parents, mentors and national leaders in the field of Jewish education).

December 11-13, 2019: Candidate will be at JCDS and will meet with all members of the community - students, parents, faculty, staff and administrators. In order to solicit feedback following the finalist's visit, everyone who met with the candidate will receive a link to an online candidate impression form via email, the results of which will be complied confidentially by our search consultants, Independent Thinking. We encourage the community's active participation in this most important event for JCDS.

January 2020: The committee has decided that it is in the best interest of JCDS for us to continue to meet additional candidates, and when the time is right, we will introduce other appropriate candidates to the community. We have asked the candidate who has visited to be patient with our process as it moves forward and have let them know that we may invite them for a second visit in the coming months.

February 2020: The search committee introduced three additional candidates to the community, and brought back the original candidate for a follow up visit.

April 1, 2020: Shira Deener is announced as JCDS's next Head of School, beginning July 2020.


Dear JCDS Community,

We are honored to serve as co-chairs of the JCDS Head of School Search Committee. We take this responsibility very seriously and know that the new Head of School will have a significant impact on the school over the next number of years.

To kick off the search, The Board of Directors hired a search firm, Independent Thinking (IT), based in Newton. This is the same firm that supported JCDS when we hired Dr. Susie Tanchel 10 years ago. IT has done many day school head of school and senior administrator searches both locally and nationally since then. The Board then selected us to Co-Chair the Search Committee. We wanted to be faithful to JCDS' pluralistic values and have formed a committee that we believe represents a broad range of parent, faculty, Board, religious, professional and community experience and viewpoints. Click here to see the committee members.

We are committed to keeping the community apprised, as appropriate, throughout the process. While we will be as transparent as possible, please also bear in mind that there will certainly be some "quiet" periods during the course of our search as the search consultants and committee are conducting the confidential work of vetting potential candidates.

Click here for our FAQ with more information regarding the Search Committee, the steps in the search process and the communications you can expect.

We have created this Head of School Search section on the JCDS website, where we will update with copies of communications and new information as it becomes available.

Thank you in advance for your support for this important process.

Howie Rodenstein & Marci Borenstein
Co-Chairs, Search Committee

Frequently Asked Questions ➲

Who is involved in the Search? ➲

The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring the Head of School. The board began the process in the spring by hiring Independent Thinking (, a recruiting firm specializing in independent school searches. Bill Lyons and Jane Armstrong, the principals of Independent Thinking, worked with JCDS a number of years ago when JCDS hired Dr. Susie Tanchel. The Board has appointed Howie Rodenstein (Board Member) and Marci Borenstein (parent) to chair the Search Committee, charging the committee with managing the search on behalf of the entire school community. The committee and the consultants will be utilizing the perspectives, knowledge and wisdom of all members of the school's administrative team, faculty, staff, parents and other stakeholders as appropriate. Candidates will appreciate the opportunity to learn about the school and its history as they visit our school.

How was the search committee formed? ➲

The co-chairs of the search, in partnership with the Board Chair, appointed the Search Committee to undertake the important work of partnering with our search consultants and vetting potential candidates. We sought to bring together a diverse group of board members, parents, faculty and community members. The members of the committee are:

  • Howie Rodenstein: co-chair, board member
  • Marci Borenstein: co-chair, JCDS parent to a JCDS graduate '18, and JCDS 6th and 8th graders
  • Joshua Foer: JCDS parent to of two, including a JCDS 1st grader
  • Chavah Goldman: 2nd grade teacher at JCDS
  • Sharon Levin: board member, JCDS parent to two JCDS graduates '21 and '18 and a JCDS 7th grader
  • Avi Minder: 3rd grade teacher at JCDS
  • Raffaella Sadun: JCDS parent to JCDS 2nd grader and 5th graders
  • Shiri Segev: board member, JCDS parent to two JCDS alums and a JCDS 6th grader
  • Elizabeth Waksman: JCDS Board Chair, parent of four, including a JCDS graduate '19 and 2nd grader

Search Committee members have agreed to commit a great deal of time and energy to this process as they hold the important responsibility of working on behalf of the entire school community. We recognize and greatly appreciate that there are many individuals eager to help in this process. We followed the recommendation of our search consultants to keep the committee small in order to ensure the ability to meet frequently as a full committee and to ensure that the committee is able to do its work effectively on behalf of the community.

How can parents, faculty and staff be involved in the Search? ➲

We will be seeking input and involvement from the entire JCDS community throughout the process. This started in May when the search consultants spent two days on campus meeting with the JCDS community, including parents, faculty, staff and board members. Parents and community members who were unable to attend these meetings in person have been invited to share their input in a parent and community survey. If finalists are invited to campus, we will have opportunities for parents, faculty and staff to meet with the candidates and share their feedback on the candidates with the search committee. Information and updates on the Head of School search can be found on the JCDS website.

What does the Search Committee do? ➲

The Search Committee will partner with our search consultants to vet candidates who are interested and qualified to serve as Jewish Community Day School's next Head of School. They will serve as JCDS ambassadors in meeting and interviewing candidates. They will work on behalf of the community to ensure that the search and process are successful for the school. Ultimately, they will gather the input of the community, conduct extensive reference checking and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees as to which candidate should be offered the opportunity to serve as the next Head of School.

Who will hire the new Head of School? ➲

The Board of Trustees is responsible for hiring the Head of School.

What is the timeline for the search? ➲

The search for a new Head of School started when our consultants, Jane Armstrong and Bill Lyons from Independent Thinking (, visited school at the end of May 2019 and engaged the full community in active conversations as to what our aspirations are for JCDS and what we are seeking in our next Head of School. Next, the consultants will begin to publicize the opportunity and speak with educational leaders about the opportunity to attract and vet a strong candidate pool. They will recommend candidates to the Search Committee which will then begin the process of interviewing and exploring attractive candidates. It is the industry practice that these stages of the process are confidential. We expect to bring 2-3 finalists to campus on multi-day visits to engage with students, faculty, staff and parents. We value finding the right next Head of School over and above adhering to a specific timeline for the search process. Our goal is to have a candidate ready to take the helm in July 2020. The Search Committee will keep the community informed as key stages of the process move forward.

What is JCDS looking for in the next Head of School? ➲

We are looking for a great leader for JCDS who will embrace the school's mission and culture. We have started conversations that will define the qualities and experiences sought in the Head of School. The input of all stakeholders will help shape what we as a school need. Our search consultants are partnering with us to draft an Opportunity Statement for prospective candidates to review that will outline what we are seeking. When finalized, the document will be a public document and will be shared openly with our community.

How will communication be handled? ➲

We are committed to keeping the community apprised as appropriate throughout the process. We will continue to use the various JCDS communication vehicles, including the school website and direct email communications to share information. There will certainly be "quiet" periods during the course of our search as the search consultants and committee are conducting the confidential work of vetting potential candidates. Additionally, you can email our search consultants, Jane Armstrong and Bill Lyons, at with questions or recommendations of potential candidates.

Will these searches impact my child's experience? ➲

JCDS is fortunate in having a strong administrative team, faculty, and staff who will continue performing the strong work they do to ensure that the school is a great place for all of our children to attend each day. Dr. Susie Tanchel will continue to lead our community as Head of School through the end of June 2020. This talented group and the Board will all be working to partner with the new Head of School as we transition to new leadership. We are all committed to doing the work necessary to ensure that the strengths of JCDS are only enhanced as we move forward.

Do you have a question that is not answered here? ➲

Please feel free to contact the Search Committee chairs through the email address at:

Search Committee Members ➲

Click on the images below to learn more about each of our committee members.