Head of School Message
This fall we proudly open our doors to begin our 61st year. Cohen Hillel Academy is one of the oldest Jewish day schools in the United States and yet with our venerable status, we feel sixty years young. Our students enjoy cutting edge technology to enhance teaching and learning while also studying ancient texts and learning from one another in chevruta, traditional partner style learning. Students use iPads to create, document, and explore. Teachers use the CHA Commons, an online learning platform, to communicate with students and parents and to offer extracurricular assignments and challenges.
Learning through doing – experiential education where collaboration and problem-solving are at the heart of our curriculum. Students work with partners and in small groups to stretch their thinking and grow their interpersonal skills. They have opportunities to program robots and build prototypes with 3-D printers. Flexibility, resilience, and empathy are on the curriculum map too along with algebra, Hebrew, Shakespeare, and debate. Of course, we continue to be focused on ways to make Jewish values come to life through an integrated curriculum in the classroom and opportunities for gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) as a part of our mission and academic program. Lastly, our whole school community comes together weekly for Kabbalat Shabbat and yearly holiday celebrations. We joyfully celebrate these moments with ruach (spirit) in song with our energetic song leader.
The Gemara teaches, “a person can only learn from where his heart desires.” At Cohen Hillel, everyone in our community teaches with heart, and from the heart, so that our students are curious and inspired to engage with the curriculum, with each other, and with the world around them.
העיקר (Ha’Ikar) is the name of the periodic letter to the community from Amy Gold, in which she writes about topics important to our school.
Ikar is a tough word to translate; it can mean the essence, the gist, the heart of the matter. Maybe you know this word from the verse, “Kol ha-olam kulo, gesher tzar me’od, ha-Ikar, lo lifached klal: all the world is a narrow bridge, the most important thing is not to be afraid.” (Rabbi Nachman of Breslav)