Kehillah Jewish High School, Palo Alto, CA – May 4, 2016

by George J Elbaum

Kehillah Jewish High School is an independent college preparatory high school distinguished by an exceptional academic program and a supportive environment that pairs rich traditions with the best of the Silicon Valley mindset.  “Kehillah” is a Hebrew word meaning “community,” and the school is one of a series 0f community Jewish day schools in the United States.  In fourteen years, Kehillah Jewish High School has grown from a 9th grade class of 33 students to a community of 189 students in grades 9-12.  The average class size is 12, and due to the 6:1 student-to-teacher ratio, Kehillah teachers have close relationships with their students. Emphasis is placed both on nurturing and challenging students to achieve and excel.  Students meet twice a week with their academic advisors in an advisory group of 8 to 12 students and the advisors follow their advisees’ progress and guide their academic path.

“Repair of the world,” or social action, is a central Jewish value and a part of student life at Kehillah. Each class takes a unique service-oriented trip. These learning experiences have included a civil rights tour of the American South, hurricane relief work in Mississippi, and a national youth conference on homelessness in Washington, D.C.  Kehillah has several clubs dedicated to raising funds and awareness of global poverty, the health of the planet, animal rights, etc.

My presentation at Kehillah was part of its commemoration of the Holocaust Remembrance Day.  It was attended by all students in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade. The program was organized by Rabbi C. Michelle Greenberg, Dean of Students, and arranged by Susan Packer, the parent of a Kehillah sophomore.

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