Mora Keren Bradshaw and Merav Green are pictured at the Chabad Hebrew Academy. (courtesy of Chabad Hebrew Academy)
Chabad Hebrew Academy provides sense of self
Educators at a local community-focused school are helping to instill a strength of character alongside academic lessons.
Founded 40 years ago, Chabad Hebrew Academy (CHA) welcomed 44 new students from many new families to its halls at the start of the 2019 school year. Rabbi Josef Fradkin, head of school, attributes much of this increase to their talented alumni. They serve as a testament to both the school’s rigorous academics and its focus on cultivating the next generation of leaders. Fradkin explained that the school developed what is termed “the portrait of a graduate,” which outlines the strengths of character and skills they strive to see in CHA graduates.
“It’s something that the teachers look at and engineer how our curriculum and how our character development works all the way from 6 weeks old to eighth grade. We have a specific goal that we want,” he said. “We want our children to be the leaders of the future. We want them to be knowledgeable, confident, engaged, passionate – and in order to do so we need to do certain things along the way. And, we take that responsibility very seriously.”
With more than 345 students, Fradkin said, the make-up of the school includes children from all across the county and even some students who make the daily journey from across the border in Tijuana, Mexico.
“I came to CHA because I truly believe an academically challenging and solid Jewish education is the greatest gift I can give my children to be successful in all aspects of life,” said Samantha Shalon, a new parent at CHA.
Chabad Hebrew Academy boasts an impressive, challenging academic curriculum. Students have a leg up entering high school with the ability to test out of certain courses such as integrated math. Fradkin said students leave CHA with the confidence, strength of character and work ethic to succeed wherever they go.
He said that the smaller class size at CHA is a contributing factor in this preparation specifically for the middle school students. Each student has a “dean” who provides them one on one attention throughout their time at CHA. This enables students to accelerate at their own pace, aided by CHA’s extremely devoted teaching staff, Fradkin said.
“Every single one of our teachers is a rock star. I’m lucky I have my kids going to this school as well. We have passionate, kind, innovating and caring teachers. To them, education isn’t just a job, it’s a passion, and they care about each child,” Fradkin said.
While small class sizes and private education often come with high tuition, Fradkin said, for anyone interested in sending their children to CHA, there are options.
“We have a number of programs, great donors, sponsors and scholarships to ensure every student can have that experience,” he said. “It is, of course, a sacrifice to be able to afford a private school, but we don’t make it hard. We make it much easier and will work with any parent or family.”
The biggest benefit of receiving an education based on Jewish ethics and values is being part of a community, Fradkin said.
“It’s about having this great sense of who one’s self is in this really diverse world, which can be confusing. So, we need to give our kids a sense of self and a sense of pride in who they are. Once children have that, they are able to really give and receive and be a part of a multicultural environment in which they are proud participants,” he said.
Those interested in learning more may set up an appointment to visit the campus and explore the website for more details on the school’s mission and approach to education, Fradkin said. Visit chasd.org.