1) I love Chabad's Hebrew Academy, but why should I enroll my children in the school when I have so many other fine, public school districts surrounding my community?
A good secular education that prepares young minds for the competition is a necessity in today's world, and we offer that, but we offer something more.
Our academy is imbued by Jewish values. These permeate the entire campus, from its innovative buildings to the staff and to the students themselves. They are taught and exhibit the warm, positive qualities to encourage them to persevere and excel while simultaneously to show respect and kindness for others.
The teachers and administrators - not all of which are of the Jewish faith - understand the importance of values-based education. From preschool through eighth grade, the teachers give warm, individual attention to every student.
We also offer our students a rich understanding of their Jewish heritage by integrating the Judaica program within the secular program. This generates a rich blend of knowledge.
Additionally, we understand the importance of creating a community for our students and their parents.
2) Why should I drive two-hours out of my way when I have a wonderful school in my backyard?
Here at Chabad, we know - to paraphrase an old song - that childhood is a magical time. Our staff takes the time to really know each student, the student's family and how the student relates to others in their class. Our small teacher to pupil ratio ensures that each child get individual attention.
Art's and other programs not funded in many public school's are an integral part of our curriculum and fostered throughout all grade levels at the academy. We have additional hands on science and athletics departments for the younger-grades, with competitive, team-sports for the middle-school students plus many other added programs such as middle school specific Science Laboratory not often found in other schools.
Another important element is the feeling of connection. There are no strangers in our school. Students relate to each other as if they are part of an extended family. Younger students look up to the older ones. They - in turn - take on the responsibility to mentor and tutor the younger ones.
We also have many community-wide events. Monthly family nights allow our parents to form relationships with each other, the staff and their children's fellow-students.
In addition, we have after-school clubs that help them thrive even more, such as the monthly Rosh Chodesh club, the Birthday Club and the Special-Days Club.
3) Judaic values are all very nice, but I want my children to excel in the outside world. How do this school prepare them for the competition to get into Ivy League and other high-quality universities?
The school has instituted yearly aptitude tests based on national, academic standards. In addition, the school's academic goal is not based on meeting national standards, but using those standards as a springboard to surpass an exceed.
Many of our students have gone on to compete successfully at schools throughout the nation, including the University of California system and high-level colleges such as Stanford University and Yale. But all our alumni can tell you that the values they learned at Chabad Hebrew Academy is what helped them succeed.
In fact, let them tell you themselves. Please click on this link here to some alumni essays.
4) How can I be sure that my children are receiving a high-quality Judaic education that exemplifies all types of Judaism?
Our students and teachers come from all walks of life and all areas of Judaism. We are not a Reform, Conservative, Orthodox or even Chassidic School. We are a community Jewish school that takes pride in passing on the joy of our heritage and tradition, not the injunction that there is only one path to follow.
A large portion of our students have gone on to prestigious schools in the UC system, as well as Yale and Stanford. Students all matriculate from the Chabad Hebrew Academy with a deep rooted love for Judaism and commitment to future communal involvement in what ever community they may be.
What we do emphasize is "Chai" or "Life" way. It is a series of 12, tradition-based values that provide our students a structure on which to build their moral development. The moral backbone develops psychological and spiritual strength. These values include commitment, integrity, responsibility, kindness, goal-setting, appreciation, respect, discipline, cooperation and initiative.
5) We all know that Hebrew is part of the curriculum of a Jewish day school, but how effective are the classes?
Realistically, students need to be immersed in a language in order to learn it well. Here, at the Academy students spend a great deal of time conversing, writing and reading modern-day Hebrew as spoken in Israel.
Our teachers are certified in Hebrew school instruction from Israel. They understand the importance of teaching language in context. In this way, our children eventually speak only Hebrew in their Judaic classes so that the knowledge of the language's structure and grammar becomes ingrained in their minds.
6) What if my child is coming into the school at a later grade? Will he or she be able to fit in or even understand the Judaic component of your program?
Since we encourage every child at the Academy to feel as if they are a larger part of an extended family, we have special one-on-one tutoring classes to bring children up to speed. Students enjoy these classes so much that everyone wants to be a beginner at Chabad.