Feb 9th 2024
South Peninsula Hebrew Day School
Head of School Job Advertisement
South Peninsula Hebrew Day School of Sunnyvale, California, is looking for our next Head of School to start July 1, 2025 or earlier based on your availability.
The mission of South Peninsula Hebrew Day School is to provide students with an excellent education in General and Judaic studies, and to instill in them Jewish values, and a love of Torah, the Jewish people and Israel.
Founded in 1972, South Peninsula Hebrew Day School is an Orthodox institution that embraces the sophistication and multiculturalism of the Bay Area while adhering to traditional Jewish observance. We encourage service to the larger Jewish community and a love of Israel.
Although our students share a common heritage, they represent a wide range of cultural, national and religious backgrounds, and we treasure their diversity.
We serve approximately 250 students from 18 months old through eighth grade on a green, park-adjacent campus in Sunnyvale. We are about to kick off a major capital campaign to create an endowment for the school’s future.
About our next Head of School
You are a non-judgmental, Orthodox role model. Our community is religiously very diverse, and we respect and honor that diversity: Charedi, Chiloni, Dati Zioni, and Masorti. You don’t necessarily have to be a rabbi because we have a clear religious identity and great partnerships with community rabbis who can support you.
You know how to plan, collaborate, and execute with a great team. You understand the educational needs of a nursery-8th grade school while accepting the responsibility of making hard decisions when necessary in order to prioritize the success of the school.
You are a respectful and transparent communicator. While everyone appreciates strong public speaking and great writing, we prioritize strong one-on-one interpersonal skills.
You understand school finances and how they relate to the ability of the school to do its work. You can be an experienced and enthusiastic fundraiser with a long track record, or you can be interested in learning. You have experience with the budgeting process.
First-year compensation of $225,000 to $275,000 and commensurate with experience. Benefits include unlimited paid time off, medical insurance, retirement savings plan, relocation, full tuition remission for any eligible children or grandchildren, hosting subsidy, and more.
We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
Please apply online now at http://bit.ly/sphds-hos-opening for immediate consideration by the decision-making team. Address additional questions to Lydia Musher ([email protected]). Thank you for your consideration.
Jan 9th 2024
From the desk of
Dear SPHDS Community,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am writing with an important leadership update
Rabbi Tirschwell has advised the board that he intends to leave SPHDS in the summer of 2025. We have accepted the 18 month notice he has given us with gratitude for his dedication to the school throughout his years of service and for the period it affords the board to find — and transition seamlessly to — his successor.
We have assembled a search committee made up of five community members to represent the school in this process. The committee is intended to represent all parts of the community to make sure diverse perspectives are represented in this process.
The committee is made up of:
- Yehuda Feldman, alumnus and future parent
- Gershon Goldenberg, parent and board president
- Naama Hammel, parent and board member
- Lori Meyers, faculty member
- Oded Shekel, parent and board member
Our first order of business as a committee has been to find a search consultant. Following a thorough process of due diligence, the committee has selected Tradition Search Partners. Lydia Musher, the firm’s founder, will serve as our consultant throughout the process from initial research about our school through advertising and outreach to selection and ultimately through the hiring and transition of our new Head of School.
We understand that a Head of School transition is an important moment in the life of a school, and we want to engage the community proactively in this endeavor. While the committee represents the community in this process, we ask that you participate as much and as frequently as possible to ensure that we hear every voice.
First, please fill out this brief SPHDS Head of School Search Priorities Survey of employees, parents, board, and the greater community of the school to identify the priorities in character and focus for the next Head of School. Please complete this survey by Jan 24, 2024. We will report back to you about the results of this survey.
Second, please sign up to participate in small-group Zoom meetings with Mrs. Musher so that she might get to know the school and community. Her full schedule is attached.
We are starting with Zoom meetings rather than in-person meetings for two reasons. First, we have asked Mrs. Musher to meet with stakeholders by Zoom to save the cost of her trip so that we can put as much money as possible toward programming and educational opportunities for our students. Second, we want to get started as soon as possible; Head of School search is seasonal, and we want to catch as many seasons as we can.
Finally, Lydia has made herself available to answer any questions or accept any input you may have. Her email address is [email protected] and her cell phone is (713) 898-9467. Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions you might have by email or text message.
Everyone receiving this email plays a critical role as we begin to collect information and start the search process. We plan to update you on the process in approximately one month, after Mrs. Musher has conducted her research.
Jan 9th, 2024
From the desk of
Rabbi Perry Tirschwell
Dear SPHDS Community,
Though it is 18 months away, I want to share with the SPHDS community that I will be stepping down from the position as Head of School a year from this June, at the end of the 2024-25 school year. I am sharing this announcement with our school community at this early date to enable our school to conduct a thorough national search to identify the top candidate to lead our truly unique school.
After a personally enriching tenure at SPHDS, I feel that it is time for me to start the third chapter of my career. In my first chapter, I was a youth leader and classroom teacher. In my second chapter, I have run individual Jewish day schools. In my third chapter, I want to use my experience to help schools nationwide.
We have two visionary educational leaders leading our divisions, making this an ideal time for my transition. Hang Dang has attracted and retained an outstanding staff who have taken our Early Childhood program to new heights. Our principal Hilary Andaya has shown the ability to lead and attract our great K-8 staff. A Head of School’s role is to ensure that they have the resources they need to do so.
Launching the school’s 50th Anniversary Celebration is a rare and exciting opportunity to create and solidify the long-term resources that will lead to excellence across the board at SPHDS. I look forward to embarking on this essential campaign with our school’s lay leaders, parents and community supporters. Managing the school’s response to unprecedented pandemic and war can not be my only legacy!
An exceptionally supportive, collaborative board and inspiringly altruistic cadre of donors is one of main attractions to a prospective head of school to lead SPHDS. Our president Gershon Goldenberg played a critical role in attracting our excellent principal, and I have great confidence in his leading the upcoming Head of School search. He and the board have welcomed my offer to aid in the search for my replacement.
Together may we usher in a new and celebrated chapter in SPHDS history.
Rabbi Perry Tirschwell
Head of School