About Us


What began as a group of Kindergarten students in one room of the former Oakland/Piedmont Jewish Community Center in 1991, has today become an established and respected part of the East Bay Jewish educational landscape.

In 1994, OHDS opened its campus on Ridgeway Avenue in Oakland with a Kindergarten, first grade and a combined second and third grade. The community responded positively to this new choice in Jewish education through steadily increasing enrollment figures.

In the winter of 1997, the school expanded to include a thriving middle school and by 1998 our Ridgeway Avenue location was “bursting at the seams”. Our only choice was to acquire a new location large enough to accommodate our current and future growth. Thanks to the generosity of our community, our new Redwood Road campus opened in September 2003.

OHDS families span the spectrum of affiliation and observance. We are an inclusive community that prides itself on making every Jewish family feel welcome. The quilt of our community is woven with tradition, heritage and a common goal to provide our students with a superior Jewish education.

An OHDS education includes academic excellence in Math, Science, Literature and Social Studies, as well as deep study of Torah, Hebrew language, Jewish History and our homeland Israel. Our focus is on the needs of the whole child. To this end, the Specialties—Art, Physical Education, Computers, Drama and Library—are also an important part of the OHDS education.

OHDS is deeply committed to providing a Jewish education to every family that seeks one. Toward this goal, the Board of Directors established HaTikvah: OHDS Funds for the Future. HaTikvah consists of a variety of funds and investments in support of the long-term sustainability and excellence of OHDS. The goals of HaTikvah are to support student scholarships, faculty professional development, academic excellence and innovative programs, technology, facilities, and to secure the long-term financial stability of the school.

What People Say

  • The essence of the education OHDS provides is brilliantly reflected in the character and values of its students and graduates. I can't imagine a better foundation from which to grow and succeed.

    Rochelle Shapell, Parent of two OHDS graduates and OHDS Founding Board Member

  • The OHDS dream unfolds daily through the lives of the school's students and teachers. Every moment at the school is an opportunity to connect, learn, and grow.

    Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, OHDS parent and Spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel

  • OHDS has become more than a school, it’s our community and neighborhood. The focus on educating the whole child carries over to an investment in the health and welfare of each child, family and staff member.

    Catherine Shachat, OHDS alumni parent and former OHDS Board of Directors President

  • I love the fact that my children begin each day with prayer, engage in deep Torah study, speak Hebrew like an Israeli, and receive an excellent secular education. We appreciate how OHDS embraces every child.

    Elissa Kittner, OHDS parent and President of the Board

  • More than just a school, OHDS is a family, where each student is seen as our crown jewel - each cultivating a personal, passionate and serious Jewish identity and a commitment to join the Jewish journey as life long learners.

    Rabbi Yonatan Cohen, OHDS parent and Spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel

  • Our children are learning their Judaism from the ground up. There is no ambivalence.

    Judy Chun, OHDS Parent

  • OHDS has already given my children a strong sense of themselves as Jews living Jewish lives. This is no small thing in the modern world.

    Jodi Tharan, former OHDS Parent

  • OHDS students are constantly exposed to the new ways of approaching a variety of subject matters. They are encouraged to think critically and really explore and understand the material that they are learning and the world around them.

    Leslie Edelman, Past President and current Board Member, OHDS parent

  • It's not just about love of Israel and learning Hebrew. Our Kindergartner now sings "G-d bless America" with the same enthusiasm as she does songs about "Apples and Honey" and is recognizing letters and words in both languages.

    Dan Cohen, Former President of the Board of Directors and parent of two OHDS students

  • OHDS is more than a school and more than a community to me. It is really a family. The teachers are so loving and caring. They want each child to succeed with a deep thought of benefiting the whole Jewish community.

    Adi Yaron Schaker, former OHDS Parent

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