Board Talk – 6/12/15

Board Talk Back by popular demand!

Board Talk is a periodic column in Ma Chadash that features news about key strategic, financial, fundraising and other issues that the board is working to address. The Board welcomes your questions and comments. Board President Elissa Kittner can be reached at with any board-related questions comments or issues.

A SUCCESSFUL YEAR IN FUNDRAISING FOR OHDS! A huge Mazal Tov to all of our amazing donors and wonderful fundraising staff and volunteers at OHDS for their hard work raising an amazing $710,000 this year for the OHDS Annual Fund.

Headlines include:

$550,000 from nearly 200 individual donors including parents, grandparents, alumni students, alumni parents, community members and supporters of OHDS near and far.

$115,000 in grants from five private family foundations.

$45,000 from the Jewish Federation/Foundation of the Greater East Bay.

A special thank you to our volunteer fundraising team: Dan Cohen, Leslie Edelman, Jessica Minkoff, Jerry Yanowitz, as well as Rabbi Leubitz and Laura Schickman. If you are interested in helping with fundraising next year, please be in touch with Elissa Kittner at

THANK YOU OHDS PARENTS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK! Thank you to the 60 OHDS families who took the time to give Rabbi Leubitz and the board important feedback about your experience at OHDS – what you love and what could be better. This represents 2/3 of our families! I know we keep saying this is your last chance, but we want to give you ONE MORE CHANCE if you’d like your voice to be heard:

Two volunteers who have expertise in survey analysis will analyze the survey over the summer. The take-aways from the survey will be shared in the fall.

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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