Frequently Asked Questions

What is remarkable about Oakland Hebrew Day School?

1) We are an open-hearted community for every Jewish family. Our students and their families come from a wide range of Jewish affiliations and practices. We deeply believe that this diversity makes us stronger. And we believe that every Jewish child has the right to access the full depth and breadth of their beautiful Jewish heritage.

2) Our academics build strong skills for high school and beyond. By the time they graduate, OHDS students are truly ready for their next steps. They move on to excellent high schools and colleges in the U.S. and abroad (check out our alumni page!). Our graduates have a wealth of experience in deep critical thinking of every kind. They know how to work with others and they are impressively articulate in how they share their thoughts and express themselves creatively.

3) Our educators strive to reach every student. Our job as educators is to really see our students, to figure out what gets them excited and give them the chance to build on their innate curiosity. We never stop working to find that spark for each child. That’s the joy of teaching!

4) Students experience Jewish learning that's empowering. The world of Jewish learning is so rich. It’s about our language. It’s about history. It’s about grappling with challenging texts and ethical questions. It’s about responsibility for our world. And it’s about feeling a sense of awe and gratitude and joy. When students get a chance to be part of an immersive Jewish learning experience they develop a deep feeling of ownership of who they are and they build true confidence that helps them go into the world with strength, clarity and an open-heart.

Is Oakland Hebrew Day School the right fit for our family?

OHDS is a Modern Orthodox day school that welcomes families from all Jewish backgrounds. Our families come from a variety of Jewish observances, practices and traditions, as well as synagogue affiliations (Conservative, Reform, Renewal, Modern Orthodox, non-affiliated). Families choose OHDS so that their child can access their Jewish heritage through a diverse and rich curriculum.

At OHDS, boys and girls learn together - from science to math to Hebrew! They also do tefillah together, except in middle school where the girls lead their own tefillah services and read from the Torah.

How does OHDS prioritize general academics?

We place equal emphasis on general and Judaic studies. By design, they work together to provide an academic program that focuses on building strong critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills and collaboration skills in all areas of learning including math and science. OHDS subscribes to the highest level of academic curriculum that is available in education such as Singapore Math, SIPPS phonics instruction, and the Six Traits of Writing. In addition, the Common Core Standards permeate both the general and Judaic studies curriculum.

The school hours are 8:20-3:30 (or 4 p.m. by middle school). This is a full day of learning! Everything that is taught is well-planned and organized, so that students are receiving the skills and knowledge they need to master each subject, including math and science.

Have you visited the OHDS middle school science lab? It is bubbling! Students are constantly experimenting with, evaluating, researching, building and observing different scientific concepts. Our math groups include pre-algebra, algebra and geometry. Students are well-prepared for high school math when they graduate. Our writing program is a major focus in both the General and Judaic studies subjects. Students get lots of practice reading, writing, analyzing and debating with a wide variety of texts.

Our graduates enjoy access to the top private high schools in the Bay Area as well as excellent colleges around the country.

Which high schools do students attend after they leave Oakland Hebrew Day School?

Over the past five years, our students have enrolled in the following private high schools:
Bentley High Jewish Community High School
Bishop O'Dowd Oakland School of the Arts
College Preparatory School Meira Academy
Head Royce St. Joseph
Which colleges do OHDS alumni attend?
Our 2013 & 2014 graduates enrolled in the following colleges:
Amherst College List College, Jewish Theological Seminary
Boston University St. Lawrence University
Brandeis University University of California, Berkeley
California Polytechnic State University University of California, Davis
Chapman University University of California, Los Angeles
Columbia University University of Michigan
Cornell University University of Washington
Emory University Wesleyan University
Harvard University Yeshiva University

How does OHDS help children who have not had any formal Hebrew or Jewish Studies instruction?

Our educational team works together to create a support plan for each child transitioning to OHDS. This includes support around Hebrew, Judaic Studies, and any other academic or social emotional support that can help a student to succeed. OHDS has differentiated learning, such as small group instruction, to meet different students’ needs. We may also recommend that a student receive some additional support at home. The best chance for a student’s success comes from a strong school-parent partnership.

Does OHDS offer Flexible Tuition?

OHDS offers a Flexible Tuition Program designed to help make a Jewish education accessible to all families. The school knows that each family is doing everything possible to make a meaningful contribution towards tuition and appreciates that families often make significant sacrifices to do so. The SSS flexible tuition evaluation is one form and it’s all online. SSS also has a customer service line to help you if you have questions. If you think you can’t afford the cost of tuition, you should complete a flexible tuition evaluation.