History Of Our School
Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, Build for the Future
The Arthur J. Epstein Hillel School (formerly Cohen Hillel Academy) is the Jewish independent school north of Boston serving children from kindergarten through 8th grade. We are proud of our long tradition of high quality, challenging and integrated general and Jewish studies education and of the enriching and warm environment in which this learning takes place. Our students are deeply rooted to their Jewish identity and are compassionate and intellectually curious. They graduate with a strong academic foundation that prepares them for the next step in their educational journey.
The school, located on Boston’s North Shore, has a rich history. Originally, founded in 1955 by Eli Cohen, Philip D. Epstein and Albert Cushing as the Lynn Hebrew Day School, we began by enrolling children in kindergarten and 1st grade. By 1962, the year of its first 6th grade, the school became Hillel Academy of the North Shore, Inc. In 1967 Hillel Academy moved to Atlantic Avenue in Swampscott in what was fondly called the “Mansion,” and later, the school moved to Temple Israel in the 1970s, where it thrived for many years. In 1987, under the leadership of Dr. Bennett Solomon, Hillel built a new home on land leased from the Jewish Community Center of the North Shore in Marblehead. Eli Goodstein and Eli Cohen committed substantial funding, along with Earl “Buddy” Katz and the school was renamed Eli and Bessie Cohen Hillel Academy.
Throughout its history, we have been blessed with outstanding leadership. Each Principal/Head of School has brought important changes that have helped the school establish a strong reputation in the community. Click here to learn more about our former educational leaders.
Our current Head of School, Amy Gold, began her tenure at Cohen Hillel Academy in 2015. Her new CHApter has encompassed a series of initiatives in the areas of academic excellence, staff development and technological innovation. She is passionate about the ways in which a Jewish day school education can shape and nurture a child’s confidence and identity.
The school focuses on helping students see the relevance of Torah in our everyday lives and is committed to forging meaningful relationships with Israel. Jewish values come to life through an integrated curriculum in the classroom and through opportunities for gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) as part of our mission and academic program. The ethics and values embedded in our heritage serve as our foundation.
Our faculty, whether veterans of twenty years or new staff in their first year, has a single focus of building strong relationships and helping students meet their potential, foster their identity, encourage their curiosity, develop their intellect, nurture their compassion and build community. While academic excellence is central, equally important are the lessons in how we treat each other. These are life lessons that shape the adults our children will become. Current Head of School Amy Gold explains that, “The Gemara teaches ‘a person can only learn from where his heart desires.’ At our school, everyone in our community teaches with heart and from the heart so that our students are curious and inspired to engage with the curriculum, with each other and with the world around them.”
Over its long history, our school has been blessed with many generous benefactors. Most recently Arthur J. Epstein has made an extraordinary gift that will support educational initiatives, tuition assistance and infrastructure. The school has been renamed Arthur J. Epstein Hillel School in August 2017 in appreciation of Mr. Epstein’s generous donation and long standing support of our school.