Press

“The first day was fabulous,” said Head of School Amy Gold. According to Gold, all of the school’s faculty – nearly 30 – returned. The K-8 school also saw a 58 percent jump in enrollment from last year, from 58 students last spring to 92 students this fall.

EHS welcomed 39 new students this fall, growing the school by about 70%. Over the summer, EHS upgraded its ventilation systems, redesigned all of its classrooms to meet COVID-19 regulations, and instituted mandatory mask wearing and hand washing. “We also looked at traffic flow patterns - how students enter and exit to reduce the amount of kids in the hallways at one time,” said Head of School Amy Gold.

Open air tents. Beach-style chairs equipped with arm rests and a place to hold a clipboard and water bottle. And stylish face masks with the Epstein Hillel School logo. That’s just part of the COVID-era back-to-school plan as the Marblehead Jewish day school prepares to reopen its building in September for full time, in-school learning in the midst of a pandemic.

Eleven Jewish day schools from across the religious spectrum are part of a collaborative that formed last March. At that time, before Governor Charlie Baker closed all schools due to the pandemic, the day school leaders decided collectively to close their schools and shift to remote learning. Together, the schools educate more than 2,000 students. Since then, the school heads have spoken weekly in remote conversations with support from Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.

You can get a lot done if you have 3D printers, robotics kits, laser cutters, and even a kiln all within a few feet of each other. As the Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead begins construction of a new Innovation Center, Head of School Amy Gold looks forward to the many ways that a new state-of-the-art "makerspace" will enhance the students' STEM learning.

A veteran teacher herself, Chapple has a deep commitment to Jewish education. She comes to EHS from The Rashi School where, over the course of 21 years, she worked first as a kindergarten and then first grade teacher before becoming head of the Lower School. Prior to Rashi, she was a preschool teacher at the Jewish Community Center in Stoughton and taught art in her hometown of New York City. During her teaching career, she has mentored innumerable students in the teaching programs from Wheelock College, Lesley University, Boston University and the Delet Program at Brandeis University.

The award, created in 2016 in memory of Adam Madorsky, son of Karen and Jerry Madorsky, recognizes alumni who have continued to pursue social justice in their personal or professional lives. Jason and Naomi both exemplify the spirit and intent of the award, which will be presented to them on June 9, 2020, at EHS’s virtual annual meeting.

At Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead, every day is spent teaching, and living, the school’s core tenets of potential, identity, curiosity, intellect, compassion and community. The school empowers students to be individuals who are strong in their convictions and committed to helping others with the challenges they face.

Through plenary sessions with professors, facilitated group discussions, and personal reflection, I emerged with a new vision for how to grow our enrollment and how to continue to inspire my talented faculty who believe so deeply in our mission.

Last fall, Glore brought Oscar to Epstein Hillel to become a full-time member of her class, participating in lessons from reading to empathy. And from all reports, the experiment has been a howling success.

At the Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the first grade focuses on fostering intergenerational relationships. Each of the school’s first-graders is paired for the school year with a “grandfriend” — an unrelated older adult connected in some way to the school. The grandfriends, who are in their late 60s and early 70s, come to the classroom every Thursday to participate in discussions and art projects. During the winter, when many grandfriends go to Florida, the students write them letters.

There is scientific evidence to support the notion that shifting one’s thinking from, at its most basic, “I cannot do it” to “I cannot do it yet” will result in more resilient, stronger and all around more successful children. Based on this information, Epstein Hillel has taken steps to embrace the very real concept that sustained effort, even when faced with failure, is a key ingredient to student success and growth. Simply said, 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration.

Established in 2016 by board member Sharon Seeche Rich and her husband, Howard Rich, in memory of her parents, the goal of the initiative is to cultivate an appreciation of theater, music, art and dance, while also increasing self-esteem and confidence by developing students’ skills and experience with public speaking.

Question: What do you get when you take an idea from two Epstein Hillel School (EHS) moms, mix it with CJP funding, two rabbis and the support of six area Jewish organizations? Answer: The first “Shabbat Unplugged: A North Shore Community Shabbaton”! ​

It used to be that families with children enrolled in Jewish day school were a pretty homogenous crowd; two Jewish parents raising Jewish children. At Epstein Hillel there are still plenty of families who fit that bill, but so too are there more than a few who do not. Of all the families currently enrolled, thirty percent are interfaith. Their experiences have been overwhelmingly positive.

This small school overcame multiple challenges and expects a bright future under a strategic partnership between the head of school and business officer, now in their third year of working together. “We both took a risk."

When Beverly resident Connie Krueger retired from her decades-long position as a school librarian in Lynnfield, being back among the bookshelves at Epstein Hillel School was not part of her plan. It wasn’t until a friend told her that EHS was in search of a part-time librarian that she considered coming out of her short-lived retirement. Much to Head of School Amy Gold’s pleasure, Krueger accepted the position. Now in her third year, she has not only grown the school’s library and resources, but also spearheaded the booming Green Initiative at school.

Epstein Hillel School (formerly Cohen Hillel Academy) has experienced a transformation that permeates every aspect of the school. The recent $5 million gift that resulted in the school’s renaming is only one indicator of this tremendous turnaround. How has the 60-plus-year-old community school turned the tide from dwindling enrollment and financial uncertainty to a joyful, forward-thinking community treasure?

Epstein Hillel School Renaming Ceremony