Jewish schools in the Phoenix Metro area graduate dozens of students a year, and many Jewish students attend non-Jewish schools as well. They have a wide range of academic strengths, observance levels, and Judaic studies backgrounds. A Jewish high school option that meets the needs of the wide variety of local students is essential for students to continue in their Jewish education and to sustain community growth.
In the Fall of 2020, our group conducted a feasibility study to see what was wanted and needed in a Jewish high school. Surveying over 150 families, we found that they wanted a school guided by the overarching philosophy of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, zt”l and that offers educational and co-curricular excellence, ample student support services, and inspiring faculty role models. They wanted differentiated and varied learning opportunities for their children. Yet, given the relative size of the student body of a small school, as well as the financial cost and staffing logistics of starting such school, starting this school as a standalone institution would either be financially prohibitive or would not deliver on the needs of our community.
Shalhevet High School is a co-educational Jewish high school in Los Angeles that offers a rigorous, extensive, and innovative secular and Judaic studies curriculum. The school programming is further enhanced by outstanding student support services, learning tracks in Judaic and secular studies that enable differentiated learning, thoughtful inclusion of social and emotional learning opportunities, and a broad array of high-level co-curricular and immersive learning options. The school is able to accommodate and embraces students from a wide array of academic and Judaic backgrounds. Shalhevet has also recently invested heavily in its technology infrastructure to deliver its outstanding program beyond the walls of its building in LA.
Shalhevet High School and the Scottsdale Jewish Community have developed a partnership to provide access to Shalhevet curricular, co-curricular and student support services to the students from the Phoenix/Scottsdale metropolitan area. This groundbreaking partnership model is the first of its kind within the Jewish educational world. Instruction will take place via a hybrid classroom environment, with two teachers for every class. Arizona students will gather together in-person while receiving instruction from California-based Shalhevet teachers remotely and Arizona-based teachers/facilitators.
Nishmat Adin - Shalhevet Scottsdale students will have access to all Judaic and general studies courses. They will participate in co-curricular clubs and programs that allow for distance work and will have the option to develop clubs locally. Arizona students will also have access to Shalhevet's student support services and Israel and College Guidance departments, to advance the success of Scottsdale students. Arizona students will travel to Los Angeles to attend orientation to get to know their classmates and faculty at the start of the year and will return roughly monthly to participate in academic and social experiences.
Partnership allows several key advantages to our students and community:
As time goes on, we anticipate more on-site faculty and coursework. At the same time, maintaining a relationship with Shalhevet enables student access to its broad array of course offerings and individualized learning tracts.
We are excited to offer this innovative and much needed opportunity to our Scottsdale community and look forward to building our school together.