They are taught religious values as well as being shown caring and compassion on a daily basis from the teachers. Where issues arise between students they are dealt with openly and inclusively and in a way that teaches the students empathy and compassion for their classmates.
This is our 4th Jewish Day school in 6 years due to various work moves and by far the best. All three of my kids have or are attending from 2nd Grade though 8th and all three have gained so much in such different ways. The secular academics have been stellar and I've been moved and humbled by how well the teachers know each of my kids and how much time and effort they have spent trying to get them to be the best versions of themselves they can be. It puts differentiated learning into practice in an effective and meaningful way. The language immersion program is by far the best I've experienced in any of our previous schools in the UK and the East Coast. The immersion extends to Judaic studies in my opinion where the kids are connected with their religion, history and people in a deep, meaningful and spiritual way (no matter what their level of observance may be at home). My (now high school aged) son will forever treasure the opportunity he had to meet and form connections with Holocaust survivors. The school prepared him for his very academic high school brilliantly. As a new family to the Bay Area (with no previous connections to the area, we've been touched by how much of a home and community the school has become to our family.
Our family is SO happy with this kind, loving, welcoming school! I have 2 children currently at OHDS (and 2 younger ones who will join them when they age into it!). Our experience has been phenomenal, and the school has managed to meet each child where he/she is at. They have thread that impossible needle of supporting where each child needs (reading later, help socializing) and challenging them in areas where they excel (math, Hebrew, science). The small class sizes really allow for individual attention, and I often enter a classroom with 3 teachers and 3 groups of students working at appropriate levels. My daughter loves that science is used as a way to teach writing, research, and paragraph building, this has helped her find a love in an area where she previously wasn't interested. They have an award-winning art program, which brings joy and mess into their school lives!
Neither my husband nor I grew up religious, and yet this is the most welcoming place. We want our children to have more knowledge that we do, and we love that our children are creating a deep-seated sense of Jewish identity, a love of Israel, of all Jews, and all people across the world. The dual-curriculum just adds depth and enjoyment to their days. It's the best secular education with a rigorous and immersive Hebrew and Judaic curriculum. The feeling of community at OHDS is not comparable to any other school we have seen.
Oakland Hebrew Day School is a gem of a school. While offering an excellent Jewish and secular education, it also provides children with a nurturing community that emphasizes kindness and respect for all. I’ve been very happy sending my two kids there. OHDS has given them the tools and knowledge to continue on a Jewish path in life if they wish to do so, while also opening the doors to lifelong learning in any field. My older child is now at College Prep (a top-ranked high school) and he is succeeding beautifully there. The dual language program at OHDS helped him to pick up high school French quickly, and his writing and math skills have helped him to excel academically. Most importantly, his years of training to be a mensch at OHDS serve him well as he chooses friends, makes important life decisions, and finds the good that he can do in the world. There are so many things I love about OHDS: the instruction is wide-ranging and dynamic, the community of teachers and parents is welcoming and supportive, and the school is a bright and joyful place. If you haven’t yet considered OHDS as an option, I highly recommend that you visit this school.
I attended OHDS from kindergarten - 8th. What I loved most was the connection I made with younger students. OHDS taught us how to be leaders and role models. I graduated a few years ago; my closest friends today are the people I graduated with. We all agree that OHDS completely prepared us for all of the academic challenges of high school. Beyond academics, the Judaic studies also helped us form Jewish identity. This past summer, I went to the Ukraine to run a camp for underprivileged Jewish children. There is no way that I could have done this without having the solid foundation that OHDS gave me. Most of all, OHDS taught me that it was important to never sit back and let others do things for you. I was always encouraged to stand up for what I believed in and get involved in anything important to me.
I read the review dating August 1, and I could not disagree more. I am also a graduate of OHDS, and there is not one friend of mine who would write or agree with this. OHDS is a fantastic school, with incredible teachers. The academics are challenging, and they really prepared me to take honors courses in high school and succeed in all of them. I learned how to manage my time and think for myself. No other school better teaches kids how to learn, through general and Judaic studies. Because of the school, I am a stronger writer, I love Biology, and I speak Hebrew really well. I enjoyed playing on team sports and learning computer animation thanks to the OHDS/PIXAR class. Plus, OHDS teaches how to be kind and thankful; so that is why the previous posting surprised me so much. It s pretty rude, if you ask me!
Speaking as a graduate of OHDS, I would not recommend this school. I attended OHDS for 9 years (K-8) and graduated several years ago. I now attend a secular college-preparatory high school in the Bay Area. Coming out of OHDS, I felt very underprepared academically, particularly in math, science, and history. I found both the math and science curriculums to be very substandard, and I entered high school far behind my peers in almost every academic area. I know that most of my classmates from OHDS experienced the same problems. All the emphasis and time placed on the Judaic studies led to serious holes and deficits in the quality of the secular education (math, science, history, english, geography etc). However, I do not feel like the Judaic education was excellent either- my entire class came out of OHDS speaking only minimal Hebrew- nowhere near the level of fluency the school promises.