Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011-2012 Board of Trustees

Last night, the Board of Trustees elected the new Board for 2011-2012, all of whom will take office pursuant to the Bylaws on July 1, 2011.

Congratulations to the new Board; it is an excellent team for the future of the institution!

*President: Suzy Bookbinder

*Immediate Past President: Jack Sholkoff

*Executive Vice President: Jay Strear

*Finance Vice President: Gary Raikin

*Development Vice President: Esther Vered

*Vice President of the Committee on Trustees: Richard Spencer

*Secretary: Mike Resnick

*ECOM Member at Large: Shawn Evenhaim

Rich Abronson (parent)

Ken Adelberg (parent)

Melinda Feldman (community)

Brett Grauman (parent)

Barry Horwitz (community)

Kate Krause (parent)

Kathy Lynn (community)

Randy Michel (community)

Andrea Primack (community)

Eli Shetrit (parent)

Lina Soifer (parent)

Bronwyn Spencer (parent)

David Vered (parent)

* denotes member of Executive Committee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

See the Pictures of the Travelers.

Kadima has three groups traveling the world.

A group of eighth graders are in Tel Aviv.

Another group of eighth graders are in Washington, D.C.

The sixth and seventh graders are in Catalina.

Read about them at

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Our son called us at 5:00 a.m. to tell us that he had arrived, obtained his luggage, was safe, and very excited to be in Israel.

Our son tends to be unemotional on the telephone, but the excitement in his voice was palpable. When we asked what it was like to be in Israel and to see and hear all of the Hebrew, his voice raised, and "It's Amazing!".

He has learned about Israel for his entire life; he has heard about it, studied it, respected it, and known about it. Now, he sees it, feels it, and for twelve days, he will live it.

Amazing, indeed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Day School Moment.

This morning, my wife and I took our eighth grade son to the airport for his first trip to Israel. It was exciting and moving for us, as we recognized that not only is our son going far away, but he's going to Israel for the first time in his life.

For ten years, our son has studied at a Jewish Day School where forging a strong connection to the State of Israel has been a cornerstone of the school's education. He has learned about Israel, met and studied with Israeli-Americans, and shared Israeli cultural norms.

Today, he left for a 12 day trip for Israel.

As the students prepared to leave, amidst all of the excitement of a long journey, the students and the parents shared a Traveler's Prayer. It was one of those moments in which the potentially ordinary--saying good bye--became closer to the Divine, as we all asked for the Almighty's blessings for our children's safe and meaningful journey to Israel. In doing so, I felt a connection to the Jewish people, to Jewish life, and to something larger than ourselves.

It was what Jewish Day School is about. If what we do at Jewish Day Schools means anything, it is that we must see the spirit of God in everything that we do.

Today we did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seeing the Fruits of a Jewish Day School Education.

The other day, my son and I were looking at his Facebook page and we noticed that he is communicating with Kadima's partners at the ORT Singlovsky school in Tel Aviv. The Israelis send messages in English and Hebrew; my son writes to them largely in Hebrew. He showed me how he switches the keyboard to a Hebrew one, and then he can write message in Hebrew.

Ten years at Kadima and he can have written conversations in Hebrew.

He doesn't know it, yet, but this fluency in Hebrew will, in the future, permit him to explore Judaism in a direct way that I--who is not fluent in Hebrew--cannot. At some point in his life, he will be able to analyze texts, including the Torah, in the original language and not have to worry about another translator's bias.

He is also, of course, creating a direct connection to Israelis in their own language.

This is what going to Jewish day school is all about.

Monday, April 4, 2011


I have seen the future of Kadima and it is bright.

Last night, Kadima honored David and Esther Vered for their dedicated commitment to Kadima, and in memory of their son, Adir Moshe Vered z"l. We also celebrated the school's 40th anniversary.

It was quite an evening. Nearly 400 people turned out to the ExchangeLA club, and it was like nothing Kadima had ever seen. The venue was spectacular; a real night club and not a typical hotel banquet room.

There were a variety of speeches, and moving videos, both about the school and about Adir Vered. David and Esther gave moving speeches, and Bill Cohen, our Head of School, spoke about the New Era at Kadima. We saw the school's new promotional video.

Everything about the evening was excellent.

And then something extraordinary happened. It was announced that the school had not met its fundraising target yet, and then, in a way that I have not seen happen at Kadima, the floodgates opened. Several people--and I am not going to list anyone since I don't want to leave anyone out--started making public donations. There donations in every amount; from $180 to $35,000. Several people made donations in the tens of thousands. Not everyone made public donations; many people donated significant amounts but did so privately. This was on top of several significant donations we received this year before the Gala.

It was unbelievable. The night then finished with a fashion show put on by YMI jeans, and then everyone danced into the morning.

The school is still tabulating everything, but suffice it to say that thanks to a lot of generous people, and a lot of hard work, the school did well.

And what did the leadership do this morning? Start the planning for next year's annual event.

Like everything this year--the benchmarking, the increased focused on academics, the transformation of the ECEC--last night was part of the larger sense of renewal at Kadima. Something really special is happening at this place.

Be part of it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gala, again.

Having worked on and been part of several annual events over the past few years, I can tell you that this year's Gala--on April 3, 2011--is going to be one that people talk about for years to come. It will be unlike anything Kadima has ever done: great location, great program, and a lot of partying.

Tickets are still available.

You won't want to miss this.