Head of School

Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School

Posted: 8/18/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Administration/Operations

Primary domain: Education

City: Palo Alto

Postal code: 94306

State: California

Country: United States

Organization Information:


Not Available



Mission statement:

About Hausner

Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, located in Palo Alto, the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, has been providing an extraordinary education for elementary and middle school students for thirty years. Hausner’s mission is to promote academic excellence, community responsibility, and vibrant Jewish living. The school’s open and inclusive community reflects the full spectrum of American Jewry and beyond, welcoming families of all backgrounds and fostering respect for others and a commitment to Jewish values, texts and the State of Israel. 

Hausner incorporates a centuries-old Jewish approach to academic inquiry that encourages students to value discourse, think critically and make thoughtful connections between seemingly disparate ideas and disciplines.  The hands-on, project-based curriculum incorporates 21st century learning skills, such as problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and the creative use of educational technology.  

This dual approach, combined with an emphasis on nurturing and supporting the whole child, ensures that Hausner students not only acquire the tools for independent thinking, they emerge as joyful, life-long learners and community leaders. Hausner students have a reputation in the Bay Area community as confident, competent and engaged “mensches” and critical thinkers with a strong sense of values and deeply held convictions.

Like many Silicon Valley innovations, the idea for Hausner was born in a living room.  In the late 1980s, a group of idealistic parents gathered to imagine a school with a strong dual curriculum of general and Jewish studies in a warm, pluralistic and egalitarian setting. From its beginning as Mid-Peninsula Jewish Community Day School, Hausner has maintained high academic standards, a strong sense of community, and vibrant Jewish living at its core.

The school is beloved by its families and students alike. Hausner prides itself on its strong general studies program that prepares students for the Peninsula’s dynamic high school learning environment. Students are prepared to think critically, question incisively and engage with STEM topics from a young age. Hausner students continue their work with research, writing and personal growth as they engage with Hausner’s Hebrew and Jewish Studies program.  By 7th grade, they proudly examine the Jewish history, traditions and values they have learned over the years and participate in “Avodah La’Olam,” (working for the benefit of the world), a unique program where students learn how to raise funds and set philanthropic priorities in support of nonprofit organizations working locally and globally. In addition to this signature program, Hausner students are actively engaged in community service activities in age-appropriate ways, from preparing meals for the homeless to tutoring at local public schools. These efforts encourage Hausner students to be active, caring members of their wider community and culminate in an 8th grade trip to Israel. 

Hausner currently serves 285 students who come from as far south as San Jose, as far east as Hayward and as far north as San Mateo. The school maintains at least a 12:1 student to teacher ratio in the Lower School, a maximum class size of 20 in the Middle School and is accredited by CAIS and WASC.  The school’s annual budget is $10 million and has an annual fundraising campaign of $750,000. Hausner’s 70,000 sq. feet sit on a 4.5-acre campus.

More information about the school can be found on the web at: https://hausner.school/

Position Details:

Job Description:

The Head of School will serve as the Chief Executive Officer and the public face of Hausner and will lead an engaged community of learners, parents, faculty and staff. As the professional leader, the Head of School will be a critical voice in setting the tone, nurturing Hausner’s school culture as a welcoming and safe learning and communal environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and life-long appreciation of Jewish values and traditions.. 

Reporting to, working closely with and helping to lead the Board of Directors, the Head of School will have ultimate responsibility for the articulation and implementation of Hausner’s vision and mission, and will advance the school’s commitment to the highest educational standards in general and Jewish studies and Hebrew language learning. As the CEO, the Head of School will lead efforts to define strategic priorities and motivate, empower, and collaborate with the entire school community in setting the course for sustained growth. The Head of School will oversee and lead all operations, including supervision of the school's administrative team, oversight of school finances, advancement of resource development, and student retention and enrollment.

A primary draw for prospective parents to Hausner is its warm, diverse and inclusive community. Hausner has made it a priority to expand this community by increasing enrollment and growing the school. The Head of School is expected to be a charismatic, joyful presence within the school and a highly regarded presence externally.   A successful Head of School for Hausner will be a dynamic  ambassador and “Storyteller-in-Chief” to the wider Bay Area Jewish communal scene and will make it a priority to become an essential member, if not leader of the community, expanding relationships and partnerships with other Silicon Valley and Bay Area organizations - private, philanthropic and communal. The Head of School will work with the school’s marketing/communications staff to ensure that Hausner’s value proposition is clear, compelling and well communicated to prospective families, donors, and partners.  

Hausner teachers respect and rely on one another professionally and personally and students report a love for school because Hausner teachers care.  The Head of School will have an eye for talent and will possess strong management skills.  The Head of School will attract, lead, and support a team of dedicated faculty and staff and continue to nurture a challenging and caring learning environment for students. 

Silicon Valley is a community with vast and varied resources. The Head of School will work closely with the Board of Directors and the development professionals to raise the school’s profile and capitalize on the talent, creativity, and resources of the community. The Head of School will have expertise and robust fundraising capacity to actively engage with the annual campaign, successfully cultivate and steward donors, and solicit major gifts.

This position will require a decisive leader who has a passion for Jewish education and appreciation for students and their well-being; an individual who knows how to support, lead and manage a team of talented faculty and staff. 

This is a unique opportunity for a bold, entrepreneurial leader with the temperament and ability to leverage the abundance of intellectual capital and financial resources within the Silicon Valley community, ensuring the institution attains new heights as an innovative, leading 21st century school.


Hausner seeks a Head of School who will be a passionate, inspiring, and decisive leader and public presence who can articulate a bold vision for the school and galvanize community partners in its support. In addition, the Head of School will be a strong manager, institution builder and community leader. This position requires an innovative and results-oriented organizational leader with a high EQ who engenders confidence and approaches the work with warmth and conviction. The successful Head of School will also possess many of the the following:

  • Proven track record as an organizational leader and/or educational administrator with an ability to adapt and lead in changing circumstances and conditions.. 

  • Ability to set priorities from amongst a number of diverse tasks and needs, meeting predetermined schedules and laying out a timely course of action to address issues and problems.

  • Open and collaborative management and leadership style. Comfort with soliciting input from others while still being decisive and independent in the decision-making process.

  • Demonstrated track record of identifying, attracting, and developing top talent.

  • Dynamic relationship builder who displays a sincere interest in each student and engages them with the values and ethos of their community.

  • Excellent people skills.  Ability to interact and engage comfortably with a wide variety of key constituents including board members, parents, faculty, students, major donors and community leaders. Warm, honest and fair approach in dealing with others. Charismatic, joyful, instinctive ambassador and “Storyteller-in-Chief.”

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that complement and enhance the role of being an inspiring leader and ambassador.

  • An understanding of and appreciation for pluralistic Jewish education, ideals, values, history, and tradition, and a commitment to inclusiveness given the diversity among the Jewish people.

  • Passion for the power of learning and the ability to articulate the unique experience of a Jewish Day School education to prepare the students of today for the challenges of tomorrow.

  • Financial acumen; able to design and prepare budgets and set financial priorities.

  • Successful track record with the development and implementation of an advancement strategy, and experience with donor cultivation.

This position description is based upon material provided by Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, an equal opportunity employer. Hausner admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national and ethnic origin and ensures that they have access to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Hausner does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national and ethnic origin in the administration of their educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, or other school-administered programs.

Dara Z. Klarfeld, CEO

Tani Weissman, Search Consultant

Debbie Katz, Search Specialist


Not Specified


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

To apply for this position please visit - http://drgsearch.com/current-searches/?rpid=-oSD3FpViSU


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