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Message from the Head of School

דבר המנהלת

Nicole Headshot cropSummer 2021

Dear Friends:

Welcome to Senesh! We’re home to a vibrant community who are guided by this mission: Rooted in Jewish values and wisdom, we foster a love of learning guided by intellectual curiosity and social responsibility in a vibrant and inclusive K-8 independent school community. 

Senesh was founded in 1995 by a visionary group of parents who were committed to building an inclusive and progressive Jewish day school in Brooklyn. Parents are still the backbone of our school community and share their expertise and passions through board committees, our Parent Association, and our Parent Diversity Committee. 

We are a diverse community of Jewish identity, backgrounds, and practice with families from nearly 30 zip codes, who speak a multitude of languages, and include LGBTQ, multifaith, and multiracial families. Our values, which are deeply rooted in Jewish teachings, guide us in all we do at Senesh. We put Jewish values into action in our classrooms, our community, and through service learning initiatives, teaching our students to be civic-minded and agents of change toward a more just world. Values that guide us include openness, perseverance, responsibility, kindness, and journey.

Building empathy, valuing difference, and fostering a feeling of belonging are Jewish values that are an essential part of a Senesh education. We teach our children to not only ask tough questions, but to become upstanders in the community and take action to make positive change in the world. We also guide our students to develop strong and meaningful Jewish identities, become critical thinkers, and find their own voices. Year after year, Senesh graduates go on to highly regarded high schools, colleges, and gap year programs. Our alumni have established careers, are becoming profound leaders and changemakers, and are raising children of their own (future Senesh students).

When you walk into our building, you immediately feel the energy that comes from being in a place of joyful, engaged, experiential learning. In the lower school you might see a kindergarten class learning the importance of taking care of our environment through gardening and composting or a first grade class practicing their Hebrew by creating a traditional Israeli open-air market and selling products using only Hebrew vocabulary. You may see third graders reading multiple perspectives of the settlement of New York City or debating a Torah text about whether Adam and Eve were acting in partnership or on their own. Our fourth graders may be busy doing a technology bootcamp or practicing their persuasive writing skills by drafting letters to politicians about local issues. 

Our middle school students may be interviewing elders in the Jewish community, while learning how to record and share an oral history project. They might be holding a mock trial with the characters from Romeo and Juliet or creating a Rube Goldberg engineering masterpiece using complex design skills. Or perhaps you will see them leading a Torah service and celebrating a b’nai mitzvah or Zooming with Israeli pen pals to practice their Hebrew. No matter what you see, Senesh students are fully immersed in deep listening, critical thinking, and active learning guided by our dedicated, innovative, and expert faculty. 

We hope you will take the time to visit us to learn more about what makes Senesh so special! Thank you for your interest in our school.

Nicole Nash
Head of School