Diversity, belonging, and community have always been central for Senesh, since we were founded in 1995, and we are guided in this area by our diversity statement below. As we look ahead, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is a priority area of our strategic roadmap. In March of 2021 our board, parents, and staff had opportunities to gather and share ideas on initiatives to advance this work. These conversations were thoughtful, informative, inspiring, and offered important insights for us as we move forward. The focus of our DEI work includes:
As an open and inclusive Jewish day school in the heart of Brooklyn, we strive to provide an unparalleled, modern academic home that is committed to the rich mosaic of Jewish life. We are committed to intentionally building this mosaic with our students, faculty, administration, and families through their diversity across ethnicity, race, nationality, Jewish identity and practice, interfaith family composition, sexual orientation, gender identity, life experiences, socio-economic status, perspectives and worldviews. We value the dignity and self-worth of each member of our community.
We believe in ensuring that our students are prepared to be global citizens who can be productive agents of change toward a more just world. Our core Jewish value of Openness/Elu v’Elu guides our work in building empathy, promoting tolerance, and valuing difference. We live this value daily at Senesh in our curriculum, programming, admissions, hiring, professional development, and dialogue with our broader community. It is integral to our ongoing journey/Masa as a school to embrace the complex conversation of diversity in the 21st century, which we believe will continue to make our school community even more vibrant and strong.
Hannah Senesh admits students of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
As part of our efforts to expand our student body to represent the diversity of the Jewish community, we have established outreach efforts and grants focused on underrepresented groups. Two current initiatives are:
Detailed information is available on the grants’s respective landing pages.
Transgender and Non-Binary Student Support Policy
Financial Aid Policy:
Tuition assistance is available for students from Kindergarten through the 8th grade and is granted on the basis of need, consistent with the school’s commitment to diversity.
Hannah Senesh Community Day School is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes candidates who will add to the diversity of our school community including, but not limited to staff of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
Our community represents a diversity of Jewish identity, thought, and expression and we draw on this diversity to deepen appreciation and understanding of the richness of the broader Jewish community and of our own individual Jewish identities. At Senesh, the vast experience of contemporary Jews is carefully woven and integrated into our practices, programs, and curriculum.
Guided by our value of openness/elu v’elu we strengthen our students’ skills to listen respectfully, find their own voices, and allow new ideas to inform their own thinking related to Jewish text study and exploration of Jewish practice and identity.
Jewish holidays also provide an opportunity to celebrate diversity by sharing rituals and customs from our own families and from Jewish communities around the world.
At Senesh, all children, regardless of gender identity, are expected to cover their heads during prayer and when eating and are taught how to read and chant from the Torah. Given the diversity of our community, some students choose to wear various types of head coverings and some wear them throughout the day. Specific concerns about these and other rituals are addressed through individual, meaningful conversations with school faculty.
We are conscientiously diversifying our staff and faculty with a focus on race, gender, and diverse Jewish identities. In partnership with prominent organizations, our faculty is engaged in ongoing trainings and self-directed work . Below are some examples:
We are revisiting school and classroom culture and practices related to LGBTQ+ identity and equity. You can also read about out Transgender and Non-Binary Student Support Guidelines here.
We are practicing civil discourse and engagement across the school , guided by our value of elu v’elu/ openness.
We are deepening our work celebrating, appreciating, and valuing diversity in the Jewish community at Senesh and in the contemporary Jewish community in the following ways:
We are developing school programming in partnership with organizations such as Be’chol Lashon, Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), Facing History and Ourselves, and The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to combat bias in our learning and interactions.
We are continuing to build opportunities for connection and partnership with diverse communities outside of Senesh to learn from each other, celebrate differences and experience being culturally competent in diverse settings. Current partnerships include Repair the World, Emma’s Torch, Project Ezra, and Brooklyn Autism Center.
We are so appreciative of Senesh parents and their partnership in our ongoing efforts to create a community that celebrates and embraces diversity. Our parents are deeply engaged and continue to create programming for the Senesh community and beyond.
Hannah Senesh alumni meet the world with a sense of purpose, driven by our school values that they exemplify throughout their lives. We’re proud that our alumni come together regularly for diversity-focused events and remain steadfast in their commitment to doing good in the world.
Check back here for updates on upcoming events.
Click here to read about our past events.
Senesh has held several events focused on diversity and inclusion for the wider Senesh community—students, parents, and alumni. These programs included:
Click here to read about our past events.
Belonging@Senesh collectively shares the rich mosaic of the Senesh community. The quotes that accompany these stunning photos capture a litany of unique Jewish stories and traditions of our families.
A Four-Step Approach to Increasing Diversity in Jewish Day Schools in Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools
In Grappling with Race, Jewish Schools Rethink Approach to Jews of Color in Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Message from the Head of School (March 25, 2021)
Admissions Opportunity for Class of 2027 (March 8, 2021)
Your Input Needed on Our Diversity Initiatives, March 17 (March 4, 2021)
Join the Conversation: Our Next Alumni Antiracist Workshop (January 25, 2021)
Parent Diversity Committee Workshop on January 28 (January 6, 2021)
Senesh Alumni LGBTQ+ and Allies Conversation (November 25, 2020)
You Are Invited: Parent Diversity Committee Monthly Workshop #2 Aug. 17th (August 7, 2020)
Alumni Anti-Racist Dialogue Continues (July 16, 2020)
You Are Invited: Parent Diversity Committee Monthly Workshop#1 July 15th (July 20, 2020
Message from Head of School and Parent Diversity Committee Workshop (June 25, 2020)
Join Our Partners at Be’chol Lashon (June 16, 2020)
Resources from the Hannah Senesh Diversity Committee (June 10, 2020)