The Brandeis School of San Francisco community is reflective of the larger San Francisco Jewish community, which includes the overlap of many different identities that our community holds. Our community is built upon our values of kindness, integrity and service, and around the importance of being there for one another in both times of celebration and in times of challenge. Thus, Jewish life at Brandeis provides many opportunities to live out these community values.
Brandeis families celebrate Jewish tradition and spirituality in many ways and our community embraces this diversity. We come together to celebrate holiday and life cycle events, as well support one another in times of need. Our families, in partnership with the school, rally around each other and provide help, through meal trains and carpools, among many other ways. Parent volunteers help bring to life our community-wide holiday celebrations, which include Sukkot dinners (and every three years, Sukkot in Yosemite); Hanukkah celebrations with music, latkes, and dreidel-playing; and all-school Shabbat dinners.
We are a community that provides multiple entryways for students and families to construct and deepen their Jewish and spiritual connection. The big ideas that guide a Brandeis Jewish education are reflected in our Enduring Understandings.
Brandeis students explore and learn from the diversity of Jewish thought and life in the Bay Area, developing an authentic spiritual identity that is unique to each of them. Classroom and community gatherings offer many opportunities for students to share their families' traditions with one another. Our Judaic studies program invites students to engage in the joy of discovery and meaning, as they learn how Jewish values, text, and traditions can inform the ways they interact with their world. Students construct and deepen their own spiritual identity through Jewish literacy and a thoughtful exploration of their heritage, and have multiple opportunities to engage with one another around these ideas. School-wide integration of Judaic and general studies helps students make connections between the different core subjects and to experience how Jewish life and learning can inform their lives. For example, fifth graders participate in an integrated semester-long unit on discovering their own family history, where they research their family’s immigration stories to the United States, interview family members, and turn this research into a narrative of family stories.
The Bay Area is home to a dynamic, Jewish community where innovation and exploration is central to its fabric. Brandeis is proud to be part of that exploration within our own community.