pencil

Head of School Search

 
Joseph and Florence Mandel Jewish Day School has completed its search for a new Head of School. 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
December 3, 2019
HEAD OF SCHOOL SEARCH UPDATE
 
Dear Mandel JDS Community,
 
I am thrilled to announce that the Mandel JDS Board of Directors has unanimously approved the hiring of Jay Leberman as our next Head of School, beginning summer 2020.
 
Jay Leberman comes to Mandel JDS with extensive Head of School experience. He is a visionary leader with a passion for Jewish education and brings a unique skill set to Mandel JDS - extensive global knowledge and world consciousness. Jay embraces diversity and the importance of a pluralistic community day school. People who have previously worked with Jay describe him as “extraordinarily supportive of each and every child”, “a believer in all forms of learning” and “extremely professional with a very human touch”.
 
Jay comes to Mandel JDS as the Director of the Kivunim Gap-Year program in Jerusalem that provides an intensive, experiential international Jewish education to college students. Before going abroad, Jay was the Head of School for 16 years at the Perelman Jewish Day School in Philadelphia where he ran 3 divisions with over 500 students. His accomplishments include the creation of a middle school and making Perelman a more inclusive and financially stable school. Prior to Perelman, Jay was the Head of School at the Sager Solomon Schechter Day School in Chicago for 12 years. He received national recognition for establishing programs in both schools that advocate for individual learning and allow children with special needs to receive a Jewish education.
 
Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in History of the Jewish People and History of Jewish Thought from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Master of Philosophy in Modern Jewish Studies from Oxford University in London. With a love for the classroom, Jay spent five years teaching both high school and college classes in England before returning to the United States. Jay is a devoted naturalist, conservationist, and environmentalist with a passion for outdoor learning. He enjoys international literature and visiting Diaspora communities throughout the world.
 
I want to extend appreciation to our Search Committee, led by Louis Chaiten, for their tireless efforts to thoroughly and conscientiously find the ideal candidate to lead Mandel JDS forward in its next chapter. I am also thankful to my fellow Board members, our faculty and administration, our parents and alumni, and our extended community for the insightful, supportive dedication shown these past few months. I extend my gratitude to our search partners at Carney, Sandoe & Associates and especially to Jerry Isaak-Shapiro, who has helped make this transition a smooth one. And last but certainly not least, because none of this would have been possible without him, I offer special thanks to Louis Chaiten, who chaired the Search Committee with grace, wisdom and consideration. His calm and thoughtful manner and extraordinary care and organization are directly responsible for the hiring of our new Head of School, Jay Leberman.  
 
We will hear directly from Jay in the coming weeks and we look forward to inviting the community to meet him in person this spring. Please join me in welcoming Jay Leberman as our next Head of School as we go from strength to strength.
 
Warmly,
Eliana J. LeVine
President, Board of Directors
____________________________________________________________________________________________
 
July 2, 2019
HEAD OF SCHOOL SEARCH UPDATE
 
Dear Mandel JDS community, We are writing to update you on the Head of School search process and to thank you for your important role in it.  As you know, our search firm (Carney, Sandoe & Associates) recently conducted several days of on-campus meetings and a community-wide survey.  The purpose was to allow all of us an opportunity to share our perspectives on the Head of School search.  Skip Kotkins, our lead consultant from Carney Sandoe, met with over 150 individuals from the Mandel JDS community, including parents, teachers, administrators, students, board members, past presidents, community leaders, and members of the Search Committee itself.  He also received 187 survey responses.  You have our – and Carney Sandoe’s – profound gratitude for your enthusiastic and insightful feedback.  All of it has been provided to the Search Committee (anonymously and confidentially, of course), and will be invaluable to the process. 
 
With your feedback in hand and with the Search Committee’s input, Carney Sandoe has also completed a Head of School position description.  The position description has been circulated to innumerable potential candidates, and the applications are already rolling in to Carney Sandoe.     
 
As promised, we will continue to keep you informed about the process – and to take full advantage of the community’s collective wisdom.  Feel free to reach out to the two of us with any questions or thoughts.  In the meantime, have a wonderful summer. 
 
Sincerely, 
Louis Chaiten
Search Committee Chair 
 
Eliana LeVine
President
_____________________________________________________________________________________
 
May 24, 2019
HEAD OF SCHOOL SEARCH UPDATE 
 
Dear Mandel JDS community,
 
As we previously announced, a Search Committee has been formed to shepherd the process of selecting our next Head of School to start the 2020-2021 school year.  As promised, we will keep you posted on the progress of the search.
 
We are pleased to let you know that, after investigating and interviewing several top search firms, we have retained the services of Carney, Sandoe & Associates (C S & A).  C S & A is the leading firm providing search services for fine independent schools, both in the U.S. and internationally.  Locally, C S & A led the search that brought Fran Bisselle to Hathaway Brown.  Most recently, the firm led the search for the new Head of Milken Community Schools in Los Angeles, the largest Jewish community middle/high school in the country.
 
Skip Kotkins, our lead C S & A consultant, was deeply involved in both of those searches.  He has worked with schools in over two dozen states and seven foreign countries.  He is a past officer and board member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and a Past President of one of the largest Reform congregations in the country.
 
All of us will have a very important role in selecting our new Head.  During the next step in the process, through on-campus meetings and a community-wide survey, each of us will have the opportunity to share with C S & A what we love about our school; what are our hopes and dreams for the future, what we would like to see different about our school, and what skills and personal characteristics we seek in our next Head of School.  Then again at the end of the process, everyone will have the opportunity to meet finalist candidates, and to share your impressions with the Search Committee.
 
The Search Committee has members from the faculty, the parents, the Board, and the community.  Their job will be to evaluate candidates against the criteria that all of you will help shape.  After thorough research, multiple rounds of interviews, reference checking, and, most importantly, gathering feedback from all of you, the Committee will recommend to the Board the candidate that best fits what all of us want for the future of our school.
 
On June 3 and 4, Skip Kotkins will visit our school and meet with as many people as possible.  Three forums for parents have already been scheduled, to make it easier for parents to attend one.  The parent forums will be:
 
            Monday, June 3, from 8:15 am - 9:15 am;
            Tuesday, June 4, from 8:15 am – 9:15 am; and
            Tuesday, June 4, from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
 
The remainder of the schedule, including forums and meetings with faculty and staff and other community members, will be announced soon.
 
To be sure that all members of the community who want to can share their perspectives, even if they can’t attend a forum, C S & A has set up an online survey where anyone can answer the same questions that will be asked in the on-campus forums. 
 
Here is the link to the survey: 
 
And you are of course more than welcome to reach out to the two of us throughout this process.
 
However you decide to participate in this important process, we are grateful.  Together, all of us are wiser than any of us is alone.  The Search Committee looks forward to taking full advantage of that collective wisdom, starting with C S & A’s school visit on June 3 and 4.
 
Sincerely,
 
Louis Chaiten
Search Committee Chair
 
Eliana LeVine
President Elect
__________________________________________________________________________
 
May 17, 2019
HEAD OF SCHOOL SEARCH UPDATE
 
Dear Mandel JDS community,
 
This is the first of what will likely be many updates on the search process for the next Head of School. The Board has instructed a special committee to conduct a nationwide search. 
 
The Search Committee has now been appointed. Its members are:
 
Louis Chaiten (Chair)
Eliana LeVine (President Elect)
Jared Miller (President)
Hedy Kangesser Adler (Life Trustee)
Christine Catalogna (2nd Grade Teacher)
Dr. Jacob Cohen (Parent)
Dr. Seymour Kopelowitz and Marlyn Bloch Jaffe (Jewish Education Center)
Rachel Lefkovitz (Judaics Intervention Specialist)
Joshua Mayers (Parent)
Kenneth Oif (Vice President)
Judge Dan Polster (Past President)
Dr. Margaret Richards-Frankel (Parent)
Idelle Wolf (Life Trustee)
 
This process starts with the Search Committee but will involve countless others too. The Committee will seek extensive community input throughout the process—from our current Head of School, faculty and staff, parents and grandparents, alumni and donors, and community organizations and leaders. Already there has been an outpouring of offers to help. We thank you.
 
More information about the Search Committee, its work, and its progress will be available at this dedicated Head of School Search webpage. Check back periodically. The Committee will be meeting frequently, and we expect to have further updates in the near future. 
 
In the meantime, rest assured—this will be as thorough and thoughtful a search as any Jewish day school has ever conducted. The Mandel JDS community deserves nothing less.
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Louis Chaiten
Search Committee Chair
 
Eliana LeVine
President Elect
______________________________________________________________________________
 
Head of School Search Committee

Louis Chaiten (Chair)

Eliana LeVine (President Elect)

Jared Miller (President)

Hedy Kangesser Adler (Life Trustee)

Christine Catalogna (2nd Grade Teacher)

Dr. Jacob Cohen (Parent)

Dr. Seymour Kopelowitz and Marlyn Bloch Jaffe (Jewish Education Center)

Rachel Lefkovitz (Judaics Intervention Specialist)

Joshua Mayers (Parent)

Kenneth Oif (Vice President)

Judge Dan Polster (Past President)

Dr. Margaret Richards-Frankel (Parent)

Idelle Wolf (Life Trustee)

Louis Chaiten (Chair)

Louis is a passionate supporter of Mandel JDS and the proud father of two current students – Edie (Class of 2020) and Lilly (Class of 2021).  He has been an officer and board member for a number of community organizations, including B’nai Jeshurun Congregation, the former Congregation Bethaynu, and The City Club of Cleveland.  He is a partner at Jones Day, and previously served in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia.

 

Eliana LeVine (President Elect)

Eliana, incoming board President at Mandel JDS, is an alumna of the school and is the proud parent of Rylan (Class of 2017), Lia (Class of 2019) and Gideon (Class of 2023).  She has served in many capacities at the school from volunteering in the classroom to MPA Board to Auction Co-Chair to VP and Treasurer.  Additionally, Eliana serves on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland and has participated in both the Mandel Course for Advanced Leadership and OnBoard leadership development training programs.  She is a member of B'nai Jeshurun Congregation.

 

Jared Miller (President)

Jared currently serves as President of the Mandel JDS Board of Directors.  He is the parent of Ben (Class of 2018), Nate (Class of 2021) and Jay (Class of 2024).   Jared is a partner at Weinberg Wealth Management.  His family belongs to Solon Chabad.

 

Hedy Kangesser Adler (Life Trustee)

Hedy is a long time supporter of Mandel JDS.  She is a parent of three former Agnon students, has served on the Mandel board for many years, and is currently a Lifetime Trustee.  Hedy has also served on the board of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and chaired the education subcommittee of the Allocations Committee.  She just completed her term as a trustee for Hathaway Brown School, where she served as chair of the Governance committee and as a member of the Head of School Search Committee.  She was a Public Defender and later served on the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Commission.

 

Christine Catalogna (2nd Grade Teacher)

Christine has worked at Mandel JDS since 2009.  She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Cognitive Science.  She went on to earn an M.A.Ed. and K-12 Reading Endorsement from Ursuline College’s Master Apprenticeship Program in 2009.  

 

Dr. Jacob Cohen (Parent):

Jacob is the Vice Chair of Anesthesiology at Summa Health System in Akron.  He grew up in Beachwood and returned to Cleveland 11 years ago and currently resides in Solon.  Jacob is a proud parent of two children, Maya and Eden, at the Mandel Jewish Day School. 

 

Dr. Seymour Kopelowitz and Marlyn Jaffe (Jewish Education Center)

Seymour Kopelowitz is the Director of the Jewish Education Center, and a consultant to the Mandel Foundation. Previously, he served as a teacher, a day school principal, and Director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the national umbrella body for South Africa’s 85,000 Jews. Seymour obtained a BA, Teachers’ Diploma, an MBA from the University of Cape Town, and a PHD in educational leadership from Kent State. He is also a graduate of the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows program. Dr. Kopelowitz holds multiple endorsements from the Ohio Department of Education, including a superintendent’s license.

 

Marlyn is associate director of the Jewish Education Center, with a focus on strategic planning and evaluation.  She previously served as the director of human resources for the Jewish Federation of Cleveland.  Marlyn holds a BA in English from Yale University, Master of Nonprofit Management from CWRU, and is completing a MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University.  She and her husband Ari are the proud parents of three children, all day school alumni.

 

Rachel Lefkovitz (Judaics Intervention Specialist)

Rachel has been teaching Judaic Studies at Mandel JDS for 25 years.  She previously taught at the Ratner Day School.  Rachel graduated from Lesley College in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in special education.  She has also completed many graduate level courses in Jewish Education at Siegal College.

 

Joshua Mayers (Parent)

Joshua is a proud parent of two Mandel JDS students – Ellie (Class of 2018) and Nina (Class of 2020).  He previously served six years on the Mandel JDS Board of Directors including five years on the Executive Committee as the school’s Secretary.  He is an Institutional Real Estate Banker and Senior Vice President at KeyBank since 2002.  He and his wife, Lisa, are vocal supporters of Cleveland and the Cleveland Jewish Community.

 

Kenneth Oif (Vice President)

Kenneth Oif currently serves as the Vice President of Mandel JDS Executive board.  He is the proud parent of 3 Agnon graduates Shaina (Class of 2001), Alana (Class of 2003) and Benjamin (Class of 2007).  He also the delighted grandparent of Ari who attends the MJDS in the early childhood development program.  Kenneth also served on the board of Magen David Adom.  His family is a member of Park Synagogue.  A business graduate of Miami University (1980) with MBA from San Francisco State (1983), he is the CEO of National Biological Corporation, a medical device manufacturer based in Beachwood, since 2004.

 

Judge Dan Polster (Past President)

Dan is a Past President of Mandel JDS (1994–1997) and the proud parent of three graduates, Joshua (Class of 1997), Shira (Class of 2000) and Ilana (Class of 2007).  He is a past Chair of Siegal College of Jewish Studies and has been an officer of the Jewish Federation and the JEC.  After serving as a federal prosecutor for 22 years, he was appointed in 1998 by President Clinton as a federal district court judge.

 

Dr. Margaret Richards-Frankel (Parent)

Margaret and her husband, Dr. Jonathan Frankel, have two children at Mandel JDS:  Scarlett (Kindergarten 2019) and Edison (Early childhood).  Margaret is the dentist and owner of Richards Frankel Dentistry.  She currently serves on the executive committee of the board of The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, is a co-chair of the 2020 campaign for Jewish Needs, and is a member of National Young Leadership Cabinet, North America’s premier Jewish leadership training program.  Margaret is past chair of the Young Leadership Division of the Federation, and is a past board member of The Park Synagogue.

 

Idelle Wolf (Life Trustee)

Idelle is a life trustee of Mandel JDS and past board member. She is the proud mother of Adam – an Agnon alum of the Class of 2009. After retiring as President of Barnes Distribution and VP of Barnes Group, Inc. NYSE:B she dedicated her spare time to family and giving back to the community. She is a past officer of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and former Audit Committee and Retirement Committee Chair of JFC, and past board chair of the Jewish Education Center. She continues to serve on numerous committees at the Federation and the JEC and is a board and committee member of several other nonprofit organizations. Idelle is a Board Member at AO Smith NYSE:AOS, where she also serves on the audit committee.