Over a decade of intellectual imagination and ethical action
New Community Jewish High School is a coed, 9th-12th grade college preparatory Jewish day high school. Our academic program is on par with the nation’s most prestigious independent high schools. Our academic excellence begins with hiring teachers who possess deep knowledge of their subject, are at the cutting edge of their field, who value imagination and creative thinking, and who understand, and frankly, love teenagers. For us, “rigorous academics” means teaching students how to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate concepts, values, and knowledge. It means encouraging new ideas, new thinking, invention, and imagination. It means an emphasis on self-discipline, organizational skills, drive, and integrity. It means developing “respectful and inclusive minds” with moral courage. It means engagement and leadership today and for the future.
A New Community Jewish High School education fuses the enormous power of contemporary advances and ideas of human civilization with the sacred obligation of humans to apply that knowledge to advance moral vision and ethical action. At New Community Jewish High School, intellectual imagination and ethical action are inseparable. Knowledge must lead to both power and wisdom. The power of knowledge left untethered from ethics and morality is often dangerous; ethics and morality without knowledge is weak. This is what we mean by intellectual imagination and ethical action. This combination in the context of 3000 years of Jewish tradition, history, culture, ideas, and religion, is what we call wisdom.
At New Community Jewish High School, students are taught that mathematical and scientific advances are to “promote the general welfare” of humanity; that powerful writing must serve the greater good and never devolve into demagoguery; that arts uplift the soul and explore human meaning; that Jewish text study has practical application in business and medical ethics; that from the study of history emerges wisdom for the future; and that world language study both connects us with the “other,” and transmits culture.
Our definition of “educational greatness” is not measured by standardized test scores alone. Rather, it is measured by true success in life; by how outstanding universities accept and value our graduates; by the creativity, imagination, deeds, and moral actions of our students. Educational greatness is measured by our children’s ability to celebrate, find joy, form lifelong relationships, work in teams, and become agents of transformation in the “real world.” It is about being a good person.
This is what we call education for the 21st century. Those educated at NCJHS are what we call “New Jews”—leaders who are nuanced and thoughtful, knowledgeable and wise. Leaders who are capable of succeeding in the unknown future because he/she is well versed in our history and our values. Leaders who understand that intellectual imagination and ethical action are inseparable.
Our school motto, לבנות קהילה, לי ולך, “Building community, one mind at a time,” reflects the value placed upon the special gifts of each student. Moreover, the Hebrew motto of our community, livnot kehillah, li v’leha, means “to build community, for the benefit of everyone.” New Community Jewish High School is a partnership involving faculty, students, parents, alumni students and families, volunteers, and community friends throughout the world.
New Community Jewish High School is indeed a school of the 21st century — a high school driven by the most profound Jewish and American values. It is a school that strives for “greatness” as defined by the wisdom and traditions of Jewish and world civilizations. New Community Jewish High School’s mission is, perhaps, the most demanding of missions; our curriculum demands excellence over a life-time; our “scores” are writ large within the souls of our children, upon the history of the Jewish people, and within the great experiment of freedom we call America.
New Community Jewish High School is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and BJE: Builders of Jewish Education.