Ha'Onah "The Season": Connecting Families, Alumni, and Community
Happy Chanukah
Message from the Head of School
Stories were an important part of my childhood. From listening to my grandparents tell me about their childhoods in the lower east side of Manhattan to my mother reading me “liberated” fairytales when I was sick, I’ve always found that I become deeply engrossed with personal narratives.

One book that my parents brought out each Chanukah was, A Chanukah Fable for Christmas, by Jerome Coopersmith. In this book from 1969, Murray, a boy from the Bronx, is sad this time of year - ...from just one thing alone was I soft in the head. On our Chanukah evening, no fat man in red.” He gets woken up in the middle of the night by a guy on a spinning dreidel who then takes him on a ride around the world to see how others celebrate this season. When Murray awakens the next morning, he happily greets his friends with the new understanding that the joy of this holiday season belongs to everyone. 

In these short days, most cultures have holidays that focus on light. We add a candle to our Chanukiah each night to increase the light and joy. At Yavneh, we also focus on how we bring light to each other - each day that we light the school Chanukiah, we honor people who have been nominated by our students. It gives our students a chance to show their appreciation for someone else and makes everyone grateful to be part of our Yavneh family.

The light at Yavneh burns bright due to the support of the community. Almost 40 years ago, the founders of Yavneh had a vision of what a Jewish Day School education could be; they passed the torch to the many supporters who enabled us to be in our current classrooms, build out our Beit Kehillah, and fund our integrated, dual-language program. We are grateful for the many lights that bring strength and joy for this Chanukah as well as for years to come.

Chag Chanukah Sameach,

Annual Campaign
Yavneh Day School thrives because of the generosity of parents, grandparents, organizations, foundations, and alumni. With your support, our students receive the best possible Yavneh education, creating a generation of Jewish leaders, innovators and compassionate human beings. Our varied curriculum, exceptional faculty, and diverse student body requires investment.

Yavneh’s core fundraising effort each year is our Annual Campaign which launches with the new year. A donation to Yavneh Day School helps secure the needed funding for our vibrant community where each child is celebrated and challenged. Thank you for considering a donation to Yavneh Day School.

Thank you to all who have participated in our Annual Campaign to date. Your commitment to our students, teachers and community contributes to Yavneh Day School turning an excellent education into an extraordinary one.  
$154 a month donates $1,848 a year to Yavneh Day School and
includes your family in our Leadership Circle. 
Highlights of the Season
Can a robot light a chanukiah? One of the hallmarks of a Yavneh education is our dedication to integration - we believe that integrating curricular strands leads to a more meaningful and relevant learning experience for our students.

Our STEAM program highlights the very best of integration. For the 7th year in a row, Yavneh is partnering with the Hour of Code to promote the importance of teaching Computer Science from a very young age and promoting access to technology to kids all around the world.
Yavneh Day School is a 2020 Recipient of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award
Yavneh Day School has been designated an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School for 2020. We are one of 367 schools in the nation and one of 36 schools from California to be recognized in 2020. Click here to read the official letter from the United States Department of Education.
Generations Kabbalat Shabbat
We had a wonderful Generations Kabbalat Shabbat with the many grandparents and special friends who joined us. With over 50 friends logging-in to celebrate Shabbat with our students and teachers, we felt the love from near and far. Please note that you're always invited to join us online for Kabbalat Shabbat each Friday.
Thanks to the help of our Yavneh parents who built our Sukkah, our students were able to celebrate Sukkot at school this year. Our Sukkah remains standing, and is still used daily by our students and teachers along with our other new outside learning classroom spaces. More photos
5th Grade Care Package Initiative
Kitah Hay created care packages for the homeless containing socks, snacks, water, hygienic items, a resource guide and a personalized card from the students. Students exceeded their goal of 108 packages, with 154 packages total! The class beamed with a sense of pride in helping strangers who most desperately needed them. The care packages were delivered to various homeless shelters/organizations and persons in need. More photos
Family Day of Code, Tinkering, and Play
On November 15th, Yavneh hosted our 7th Annual Family Day of Code, Tinkering, and Play with over 300 participants online! Parents and children enjoyed coding, a robotics simulator, escape rooms, tinkering stations, and a family engineering challenge. Thank you to Morah Vanina and all the volunteers for such a fantastic event as always. Together, we made the Family Day of Code, Tinkering, and Play 7.0 a reality. Enjoy the clip above.
Reading Week
Our Annual Reading Week was filled with reading, celebrating, and special guests. Thank you to all of the incredible guest authors and illustrators that volunteered their time and participated in Yavneh’s Virtual Reading Week. A special thank you to Jenna Waldman for connecting us with many of our accomplished guests: Edna Aphek, Brian Arnold, Ashley Belote, Rabbi Mychal Copeland, Christine Evans, Vicky Fang, Katie Frawley, Carrie Finison, Rabbi Jeremy Gordon, Heather Kinser, Kari Lavelle, Christy Mihaly, Victoria Nelson, Jesse Orenshein, Nadia Salomon, Becky Scharnhorst, Derick Wilder, Evan Wolkenstein, and Chelsea Lin Wallace.
Return to Indoor Classrooms
This fall we received a waiver to open some of our indoor classrooms. Here are our in-person Kitah Gan students singing "Days of the Week" in Hebrew.
Biometrics in STEAM
Kitah Gimel is learning about biometrics and prosthetics. Take a look at this video of a student explaining the Lego arm he built in STEAM class.
Alumni Spotlight
Elliana Pogrebinsky, Yavneh (2003 - 2009)

Yavneh alumna, Elliana Pogrebinsky was a Team USA Ice Dancer from 2013-2018. Alongside her partner, they were ranked top 20 in the world, were the 2016 Lake Placid Ice Dance International Champions, two-time Junior U.S. National Bronze medalists, 2016 Junior Worlds Pewter medalists, two-year Grand Prix Competitors, two-time ISU Challenger Series Tallinn Trophy Bronze medalists, 2017 U.S. Nationals Pewter medalists, and 2018 World and Olympic Alternates. Read more

Click here to submit your alumni spotlight
Alumni Notes and Simchas
Mazal tov to Shaina Painter '08 on her new position as Nutrition provider at Parsley Health.

Click here to submit your alumni simcha
Tribute Donations
By recognizing a family member or special friend through the Yavneh Day School's Tribute Program, you can directly support our innovative programs and curriculum. Tributes can be for a birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, graduation or in memory of a loved one. We will send an acknowledgment to the person or family you are honoring with your personalized note. The gift amount will not be disclosed. All tributes are recognized in our weekly Hashavua newsletter.
Save the Date - Alumni and Yavneh Community Welcome
Yavneh Chanukah Family Game Night
Monday, December 14th, 7:00 - 8:00pm
Celebrate the 5th Night of Chanukah with Yavneh at our Family Game Night. This event is open to all families with elementary and middle school age children.
Zoom Link password: Yavneh

Coffee with Cindy
Friday, January 15th, 9:00am
Please join Head of School Cindy Schlesinger for a virtual coffee as she shares insights from Yavneh's first half of the 2020-2021 school year. Zoom Link password: Yavneh

Virtual All School Open House
Wednesday, January 20th, 7:00 - 8:30pm
All are welcome to join us for our virtual, all-school open house. More info soon. Register

Virtual Kabbalat Shabbat every Friday at 2:30pm
We love seeing our alumni, their families, and grandparents, at our Virtual Kabbalat Shabbats on Friday afternoons. Email Lauren for the invite link if you would like to join us.