The mission of the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor is to nurture the development of knowledgeable, caring and committed Jewish children in a dynamic learning environment. Through exceptional general and Judaic studies and Hebrew language immersion, students create a meaningful and joyous connection to their heritage and build a strong foundation for lifelong learning and involvement in the wider community.
The Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor (HDS) is a K-5 elementary school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Established in 1975, it serves the entire range of religious and cultural Jewish expressions in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area. The school is formally affiliated with the Solomon Schechter movement, part of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Eligible students come from families where either parent is Jewish. The Hebrew Day School families represent the widest range of Jewish observance.
Hebrew Day School is dedicated to the principle of integrating a comprehensive Jewish education and a strong general education within a single framework. It is the only school in Ann Arbor which teaches a second language to elementary school children in an immersion environment. HDS is characterized by small classes, experienced faculty, a high teacher-student ratio, and a project-based learning approach in a nurturing environment. Values and community service are an integral part of the curriculum.
HDS graduates are academically skilled, confident in their talents, grounded in their identities, and poised to contribute to the larger world.
In 2010 the school placed in the 99th percentile in standardized test scores in all tested subject areas (math, reading, and language). The General Studies program includes technology, library sciences, physical education, and the arts (see below). The core curriculum is supplemented with lunch time and afterschool clubs in dance, chess, math, newspaper, and band. The school nurtures curiosity and joy in learning, while simultaneously instilling disciplined study strategies that make HDS students well prepared for middle school.
For more information on the General Studies program, click here.
Judaics and Hebrew Immersion
In the Hebrew and Judaics program, children develop a deep connection to community and culture by celebrating their heritage. Plays, dance, song and visual art make holiday events warm and joyous. The students also study both Biblical and modern Hebrew, reading and studying classical and contemporary texts and stories exclusively in Hebrew. The school uses the Tal-AM curriculum which is supplemented with additional materials. In the Gan (kindergarten), the general academics and the Judaics program are combined, and one teacher speaks to the children in Hebrew. In the remaining classes, half of day is dedicated to Hebrew and Judaic studies. Academic skills such as critical thinking and literary analysis are enhanced because they are practiced in two languages.
Reflecting Jewish values, HDS teachers promote mutual respect and positive social interactions among children. Through tzedakah (charitable giving) and community service projects, the school instills in its students a broad sense of social responsibility to the community and to the larger world.
For more information on the Judaics and Hebrew Immersion program, click here.
Arts and Music
At HDS, music fills the air constantly, and student art decorates the hallways. Children have multiple opportunities for public performances – choral, drama, and/or instrumental. The school also offers an exceptional visual arts program, some of whose results can be seen here. The HDS music program ensures that all graduates read music and play an instrument. The after-school Klez Kids band also gives budding musicians an outlet to practice and perform in a group setting.
For more information on the Arts and Music programs, click here.