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A Full (Open) House

Thursday, November 1, 2018

"Let’s have a show of hands,” said Head of School, Dr. Jonathan Levy from the stage, looking out at the row upon row of prospective parents seated in the gym. “Who has a child in grade 8,” he asked, “and who is here looking for a high school for their oldest child?”. Lots of hands shot up. “And are there any TanenbaumCHAT alumni here tonight?” he asked – and, gratifyingly, many hands rose in response to this, too.

Last week’s TanenbaumCHAT Open House drew more than 400 prospective parents. The building was abuzz and the program extensive. Faculty, staff, and student and parent ambassadors were on hand to lead tours of the school. There were also comprehensive information sessions, including one that was dedicated to our New Stream program which is open to students coming into Grade 9 with little or no previous Jewish day school experience.

Dr. Levy challenged the assembled guests to imagine: their kids graduating four-and-a-half years from now from TanebaumCHAT, “a community high school that embraces a wide range of Jewish beliefs and practices, where Jewish values shape the core of our ethical vision, where the “how” we do things is as important as “what” we do, and where the school community embraces, rather than just accommodates, the unique gifts of each student.”

Principal Renee Cohen ’96 noted that “it is a true joy to see students come together from many different backgrounds to unite as one community of students, to learn together and from one another about Jewish values, and their identities and beliefs, in an open-minded, respectful and accepting way.”

“We are dedicated to developing students’ intellectual curiosity,” she said, “challenging them to live lives of high moral character, deepening their connection to their Jewish roots, connecting them to the Jewish community in all its diversity and to Medinat Israel in all its beautiful complexity, and helping them to discover a meaningful way to contribute to the world around them.”

Presentations drew attention to TanenbaumCHAT’s exceptional faculty; wide variety of rigorous academic opportunities in general and Jewish studies; Advanced Placement courses; opportunities to excel in the arts, in athletics, and in robotics and engineering; full complement of student supports; and the extraordinary range of extracurricular activities available – more extensive than any other Jewish high school in North America.

Attendees also heard from alumnus Zack Belzberg ’05. Zack entered the school as a New Stream student and “graduated with a strong network of like-minded peers, an enthusiasm for Israel and a solid academic foundation that prepared me for undergraduate and graduate school,” he said. Zack married a fellow TanenbaumCHAT grad and noted that he and his wife will “not hesitate in encouraging our kids to choose CHAT when the time comes.”

“I am very lucky to have spent four years at CHAT,” he said. “It had a profound impact on my life.”

For information on admission to TanenbaumCHAT, please email:

Apply now. Deadline: December 1.