Board of Directors
Chai. Eighteen. Life. Even those of us who otherwise shun superstition often make an exception for chai. We wear pendants with the word chai. We give gifts and donations in multiples of chai. In recent years the Chicago Jewish community has celebrated 36 Jewish leaders under age 36 – double-chai. Our alumni are appearing with increasing frequency on that list, and they are sure to be well represented on the list for generations to come.
Our seniors were born along with the school – they have never known a world without Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. But it has taken the sustained efforts of our community to give them the opportunity to experience Rochelle Zell. On September 10, 2001, two dozen students walked through the doors of what was then Chicagoland Jewish High School for the first time, in a temporary home in Morton Grove. They were greeted that day and during the remainder of their time at the school by an astonishing array of faculty and staff – professionals who had other opportunities but, like the students and their families, believed in the mission of the school.
I had the great privilege last June to address our graduating RZJHS Class of 2018. As I told them then, building and sustaining the school is a collective enterprise: “Isaac Newton famously said that if he has seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. Newton had nothing on us. We are here today as part of a 3,000-year legacy. Without this legacy of a nation – a people, culture, and religion – there would have been no point to this school. In addition, without the tenacious leadership of a few visionaries in our own community twenty years ago, the school would not exist. Our school is infused with the energy that is generated when the community undertakes a great project. That energy carries us all forward through the challenges, and then from success to success.
We need your students, we need you to spread the word about the amazing things that happen at our school, and we need your continued financial support. With your help, generations to come will go forth as proud graduates of Rochelle Zell Jewish High School.
"Rochelle Zell Jewish High School wasn’t just going to a part of me for four years but for the rest of my life." - Lauren S., '12