Frequently Asked Questions
How would you describe Rochelle Zell Jewish High School (RZJHS)?
Rochelle Zell is a vibrant, co-ed college preparatory high school committed to academic excellence in general and Judaic studies. Rochelle Zell opened its doors in 2001 to 26 students. Since then, Rochelle Zell has grown to 180 students from 22 communities throughout and beyond the Chicagoland area. Rochelle Zell students and their families are affiliated with 48 synagogues and represent a wide spectrum of Jewish observance. Rochelle Zell is affiliated with Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools. Rochelle Zell is accredited by the State of Illinois and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and has received recognition by the U.S. Department of Education.
How successful are Rochelle Zell graduates when applying to colleges?
A Rochelle Zell education is highly regarded in the college community. Our graduates have enrolled at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Rochelle Zell students benefit from a strong college counseling program that helps them explore the full range of possibilities in order to find the college that is the right fit academically, socially, and religiously. For more information, contact Ellen Grindel or Ellen Rostker, Co-Directors of College Counseling.
What are the advantages of a smaller, independent school?
A smaller school offers many advantages. Research indicates that student achievement increases in a smaller environment and students benefit from the more personalized attention they receive. Students also have a greater opportunity to take on leadership roles and participate in extracurricular activities. At Rochelle Zell, each student is recognized as a valued and respected individual, and each student learns to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.
How does Rochelle Zell continue to attract an exceptional faculty?
From the start, the school has enjoyed an impressive reputation among educators who respect the school’s commitment to academic excellence. There is a wonderful atmosphere of collegiality at Rochelle Zell that both attracts and helps retain leading educators. Ninety three percent of the faculty have advanced degrees.
What is the athletics program like at Rochelle Zell?
At Rochelle Zell, sports are about experiencing success, developing self-discipline, and learning to be part of a team. Rochelle Zell’s athletic program includes boys’ and girls’ tennis, basketball, soccer, cross-country, golf, bowling, wrestling, and volleyball. An impressive 85% of Rochelle Zell students participate in extracurricular athletics, and most teams have been established in response to student initiatives. For more information, contact, David Martinez, Athletic Director. Eighty four percent of the student body participates in at least one sport per year.
How much homework can my child expect?
Homework is part of any high school learning environment and is certainly part of knowledge acquisition at Rochelle Zell. Students have found the homework load to be significant but because of the smaller class sizes and the accessibility of faculty, students are able to seek additional help from teachers when needed. Teachers are known for their flexibility and availability during the school day to meet with students before school, during lunch, study periods and after school.
My child has never been to a Jewish day school. How will he/she be integrated into Rochelle Zell Jewish High School?
Academically, Rochelle Zell has a track for students coming from a Jewish day school background and a separate track for those who have attended public schools. Your child will take general studies classes with his or her grade-level peers. Judaic studies classes are tracked by Hebrew language level and ability to interpret texts. Rochelle Zell makes Talmud/Torah study accessible to all students by offering classes instructed in both Hebrew and English. Socially, Rochelle Zell students are part of a warm and inclusive community that is quick to welcome new students. Further questions can be answered by Riv Lynch, Director of Admissions.
Will our family’s Jewish observance fit with Rochelle Zell?
Rochelle Zell is a pluralistic environment. Students and their families represent a wide spectrum of Jewish observance, attending Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist and post-denominational congregations. While religious practices vary widely among the student body, Rochelle Zell works hard to ensure that students welcome and respect each other’s levels of observance.
What is the social life like at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School?
Life at Rochelle Zell is full of spirit and a tremendous sense of community. Because of the school’s size, Rochelle Zell students develop friendships with grade-level peers as well as with older and younger students. There are also numerous opportunities for students to get involved socially through extracurricular clubs, athletics, and leadership programs. In addition, many Rochelle Zell students participate and have leadership roles in Jewish community youth groups of every affiliation.