Milton Jewish Day School hires new head of school

Deborah Skolnick-Einhorn, the incoming head of school at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School. Photo by Mark Aizenberg.

Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital has hired Deborah Skolnick-Einhorn as its new head of school.

Skolnick-Einhorn, the associate dean of Hebrew College’s School of Jewish Education near Boston, will take charge of the District-based day school in July.

“In Deborah, we saw a really unusual mixture of scholarly excellence and personal warmth,” said board president Edna Friedberg. “She’s a recognized leader in the field of Jewish education for two decades, has trained many day school teachers around the country, and brings a real passion for day school education that just shines through in everything she does.”

Skolnick-Einhorn said she has been keeping an eye on the Milton school for a long time, watching as it opened a middle school and taking note of the “abundant Jewish life that’s available at the school.” She said likes how the school uses Washington as “an extension of the classroom” and makes students feel empowered.

The school’s 450 students attend pre-K to eighth grade.

“I’m very lucky to be inheriting Milton in amazing condition,” Skolnick-Einhorn said. “My mandate is to join the school community, watch and listen and lift up the excellent work that’s happening.”

Skolnick-Einhorn was also previously assistant director at Maryland Hillel in College Park.

Friedberg said that in looking for a head of school to succeed Naomi Reem, the Milton board was looking for someone with a “deep understanding of Jewish pluralism,” since Milton draws students from a range of Jewish backgrounds.

They also wanted someone who was a “visionary,” who will build beyond the school’s recent expansion.

“We wanted a leader who would not just rest on those laurels but think in aspirational terms,” Friedberg said, “and we know we have found that in Deborah.”

She said her experience as a school faculty member, parent and board member will help her in her new job.

“When there’s a problem, I can help find a common solution that fits the needs of all those constituencies,” Skolnick-Einhorn said.

She is also excited to be around children and watch teachers in action.

“[Right now,] I teach teachers who teach children,” Skolnick-Einhorn said. “I’m not there to see the fruits of the teachers’ labors. So I’m excited to be in more of a front row seat and be more part of a school community.”

He two younger children will begin attending the school in the fall.

Milton was founded in 1988 as the Jewish Primary Day School.

Reem, the current head of school, is completing her 15th year. She announced her decision to leave in January 2019.

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Twitter: @jacqbh58

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