Academies @ GBDS features a strong academic program where we pair a strong Jewish identity with an innovative curriculum. Our students graduate with a love of learning, a deep connection to Israel, and the building blocks for extraordinary futures: knowledge, creativity, leadership, Hebrew fluency, analytical skills, confidence, humility, philanthropy and community.
Our Nursery 2 - Grade 8 students reach their highest academic potential through rigorous curriculum, innovative teaching, assessment and differentiation in General and Judaic studies. We instill a strong Jewish identity through Limudei Kodesh, modern Hebrew fluency and Ahavat Israel. We enhance student learning through our integrated curriculum.
Our student leadership curriculum and special programs cultivate self esteem, confidence and communication skills. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People creates a school-wide culture of excellence, accountability and achievement.
Our students, teachers and parents experience and appreciate the diverse GBDS community making it feel like family. Throughout the year, special school events bring our community together in learning and celebration.
In 1984, Rabbi Jeffrey Segelman of Wayne approached Dr. Bruce Leibowitz with the idea of starting a Solomon Schechter Day School. Dr. Leibowitz then called a community meeting to gage interest. After receiving overwhelming support from the Jewish community, Dr. Leibowitz located space and worked towards hiring professional staff.
In September of 1985 the Solomon Schechter Day School of North Jersey opened its doors with 13 kindergarteners and 4 first graders in the basement of the Pompton Lakes Synagogue. The initial paid staff included a principal, a secular teacher and a Hebrew teacher. Beginning the second year, the enrollment increases when the new Kindergarten class came in with 19 students. Another secular teacher was added as well as a volunteer school nurse. Each year, another grade was added and along with additional grades came additional staff. The “second” kindergarten class was the first to “graduate” from the school at the Fifth Grade level in 1992.
In May, 1994, the school moved to its current location in Oakland. At that time, the name was changed to The Gerrard Berman Day School, Solomon Schechter of North Jersey. In June of 1994, the school held the second fifth grade graduation. By this time the community of families had enlarged to include Fair Lawn, western Bergen County as well as northern Passaic County. A few years after entering the Oakland location, the school began adding additional grades to create a Middle School – later named the George and Arline Haar Middle School. The first class to graduate Eighth Grade was the class of 2001, with 6 students. Graduates of our school have gone on to some of the top colleges in the country.
In 2014, under the leadership of Robert Smolen, we launched Academies @ GBDS program, specialized areas of the curriculum that enhance, enrich and integrate the areas of General and Judaic studies. The three academies are STEM, Visual and Performing Arts, and Leadership. In 2015, the school became the first Jewish Day School in New Jersey to implement the “Leader in Me” curriculum. Our school is accredited by the Middle States Association Commissions of Colleges and Schools. We are members of PRIZMAH, Center for Jewish Day Schools.