Brandeis Hillel marks 50th year with jubilee gala

Brandeis Hillel Day School turns 50 this year, and to mark the golden anniversary, school leaders, faculty, parents and students past and present will celebrate at a March 2 gala fundraiser in San Francisco.

Several Bay Area Jewish community leaders who have supported Brandeis Hillel over the years will be honored at the event: Eve Bernstein and Alex Gersznowicz; Rachel, Julie and Jason Bernstein; Suzanne and Elliott Felson and family; Marci, Marc, Rebecca and Shayna Dollinger; as well as the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

The San Francisco and Marin campuses of Brandeis Hillel Day School together form the largest Jewish day school in Northern California and one of the largest independent schools in the Bay Area. An unaffiliated, multidenominational Jewish school, BHDS today serves 600 students in grades K-8.

The school started in 1963 when the late Rabbi Saul White of Congregation Beth Sholom in San Francisco opened Brandeis, one of the region’s first non-Orthodox Jewish day schools. That first year, 34 children enrolled.

In 1973, Brandeis merged with the Hillel School to become Brandeis Hillel Day School, and was housed at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Five years later, a second campus opened in San Rafael. In 1996, the San Francisco campus moved to its current location on Brotherhood Way.

The school’s Golden Jubilee Celebration, which will have a ’60s theme, will take place Saturday, March 2 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Cocktail reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program. For information, call Jodye Friedman (415) 406-1035 or visit