Kehillah installs new head of school

Rabbi Darren Kleinberg was formally installed as head of school of Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto on March 30.

Rabbi Darren Kleinberg (right) at his installation ceremony with Rabbi David Booth photo/ richard mayer photography

The installation ceremony, part of the school’s annual gala fundraising dinner, took place at the Oshman Family JCC and was conducted by Rabbi David Booth of Congregation Kol Emeth.

Approximately 230 people attended the dinner, which featured Kleinberg moderating an onstage conversation about the future of Jewish education between Bruce Powell and Lee Shulman. Powell is the head of a new Jewish community high school in Southern California and Shulman is a professor of education at Stanford University.

Both men noted the explosion of non-Orthodox, community day schools in recent years, from six in 1990 to 46 today. “Our Jewish schools are raising the leaders of tomorrow who will make vital contributions to society in ways we can’t even imagine,” said Powell, who did not go to a Jewish day school as a boy (Shulman attended an Orthodox day school in his native Chicago).  Powell pointed out that a day school graduate is Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s speechwriter. “And believe me, every speech she makes on Israel, it sounds as if she went to a Jewish day school,” he said.

Kleinberg, 37, took up his position at Kehillah at the start of the 2013-14 school year, after coming from Phoenix, where he was the founding executive director of Valley Beth Midrash, a pluralistic Jewish education and leadership development program.