New executive director takes reins at South Peninsula Hebrew Day School

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Rabbi Shaye Guttenberg is the new executive director at the K-8 South Peninsula Hebrew Day School in Sunnyvale.

Rabbi Guttenberg

He replaces Allen Selis, who was head of school for two years. Following an administrative restructuring, Guttenberg will oversee all school functions as executive director, including strategic planning and communications, while Rabbi Maury Grebenau will serve as principal.

“We felt this was a better way to move the school forward,” Guttenberg said last week on the first day of school. He took over on July 15. “In this role, the principal’s job is focused on making sure the school is running well and the executive director is looking at long-term sustainability of the school.”

A native of Baltimore, Guttenberg earned a psychology degree from Yeshiva University in New York, studied in Israel and returned to the United States for rabbinic training and to earn an MBA at Northeastern University in Boston.

He served as the director of Judaic studies at the Jewish Community School of the Desert in Palm Desert and moved to the Bay Area for a position at the Jewish Study Network. He also acted as interim rabbi at Congregation Adath Israel in San Francisco.

Guttenberg hopes to strengthen the school’s mission and make the Sunnyvale campus, with more than 250 students, the epicenter of the Jewish community in the South Bay, he said: “It’s like a spider web. The center of the web is where children come to learn, and that is the place that is the most important.” — abra cohen