New head of school at BHDS in S.F.

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A Bay Area native with a background in progressive independent education has been appointed the new head of Brandeis Hillel Day School in San Francisco.

Dan Glass, currently director of middle school at Wildwood School in Los Angeles, will take the helm on July 1. He will lead BHDS in San Francisco as it splits from the Marin campus to become a fully independent school in the 2015-16 school year.

Dan Glass

Glass, 34, grew up in Berkeley and became a bar mitzvah at Piedmont’s Kehilla Community Synagogue, where his father was a founding board member. He got his undergraduate degree in English from U.C. Berkeley and Ph.D. in English from U.C. Davis. He comes from an interfaith background; Glass describes his mother as a “Christian revolutionary” and said he grew up exposed to many different cultures and faiths.

“I’m probably going to be a different kind of a head of a Jewish day school,” Glass said. “While I’m an outlier in Jewish day school leadership, I’m not an outlier in American Judaism.”

Prior to Wildwood, Glass worked at the Girls’ Middle School in Palo Alto. He will move back to the Bay Area in June with his wife, Kate, and his daughters, 3 and 6. One of the things that drew him to BHDS, he said, was the innovative, engaged educators on staff; he hopes to develop more of the tenets from progressive education within the framework of a Jewish school.

“There’s no reason why a Jewish day school shouldn’t be considered among the best and most innovative schools in the country,” Glass said.

Peg Sandel became head of school at BHDS’ Marin campus on July 1, 2014. Donald Zimring, the head of the combined BHDS for the last three years, will retire at the end of this school year. — drew himmelstein

Drew Himmelstein
Drew Himmelstein

Drew Himmelstein is a former J. reporter who writes about education, families and Jewish life. She lives with her husband and two sons.