About Us


Gesher was founded in 1982 by a group of pioneering parents and such visionaries as Rabbi Sheldon and Shulamith Elster and Rabbi Arnold Fink. Together with a creative and enthusiastic teacher, Susan Koss, they organized Gesher’s first kindergarten in 1982 at a local synagogue, Agudas Achim Congregation, in Alexandria, VA

An additional grade was added each year until 1988. In 1989 the first sixth grade graduated with pride.

As Gesher grew and needed more space, in 1994 the school relocated to larger quarters in the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. In 1998, Gesher again needed more classrooms and established a Satellite Campus at the Chabad Community Campus.

In 1999, with the help from a grant from the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) and a dedicated community supporter, Gesher added a Middle School with a 7th grade, and 8th grade the following year.

In 2002, Gesher purchased a beautiful 28-acre property located in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2007 Gesher moved into its new home at 4800 Mattie Moore Court. The gorgeous, state-of-the-art building in its incredible wooded setting, now complete, is a dream come true, a perfect place for young children to learn, thrive, and grow.

Ten Habits of a Gesher Graduate

Gesher JDS graduates are:

  1. Resilient: We seek challenges and are not afraid to fail.
  2. Curious: Our eyes are open for opportunities to learn and grow.
  3. Compassionate: Our hearts are open to the needs and experiences of others.
  4. Reflective: We look at ourselves realistically so that we can improve.
  5. Rooted in Tradition: We find ways to make Judaism a meaningful part of our lives each day.
  6. Engaged: We form meaningful relationships with others in our communities.
  7. Leaders: We advocate for our beliefs.
  8. Morally Responsible: We improve the world in ways that are consistent with Jewish values.
  9. Communicators: We write and speak proficiently and effectively in both English and Hebrew.
  10. Aware: We seek to understand our communities and the world around us.