About Us

Welcome to Gesher!

Dan FinkelOur community is committed to giving our children a high quality secular and Jewish education because we believe that this combination prepares them best for the life we hope and dream they will lead – a life of meaningful relationships, creative work, and Tikkun Olam.

Our children encounter new challenges and new opportunities as the world changes at a rapidly increasing pace.

Gesher’s vision is to lean into this vibrant future while maintaining meaningful, relevant connections to the rich wisdom of Jewish tradition and the state of Israel. We welcome you to visit our campus to experience for yourself what it looks and feels like to joyously educate caring, capable, engaged children.

Now in its 36th year, Gesher can reflect on its tremendous growth and change from the vantage point of its own home. May the future here be filled with new generations of students who will go on to enhance their communities with the benefit of a Gesher Jewish Day School education.

B’vracha (with blessings),

 

 

Dan Finkel
Head of School

History

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