Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most frequently asked questions about Kehillah appear below.

Visit other pages in our website for information about our campus, tuition and financial aid, accreditation, student life, athletics, arts, electivesgraduation requirements, and class trips.

Q

What does "Kehillah" mean?

A

Kehillah is a Hebrew word meaning "community."

Q

How is Kehillah different from other high schools?

A

Kehillah is the first Jewish high school in Silicon Valley. In addition to an exceptionally strong college prepartory program in the arts, sciences, social sciences, humanities, and Jewish studies, Kehillah students thrive in a community where their voices are valued and heard.

Q

How well are Kehillah students prepared for college?

A

Kehillah graduated its fifth senior class in June, 2010. Kehillah alumni tell us they are extremely well prepared for college and that their study skills are superior to those of many of their peers in college. They report that the transition from a small high school to a large university environment was smooth, due to their comfort with interacting with faculty, advocating for themselves and finding students who share their interests -- all skills they learned at Kehillah.

Q

How many students attend Kehillah?

A

Kehillah's student body has grown from 33 initial pioneering students to 160 (and growing!) students in grades 9 through 12.

Q

Where do Kehillah students come from?

A

Kehillah students come from as far north as Burlingame, as far south as Morgan Hill, and as far east as Castro Valley and Fremont. Kehillah students have attended public, private and Jewish middle schools.

Q

What are the advantages of a small high school?

A

Research indicates that student achievement increases with small class size and a high faculty to student ratio. Students are more active and engaged in the classroom, and student issues are more rapidly resolved. In a small school, no one becomes lost in the crowd. The staff knows each student. Each is an essential contributor to the school community and receives individual attention. The individualized attention ensures that the student's special interests and talents are identified, supported and nurtured. Individual challenges can also be more easily identified and addressed as needed. In addition, at a small school there is greater opportunity for leadership and a stronger role in sports and extracurricular activities. From the perspective of a lifetime of socializing, spending one's teenage years of identity formation in a Jewish school fosters self-confidence and knowledge of one's heritage while still promoting respect for others.

Q

What are Kehillah's admission requirements?

A

Kehillah seeks students who are capable of thriving in and contributing to a stimulating, college preparatory academic program that includes Jewish studies and experiential learning. Applicants are required to take a nationally normed admissions examination, furnish letters of recommendation, write brief essays and participate in an interview with our Director of Admissions. In addition to these requirements, Kehillah is looking for students who are committed to creating an inclusive community, one in which it is comfortable to disagree passionately, and in which the dignity of every participant is upheld.

Q

How do students get to Kehillah?

A

Students travel to Kehillah by parent transport, train and carpools. Kehillah helps parents form carpools for the new school year over the summer before. For an additional fee, Kehillah also offers a shuttle to and from the Mountain View train station to meet students arriving from stations north and south.

Q

Does Kehillah accept non-Jews?

A

Yes, Kehillah welcomes students of all backgrounds. Kehillah's non-Jewish students make friends with all of their classmates, thrive in school and enjoy learning about Jewish tradition and culture.

Q

Will my student take Hebrew? Do you offer beginning Hebrew? Classes for fluent Hebrew speakers?

A

Hebrew language learning is strongly recommended. Kehillah offers five levels of Hebrew classes including an entry level class in beginning Hebrew to meet the needs of new incoming students. Students already proficient in Hebrew have the choice of further advancing their Hebrew language and literature skills through high level language and literature courses, or studying a different language for high school, such as Latin or Spanish. Students must take 2 years of the same language to graduate and are strongly encouraged to take 3 years.

Q

What makes Kehillah a Jewish school? How Jewish is it?

A

Kehillah teaches specifically with the Jewish values that have not only sustained the Jewish people throughout the ages, but which inspired the great religions and thinkers of Western and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Students at Kehillah choose from a wide array of courses offered by the Jewish Studies department as well as general studies courses and courses in visual and performing arts. Kehillah's lunch program is kosher and kosher food is available for all class activities and trips. Kehillah observes Shabbat and all Jewish holidays. Kehillah embraces egalitarian ideals and provides co-educational instruction in all courses, including Jewish studies. Kehillah is committed to offering profound and relevant Jewish study opportunities to all its students, including those students who are exceptionally well-prepared and those students who have no prior Jewish education or experience. Kehillah's curriculum includes Israel education and the school sponsors an educational trip to Israel for 2-3 weeks during the junior year.

Q

How diverse is Kehillah?

A

Kehillah students are geographically, religiously, socio-economically, ethnically, racially and (among Jewish students) Jewishly diverse. Kehillah families come from the U.S. and Europe, the former Soviet Union, Israel, Latin America, Asia, Southeast Asia and North Africa. Many families affiliate with the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish movements, and others are of unaffiliated, inter-faith, secular and other non-Jewish backgrounds. Kehillah's parent body includes hetero-sexual, same-sex and single parents. The faculty is comprised of Jewish and non-Jewish teachers from the US, Israel, South Africa, Argentina, France and Canada.