Dr. Lena Kushnir

Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago (SSDS) has welcomed back Dr. Lena Kushnir as the new Head of School.

“Dr. Kushnir is a nationally-recognized expert in Jewish education and brings a passion for Jewish life, along with the skills and leadership to move our school forward,” says Brian Hoffman, SSDS President.

Kushnir has a long connection to Schechter–as a student, teacher, administrator, parent of alumni and current parent. She began her professional tenure at Schechter in 1997 as a 3rd grade classroom teacher before earning a Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She spent 10 years as a school administrator at Schechter, including serving as Director of Education and Principal/Assistant Head of School for Sager Solomon Schechter (K-8).

“I am delighted to return to Schechter,” says Kushnir. “I’ve experienced the impact of a Schechter education personally, and believe so strongly in the role the school plays in building the future of the Jewish people.”

“Through her experience in leadership coaching and professional development for day schools across the nation, Dr. Kushnir knows how to support teachers and always has the students’ best interest at heart,” added Hoffman. “Lena’s extensive administrative background, combined with her communication skills, and strong, long-term relationships with Schechter’s greater community will contribute greatly to her success as Head of School. The Board and I see a bright future for Schechter, and for the world which will be impacted by our graduates.”

“Every day we do holy work with our students–creating confident, competent and committed Jews who think critically and feel empowered to enhance the world through their words and actions,” added Kushnir. “The call back home is strong, and I remain committed to the mission and values that Schechter embodies every day.”

Kushnir holds Bachelors Degrees from the University of Michigan in Education and in Organizational Behavior, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She continued her graduate studies at Loyola University Chicago, earning her Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Kushnir has taken numerous advanced courses in mindfulness practices, and how to teach mindfulness to others, including learning from Harvard and Stanford University professors. She additionally completed a formal 8-Week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) course and continues her own learning and professional growth on a daily basis.

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