HEAD OF SCHOOL
END OF YEAR REPORT 2018
A YEAR OF
EMBRACING THE ESSENCE OF OUR MISSION
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2017-18 SCHOOL YEAR
MESSAGE FROM HOS
Jeffery Davis, Ed.D.
This report will shed light on the many TVT happenings
throughout the 2017-18 school year that benefited our
students while embracing the essence of our mission.
How are we integrating Jewish values in our students’
What gives our students a love of learning and an innovative
mindset towards problem solving?
How are we building our community to inspire students to
make the world a better place?
These questions emerged during a series of leadership
meetings this past year. Each stems from the heart of our
mission as we continue to provide a nurturing and caring
community that embraces pluralism and inspires students
to lead meaningful Jewish lives as compassionate and
Our faculty is committed to risk-taking, discovery, innovation and
ethical behavior. We guide our students to do the same.
Special, meaningful moments happen daily on the TVT campus: a teacher brings insight to a frustrating
obstacle; a story in a book elicits a deeply held belief; a simple act of kindness from someone makes you
even kinder. When these moments occur, our world gets better. We strive to nurture the environment for
these moments to happen.
TVT is a place where individuals engage and relationships are formed to become an integral component
of a beautiful community. At TVT, we embrace our Jewish foundation and our multicultural society. We
teach Judaism through in-depth discussions that lead to a deeper understanding of issues. The Talmud is
reflective of such diversity as it encourages us to embrace our community so that we learn and grow from
our diverse experiences. Our commitment to diversity stems from the Jewish value, V’ahavta L’rei-akha
Kamokha (Love your Neighbor as yourself).
Papa Gelman (z”l) was committed to taking risks in order to provide a safe space by founding TVT in
response to the lack of Jewish education in Orange County. He believed that every child deserved a stellar
Jewish education and that the key to Jewish survival is lifelong learning. Since our opening in 1991, TVT
has grown from 36 students to a flourishing school with over 530 students, making it one of the largest
Jewish Day Schools in the nation. Papa Gelman (z”l), created a school committed to its Jewish origins and
welcomes a diverse student body. May we continue that motivating force by regarding what the great
sage Hillel said is the essence of Judaism, “Do not do unto others that which is hateful to you. All the rest is
commentary. Now go and study”.
The dedication of our exceptional staff has allowed us to accomplish so much this year. Thanks to our
faculty, staff, and students for these successes. I hope you enjoy some highlights from this past year.
Dr. Jeffrey Davis
Head of School,
An advanced-level program that A curriculum designed to prepare Writing instruction designed for kindergarten
focuses on problem solving. students for the rigors of advanced through 12th grade. Supports the individuality
university classes and of every learner and grows literacy across
highly competitive careers. content areas.
Students learn how the equation works. They master the Digital experiences are blended with hands-on lessons that
material through detailed instruction, questions, problem inspire students to think like scientists and engineers to solve
solving and visual and hands-on aids real-world problems.
PARENT EDUCATION INTENSIVE
INNOVATION AT TVT
(i@TVT) Students academically below grade level are
given the opportunity to work on functional
academic skills, life skills and social skills while
enjoying inclusion in TVT’s wide array of non-
academic programs and social activities with
DESIGN & MIDDLE-SCHOOL
IMAGINATION LABS COUNSELING
MIDDLE & UPPER
SCHOOL DEAN STRUCTURE
FACULTY PROFESSIONAL MIDDLE & UPPER
GROWTH SYSTEM SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
WITH THE WEICHMAN CLINIC
FOR PARENT LIFE SKILLS
43 Seniors 72% of the seniors who applied to a U.C.
181 College Acceptances University were accepted to at least one
88 Colleges and Universities 42% of our students matriculated
22 Schools are in top 50 US to the US News and World Report
Top 50 National Universities or Liberal
News National Universities or Arts Colleges
National Liberal Arts Colleges
We had students commit to: Carnegie Mellon University, Chapman University,
Emory University, George Washington University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University,
Kenyon College, The Ohio State University, San Diego State University, San Jose State University,
Sonoma State University, The University of California, Irvine, The University of Southern California,
Southern Methodist University, Stanford University and The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
LOWER SCHOOL CAMPUS
As part of a week-long campaign for Hurricane Relief During the Annual Book Fair, students were inspired
in Houston, students packed and shipped over 50 to purchase books for their teacher’s classroom
backpacks to B’nai Yeshurun Day School in Houston. libraries. They also donated 219 books to CHOC’s
giving and lending libraries.
TVT’s Children’s Choir performed a fun and
entertaining program at the Fashion Island Holiday Fifth grade students took “The Walk Through the
Show for the first night of Hanukkah. American Revolution,” an interactive learning
experience designed to allow students to actively
TVT was honored with a Monarch Waystation participate in a lively retelling of our nation’s
Certification through MonarchWatch.org after the beginnings. Students explored the famous events,
students logged many hours of data about the historical figures and relevant vocabulary of this pivotal
monarch butterfly life cycle in our Lower School point in America’s history.
The first graders learned about American symbols.
Singapore Math was successfully implemented as the This study was integrated across the curricula using
math curriculum. Students don’t just learn equations to Project Based Learning (incorporates inquiry as part
reach an answer, they learn how and why the equation of the process of learning and encourages creativity).
works. Singapore math devotes more time to fewer They explored this knowledge through language arts,
topics to ensure children master the material through social studies, art and music collaboration.
detailed instruction, questions, problem-solving, visual
and hands-on aids. Second grade students studied Martin Luther King,
Jr. and incorporated PBL (Project Based Learning)
Over the summer, the Festival of Arts Junior Art by re-enacting the March on Washington. They
Exhibit displayed the artwork of six TVT students infused activities and information from social studies,
and 25 art pieces of our students were selected for language arts, makerspace, math, art, music and
the Orange County Imagination Celebration’s “1,000 physical education.
Pieces of Art” at South Coast Plaza.
The fifth grade Lemonade Stand raised money to
The Fourth grade service project theme this year fight childhood cancer. This mitzvah project taught the
was “Hunger in Orange County.” Students visited the students how to budget, make lemonade and run a
Orange County Food Bank twice to help pack over storefront.
800 boxes of food for seniors who could not afford to
feed themselves. Way to go fourth grade! Fourth and fifth graders represented TVT in the Battle
of the Books (BOB) competition, a literary competition
Two of our teachers were nominated for teacher of among Orange County schools to encourage
the year in Parenting OC Magazine. students to read good literature, increase reading
comprehension and have fun while competing with
The California Dairy Council Cow and Calf showed their peers.
TK-second grade students where our food comes
from and healthy food and activity choices. Third-fifth
graders learned about California’s agriculture and its
contribution to our food supply.
Over 400 students, faculty, parents, grandparents and
friends moved with the music in a Red Ribbon Week
Flash Mob on Grandparents and Special Friends Day.
MIDDLE & UPPER SCHOOL CAMPUS
Two TVT staff members and five US students flew to State Park and experienced hands-on exploration at
Alvin, Texas with the organization, Friends and Family the Exploratorium. Of course, no trip to San Francisco
Community Connection (FFCC), to participate in three would be complete without touring Alcatraz and riding
days of flood relief work after Hurricane Harvey. a cable car.
Additionally, generous TVT community members MS students enjoyed watching Night at the Museum
donated over $5,000 to the FFCC for flood-relief on Movie Night. They had snacks and were comfy in
supplies. pajamas and slippers.
Dr. Jerry Weichman, of The Weichman Clinic at A new grade-level Dean Program was implemented
Hoag Neurosciences Institute, spoke to students and in the middle and upper schools. Teachers were
parents about an array of pressing mental wellness assigned as Deans of grades 6 through 12, to provide
topics such as academic studying tips, sleep, stress, academic, social and emotional support to individual
anxiety, depression, healthy relationships, regular students and the grade as a whole.
electronic use and substance use and abuse.
The new Weight Room provided student athletes
As a culmination of a year of bonding activities, eighth a strength and conditioning program to help them
graders embarked on an urban outing with Fulcrum increase their levels of performance and overall sense
Adventures by heading to downtown Los Angeles for of well-being.
team building. Teams participated in a scavenger hunt.
Congratulations to the green team for coming in first For Thanksgiving, students traveled to Imperial Beach
and winning a pizza party! to donate 250 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.
Another group of students went to Santa Ana and
MS students joined Tribes across grade-levels for donated another 250 Thanksgiving meals to more
fun competitions each month. At the end of the year, families in need.
a tribe will be crowned the victor and have their name
etched on a victory plaque. The VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) Blowout in
March, was an all-day festival that showcased the
The Upper School’s Chesed Club welcomed and sixth-twelfth graders’ wealth of artistic talent and the
assisted our new Intensive Program (IP) students. They variety of art forms offered at TVT. The day began
helped our new students integrate into the community with an array of original films made by the Middle
by spending time together during Tefillah, Kabbalat and Upper Schools’ Film Classes. The Middle School
Shabbat, breaks, lunch and social events. Dance Class taught a variety of dances and performed
a reportedly outstanding version of the Tina Turner
TVT’s Immersion program offered students the option rendition of “Rolling on The River,” alongside the MS
to perform local, domestic or international service Garage Band. The A.I. Band performed “Roundabout”
again this year. Our domestic program partnered with by Yes, and some excellent original compositions, all
TIVNU, the Jewish social justice program in Portland, while surrounded by the backdrop of a surreal papier-
Ore. and our international service program went to mache forest created by the studio art students and
Thailand this year. student artwork. A great time was had by all!
Eighth and Eleventh-grade students piloted a new
social-emotional assessment test called Tessera. This
test measured, evaluated and, worked on improving
social and emotional awareness and skills.
The seventh-grade students traveled to San Francisco
where they learned about rescuing, rehabilitating
and releasing marine mammals at the Marine
Mammal Center. They viewed stained glass windows
depicting Moses and the Ten Commandments on
a guided tour of Congregation Sherith Israel and
saw hundreds of sea creatures at the Monterey Bay
Aquarium. They hiked at Henry Cowell Redwoods
JEWISH LIFE LOWER SCHOOL
ALL SCHOOL TVT’s signature Question-of-the-Month and Mitzvah
Mensch program provided the backbone for a wildly
Jewish Holidays at TVT are celebrated with hands- creative Jewish Studies program in the lower school.
on experiential activities that strive to reinforce Jewish Studies in each grade was exhibition-centered
knowledge and spread Jewish joy. so that all in-class Jewish learning culminated in
peek experiences that reinforced Jewish skills and
Students in all divisions of the school began their cemented Jewish memories.
year by opening “hopes and dreams letters” they had
written to themselves during last year’s High Holidays Fifth graders spent one of our first weeks of school
(Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur). During this time sleeping in the sukkah and engaging for 24 hours in
period, students flexed their metacognitive muscles Sukkot related activities. Second graders also had a
by participating in a creative tashlich service, casting TVT sleepover experience, culminating 10 weeks of
away their sins in TVT’s very own Jordan River. The Shabbat-centered learning by spending a 25-hour
TVT community also used this introspective time to Shabbat on TVT grounds with classmates. Third
practice relationship repair, teshuvah, by sending Graders came back to the school at the end of a
sorry-o-grams to students, faculty and staff. winter Shabbat to lead a Havdalah Program for
family and friends.
Hanukkah learning centers, schoolwide latke frying
and daily Hanukkiah candlelighting throughout the Fifth graders ruled the roost on Purim day as
school brought spirit to the Festival of Lights. they presented a student written and designed Purim
parody called “The Wizard of ShushOZ” to
Purim parades, parodies, megillah readings and a the entire lower school. This performance was
schoolwide mishloach manot goodie exchange left balanced by a more somber presentation on Yom
all TVT-ers smiling and grateful. HaShoah, when Fifth graders shared excerpts from
the diaries of student-created characters who might
Student-led Passover seders in each division of our have lived through the rise of anti-Jewish hatred in
school used student/teacher-created Haggadot 1930s Germany.
to increase the relevance of this holiday for all and
helped give TVT students the know how to act as Fourth graders prepared all year for their “Mitzvah
seder leaders on the homefront. and Middot Game” presentation, when they used
what they learned about Jewish values to create a
While most students returned from Passover break board game. The fourth grade also culminated with
ready to wind down their year, Jewish life around the each student reading their favorite part of the Torah
school fired on all cylinders, offering holiday highlights from the Torah itself, using the correct Torah tune they
such as 20+ activity centers for Israel’s Independence mastered over the course of the year.
Day and Marshmallow Roasting, hair snipping and
archery for Lag b’Omer. Third graders capped off their year with the
presentation of hand-made Torot, containing pictures
Creative Holiday programming was balanced by that accompany key Torah verses found in the book
a Tefillah and Kabbalat Shabbat experience in of Bereshit. Second graders brought parents through
all divisions of the school. Prayer at TVT aimed a series of sight-unseen Hebrew letters and syllables
to connect students to God, attempted to offer and by doing so exhibited Hebrew reading mastery.
opportunities for holiness throughout the week and
strived to help students find their spiritual voices and The lower school year ended as our first graders
grow their souls. A highlight of the TVT prayer year received their very own prayer book, siddur, and
was an Israel send-off Kabbalat Shabbat that presented themselves as poised and prepared
galvanized our community and reinforced the power for all the exciting exhibitions and skill building that
of the 11th grade Poland/Israel trip. lie ahead.
MIDDLE SCHOOL UPPER SCHOOL
As sixth graders entered Middle School, they were 12th graders started the year off quickly, running from
quickly asked to return to the Lower School to lead the Rabbi to Rabbi as they “shopped” their senior dvar
annual lower school Simchat Torah holiday program. Torah ideas around during TVT’s annual “Dvar Torah
Their leadership skills showed such promise and Speed Dating Program.” These divrei Torah were
prowess that they came down to the lower school shared during Monday tefillah and Friday Kabbalat
once again, before Purim, to lead the lower school in a Shabbat to respectful listening and great cheers.
science fair-like program called “The Mitzvah Fair.”
10th graders spent a Saturday night of khol hamoed
A first ever seventh grade Shabbaton brought a Sukkot engaged in the first ever “If-You-Build-It
much-needed experiential element to the seventh You-Can-Sleep” program where students were given
grade JS unit about Shabbat. The positive energy and wood, screws, blueprints and a power drill. By the
comradery that this program elicited gave the seventh time the last 10th grader closed their eyes, all were
grade stamina and perseverance to join forces as sleeping under five newly built mini-sukkots that
a Philanthropy Board and give away $3,700 to four became the talk of the school for the next days of the
organizations that combat disease and disability. festival.
Eighth graders defined their role as leaders and Ninth graders shared part of their Theology curriculum
teachers each week by offering inspiring Divrei Torah by inviting community speakers to offer their personal
at both Tuesday tefillah and Friday Kabbalat Shabbat. theology to the entire Upper School in what is known
Their year also focused intensely on preparing to as “God Talks.” Later in the year, 11th graders opened
serve as Jewish lawyers for the first ever Middle their homes and hearts to Israeli 11th graders from
School Moot Beit Din Jr. In late spring, TVT became Haifa. These same Israelis will be hosting TVT students
the meeting place for five Southern California Jewish when the 11th graders arrive in Israel.
Day Schools to battle out a court case involving the
intersection between bullying, snapchat, gossip and 12th graders kept the spirit of Jewish life strong
Jewish law. To our delight, one of TVT’s eighth grade by helping to lead a “first day of Adar parade”
teams was awarded first place. throughout the school. Thanks to team Hevrah and
the Israel Update Committee, 12th grade student
activists helped make sure that Jewish conversations
happened outside of the classroom and involved
multiple perspectives and ideas. As our 12th
graders looked toward their future, they were taught
preliminary strategies to combat campus anti-
Semitism (thank you Peter Levi of the ADL) and were
guided in the writing and presentation of “forever
letters” that expressed gratitude and appreciation to
their parents for 18 years of guidance and love.
I@TVT INNOVATION TVT
LOWER SCHOOL Students in the AI (Afterschool Innovation) program
made connections between global issues and STEAM
Lower School students developed their critical science by studying science and engineering concepts with
reasoning skills using the Amplify Science curriculum students in other countries through Google Hangouts.
for the first time this year.
Other AI students worked with LEGO Robotics kits to
At the start of the school year, all faculty received six practice developing their programming skills.
hours of training in using Makerspaces as learning
spaces. The training focused on design thinking, Students in Math Olympiad blew away the
problem solving and the use of different tools and competition in this year’s contest both locally and
stations within a Makerspace. In particular, lower nationally. Our students finished strong, with one
school faculty collaborated with and observed the getting a perfect score, three in the top 2% and five
Library/Maker Staff teach lessons aligned with in the top 10%. More than 6,000 teams, featuring
grade-level learning objectives. The Lower School more than 170,000 students, participated in the Math
Imagination Station (Makerspace) was used by all Olympiad this year. Students from all 50 states and 30
students in the LS. different countries participated.
The entire elementary school joined sThe Hour of Every student in the Lower School developed their
Code during Computer Science Education Week. critical thinking and creativity skills through once-per-
Every TK through fifth grade student participated in an week lessons in the Imagination Station where they
Hour of Code activity during their science class, joining built solutions to problems presented to them either in
tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. their reading or social sciences studies.
TVT is the only day school in the United States Second-grade students showed off their mastery of
that has Beast Academy, an extremely rigorous and entrepreneurial skills with their Marketplace project.
innovative math program designed for exceptionally
talented math students. Second grade Beast Academy Fourth-grade students learned how to program
students put their measurement skills to the test in TinkerCad to use the 3D printers to create
in the Measurement Olympics by competing in models of the state of California for their California
various events. history learning.
Fourth graders learned about the California Gold Rush Fifth-grade students developed their imagination,
in the Upper School Engineering, Social Science and creativity, collaboration and empathy skills through
Science classes. building instruments similar to those created by
children in the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay.
MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL Working to develop their skills, students took AP
Computer Science Principles and AP Computer
TVT students won two events at this year’s Orange Science A for the first time.
County Science Olympiad, which drew students
from all over the county earlier this year. Science Students in Engineering I developed prototypes
Olympiad is one of the most important national for vehicles that would fly based on alternative
science competitions in which more than 7,800 teams aerodynamics.
competed in 2018. Science Olympiad is a national
organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 Students in Engineering II designed and created a
science education and creating a technologically- “shake table,” a device used to measure forces acting
literate workforce. on buildings and other structures.
For the first time in TVT history, four seventh graders Students in Engineering III designed, built and
participated in the nationwide Academic Pentathlon. launched a high-altitude balloon that reached the
After a topic was chosen, students studied five stratosphere, taking pictures of the curvature of the
different subjects relating to the issue. Our theme Earth on its way up and back.
for the 2017-2018 school year was Africa. The team
had fun learning about things like Ancient Egypt, the In April, TVT served as the Southern California host
empires of Mali and Ghana, human evolution, common site for the Diamond Challenge for High School
diseases and music throughout the continent. Entrepreneurs, an international program put on by
the Horn Entrepreneurship Center at the University
Widespread interest in the new Engineering program of Delaware. Diamond Challenge offered students
had students developing simulated Mars Landers and an opportunity to create a business concept or social
functional submersibles in the sixth grade Elective innovation concept and pitch that concept to a panel
Wheel course. In fact, sixth grade students were so of judges drawn from TVT faculty, board and the
interested in the Engineering class, they petitioned the broader community. The event drew teams from as far
MS administration to be allowed to keep taking the away as Scottsdale, Ariz. and featured four TVT teams
specifically created morning class facilitated by Mr. from Dr. Cassie’s Entrepreneurship Class.
Sixth grade students inaugurated the AOPS
Mathematics program in the Middle School.
Students in Rabbi Kirzner’s Medieval History course
inaugurated the Upper School Design Lab by building
a functional medieval town, complete with running
water, a mill and other elements that helped them
understand how such a town functioned.
COMPASSIONATE CITIZENS AND
At TVT, our mission includes teaching students “to
work collaboratively” and preparing “students to be...
compassionate citizens and courageous leaders in their
community and the world.” Our students, on March
14th, staged a 17-minute walkout to commemorate
the 17 students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas
High School in Parkland, Fla., -- and our mission was
on full display. Students at the walkout organized an
event where multiple perspectives about how to make
schools safer were shared.
For middle and high school students who chose
instead to participate in the regular programming of
the day -- a Town Hall discussion -- those students
discussed why they didn’t walk out and how they felt
we could make our schools as safe as possible. Their
contributions and decisions to opt-into the regular
programming were both valuable and insightful.
IRVING “PAPA” GELMAN
A MAN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE
TVT’s beloved founder, Irving (Yitzchok) Gelman, school, one of many that flourished throughout
passed away on March 4, 2018. A Holocaust Europe in the late 1930’s. By June of 1941, Nazi
survivor who founded Tarbut V’Torah Community terror had come to their town, Hosht. Irving, along
Day School, in loving memory of his daughter, with his entire immediate family and his friend,
Naomi Gelman Weiss, Irving became the Rachel, spent the next 16 months in hiding in a
“Papa” of many as he touched the community hole under the floor of a Ukrainian woman’s farm.
through his generosity, vision, tenacity and
devout belief that every Jewish child deserves By the sheer force of his personality and his
a stellar Jewish education. Irving believed that gift for making visions come to fruition, Irving
the key to the Jewish survival is lifelong learning. rose above the struggles of the Holocaust and
Since its opening in 1991, Tarbut has grown arrived in the United States in 1946
from 36 students to a flourishing TK-12 college with only $5.60 in his pocket.
preparatory school with over 530 students, After marrying his sweetheart,
making it one of the largest Jewish Day Schools Rochelle, they settled in New
in the nation. Jersey and started a family and
a successful textile business.
Both Irving and his wife, Rachel (Rochelle), were Irving saved his children’s
born in Poland and educated in a Tarbut (culture)
Jewish day school, Yavneh Academy, from 1989, at age 38; his grandson, Joshua Joseph in
financial and political disasters and became 1993, at age seven and his son, Glenn in 2014, he
known as Mr. Yavneh. was no stranger to the trials of life. He always had
a smile, a story and his great sense of humor.
After selling his business, all of the Gelmans
moved to Orange County, Calif. As a true Irving is survived by his wife of 70 years, Rochelle;
visionary, along with his belief in Jewish his son-in-law Lou Weiss and many devoted
education, Irving created Tarbut V’Torah—naming grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
it after the schools in Europe. He added the Torah
part to ensure that a Torah based Jewish theology Irving “Papa” Gelman was an incredibly special
would always be seen as the essential element of mensch and truly one of a kind. His legacy will
his school. continue for many generations to come. Papa
Gelman (z”l), Chai, Chai, v’Kayam (Papa Gelman
Irving will be remembered as a charismatic (z”l), lives and endures.
leader, “Papa” to all and a messenger of quality,
Jewish education to Orange County, earned
by his uncompromising persistence and
determination. Having lost his daughter Naomi in
TEAMWORK & COLLABORATION
Under the leadership of TVT’s Chairperson, All school drills were observed and was provided
Steve Kaufman, the Board of Trustees was dedicated detailed data on what we are doing correctly and
to strategizing the growth of TVT and enhancing areas that need more practice.
Jewish thought and values. Our new board chairperson
over saw meaningful and substantial board meetings Students, parents, teachers, alumni and members of
where the wisdom and expertise of the trustees could the community gathered for TVT’s 3rd Annual Turkey
be more fully realized. The Board focused more on Trot on a picture-perfect Thanksgiving morning,
strategic topics and big picture items and minimized The Turkey Trot featured a 5K and a 1K fun run and
time spent on micro-level details to make meetings collected $15,000 to buy food to pack for the food
concise and focused on important issues. packing event.
In January, Steve Kaufman and Jeff Davis attended On Super Bowl Sunday, over 470 volunteers ranging
the CAIS conference in San Francisco where one of from age 2 to 80 packaged food to help fight hunger
the major themes discussed was diversity. This topic in the community and elsewhere for our 3rd Annual
is ever evolving in many Jewish independent day Food Packing event. They packed 53,352 meals in two
On the day before school started in August, parents, Administration and faculty developed a Portrait of
students, and faculty gathered on the Lower School the TVT Graduate, calling out the student’s Jewish
campus for the annual Back- to- School Picnic and identity including critical thinking process, imagination,
to honor the Samson family who cut the ribbon on communication, collaboration, character and
the new Sheila & Eric Samson and Family Innovation contributions to repairing the world.
Center for K-5 STEAM (science, technology,
engineering, arts and mathematics). We learned from our parent surveys the top 10
influencers for families selecting TVT are:
We are grateful to Rabbi Jim Rogozen for being the
interim Lower School Principal. He brought his people 1. Meaningful connection between
skills and love of mentoring to the entire campus. students and teachers.
In November, TVT donated 500 Thanksgiving meals 2. Focus on character development
(including turkeys, corn, cranberries, potatoes and
apple pie) to underprivileged families in Imperial 3. Exceptional academic preparedness
Beach and Santa Ana, Calif.
4. Emphasis on developing critical thinking skills
TVT’s strategic plan was adopted by the Board of
Trustees this past year. Our leadership team continued 5. Attentive, individualized education
to work on implementing each of the three strategic
goals—(1) Attract, retain and develop exceptional 6. Dynamic electives and course offerings
faculty who create inspiring learning experiences in
state of the art facilities. (2) Balance a challenging, 7. Positive social dynamics
individualized academic program distinguished by
choice, rigor, real-world problem solving, creativity 8. Inspiring Jewish content
and intellectual engagement with a robust TK-12
Jewish Studies program that inspires present and 9. Global preparedness/awareness
future commitment to Chesed (kindness), klal yisrael
(community), tikkun olam (repair the world) and 10. Strong sense of community
spiritual growth. (3) Achieve greater fulfillment of the
TVT Mission through strategic growth. The Parent Association adopted 10 families this past
holiday season and raised $6,500 for JFFS Adopt-A-
An outside consulting company was brought on Family. The parents donated gift cards for gas, food
campus to assist us with Emergency Preparedness. and stores such as Target and Walmart.
On Sunday, April 29, over 300 parents, grandparents,
and friends of TVT gathered for the 2018 TVT Annual
Gala, “Innovation: Tomorrow’s Promise” helping to This year in student testing, TVT switched from the
raise $215,000 and paying tribute to TVT’s beloved use of CTP-4 testing to ACT Aspire. This test assesses
Founder Irving “Papa” Gelman. student readiness in math, reading, science and
writing, connecting student growth from grades 3-8
Lyla Weiss, ’06, received the 2018 Irving Gelman and early high school in the context of college and
Award. As Founder and President of the nonprofit career readiness.
“Billy’s Camera,” Lyla provides cameras to orphans
around the world so they can experience the joy of Next Year
photography. She also regularly provides opportunities
for young Jews to connect with each other to further • The Arnold Shapiro Arts and Engineering Center
their Jewish values and identify engagingly. officially opens.
Steve Kaufman paid tribute to Irving’s humanitarian • The long-awaited slide from the upper to lower
spirit and his lifetime of visionary leadership. A magical campus will be installed!
moment was created when attendees blew bubbles
that floated off into the night sky representing the • Upper Campus library will be entirely remodeled.
hopes and dreams of the over 650 alumni and
524 current students at TVT – the legacy of one • Upper School and Middle School offices, along
remarkable man. with the college center, will be relocated next to
the Upper School MPR. We will have a small group
The TVT Cycling team continued to ride on Sunday of 5th Graders enrolled in Pre-algebra.
mornings, meeting at Fashion Island’s Starbucks at
8:30 am. Everyone is welcome. Rides are typically 25- • AoPS Algebra
30 miles and are never strenuous.
• Social Justice Immersion in the Upper School
Growing enrollment and improving retention
was a top priority for 2017-18. Enrollment increased • Middle and Upper School music
by over 7%, and similar growth is expected for the rooms remodeled.
2018-19 school year. Kindergarten enrollment was
exceptionally strong with over 55 students. • We will welcome Michelle Bernat as our new
Lower School Principal.
A diversity statement was developed that represents
our viewpoint regarding diversity at TVT. The
statement describes our commitment to diversity
in the student body, faculty and administration, as
well as the many forms diversity can take at TVT (i.e.,
race, gender, socio-economic status, religion, sexual
As part of the TVT Speaker Series, Dr. Kenneth W.
Stein – one of the foremost authorities on Israel in the
United States – shared his expertise on the history, the
current political situation and the road ahead in Israel.
Dr. Stein, author, professor at Emory University and
former director and Middle East fellow at the Carter
Center, presented “Israel at 70: Unfinished.” His life’s
work of studying the Jewish-Arab conflict, in both the
historical and social-economic context, provided a
unique and captivating look at this ongoing struggle
as he offered insight into the US-Israel relationship,
the potential for a two-state solution and the Israeli
ARNOLD SHAPIRO ARTS AND
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Michael Gillman David Samson
Mark Hales Deborah Siminou
Richard Arum Steve Kaufman, Board Chair Fred Taylor
Kenny Beard Sue Littman Sepideh “Sepi” Varon
Gary Brahm Basil Luck David Weinberg
Mayer Cherem Andrew Lyon
Irving Gelman (z”l)
Founder & Chair Emeritus