The Board of Trustees of Brandeis Hillel Day School, based in Marin and San Francisco, has announced Dr. Donald Zimring as the new Head of School, beginning in August 2012. The full announcement is below, and a FAQ about Dr. Zimring has been posted on the Brandeis Hillel Day School web site at

Dr. Zimring’s contract with LVUSD expires on August 1, and he will start with Brandeis Hillel in August.

Full Announcement

Board of Trustees, Brandeis Hillel Day School
Posted March 1, 2012

The Board of Trustees of Brandeis Hillel Day School is delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Donald Zimring as the new Head of School, beginning in August 2012. We look forward to welcoming Donald and his wife, Carolyn, into our school and broader community.

Donald’s strong educational and administrative experience, leadership skills, optimism, enthusiasm, commitment to Jewish life, and sense of Jewish community and ruach (roughly, “spirit” or “soul”) make him the ideal candidate to lead our school at this time of great opportunity and growth.

“Donald is a leader with the soul of an educator, and he will advance Brandeis Hillel Day School as an institution, and as the leading Jewish independent day school serving the Jewish community of the Bay Area,” said Danny Grossman, Chair of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Search Committee.

Donald will continue BHDS’s mission of imbuing our children with our core values of integrity, kindness and service, while providing a rigorous, integrated academic program in general and Jewish studies.

“From the first time my wife and I visited your school, I knew I wanted to be part of your remarkable program. I have devoted my career to the education of children, and will be honored to continue my life’s work leading an institution rooted in Jewish values, anchored by talented, caring educators, and sustained by a strong Board and committed parent community,” said Donald Zimring. “I am thrilled and humbled by this appointment,” he added.

Donald is the recipient of many leadership and educational awards and honors over the course of a career dedicated to education as a teacher, school principal and leader, and is currently the Superintendent of the Las Virgenes Unified School District in Southern California, where he is a nominee for California superintendent of the year. He brings outstanding experience in educational leadership training, management and fundraising.

Background on the Search

This selection was the culmination of a thoughtful and diligent search process that took into consideration feedback from the entire BHDS community.

The Head of School Search Committee was chaired by Dr. Debbie Findling, a professional Jewish educator with more than 25 years of experience, and was comprised of board members, teachers and parents representing both campuses. The committee, supported by Cal West, an educational search firm that has placed heads of school at leading private schools around the country, conducted a comprehensive, nationwide search.

Nearly 40 prospective candidates were screened, and the committee ultimately narrowed the field to two finalists, who were presented to the BHDS community for several rounds of meetings, interviews and discussions with faculty, administrative staff, parents and the Board of Trustees.The search process was strengthened by our community’s thoughtful participation.


As we look forward to our future, we also take a moment to thank our departing head of school, Chaim Heller, who transformed our school over his remarkable 17-year career at BHDS. Chaim will continue as Head of School until July, when he will move to San Diego with his wife, Michal, to assume a new challenge at the San Diego Jewish Academy. We will express our gratitude for his outstanding service and commitment to the school and community at an event on May 13 (details coming soon).

The Board of Trustees has formed a special Transition Committee to work closely with Donald and his wife, Carolyn, to fully welcome them into our school and broader community.

Please join us in welcoming Donald and his wife, Carolyn, to our Bay Area community at large as we embark on the next exciting chapter in the history of our great school.