Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School was founded in 1972 by a group of visionary families in the San Fernando Valley, with the support of local Conservative and Reform rabbis, who wanted to establish a community Jewish day school that would provide exemplary programs in both General and Judaic studies. Envisioning a community Jewish day school serving the diverse Jewish population of the San Fernando Valley, the school was opened with a kindergarten, adding one grade level each year.
With a commitment to the whole child and guided by the Jewish values of integrity, justice, intellectual curiosity, and compassion, Heschel Day School started as a grassroots operation scattered amongst campuses at four different synagogues throughout the Valley. Within a short time, the school began to gain recognition for its outstanding educational program developed under the leadership of its founding principal, Shirley Levine. In 1979, Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School’s three acre campus was permanently established in Northridge - the evidence of the dedicated work of parents and faculty.
Following Shirley Levine’s retirement in 2003, Betty Winn was Head of School for a decade. Larry Kligman ('85) is Heschel's current Head of School, having spent twenty-five years at Heschel, first as a student, later as a teacher and coach, then a Middle School Director and Assistant Head of School, and as of July 1, 2013, Head of School.
Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors.