Welcome to the First Year of the Galinsky Academy

I hope this message finds everyone doing well in the new school year and looking forward to a peaceful, meaningful  Jewish New Year.

The Galinsky Academy, the umbrella for all four schools at the Jacksonville Jewish Center, has been bustling with learning and excitement all through the summer as teachers and administrators prepared for this year and now into the 2012-2013 school year as the students have arrived!  The newly named DuBow Preschool and the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School began classes on August 20th.  The Bernard and Alice Selevan Religious School began classes on September 12th, and Makom Hebew High School will begin on October 3rd.

In our new structure as an academy, the Galinsky Academy Education Cabinet serves as the governing body.  The Governing Principles of the Cabinet state that “the Education Cabinet seeks to instill the articulated values of the Academy by encouraging inspired leadership committed to the Jewish tradition, community, and the development of our children as both students and human beings.  The Cabinet also undertakes to assure the stability of the Academy and safeguard its mission.”  If you would like to see the full Governing Principles, they are available in the MJGDS office.

This year, it is my honor to serve as your Vice President for Education and sit on the Executive Committee of the Jacksonville Jewish Center Board of Trustees.  As such, I also serve as the presiding officer, the Chairperson, of the Education Cabinet.  The Cabinet consists of a combination of lay leaders and professionals.  The complete list of members for this school year includes:

Voting Members of the Cabinet (except where noted):

Officers of the Education Cabinet:

Chairperson –                                       Alyse Nathans

Vice Chairperson –                               Lynn Maiman

Treasurer &

Budget/Finance Committee  –             Michael Setzer

Standing Committees & Positions:

Committee on Trustees &

Immediate Past Chairperson –         Mauri Mizrahi

Budget/Finance –                               Michael Setzer (also listed above)

Development –                                     Kim Glasgal (Non-voting)

Head Support and Evaluation –       Jon Israel

Marketing & Admissions –                Claudia Margolis Milian

Day School –                                        Gabrielle Bubis

Preschool –                                           Lynda Gridley

Religious School/High School –      Faye Mizrahi

Religious School/High School –        Stacy Leach

PTA President –                                   Rebecca Fixel (Non-voting)

Executive VP of the JJC –                   Fred Pozin

Members at Large:

Jesse Bannon

Karianne Jaffa

Erica Jolles

Debby Kaye

Dan Leveton

Penny Marks

Sheri Weiss

Morrie Zimmerman

Non-Voting Members of the Cabinet:

Head of Academy/Head of MJGDS- Jon Mitzmacher

Religious School Principal –                Lois Tompkins

Preschool Principal –                            Shereen Canady

Makom Principal/Hazzan –                 Hazzan Holzer

Rabbi –                                                     Rabbi Lubliner

Rabbi –                                                     Rabbi Olitzky

JJC Executive Director –                      Don Kriss

JJC President –                                       Michael DuBow

Past JJC Vice Presidents of Education


In the past, each individual school might have committees for budget/finance, development or marketing.  Now in the academy model, the Chairpeople work with their committees, called Communities, in their area of concern for the benefit and cohesion of all four schools. During the past school year, communities created 3-year strategic plans for all four schools and the Standing Committees.  Now the strategic plans of the Standing Committees are being modified and applied to account for all schools of the Galinsky Academy.  For example, the Marketing/Admissions Committee of the Education Cabinet works toward improving and increasing marketing and admissions for the Academy as a whole, not just for one of the four schools.

In addition, the Education Cabinet also allows for better communication across the Galinsky Academy.  As the Chairpeople and Directors of the schools come together to share ideas or concerns, their resources are increased by being part of the larger community instead of the stand-alone schools that we were before the Academy was formed.  They also will have more knowledge of the inner workings of all schools, which will allow for better communication and education of our parent body.

The work of the Education Cabinet has already begun.  Here are some highlights:

  • The Development Committee is already working on this year’s L’Dor V’Dor annual campaign for education.  We really appreciate our donors and encourage you to continue supporting this very worthy campaign for our children’s continued Jewish educations. There is a match from anonymous donors, so your gift is doubly valuable to the Galinsky Academy.
  • The Development  and Preschool Committees worked together to host a Donor Appreciation event for L’Dor V’Dor donors and to simultaneously introduce the new DuBow Preschool.  The event was well-attended with over 80 guests, and the beautiful new facilities were very well-received.  If you haven’t seen it for yourself, you should go by for a tour – You may want to go back to preschool!
  • The Marketing/Admissions Committee worked tirelessly through the summer to create new logos for the Galinsky Academy and all four schools.  The logos will be unveiled shortly, and I hope you will show them to others with excitement and pride, as I will.  Your support through word of mouth is invaluable to the success of the Galinsky Academy, and our new logos will give all of us yet another chance to share all the fresh and innovative things happening here in OUR schools.

….and there is more!  The first Academy-wide initiative has already started!  The “Creating a Community of Kindness” is a program in partnership with Jewish Family & Community Services.  This program will include all four Academy schools, our clergy, administrators, and teachers.  The focus is to create a culture where bullying and “mean” behavior are reduced or even eliminated.    Our children will learn how to be proactively inclusive and how to respond when seeing inappropriate behaviors toward others.  Programs for all age groups, from the DuBow Preschool through Makom Hebrew High School, have been developed and will be implemented all through the school year.  This is a wonderfully positive way to begin our journey as the four schools of the Galinsky Academy.

I look forward to seeing you around the Galinsky Academy halls.

Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year,

Alyse Nathans

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