Our History


Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich-Blessing
Akiba-Schechter was established as a unique venture in Jewish education when, in 1972 Akiba South Side Jewish Day School and Solomon Schechter South Side School joined forces. Akiba South Side Day School (founded in 1949) and Solomon Schechter South Side School (founded in 1965) saw their bold merger as the best way to perpetuate Jewish day school education on Chicago's south side. Since 1972, Akiba-Schechter has been run under the auspices of both the Associated Talmud Torahs (Orthodox) and the Board of Jewish Education (Community). Since 1988, Akiba-Schechter has been under the superb leadership of Mrs. Miriam Schiller, its sixth principal.


Left to right: John Ronan, of John Ronan Architect; Neil Stempel, Chair of the Building Committee; Miriam Schiller, Principal

In 1998, the School purchased from Congregation Rodfei Zedek two buildings in which it had operated since 1972 - Hoffman House (home to the elementary school) and the 1950's Pre-School building. In the less than two years from June 2003 to April 2005, Akiba-Schechter bid farewell to Hoffman House and built the striking new elementary school building used today. The new building was designed by Chicago's award-winning architect John Ronan , and has received much critical acclaim. Within the next few years, we look forward to the renovation of the Pre-School building and the completion of our campus.

Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School is accredited by the State of Illinois and is affiliated with Associated Talmud Torahs and Community Foundation for Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago. Akiba-Schechter is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago supported by the Jewish United Fund. Akiba-Schechter's Pre-School and Kindergarten is a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited program open to all children that creates a safe, stimulating, nurturing environment for children to learn through active exploration and play.

It is our mission to promote academic excellence and develop students with strong Jewish identities. By focusing on the individual gifts and needs of each student, our teachers create a caring family of learners who are committed to responsible citizenship and the performance of mitzvot. We view the creation of the State of Israel as one of the seminal events in Jewish history. Recognizing the significance of Israel and its national institutions, we seek to instill in our students an attachment to the State of Israel and its people as well as a sense of responsibility for their welfare.


Modified: Monday, 14-Aug-2006 08:35:11 CDT