We teach our students to embrace the awesome wonder of life—and run with it! 

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School is an independent Jewish day school for the 21st century. From Early Childhood through Middle School, we inspire our students to love learning through innovative teaching, hands-on exploration and discovery. Plus the individualized attention your children will receive is unrivaled; we offer a 5:1 student-teacher ratio—the very lowest in the city. Rigorous general studies and comprehensive Jewish learning are always wrapped in the warmth and values of our unique Jewish community. Our mission is to engage students in a program of rigorous studies through a variety of classroom and real world learning opportunities, to educate students to be active and informed citizens in our pluralistic community, to inspire them to develop Jewish literacy, and to guide them as they embrace their chosen Jewish practice and beliefs.

Mission Statement

Vision Statement

Dear Bernard Zell Community, 
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School! For generations, Bernard Zell has proudly developed the hearts and minds of Chicagoland’s children. And now, as we enter a new chapter of this institution’s storied existence (complete with a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility), we continue to serve as a model for the way independent schools work, offering a cutting edge general studies education that is profoundly shaped by Jewish values, tradition and practice. 
Here at Bernard Zell, we wholeheartedly believe in teaching the whole child, in encouraging curiosity and excellence and in cultivating educational innovation. Each day, we set out to provide not only the best Jewish education, but the best education—full stop. And each day, we set out to ensure that Bernard Zell is a place where teaching and learning are so incredibly robust that educators come from around the world to learn how to "do" school the "right" way: in a joyful manner that treats each young person as a unique and distinct individual, b'tzelem elohim, capable of achieving great things.
Read More from Head of School, Gary Weisserman about GW


Head of School: Gary Weisserman
Grades served: Nursery through Eight
Number of students: 443

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School has been fully accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States since 1961. The school also is a member of RAVSAK: The Jewish Community Day School Network.
Bernard Zell features a multidisciplinary, layered curriculum of general studies and Jewish studies that builds on each previous year’s learning, and an approach that cultivates confidence, creativity, leadership and empathy. Our graduates possess a strong foundation, an intrinsic curiosity for continued learning and are exceedingly well-prepared for high school and life beyond.

Our History

In 1940, Rabbi Solomon Goldman of Anshe Emet Synagogue had a vision of establishing a progressive, independent Jewish day school. The school he imagined became a reality in 1946, opening with 31 students and a curriculum combining general education, Jewish values and culture, and Hebrew language. The school was renamed Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in 1988 after receiving generous support from the Zell family in memory of Bernard Zell, a noted Chicago philanthropist and strong advocate of Jewish education.




75 Years of
Bernard Zell!

We were thrilled to receive a special message from businessman and philanthropist Sam Zell for our 75th birthday celebration. Click play to hear him share his wishes for our future and learn more about his father, Bernard Zell and the history of our school.

On September 16, 1946, Rabbi Solomon Goldman entrusted our community with a gift of immeasurable value, a gift that is now 70 years old: the creation of Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. For the past 70 years, Bernard Zell has inspired students with academic purpose – the discipline to unlock the possibilities of life. We teach students to ask the tough questions, the ones that are often uncomfortable to answer. And we encourage them to collaborate, because harnessing the energy of others will take them further than they ever imagined. Click here to see how we celebrated 70 years of Bernard Zell!