About us

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 and Vision

Bernard Zell is an independent Jewish Day School for the 21st century where academic purpose, collaborative learning and a deep commitment to humanity develop engaged, confident learners and compassionate leaders for a stronger, more vibrant community and world.


To teach them diligently - ושננתם לבניך
The words of our mission statement come from the Torah. These words emphasize that teaching and learning are at the heart of every Jewish community and reflect our enduring commitment to education.


To teach the whole child to fully develop his or her intellectual, personal and spiritual potential.
To provide an innovative and challenging general studies curriculum that emphasizes core academic subjects, athletics and the arts.
To cultivate in our students a positive Jewish identity, understanding of Torah and respect for the pluralism of Jewish life.
To educate each student about the principles of American citizenship and to model Jewish values.
To strengthen the connection between our school community and Jews in Israel, America and throughout the world.
To maintain a diverse faculty committed to educational leadership and professional development.
To forge a partnership with parents based upon mutual respect.
To create a flexible and dynamic learning community.
To accommodate families of all economic backgrounds.
To inspire each student to become a lifelong learner.


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.
  • 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.
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!