Connect With Bernard Zell: Grandparent Newsletter

Alumni Spotlight: Nadav Sprague '09
Brian Barasch, Director of Marketing & Communications

“My passion for tikkun olam and giving back started at Bernard Zell,” said Nadav. “In 7th grade, I remember raising money for the food pantry, Maot Chitim, serving on the leadership committee and creating different fundraising initiatives. This is always something that’s stood out to me about Judaism and something that Bernard Zell really gave me a passion for. The emphasis that Bernard Zell has on tikkun olam inspired me to get to where I am today.”

Read More about Alumni Spotlight: Nadav Sprague '09


Upcoming School Events

New Signage to Ensure Safety Guidelines

As we prepare to return to school on Monday, August 31, please begin to familiarize yourself and your child(ren) with our new signage that will be posted throughout campus to ensure everyone is safely following building guidelines. 

Get Your Challah Here!

Our Bernard Zell PTC is pleased to offer families a weekly challah delivery service - right to your youngest child's classroom every Friday!

Important Note from the School Nurse

Medication drop-off will take place during the first week of school during drop-off. Please keep all medication in its original packaging and inside a sealed bag labeled with your child's name, grade, and homeroom teacher/advisor. 

Families are asked to share all COVID-related information (confirmed or suspected household cases) directly with the school nurse. You can call the nurse 773-572-1277 or email and the nurse will return your call promptly. 

BeZell Summer Reading Reminder

Summer reading is fun and easy and online. Click the button below to learn everything you need to know about the BeZell Summer Reading program for students entering first through eighth grades.

Security Badge Update

In order to gain access to the school campus, whether on foot or in a vehicle, parents/guardians and authorized caregivers must have their new ID cards with them. Please click the link below if you need a replacement badge or have a new guardian or caretaker for the 2020-2021 school year. 

It's Time for School Supplies!

School supply lists for all grade levels are ready! Click read more to access all 2020-2021 supply lists by division and grade.

An Update from the Early Childhood Team

We recognize that not all safety measures are as developmentally feasible as others and we adjust accordingly. After evaluating the ability of our youngest students to effectively eat while wearing face shields, and the risk to our Early Childhood faculty as the ones who would need to clean these face shields multiple times on a daily basis, we have determined that Early Childhood students will not be required to wear face shields when eating. Should a family want their Early Childhood student to wear a face shield during meals, we will have them available. Please just follow up with your child's teachers.

Place Your LS and MS Lunch Order by This Sunday, August 30

New this year, we are offering an online ordering system for parents of Lower School and Middle School students to indicate their entree preference. Early Childhood students will receive selections from the SAGE menu served by the teachers.

First page of the PDF file: BacktoSchool

Celebrate your excitement about returning to school by printing your own Bernard Zell first day signs! Fill these out and have your children pose with them for a first day photo that you can post on social media with #BeZell and #BZBuildsBackBetter.

A Message from the Division Heads

We are so excited to see you all on Monday! Our readiness has been made possible by so many people and teams who have given extra time, energy and resources. We would like to spend just a moment to thank just a few of the many contributors, to whom we are so grateful!

Complete Forms for the 2020-2021 School Year

In order to ensure we have up-to-date information on file, there are a number of forms we ask families to complete each school year. Some forms are to be completed per family and some per student. 

Final Reminders for the Year

We are tremendously excited to welcome our students back to campus for the 2020-21 school year! Before everyone returns, I want to remind everyone of a few matters that are crucial to everyone’s success:

SchoolPass App

To promote efficiency and safety, Bernard Zell will be using the SchoolPass app throughout the 2020-2021 school year for your child's daily healthy screening, attendance and to facilitate dismissal. You will receive a welcome email from SchoolPass later this evening with detailed instructions for how to login on the website as well as the parent app.

Blackbaud Notice

We are writing to let you know about a data security incident that may have involved your personal information. Bernard Zell takes the protection and proper use of your information very seriously. We are therefore contacting you to explain the incident and provide you with an overview of steps that have been taken to protect your information.

Community Partnership Pledge

To ensure a safe return to campus we have developed essential protocols that must be followed by every member of the Bernard Zell community. It is up to each and every one of us to keep this community safe and healthy. Together we will demonstrate the value of Achrayut, responsibility for others, as we commit to the following pledge

Submit Car Decal Forms by Friday, August 28

All vehicles entering the school lot must have a parking decal adhered to the front window on the passenger side. Decals are assigned to individual vehicles and each family’s car needs its own decal (maximum three decals per family). Click below to submit your information by Friday, August 28. 

A Message From Kyle Sheahan: Fall Athletics 2020

We are happy to be back at school and cannot wait to see all our Eagles return to campus in a few short weeks. While we are certain things are going to be different for Bernard Zell Athletics in 2020-2021, we remain committed to and enthusiastic about offering the same quality, spirited and inclusive program that you’re accustomed to. 

2020-2021 Extra Curricular Music Offering

We are very excited to welcome you to school and to continue to help your children express themselves musically for 2020-2021. In light of all our adaptations due to COVID-19, all extracurricular music offerings will be held virtually, after school.

Middle School Summer Narrative Writing Assessment Letter

We are working to quickly take the pulse of where students are following summer and distance learning. It’s important that we maximize every day with your students and support them academically, socially and emotionally. This year, we will work as grade-level teams to know our students as writers and help to strengthen their writing across content areas.

Video Recap: MS Welcome Back Parent Meeting

If you were unable to attend Tuesday evening's Middle School Welcome Back Meeting, click below to watch as Stephanie Bloom presents topics specific to Middle School families followed by question and answer sessions. 

Video Recap: LS Welcome Back Parent Meeting

If you were unable to attend Tuesday evening's Lower School Welcome Back Meeting, click below to watch Karen Leavitt present topics specific to Lower School families followed by a short question and answer session. 

Video Recap: EC Welcome Back Parent Meeting

If you were unable to attend last night's Early Childhood Welcome Back Meeting, click below to watch as Abby Aloni presents topics specific to new and returning Early Childhood families followed by question and answer sessions. 

Video Recap: Parent Webinar with Dr. Mathew Philip

Last night, Bernard Zell leadership facilitated a conversation with Dr. Mathew Philip, Medical Director of Clinical Innovation at DuPage Medical Group, on the measures being taken to ensure the safest possible environment for students and teachers. Click below to watch the webinar or view the slides.

Decision-Making Matrix

Among the most frequent questions we’ve heard over the past few weeks are related to the criteria that will trigger a change in modes of instruction—for individual students, for cohorts and for the entire school. At last night's webinar, Bernard Zell’s Chief Operating Officer, Audris Wong, began addressing these different scenarios, and subsequently was able to address a number of questions on this subject. 

Community Pulse Survey

We are hopeful that last night’s webinar offered you some measure of reassurance amidst the deluge of news and information, and that the information provided reinforces your confidence in our reopening plans. We would be grateful for your feedback on a community pulse survey intended to gauge how you’re feeling at this particular moment.

BZ Beyond 2020-2021

BZ Beyond is pleased to announce that an afternoon program will be offered to support the dynamic lives of our families this year. The program is committed to maintaining the health and safety standards set by the school during this unprecedented time. As you might expect, the program will be a bit different this year. Please review the following for details.

Notice of Risk of In-Person Instruction

As we look ahead to the 2020-21 School Year at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, we recognize that we operate in an environment of uncertainty. Although the school would not be able to open without the State of Illinois and City of Chicago has reached specific reopening benchmarks, the community transmission of COVID-19 within Chicago continues

Welcoming New BZ Faculty

With a new school year comes new faces. And while we’re sad to say goodbye to faculty and staff members whose paths have taken them to new jobs or even new cities, our community is pleased to welcome a cohort of exceptional educators and administrators to the halls of Bernard Zell beginning this fall.

Travel Advisory Reminder

The City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order is very specific; your child will not be allowed to attend school until the mandated 14-day quarantine period has elapsed if you visited one of the states on the Chicago Travel Quarantine List. Please note there is also a quarantine requirement for those returning from international travel.

New FAQs Added

All throughout the summer and until the first day of school, Bernard Zell will use the Reopening FAQs space to continue addressing questions about our return to campus. If you have a question, simply email it to


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