Skip To Main Content

Head of School Search

Dear AJA Community, 

It is with great excitement and anticipation that we would like to announce Rabbi Avi Levitt's appointment as AJA’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2023. Rabbi Levitt’s appointment came with a unanimous decision of the Board based on the recommendation of the HOS Search Committee. Through an extensive search process, Rabbi Levitt distinguished himself as a dynamic leader who is well-suited to take the helm of our wonderful school.

Rabbi Levitt currently serves as the Head of School of Katz Yeshiva High School in Boca Raton, Florida, a Modern Orthodox high school with approximately 500 students. He previously served as Principal of Magen David Yeshiva High School, an EC-12th grade Modern Orthodox day school in Brooklyn, NY, and Upper School Principal of Berman Hebrew Academy, an EC-12th grade Modern Orthodox day school in Rockville, Maryland. Rabbi Levitt holds a BA in Mathematics from Harvard University, an MA in Mathematics Education from Teachers' College at Columbia University, an MA in Bible from Yeshiva University, and Semicha from Rabbi Aharon Ziegler at Kollel Agudath Achim in Brooklyn, NY. Rabbi Levitt and his wife Debby have four children: Sammy, Saadya, Nesya, and Yamin.

We set out with a bold ambition to find a candidate that would best align with the AJA school community. We sought a leader with a collaborative and growth mindset who is also a Modern Orthodox role model with deep experience and excellence in management and team building. Rabbi Levitt is all of these things. He is also creative and courageous, committed to building community, and has a broad view on education.

Here are some words Rabbi Levitt would like to share with the AJA community:

“It is an honor to have been selected as AJA's incoming Head of School! I am excited to join a team of thoughtful and compassionate educators who care about each and every individual child in the program. AJA's lay leadership and the administrative team demonstrate dedication and love for the school, and the warmth with which everyone has greeted me is simply infectious.

Our day schools bear the critical responsibility of fostering the growth of our Jewish future and AJA will continue to play exactly that role for the Atlanta community. Ensuring that our children have the best environment in which to develop emotionally, religiously, socially, and academically will serve as a beacon for our decision-making in the upcoming years at AJA. 

Our commitment to you is to keep AJA a warm and loving place for your children, filled with a deep connection to Israel, committed to its Modern Orthodox identity, welcoming to Jewish families from across Greater Atlanta, while providing our children with the very best Judaic and General Studies education. I eagerly look forward to getting to know you on my upcoming visits and during the weeks and months that follow.”

Rabbi Levitt’s appointment concludes a comprehensive and competitive search. The Search Committee began its work last Spring, assisted by Scott Goldberg Consulting, facilitating an inclusive process in which students, parents, faculty and staff gave input and met with our final candidates. We are so grateful for the time and participation you gave to this process, ensuring this decision honors AJA’s deeply rooted culture and values, coupled with a forward-focused approach as we plan for AJA's bright future. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to thank all who worked so diligently in helping us reach this point.

We especially thank the members of the Search Committee – Davi Kutner and Jeff Stein (co-chairs), Tzeryl Ebrams, Mandy Kaiser-Blueth, Julie Kaminsky, Sylvia Miller, Sarah Ossey, Ian Ratner, Joel Rojek, Rabbi Adam Starr, and Chanie Steinberg – for their countless hours and careful attention throughout this search process.

Franeen Sarif will continue to lead our school through June 30, at which time she will transition back to her role as Executive Director. During this time, we will continue working with our consultants, our new Head of School, and the current leadership team to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.

We are deeply grateful for Franeen’s leadership in preparation for this next stage and look forward to celebrating AJA’s significant past success and future opportunity as we transition, together, in these coming months.

Hiring Rabbi Levitt is a momentous and exciting moment for our school. We are confident that with all of our support and enthusiasm, Rabbi Levitt will help usher in a new era for our school that will bring us to even greater levels of success, achievement, and excellence.