San Diego Jewish Academy

San Diego Jewish Academy Logo

Basic Information

Address: 11860 Carmel Creek Rd. San Diego, CA 92130
County: San Diego
School District: Carmel Valley
Phone Number: 858-704-3716
Fax Number: 858-704-3850

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San Diego Jewish Academy
San Diego Jewish Academy
San Diego Jewish Academy

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Additional Information

President: Beverley Pamensky
School Type: K-12 Pluralistic community Jewish day school
Founded: 1979
Ages/Grades: K-12
School Setting:

Atop a hill in Carmel Valley , San Diego

School Size: 625
Student/Teacher Ratio: 18/1
Financial Aid:



All, including secular and Judaic, Athletics, Arts and Music

Camp Programs: No
After School Programs: Yes
Computer Capabilities:

500 fully-networked computers

Parking Spaces/Availability:


Uniform Guidelines:

Dress Code

Mission Statement:

San Diego Jewish Academy is dedicated to providing an unparalleled general and Judaic education for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade by offering a challenging, integrated curriculum and opportunities for discovery, growth and enrichment in a caring and nurturing pluralistic Jewish environment.

San Diego Jewish Academy seeks to instill in each student a deep understanding and love of Judaism. SDJA accepts and respects all streams of Jewish expression and identification. As a community school and with the necessary financial support from the community, it is our goal to educate any Jewish child regardless of socio-economic status or academic achievement level.

By hiring, supporting and training the best faculty and staff, by implementing the best educational practices and by using the most advanced technology available, SDJA strives to bring out the potential of each individual student, prepare students for entry to the finest universities and to create a community of passionate, life-long learners with strong Jewish values.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

San Diego Jewish Academy, one of the country's premier K-12 Jewish day schools, challenges students to achieve their full academic potential and become individuals of strong moral and ethical character, while inspiring them to make Judaism a vital and relevant aspect of their lives.

School History:

SDJA began as a small neighborhood school in rented facilities on the property of Congregation Tifereth Israel in 1979. The vision of its founders was to create an educational home for Jewish learning that will give children the knowledge, skills, and passion to lead active Jewish lives and become contributing members of American Jewish society. SDJA strives to provide each student with the knowledge and tools to inspire them to embrace Judaism as a vital and relevant aspect of their life.

Since its inception, the Academy's educational foundation has been tikkun olam - the betterment of the world. Its curriculum is based around Torah (study, learning), Avodah (worship, service), and Gemilut Hasidim (acts of loving kindness). As a pluralistic Jewish day school, the Academy is not affiliated with any one synagogue or movement of Judaism. It is a place where the mosaic of Jewish philosophies, beliefs and practices co-exists without specific affiliation. It affirms the notions of diversity and choice as important components of an evolving and vital Jewish community. Students are encouraged to develop their own personal sense of identity and are taught the life-long Jewish learning skills that prepare them to take their place as citizens in a modern world.

SDJA emphasizes the pursuit of academic excellence for students and faculty at all levels of its educational program. It recognizes that students learn through a number of modalities based upon style, preference and development. The school's goal is to provide all students with a firm grounding in basic skills while stimulating independent and critical thinking through higher order tasks.

The curriculum is divided into two components. For grades Kindergarten through 5, two-thirds of the day is devoted to general studies and one-third to Hebrew language and Judaic studies. In grades 6-12, the time devoted to general studies increases to approximately three-quarters of the day. The general studies curriculum includes instruction in reading/language arts, writing, math, science, social studies, physical education, art, music, computers, library and research skills.

The Judaic curriculum recognizes the diversity of Jewish religions and cultural experience. Studies include the Hebrew language, Jewish literature (from biblical and rabbinic texts, through the works of modern American, European and Israeli authors), prayer, cultural history and a variety of experiential activities, including the celebration of festivals. In the upper grades, students study the deeper meanings of Jewish texts and how they relate to modern life.

Teachers are chosen based upon their formal training, their experience in the classroom, and their commitment to the aims and goals of the Academy's educational program. All faculty members are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure they reflect the personal qualities and standards for performance expected by the school community. Teachers are encouraged to continue their professional development after they have joined the faculty. The school provides regular in-service programs and supports teacher attendance at professional conferences and workshops.

The student body is primarily divided across three countries of origin - United States , South Africa and Mexico , with representation from other countries including Canada , Israel and Iran . SDJA draws its students from a broad geographical base within San Diego County , with concentrations in La Jolla , Del Mar, Carmel Valley , Encinitas , Del Cerro and Chula Vista . To provide the richest possible classroom environment for its students, the Academy seeks a heterogeneous mix including performance levels, age groupings and gender. While applicants are not asked to undergo testing for admissions, SDJA has established screening criteria to ensure the greatest probability of success for all students admitted to the school.

Although SDJA students primarily come from middle and upper income Jewish families, the school offers a comprehensive tuition assistance plan to ensure that a Jewish day school education is available to any student who is eager and willing to learn. Through its annual campaign and fund raising dinner, SDJA seeks to raise approximately $500,000 for its Tuition Assistance Fund which, when combined with a grant from United Jewish Federation, provides funding for the approximately 33% of the student body who participate in this program.