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History

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy (formerly New Haven Hebrew Day School) and Bais Chana Academy:
A Connecticut Tradition since 1946.

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy has maintained the integrity of authentic Judaism and Ahavat Yisroel that personified its founder, Rabbi Moshe Y. Hecht.

We have been preparing students for enrollment in the finest universities for more than 70 years. Our alumni have made and continue to make their marks in business, law, medicine, education, the arts, and community affairs all over the world.

By setting reasonable tuition and maintaining a financial aid program, we enable all Jewish children to receive a day school education. Our student body reflects the diversity of our community, with children from all walks of Jewish life discovering their shared heritage together.

In 1944, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Shneerson, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, sent Rabbi Moshe Y. Hecht to New Haven charged with a mission: to create a day school for the Jewish community in New Haven. The school began with a class of four students ranging in ages from 6-10. From that nucleus of four eager students grew the New Haven Hebrew Day School. Within two years of its founding, Yeshivat Achei Temimim Lubavitch – New Haven Hebrew Day School had grown to 120 children. Children came from the cities of New Haven and Bridgeport, as well as farms in what was then rural Connecticut, traveling for over an hour to learn Chumash and Talmud in the mornings and secular studies in the afternoon.


 

In 1964, Rabbi Hecht saw the need for a High School that would allow girls the opportunity to continue to receive a Jewish education and, at the same time, academically prepare the college-bound. The High School became a reality, and was the first to bear the name Bais Chana, in tribute to Rebetzin Chana, mother of Rabbi M. Schneerson, who passed away that year.

As the number of students continued to expand, and the student body outgrew the original location on Dwight Street, it was clear that a new facility was required. In 1967, NHHDS purchased 5 ½ acres of land in rural Orange, and in 1970, the beautiful new campus was officially opened. The following years brought continued growth; the school expanded its physical education department to include basketball games with other schools in the area, and the first Jewish Girl Scouts group was formed for female students. In the 1980’s, computers were introduced, as well as art and music programs. The Pre-School was expanded to included toddlers.


 

Rabbi Moshe Yitzchok Hecht passed away in Tevet, 1992, at which time his son, Rabbi Sheya Hecht, took over as Headmaster.  With his guidance, a board of trustees to help steer the school was formed. An innovative science program and revised approach to language arts were integrated into the secular studies curriculum.  Middot and Share-a-Smile programs were begun, which highlight the significance of good character and the importance of giving.  Courses that emphasized Jewish history were established to enable students to develop a strong identity with our Holy Land.  A fine arts curriculum was added, and continues to offer the students an opportunity for creative expression, as well as a well-structured physical education program that addresses students' fitness.  In March of 2005, to better reflect its regional nature, the school changed its name to Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy. 

We are an institution that has educated thousands of children over the past six decades, and has helped shape the Jewish community around us. Our students continue to rank among the top scorers in nationwide testing in both Hebrew and Secular studies. We are proud of our many winners in local and national math, science, essay, and art contests. An active parent organization works to provide “extras” for our children, which include field trips, science programs, and after-school clubs.

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy is proud of its heritage, and continues to prepare students to face real-world challenges and be successful contributors to their communities, while building a passion for life-long learning.