Our New Name

From June 3, 2011

Today, the Heschel West Board of Directors is honored to announce that our school will begin in September 2011 under the name: ILAN RAMON DAY SCHOOL

It is hard to believe that Heschel West is about to complete its 18th year in the Conejo Valley. Throughout our school’s history, we have carried the name of Abraham Joshua Heschel – a Rabbi and scholar who believed in the importance of community and the values of humanity. Under this name, we have provided an outstanding, Blue Ribbon Award-winning secular and Jewish education, while proudly fostering a sacred community. It has been an honor to carry the name of Abraham Joshua Heschel throughout each of these 18 years. Earlier this year it was determined that our school’s 18th anniversary is the appropriate time for us to take the next step in our journey and begin operating our school under a new name. Therefore, for the last eight months, a Board-appointed steering committee has undertaken the process of choosing a new name for our school. The committee diligently gathered information and synthesized stories and memories gathered from interviews and surveys with all our stakeholders.

Our school will be named after Ilan Ramon – an Israeli, American and Jewish hero. We are proud that ours will be the only school in America to carry this inspirational man’s name. Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli astronaut to fly into space. He served as the payload specialist on the fatal mission of America’s space shuttle Columbia where he and six other crew members were killed during re-entry on February 1, 2003. However, Ilan Ramon represents much more than just a victim of this terrible tragedy. He is the son of a Holocaust survivor, a scientist, a Colonel, a fighter pilot in the Israeli army, a father, a husband and a visionary.

The values that Ilan Ramon cherished are ones our School holds dear – family, community, discovery, love for learning and Judaism. Ilan Ramon represented all of these in his life as a scientist and astronaut, in the military, with his family, and as a Jew. He believed in seeking the undiscovered potential in our world, just as we at Heschel West cherish the undiscovered potential in every child. Every day, we strive to help children reach new heights and discover hidden talents. Therefore, only our school’s name will be changing. We are committed to our philosophy and award-winning program, and those will, of course, remain the same. We thank everyone in our community who participated in our school’s name-change process, as you ensured that our new name is meaningful and that it reflects the values and ideals of our community. And, thank you for being a partner, a friend and a shareholder as we embark on the exciting next part of our journey.


Same School… New Name - Read our name change annoucement.

It was a wonderful evening in June 2011.  Below are the two clips announcing our new name.