Mission: What we do
Levey Day School provides a nurturing community and a challenging, personalized curriculum infused with Jewish values and Hebrew language. Students of all backgrounds become lifelong learners committed to tikkun olam (improving our world).
Core values: How we do it
Creativity: Levey prepares its students for academic success and personal fulfillment by empowering them to ask questions, think independently, engage artistically, and collaborate effectively. Students learn how to be innovative problem solvers, critical readers, and thoughtful risk-takers.
Kavod: Levey respects and values every person as a unique individual, attending to each child’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual needs. Students care for themselves, one another, and the environment, taking responsibility for their choices.
Kehillah: Levey builds a school community that draws strength from its religious, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic diversity. Students and their families develop a sense of belonging and a passion for g’milut hasadim (serving others) in Maine and beyond.
Klal Yisrael: Levey instills a love for the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. Students engage daily in Hebrew language study, ritual practice, and analysis of Jewish texts while forging relationships with Jews locally, in Israel, and around the world.
Character: Levey cultivates a deeply rooted sense of personal identity and self-esteem. Students gain enduring ethical values, strong leadership skills, a spirit of global citizenship, and a lasting commitment to making a difference.
Levey’s educational vision is fulfilled through the daily practice of our core values: creativity, kavod (respect), kehillah (community), klal Yisrael (Jewish People), and character. Everything we do builds a valuable foundation that prepares our students for success and to becoming lifelong learners committed to tikkun olam (improving our world).
At Levey Day School, community means many things. It’s the sense of togetherness that students and their families feel in the classroom and at school events. It’s the connection to one another, to southern Maine’s larger Jewish community, and to the Greater Portland community. It’s the collective effort that we all put in to build a vibrant, transformative learning environment. Levey is there for our families and our families are there for each other, in and out of school.
Levey Day School embraces students from all kinds of families. Our community is built around universal Jewish values that resonate across denominations and beyond the Jewish community. We believe that exposure to Jewish thought, culture, and ritual can deeply impact and enrich the lives of all of our students, Jewish and non-Jewish alike. We also believe that all students benefit from learning in a multicultural setting that reflects the socioeconomic and racial diversity of Greater Portland. We do not assume prior religious experience or knowledge, and our Shabbat and holiday services are open and welcoming to the entire student body and their families.
Jewish values are the foundation upon which a Levey education is built. In our open and inclusive school community, these include respect of all peoples and their beliefs, the pursuit of justice and shalom (peace), honoring parents and teachers, behaving with kindness and decency, and tikkun olam (improving the world). Levey students are encouraged, through the school’s Code of Kavod (respect), to treat themselves and one another with kindness and respect. In daily Torah study, Levey students are taught to reflect on God’s teachings, and the ways Jewish values can enrich their own lives. Levey fosters the ethical and spiritual development of each child, giving them a moral compass and helping them grow into responsible, caring citizens of our country and world.
Hebrew is an essential part of a Levey education, connecting students to thousands of years of Jewish knowledge as well as to contemporary Israeli and Jewish society. Learning a foreign language also enhances brain development, literacy, and language acquisition, and is an important component of global competitiveness and competency. Beginning in kindergarten, our students learn Hebrew letter recognition and simple vocabulary. As they become more proficient, intensive Hebrew classes are taught exclusively in Hebrew, by native speakers. Older grades learn both conversational and Biblical Hebrew, and are taught to write in both print and cursive. By graduation from Levey, our students are equally comfortable reading Torah, ordering falafel, and writing and performing plays, all in Hebrew.
Self-expression is an essential part of our holisitc approach to learning. Learning through engaging in the arts brings joy and deep understanding, as well as spiritual and intellectual growth. Studies show that all types of learning and student motivation improve when students are exposed to the arts. At Levey Day School, students excel and find joy in expressing themselves through song, visual art, acting, and dance. From the youngest ages they put on skits, sing in front of the whole school and their families, and participate in art activities both in their classrooms and with our arts specialists. In all classrooms, the arts are integrated into learning activities on an ongoing basis. The art specialists create opportunities to enrich these classroom experiences with more in-depth projects that challenge students to create meaning from their learning. As a result, our students are known for their confidence and their ability to communicate.
In Judaism, we speak of “learning together” and the great joy that studying as a group can bring. When we learn together, we learn from each other, and we open our minds to new ideas, interpretations, and beliefs. Every day, Levey’s teachers, administrators, and students form a team, working together, sharing our talents, facing challenges, and learning new skills. We collaborate, encouraging mentorship and cooperation across the classes. Our teachers develop curriculum as a team, ensuring that information unfolds for our students in a progression that makes sense.
Strong leaders are essential to a healthy community. At Levey, we believe that leadership takes many forms, and that every student is capable of learning the skills to lead. We begin each school day with morning tfillot (prayers), which are student-led, and our curriculum places a high value on student initiative and confident public speaking. We take our students seriously, and our trust and confidence in them blossoms organically into leadership. As our students leave Levey’s halls, we are honored by their accomplishments, and the impact they have in the broader world.