Shalhevet, a Modern Orthodox day school in Los Angeles, has been dealt a second major blow in a matter of months — head of school Rabbi Elchanan Weinbach announced his resignation for personal reasons on April 29, less than two months after the school declared plans to close its middle, elementary and early childhood schools at the end of the current school year.
In an e-mail, the board wrote that Weinbach, who came to Shalhevet as head of school at the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year, will be leaving “to pursue other opportunities on the East Coast, where he will be closer to his extended family.” Weinbach has two older children studying on the East Coast, and two younger ones here in Los Angeles.
“We underestimated how much of an effect moving to Los Angeles would have on our family,” said Weinbach, whose resignation goes into effect at the end of the current school year.
Weinbach apologized for the timing of his decision, which he said he has struggled with since October. In a letter to parents as well as a shorter letter sent out to the Shalhevet community on April 30, he pledged to do what he could to ease the school’s transition. In a telephone interview, he stressed that his resignation is for personal reasons entirely and has no connection to Shalhevet’s planned closing of its lower schools.
Current board member Larry Gill, who has been selected to become the next president of the board, said a search committee will be formed shortly to hire a replacement.
“This is a critical decision at a critical time and we’re not going to rush into it,” Gill said. “We’re going to take our time and find the right person to lead Shalhevet.”