Heschel West Day School in Agoura Hills is changing its name to honor Israel’s first astronaut. During a Kabbalat Shabbat filled with song and dance on June 3, school leaders announced that the entity will be known as Ilan Ramon Day School beginning in September. As such, it becomes the first known school in the country to make its namesake the astronaut killed during the space shuttle Columbia’s fatal 2003 mission, according to Yuri Hronsky, head of school.
The U.S. Department of Education has given Heschel West Day School the National Blue Ribbon Award, a prestigious prize given to the "top 10 percent of schools nationally, based upon academic achievement."
"What this is really about is two institutions pulling themselves together and saying what is the best thing to do for our communities, and let's erase superficial differences and see if we can build something that is far better than what we can do by ourselves," said Barbara Gereboff, Kadima's head of school.
In the early 1990s, Drs. Bernard and Melanie Gero began to look toward the future for their young children.