Susie Tanchel, PhD, is a prominent leader in the field of Jewish Education. Susie has spent the past nine years as the beloved Head of School at JCDS. Prior to that, Susie served as a Tanakh (Bible) teacher and Associate Head of School at Gann Academy.

Susie’s passion for excellence infuses all that she does. The innovative educational program she helped to establish at JCDS brought her local acclaim and national recognition. She is a recipient of the prestigious Covenant Foundation Award for exceptional Jewish educators and Keshet’s Hachamat Lev (Wisdom of the
Heart) Award for Jewish leaders who have advocated for and modeled LGBTQ inclusion and equality in Jewish day schools.
Susie’s development of Pluralism of Engagement, her adoption of “Growth Mindset” into the curriculum and culture of the school, and her integration of the JCDS Habits of Mind and Heart are hallmarks of her tenure. She has been a dugmah ishit (role model) for the JCDS community.
Dr. Tanchel holds a BA, MA, and PhD from Brandeis University. She has written and presents regularly on pluralism, biblical texts, and her vision for Jewish education. She has taught in the CJP Genesis program, Hebrew College’s Me’ah program, the Wexner Foundation’s Heritage program, the DeLeT and Masters of Secondary Education programs at Brandeis University, as well as in other adult Jewish education classes in Greater Boston and beyond.
Susie has inspired generations of students and teachers through her passion, knowledge, and care for others. She lives in Newton, is married to Jen Kaplan, and is the proud mother of Jordana, a 5th grade student at JCDS.
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