It was a dream-come-true for Temple Solel's former Director of Education and visionary, Bonnie Morris (now Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman), when The Solel School opened its doors in 1993. With the help of Rabbi Maynard Bell, Rabbi Sharfman created the first Reform Jewish day school in Arizona with two objectives in mind: to provide students with an outstanding academic education and to produce a community of caring, literate, committed Jews.
While the first kindergarten had just twelve students, The Solel School grew by one grade per year and soon included multiple classes per grade level. As the school flourished, Temple Chai in Phoenix, Temple Emanuel in Tempe, Temple Kol Ami in Scottsdale, and Temple Beth Israel in Scottsdale joined Temple Solel in a partnership dedicated to providing leadership and support for the school. The school was renamed "Pardes," which means "orchard" in Hebrew and is also an acronym for "Progressive Association of Reform Day Schools."
In 2002, Pardes Jewish Day School opened a middle school on the campus of Temple Kol Ami, under the direction of Tobee Waxenberg. In 2003, Jill Kessler became Head of School and in 2004 the lower and middle schools were united on the campus of Congregation Beth Israel.
Under Mrs. Kessler's leadership, Pardes Jewish Day School has continued to evolve into a thriving, nationally-renowned and accredited kindergarten through 8th grade school. In the summer of 2006, after 13 years of growth on three different campuses, it was with great joy and pride that PJDS purchased its own permanent facility on a beautiful 5-acre campus at 40th Street and Paradise Lane in Phoenix, Arizona.
Families from diverse Jewish backgrounds have chosen Pardes for its academic excellence and its commitment to Jewish values. Students of all abilities have developed strong roots in the warm, nurturing Pardes environment and have a deep love for this very special community. We hope you will join us as we continue to grow and blossom in the future!
Students of Pardes Jewish Day School have been admitted to the following High Schools:
- Arcadia High School/Honors classes
- Brophy Preparatory High School
- Chaparral High School/Honors classes
- Desert Mountain International Baccalaureate Program (IB)
- Horizon High School/Honors classes
- Jess Schwartz Jewish College Prep.
- New School for the Arts
- North High School International Baccalaureate Program (IB)
- Phoenix Country Day School
- Pinnacle High School/Honors classes
- Saguaro High School
- Milken Community High School (Los Angeles)
Student of Pardes Jewish School have been admitted to the following Universities:
- University of Pennsylvania
- Washington University
- Berklee School of Music
- Arizona State University
- Northern Arizona University
- University of Arizona
We are very proud of our graduates and know they have been well prepared to be successful in high school, university and beyond.