Lindner to leave after this school year


photo courtesy of Sabrina Bramson

High School Principal and Associate Head of School Dr. Marc Lindner sits at his desk to work. After four years at JDS, Linder is leaving to be the head of school at a Jewish day school in Los Angeles.

Matthew Rabinowitz, Managing Copy Editor

High School Principal and Associate Head of School Dr. Marc Lindner will be leaving CESJDS after this school year to be the head of school at Los Angeles’ Sinai Akiba Academy.

At the start of this school year, Lindner and his wife started discussing how the distance between Washington, D.C. and Southern California, where most of their family lives and his daughter goes to school, is too large. Soon afterward, the head of school position came up in Los Angeles and “seemed like the right thing to pursue” because Lindner had been working up to that position for some time. 

As head of school, Lindner will be responsible for managing grades Pre-K through eight, and he hopes to apply his experiences at JDS to his new position. 

“There will be many things that I have learned here that I will absolutely be able to apply in my new role there. All of the work here with students, with faculty, with families, it all absolutely applies,” Lindner said. “And, because it’s also a Jewish context, everything that I have worked on here that has touched on the Jewish aspects of what JDS is will be helpful to me there, too.”

The Jewish aspects of JDS are especially important to Lindner, who believes that JDS has truly mastered what it means to be pluralistic. 

“I think that JDS, the pluralism here, is, I like to call it well-articulated, and what I mean is that there really is representation of a lot of different types of Jews who go to JDS. So, that’s really been a pleasure for me to work in an environment where there’s that real span,” Lindner said.

With Lindner leaving, JDS is faced with two options: to begin the search for a new principal or to promote a current member of JDS’ faculty to the position during the interim. 

“…It feels as though, especially given what’s transpired since we made this announcement with the coronavirus, that this is not an environment where we can do the search that we want to do,” Head of School Rabbi Mitchel Malkus said. “…My sense is that we will probably appoint someone on an interim basis, which we’re having those discussions now, and then consider a search process after that.”

Malkus would like the new principal, be it a principal during the interim or a permanent one, to embody Lindner’s collaborative nature.

“I think Dr. Lindner brought a real sense of working together with students and families, being able to listen to people and to be able to solve problems as they came about,” Malkus said. “…Then also we always want someone who’s thinking about what is the future of high school education and what does a Jewish day high school look like and how might that be different in the future than it is today.”

Junior Tess Mendelson has experienced Lindner’s collaborative and supportive personality firsthand. 

“In the three years that I’ve been at JDS, Dr. Lindner has always been available to talk, and he was really kind when I pitched an idea for the school in freshman year,” Mendelson said. “Also, before summer break he would provide incredible tips to stay sharp in the most hilarious ways.” 

With this emphasis on collaboration for the future principal comes collaboration within the decision process: Malkus wants to involve students and families more heavily than in the search for Lindner five years ago. 

“I want to make sure that we do have input from students and families in the process because it is a partnership at the end of the day,” Malkus said.