Independent Jewish Day School Head Teacher Personal Statement

Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Rabbi Chase Foster received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Jewish Studies from Purdue University in 2009, and he was ordained by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in May of 2017. He lives with his wife, Sarah, in the West University area of Houston.

Before entering HUC, impassioned by his Jewish youth experiences at Wise Temple in Cincinnati and the URJ’s Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI), Chase worked as the Director of Youth Activities at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was a committee member of the URJ's Commission on Lifelong Jewish Learning, and was a Leadership Team member for the newly founded Reform Youth Professionals' Association (now a part of the Association for Reform Jewish Educators). He also spent two summers as Faculty at URJ's Camp Harlam. Chase has extensive experience in Reform Jewish youth programming and considers it his passion and life's work. 

While in college, he became the youth group advisor at Temple Israel in West Lafayette, Indiana, and a leader in Alpha Epsilon Pi, KESHER: the URJ's College Division, and Purdue's Hillel Student Board. He worked as a staff member for eight summers at GUCI, including as a unit head, Director of Jewish Programming, and three summers as Program Director. 

While attending HUC-JIR, Chase served at Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City, Congregation Bayt Shalom in Greenville, NC, University of Cincinnati Hillel, Temple Sinai in Cranston, RI, Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester in Rye, NY, and Temple Isaiah in Great Neck, NY as a spiritual leader, teacher, and friend. All of these places have had an indelible impact upon Chase and his aspirations as a leader in the Jewish community and the world surrounding. Due to his hard work in the classroom and at his internships, Chase received the Westchester Association of Temple Educators Marilyn Scheffler Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, and the Aaron H. & Rose G. Covel Prize for Most Academic Progress.

Rabbi Chase joined the clergy team at Congregation Beth Israel in July of 2017. He will be focusing on youth and family engagement and programming, ATID: Beth Israel's young adult group, and social justice programming.


 CJDS Points of Pride


From the words of a CJDS parent, “the feeling you get each day, when you drop off and pick up knowing that your child has the opportunity to attend school there it is truly touching. There is a special feeling knowing that your child is so loved, protected, nurtured, and not to mention educated in all facets of life. I really feel that the children there at CJDS are a step ahead in life.”


• CJDS has served the Columbia community for the past twenty-five years. Currently the school serves 170 infants through fifth graders.

• CJDS is accredited by the National Association of Education for Young Children (

• CJDS has received an AA rating, the highest offered by the state.

• CJDS is the only demonstration site for the Program for Infants and Toddlers.

• Over 95% of the students who graduate fifth grade are accepted in the gifted, talented, and advanced middle school magnet programs.

• CJDS is the only private school to have USC student teachers including USC “math buddies”.

• Immersion Hebrew has first grade children fluent in reading, writing and speaking Hebrew.

• Teacher-to-student ratios are lower that state recommendations. These include 1:4 in the infants, 1:5.5 in the toddlers, 1:7 in the twos, 1:8 in the threes and fours, and 1:9 in the kindergarten class.

• The head of school holds a Doctorate in Education, the principal’s each have a master’s degree, teachers hold a four-year degree and seventy percent of the assistant teachers have or are working on degrees

• Inquiry-based learning featuring expert projects is a focus of our academic approach. The school follows a philosophy of constructivist learning. We believe that the goal of education is for children to construct knowledge as opposed to memorize information.

• The school’s technology includes Chromebook devices for every child in the second through fifth grade, plus additional devices for other elementary classrooms.

• Warm Jewish teaching forms a positive Jewish identity, creates the beginnings of Jewish literacy, and focuses on character development.

• Excellent communication includes weekly e-newsletters from our head of school, daily sheets in our infant through two-year-old classes, and email updates in all classes.

• Your child is guided to become a mensch (an outstanding person with integrity, empathy, and kindness).

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