Our Head of School

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr. Michelle Bernat has been named Head of School of Pardes Jewish Day School, effective July 1, 2023. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Bernat and her family to Arizona and our Pardes community.

A Special Letter and Video Message from Dr. Bernat (11/21/2022):

Dear Pardes Community: 

It is an honor to introduce myself as the new Head of School at Pardes Jewish Day School. My husband Gary, daughter Hannah and I are delighted to join this extraordinary community. This summer, my family and I will be relocating to beautiful Scottsdale to immerse ourselves in the community. 

I am excited and deeply honored to serve as the next Head of School of Pardes. I was attracted to the school as it deeply aligns and embodies what I believe about education, Jewish learning, and community. Having graduated from U of A, I feel like returning to Arizona is coming home. I look forward to getting to meet all of you and introducing my family to the Pardes community soon. 

As I arrive at Pardes after many years serving as a school leader in Jewish Day Schools and in California public schools, I am thrilled to continue to tell the Pardes story and deepen our connection, curriculum, and community bond. Community is what unites us. In this week’s Torah portion, Toldot, we learn that every person can leave a legacy-to our children, to those we teach, and to those we inspire for coming generations. Together, may the story we weave at Pardes continue l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation). 

The head of school position provides me the chance to work collaboratively with teachers and staff daily, witness and engage in students’ learning and their growth and development. I firmly believe that every student can succeed when there is a positive partnership between home and school. I am committed to always exploring new ways to meet the needs of all students and to effectively communicate with parents and community members moving forward. To our students, I cannot wait to meet all of you. I want to continue and extend the tradition of a strong academic program, development of character (middot), and cultivation of passions for our students. I am committed to ensuring that student needs and interests help shape instruction and extra-curricular opportunities. 

Let’s continue writing the Pardes story together. To each of you, I welcome your conversation and positive input throughout this year and for many years to come. Let us always keep our students the primary focus of the work. Please email me and introduce yourself as I am eager to get to know all of you.


Dr. Michelle Bernat

Head of School

Michelle emerged as the best fit to carry on the success of Pardes into its 30th year and beyond, aligning well with our needs, mission and values.

-Aviva Gorny, President of the Board of Directors